Happy Saturday! That means it is time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays (Saturday morning edition), my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes. And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.
Let’s get random…
It is August!! How did that happen? We are knee-deep in back to school mode in my household (my kids go back to school in 12 days… but who’s counting?) and it still feels like summer but turning the corner into August means we are one step closer to my favorite time of year. It means that we are almost to September and October. This girl can almost smell the bonfires, taste the s’mores and feel the soft warmth of my hoodie. Soon, sweet fall, soon.
School supplies are bought and middle school orientation was attended. My daughter has her schedule and posed beautifully for her picture. I wrote a million checks. We still have to shop for clothes and shoes. The only other thing that stands between us and the first day of school is Open House night. Of course, the second grade and sixth grade decided to have open house on the same night so I will have to pull off that mom-magic of being in two places at once. They do overlap but thankfully one starts earlier than the other so we will do that one first and then mad dash to the other. My second grader is desperate to find out who is in her class. She only knows that her closest friends are not in her class which has made her cranky.
This weekend is the Seminary Picnic. Let me tell you about the Seminary Picnic. I live in a small town of about 8,000 people. It is a typical small, midwestern town. People are nice and friendly for the most part but everyone knows everyone and everyone’s business. About three-quarters of the town goes to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has an old seminary – St. Mary’s of the Barrens – that was built in the early 1820’s and was the first seminary west of the Mississippi River. The seminary grounds have a breathtaking old cathedral, cemetery, grotto/shrine and just happen to be one of my favorite places on earth. The old church still has one mass every weekend but most people go to the newer church down the street. So back to the picnic. It is the small-town church picnic that trumps all other small-town church picnics. It has been going on for over 100 years and draws people from all over the area. On the sprawling seminary grounds, the picnic has tons of food stands, beer stands, games, rides, bingo, live music and sit-down dinner in the dining hall. And the best homemade ice cream you have ever tasted. And quilts. There is a committee of women (most of them over 75 years old) who make quilts all year long for the picnic. People pay top dollar for these elaborate, hand-stitched quilts (or get lucky and win them at bingo). My dad has been going to the picnic since he was a kid and so have I. And so have my kids.
So the Seminary Picnic will be the social event of my weekend. I am an introvert with social anxiety so you can also imagine how that goes. The crowds make me anxious and I run into everyone – and I mean everyone – that I know. It is exhausting. My kids absolutely love it. They mostly like the games and rides. I am happy to sit with ice cream or maybe even a mixed drink and listen to a live band. They want to walk around and see everything. And, of course, I indulge them because I remember how excited I used to get for the picnic when I was their ages. I am looking forward to ice cream and a funnel cake. Did I mention the ice cream?
Yesterday also marked the one-year anniversary of my mother-in-law’s car accident. I’m thinking about writing a longer post to talk through the aftermath. Maybe I’ll do that tonight or tomorrow.
Oh, and work! It is going okay. I am super busy but I am keeping up. I am trying to not let it bleed all over my life so I think it’s good that it was basically a footnote in Casual Fridays!
Have a wonderful weekend and upcoming week, everyone!