Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Back and Forth

Today was  a day of a lot of back and forth, between the house and the store, between the boys and work.  Besides my usual morning routine of the stationary bike with Wimbledon on t.v., and then walking the dogs,  the day began with dentist appointments for the boys.  I dropped them off and then off to work, where I met with salesmen, employees, customers, and then back to pick the boys up and bring them to work.  They were both excited to work, but the truck was late and there was little for them to do so after a few frustrating tries at keeping them working, but apart I decided to take them to the skatepark.  Micah had everything he needed, but Howie needed his skate shoes.  So I dropped them off at the park and then went home to get his shoes.  Then back to the skate park and then back to work. and then back to the skatepark to bring them back to the store, for Howie to meet with Margy for lunch and an afternoon together and for Micah to help with the truck which didn't show up till 1:30.   The driver was a nice guy and he says he should be rolling in at 12:30 on Tuesdays pretty regularly.  So we need to adjust our anticipation of him coming earlier.  The order kept everyone busy.  Micah helped at the register, he helped put groceries away, he helped bag produce.  He was very on the ball and a huge help.  Howie went home with Margy around 2:30,  Micah and I worked until 5.  It felt like one of the first days I worked all day since I hurt my knee.  I had to help carry boxes in, help put  produce away, moving boxes, fixing prices on the computer, dealing with salespeople and driving the kids back and forth.   There was a lot of back and forth at the store too, into the walk in, then back to the produce case, up to the register, back in the deli and back in my office (see picture and what you don't see is the triple sink behind the swinging door) 

Today was also a day of back and forth weather.  Rain in the morning when I walked the dogs, to beautiful sunshine, to afternoon thunderstorms, to clearing up, back and forth all night, just now a huge thunder crack, and another flash of lightning and then again moving away.  And that went on all day.  Which meant Murray was impossible and inside the store all day and as soon as it started raining had to put Buddy in the car.  Employee Celeste saved the day on that as it began to rain and I had all the windows open on my truck.  At 5 Micah and I went to the fire station (no rain) for an open house barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream.  It was another day that I pretty much forgot to eat - having a bowl of granola before I left the house and that was about it except for coffee.  
While Micah and I were at the barbecue I received a picture message from Margy's daughter Kirsti of  two hands showing off wedding rings, and then seconds later the phone rang, it was Margy telling me I was going to receive this picture message and could I send it their e-mail, and telling me the news that Jimmy and Jane got married, and that I was right when I told her that everything would work out just fine....In the morning Margy had written me an e-mail about how she remembered Andrew's 10th birthday and how 3  year old Howie cried when Andrew blew out all the candles.  Things happen for a reason, things are meant to be, live life to the fullest each day, most importantly be present in the moment.  That I think is the hardest concept to achieve.  More lightning, more thunder, now the rain is coming down hard as well.  It is nice to live in such a nice home.  Huge flash lights up the mountains, Micah has come upstairs and is watching the light show.
I left Micah at the barbecue with friends and went to the Baked Moose softball game.  The game had already started and we were already losing big in the first inning.  The field was in atrocious muddy condition and then it started raining, and thundering and no one was going to stop the game.  I stopped it, hoping it would be canceled, but the rain stopped and they played.  We got killed, but I really felt the conditions were dangerous.  Then I went home, called Margy who was having way too much fun with Howie so I went home and watched the Mets game.  Margy brought Howie home around 7:30 and we watched the Mets game and I fed Howie some leftovers, and the Mets lost another one, by making ugly errors - their fifth loss in a row.  After the game I walked the dogs - it was not raining and the sun was out.  (It is pouring out right now, just pouring!, and as I write this Micah says to me it's pouring so much.)  As I walked the dogs I texted Micah - he was hanging out at the Hungry Moose, so I had to go back to the store yet again and pick him up which I did after walking the dogs.  I'm a little worried about Murray - she has a scab on her nose - she's had this before, I need to call the vet and find out what I'm supposed to do - I think there's some kind of cream, maybe just neosporin, if I remember right.  Driving to pick up Micah I was stopped by the flagperson and had to wait so maybe they are making some progress on the road.   
I get home from picking up Micah, it's at least 9:30 and I take a shower.  While I'm in the shower, Howie comes into the bathroom, and tells me he is nauseous and has a headache.  I tell him to try to go to the bathroom, "that's what Grandma Pearl would tell me to do" and he listens.  After I'm out of the shower he comes back still not feeling well.  He went to the bathroom, but it didn't help.  "My throat hurts, I can taste it, I have to throw up."  "So try to throw up," I tell him.  He tries and tries and cries and cries.  I give him a glass of water thinking that might help, he appears to be in a lot of pain or discomfort and Howie has zero tolerance for pain and discomfort.  "It's killing me," he says holding his neck, "I can feel it, just stuck there, it's terrible."  I tell him to stick his finger down his throat and that works.  He pukes big time in the toilet.  "Ahhhhh, now I feel better," he says.  I make him take a shower, he comes out into the living room wrapped in a towel and lays on the rug on the floor and starts snoring. I get him to go to bed, hopefully he'll sleep in tomorrow.  

