Thursday, January 16, 2014

2006 Suddenly in Caretaker Mode

Christmas 2006

I remember how quickly the younger son suddenly became taller than me.

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Merry Christmas 2006

Dear Friends,

     Life for the Crescent City Goodes this year has been filled with growth and changes and periods of extreme togetherness followed by unwanted separation and then the joy of coming back together as a family.  Austin and Emerson have both grown in many ways, half a for in height and miles in independent and responsibility.  We've had moments of terror and tears of relief.  There has been laughter and hugs and the wonder of realizing that under the surface we are interconnected to so many truly extraordinary, ordinary people that we are never truly alone.  What Joy is that?  Thank you for filling our lives and hearts with your love and the gift of Knowing you.  I know this is a dreaded, "Form Letter" but I only send it to the people we love.
     When 2006 began we were just getting home to a flooded Crescent City where the fast food places had to close because the roads were covered in rock slides and no deliveries could get in.  Home from a trip to Wyoming during which we saw most of our parents, siblings and nieces and nephews.  We haven't however managed to see Greg's nephew Cody or to meet his wife and their year
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old daughter Sadie Ann and their newborn son, Levi.  What's the point of having to think of yourself as a great-aunt if you don't get to wear a little baby slobber?
     February 5th the Steeler's won the Superbowl and we got to see it thanks to Sammy Hernandez and family allowing us to invite ourselves over.  We haven't had TV since October of 1982 but I would have had to pay for  hook up jut so I could sit with all my fingers crossed, my eyes locked, my breath held - until my Dad's team won the one for the thumb.
     February was also the month the boys participated in a 30 hour famine, while serving soup to the homeless.  They also blew us away at the annual talent show.  Those fighting matches with Greg over instrument practice have really paid off.  Unfortunately it was also the month my wonderful Mother-In-Law, Mimi, had to have back surgery.  She'd already begun losing weight before Christmas and the surgery didn't make it any easier as she began the month's long struggle to regain the health and vigor she's famous for.  For a long time, no-one would have bet on her being around for this Christmas and we are so very glad to know that she is once again squabbling with her husband over paying money for her wild feline cat rescue program.
     The year started with three of us spending large chunks of time at Pine Grove School, Austin Graduated from there and had moved on
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ro Redwood for middle school but Greg taught classroom music and band there.  I was doing the yearbook and substitute teaching a lot, Emerson was in sixth grade there.  Many of or friends are there - but now none of us are.  In March, I started teaching full time at St. Joseph's Catholic School where I have ten, first and Second grade students.  It's fun and better pay than subbing but I sometimes miss the variety and the chance to spend time in Austin and Emerson's classrooms.  Emerson Graduated from Pine Grove on the ridiculous date of June 22 and even though we're in the Redwood School area, he wanted to go to Crescent Elk Middle School for several good reasons.  So the boys are now in two schools, 12 miles apart. Then Greg Changed his mind several times but finally said Good-by to Del Norte County Schools after 17 years of teaching Grade school music here and accepted a job 22 miles from home in Brookings, Oregon.  He is teaching High School Choir and Jr. High Choir and Drama. So . . .from years when all of us had the same days off, the same hours at school and could ride in the same car, to four different schools, in three different towns (If Fort Dick, Home of the Redwood Raiders, can be called a town?) In two different states, to different vacations, insurance policies and working hours.  For example, This Christmas, Greg's last Day is December 15, my last school day is December 20, and A and E go until December 22, then Greg goes back to work on January 3 but we don't go until January 8th.  We also have different spring breaks and I guess that is just the breaks, but after so many years, it's weird.
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    June and July were killer!  After several stays in smaller hospitals, Greg's sister Wendy finally took Mimi to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota on June 13th.  June 11 the boys were both baptized and confirmed in the Methodist Church after a year's study and a week at camp with the Bishop and our pastor.  June 14, Emerson played the wicked King Minos in Theseus and the Minotaur.  June 19, Austin went to Ashland for a week of fish camp with Tommy Michiels and skipped the last week of school here.  Emerson then had a lot of field trips and parties and graduated from 6th grade. Th minute school was out, we drove to Ashland, picked up Austin, and drove 1700 miles to Rochester where we checked into the Travelodge on June 30 and didn't check out until July 24th.  Every day the family was in our van, or a motel room or at Mimi's hospital room together.  It sounds horrid and parts of it were, like when the Dr. is asking Greg at 2:00 in the morning if they have a "Do Not Resuscitate" order on file.  But parts, bigger parts were wonderful.  We spent a lot of time with Mimi that we remember even though she doesn't.  We went through Custer State park, Saw the Missouri River, Rode the paddle wheeler, "LaCrosse Queen" and explored Niagara Falls Cave.  Saw a lot of the country that the boys had never seen before, watched fireworks at silver-lake park while chasing fireflies and they had never seen fireflies either.  We also went in two big Cabella's stores and those are an adventure in themselves.  The huge catfish in the aquariums and the dioramas are museum quality.  Then Once Mimi was stable and we got her home, (Oh my God!  I love you Mimi - but 700 miles, in 100 degree weather with you begging for the heater was not the high point of the summer.)
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     Then we made a quick visit to my family in Cody where Uncle Brett was Austin's new hero for taking him fishing up the Northfork.  I'm not mentioning Uncle Harv in Newcastle taking him fishing too, in a little boat with only a flashlight or letting him drive at 13. That DID NOT happen.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
     After Cody we spent a day recovering at one of our favorite spots in the universe. Lagoon. We still love the six acre water park and the boys now love the roller coasters and shows and amusement park junk food as much as we do.  For my PA, family, just think Kennywood and you know what I'm talking about.
     As soon as we got home on August 5th we went to the fair.  Then Greg and Austin did a week of Band Camp.  Austin started both playing and reefing at soccer games and Greg had to report to his new job on August 18th.  It has been the usual madhouse rush ever since then and there isn't a lot of indication that it will ever slow down.
Greg and April in Salem
Star Wars at OMSI
     We went to Salem for Thanksgiving with April and Vince, then into Portland to take Emerson to a really extensive Star Wars exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and industry (OMSI).  Emerson knows as much about Star Wars as the people who put on the two floor exhibit but the rest of us learned a lot.  The next goal is Austin trying to raise $1700 to go to Washington DC in June with his class and other 8th graders.
     This year would not be possible if not for the support of many friends.  The ones who pitched in and cared for out animals while we were out of town. Carla Bloyd, who has become Emerson's lifeline in nurturing him along with her own two and all the extra children she manages to have trailing her like baby ducks wherever she goes. So much love in our lives even with so much confusion in the world.  Pass on a little love!  We Love You.

