Friday, March 06, 2009

Catching up

(photos: debate buddies, USD, Zack's speech goes to finals)

A week ago we were fresh home from University of San Diego. We spent another three days of speech and debate, took another long drive down and up Highway 5 ("Hi, sheep!" Hi, cows!"), and experienced more thrills of victory and agonies of defeat. There is much to learn in the process of fierce competition, and we just keep learning it.

If you are looking for a good Catholic university and have 52K a year, University of San Diego is a gorgeous, perfectly groomed campus. We saw a LOT of the campus as we walked up and down and around to rooms where we were competing or judging. It provided plenty of exercise, and around every corner was something beautiful. Carved wood tables, statuary, flower gardens, and buildings were all made with attention to detail. I am so glad there are places where beauty still matters.

The weekend was not without mishaps. There was a lost debate bag (major stress), there was no advancing in debate for our boys (major disappointment), and there was a horrific case of food poisoning after a stop at Denny's on our way to L.A. Saturday night (major pain and misery.) And it has taken me a week to recover from the trip, as I brought home yet.another.cold.bug and have spent the week coughing, sleeping and wishing my head could be opened up and drained every hour. Even that can't cloud the downright fun we had, though. To be surrounded by so many interesting people, to find those with whom we can laugh until our sides hurt, to have a few precious friends we can see more often because of these crazy weekends...even though the cost is high, we love, love, love the speech and debate life.

Savoring home

The next two weekends will find us back on the road. This weekend will be debate in Saratoga, the next weekend will be speech in Santa Rosa. For now, though, we are savoring the chance to be home. We've had wind, rain, hail, snow, and now crystal clear, periwinkle blue skies. The stars have been sparkling, and dad and daughter have been out communing with them thanks to a lecture by Wes Callihan they enjoyed while we were in San Diego. My cough is fading, my energy is returning, and I can almost glimpse that elusive light at the end of the tunnel. It promises to be a good week.

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