More thunder and lightning and rain, non stop, on and off, it sounds like its moving away....

Monday, June 29, 2009

a work day, a Monday, somewhat uneventful, but busy just the same.  I got to the store around 9am was greeted with the news of a broken bunker freezer, one we keep outside for storage.  There are so many details to my days, how I go about trying to fix things, interactions with employees and customers, which sometimes are interesting, but really in my daily work day tend to be all very routine.  I tend to do things a certain way, a way that has worked for 15 years.  I tried to fix the freezer by looking at it and shaking my head. Then I took a screwdriver and opened up the panel. Then I called the refrigeration company.  Then I put a container full of water in there to see if it was working at all.  Then I unplugged it and plugged it back in, then I talked to another employee about it and we unplugged the little heater that keeps the compressor from freezing up in the winter. Then I gave up, we'll just have to wait until the refrigeration guy shows up.   That process was over the course of the entire day.

Howie was a very good boy and called me when he woke up.  Then he called me again when Micah woke up and told me that I could pick them up at noon and take them to the skatepark.  So that is what I did.  I never got my deposits done, I spent the entire morning helping the store move along, answering phone calls, helping with the ordering, hoping it was going to get busy for the 4th of July weekend coming up. Then I picked up the boys and took them to the skatepark.  I decided to go to the gym instead of directly back to work.  Had a good workout. Even at the gym I have a routine, mixed with lots of socializing.  Humans are very social.  Then I went back to the store and almost immediately the phone rang - it was Howie, it was starting to rain and they wanted to get picked up.  Rain is bad for skateboarding mainly because you don't want your skateboard to get wet, so Micah and Howie tell me.  

So the boys had lunch at the store - it was 2 pm already, and I finally did my deposits.  Micah brought me his left over half sandwich and that was the first food I ate all day, not healthy of me and lately I haven't been starving myself like that, I just forgot to eat today.  Micah's friends Cooper and Cody found him at the store and Micah went off into the neighborhood leaving Howie alone and bored.  We tried to come up with a friend for him, but all our phone calls were to no avail.  So Howie and I took a walk to the bank. And then Howie took a walk to the park, and then came back and took Buddy for a walk.  And then I finished up my bill paying and we went home and watched the Mets lose yet again, with dinner in the middle of the game and a major thunderstorm, hailstorm, windy, cold and wet.

We could actually see the sheets of rain moving through the sky lit up by a lighter sky towards West Yellowstone.  Hail pounded the porch, but somehow our flowers survived.  Howie counted the seconds between lightning and thunder and told me how far away the lightning was.  Murray hid in the tub in the downstairs bathroom.  Buddy wanted to go outside and check it out.  Howie and I ate our dinner and watched the storm, then after dinner the end of the Mets game.  By then the storm had cleared.  Murray came out of hiding and we went for a walk around the neighborhood and ended up at Jim & Margy's for another hello.  Then Micah called and wanted me to go pick him up at Cooper's.

Ziggy's meowing so I let him in, Murray's asleep on her bed, Buddy's asleep on a pillow on the couch, smelling like a rain wet dog.  The boys have gone to bed and so will I.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

another epic day

Summer!  Sunday mornings in summer!  Sleep in, coffee and breakfast on the patio at like 11:30.  Not that I really slept in - up around 8:30, I guess that's sleeping in.  Half an hour on the exercise bike for my good ol' left knee while watching sports center and South Africa against Spain in Soccer.  Exciting game, but Spain somehow won after South Africa miraculously tied it.  Then of course walking the dogs.  Then made coffee and putzed around the house, Micah wakes up and goes straight to the t.v. (ugh!) and then wake up Howie at 10, because I was planning on calling Jackie at 10 today and so at around 10:10 we called Mom,  I started to talk, but gave the phone to Howie and then Micah.  Then Jackie and I talked for almost an hour, who knows what we talked about, but it was so nice to be on the phone together. I even got to talk to Andrew who sounds great - like himself - but great, made a point to tell me that he's not fighting with mom. I call Al and MaryPat, but there not home.  I call Jackie's Dad to let him know all is well in Kenya and to check up on him as well.  He sounds good.

