Memories: Old and New


We don’t travel a lot and we don’t take many long vacations, so this last week has been a little wild and epically wonderful.

First, Jim and I took a quick trip to St. Louis for a Cardinal game. We drove up on Tuesday for that evening’s game, arrived early in the afternoon and had a couple of drinks at the 26th-floor bar at our hotel before walking across the street to Busch Stadium.

I still get emotional when I walk into Busch Stadium. Maybe it’s the sheer excitement of the in-person experience, the enormity of the World Series victory or the thrill of the crowd and the crack of the bat you don’t get from a TV broadcast. But I think it’s more than that. It takes me back to days when I sat next to my dad in the old Busch Stadium. He taught me to use the scorecard to keep up with every play, told me about his favorite player, Stan Musial and explained the finer points of the game as it unfolded.

We saw an incredible game, with a dream of a pitching matchup: Cardinal ace Adam Wainright vs. 2011 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw with the Los Angeles Dodgers. As much as I despise the heat, the 102-degree game time temperature didn’t matter. The game was exciting and the Cardinals won. We collapsed in our cool hotel room afterwards, enjoyed a good night’s sleep and drove home on Wednesday.

Back to reality, to the daily routine and the Cardinals on TV — that night in an even hotter game (104 at game time) that went into extra innings.

This weekend we took the girls and their boyfriends to the lake. It’s a lot of fun to have adult children and our girls and the guys they have chosen are all genuinely great young people that we enjoy spending time with. We spent the entire day on the boat, swimming, napping, relaxing and just enjoying the company of the ones we love most. We watched a beautiful sunset on the lake.

There was some action-packed inner tubing that unfortunately ended with a trip to the emergency room when Elizabeth perforated her eardrum. She’s been in a lot of pain and we weren’t able to go back out on the lake on Sunday, but the girls and I had a nice leisurely trip to Wal-Mart while the boys unloaded and covered the boat.

Left to right: JP, Elizabeth, Sara Ann, Ethan

Few things go as smoothly as planned. What I love about our family is that even when they don’t, we find a way to enjoy each other even in Wal-Mart.

Parents of young kids, take heart. Your best times with your kids are yet to come. One day we’re changing diapers, the next we’re sending them off to senior prom and the next we’re discussing real-life issues and challenges with people we’ve come to respect and admire for their intelligence and character. Enjoy every phase and don’t dread the next; there is goodness ahead.

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