Here we are on June 19 and I can already say it’s been the strangest summer in some time. Mostly because it really doesn’t feel like summer yet.

The big issue has been the weather. It was a moderately wet spring to begin with, then Mother Nature lost her damn mind in the middle of May. It’s rained something like every 4.5 hours since then. Every time you think the sun is going to come out and things are going to begin to dry out, storm clouds begin piling up on the horizon and racing in. Last weekend Mother Nature cracked her knuckles and really gave us two big middle fingers, dropping over eight inches of rain in several areas near here, while almost the entire area got well over four inches of rain. If you were to try walking in our yard right now, you might lose a foot when it sinks beyond the ankle.

So most days the girls and I have been sitting around doing nothing. I feel kind of bad when S gets home every night and asks the girls what they did that day and they answer, “Nothing.” But we just spent a lot of money in San Diego; I’m sticking to the Internet we’ve already paid for for awhile rather than bowling or trips to the mall.

Another downside to this weather is it has delayed a rather significant landscaping project we have going on. It is a project that was expected to enhance our enjoyment of summer pretty significantly. Howevah…we are currently three weeks behind schedule so the girls and I are just kind of looking out the window, dreaming of the day it will be done so we can start doing what we expected to do this summer. The good news is we have had a dry day so far and one of the biggest, final steps is being knocked out as I type this.

Yeah, I’m being coy. A selected few folks know about the project. If it wraps up in the next 48 hours, as we really hope it does, I’ll break shit down for you next week.

We did have a rather big change to our routine this week. M decided that she wants to try running cross country next year. This was purely a social decision. One of her teachers at St. P’s told the entire eighth grade class that a great way to get settled into high school is to go through summer conditioning for a sport. It would help the kids, the teacher said, meet some of their future classmates and teachers so they didn’t start the first day of the fall semester surrounded by strangers. M’s best friend is running, as are two or three other St. P’s friends, along with a few girls she knows from other middle schools.

Originally she thought about going through summer conditioning with volleyball, which really worried us. The CHS program is very strong, a ton of girls go out, and M has never played club, summer leagues, etc. We realized it might be fun in the summer, but she had zero chance to make the team. We did not want her to get crushed just as her freshman year was starting. Fortunately a couple of her friends came to the same realization, one of them found out that cross country is a no-cut sport and you can talk while you run, so they decided to give it a shot.

I was very curious how this would go. She infamously thought about running cross country in fifth grade and couldn’t make it two blocks on a training run before she quit. She has some speed, but I wondered if she was strong enough both mentally and physically to deal with the training. We’ve been up at 6:00 every morning this week to get her to practice and she’s done just fine. In fact, last night when I asked her what days she wanted to run the rest of the week – summer workouts are 100% voluntary and absences are allowed without question – she told me, with a sheepish smile on her face, that she was really enjoying it. That made me very happy. She’s been lucky to almost always be on good teams, but has never been a great athlete. We know it bothers her that her two sisters are known around school and in friend and family circles as being athletes. I’m glad that she’s trying something new, seems to be doing fine, and has already found enjoyment in it.

The only bummer is that 6:00 alarm. She decided to run with the summer school crew so she can be with her friends.[1] I was hoping she would have wanted to go in the regular session that starts later in the morning. But being with her friends motivates her and adds to the fun, so I’m fine with it. I usually go walk around the track and listen to podcasts while they are running, so it’s not a bad start to the day. Especially since it has been so dreary and cool so far. I’m sure we’ll have some mornings in July when it already feels like 90 and I’ll be as sweaty as she is after my walk.

Off to shake my fist at these clouds that are beginning to build in the southwest sky…

  1. She could not enroll in summer school – which apparently everyone takes now – because of our vacation.  ↩