And then we made breaksfast and sat outside on the deck, Micah, Howie and I, plus of course, Murray, Buddy and our cat Ziggy.  The phone rings and it's Josh Greene, he's coming up to Big Sky with Ethan so I tell him to come over and we will do something together.  The phone rings and it's the college journalist who wants to come over and interview all 3 of us.  It seems to me that everyday has a mind of its own so really life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.  Kelly calls to invite us to join them at the lake.  So many options.  The young woman journalist arrives at our house and interviews the three of us one by one about how we feel about living in Big Sky.  Josh and Ethan show up at the end of the interview wondering why there is a young attractive coed filming me on the porch. The USA - Brazil Soccer match is on the t.v and while we are hanging out, the USA takes a quick 2 - 0 lead!  It's unbelievable!  And then we decide to ride our bikes to Ousel Falls.

(Howie and  I are sitting here having ice cream together, he's telling me that Mr. Sullivan  won an art contest once and go to go to Japan, and then he's telling me that during the lesson yesterday they had this guessing contest for this mystery object which was a giant glass globe and he guessed it was "a giant fishing bobber"  and he was so close as it was the globes used for fishing nets!  "I was so close, I guessed a giant fishing bobber," he smiles and shakes his head, "a giant fishing bobber." )

And so we began our epic bicycle ride at about 1 pm.  Howie led us most of the way to the Hungry Moose where we took a water and ice cream break.  (uh oh, we are having ice cream twice in one day).  And then it was on to Ousel Falls trail head.  Howie almost totally bonked, didn't want to go further, and wouldn't talk.  He was also having one of his I hate Micah fits, but somehow we made it to the Ousel Falls trailhead, we rested a bunch before embarking on the less than a mile hike to the falls.  Somehow Howie got up the energy to make the hike. About half way we stopped at the mini falls where we often fish, the water was roaring the pool was overflowing.  I wasn't going to even try to fish, but Micah really wanted to so I set up the rod, and knowing Howie needed to go first, set him up - first I took a cast with him and we foul hooked a fish, released it.  Then I let Howie fish by himself and bingo he caught his first fish of the season just like that.  Then it was Micah's turn who all by himself cast to the perfect spot, perfect drift and set!  He caught a fish like a pro! I was so proud and excited to watch them fish especially in such tough fast moving water and a tight spot.  Then we tried to teach Ethan, but it was definitely not the best spot to try to teach someone how to flyfish.  I was pleasantly amazed that Howie and Micah caught fish.  I would have been shocked if Ethan caught a fish.  The stream was overflowing - all our good fishing spots were too hard to get to, especially with our big group of 5 guys so we hiked to the falls where Ethan and Micah tried to fish some more with no luck.  It was an unbelievable beautiful sunny day.  The boys explored above the falls while I broke down my rod, we hiked back to the bikes, then rode our bikes all the way home, which was mostly downhill about an 18 mile roundtrip!  On the way back Howie and I were riding together flying down the bike path and I said to him, "So it turned out to be a fun day after all."
He replied, "Yeah, now that we are going downhill!"

When we got back to our neighborhood we saw a car at Margy and Jim's.  They're back!  So we stopped in for a quick hello.  Then it was back up to the house to check on the dogs.  We had left Josh's dog Fritz at home with Murray and Buddy and they were all O.K., thought Buddy and Murray seemed a bit tired from having Fritz over.  It was already 6 pm so I had totally missed both Baked Moose games which was a bummer, but not really the way I wanted to spend my Sunday anyway.  So Josh and I hung out on the porch with beers and chips and salsa.  Debby, Alexandra and Juliana - the rest of his family were at their Big Sky house just a mile away, but they were going to head home for Bozeman, so we just relaxed on the porch as I joked around that I couldn't believe they wouldn't stop by to just say Hi to me and then they pulled into the driveway and soon enough we were making dinner and hanging out.  It was  a blast.  Debby read Jackie's blog and cried and laughed and we talked and made dinner.  Alexandra made the salad, and everybody helped set the table, we grilled a steak, made rice and corn and had a feast!  After dinner they left, Josh and I walked the dogs around the neighborhood, then Josh and Ethan headed for Bozeman.  I watched the end of the Mets - Yankees game, Marion Rivera's 500th save and first ever RBI as the Mets lost another one.

