Summer 2002 Postcard

Posted: September 20, 2002 in Postcard
Our Summer 2002 Postcard!!!

Though we celebrated Earth Day
with a hike in the Ipswich River Wildlife sanctuary with the Cub Scouts, it wasn’t until April 27 that we kicked off the 2003 peak bagging season with a trip up North Uncanoonuc Mountain in NH. It was a great spring day and John, the dawg, and the boyz had a great hike followed, of course, by the now traditional ice cream cones.

The first weekend in May was filled with Racing! On Saturday, John turned in an “OK” performance in the Breakheart Classic 6k. The race ran through the undulate trails of the Breakheart Reservation and, after flying through the first mile’s Everest-like ascent in 6:40, John’s pace slowed to yield a 6:59 average as a result.


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Photos
by Jim Rhoades from Coolrunning.

It was up to Shawn to redeem the family honor on Sunday and she was more than up to the task!! Participating in her first ever triathlon, she shattered all of her goals – even the ones she wouldn’t let onto prior to the race. Hampered by traffic in the swim and a sore knee in the run, she was still able to leverage smooth transitions and a good bike ride to a 62 minute finish! Hurray Shawn!!!

We celebrated Mother’s Day at our place for both Shawn and her mom. We even had Grampa along to help with the fun! We sat by the fire on a rainy day, enjoyed some gifts and flowers, and had some good family time!

May 17th brought the culmination of the Cub Scout year with the Blue & Gold Banquet! Joshua earned his Tiger badge for completing all of the Tiger requirements. Dad was presented with a cool poster and a nice gift as a “Thank You” from the boys in the den and their parents! It was cool!


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On May 19th the family took in the Red Sox at Fenway Park! It’s not entirely clear what the high point was – could have been the subway ride where we got to stand right up in the front next to the driver, or the “cool dog” ice cream sundaes, or the bags of peanuts or… Oh, and there was a ballgame too! And the Red Sox won!

We had a busy Memorial Day weekend… On Saturday, after breakfast out at a local greasy spoon, we packed our canoe and explored the Ipswich river in Topsfield. We paddled, picnicked, and a had a short hike in the Audobon Society’s preserve there.


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On Sunday, we went to a great party at the home of our friends Kevin and Katelyn. We played ball, busted a pinata, ate, drank… The whole nine yards! Fun stuff! On Monday, we marched in the parade with the cub scouts…


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The following weekend, Grampa stopped by our place again on his way home from Belgium to Florida. He helped dig in the garden and we all had a great time as usual!

Around the middle of June, we were treated to a visit from Shawn’s Uncle Cleon and Aunt Ellie – they’re always a hoot to have visit. Together with Shawn and her mom, they toured the Newport mansions and downtown Boston and partied for a whole weekend!

John and Joshua ducked out for a night on the USS Salem in Quincy’s Fore River Shipyard.


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On June 20, John ran a local 8k race with some friends from the Ipswich River Road Runners. Any race with free beer at the finish is a good one and john ran a gentle 34:29 for an 8k PR!


Photo
by Jim Rhoades from Coolrunning.

Three days later, John traveled up to NH to run in the Lions Sizzler 20k Grand Prix race. It was hot, humid, and hilly leaving John only marginally satisfied with his 1:31 result. He was quite pleased, however, to have perfectly timed his finish so as to be one of “every tenth runner”, chosen to receive a free six-pack of Harpoon beer! Once again, beer makes the race.

The boys spent much of their summer at the YMCA’s Camp Wakanda daycamp in Boxford. They did plenty of swimming, archery, arts & crafts, sports, boating… You know, camp stuff. Here’s the boys on “Silly Hat Day” and our homemade contribution!

Our July 4th weekend featured a visit from Papa – Shawn’s dad. We had fun playing tourist with him. We visited Rockport, took the kids to the fireworks, all kinds of fun!


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John attempted to run a 10k race on the morning of the 4th but, with temperatures at the start already over 90° and the humidity high, after two miles, he melted down and jogged the remainder of the course.

Just after that, we got to spend a week in a rented cottage on Perkins Pond up near Lake Sunapee! We had a good week of dock sitting, water splashing, hill running, ice cream eating, restaurant tasting, late sleeping, marshmallow cooking, geocache finding, loon listening, cruise touring, house envying, woods hiking, sun burning, and family hugging!



Just a week after that, John and the boys spent an overnight with the cub scouts at Sudden Pond in the Harold Parker State Forest near us. They ate hot dogs and caught frogs, had a Tom Sawyer fishing derby and tug-of-wars, sang songs and told stories, and got dirty!

