This summer we were blessed with a lot of time with family around the Fourth of July. All of our southern California cousins came for close to a week. Between giving pedicures to great-grandmothers, hiking in to Mountain Lakes, and running the streets of Mount Shasta, it was a terrific week.
The boys also participated in swim team this summer. They awoke each morning, did their chores, 30 minutes out of school work, and then we headed off for an hour of conditioning. They were only able to participate in one meet which was our county meet and they both took High Point places in their age group. I was so thankful for the time that they were able to spend in the pool each day learning new strokes. Their hard work paid off and on the evening of my birthday they both came home with trophies.
That night marked a turning point in our summer. Bradley's grandma Cora has been in the hospital and then under hospice care since that time. The silver lining is all of the time that we have spent with family over the last month. She is regaining her strength and just today ate some homemade tomato soup that I made last night from the bounty of our garden. At 87 years young, she has amazed all of us with her tenacity and strength.
In the midst of the summer Bradley has also been dealing with severe back pain caused by a torn disc in his back. He went ahead and had the injections which did not do anything for him. Recently, he was seen by a local physical therapist and masseuse. He experienced the first relief he has had in months and I can't tell you what joy it was brought to our family to see him without pain. Even in the midst of his physical struggle, he has managed to take the boys fishing quite a few times and even a 9 mile hike and a summit of Black Butte hike. His dedication to his family and his job is remarkable.
As I dictate this blog into my phone sitting by our pool, ashes falling out of the sky on to me. Fires are burning near us, temperatures are high, and air quality is poor. All of those fire camps make a lot of waste and on top of managing a growing business Bradley is also working to service those camps.
The start of the school year was last week. Both boys have taken to the adjustment of school life again very well. Their alarm goes off, chores are done, breakfast is eaten and off to school they go with dad. Our school is full as enrollment is high, and this is very exciting for our community. The boys and I went to visit grandma today, and our school viewing the eclipse and receiving a grant made the front page of the local paper the first day. She remarked on this news with each visitor that came. With all of the stress of daily life, it really is important to realize that when we leave this life all that we will have left behind that matters is our family.