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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Guests

Sunday evening, as I sat on our front porch finishing a book (Killer Angels, historical fiction about the battle of Gettysburg in 1863; don’t judge) and a beer in the twilight DJ came out and started a conversation in a way that maybe he shouldn’t have:

DJ: (holding out hands in front of himself like you would to protect yourself from an oncoming car about to smush you into the dirt) “So I just got off the phone with my dad, but don’t worry, it’s going to be ok. Don’t freak out.”

Me: (who may, or may not, sometimes overreact) “Uhh… ok.”

DJ: “What weekend are Ryne and Jen coming to visit? It’ll be ok.”

Me: (instantly suspicious, annoyed) “The last weekend in June, they get here late the 25th and have an evening flight back to Denver on the 28th. WHY?”
DJ: (dancing around kind of nervously, still with hands out, palms up in a defensive stance) “Well I think dad and Paulette (dad’s wife) are coming out that weekend too…”

Me: (Flips my shit).

We have a very full calendar this summer. After this Saturday and Sunday, the next weekend we don’t already have something on the calendar is the middle of July. After that, the appointments line up again until mid-September. And actually, appointments for this summer began appearing on the 2009 calendar at the beginning of last fall. Dude what the hell happened to long summers with nothing planned? A couple of weeks ago I emailed a childhood friend dates that they could drive 12 hours to Montana to visit us; there were 3 open weekends before Labor Day. THAT SUCKS.
I am, of course, a planner by nature. I make lists. DJ makes spreadsheets (holy hell, the spreadsheets!). It works for us. It helps us both make sure we take care of responsibilities and make time for fun. But damn there is something so, I-don’t-know, boring, about having your life so far planned in advance. Or having to use the Vacation Time Spreadsheet to figure out how much time off you can spend this summer in combination with how much you’ll accrue this winter so that you have time to have fun in 2010. Can I add that we had this conversation in March of 2009? Schweet.

I flipped my shit at the announcement of another visitor because, well, their arrival is so unplanned right now! DJ dad hasn’t been in Bozeman for five years; since before DJ bought his (our) condo. They’re going to fly into BZN, then rent a car and drive to Deadwood, the Black Hills, etc, before coming back to Bozeman, so really, their visit won’t conflict with Jen and Ryne’s visit too much. BUT, my view on it is this: if you’re coming all the way to see me (us), I’m going to make every effort to give you my full attention. Bozeman’s remoteness makes it either a lengthy drive to get here, or an expensive airfare ticket. If you spend the money to come, I’d like to spend the time with you!
And I love having visitors. We have a great guest room, which (with exception of my winter clothes in the closet- no guest ever hangs up clothes anyway) is totally empty save a bed and nightstand. It has its own bathroom for people too! It’s great, and I’m looking forward to hosting people this summer. Let me pre-cap what is currently planned:

The 10th through 13th of June I get to spend in Butte, Montana, at the Vernacular Architecture Forum Conference. Basically a bunch of old-building nerds dorking out in Butte and the surrounding region. I know you’re jealous. Actually, I’m really looking forward to getting out of the office with a co-worker, meeting up with some preservationators that I’ve come to know, and generally enjoying Southwest Montana in June. And Jenny B. has a gay guy friend who is coming. Hello, gay + stuck-in-the-80’s-Butte + alcohol + the M&M Bar=’s A GOOD TIME!

Our first guests arrive the weekend of June 20 & 21. My friend Erin and her boyfriend Rich are coming over to Bozeman from Spokane. Erin’s finishing her Master’s degree in Social Work at Eastern Washington University on June 13, and I’m so proud of everything she’s done for herself in the past year. Erin was an AOII with me, and Rich was a Kappa Sig who lived across the back alley. They didn’t date in college, but re-connected in November at a ‘Cat/Griz satellite party. I’m excited to celebrate with her. It’ll be a busy weekend, as DJ’s co-coach of the Blue Jays (little league baseball) is marrying a former co-worker and friend on the 20th too. I’m also really looking forward to spending some time with these two at One Shot Charlie’s Bar in Harrison, ID this summer! (Photo of Erin and I at the lake in the summer of 2007).

