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Sum up     

Posted by Katherine Putnam on August 13th, 2011

“Let me ‘splain…No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

July was a month of busy weekends. (Honestly, it seems like every weekend since the wedding has been a busy weekend; I can only think of a handful where Chris and I were able to stay home and weren’t traveling for at least half the weekend. Also, this sentence contains the fifth use of the word weekend in a four sentence paragraph.) Each finale of the semaine had some activity to fill it (or at least to halfway fill it).

The first weekend saw us traveling down to spend a day and a half enjoying the pre-Fourth-of-July hospitality of Holly and her family. Chris, Lisa and I carpooled down with the Millers, which resulted in much hyper behavior and not a few new(ish) inside jokes such as “orca!” and a penchant for quoting a fictional chipmunk god: “Don’t want daughter, want nuts. Where nuts?”

Once at Holly’s we were joined by several of Holly’s friends from high school (including my “twin!” We were very excited to see each other again), Holly’s new beau and (much later) Lisa’s brother, Fuzz. (He does have a name, I just tend to forget it as Lisa always refers to him by the aforementioned nickname.) The first night was spent playing Catchphrase and Taboo and allowing Holly to talk us into watching an Australian film called Kenny, a mockumentary about a Melbourne man who works for a port-a-loo company. We were all skeptical at first, but Kenny proved highly amusing and surprisingly touching.

The next morning we arose (far too) early to beat the crowds to Assateague. We spent the day enjoying the waves and getting sunburns (well, in some cases, not all of us are lucky enough to have Italian blood…curse you, Holly). I spent a lot of my time walking up and down the beach: first with Lisa and Kristen, then by myself. During these walks I saw oodles and oodles of dolphins! (Or porpoises? I’m not overly familiar with the animal inhabitants of Assateague.) As a girl and a huge fan of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Ring of Endless Light, I felt a joyful, childlike giddiness while watching the dolphins slip gracefully through the water. I admit I clapped my hands together and smiled like a loon when some of the beautiful beasts turned playful: leaping out of the water, body-surfing in on the water like a boogie-border or cutting through a wave as it crashed down over them. Watching them at play, I felt overcome by the knowledge that God is the good and mighty Creator.

After baking on the beach we traveled back to Holly’s to rest and refresh before a few of her neighbors made their way over to partake in the delectable Fourth of July feast Holly had prepared for us. More games ensued and I found myself playing narrator/moderator for three intense games of Mafia. I hadn’t played the game since high school, if then, but everyone pitched in to help remember/recreate the rules. All in all, I think it was an excellent good time, save for all the backstabbing and “murder.”

The only actual “bad time” of the whole weekend was when one of the guests I was not particularly acquainted with felt the need to barge in on a conversation I was having with someone else (about several green/eco-conscious efforts I had read about) in order to inform me, in not so subtle terms, that if I was a liberal I would be taken out back and shot. I would never identify myself as a liberal/Democrat. On the other hand, I would never identify myself as conservative/Republican. I generally tend to avoid politics as a topic of conversation, partially because I’m aware that I’m rather ignorant on the subject, but mostly because the topic tends to attract irrational/insane responses like the above death threat. Joys and raptures.

Anywho. All in all we had a marvelous time and I was quite disappointed to have to bid adieu to Holly and my twin.

The second weekend in July we traveled down to the Outer Banks in an attempt to attend the wedding of Chris’s friend from high school, Martin. Yes, I said “attempt.” We were not successful. Thankfully, Martin and Ashley were both very understanding about the fact that we (in addition to half a dozen or more of the other guests) got stuck in hours of traffic while attempting to enter the Banks for their evening wedding. We did manage to make it to the reception, however, and were ecstatic to discover that they had really, really good food for their wedding (as opposed to the awful or just plain forgettable, yet overpriced, food you usually find at weddings).

Weekend number three found us enjoying the hospitality of fellow Incubus and Eva alums Steve and Andrea. (And their adorable cats. Seriously. Ridiculously adorable.) There was much reminiscing about Messiah life and film escapades, trading work stories or horror stories about weird people we’ve met through the years, game playing, and Nostalgia Critic watching. I love having friends that you can just pick back up with, no matter how long it’s been since you last saw them. So huzzah to the Palmers for their all around awesomeness.

Weekendio quatro we did not travel so much as host. My parents came up to visit for most of the day Saturday. Chris and my dad went to the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg while their wives, having no interest in joining them on such a dull escapade, spent the time catching up on life and drafting the initial plans for the fourth annual White Christmas costume party (it’s going to be legen….wait for it…..DARY!). Once the boys returned from the museum we tried our hands at making (beer battered) fish and chips.

After that we took advantage of Messiah’s tennis courts and played tennis until it was far too dark to see. (The courts have lights you can turn on for a few quarters; however, those lights have been out of order for a lengthy period of time. Hooray for no sign to let people know that. Quarter thieves.) Mom and I, having little to no tennis playing experience, suggested that they boys play on their own while we tried to master the very basics of the game. The guys seemed to enjoy playing with an opponent who knew what they were doing. In the same vein, Mom and I enjoyed playing with someone who was equally clueless.

We then attempted to bribe the Lindquists out for a visit through the cunning use of ice cream; most of them were too tired or had to get up too early, but we managed to net an Abbey with our ploys…so we called it a success.

The last weekend in August we were scheduled to finally give the Gingrich clan their Christmas present (a home cooked meal at their home…so they wouldn’t have to transport the girlies anywhere for a free meal); however, circumstances beyond our control postponed those plans (to tomorrow, in fact). Lucky for me, those circumstances left Aliza in need of a babysitter, so I still got to visit with Celene and Shelby (and Jeff, once he returned home from work). I gave Celene free reign of my camera for a few minutes at the end of my visit:


Alas, Celene did not manage to capture any photos of me in their dress up clothes (yes, they found two dresses that “fit” me), or of us playing rocket ship, wedding, babies, hide and seek or cops.

Finally, to dip a bit into August, our friend Dave visited us last weekend on his way down to Orlando (to serve in the organization-formerly-known-as-Campus-Crusades-for-Christ). We had a relaxing evening catching up, watching MST3K shorts (the bicycle safety one scarred me for life) and gaining a new (for Chris and me) web obsession: Dorm Life. Dorm Life is an Office-esque web series that is down right brilliant and hilarious. We blasted through the first series in one night (episodes are fairly short, maybe five to ten minutes) and finished the second season (a third season is mildly rumored and highly desired) by the end of the weekend.

Looking ahead:

~ Book club with Lisa. Watch as we try to keep our minds sharp while tackling significant, English-majory works of literature. First up? Middlemarch. Thus far it’s been a fairly dense read, but the omniscient narrator is quite snarky and bitingly honest about the characters. It should prove a good (if difficult) read. And, naturally, I’ll see if BBC has an adaptation to watch once we’ve finished the novel.

~Dinner with the Gingrich and Kane clan.

~Crabfest at Aunt Deb’s and a visit from Chris’s family.

~The much anticipated bridal party reunion/photo viewing/girls night at Chez Chatalie.

~Another wedding.

~More tennis. More reading. More writing?

~And, if I manage to finally finish a long-in-the-works present, I may finally be able to upload the finished product.



Katherine Elyse

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