Dixie, Greg, Austin and Emerson

(Then in hand written note)
On the sad side
our 17 year old
blue and gold macaw
was killed by a raccoon - now
we've trapped 7 here at the house
and our 100 year old apple tree
toppled over just after
Austin's class
pressed one last
large batch of cider
from this year's apples.

(Funny but it is now 2014 and that fallen tree still produces!)
Greg at South Beach

Ian and Zach and Austin at Lake Selmac

Dinner for Emerson's Birthday

Austin, Emerson and the Tall Ship

At The Old Mill in Newcastle, WY

Paddlewheel ride on Mississippi

Priscilla on Brett's Patio

Grandma Grace's Place and Grandpa Lawrence's truck

Austin playing soccer
Redwood Flag Football

My sunflowers

Austin and Emerson

Soccer Ref

At Beachfront park in Crescent City

Emerson, Dixie, Greg and Austin

Think it over Baby

Two homes for the holidays

Grandma Priscilla

Aunt Laura and Grandpa Harvey


Part of Confirmation Camp

6th grade graduation

At Mayo Clinic with Mimi

Riverboat queen


Youth Choir 

CCYC Ticket

Emerson and Sammy

Austin and Ransom

The fire pole at Uncle Harv's

Greg and his dad

at Grandpa Harvey's


My Nephew and his family

Austin, Emerson, Sammy and Greg at home

Christmas in Ashland

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