Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Last Aspen Grove

  Now that all the summer-pallooza is over and I'm tired of moping about it, I can finally play catch up! . . . . yayyyyyyy?

  Anyway, kicking off the summer travelling was Aspen Grove! I was on the fence on whether or not to go this year, as I was in the middle of the run for "Measure for Measure", the show I was currently in. I arrived at Aspen Grove two days late (Monday, the something-th) beacuse the ONE Sunday show "M4M" had was the weekend Aspen Grove started. I was also supposed to leave Aspen Grove a day early because I had to get back to Oregon for the ONE Thursday show we had. Bad timing all around. But as it was The Last Aspen Grove, I really wanted to be there, even if it was only for three days.

  And, boy, did Aspen Grove want to make those days memorable.

  The weather in late June can be dicey at times, given "June Gloom" and whatnot. But we've been there many, many years in June (we've been going for twenty years, after all), and I didn't think much about packing anything heavier than a light jacket for Lincoln and myself.

  So of course this ensued:

  Okay, that might be anticlimactic if you can't tell what happening. If that's the case, IT WAS SNOWING. IN LATE JUNE. ON PIONEER FUN TIME THINGY NIGHT. ON MOM'S BIRTHDAY.

  Those last two weren't especially shocking, but I like emphasis.

  We got up to the usual Aspen Grove shenanigans before this whole snowing business, though.

  Like turtle riding.

 Hanging out with cousins. This is actually Lincoln's cousin, Autry, who spread the joy of Winnie the Pooh like a disease. An adorable, catchy-tune DISEASE.
 Lincoln playing with his new car with Grandpa Ken.
Aren't my parents adorable? No one told them to do this. They just snuggle for all the world to see, like they like each other or something.

  It was great seeing everyone, but from the first night there was a problem.

  The first night I got there we went to Tucano's to celebrate Mom's birthday (a few days early so as not to interfere with Pioneer Fun Night Thingy [not actual name] which none of us ended up going to due to SNOW).

  Tucano's was basically a disaster. After we put two large tables together (managing to break two plates in the process), my little niece Kaylee threw up. We chalked this up to the winding road to get there from Aspen Grove and proceeded to order.

  And then she threw up again. And again. The waiter took this all in good stride, bless him.

  Just a few minutes before we were leaving, Lincoln spilled his (very sticky) juice all over the floor, and threw the crackers I'd given him into the sticky juice puddle for good measure.

  The waiter earned a very, very good tip that night.

  We optimistically hoped that Kaylee's upset stomach was food related. But as it slowly spread through our ranks, we became steadily more paranoid. Friendly hugs and other touching became a distant memory of happier times.

  Thursday at midnight, the day I was scheduled to leave, I woke up and  knew I was doomed.

  At least once an hour I was forced to leave my bed and rush for the bathroom. I would have sobbed through the night, but I was too tired. I got no sleep, and I (being the wienie I am) prayed I would either get better soon or die. The one mercy was that Lincoln slept through the entire thing, despite sleeping in a rickety crib at the foot of my bed.

  I had to cancel my flight and miss one of my last three shows. I felt dreadful on every level. Mom was an angel of mercy and took Lincoln for the entire day. By noon I managed to fall in and out of sleep between bathroom visits. Doctor Who playing on my phone was my only company.

  It was better that way.

  The next day I was feeling much better, if not at 100%. Mom drove me to the airport and halfway down the mountain, Lincoln threw up.

  That was when I cried.

  Turned out to be a false alarm (warm milk mixed with winding drive is not a good idea, in case you were wondering), and we got home without a hitch. HOORAY!

  Flying back home I was less sad that I would not be returning to Aspen Grove. Thanks for all the other memories, though, AG. The non-vomit related ones. It really was good times. I'll miss the week of not preparing my own food. Of seeing my extended family. Of trampolines, crafts, the incredibly cheap-priced candy store, actually getting exercise without it feeling like a chore, and so much more.

  Insert sweet, memorable last line here.


  1. Your writing is just SO GOOD.

    Also, I said hi to your dad yesterday. And then later I saw your mom sneak in late to Sunday School (in the front row, she's not very good at the sneaky part!) and when we said "amen" on the prayer, I looked up and she was gone! So maybe she is good at the sneaky part. I didn't even get to say hi! We're going swimming at your house later, but I don't think she'll be there. I'll have to catch her next Sunday.

    1. Aw, thanks! And my mom is secretly a ninja. I wish I was in California, too! What was that thing I was supposed to discuss with you next time I see you?