Monthly Archives: July 2011

California & a Little Harry Potter

It seems my inner gypsy is getting what it wants this year. I’ve been home for one week and now here I am getting ready to leave town again. My sissy and I are going to a wedding in Palm Springs. We are also going to go to Disneyland since we haven’t been in years.

Lately my blog has seemed a bit lacking as far as depth and meaning goes. I’ve been busy, which is no excuse, but I really don’t seem to be thinking about much lately except what’s going on right here, right now. Unfortunately that leaves little time for contemplating anything beyond simple thoughts, such as the last Harry Potter movie was fabulous, cheesy and made me almost cry three times. I’m sure it’ll pick back up again once the weather goes sour and I have more time to think.

In the meantime enjoy my frivolous, meaningless posts! Bon Voyage!

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Scholarship 5k

Jack and I have been out of town all week to help out as much as we can with the Jordan Crouch Scholarship Memorial 5k run. It’s been nice to be away and relax a little; watch a couple scary movies, read a bunch (I did finish Hunger Games), and just be around family. I’m excited for tonight because the Goerz half of the fam will be in town and the Crouch house is going to be packed full. That can be really fun sometimes.

Some things I did this week:

1. Took Jack to see Winne the Pooh at a real movie theatre. It was a success!

2. Took Jack to get his portraits taken. Not so much of a success, he was a bit clingy.

3. Had Carl’s Jr. for lunch. I hadn’t had Carl’s Jr. in forever.

4. Visited my friend’s the King’s. Which is always fun because there’s so much open space for Jack to run around in.

And tomorrow Elise and I will attempt to run a 5k for real. We’ll see how far I make it.

“Oh, there you are Peter!”

I’ve had several ideas for this weeks blog ranging from deeply personal to shallowly impersonal. I can’t decide which way to go. On one hand we have the personal entry that deals with a lot of what I’ve been thinking about this week, which has been a ton, I tell you what! On the other hand I just finished the latest book in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series and thought I could review that. At two separate points during this week I was excited about both, now I’m feeling mediocre towards each idea. So what to do? Maybe a little of both? I’ll give it a shot.

Lately one of the things that has been pressing my mind is how to be myself. When Jordan died I completely shut down for awhile. I didn’t really do anything except feel sorry for myself and for my son. I took care of Jack on a day to day basis and was generally ok at keeping him and me alive and generally entertained, but I didn’t do anything. I barely wrote, I didn’t touch my knitting needles and the books on my shelves simply looked intimidating. I just stopped being who I was because I think, who I was had become so entangled with Jordan. Which I don’t think is a bad thing. We were deeply in love and wanted to share each others lives. We wanted to be around each other all the time. The problem with that set up is that if one of us is gone permanently it sort of throws things off. So I went crazy for awhile as I’ve talked about before in this blog. Sadly, while I traipsed along the crazy path I hurt people and used them and ended friendships. I do have a few regrets, but I try not to dwell on them. The important thing is that I’m past that now. Each day I get a little piece of who I was back again.

One thing I’ve rediscovered that I’m totally loving is “The Men’s Room” on KISW 99.9. Jordan and I used to listen to these guys on our way home from work. If I was working a closing shift at Starbucks I would walk uphill to his office and ride home with him. We’d listen to the guys on “The Men’s Room” and laugh, disagree and argue (sometimes with the guys, sometimes with each other) or just shake our heads. It’s one of my favorite memories of my hubby. But at first it was too much. When I got my new car I didn’t even bother to make 99.9 one of the presets on my radio because listening to those guys would be too devastating. I wouldn’t have anyone to share the jokes and stories with. So I avoided it for a long time. The other day I was scanning the radio dial and heard the guys familiar voices and it made me smile. It didn’t make me sad, it made me happy. So I set it as a preset on the radio and haven’t changed it in two days, because there’s usually good music on 99.9 as well.

The second thing I’ve rediscovered is reading. Oh my word how I’ve missed this! Staying up till all hours finishing a book that you just can’t put down! I used to read like mad. It would get to the point where I would read five books at one time. I’d have a book for each time of day; a bus book, an after work book, a while I eat meals alone book, a right before bed book, it was out of control. The day Jordan died I put down the book I was reading and didn’t pick one up again until February. That would probably be because I was so busy, but also because I just didn’t want to read anything. If you’re curious, the first thing I read again was “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis. I loved that book. It was very honest and forthcoming. It made me feel less guilty about being so, so angry at God and even questioning my beliefs. The strange thing about me quitting reading is I’ve always been a reader. It’s not as if I became an avid reader when I met Jordan, I majored in English Literature! I’ve been reading since I was a child. I think the gravity of the whole thing was too much and I didn’t want to read anything. I didn’t want anyone to understand, or relate to how I felt because it was too personal. It was so very much mine that I didn’t want to think anyone could understand how I felt. I think that’s why I avoided books for so long. Because even after I started picking up books again I wasn’t reading them quickly and honestly it was difficult for me to stay interested. Books for me have always been a retreat. A place where I can let my guard down and just be in the story and I think I wasn’t ready to let my guard down again. I told myself I wanted an escape, but I think I was lying. I wanted to be drenched in my agony because I felt it was my right. Which is weird to think of now. I didn’t want to escape, I just wanted to be sad for awhile.

