The Second Photo Shoot:
What I have to say about this is 6:00 am. The city gets so unbelievably hot, even by 10:00, that our photographer wanted to get in our 2 outside shots while it was still cool. So, 6:00 am was our only option. She was a trooper, and Rudy slept in the truck with the windows down the whole time, so it actually went fairly quickly and we were done by 8:00! The thing about that is what to do at 8:00…
I just Googled “playgrounds near me” and off we went! Rudy was still asleep, so Jared and I parked, enjoyed our breakfast beer (see “Nashville Blog”) and waited for playtime to begin.
Almost immediately upon hearing the first little kid voice, Rudy woke up and was ready to play. This was what he said as he approached a brother and sister:
“I’m Rudy. Rudyard Fredeen…and that’s my family. That’s my mom, and that’s my lemonade. It’s not part of my family, it’s just my drink.”
Dad gestured to himself and incredulously mouthed “WTF?”
They all played for a good couple hours, then we surprised Rudy with a movie. The past few days were a lot of sitting around and being told to be patient or just waiting while jared and I had grown up stuff to do and we wanted to reward Rudes with the summer blockbuster he’d been dying to see, Ant Man and Wasp. We looked up a theater in Nashville that boasted “plush recliner seats” and that’s all we needed to hear. A cool, dark, comfortable place to relax for a couple hours AND entertain our son…yes please! And, money well spent too. Great film and nice rest.
Although we were rested after the movie, we were still very tired and “second coffee” was necessary. We decided we’d earned a step up from gas station coffees and found a Starbucks. The minute I walked in I was face to face with an old college buddy, Sean Martin. A million years ago, in a far off land (Abilene, TX to be exact), a group of students spent countless hours studying, neglecting studying, philosophizing, smoking, drinking ALL the coffee, and figuring out who we were all in a back booth at a Denny’s. The waitress was named Olivia and had grey skin and yellow hair, long peach press on nails and was a young 100 years old. If someone didn’t make her into a handbag or a pair of boots, I’m sure she’s either still working there, or buried under the “newly remodeled” floor. Sean was part of that group and it was absolutely awesome to see him! We hugged tight and spoke softly of the recent passing of a college friend who has recently lost her long battle with cancer. A warrior woman who led so many to be the best versions of themselves and was kind to every single person, but never disingenuous about it. Sean and I were no exception to the “kids” that Sara smugly rolled her beautiful blue eyes at after some obnoxious joke we’d made, or some overzealous “hey, please include me!” gesture we’d made, only to turn back and wink or flash her spectacular dimples at us, as if to say, “I think you’re funny, but I’ll never tell”. She was amazing, and it was lovely to share the moment honoring her with Sean. We swapped some stories about our kids, spouses and life. Sean gave us free coffee and chastised us for not contacting him to stay at his place…in retrospect, it would have been much nicer, but next time. We hugged again, said our goodbyes and were off. A gem of a surprise, and the best part of Nashville, as far as I was concerned.