Monday, June 16, 2014

The Roller Coaster That Was This Spring

I am currently taking a break from packing and preparing our house for tomorrow, when Jamey, Jason and I head out for 6 weeks on a summer mission to East Asia.
The boys on a Father's Day mountain bike ride at Montana De Oro
Generally, I don't at all like leaving home for more than a couple of days, but I must admit, I'm kind of looking forward to this trip.  Last week, we had to put our beloved Max down (we absolutely knew it was time).  This was the same day that we dropped Grace off at the SLO airport to leave for her own summer mission trip to Thailand.  From fear, to excitement, great happiness to extreme sorrow, we have experienced it all over the past few weeks!
Grace at the SLO airport, ready to fly!!
So many wonderful things happened - Grace finished her sophomore year, with honors, in a major that she loves, and headed off to work with women and children for the summer.    And Jason topped off a great junior year in high school by being awarded an academic letter for his good grades in high school.  Jamey and I had the chance to return one more time to El Salvador to close out a wonderful partnership with the ministry there, and got to debrief a team of amazing alums who spent the past year there (and brought home the world's best coffee!).  Quite a few students that we are close to just graduated from Cal Poly and are heading out into all kinds of fantastic places.  Today, we watched the USA beat Ghana in the World Cup with about 100 other fans at Laguna Grill in SLO.  We have also discovered a family of beavers living in the creek in our neighborhood, and we have walked down to watch them swim around in the water several times this week - it's like watching the National Geographic Channel live!
Max, keeping an eye on the yard like a good watchdog
But, at the same time....I miss my dog.  I think that I hear him for a split second when I hear leaves rustle, or when my neighbor's dog barks.  I expect to hear him bark when a truck goes down the road, or see him at the back door.  And Wednesday morning, a squirrel had the gaul to sit in the walnut tree and chatter at me (I shot that thing out of the tree in Max's honor!).
And so, I think we are all looking forward to packing up clothes, games, books, coffee (and creamer!) and heading west tomorrow for a few weeks of big city, crazy and great food, language class, new friends, and adventure.
Since we will be without the internet until about August 1, I will be sure to take a lot of photos and make a note of the best stories to share once we get back.  Grace's stories, too.... We should have enough time to share at least a few before we are off to get ready for fall!