Saturday, August 22, 2009

huckleberried bits about family, bowling, music, and helicopters

huckin' with the cousins
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Rachel, Cam, and Dave made a quick trip over from Portland for a couple days of togetherness. I enjoyed our lively discussion about what we'd do with a huge windfall of money. Or even, say, $35. One whole day was spent daydreaming about a nice big commune whereby we could make money doing the things we love and have low enough overhead to be free for family and travel. It's going to be so cool when we ever get that particular dream ironed out. We also bowled, just we kids, while the parents and David went to a wedding. Bowling is something we don't ever do as a family, and it was a pretty good time, not because of the total titillation inherent in bowling, but just because we were together. OH. And we watched Zoralee do stuff. I didn't get many pics, unfortunately, other than of bowling.
About bowling. I know a few people who bowl, and they are nice folks. Really. If you are one such individual and you are reading this blog, I just want to say that I am so hopeful for you. I know that soon your ship will come in, and you'll discover the next step up: crossword puzzles. Hang in there.
If my kid ever comes home and says, "Ma, I want to bowl. I mean, really bowl, where you go to a sports store and purchase a bowling glove, your own ball, and a bag for it. And shoes that are half one color, half another, to where we constantly do double-takes at each other's feet, thinking everybody's wearing unmatching shoes," then I will have a very icky feeling inside for a good many days. I cannot see getting into bowling. Does it make you jealous and embarrassed when the list of this week's top bowlers up on the wall doesn't include your name? When you're not bowling, do you work on your game somehow? What else could you do but imagine yourself throwing an insanely heavy ball down a straight, long lane until it hits a bunch of tall, peculiar nuggets of painted wood? Do you live in fear of those dark, menacing grooves at the edges? (As if there's not enough evil in the world, they've got to throw it into the game of bowling.) I don't ask these things only to be a jackass. I sincerely don't understand. Enlighten me.
There was a family in the lane next to us, each member outfitted with their own glove. It was sick, you guys. Of course, they thought we were sick too, with maneuvers like Luke's two-handed toss and me wearing a baby the whole time.

looking forlornly toward a full set of standing pins and a ball that is no more

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We have gotten to spend some great time with my best friend from high school, Kristi, and her hubby, Brent. He writes books, which he can more or less do from any flat surface that holds a laptop, so they're in the area for a long visit. Yay! Who has played the game Carcassonne? I have now. We'll get to play it and see our friends more too, and that thought makes me glad. It always surprises me when I'm amongst people I knew from years before and they're still so them, so familiar. I can't think of an example of that not happening, where you're like, "Whoa! You're not YOU!", but it's surprising still. People are always themselves, even after time and distance and life has happened. Although, this does remind me of a great encounter I had at the grocery store not long ago that sort of disproves my point...
I saw a girl I hadn't seen since high school, and her first words were, "LORI?!? Oh my God! Your hair looks so....orGAANic! And is that a tattoo?! [grabbed my arm and twisted it for a better look] You were such a nerd in high school. What happened to you?!" Ironically, my hair is virtually unchanged, other than I wore it in a ponytail more back then. And my tattoo is pretty small. We saw each other in another aisle later on, and she apologized profusely for being so forward. I told her I wasn't offended and that hey, people change over 15 years. Hello. But you know, if she'd spent even 10 minutes with me, she would've realized there was like 93% of the same me-ness to me as there was back then. Right? I'm guessing.
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- singing with my brother and grandpa at a memorial service -

This was good to be a part of. Though the three of us didn't know the deceased man, we played with a couple of people who did, including his great-grandson, down from Alaska, where he plays in a heavy metal band. We did a couple of upbeat country church numbers, and Vince Gill's "Go Rest High On That Mountain." One of music's beauties is that, with a basic understanding of how it works and a little proficiency at an instrument, you can create something meaningful with perfect strangers for the benefit of those gathered. It's an odd duty to weave music through a funeral or wedding where you don't know the person/people whose memory/honor it is in. A tad creepy, perhaps. It doesn't happen all that often for me - maybe once every year or two - but I get a real cool feeling of camaraderie with the flute-tooters in Ireland and the drummers in African villages and any other musicians who play at a community's life events.

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Oh! We also had a 10th anniversary in there. We'd considered going on a Caribbean cruise to celebrate but, yeah, we changed our minds and went to a movie.
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Jason has been hard at work, including a couple of fun, special assignments. Today he got to head up the ground crew for a helicopter operation at a remote lake. They dropped a boat and some gear in by long line for a research crew coming this fall, and Jason's crew did the legwork for determining how low the chopper could fly because of the trees, radio communications, and hooking and unhooking stuff from the longline. Here are a couple of pics of that.


Shana said...

Hey...can we live in your commune. I'll provide free medical care and Adam will fix all of our computers.
And, yeah...I totally get the bowling deal~here in Nebraska it seems to be "THE THING" and we are like, what's up with that?!

Christi said...

The part I dislike the most about bowling are those two seconds that come right after you have thrown the ball and you have to turn around to the group you are with and give them your reaction to how you did. Even trying to do no reaction is a reaction. The more I think about it the more awkward I feel and the more dorkier I act.

lori lls said...

Sure, Shana! Come one, come all. :) We are actually considering a birthing center as part of our commune, because I've got a cousin studying to become a midwife.

Christi, YEP. Oh my word. Great observation! I too act like a total fool during the reaction period. Usually I swagger and do a cool, pretend "I rock at bowling" face. And when I actually do really well (which is rare), I say loudly, "I HATE it when there's only one pin left up like that, because I'm so accustomed to knocking them all over."