Sunday, May 29, 2016

Renewals, What-ifs, and Trifle

At the risk of sounding boring, not a lot happened this week that merited photos or attempts at witty remarks. After nearly two years of living in California, we have settled into our rhythms and routines. The biggest change from Michigan seems to be that (with money tighter here than there) we travel less, somewhat to our lament. There are compensations, so we’re fine with it on the overall. Definitely grateful for blessings old and new.

We have opted to renew the lease on our current home, which means that for the next little while the kids will attend the same school and we will go to the same ward at church. This period of our lives seems to be one of settling in for the moment until we figure out long-term work and home decisions.

It wasn’t all the same thing, particularly on the weekend. Mike received a gift in the mail from one of his graduate students at Wayne State who successfully defended her dissertation (Congratulations, Dr. Green!) called Detroit Is: An Essay in Photographs. Eliza in particular enjoyed perusing the images of a home she doesn’t quite remember anymore.

On Saturday, Mike, Landon, and Eliza placed flags on the graves of veterans at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park.

The cemetery is near a home we briefly considered renting two years ago. Pretty far out there, now that we have actually driven the route. It’s down a long gravel road at the base of some foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. And it turns out to be home to On the Lamb Herding, a ranch that trains herding and stock dogs. The kids would have had a BLAST living next to a working ranch! About the dogs, Hallie says, “Oh, they bark.” Probably best we opted for suburbia with its cars and fire truck sirens and other non-barking noises. Oh, and barking neighborhood dogs. Of course, the trip to school is shorter. Interestingly, we’d still be in our current ward.

Mike opted to take a picture of the house that had been for rent. As he got set to turn around for home, a lady in a bathrobe came out of the larger house on the property. “Can I help you?” she called. “Just wanted to see where the road led,” he replied with a smile. “Well, this is the end of the road!” she laughed back in good humor. Good times.

In the afternoon, we celebrated the baptisms of Liberty and Tyler, friends from our ward. Landon and Eliza have become close to these two, and we were excited to see them take this important step in their religious lives.

After church on Sunday, we celebrated Carly’s birthday with chocolate trifle. Yum! Mike has an uncanny knack for taking bad birthday pictures. Sorry! 

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