Micah, Howie and I took a hot tub and looked up as the stars slowly appeared as the sky went dark.  A brilliant half moon setting behind the house, and what must have been a very very high plane flying silently by over the stars towards West Yellowstone.  Ice cream, t.v. for the boys, and blogging for me.  

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I heard the most amazing story today about Andrew and Sawyer from a most surprising source. This evening at Beth Hoffman's 40th birthday party at the 320 Ranch down by the river on a beautiful Saturday evening (a year from now I hope we are blessed with the same weather, maybe a little warmer for Micah's Bar Mitvah) I was walking and talking with Patty Dickerson on our way back from my car with a jacket and toothpicks as I didn't have any dental floss and Patty says to me, "that's right Jackie's in Kenya with Andrew. Have I told you my story about Andrew and Sawyer?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Well, I saw that article in the paper about them and that made me remember at Jacquie Persons wedding, Andrew, Sawyer, Sawyer's older brother Eli and some other kid were playing outside."
"Jacquie's wedding? that was 1996, they were only 3, that was just a couple of weeks after Micah was born. I remember that day very well."
"Well, I was walking by these kids, and Eli looks at me and says, "Hey, Lady, do you know this kid?" pointing at Andrew. And I say, yeah, that's Andrew and Eli says well he bit my brother. I look at Andrew, a total toe head, did you bite him? Andrew shook his head. Why did you bite him? and Andrew replied "because I don't like him." I never said anything to anyone at the wedding, it didn't seem necessary."

So, Andrew and Sawyer met when they were 3 years old at their parents' friend's wedding and Andrew bit Sawyer because he didn't like him and now they are traveling together in Africa, best friends. Andrew and Sawyer do you have any memory of that?

That was one of the many highlights of a fun-filled busy day - First thing this morning Howie participated in the filming of a classroom DVD with Mr. Sullivan at Ophir School were according to the school principal he definitely hammed it up for the camera. While Howie was doing that I took the dogs for a walk up Porcupine Park. On the way we say 3 young bucks, which Buddy did stare at, but thankfully did not chase. Just before I reached the top of the road a car approached, it was my old friend Guy Fischer on his way to run his dogs. We met up there and Buddy and his puppy Sally just romped and chased a frisbee for 20 minutes or so while Guy and I caught up on stuff. It was a very nice visit with beautiful views.

Then it was back to school, home quickly for Movie Star Howie to change into Little League Baseball Howie and then it was off to the baseball field for 2 games, a barbecue, trophy ceremonies, socializing, and wandering dogs. Buddy did very well - off the lease - until a couple of people told me they thought he was on his 5th stolen hamburger, which I think (and hoping) was just a bun that smelled like a burger, but eventually I tied him up so he couldn't get any more if it were true. (no puking yet, so I think if he did find some, he didn't get that many). At 2 pm I had to head for town to get Micah back from his canoe trip so I left Howie with our neighbor, took the dogs and off to Bozeman. I got there at 3:15, Micah and a couple of other kids were still waiting to get picked up. He looked great, had an amazing time, his counselors told me that one day he had a major allergy attack and a very swollen eye, but Benadryl helped and he woke up the next day, much better. One of his counselors of course was a friend of an ex-employee (She was the daughter of Chas' friend Bobbi!) and we talked for a bit and then it was back home to Big Sky. So Micah and I talked as we drove home and I got to hear how fun it was and the friends he made and how he's better at the front of the canoe than steering in the back. Got home at 4:30, took a quick shower, then it was off to the chapel for employee Cara's wedding at 5:00 which somehow I got to on time. A short and sweet ceremony, Cara was joyfully crying and smiling most of the ceremony.  Then it was a quick stop at the house to check in on the boys, and then off to Beth's birthday party which was also a very fun time. Home by 9 pm. I walked the dogs. Howie and Micah were watching television of course as neither of them (except Howie and I watching baseball) had not watched any "t.v." for a week.

