Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer of Awesomeness Super Awesome Edition

  What. A. Week.  We crossed off a whole bunch of amazing things from the 
Official Summer of Awesomeness To Do List.

    Last weekend, we went down the Cape  (that's Cape Cod to you folks who are not from the northeastern part of the United States).  For generations, my father's clan has gathered in Falmouth, Massachusetts to spend time at the beach, eat fried clams and lobster rolls (that's lobster salad in a hot dog roll), ride bikes, go for walks, play board games, drink a smidge too much perhaps, laugh a lot, and have a wonderful time.  We did all that and more.

    On Sunday, we got to cheer on a Cool Cousin for running her first Falmouth Road Race.  It's 7.15 miles of winding, seaside roads, lined with happy people cheering her and all 12,000+ runners.  It was the furthest she had ever gone and she did it with a smile.  She was a last minute substitute for her cousin who runs it annually, but has a stress fracture in his foot.  Because he runs for a great cause--Compassionate Care for ALS--the family didn't want to bail.  Hurray for Cool Cousins who will run their furthest just because it's the right thing to do!

     While she ran, we raised money and cheered.  Because supporting Compassionate Care for ALS is definitely the right thing to do.  The folks there are wonderful and caring on a level that is exceptional, even for charitable organizations.  When my Uncle Tom was sick with this heinously cruel disease, Compassionate Care for ALS provided adaptive technology that made it possible for Tom to stay home, and ongoing support for his family to keep on keeping on when it was really too hard for anyone to do it alone. To learn more about this organization, click here.

     We played in the sand and the surf.  There were boogie boards and sand pails and preschoolers bossing college graduates around.  There were blankets and chairs and umbrellas and towels.  There was plenty of sunblock for kids, not quite enough for adults (or at least this adult, I burnt to a crisp).

     We watched the sun set into the sea.  It's a family tradition, one that I had never been a part of before, so I found it to be especially heartwarming.  After a perfect, post-race beach day, the FabFam gathered drinks and snacks and sweatshirts and blankets.  We talked about everything and nothing.  We snacked and drank and sang and poked fun at one another.  And we watched the beautiful sunset, until the sun disappeared into the sea.  (I got to do this again with my family on Wednesday night, too.  I can see why my Aunts keep doing it!)

     We watched the Perseids Meteor Shower from blankets on the beach.  It was a perfectly clear night, and the sliver of a moon set into the sea around 10 PM, making the conditions perfect for seeing the vastness of the universe at it's most wondrous.  The Evil Genius proclaimed it the best bit of the entire summer.  I'm inclined to agree.

     There was more biking and walking and beaching and picnicing and delighting in each other's company all week long.

     And that's not all of it!  On Thursday morning, to celebrate the Evil Genius turning 13, my Personal Chef, Thing 2 and I drove all the way to the other end of Massachusetts to the Berkshire Mountains.  There, the men I love ziplined  for three hours, across the valley.  I did not join them.  While I am not afraid of heights, I do have a fear of falling.  (Hey, I cannot explain it either.)  So, three years ago, when celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, I did this exact same zipline adventure with my Personal Chef.  It was one of the most remarkable things I've ever done.  As it took everything I had in me to step off of the platform before every run, I didn't see any point in doing it again.

     Instead, I spent the afternoon wandering through the hidden gem of a town--Shelburne Falls.  It is an old mill town built on the Deerfield River.  Today, it has a thriving art community.  So, I spent several joyful hours in galleries.  I befriended a local potter and her adorable dog. I also finally experienced the Bridge of Flowers.  The FabFam often travels to this part of the country.  I've read about the Bridge of Flowers, but had never seen it for myself until this Thursday.  In 1908, there was a trolley bridge built across the river.  It was decommissioned in the mid-1920s.  Dismayed with the eyesore, the local gardening club took it upon themselves to covering the span with plantings.  Nearly 100 years later, the garden club still maintains the Bridge of Flowers.  It is so stunning, it made me tear up as I walked across it.  It was really wonderful to spent that much time just looking at beautiful things.

     I stopped off at a local market to pick up a picnic dinner then gathered my menfolk from the mountain.  From there, we trekked to Tanglewood to see Yo Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan, aka The Goat Rodeo Sessions.  They were joined on vocals by local girl, Aoife O'Donovan.  It was a phenomenal show.

     Over the weekend, my Personal Chef, the Evil Genius and I got out on our bikes and got the kayaks out on the Blackstone River.  It was an 8 mile bike ride, but only a mile or so on the kayaks.  The river is low and the lily pads are high...

     Finally, we finalized plans for the Evil Genius' Epic Thirteenth Birthday Extravaganza.    It's a Glow-in-the-Dark, Hot Tub, Dance Party set to go off this Saturday night.

So, how's your Summer of Awesomeness Going?

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