Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nixon Family Snow Vacay 2017

I was almost sound asleep when I heard the dreaded words,
"Uh oh!"
My first thought was we had a flat tire.
I managed to sit up from my little nest in the back of
Terry's filthy camping van and peer out the front window.
The sign said: Renton. Coal Creek Parkway.
"Oh honey, you missed the turn." I said.
"Now just stay in the left lane and we can get right
back on 405 but be careful, the I-90 turn comes
up really fast. Now Teddy, you help your dad."
Whew. No flat tire! We might make it to the pass yet.
Last March I saw something about an inner tube hill
at Snoqualmie pass but by the time I got all four of our
schedules matching the snow was gone.
I started plotting and planning for this trip in January.
I decided I wanted one snow vacation with Terry
& the kids in my lifetime and this would be it.
I booked two nights at the Summit Inn and
one shift at the tubing hill online.
Funny, I'd driven past the Summit Inn dozens
of times & never noticed it as I was looking
for the nice public restroom with a fair sense of urgency.
Because the other name for our family is The Pigsons,
we started our trip up at the Alderwood mall Claim Jumper.
Once the buffet had turn the men completely docile,
we started onward. Our trip was supposed to be in my
Ford Windstar, the the day before our trip my head gasket
blew out. Terry's old camping van looked dubious to me but
it was either that or cancel so off we went.
As we got near the summit my eyes nearly popped
out of my head. There was TEN FEET of snow
lining the little road to the ski area.  The sign
for the Summit Inn was buried with just the name showing
 and huge tunnels had been dug so you could enter the inn
and adjoining pancake house cafe.
It looked like giant hamsters had been making tunnels.
My entire life I had wanted to stay somewhere where
the snow was really, really, really deep
and now my wish had been granted.
I checked us in and was told rooms were ready on the
back of the Inn and I smiled and shook the front desk
person's hand with a well-folded twenty dollar bill.
It worked just like it did in the movies, and next thing
we knew we were in our huge room facing the ski slopes.
(As opposed to a grand view of I-90)
With no window screen I was able to hang out our
second floor room and admire the view and catch
snowflakes on my hot happy little cheeks for two days.
I snagged the folding bed from the hall and popped it
between the queen beds and Teddy burrowed in
like one of the hamsters we had all become.
The view of the Snoqualmie pass mountains was
amazing me, even through the light snow that never stopped.
We soaked in the hot tub and laughed and joked about
the "view" of piece of plywood covering the window.  The snow
was so deep it was being held back to keep the window from breaking.
We lounged all day and had dinner at the cafe.
It was a bit chilly since the snow had crushed one side
and tarps had been hung to keep the snow out.
The next morning we were all up and rarin' to go.
Terry drove us to the inner tube park and there were
only a few dozen people for the early shift.
We lined up on our tubes at the top and off we went.
Surprising I'm here to talk about it really because
when my tube went backwards at 20 miles per hour,
I was fairly sure I was going to have a heart attack.
We decided to walk up the mountain instead of using the
plexiglass hamster tunnel moving walkway to burn off
our piggy breakfasts in the cafe. I might describe the
I-90 breakfast I had but I'd gain five pounds again
just reading about it!
At the end of two hours it was time to go but I didn't have
the strength to climb the 500 feet up the mountain.
Troy grabbed my hand and pulled me the whole way.
At the top, Terry took off without looking back and
Troy dashed to the restroom and Teddy gallantly held
out his arm for me to hold to stagger to the road.
We had been at loggerheads for three years so the
joy in my heart expanded with every step we took.
We were all happy to be back to Kookmore and as we
got to the top of the driveway Terry said, "Uh oh,
my alternator belt just snapped."  We all laughed at his
joke but it turns out his alternator belt HAD snapped.
He coasted down the driveway and parked and we
were all amazed at our good luck getting home.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Typical Day in the Frankenspine Library

I was panic stricken when my mid-year conference
& post observation ran right up until my 2/3 class.
When they left I had ten minutes to lay out materials
for the 7/8 split for the King County Library System
database extensions & digital citizenship.
Lisa reminded me to breathe & somehow
we crammed a ninety minute lesson into 30 minutes.
Lisa did a GREAT Vanna White at the white board
while I brought up the fields on the from the teaching station.
All 32 kids left with their new access cards.
They now have unlimited e-books, real-time online tutoring,
SAT help & hundreds of databases.
Our 7/8 split grade class does not have a weekly 
library visit and they come for classes 
requested by their teachers or as was the case today,
requested by me.
I truly believe knowledge is power.
Helping these kids to find their power
makes me feel humble before the walking,
breathing, faces of the future.