Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Beach and B

under this old house

Building A 

Before the house on 10th was ours it belonged to a family that raised 6 boys in one tiny room under the eaves. 

They had daughters but in a family such as theirs daughters weren't counted.  The family first lived in a one room house behind this one. We found that out when we went to hooked up the utilities and discovered our house was listed as building B.  Building A was the tiny white garage.  It was the original house.

When BC tore it down to put in his woodshop we found 4 layers of linoleum flooring. We learned the family had lived in the tiny white house for 7 years while building our house.

The room under the eave became Beach's room.  If you laid in there in the middle of the day you could almost feel the remains of the energy of 6 boys.

That room is gone now.  Nothing is in it's place.  As we removed the floor and ceiling we found vintage pornographic magazines.  In the ceiling we found novels of similar character.

A few years ago we found a mummified cat in the basement walls. Eleven years after we claimed this house as our own it still holds the secrets of the family who was here before us.  The secrets of boys.

Found under the west eave of the roof 3/13/18

Sunday, March 11, 2018

notes on Sunday

I pick Beach up at 10:00 am from a sleep-over still in my workout clothes, still needing a shower. 

I am running late because it's BC birthday.  I made him a special breakfast and then spent a half hour helping him set up a new email account for his new side business selling live edge juniper slabs.

Only after he left did I see the flat front tire on my car. 

Beach climbs into BC's truck loaded with bags, some new Tupperware, and a gallon of glue.  She stops talking about her night of fun only long enough for me to explain the truck.

From the sleep-over we head to get Sophie who had spent the night at the home of another teammate so she could accompany yet another teammate acting as the driver for the first teammate for a school dance date.  I could try to explain that again but it doesn't get any clearer other than apparently, gymnasts date in squads.

They take team seriously. So seriously that it happens to be the reason for getting Sophie. Beach was invited to go climbing at an indoor climbing gym....by a boy.  And along with the other things Beach needed, shoes, a harness, a signed waiver, she also needed Sophie. Team.

Between pick up and drop off I take the girls home.  They snack and get ready.  I brown an elk roast and bake a cake for BC's birthday.  Then we load back up in BC's truck and drive back across the valley to the climbing gym.

I get them checked in before the boy arrives.  I slip out promising to go home and shower and get dressed in case Beach wants to offer the boy a ride home.

I do shower.  I frost a cake. I clean the kitchen so that it looks like the cake and the elk dinner magical sprang up from nothing.  Then I wait for the phone call calling me back across the valley for a pick up.

Between the driving the air is silent.  I like this part of parenting.  The part where I get to stand back and watch her go.  The part where after she has been gone, she comes back.  She's growing up but she's doing it slowly. 

Yesterday we went dress shopping.  Me and my 2 beautiful daughters.  It's not a normal thing for me to do.  About as odd as me behind the wheel of BC's big truck driving around the city.  But the shopping was fun and I have to admit the truck has it's advantages.

Images of Beach slipping out of the dressing room in a tiny, lacey blue dress pop into my mind. I know Beach doesn't think she is beautiful. She thinks her nose is too big and her eyes are too small. Part of it is her beauty isn't commercial.  Part of it is no one tells her she is beautiful- but that's because she has so many amazing qualities no one has time to waste on her looks.  She believes the silence is the confirmation of what she sees in the mirror.

She has no idea what she is.  I believe though, that one day she will.  

There was moment while out shopping when a mom with her two daughters entered the dressing rooms.  Her daughter's were big girls, awkward, and over-colored with make up and hair dye. I actually found myself praying Beach wouldn't step out into the room wearing one of the little cocktail style dresses I knew she was trying on. 

These other daughters were struggling with their own mirrors. I listened to what they were saying as they tugged and smoothed unforgiving cotton clothing. Their mother sweet and happy, pulling them along.   

Right or wrong, I related to them.  I knew what would happen if Beach with her long legs, her thin waist, and her lean arms opened the door.  Blonde hair, brown eyes, and pink cheeks, she would smile and spin; 8 going on 18.  She would somehow be bold and shy at the same time.  She would be magical.       

When she did step out the other girls were gone.  And she did look just as I knew she would. 

While I am thinking about that moment the girls call for their ride.  I drive across town once again.  I pick them up, boy included.  I introduce myself then add, "Sorry about the truck, it's not mine, it's her dad's."  The boy sits between tools, knives, and a full size compressor.  I can tell he feels as if he is sitting in her dad's lap. I feel bad for him and I file away this perfect moment for later.

On the freeway, a middle aged woman with spider silk hair wearing cowboy boots darts out into traffic.  She stands in the middle of the interstate as a row of busy onlookers try to get her out of harms way.  Whatever is happening looks to be in the second act.  

We slow down to pass. The cars move in a seamless single line off the side of the road to avoid becoming entangled in the drama unfolding.

The woman dances from lane to lane like she is playing a game. Then she vanishes in the rear view mirror.

We drive the boy the rest of the way home.  After he exits the girls tell me all... including how 2 more of their teammates found them and joined them for after climbing frozen yogurt.

From the backseat Beach sighs, "I hope he was okay.  He was kind of the odd man out."

It is Sunday.  It is the first weekend in March.  The sun wrinkles in through BC's road worn windshield.  At home a elk roast is simmer away.  An orange colored hunting shirt sits on the kitchen table in a bag that says "Happy Birthday!"  A carrot cake wrapped in white cream cheese frosting, the top dotted with walnuts waits for 47 candles.     

"Beach, that 14 year old boy was out today with 4 beautiful girls. I think he is okay," I say knowing we still have a long road to travel together before she goes on her way.

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Northern Lights 2018 GTC Level 9 Team 1st Place
Beach's personal meet was a rough one.  All her warm ups looked great but when it came time to compete she ran into trouble on each event. It's all part of the package. Gymnastics is a sport that has more lessons than anyone person has time to learn. 
We've agreed (in jest) to never speak of this meet again. That was right after Beach turned to me and said, "I am glad to have had this experience so I can be a better teammate.  It wasn't easy but I am glad to understand what this is like. I know it wasn't good gymnastics but... it was good something."
Then she laughed and repeated a line we joke about all the time when we need a little prospective. It comes from a story Coach Lindsay tells about a meet she had as a gymnast. A meet a lot like the one Beach just had. After the meet Lindsay's mom who was a supportive, loving mom all through Lindsay's gym days tried to pull Lindsay before awards. When Lindsay protested her mom exasperated blurted out, "You think you're getting any?!"
It's raining this morning in Minneapolis. When the rain breaks we will walk once more the couple of blocks over to the convention center.  This time with all our luggage in tow. Watch their teammates who made it to finals. Way to go GTC!!! After that we will make our way to the airport and fly home. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Northern Lights

Step One, Day One: SLC International Airport.
Step Two: Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Adventures in Airbnb
 Day Two: play all the waiting games.
Paparazzi row watching the Level 8's
Downtown Minneapolis

Pool and Poker Gym Family Game Night

 Day Three: Meet Morning Minneapolis, Minnesota.