Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

January 31, 2016

January 2016 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 1:01 am

January Highlights:

Seeing an Old Friend

Some time ago Jim and I had a falling out. Well, next thing you know, it had been seven years since I last saw him. I decided we needed to change that pattern to start the new year. It was good to see him and his family again. Since I last saw him, he got married and became a dad to five kids, including two young boys, Matthew and Levi, whom we got to meet for the first time. It was cool to see Jim in the role of a dad and also catch up with the rest of his family who happened to be there — his sisters Elaine and Kari (and their husbands Steve and Paul), as well as his mom, Mrs Wilber, who still remembers Cat and I fondly.

Mrs. Wilber was at our wedding (more than 20 years ago) and said she still remembers the event vividly and what a wonderful time she had while there. She also took out one of the gifts Cathy had made for her at around the same time — an embroidered decorative hat — to show how she still remembered us. It was sweet and touching that she still had this memento and that she still had such great memories of attending our nuptials. As she talked, it made me think that this is one of the reasons you invite nice older people to your wedding: so that when you see them years later, they bring it up and make you feel young again. It was also nice to see Jim’s sisters again as they recalled stories of the teenage years when Jim and I would stay up for hours playing ping while listening to the Rolling Stones Tattoo You album. And, of course, it was good to see Jimbo again and see that his good sense of humor and penchant for having fun are still there. I hope we can get together again soon.

Lilah Kills it At Her Recital and Finishes Her Community Project

It was becoming obvious that Luke’s heart wasn’t into music lessons anymore so he did not play his guitar at this recital, but did come out to see Lilah and his teacher again to “officially close” that chapter of his life (at least for now). After all, you never know. Lilah started playing piano at a young age but then gave it up for a few years before returning. These days, she is very happy to play piano — I can tell she likes it because she practices on her own without having to be told and really enjoys talking to Shelley her teacher. So much so, that the other day she went 15 extra minutes on her lesson and said that she didn’t even notice because she was so into what she was doing.

Since Lilah is always telling me I listen to such “slow music,” I found it interesting that the song she chose to play for her centerpiece at the recital was Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel, as the majority of the song is pretty downbeat. When I made this observation she said, “yes, but then it speeds up, didn’t you hear that?” Yes, Lilah I heard that and you did a nice job playing that 3 minute+ long song. In addition to playing Canon in D, she also played her own composition which she titled Christmas and Halloween. She had a couple of minor hiccups in her playing but overall she was happy with her performance. The only thing she asked me is how she can keep her hands from shaking. I told her there are no easy answers to that and that the first part is just practicing until you are confident in what you’re playing. That being said, I told her that my hands will still shake sometimes when speaking in public (even when I know exactly what I’m talking about), you just have to keep talking — or in her case, playing.

Lilah had a really busy month. In addition to her recital, she also had to do a group project which required a lot of coordination. The new school she goes to is really into putting the kids into real life situations. So, for this project, kids were assigned to random groups so they were forced to work with people they might not even know (just like in the corporate world) to develop a written report, presentation and infographic that they were then required to present in front of several different classrooms as well as members from the community. The presentations were given over the course of 3 days and then on the fourth day they were able to also exhibit their work in a big room with other groups. This provided me an opportunity to see Lilah’s handiwork and ask her about it. Lilah’s project was to compare the tracks from two different high and determine their effects on student one mile run times. To make the project even more true to life, Lilah got sick the week her group had to present — she even had a fever on two of the days. But when I asked her if she wanted to stay home, she said no, she couldn’t because that would affect the grade for her group. I felt bad for her, but at the same time proud of her for being so responsible at a relatively young age. She was a mess but still put on her “fancy clothes” and went out there and did her job. Wow.

Luke and I Experience Our First Powder Day at Mammoth

Luke and I are in our fourth season of snowboarding and this is by far the best year of snow Mammoth has ever had. Last year, Mammoth had 176 inches of snow for the entire season. This year, we’re not even halfway into the season and we’re already at 243 inches of snow. We hadn’t been to Mammoth since the Christmas break but after 4 successive weeks of me telling Luke “woah, Mammoth just got another 2 or more feet of snow,” Luke said, “that’s it, lets go.” And that’s what we did the weekend of January 30th which happened to be right when Mammoth received 3-5 feet of snow, leading to our first ever experience boarding on “powder.” People who have gone skiing or boarding for years know exactly what this means. It means that instead of scraping down the mountain on a hard-packed surface that can feel as hard as cement, especially when you fall, you seem to float down the mountain on a surface that absorbs all the shock and allows you to glide through your turns with minimal effort. It’s weird though, because, although in many aspects this type of boarding seems effortless, it also tires your legs out a lot more as your legs sink in and out of the powder forcing you to use your balance a bit more and, in the process, use a lot more muscles in your legs.

After our first run down the mountain I asked Luke what he thought. Without hesitation, he said “That was awesome. That was the best snow we’ve ever had.” Needless to say, we got more than our share of awesomeness that weekend and it was a perfect way to close out the month. Looking forward to doing more of that this winter as we take the occasional break from Luke’s Mountain High Snowboard team to make the trek to Mammoth and hopefully experience more powder days.

That’s all for now. More next month…

1 Comment »

  1. Awesome Dave!
    It was great to see you all again after all these years, and to be in touch again! My Mom and sisters sure enjoyed your visit as well.

    Mammoth sounded epic! Now you both need to go to Utah to experience the powder that you cannot make snowballs out of, as it is so light, looks like diamond dust in the sun, and just fluffs away as you ski and turn through it; it is a lot less taxing on the muscles. Like I said before, I recommend Snowbasin (https://www.snowbasin.com) – the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics – since it has the best amenities (they invested millions in the place prior to the Winter Olympics) and is less touristy (i.e. Park City, Snowbird), so you basically get the slopes to yourselves on most runs. The views are epic from the peaks, and nothing compares to the adrenaline rush of launching yourself down an almost vertical drop, out of an actual olympic downhill starting gate – GULP!!! 🙂

    By the way, Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” is one of my favorite classical songs. Way to go Lilah! 🙂

    Blessings my friend,

    Comment by Jim — February 26, 2016 @ 4:06 pm

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