Then Micah started posting pictures to Facebook as he now has all these new friends who facebook. Finally to bed at 11 and I can have the computer to blah blah blahg.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Today, Howie and I went rafting with some of the Hungry Moose crew, there were 11 of us in all, in two rafts with guides down the rapids of the Gallatin.  Howie and I had to portage for the mad mile since Howie was too young to go through House Rock and the super rapids and someone needed to chaperone him. We still had a great time and it was fun to watch the others go through at House Rock.
After the raft trip it was home to change into dry clothes and get the dogs, then back to work.  Poor Buddy got stuck outside in a storm, before I realized it was raining - he was wet and shivering when I got him and it had been raining for maybe 10 minutes if that, but I had towels in the car, dried him off and left him in the car where I put Murray as well.  By then it was time to just go home, store was busy, but lately the busier the store gets the more I want to get out of there.  I am still searching for peace and quiet.  I'm trying to be contemplative instead of just reporting, but it's hard.  A big bucket of lots of yellow and pink flowers reserved for Cara's wedding which is tomorrow sits at the front of the store.  A large grocery order waiting for pick up sits to the side of the less used counter.  Our Friday delivery from Yellowstone Distributing of fresh meat and fresh produced arrives at 3:30 pm instead of the morning and is stacked in front of the coolers.  But I have a 9 year old son and two dogs that need to go home, plus a bad knee that did not get to go to the gym today, plus a tired mind.   And all that work gets done without me, probably with less stress, so I go home.

Howie and I just took Buddy and Murray for our late night stroll down the cul de sac.  Ziggy was waiting for us on the porch.  It seems when I'm home I have 3 animals shadowing me most of the time.  Howie seems somewhat intrigued by the fact that we have had Murray for ten years, "that's so long, it's hard to think that's she's really old because when we got her she was young,"  On this walk tonight he was also talking about how "it's hard to think of Murray living out on her own, cause she's lived with us for so long."  
"I'm sure she still remembers life before she lived with us," I tell Howie.  " That's why when there's thunder I like to put her in the car or the house, because I'm afraid she'll get scared  and hide somewhere and then we won't be able to find her."  

Time for ice cream, Howie gets it out for us and while we wait for it to melt a little he says to me, "There's one main difference between Andrew and I and Mommy and Uncle Andy.  Andrew and I and Mommy and Uncle Andy are about the same age apart, but Andrew didn't raise me like Mommy did Uncle Andy."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pitching, Catching, Fielding, Hitting, Skateboarding

"Today was a long and fun day,"  Howie said to me as we took our nightly soak in the hot tub.  We slept in, had a leisurely breakfast and then watched the Mets game which started at 11 am. Santana was pitching for the Mets and we watched till the end of the 7th.  While the game was on Howie also practiced basketball in the driveway. The Mets were winning 3-2 when we left and that turned out to be the final score.   At 1 pm I drove Howie to his last day of skateboarding camp, then at 4 pm I picked him up and watched him skateboard - see video - and then we walked the dogs and got ready for his little league baseball game.  Howie took a bunch of practice pitches from the mound and then the game started. He played shortstop, catcher and pitcher.  He had a triple and a double!  Then he got to play left field in the major league game.   3 hours of skateboarding followed by 3 hours of baseball!  

I worked for a little bit, didn't get to work till after 1:30, then did a delivery up the mountain, then back at the store put out all the new wine that came in the day before.  By the time I got my deposit done and came back from the bank it was time to go back to the skateboard park and pick up Howie.  So on my way back from the bank I loaded the dogs into the car, then went into the store, gathered up my stuff, which included watermelon and cookies for the baseball snack for both teams.  Then I drove off - as I pulled onto Ousel Falls Road I noticed the money bags sitting on the front hood of the car.  I had put them there when I was loading the dogs into the car - they had change for the store - some singles, quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies.  Maybe a little over $100 - so I pulled over, got the bags off the hood and drove back to the store, laughing.

Now we are still watching baseball on t.v. texas rangers and arizona diamondbacks tied at 6 in extra innings and I can't pull Howie away.  tomorrow morning we are going rafting down the Gallatin with a bunch of moose employees...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Howie and I took Murray and Buddy for one more short walk before bedtime. And so we saw
the super skinny moon (Jackie's favorite) set behind the house and we imagined Jackie, Andrew and Sawyer getting up early to ascend  to the top of Mt. Kenya to witness the sunrise.  

