Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A weekend that is good for your soul

I had a tough week last week. Coming back to reality after Grandpa's funeral and realizing that reality didn't include him anymore was far more difficult than I expected. I tend to be a bit of an avoider when it comes to unpleasant things. I think I've taught myself overtime how to ignore sadness around me. A perfect example of that was with the 9/11 NYC attacks. I was one of very few people who didn't sit by the TV and watch and stay tuned to the radio at all times for the next however many weeks after it happened. Instead, I turned off the radio, gathered newspaper articles for a time when I might want to read them and went about my life. I'm not saying this is the right way to deal with sadness but it is my coping mechanism and is what it is for me. It was the same way with Grandpa. I didn't think about losing him until I had to. It's easy to get stuck in grief and I did a pretty good job of doing that last week so this past weekend I decided it was time to shake of the cobwebs and enjoy my weekend celebrating life instead which is what grandpa would have wanted anyway.

I went to Brian and Suzannah's house for a house warming/bday party on Friday. It was great to see so many good friends. Brian and Suzannah's house is great. They have an INCREDIBLE yard that Moxie and Cinnamon went crazy running around in and have officially moved into my "neighborhood". I look forward to many warm evenings at their house.

On Saturday morning I got up and loaded the Volvo with my camping gear (not an easy feat for someone used to using an SUV for camping trips - but Babe is broken) and the dog and we headed over to Moxee, WA. Moxee is a small town only a few miles south east of Yakima. I had never been to Yakima which is a bit silly and I wanted to take Moxie to Moxee. Everyone talks about Yakima not being a nice town but I thought it was really nice. I did a lot of driving around and looking at places and I found numerous hidden spots that I found myself thinking I could frequent.

In researching Moxee, WA when I decided to name Moxie after it I learned it is one of the top Hops producing towns in the world. They hold a Hops Festival the first Friday and Saturday of August every year so I thought it would be a good excuse to head over and check it out. The Hops plants were amazing to see. The town itself is hemmed in by the plants that are about the height of a two story home. At first I couldn't figure out what they were which is a bit silly but they are sort of surprising to see.

After spending a few hours at the festival we went and set up camp at the State Park in Moxee. It was the first time I had ever camped by myself but I had some planning to do for Bible study this week because I was leading and it seemed like some good quiet time to spend with God. I thought it might be a bit scary but it was a crowded campground with very friendly people and a very attentive Park Ranger so I didn't worry about it. Turns out the Park Ranger wasn't actually a nice protective Park Ranger but instead a creepy stalker I'm asking you out for drinks Park Ranger but I didn't know that until the next day so it was all good.

I got to spend my quiet time with God focused on waiting on his timing/call and Moxie and I had fun hiking along the dyke next to the Yakima River and avoiding the skunks that kept coming through our campsite. After the incident with the park ranger on Sunday morning I quickly packed up camp and headed home.

I got home early enough that I was able to go watch a friend play baseball. It's something I've done a few times this summer and each time it has been a highlight of that day or weekend or even week sometimes. He's a good guy, someone I'm happy to have in my life, and I enjoy being able to cheer him on at something he loves to do. It's sort of like how I enjoy doing that for Pete and Steve too. There is something in my nature that gets joy out of supporting the people around me. After the game we went to Dairy Queen with his parents and another friend of his and were there for a few hours. It was nice to have the social time after a day of solitary time. God clearly made us for fellowship.

On Monday (which isn't really the weekend obviously but I have to document this) I met up with a friend of mine that I have known since grade school days. We met at summer camp and would renew our friendship every summer. We both worked the whole summer at camp in 2000 and our friendship has been a comfortable one since then. We see each other about once a year, despite our best efforts, but each time I see him I go away with joy in my heart. He is a FUNNY guy and because of that I'm funny as well which makes me feel good. We went to a Mariner's game. My seats are great seats thanks to Uncle Kit. I never complain about them. This time however, Chris had some friends who were sitting in the second row in the same section as us. Second row vs. seventeenth row is quite a difference. About the 6th inning the guys made two seats open up and had us come down to join them. I never in a million years would have thought I would sit second row at Safeco field. It was sort of like I was in this weird dream. I know it seems silly but you have to remember - I started going to games in the Kingdome with my great grandpa when I was a kid. We always sat upper deck and I would pray that I would get picked to go down on the field when everyone else got injured. As long as I can remember I've loved the Mariners. It's as much a part of me as anything else. It's definitely how I've held on to the special relationship I had with Grandpa James since he passed away. I think about him every time I walk into Safeco Field and think about how much he would have loved to have seen a game there.

I remember cheering for Ken Griffey Jr with Grandpa when he first started playing with the Mariners. When Chris and I first sat down in the second row Griffey was at the top of the dug out steps and he turned around and looked in our direction. I've always told myself if I was in a situation where I could meet the players again I would act "cool". When I met Dan Wilson I couldn't talk and when I met Freddy Garcia I was a smarta**. I had determined with myself that I would be somewhere in between those extremes if I ever had an opportunity again. So when Griffey and I made eye contact I put my hand up and waved to him - not really what I would have planned but whatever - and he nodded at me. I turned to Chris and must have had the funniest expression on my face because he started laughing and asked what was going on. I told him and the other guys that Griffey had nodded at me and they all started cheering and high-fiving me. Then of course I freaked out, took Chris by the shoulders and shook him telling him - KEN GRIFFEY JR NODDED AT ME!!!!!! I became the lame fan again but you know what, I'm ok with that. We got to hear Ichiro talk, in perfect English mind you, to Mark Lowe about his performance and I was "this close" to Russel Branyon who doesn't know it but is going to marry me someday. It is a night I won't forget.

After a week where I was mired down in mourning my weekend gave me a quick jolt into the reality of joy and hope. I'm looking forward to a week at Hayden Lake with my family next week and coming back rested and ready to finish up the summer strong. Isn't life remarkable?


Jessy said...

Funny Kristin! And did you know Yakima was just rated in the top 5 places to sell your house? Apparently the houses there have been holding their value.

justjuli said...

I wish blogger had a "like" button. I would press it for this post. Or maybe I spend too much time on Facebook. :)

I am so glad you were able to be refreshed this weekend. I wish I could have met your grandpa, and your great grandpa for that matter. They sound fantastic, and I would have loved to see someone eat a napkin. :)

I used to love camping by myself, creepy stalker Rangers are not the norm, so don't let that discourage you from future trips!! I love that you took Moxie to Moxee and went to the Hops Festival. You are awesome.

And good for you for not being too goofy when you made eye contact with KGJ! Sounds like you played it cool while he was watching. :) I, on the other hand, get a little giddy when I see Tim Noah in the grocery store. Not sure what I would do if I saw/met an actual celebrity. I'm seriously envious of your composure!

Nathan Novak said...

Your Griffey acknoledgement reminds me of how I felt when I got the same from Bill Gates. DUDE! BILL GATES NODDED AT ME!!!