Saturday, August 25, 2012

ends and beginnings

A celebration in style:

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We begin with an ending- Steve is officially done with Americorps!

FYI, I spent my first year post-college providing afterschool enrichment at a program in south Arlington, a DC suburb chock-full of at-risk kiddos who need a good, safe, educational-type place to go afterschool. They also enjoyed having wholesome young do-gooder Americorps members upon which to heap ridicule at that program :) That’s where I met Steve, and we oh-so-subtly had our workplace romance (everyone knew). I felt burnt out at the end of one year, and left for the food bank, but Steve had another year in him. That was nice for me cause I could keep my connection to the program, and also got to meet Steve’s very cool new coworkers.

SO we had a big fat picnic. In the shadow of the Washington Monument! (The Lapiz, as our kids and parents called it).

Friends!

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(Friends and their significant others. Including people with SPOUSES. HALF OF THE PEOPLE AT THIS PICNIC WERE MARRIED AGGGH WHY I AM SO OLD).

Being national parks, of course, the hallowed grounds of the monuments do not permit drinking.

Cough.

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No one would ever suspect this innocent-looking cup contains alcohol.

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What I really housed were these:

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(Just in that corner is the nacho cheese. Mmm).

So Kyle. Kyle! Agh! Our friend Kyle came, who did the first Americorps year with me (we actually led the same team of kids, which naturally inspired tons of rumors about his love for me, and then later in the year his entirely fictional girlfriend they called Savannah. Hah man kids are so funny). Kyle is going to INDONESIA! His (actual) girlfriend got a Fulbright (!) and then he wanted to be with her (aw) and found himself a job, in the same town in Indonesia (hey hey!) and off he was going.

Crazy. Crazy. My friends are having such adventures! I think/hope I am due.

Anyway, Kyle brought an excellent salad that involved blueberries and walnuts and mint from his garden.

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It was great.

Meanwhile, I made some stuff at home, because I was sick.. for days… Never took a whole sick day, and had so much comp time I didn’t even have to take official leave, but did a lot of leaving early. And I skipped the company picnic, which was pretty sweet.

So I had time to do some cookin’. We had some uh-mazing farmer’s market grape tomaotes, along with some oldish grapes. So I slow roasted them in the oven with olive oil and salt and pepper. Mm.

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I tossed those with various leftover rice things and herbs and… whatever. Kind of a rice salad. Or pilaf.

The main highlight was the cake! I love staying home from work and making cake. It’s wonderful.

Decorating was fun (that’s the- ridiculous, in my and many others’ opinion- Americorps motto!)

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We spent the evening talking (a lot) eating (a lot) playing some sweet Frisbee, reminiscing… it was a good one! I forget how nice it is to really mark the end of something in a meaningful way. And night picnics are the best :)

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John, Steve coworker MacNair’s husband, along with being really nice is a ridonkulously good photographer, and Chris, Steve’s coworker Erika’s incredibly annoying and rude husband has a really good camera. So we were playing with it, and various tricks you can do on the iPhone to make streamers of light in the background. I was in charge of the flash… that’s about all my camera is good for!

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So that’s the end of something.

The here and now… is wiping me out.

This is the typical state of my desk.

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I made it look like this. I was pleased.

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For ten minutes or so. Anyway, long enough to drink that cup of tea.

And these kiddos come when their mom, who runs a food pantry, comes to the food bank, and make beautiful decorations for my office (along with that picture on the left, made by a high-schooler who’s one of our most devoted volunteers).

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But… it’s wiping me out. We’ll see.

Now for a beginning.

For a wee little while, I’ll have the best health care in the history of health care.

No deductible! No co pay!

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(You should register too!)

2 comments:

Astra Libris said...

Wow, you're going to be a bone marrow donor! I am SO impressed! And in awe! You are incredible!!

Steven Alexander Heathcliff Basil Bert said...

Ileana, I was just reminiscing about this day. To me, this is one of those days where everything is like a storybook. I love your title for this post. It's so appropriate.

Along those lines. If we were on the Cubs together then I'd tell you,"to the beginning of the big inning."