They packed and departed at daybreak the next morning and headed for Devens, MA where Shawn competed in the Danskin Women’s Triathlon! At this, her second triathlon, the distances were all a bit longer (half mile swim, 3 mile run, 12 mile bike) and the field a little larger. It was also her first “lake swim” which included being kicked, hit, and swum over. Though she was a bit disappointed with her performance in the water, she did better than expected on the bike and ended up with a very satisfying 1:41 result!

Dad and the boys enjoyed cheering Shawn on at the transitions and managed to steal a kiss at the finish line before trekking back to the van and heading for Fenway Park to meet Uncle Charlie for an afternoon watching the Red Sox to complete their busy weekend!

Just
a day or so later… Jacob lost his first tooth!!!

On July 30, John ran with friends from the IRRR club in the Yankee Homecoming 5k in Newburyport. It was a another hot summer night with start temperature above 90° but, given the conditions, John was relatively pleased with his 21:36
result.


Photo
by Jim Rhoades from Coolrunning.

The first weekend of August, Shawn and John headed off on the “21st Annual Two-day Floating Happy Hour” on the Saco River. Our friends Danny and Noreen were, as always, outstanding hosts – putting us up for the Friday night and treating us to a dip in their new hot tub! Saturday was the expected day of decadence as we floated downstream – sipping and dipping as we went. The evening campfire made us once again ponder why, if we have so much fun with these people, we only see them once a year! Let’s make it monthly!!


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On the second weekend of August, we drove North once again, this time on our quest to summit mighty Mt. Hale. We drove up Friday and, after parking our car at the 2000′ level, made the gentle three mile hike to the AMC Zealand Falls hut that would serve as our basecamp for the weekend. We arrived in plenty of time to play in the falls before being treated to the wonderful hospitality of the hut croo. On Saturday morning, we donned our summit packs and began the three mile climb from the 2700′ basecamp level to Hale’s 4054′ summit. We bagged the peak – Jacob’s first 4000-footer and Joshua’s second. It was then back to basecamp for another romp in the falls and another great night in the hut (including Native American stories!) before descending to our car and returning home.


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The Summer ’02 heat wave hit next. We used every trick in the book to stay cool – finally resorting to holding our annual summer bash!! The sun was hot but the beer was cold – at least until all the ice melted – and the kids had a grand time with the sprinkler and the slip-n-slide and the hoses!


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On August 19, we celebrated Shawn’s birthday with a small family celebration at home the night before.

On her birthday itself, John and the boys celebrated by taking trip to see the Lowell Spinners with the Cub Scouts! They even got their picture in the paper!

The next weekend, it was Jacob’s turn to celebrate! He turned six and we opened presents at home the morning of his birthday, had cake that evening, and then a party at Bonker’s the next day! Turning six is cool! Grandpa was even on hand to help with the celebration!


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Just before Jacob’s party, John ran in the annual North Reading 5-mile race. He set a new personal record with his 34:28 result – he even got a medal for finishing second in his division!. Mom and the boys got in the game too – they were at mile 2, handing out water and cheering on the runners!


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The following day, we were treated to a wonderful boat ride by our friends the Stefanssons. They welcomed all of us, Grandpa, and our friend Mel onto their boat for a wonderful tour of Boston harbor. The boys got to try boat piloting and fishing! How can you beat that?


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We split up for Labor Day weekend. Shawn and Grams headed to New York for Cousin Todd’s wedding…

John and the Boys did manly things at home. They had a pizza party Friday night, bagged Mount Cardigan on Saturday, had a waffle-fest on Sunday morning… stuff like that.


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Joshua headed off to Mrs. Johnson’s class for second grade. He’s reading up a storm and ready for a great year at school.

Three days later, Jacob began his second year of kindergarten with Mrs. Grant. She’s a great teacher that he really likes and we’re expecting big things!

Jacob decided he wanted to play soccer this fall. In his first game, he was the first of the six year-olds to master the fast break and scored seven goals to lead his team to a 9-0 victory (not that they keep score, mind you)!!


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So that’s what we did this summer! What about you? Drop us a line and tell us about it!! We’re excited about our fall plans (soccer, cubs, Iowa, marathon, Maine, etc.) and we’ll tell you all about them in our next postcard!! Be healthy and keep in touch!

Comments
  1. […] Some time ago, John & Joshua had spent a night on the USS Salem. So when the Cub Pack decided it was time to go back and Jacob said he wanted to go, how could dad say no? […]

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