Between June 25 and June 28, my dear friend Jen and her husband Ryne will visit from Denver. Jen and I went to (spent two hellish years in) grad school in Kentucky together. I’m not sure I’d have made it through the program without talking to her at least six days a week. Their wedding in May of 2008 in Madison, Wisconsin (where they both went to college and met) introduced me to a number of their great friends and their college experience. I’ve been looking forward to showing them Bozeman since they booked the trip in March! Although Denver is “only” a 10 hour drive (through the wilds and hard-ass cops of Wyoming, who give you a ticket for going 77 in a 75), I think they bought tickets for like $70. Steal! Their flight lands late on Thursday night, so after getting settled in I think we’ll spend Friday morning checking out Main Street Bozeman. Maybe float the Madison Friday afternoon before heading back into Bozeman to BBQ or have dinner at a restaurant downtown. Saturday we can dink around in the morning, maybe climb the M, before driving up to Virginia City to show them the town I lived in for a three month internship. I heart VC! Hopefully we can catch a Brewery Follies show too! Sunday maybe we’ll check out Livingston and hand out before their evening flight. I’m really, really excited to see them, and have them meet DJ! Its crazy to me to think that after two years of seeing each other pretty much every day, I’ve only seen Jen for four days during her wedding over the last two years! (Photo of Ryne, Jen and I at a Wisconsin game in Cleveland, Ohio, in the fall of 2006).

I’m not sure what the 4th of July holds yet. Hopefully DJ can go fishing in Wyoming with his friend Mike; after I made him miss the trip last year to attend a wedding of f friend of mine. If that doesn’t work out, I’m not sure. Maybe VC again to camp out in my friend (mentor and former boss)’s teepee on his property. That would be fun! (VC at sunset, August 2006).

The Wednesday after that I’m making DJ come out to the lake with me for a couple of days of relaxation before going down to Colton for my cousin Blake’s wedding on the 11th. Blake’s marrying a girl from the same (small-300 people-small) town, plus they both played college athletics, so it’ll be a HUGE party. I’m actually really looking forward to it, despite the ensuing “So when are you two getting married” comments that are sure to follow. After the wedding we’ll head back up to Harrison for a couple more days of dock sitting. (the happy couple, with Zack, the groom's brother, in the background)
The next big thing planned is the arrival of Ms. Alli from Nashville, TN. Alli is another AOII co-hort, who will wrap up her thesis project this summer to complete a Masters in GIS from Western Kentucky University. HEEEYYYY, we both went to grad schools in Kentucky. We’ve actually coined the phrase Tennucky to describe the regions uniqueness (the pressure on girls to marry their first husband at 19, dry counties, abuse of prescription drugs, etc.). Alli’s trip at the beginning of August will also likely include floating a river, eating Mackenzie River Pizza, and generally catching up. We’re contemplating one major event though; hiking from the “M” to Fairy Lake in 1 day. It’s 20 miles of trail, going along the Bridger Mountain Range. Its totally do-able, but in August it’ll be hot, dry, and lightning prone. I’m totally in for doing it! We’d have Dusty pick us up at Fairy Lake to come back down to Bozeman and sleep in nice beds and drink beers in the shower. (Ashley, Alli and I, before we all drank our brains out at a Dry Wedding in 2007)

A few weeks after Alli’s visit, my good friend Katie and her fiancée Brad arrive in Bozeman from Las Vegas to tie the knot. I’m honored to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, and am really looking forward to it. They have a great group of friends in Vegas, who I’ve met, so it’ll be a lot of fun. And its in Bozeman, which means I can host things! Bachelorette party is Wednesday, rehearsal Thursday and wedding Friday. Best of all, after their Friday wedding they’re hosting a massive float of the Madison River with anyone who wants to come. Sweet!

I think we’re also going to head out to Washington/ the Oregon Coast over Labor Day weekend to see DJ’s mom and her husband, and his dad and wife again. His dad gave us a gift certificate for a hotel along the Oregon Coast, so we’ve got to use that before December. We might also try to catch a ‘Coug game in Pullman too. It’ll be a fun, relaxed, end of the year road trip.
On top of those items, I’ll probably head to Harrison at the end of July to help my mom paint the house. We want to hit up Red Lodge and Lewistown too, plus get some fishing in and some hiking or backpacking. It’s a lot to try to fit into a summer!
If you’re an anticipated guest, or thinking about coming, PLEASE COME SEE US!!! (Just call to ask about availability first, please J)

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