Friday, January 23, 2009


After a crazy week of here, there and everywhere, the afternoon quiet, with the rain falling on the hillside, is a welcome change of pace. I keep seeing raindrops ricocheting off the hummingbird feeder, jumping up and around and back down to join the welcome rain as it soaks into our parched ground. The pond down the hill is filling, making our winter water fowl ecstatic, and the creeks and rivers seem to be sighing in relief as the rain falls and falls and falls.

In the last week we've been to Irvine and back for our annual southern trek in speech and debate. It was a fantastic week. We shared car and hotel with friends, and somehow managed to coordinate six people through a maze of Starbucks, mirrors and make-up, crock pot meals, showers, straight ties, clipped back hair, Jamba Juice runs, debate rounds and cozy sleeping digs. Shared cost, shared driving, shared hearts all made the time fly with smiles and relaxation amidst what can only be called an insane schedule.

Amidst it all, though, I made a new in-real-life friend. Susan from Short on Words came to the tournament twice, with dudes in tow, and we grabbed the time to talk and figure out what path we took to find each other online. Like most of the cyber-becomes-real life connections I have made, it all began at The Well-Trained Mind message boards. Many a welcome thread has been woven into my life from that origin.

Susan, being the spectacular photographer that she is (proof ), did that "camera over the head" thing, and snapped a photo:

Di and Susan

My job now is to be in regular contact with Eldest Dude and convince him that his life is incomplete, at best, without speech and debate. Come, join the insanity!

Debate results were encouraging all around. Our club did extremely well, and our boys were both part of the club success. When you work so hard, both in and out of the debate round, seeing faults and working hard to improve them, seeing strengths and learning how to focus those and make them effective, it is a joy to see diligence win. The truth is that hard work does not always equal a win, but this time it did. I wept with joy when my sons were able to advance to the outrounds. It was a gift I will not soon forget.

Debaters let loose

When it was all over, we hit the beach at Huntington for some relaxation and play. Winter is not the right word for the weather that day...even if it was January. As I looked around the group, seeing serious senior debaters digging in the sand, splashing in the water, buying plaid sunglasses, I was reminded once again what a gift it is to have such rich fellowship in these fun and wild years of parenting.

While we were gone, the basketball show went on. The youngest again showed his prowess on the rec. league court. No pictures were taken, but the daddy is stat man, so we know the glorious facts: 20 points (9 baskets and 2 free throws), 2 assists, 11 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 blocks. And most importantly, another win. They are now 2-0. You heard it here, folks: get your autographs while they are free (-:

Another huge splash hit the blogging shores while I was gone: Blogless Lynn has begun the already infamous Hannah Coulter Book Club for Copy Cats. All I can say is READ THE BOOK and join in the great conversation. Lucy and Ethel are at the wheel, and there promises to be tears and cheers and plenty of thought-provoking discussion.

Hours after I began this post, the rain is still falling, with an occasional break for rainbows and puffy clouds. The afternoon has passed with quiet reading, the sound of typewriter keys typing away at debate evidence, and a little bit of Hannah Coulter to keep me company. It's a gentle slide into the week-end which promises to be a peaceful blend of activities and tidying up the home front. It is good to be home.

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