Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vacationland Spirit and Tethered Hearts

We finished loading our car, buckled the girls in, and then the Mama turned the key in the ignition – nothing. She tried again – nothing. The car wouldn’t start. All we heard was the clicking sound of the ignition on every try. The sprinklers around us sprayed water all over the front of our car.

“Shhhh-it,” I said, trailing on the “it” with the girls in the back listening.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?” Bea asked. “Is the car sick?”

“Maybe you forgot the battery?” Bryce said.

“How can the battery be dead?” the Mama asked.

“I don’t know, it shouldn’t be. Time to call for roadside service. Hopefully that’s all it is.”

The Mama tried yet again – nothing. In fact, there seemed to be less power as the dash lights dimmed further.

I got out of the car and made the call.


Seven days earlier…

Summer vacationland lay before us. After a brief stop visiting family in El Dorado Hills, we arrived at Lake Tahoe. Tahoe is derived from the Washo word “da’aw,” which means literally lake.

Hence, this year, I dubbed it Lake Lake.

Our third year into this now annual trek, and this time was one of the funnest times of all. Probably because the girls are yet another year older and this time we had even more family joining our usually spry clan of Nonna and the Mama’s Sister’s family, including Amy’s uncle and his wife, and a surprise visit from my step-sister and her husband.

Don’t look at me that way. More family joining in can be a good thing. Right?


I think so.

Oh, and then there’s the part about recharging mind, body and soul – all the while being “unplugged” nearly 95 percent of the time. From work actually, but not from Daddy’s Social B-hive Club. That umbilical is hardwired right into the Daddy mainframe (with regular maintenance and software updates, of course).

Not that I didn’t need a complete recharge; the world of work has been good to me of late, and me to it. Getting to do what I do well and what gives me the most pleasure is, well, most pleasurable.

But closing my eyes and floating away from the rest of the world (in Lake Lake and the pools where we stayed) truly made all the difference in the rest of the world. That, and spending a helluva lot of quality time with the Mama and the girls (yes, and the rest of the family).

Bea’s self-confidence soared from her time in martial arts this summer, with her feeling more comfortable in the pools and lake than ever. She embraced every waking moment at Lake Lake, from swimming to playing on the beach to going on the Gondola to the top of the mountain to eating ice cream to running to and fro until dusk, just as it should be for a kid on vacation.

Bryce, well, she was as fearless and playful as ever, enjoying all of the above, except for nighttime where things got truly hairy for the Mama and me. A trick fuse indeed. All but one night she woke throughout the night, sometimes crying, and sometimes howling, thrashing, flailing and shooting up to an 9 .1 on the Richter scale, leaving rubble and little sleep for any of us in her wake, especially the Mama. Although not sick, we weren’t exactly sure what was wrong, but we persevered and had a great time despite of her wakefulness.

And Amy and I? Well, besides a little Daddy Goat Gruff, we truly enjoyed our family vacation having taco nights and barbecues and walks and hikes and sunning and swimming and parasailing –

Yep, parasailing over 350 feet above Lake Lake. While amazing overall, the point where the boat turned and we got caught in the headwind, swirling us a little in a way we really didn’t want to be swirled, filled us with vertigo, motion sickness, and the incessant pull of mother earth.

Exhilarating, though. Right frickin’ on all the way.

Then there was the hike to Eagle Falls and Eagle Lake with Amy’s uncle and his wife. I was worried about even being able to hike since I had hurt my knee three weeks earlier running like I’m 28 (which I’m not), but fortunately it’s been on the mend and the walking and hiking in and around Lake Lake were part of my physical therapy (plus the fact that the Mama is my PT, so there’s that).

We hadn’t done that hike together since 2005, and it was just as breathtaking as it was then. Amy didn’t remember the “kiss” picture from the way back hike, but we took another and then I spliced them together for good love measure.

A friend of mine on Facebook posted, “So much has changed in your lives over the past 9 years!”

True indeed – 9 years of almost 17 total. From no kids to two kids to losing both my parents to surviving economic ebbs and flows...

But one thing that hasn’t changed is the deep love I have for my best friend, partner, mother, lover and wife. The Mama keeps rocking and I’m right there keeping the backbeat.

Paradiddle, paradiddle – damn girl...


Less than an hour later the nice man from the towing service gave us a jumpstart and then we were on our way home.

Sure I had fleeting fatalistic visions of the car being towed for extensive mechanical work, leaving us stranded at Lake Lake, but they were unfounded, thankfully (although maybe not such a bad thing).

Nope, a dead battery will never dampen our vacationland spirit, or the family love that tethers our light hearts together, floating away from the rest of the world…

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