Friday, August 29, 2008

Birthday, Boyers in the 'Banx, and Ben Hur

After ending our Texas summer with a bang, we're back in State College trying to stay in the same city for more than a week at a time. Sammie's last day of work at Dell was on August 1, which is also his birthday. Now, I DIDN'T forget Sammie's birthday. I had asked him weeks before what he wanted and bought him plane tickets to Utah in September to watch BYU/UCLA with his Dad. But, I woke up that morning with a lot on my mind! We had to get Phoebe to the vet, pack up the apartment, clean the apartment, load the car, and drive to Dallas that evening. Sammie's subtle reminders of his special day (jumping on the bed, the wide goofy grin on his face) failed to jog my memory. It wasn't until I was signing Phoebe into the vet and the desk attendant said, "It's August 1st" that it hit me. The whole waiting room heard me gasp and watched me look at Sammie in horror. He thought it was hysterically funny... and will never let me forget it.

The second week of August found us in one big beach house on the Outer Banks with the entire Boyer family - 2 parents, 8 "original" kids, 6 spouses, 5 granddaughters, and 3 grandsons. It was a blast! Having the entire family together is magical. There's nothing like it and more than once during the week, I decided that it was like Heaven. Here's a picture of us in our "Boyers at the Banx" t-shirts.

(Funny story. As we were taking the picture, a car drove by and stopped to stare at us. We realized that the camera was behind a large plant where they couldn't see it, so it looked like we all put on matching t-shirts, lined ourselves up on the front porch, and stood there smiling.)

Sammie's back at school, feeling "big and bad" cuz he's not only a 2nd year, but had a coveted Dell internship and has an even more coveted job offer from them. He says it's fun to see the 1st years try to ask him about Dell without looking too eager. He and his buddy Paul are coordinating a "Champions League" to help the 1st years with their resume, interviewing skills, and job search.

I finished my 2nd day of teaching at Juniata yesterday, and feel like myself again. I forgot how much I love teaching. I also forgot, though, how tiring it is to teach 3 80-minute classes in one day. (How do you high school teachers do it? And you do it 5 days a week while I do only 2!) Yesterday evening, Sammie was at a "Champions League" event at school, so I flopped down on the couch with my laptop intending to do some work. As I flipped through the cable guide to find some background entertainment, I saw that Ben Hur was playing. It's been about 2 1/2 decades since I saw it, so I decided to have it on while I worked. Well, so much for working. I was absolutely entranced. What a great show! I love the panoramic view it gives of the Roman Empire. The Christian message in it was wonderfully profound--a movie with not just a "good message," but with THE good message! The characters are fully-rounded, complex, and moral (although I remember when I was little thinking that Judah and Esther were naughty for kissing so much before they were married). And speaking of kissing--romantic fervor isn't expressed by open mouths, tongues, and groping, but by how high on the e-string the violins are playing and the intensity of the bow stroke. Okay, okay, so the soundtrack may need updating, but the movie is magnificent. If you haven't seen it in a while, log on to Netflix, go to blockbuster, or sign up for cable and watch it!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

We're Home

We got in late last night and all is well here in PA. My boss gave me Friday (Aug 1st) off as a 'birthday present.' I think it had more to do with that being the last day of my internship and there was literally NOTHING for me to do. Anyways, Melba took me to a nice birthday lunch at Macaroni Grill (they gave me a free piece of birthday cake), then we went home and packed and snacked on another piece of cake that Melba had bought for me (thank you, Melba) and then hit the road to Dallas. We stayed with the Dal-Marks -- always fun to see them and Laura had made a birthday cake for me (thanks, Laura). We left early Saturday morning and drove all day to St. Louis and stayed with the Linscotts -- spent Sunday with them (Thank you Carrie for the birthday cake) and then left Monday morning. We drove 15 1/2 hours yesterday and got home around 11:30pm. It was nice to be home. We'll post more details sometime later.

Here's something funny from the trip (since I know that's why you all come to this blog): Saturday night I woke up and realized we left something in Round Rock. I didn't mean to bring it, I meant to throw it away -- we had to leave the apartment empty to keep from getting fined for anything that was left. I called my good friend Brandon (Dell Intern from Duke) who lived at the same building as us and would be there for the next week.

"Brandon, I need a HUGE favor."

"Sure, whatever you need -- what's up?"

"Brandon, I left a small trash can on my porch that we used for bags of poop after walking Phoebe. Can you go throw it away for me -- PLEASE?"

Let's just say, I owe Brandon several favors now. Trash cans full of poop sitting out in the Texas heat make quite an odoriferous combination..........