The summer of 2010 was pretty spectacular. We started the summer with a "100 years of living" extravaganza/party in May celebrating our respective 50th birthdays. The party was highlighted by our daughter Rachel singing a couple of songs with the band which was comprised of 2 current members of the Long Players. The bartenders were our son, Houston, and his college age friends. It was a very memorable evening complete with great food and great people.
Shortly thereafter, we set out on a week long sailing "barefoot" cruise in the Caribbean on a 46 foot yacht captained by our good friend Kemper Harr. Our two families met up in Atlanta and flew down to St. Thomas, then picked up our boat in Tortola. What a spectacular week--waking up on board, raising the sails, and cruising to different spots---where unusually personable restaurants and bars awaited us around the islands. The water and weather were perfect for early June.
After settling back into Nashville for a few days, we were off again to Baton Rouge to support Houston's final club soccer tournament with KFC (Knoxville Futbol Club) in the Regionals. This trip was a bookend on a fabulous club soccer career for our son. He played ten years, and was the recipient of many awards, honors, and accolades. Not many kids make it to the U-19 level, where competition is fierce. In fact, only 12 boys from the entire state of Tn made it this far. Club soccer paved the way for Houston to received a full scholarship to play soccer at the collegiate level Division One--at the University of Richmond.
So it was with some emotion that we exited this tourney after 3 games, thus ending the club soccer years. Our "Shaggin Wagon" Ford Van rolled into Nashville with over 110K miles. Rarely used for anything other than family soccer (and SGI) trips, we wonder what will become of that old van. Tons of memories.
As July 4th approached, we packed up again and made our annual pilgrimage to our cabin on Center Hill Lake for the fabled Smithville Jamboree weekend with our good friends Alice and Sammy Taylor and family. We had all of our toys, the 21 ft. Sea Ray, the Sea Doo, and all the extras for our dock just below our place. We are fortunate to have one of the few docks on the lake whereby we can assemble, and distribute according to age, interest, and what not. Plenty of activities abounded, as other friends would come and go on their boats as well. The Jamboree was highlighted by plenty of gospel singing in back of the Courthouse away from the stage. I missed the 5k this year, but others ran it on Saturday morning. The Hurricane Marina folks put on a great fireworks show to cap off the 4th.
Not too long thereafter, our final official trip of the summer commenced towards St. George Island, where we co-own a house with our good friends, Chip and Mary Loch Smith. This was to be an Oldham/ Smith reunion, as our two families had not traveled together for at least 2 years. The trip got off to a rough start, as we had to put down our beloved dog of 10 years, Emma, the great Golden, on the morning of our departure. Things just weren't totally right for several days after that, but because of the great understanding and empathy of the Smiths', they made our trip fabulous as usual to this special area of Florida. The wildlife and nature that exists in this cozy spot off the coast of Apalachicola is simply amazing. We were visited daily by an Osprey about 5 pm looking for dinner and flying peacefully up and down the coast. Tons of dolphin each day. And plenty of freshly caught grouper and snapper. We took our bikes this year and did a 30 mile ride from one end of the island to the other. Good stuff. And we had 7 kids/ young adults on this trip, so there was always something happening around Angel Wing. We ended our trip to SGI with our annual "Beach Olympics", highlighted by beach volleyball, beach soccer, and beach football, all played back to back with frequent trips to the oil free Gulf.
Other fabulous tidbits from the summer included watching almost every World Cup game with Houston and an assortment of his friends and cheering on the USA, who ultimately folded in an incredible line up snafu against Ghana. "Monday Funday" became a staple around our house with Houston's college age friends showing up to play beer pong on Monday nights. We had to call of this epic night of fun eventually as high school kids would wander in, eager to find a parent friendly alcohol is okay zone. Sorry guys. Rachel and her friends had many sun filled days around the pool and listening to loud music, thanks to the newly installed outdoor rock speakers around our oh so cool patio and deck. Houston is becoming quite a chef and cooked dinner frequently for us and his friends.
Finally, the summer of 2010 faded and as we made plans for school, we picked up and rescued two puppies to join our family and to try to replace the hole left by Emma's quick demise. So we welcome "Indie" and "Leo" in mid August. The emptiness of the house with kids back in school will hopefully be offset by these two little hell raising puppies. What a great summer. Thanks be to God.