Of course at this point, with everything that's been going on...I'll drink to ANYTHING! (you see Fort got her love for alcohol honestly.....)
For the past few summers, I've gone on vacation with some of my colleagues right after school was out - we've been to Williamsburg, Cape Cope(&Boston, Salem MA, Provincetown, Martha's Vineyard, Whale Watching)....
Our getaway this year got off to a good start when we pulled up to our accommodations....
The Chateau on Mt. Baldhead - Saugatuck, MI. I HIGHLY recommend this place! Josh did good - 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, all linens included, basement has air hockey, pinball, ping pong table, nice deck overlooking Kalamazoo River...and when you leave? Pack your bags and walk out. They do everything. It was incredible. 350 feet away is the Saugatuck Chain Ferry - the only one in the U.S. Takes you across the river to the quaint little downtown area - shops, restaurants with sidewalk cafes. (The ferry is manually operated - a couple of high school/college kids actaully hand crank the ferry across the river. Cost $1 each time you ride. Very relaxing. Or you can drive around the river to get to the town.)
Look at that...what a GREAT work ethic...I just can't stop working - EVEN on vacation! (actually, I was working on a letter to email to Donny to read at the board meeting that night...I was STILL pretty emotional and wanted to make sure my voice was heard! As it turns out, no one read the letter, but it was mailed to the Board President...hopefully he's read it by now and shared it with the superintendant and board members. Won't change anything, but I WILL BE HEARD!)
Me & Josh...we were hired at Moraine Meadows on the same day 20 years ago. Drew was a little confused when he saw this picture...right away he said "Pamma!...." and he knew that wasn't Pop Pop...it was pretty funny at the time...
Our visit to Cranes Orchard...where you get the BEST PIES in the state. And apple crisp...Josh and Rodney talked about it all the way to Michigan. We couldn't wait to get there - definitely worth the stop!
These steps go to the top of Mt. Baldhead, where we stayed in Saugatuck. 303 of them. Mt. Baldhead got its name because nothing grew at the top of this sand dune. Now it's completely covered with vegetation and trees. At the top is a landing - when you step off the landing, you're in sand that goes down to Lake Michigan. Beautiful. And exhausting. So finally on a vacation I got lots of exercise. But I made up for it with margaritas and lunches and dinners at some fabulous restaurants!
Enjoying the view at the top of the steps - I actually walked the steps twice in one day...then the next morning...I was hurting for the next 3 days!
Got up early to walk the steps...left the house and two deer were right outside our door, then on the way back, this turtle was crossing the road...he looks like he's been swimming in the Gulf!
Our last night in Saugatuck and we had great weather for a beautiful sunset on Lake Michigan...
I have to say that while the vacation was a nice getaway, coming home after being away is still hard. We use Melissa's room for packing and unpacking, and when I was putting away some clothes, there was a picture of her on her dresser - painting their bedroom when they moved to Finneytown. She looked SO healthy. How in the world can she be gone? Then we have another holiday (yes, Father's Day is a "holiday" now...and holidays are still hard. Kind of quiet without Melissa around. (Believe it or not, Nick has always been the quiet one!) Just not right without her. I miss her every single day.
Someone (whose been there) told me the second year was harder than the first.
So far, that seems to be true. My heart aches every day.
Donny got some good news recently - he will be coaching with Andy "Rock" (one of Melissa's best friends in h.s.)...he's the new Head Football Coach at Fairmont.
Donny will be coaching the tailbacks and fullbacks. He is VERY excited - we both know how excited Melissa would be...I know she wouldn't miss a game and would be DECKED out in Fairmont gear for every game. She never lost her love for her high school....she would be so proud of her dad!
I'm still adjusting to the fact that I will be at a "new" school in the fall.
Already dropped off several boxes (we're only 2 minutes away), which means I can sleep later, that's good. While we only had 150 students at MM - there are 350 at Greenmont - I have a lot of names to learn (not to mention a bigger staff)when my brain doesn't function like it used to! Trying not to think about it too much yet - going to try to relax and get some things done around the house in the next few weeks. I'm pretty sure Melissa would have been VERY upset about this whole ordeal - but would have agreed that Greenmont was the place to go. I really feel like she was guiding me that way...
I have some great video clips of Drew & Max, and someday will figure out how to post them. I look at Drew sometimes when he's sleeping, and he looks A LOT like she did at that age....and Max DEFINITELY has HER personality! (ok...they look like their mom and dad too - I just see Fort in them a LOT.) I'm going with Mere on Friday to get their pictures taken - I'll sneak in a few too and post them soon.