A cat screech from outside.  Ziggy fighting?   

My days are very full and non stop.  I keep imagining stopping and sitting in a chair and reading, but I never get there.
Today I woke up, got out of bed, walked the dogs, rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes while watching Wimbledon, woke up Howie, made him some oatmeal for breakfast, drove to work stopping at the post office and picking up the bread from the bakery, where I saw Christian and gave him a check. Arrived at work, Paul needed help putting away some of the wine, Crystal needed me to go over the produce order with her, Howie and I put Buddy on the leash on the patio, then Howie took out the cardboard, then helped restock some of the produce, ran the register  and whatever else we could think for him to do. Chelsea needed help with egg order, Angela came by to talk about the music at the moose summer series. Lots of customers to talk to, always one after the other, they will often come and find me in the back. I worked on organizing the wine, printing some new shelf tags. Howie walked to the bank with me as did Murray and Buddy. Buddy loves the bank.  He gets biscuits and hides them in the furniture or in someone's office. Murray actually ate a biscuit today, which is very rare. Back at the store we worked until 1 pm which is when I took Howie to his skateboard camp. The name of the move he is working on is "rocking to fake." Then I went to the gym and worked my knee for a good hour or so, watching the USA - Spain soccer match which the USA won 2-0, a huge upset.  After the gym, I bumped into Josh and Debby.  Debby really wants a Just Breathe bracelet. Back at the store I worked on the schedule with Lauren, who is planning to work extra and cover for all these employees who are taking extra days off as the store begins to get busier for summer.  I did a little shopping for home, we needed milk, then went to get Howie at 4pm from skateboarding camp.  We stopped at the garden nursery on the way home because I had one more hanging pot I wanted to make for the porch so I bought a cloth and more flowers and when we got home Howie shot baskets and I made a hanging basket.   Then we played basketball together, another game of horse, and watched some of the Mets game.  When they were winning 4 - 0 we walked down to the river to do a little fishing.  The water was cold and high and fast.  No fish to be found and we hiked back on home for the 7th inning with the Mets now winning 7 - 0.  I made some dinner, we hung out, we took a hot tub, had ice cream.  A full day. 

Buddy is asleep on the couch dreaming, making lots of funny noises... it's quiet outside. Time to read.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jackie, Andrew and Sawyer are on day 3 of their ascent of Mt. Kenya.  24 hours from now if all goes well they will be watching the sunrise from the summit.  I will be at home with Howie watching the Mets game and eating ice cream.  Micah will be camping at Hole in the Wall somewhere along the Missouri on his canoe trip. 

Today was a work day.  I was able to get yesterday and todays work done.  So I'm caught up. Poor Buddy was on a leash at the store for at least 4 hours straight.  But he got in his exercise at the park while Howie played baseball, we took a short hike along the river fork.  Howie's team scrimmaged the older boys and they did really well.  It was really fun to watch.  Howie hit the ball solidly.  Tonight, after he beat me at horse 3 times in a row playing basketball in the driveway, Howie told me that baseball or basketball is his favorite sport he's not sure which. He also told me he had mastered the drop in at skateboard camp and that tomorrow he was going to master some other kind of move the name of which escapes me even though he told me about this move at least a dozen times.  

At work today I found myself running the deli register during what I would say was the first real lunch rush of the summer season.  Afterwards, I went around to all the employees explaining to each of them how we should handle these rushes, especially if I am not there.  In fact they should assume that I will not be there - because it is my goal not to be there. Rotation. I was telling Constance about my blog, but then saying now I won't be able to write about the store in my blog because that internal editor is going to stop me from writing stuff.  Back in the old days I could just write about anything and I could read at poetry readings and now I have this damn internal editor that stops me from -

It was a beautiful cloudless day in Big Sky today, 70's and dry.  When we got home from Baseball Howie and I put on the Mets game which almost immediately went to rain delay.  We watered all our flowers and then set up the sprinkler for the garden.  I see things coming up but I can't remember what we planted where.  We made dinner, the Mets game came back on.  We made popcorn and watched the Mets lose another one.

We took a hot tub, showered, made the beds in Howie and Micah's room as I washed their sheets today and then had our ice cream sundae desserts.  

