Monday, April 16, 2018

2018 Week 15: Pixel, Poetry and more

 Years ago we planted many different bulbs in our woods. Once a year there is an explosion of yellow and white blooms. Too many to count. Way too many for indoor bouquets. I regularly bring in armloads of only the ones bent over, fallen, touching the ground. I wouldn't want their beauty to remain unnoticed.

When we go to Stephan's  Monday evenings, there is always something new to notice. This time he'd built a bicycle garage onto the side of his pole-barn studio.

Tuesday after breakfast with Diane and a hair appointment, I drove north to visit Mother.
She had called feeling an urgency to have everyone sign a card for her only living brother's 100th birthday. We spent time revisiting a photo book about his life and family history which his granddaughter had put together 10 years ago. This time we read all the letters and notes included.
An aid came around to let us know the pie-making activity had begun in the dining room.
The ladies were fun to be with and the apple pie we sampled was delicious!

Taking turns filling the pie; Mother perusing Uncle Dan's life story; Visiting Aunt Margaret while son David trims her hair.
The article I wrote last week made it to the press just in time for this week's Indiana State Championship.
Wednesday, Mike and the drive team spent four of the six hours allowed to work on the robot, preparing, improving, adjusting, and putting Pixel back together.

Then Thursday, the drive team used the last two hours to complete the task and then set off for Kokomo to the 2018 FIRST State Championship.

Michael gave me a chore before he left: trim the hydrangea bushes. I stacked the discarded branches behind the wall, swept the deck and garage, all the while enjoying the unusually mild weather.

I had several of my own activities going on: our little art club, a couple friends came for an hour or so; then exercise class. It was extra fun because I had agreed to watch Rebecca for part of that hour.
Sadly, I failed to get any photos of her again. I'd missed the opportunity the day before when she joined us at tap class.

Another little girl came by for a visit later--my friend Petey's granddaughter! I hadn't seen her since she was a baby.

Friday was a busy day as well--the annual Rick Seaman Memorial Chapel at Taylor University. Jared Seaman, the oldest of the four siblings, gave a powerful message. The luncheon that followed was a joyful reunion of family and friends. Heather, second in the family, was one of our Kayla's dance teachers, a good friend and inspiration to her as well. Now they are both mothers.

The day was certainly not over. It was the start of the 8th Annual Barton Rees Pogue Poetry and Arts festival. I was on the organizing committee and had extra duties. The best part for me this year was that Leah and I both entered art and poems.
Friday evening we set up our pieces in a perfect spot along the wall and then stayed to listen to our guest speaker--Philip Gulley.

Leah's painted gourds and skulls caught the attention of one of the other artists which may open up opportunities in the future!

This year's theme was "The Future is Yours." To go along with that futuristic concept, we invited a group of storm troupers from a local Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club. They interacted with the kids, helped the older participants up on stage, handed out awards, and provided numerous photo opportunities.

In the poetry slam Leah, though extremely nervous, rose to the occasion and read two of her heart-felt poems. I only made it through the first round. Several commented on her poetic pieces.

Meanwhile, in Kokomo, an hour away, the PhyXTGears were battling to maintain a middle-of-the-pack standing, four wins five losses, ending the day ranked 18th.

Saturday, however, they were improving, two wins one loss, in the final qualifying matches. The surprise came in the afternoon, when #7 seeded team invited 1720 to join their alliance. The three teams on #7 alliance were so well matched, had unified goals, with three cube stacking bots and our excellent climbing bot -- unbeatable until finals game 2, when Pixel toppled over atop the opposing captain-team's robot. In the tie-breaker match our robot managed to perform in auto and climb at the end lifting a partner bot, however had a rough patch in between due to the damage caused by the opponent tearing itself out from under Pixel. Did we dream we'd make it to finals and end up #2? And win the State Award for Industrial Design? AND THEN BE INVITED TO WORLDS???

I was following every detail at home, taking notes, not missing a thing, thanks to livestream and faithful Facebook updates and photos. When the final announcement was made, I texted Michael, "Miracles do happen."

Ecstatic fan; cheering section in the stands; victory lap high-fiving all the judges
FIRST Championship, Detroit MI, April 25-28. Here we come!!!

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