But now I am happy to report that I’ve moved past that. The reading really started up again for me when I started re-reading the Harry Potter series one right after the other, which I’ve never done. It was epic! Then I read “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, followed by “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, then “Me and Orson Welles” by Robert Kaplow and last night I finished “Dead Reckoning” by Charlaine Harris. Last night I started “The Magicians,” by Lev Grossman and continued with “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, which I started in May. I started it on my trip to Arizona, because I didn’t want to lug around my ridiculously huge “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” hardback. Then when I got home I put “The Hunger Games” on the shelf to dive back into Harry Potter. But I’ll finish it soon I think. So many people are raving about it.

I’m really glad that I’m getting these little bits of myself back. I’m feeling more confident than I have before, possibly ever in my life. I’m trying to live without regrets. I only have one life, why spend it worrying when I could be enjoying the party?

Remember that time with the dandelion?

In honor of my son’s 2nd birthday, (which was Wednesday), I’m going to tell one of my favorite Jack stories from this year. It’s also one of his Aunt Elise’s favorites. Hope you all enjoy!

One Tuesday evening Matt & Elise invited Jack and I to their place for a BBQ. Since I like to get out of cooking dinner anytime I can, we agreed. What’s also nice about going to Auntie & Uncle’s house is that they have a large fenced in backyard, so Jackers gets to run around, be generally crazy and yell as loud as he likes. Then he sleeps really well at night and sometimes even sleeps late the next morning.

So we arrived at my sister’s house and Jack immediately started to run around and explore the backyard. He also tried to help Uncle with the barbecuing, and journeyed up and down the stairs to the back door a few times. As the evening wore on he started to get a bit bored, but it wasn’t time to go yet. We hadn’t even begun dessert.

So I tried to distract him with potato chips and cheese. He fed the potato chips to the ants and then ventured to the corner of the yard where there’s a garden type area. There were a few dandelions that had popped up and he seemed pretty interested in those. I sat in my seat next to the fire pit and chatted with my sister and brother in law a bit. Suddenly Elise let out an amused yell.

“Jack!” She shouted. “Did you just eat that dandelion?”

I turned around to see my son with a dandelion steam in his hand and little puffs of seed sticking all around his mouth. He tried to spit a few times then moved his tongue in and out of his mouth like a dog eating peanut butter.

“What are you doing?” I asked. “Come here!” He walked over quickly dropping the steam to the ground. I laughed a little as I got a closer look at the seeds stuck to his chin.

“Did you really eat that?” I asked. “Open your mouth.” He opened his mouth and reveled a mouthful of soaked white dandelion seeds. I tried my best to sweep them out with my finger but they had sort of disintegrated into a white sticky mess. I wiped his tongue with a napkin, then handed him his water.

“Sorry bud, I guess you’ll just have to wash them down.” He took a few sips of his water. I handed him his cheese in an attempt to get the taste out of his mouth.

“Family rule, no eating dandelions.” I said as he walked away, back toward the dandelion plant.

Tide Pools

Seattle finally got the memo that it’s summer time, and I woke up this morning to a gorgeous sunny day. My kiddo was equally excited, looking out the window and pointing at the gardeners doing their work, repeatedly uttering “Ooooo!” He looked so anxious to go outside I couldn’t make him wait. I hurriedly gulped down my coffee, got us dressed, grabbed beach toys and headed to Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.

When we arrived I saw the tide was out, which it never is when I go. I was absolutely delighted, I think I was more excited than my child. We got to explore the tide pools! At first I tried to keep my shoes dry, but after a little while I gave that up; they were just old slip on shoes after all.

We walked over the rocky shore, which is where we usually stand to throw rocks and sticks into the water, and into the tide pools. The water was warmed by the sun so it felt lovely squishing into my shoes. I pointed out crabs and sea grass to the kiddo while he dug in the wet sand. As we walked along, we passed little communities of Geoducks, who spit water at our ankles as we passed. I laughed while Jack looked at me like I had three heads.

Another boy down the way with his family had found a jelly fish and was carefully balancing it on his shovel. He brought it over, after a little encouragement from his dad, to show to Jack and me. He said I could touch the topside, but I declined. He put it in a nearby tide pool and watched its tentacles spread and wave in the water.

Jack had much business to attend to. He walked down the shore stopping to pick up handfuls of mud and fling it into the water. He stopped to inspect a few rocks, and walk across the larger ones; he spent some time shoveling wet sand from the shore into his bucket. After about an hour he started to get a little grumpy.

Checking the time I saw it was lunch time and since we had missed snack due to the wonders of the tide pools Jack was probably starving. I rinsed his shovels and threw them in his now empty bucket and headed back to the car.

Jack’s wet water socked feet kicked against me as we walked over the train bridge back to the car. As Jack waved goodbye to the beach, I took one last breath of salty sea air, thankful for the sun, tide pools and childlike wonder.