There’s a chill in the air and I’ve got an impressive stash of cardboard growing in the garage – must be October! How about a recap of the last few weeks?
Edie and I flew to Texas for a whirlwind trip to visit Texas A&M’s Galveston campus. It offers maritime programs and was one of Edie’s top choices. We arrived late to Houston on Friday night and drove the hour into Galveston early Saturday morning. It was so hot. I was looking forward to warmer weather, but it was pretty intense for walking around a campus, even one on the gulf. Edie enjoyed trying the simulators and touring the training vessel (I think all the tour guides were impressed with her knowledge) but neither on of us was quite prepared for the Texas A&M “hospitality”. It started with swarms of student volunteers yelling “HOWDY! WELCOME!” at us as soon as we arrived, and before I’d had sufficient coffee. Then, during the welcome presentation, the yell captains got up to lead us in cheers. Now, 90% of the room was from Texas, and many parents were alumni, but for the rest of us, it was an…intense experience.
A highlight was taking a tour of the harbor on one of the school’s boats. We saw lots of dolphins and got a sense of all the maritime business around Galveston. After our tour of the school, we ate a fun restaurant overlooking the beach, before dipping our toes in the bath temperature water of the gulf. We didn’t have suits or beach towels packed so we didn’t stay long; did I mention it was hot?! I’d hoped to do some exploring of the town but we were wiped by that point. We hit mass on the way back to our hotel in Houston and went to bed early to prepare for our 5:30 a.m. flight home. Edie took the SATs for a second time and now she starts the application process. For all the kids I usually create a checklist of everything they need to do for all the schools they’re applying to just so they can keep track of things. It’s always a shared document so it also helps me remember to compile any grades or information they might need to submit from my end.
On October 6-7 I spoke and was a vendor at the first Salesian Family Festival in Ramsey, NJ. It went well, and I even got to meet a blog reader who was up from Kentucky for the event. Next Friday the 20th I speak at 7:30 p.m. the Knights of Columbus Council 1345 Hall 61 Armour Place, Dumont NJ. It’s rescheduled from when I was sick earlier in the spring. If any of my readers are in the Newark diocese, be sure to stop by and say hi! It’s been so great to run into readers so much over the last year; I’d say I’d have a prize waiting for a lucky reader, but I would never remember such a thing. Sorry. I mean, if you want I can pull something random out of my purse? Luck of the draw!! Anything from an Aldi’s receipt to candy I’m hiding from my children could be yours!! …please come to my talk anyway.
On the 8th, Teddy turned 13! Pretty crazy that my baby is now a teenager. Until Byron’s birthday at the end of the month, I have four teenagers again. But honestly, Teddy (being a 100 percent pure choleric temperament I’m sure!) has had teenage attitude and sass for years now. Since his birthday fell on Sunday he got to do his most favorite thing – watch football – for most of the day. We also got him a Boston cream cake since he’s obsessed with Boston cream donuts.
On Columbus Day, Fulton and Teddy were off school so we went to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. Teddy can use the trip to complete an extra credit assignment for his science class, so it made the perfect excuse to schedule what felt like a homeschool field trip. There was a short boardwalk over the wetlands and a trail that the boys wheelchairs navigated without problems. We then did an 8 mile drive on raised dikes that wind through the wetlands, which fall along a major bird migration route. We saw so many birds! And we were like, really into it for probably the first 4-5 miles, but then it started getting old and I was like, this is taking forever! because I had forgotten 8 miles is only a short 10 minute drive when you’re going close to 60 mph, not 15 mph.
On lucky Friday the 13th Tony and I celebrated 22 years of marriage. We went out the night before to one of our favorite, local places. We’ve done a lot of crazy stuff in 22 years. Hopefully the future contains some more big adventures for us!
That’s a brief rundown of happening here. Hope your fall is off to a great start!