As I write this blog,  according to their itinerary, Andrew, Jackie and Sawyer are embarking on their second very full day of trekking, this day ascending over and along the foot of huge rock walls... 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Candice and Harbor, Micah at camp, Micah looking for a pass

And so I'm back from my weekend in Kalispell, staying busy, with Micah, Howie and  the store...I'm not sure where to begin, and will try to do highlights of the weekend and of my first day back home.  It's interesting because I could pretty much start from the second I left the store on Friday at noon until this moment monday night after 10 pm.  

To follow up my friday morning phone call from my dad I called him as Micah and I drove to Kalispell.  
"How you doing, Dad?"
"I'm doing O.K. The doctor changed my medicine and I already feel a little better. It was a different doctor at the same practice.  The other medicine wasn't doing anything. Yeah, this acid reflux isn't going to do me in. I'm gonna make it through this one..."
"Well, that's good news."

We arrived in Kalispell at 7pm.  5 1/2 hours door to door.  Front desk guys at the hotel, "we should show pity on this guy he's a Met's fan," he says referring to my Mets hat.

Micah went to the pool immediately after check in.  Curly and Kelly invited me up to their room for a beer, and Lance drove over from the campground.  We headed out for some dinner late - it was after 9 -

Saturday morning, game at 8:30.  Despite not enough sleep, the boys took a quick 2-0 lead to halftime, but then fell asleep in the second half and lost 3-2.  A minute after the game ended, bummed that they lost, my cell phone rang.  
It was Jackie calling from Kenya!  She was stuck in a traffic jam on her way home with the boys from the Kenya - Mozambique World Cup Qualifier.  Kenya won 2-1 in an upset.  She figured that Micah's game was probably ending so she just called and lo and behold I answered.  I couldn't believe it was her.  The she said, "my phone is beeping, I probably don't have any money left on my phone."
"That's O.K.," I said, "I didn't really expect to talk to you on the phone much," and then the line went dead.  
I waited a few minutes - realized her number was on my phone - received calls - so I just hit send, that didn't work because I needed to add the international numbers 011, that didn't work, message said I needed to call Verizon to add service, so I did.  About 20 minutes later I called her back and she answered. She sounded so happy, so pumped, so excited for how the trip was going, we talked for about 15 minutes.

At about noon the soccer team headed for the Big Sky Waterpark in Columbia Falls for the afternoon - it turned out to be a sunny warm afternoon and the kids and the parents all had a great time, sneaking drinks, playing volleyball and going down waterslides.  I played volleyball, which was a blast, but then when I tried to make a few plays I had to drop out because of my knee.  I forget about my knee, but then I was on sand - and moving around laterally and that just isn't possible yet.  My leg wanted to buckle and that's not good.  I've been a little sore from trying to play, but it's all fine. Mosquitos at the park were ridiculous.  

The waterpark lunch concession was a grill your own burger grill.  People who knew about it brought their own burgers and hot dogs.  At lunch Lucy was talking about how you needed to be as tall as the penguin to go down the big slide. Lance looked at her and asked, "and how big does your mouth have to be to fit that corn dog?"

After the waterpark it was back to the hotel for the team pizza and cake party.  The kids ate pizza and roamed the hotel, the lobby, the business center, the pool, the movie room while us parents just hung out in the dining area, talked and drank lots of cheap beer.  

Sundays games were super exciting.  9 am game, we took off to a 2-0 lead, the Missoula team came back and tied it by half time and then we held on for a 5-3 win, scoring 3 quick goals at the beginning of the second half.  Hung out at the fields until the 1:30 game.  In that game, Great Falls jumped to a 2-0 lead which they took into half-time, but then we came back and won 3-2 - they almost tied it with seconds left in the game hit the cross bar, ball came down, but never went in.   Whistle blew and we won!   A great and exciting way to end  the season.

Immediately after the game, Micah and I loaded into the car and started the 5 1/2 hour trek home.  The drive did its toll on my right calf which is now one big knot.  Micah fell asleep for an hour or so and the weather turned a little wet in sections, but we made great time and rolled into Big Sky around 8:3o where we found Howie and Sarah jumping on the trampoline with Buddy just running all over the place.  Murray came up to see me right away moaning and I wished her a Happy 10 year Anniversary!  

