As is typical, I awoke well before 5 AM this morning, and although I feel tired, I cannot sleep. So since I am awake and the house is quiet, this seems like a good time to reflect on various things.
Yesterday started out with the lovely spouse and I picking up two of the grandkids and heading to downtown Denver where I participated in a charity bowling event to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Sadly we learned from our daughter-in-law that one of my granddaughter's most beloved teachers succumbed to brain cancer. This teacher, "Miss Sue", was only in her 40s, but had loved her students, and obviously the feelings were mutual. It is a sad time for Nicole as she deals with the reality that death is part of life, and that losing is part of having loved.
When we got to the bowling venue, the lanes were all taken by participants in the project, but a couple of "no shows" opened a spot for the kids to bowl as well. The LS also played pool with our granddaughter, and toward the end, one of my other sons and his fiancée brought his little 4-year-old stepson who we were watching for the day. So here were grandma and grandpa with all three grandchildren of varying ages. We haven't had just us and three kids since our boys were all children, but we had a good time with them.
Upon leaving the bowling alley, the little guy started crying for his mom. I felt really bad for him, because he really doesn't know us that well yet. But when he saw a little stuffed toy in a store window, grandpa and grandma bought it and he was good to go! We then went for hamburgers at Johnny Rocket's on the 16th Street Mall. The 4-year-old grandson made sure we knew he wanted his burger plain and with no bun. The granddaughter, who is 10, also wanted hers plain, but with the bun, while the 13-year-old grandson wanted his plain with a bun, but with cheese on it. Of course, to be fair, grandpa also has one special request for his burger also...hold the mayonaisse. Mayo on a burger is an abomination to me. I like cheese and all the veggies, but the only condiment that rightfully belongs on a burger is mustard. To go with our fries, the waitress used the ketchup squirter to make us each a little smiley face in small paper bowls. That was a definite hit with the kids.
During lunch, my granddaughter decided she wanted a stuffed toy too, so we went back to the store on our way back to the car and let her pick one out. The kids hadn't had enough bowling, so we headed toward The Brunswick Zone near Park Meadows Mall. However, we didn't get to bowl, because the kids decided they would rather play laser tag. So they played a couple of rounds, hit the crane machines, and then we went home. All in all, a good day!
It is getting colder as we progress into Autumn, and a rain/snow mix is moving into the area tonight, just in time for me to have to fly out through a mess on a business trip that will take me to Oklahoma City and Dallas. Oklahoma City is always a bittersweet place for me, as it was where we spent many Christmases during my childhood, regardless of where we lived at the time. It was where my Grandparents lived and the place I was born, so it was the one constant during my young life. Despite living in different states from coast to coast, OKC was always a place where we returned to every year. Now, all four of my grandparents are buried in the Oklahoma City area, and although I have various cousins who reside around the city, I have not kept up with them.
Of course this year is a big sports year for Oklahoma City, as the NBA's Thunder started playing there after relocating from Seattle where they were known as the Supersonics. OKC hosted the New Orleans Hornets for a couple of years following Hurricane Katrina, and proved that an NBA team could do well there. So now Oklahoma has its very first major league sports team to call its own. While I favor the Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets, I may have to pile onto the Thunder's bandwagon too!