Maybe I should title this “Fun House, Full Times!” Either way, it works!
Last weekend was a busy, fun time. Dave and Carlota were here for a wedding, plus our friend, Gene, came down from Valentine. All the beds in the house were full. (Joe spent the night here, too, because he wanted to hang out with his big brother and sister-in-law. All three boys stayed up until 3 am, playing Rock Star and Guitar Hero. Good thing our house is fairly sound-proof!)
Last weekend was also “Ellis Island” weekend, so we went to the Brazen Head to listen to our favorite Irish band. Dave and Carlota had never heard them before, so they were indoctrinated into the rowdy clapping and singing along. On Saturday, Dave and Carlota went to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding. I told them if things wound down there, to come over to the Brazen Head. They showed up around 9:30 and brought a couple other members of the wedding party. It was interesting because Dave’s friends were surprised to see Dennis and I in that environment. They were shocked that we were having a beer and enjoying the band. It made me realize that Dave’s friends never really knew us that well, and whenever they saw us, it was at the house, sitting around watching TV. On the other hand, Joe and Mike’s friends know us much better and have seen us in various venues. In fact, it was Joe’s friends who got us started going to see “Ellis Island.” When Joe was 15 years old, one of his friends had been out to dinner with his folks at McGuire’s in Regency and they saw “Ellis Island” perform. They were very impressed with the musical ability of the band, that they spread the word and soon Joe and his friends were big fans. Since they were only 15-years-old at the time, they needed parents to take them to McGuire’s, so we folks would trade off escorting the kids. Soon, we became friends, parents and kids all. After the kids got their driver’s licenses and could go alone, we went less often. Then the kids started having “parents’ night” when they would ask us to come along. Now, the kids and parents show up intermittently. Someone usually saves a table just in case others show up…and usually others do show up.
Here are pictures from the wedding.
Dave and Carlota were in Mexico over the July 4th weekend, visiting Carlota’s grandpa. He is her last surviving grandparent and is in his 90’s. They also visited some aunts and cousins. They had a great trip. Here they are outside of Durango where they hiked all day.
Mike and his friends went on a “road trip” Tuesday. They decided it would be fun just to get in the car and drive for 2 hours and see where they ended up. We parents encouraged them to head to Nebraska City instead. They stopped at little towns along the way, took pictures, and visited stores, antique shops, and other sites. They were gone most of the day. Mike ended up going with four girls because the other guy who was going to go was grounded. Dennis and I talked about how we probably wouldn’t have let our two older boys do this at age 17, but I guess we’re getting too old to protest too much! Actually, I think it’s more the case that we trust Mike and his friends. Plus, we are more comfortable with letting go. I think we used to worry too much when the other boys were teenagers. Also, it helps to have cell phones. Communication is better in some ways.
I remember taking “road trips” with Paula in high school. We never told our folks! We would drive down to Cozad or Lexington when we got tired of driving around town. I even remember once speeding down Highway 30 toward Gothenburg when a carload of Cozad guys started drag racing with us! Paula was more level-headed than the rest of us, and she put a stop to it. The guys stopped after we did, and we chatted for awhile. I kind of knew the guys since I had grown up in Cozad. I remember Mom asking me how I could’ve put 120 miles on the car in one night! “Just driving around,” I said. It is better to know that your kids are going someplace like Mike did than to not know like our folks!
Mike and his friends are pretty funny. Their trip also reminded me of my college days when two of my friends and I would play “Tommy Tourist.” Wayne, Bernie and I took our cameras and walked down to the State Capitol building and took lots of pictures. Most of our pictures were of us standing in front of a wall or a tree. You really couldn’t tell where we were. Sometimes Bernie and Wayne would put on bermuda shorts and loud Hawaiian shirts. It was just silly, clean fun. Sometimes others would join us and we’d have a “Tommy Tourist Tour Group.” We’d pick up brochures and point out sights as we walked around downtown Lincoln.
Mike and his friends took pictures in Manley, Nebraska. One of their favorite teachers is Mr. Manley, so they took pictures of anything with the name “Manley” on it. (Mr. Manley is their physics teachers and they really like him.)
Ah, to be young and foolish again. (I’m still foolish, but not so young anymore.)
I hope you are doing some foolish things this summer!