As we continue to dig through the corners of our basement, packing up our house for the move, it’s been interesting to find some things that were long forgotten. For example, today I unearthed a couple boxes of coins I’d amassed in high school. I played poker with my friends for many years, and I tucked away my winnings. It was always nickel-dime-quarter stakes, but over the years I ended up with a lot of nickels, dimes, and quarters.

Everything was neatly rolled, so I loaded the boxes into my trunk (combined, all these coins weighed over a hundred pounds) and drove to the bank. I hefted these onto the counter by the teller, who informed me he’d have to crack open all the rolled coins and run them through the big counting machine in the back room. After a twenty-minute wait, he came back and reported the grand total: $654.65. Clearly my rolling wasn’t as accurate as I thought years ago. But still, it’s nice to have that money in my bank account instead of sitting in a box under the basement stairs.

I also found a savings bond that Grandma Schroeder had given me when I was a wee lad:

Based on the date, this was a Christmas present when I was fourteen. The bond cost $25 and matured at $50. But, since I’d let it sit in my basement for over three decades, the interest had accumulated so the total redemption was a cool $103. Thanks, Grandma!

Now, as I continue to pack, I’m on the prowl for other things I can “cash in”…

Sunflowers galore

As Laralee and I walked around the neighborhood, we were surprised at the number of sunflowers at various houses. I started snapping pictures of them as we walked…

And one perfectly-formed flower:

As we finished our walk, we were treated to a gorgeous sunset (note Longs Peak in the bottom left).

Back to BYU

Alex timed his wedding carefully so he and Kaitlyn would have a few days to honeymoon before starting classes, so we took the opportunity to bring a bunch of things from home for both him and Kyra. We managed to fill a U-Haul trailer with a bed, dresser, nightstands, Kyra’s enormous comfy chair, and boxes upon boxes of stuff.

Unlike the last time she headed off to college, Kyra knows her roommate (a woman who served in the same mission), knows the campus, and knows what her major will be. So she’s much more confident, excited, and ready to be social. We unloaded things into her new apartment, which is cleverly called a “lodge” because it sounds fancier even though it’s just as worn-down as any college apartment.

After a bunch of wedding festivities, we stopped at the shave-ice shack near her old apartment complex and enjoyed a late-night treat.

It wasn’t quite as good as the one on Kaua’i, but that might be because it wasn’t a scorching sunny 90 degrees, and we weren’t actually in the Hawai’ian Islands (although the shack was themed that way). Still, I’m definitely a convert to shave ice and hope to get a machine for Christmas or something.

It’ll be fun to have Kyra and Alex at BYU together, along with a bunch of friends they’ve made over the past few years. I hope their college experience is awesome.

He’s hitched!

Yesterday was Alex’s wedding. In the few months since he announced his engagement, we’ve been watching him plan, organize, and run through a thousand details leading up to the big event. Kaitlyn, his betrothed, did her share of the work from afar, since the two of them weren’t together for most of the summer. It was definitely hard to have a long-distance relationship, and to plan a long-distance wedding, but it all came together beautifully.

Here’s the happy couple at the head table:

And of course some goofy faces too:

Here’s a shot of their first dance. Notice their cloaks, and the dagger at Alex’s side. It was a medieval-themed wedding, and although most people showed up in standard Sunday clothes, there were a handful of committed friends who were carrying shields, covered in chain-mail armor, and even a guy in a full knight’s suit straight out of Monty Python. Alex and Kaitlyn cut their wedding cake with a sword!

Later during the reception, Zaque unfurled a long scroll and announced the story of the happy couple. He embellished it a bit, and added some side commentary like only he can. The tale was hilarious.

As an added bonus, we saw a bunch of old friends from Longmont. Some of them drove all the way out from Colorado, while others are now living in Utah and had a shorter trip. I ran into three yahoos who I’ve known since they were little boys:

And we took a picture of (almost) all of the Colorado crowd:

It was great to see all of the planning come together in a ceremony and reception that was fun for all. Now Kaitlex (as they will be known hereafter) is on their honeymoon. It’s weird to think I have a kid who’s married but I’m really excited for them. Here’s wishing them many, many happy years to come.

That’s a wrap

Today was the Grass Roots Ultimate summer league tournament. I started playing in GRU in the summer of 1999, so this was my 20th summer league. During these past two decades, I’ve probably played in a total of nearly a hundred leagues. So you could say GRU has been a big part of my life during my time in Colorado.

My team this summer put up a .500 record; it seemed like every week we’d win a game and lose a game. We continued that tradition today, winning the quarter-finals on a dramatic universe point, but dropping the semi-finals to the team who eventually went on to win the championship. Regardless of the score, it was a great team and we had a lot of fun together. Plus, we looked really sharp in our fluorescent orange jerseys.

My co-captain for this final season was Brenda, who was also on my very first summer league team back in 1999. She and I became good friends, and we co-captained probably thirty teams in the intervening years. It seemed fitting to finish this journey with her.

Last fall, my friend Jordan let me borrow her sparkly pink skirt for our tournament games. Today, she wasn’t playing in the tournament but drove to the fields to let me borrow her skirt once again.

Then she gave me the good news: I can keep it! I’ve added it to my ultimate wardrobe (alongside maybe forty jerseys from over the years) and will pull it out as needed. When I came home wearing it, Laralee almost fainted with excitement. Actually, that’s not quite true– I think her actual words were something like “If I hadn’t already married you, seeing you in that outfit would’ve definitely killed the deal.”

At halftime, a group of friends came over from other fields to present me with a plaque. Yes, a plaque!

It’s a little hard to tell in the photo, but that’s a piece of turf glued onto the wood backing, with a bare footprint carved out of it on the left. Despite the cheesiness of it all, I was really touched.

I took the opportunity for some selfies with friends I ran across on the field throughout the day.

These are only a handful of literally hundreds of people I’ve become friends with during my years in GRU. I love this sport, but even more, I love the people I’ve met while playing it. What an amazing community.

I still have a few more weeks to play some pickup games, and I’ll be assisting new league coordinators as I transition out of the organization, so I’m not quite finished with GRU yet. But I’ve played in my last game. Thanks for twenty years, everyone.

End of an era

Yesterday was it: the last day we had all three of our kids at home. Alex left this morning for Utah, and in about a week he’ll be married. Kyra will be at college next week, and may come back next summer, but who knows. And Zaque will be gone for two years on a mission.

It’s really weird to know that this part of our job as parents is over. Well, maybe “entering a new phase” is a better way to put it. With three adult kids it becomes more about giving advice (sometimes carefully) rather than instruction. I’m excited for the end of an era and the start of a new one.