Friday, June 26, 2009

School's Out for Summer!

Yippee! I pulled away from school at 12:05 PM today, ready to start my summer break! 

I had a full afternoon of errands and plans as I pulled away from school, including a trip to the strawberry patch to pick some fresh berries. As I was driving west, I was watching this large black cloud grow more and more threatening. I was driving behind a car that was having trouble going the speed limit, and my frustration level was growing as I knew that big, black cloud was going to interfere with my picking. When I finally got to the strawberry farm, I opened the car door to be enveloped by the smell of fresh strawberries! I started picking and as I filled my first quart the thunder and lightning rolled in and some big raindrops started falling. One minute later all h&$# broke loose,  with the wind howling, torrential rains were falling and the thunder and lightning was immediate. All the pickers ran for cover under the open air pay station. Then the hail came! The white streaks in this photo are the hail falling.
Marble sized or bigger hail pounded the metal roof of the shelter, while the thunder and lightning continued to put on a show.

After about 10 minutes, the edge of the storm moved south and east and I was able to pay for my quart of berries and return to my car. The berry patch was closed for the day after that storm. Unfortunately, in  order to get home I had to drive south and east, right back into the heart of the storm. I cannot remember the last time I had to drive through such heavy rain. It was slow going. 

I came home, mildly surprised to see that our side yard was not flooded. What was flooding was the gutters along the edge of the garage and there were several inches of water waiting to flow into the garage when I opened the garage door. The gutters were overflowing with water and not because they needed to be cleaned out, but because they could not handle the volume of water that was falling from the sky. 

I carried my berries and school stuff into the house, called Jim, and looked out into the backyard and suddenly the yard had filled with water.
So much for the town fixing our drainage problem. The good news is that once the rain stopped, the flooding quickly drained away. 

So that is the way my summer vacation started!

Jim and I went downtown tonight to get some dinner at the Taste of Rochester event on Main Street. Just as we got near one of the stages as one of the bands was starting their set, I heard my phone ring. It was my brother Bob wishing me a Happy Summer! As a very newly retired teacher, he clearly remembers the joy that comes with summer vacation. Thanks for the call, Bob! Jim and I each found something we'd like for dinner and we sat on a curb and ate our dinner and people-watched. 

I may have mentioned that the PE staff had to relocate our office area to a new space at school. For the past 5 years the PE staff has shared a classroom with some other staff to use as an office area. This year that space was needed as a classroom so we all had to move. The PE staff was moved (thanks to the custodial staff) to the former conference room. It is a much smaller area, but is air-conditioned and is right near the main office, so lots of people stop by to say "hi!" Here is a photo of our old office space, followed by our new space.

Jim, Maryanne, and Zach are supposed to go to camp today. I hope they made it. We look forward to seeing them for a few days around the Fourth of July.

Tomorrow we have some options for entertainment. We will probably walk over to the Farmer's Market at the mall, looking for salad greens and strawberries. I also hope to get a bike ride in as Saturday is supposed to be the better of the 2 weekend days. 

Jeannie left a comment wondering if I was talking about our Tennessee kin when I made my Appalachia comment in reference to Corey's chipped tooth. No, the last time I saw you'all, you'all had all your teeth!!

I called Sally today and spoke to her as she followed Bob through the rain, up over a mountain pass in Colorado on their way to Telluride. I was happy to read in their blog that they made it and found indoor accommodations instead of camping, even if the camping was going to be free!

Hope all is well. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strawberries and More

Yesterday, after school, I went strawberry picking.

The picking was pretty easy and after 30 minutes, this is what I had to show for it:

These berries are soooo sweeet and juicy and because I picked them, there wasn't a bad one in the boxes. We've had fresh strawberries on our cereal and I've had strawberry shortcake for dinner both last night and tonight! Corey was breifly in town today to have his tooth fixed so I sent him back with a quart of strawberries. I hope he is loving them! Sorry Tucker, wish I could send some to you.

Corey needed to have his front tooth repaired. He chipped off a corner of his front tooth a few years ago in a sledding accident  (involving a video camera and a 17 year old boy brain!) and it was repaired at the time. The fix fell off last week so he took a "long lunch" from work to drive home and have the dentist make him look less like he's from Appalachia (not that there is anything wrong with that). After his appointment, he picked up some subs and met Jim for a quick lunch by the ponds. 

We talked to Tucker recently and he was very excited because the new Apple computer that he ordered had arrived! I'm sure he will be impressed with all that his new computer can do that his old one could not.

Grandma and Grandpa put a deposit down on their new apartment in The Villages on the Unity Hospital campus, so I guess it is all official that they will be moving in the next couple of months.

Tomorrow is my last day to teach for this school year. The kids come for half a day on Thursday, but I have no teaching responsibilities then. The teaching staff then has half a day on Friday and then "Schools Out for Summer!" The PE department is moving their office area out of a classroom and into a small conference room, so we will be doing that on Thursday and Friday mornings. Space is at a premium and where all of our stuff is going to go is still unknown. 

Biking Buddy Bob has made it to Colorado and is riding like a madman! If you are interested in his progress click here. He and Sally have done a great job keeping the blog up to date.

Hope all is well.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


After a great weekend we arrived home around 7 PM. The Canadian expressways heading away from Toronto were typically busy, but once we split off to go to the Queenston Bridge, the traffic disappeared. We got through customs in 4 minutes!

In yesterday's post I forgot to mention one fun thing we got involved in on Saturday. We decided to walk the 1.67 miles from the hotel to the yarn store since it was along interesting streets and we were looking for a place to have lunch. As we were walking we kept noticing these pairs of people hustling in different directions and they all had t-shirts on that said City Search. I remembered reading about this activity in one of the promotional booklets that we received. Groups of 2 were given a list of things they had to see, do or find all around the city and the first group to complete their challenge was the winner. Well, as we were walking up Queen Street, people from 2 different groups asked us if we would do 3 yoga poses with them! We looked at each other and said, "Why not?" So here is a photo of Jim in a partner pose. Please note that it was raining at the time and the yoga mats were soaked! Our efforts were greatly appreciated and after about 5-10 minutes we were back on our way.

Today dawned sunny and bright, as promised and after a quick change of plans, Jim left at 6:30 AM for his track meet at a college north of Toronto. I got ready for a morning of biking and pedaled away from the hotel at 7:20. It was a beautiful morning for a bike ride and I took advantage of the weather and the abundant bike trails. I ended up putting 34 miles on my bike and truly enjoyed the riding and the scenery. Here are 2 photos from my ride.

I returned to the hotel around 10:15 and got cleaned up, packed up and checked out by noon so Jim could pick me up shortly after. He then texted me to say that the meet was running behind schedule and he would be about 45 minutes later than planned. So I sat in the lobby and read my book and people-watched.

After the pick-up we returned to the track for Jim's last race. He had already won his age-group in the Steeple Chase and the 800 meter race. Next up was the 1500 meter race and he easily won that too! Check out these photos. There were more than 2 people in the race, Jim and the guy in second were just quite a ways in front of the rest of the pack!

Jim picked up his medals (3 golds, which now that I think about it, we did not declare at customs!!) and we were on our way home. 

We stopped for supper at Abe's on the Ridge, just west of Greece. When we were ordering our cheeseburgers, Jim noticed that Abe was giving away free ice cream cones to fathers, with any food purchase. So after a good meal, Jim got his free chocolate ice cream cone and I drove him home!

Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there!

Hope all is well.