This morning got Micah up and into Bozeman, he's off to Missouri Breaks canoe trip - I won't see him again until next Saturday at 3pm!  Then back home to Howie who was just waking up.  Breakfast, walk the dogs, check e-mails, help post Jackie's blog, and then finally to the store around noon - It was very hard for me to get going on work.  I did the bare mininum today, mostly socialized, helped with a couple of orders that had to get done.    Took Howie to skateboard camp, picked him up at 4pm had dinner with Dan Wade, and then to the softball fields.  Howie and I walked Buddy and Murray, who seemed to be really dragging her feet today.  She didn't want to jump up into the truck and she yelped when I tried to pick her up.  

And then the Baked Moose doubleheader. We won the first game 7-6 in a controversial game which we had been losing 6-1 and made a great comeback by some big hitting.  The second game we won 17-7 after 5 innings, it was shortened due to a cold steady downpour. When we got home Howie turned on the t.v. and found the Mets game.  So we watched  the last inning and the Mets won!  Then Howie and I had a snack and a hot tub. Finally Howie's in bed and I'm jotting down all the highlights of my days to compare with Jackie and Andrew's highlights. 

I guess I should spend some time reflecting on what's been going on.  I've been busy and my responsibilities, though manageable are many and do stress me out. It's now at the end of the day when I am most tired that I have time to think and write and correspond.  Sometimes I will stay home from work and then in the morning I can think and write and read and come up with ideas.  I am planning if all goes well this week to take Thursday completely off  - the morning with Howie and then the afternoon completely to myself.  Maybe the river will be fishable by then or I will just stay at home and write and read and putz around the house.  There are some boxes I want to consolidate and/or throw away.

 I am thrilled that Jackie, Andrew and Sawyer are having the trip of a lifetime.  I am happy to be home with Howie and Micah, the dogs and the Hungry Moose.  I do feel myself calming down though I did go a bit beserk in the 7-6 Baked Moose victory.  All in good fun.  

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dad's Ringtone

Need to head to work, but I'm procastinating.   Woke up around 7:45 with Buddy licking me.  Cell phone rings, it's my dad, I know by the ringtone... 
"Did you call me this morning?"  he asks.  
"My damn cell phone, I don't know what it says," 
"You can't see it, Dad. I will look at it when you get out here."  
"Did you see the Met's game last night."
"Howie and I turned it on in the ninth while K-Rod was walking in the tying run. That's his second loss."
"They were up 4-2 in the eight and they blew it.  K-Rod is not Jesus Christ. I am going to the doctor today, I have this acid reflux, 24 hours of a sour taste, coughing up sour phlegm, I can't believe I am able to sleep. I don't know what it is.  I have so many things going wrong, bothering me.  My brother Eddie used to say, I don't know Stan, it's just not good anymore."

"Dad, which doctor are you going to?" 
"Ear, nose and throat guy. I'm taking this medicine he gave me for a week already.  I thought it would work."
"Where is he?"
"It's a half mile walk.  I walk there."
"You might need your gastro doctor on this."
"Well getting to him is a pain in the ass.  He's in Rockville Center."
"So to him you would have to take a cab and pay the piper.  Call me later - let me know what happens."
"O.K. Markie, I will call you later."

I get out of bed, do my morning routine, walk the dogs, have a bowl of cereal. Check my e-mail - there is an e-mail from Jackie - they are having an amazing time.  Walked through the Kibera district, the boys are playing soccer with the team.  Tears are welling up in my eyes.  Jackie writes that she only has a little time and wants to update her blog - but I checked and there's no updates.  I need to send my brothers an e-mail and it's time to go to work as I'm only going to be working like 2 hours and then heading up to Kalispell with Micah.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Got Howie to the Conoco for his ride to gymnastics camp.  Went back home and walked the dogs.  Left the dogs home with Micah still asleep in bed and hoped for the best. Went to work.  On the way stopped at the post office and the bakery.  Work seemed mellow, plenty of workers, not enough customers.   At about 11:30 I called Micah and he didn't answer, so I tried him on his cell and  he answered.  He said Buddy had just woke him up.  I asked him if he wanted me to come home and make him breakfast.  "Yes, please."  So I left work for the day, came home, made Micah his favorite omelette, and stayed home just doing stuff.  Did a carpet check all over the house, but no wet spots.  Yea, Buddy!  Dusted and straightened up in my room and the guest room.  Tried to consolidate some of the boxes of stuff all over my bedroom. Organized some piles of books.  It looks a little bit better.  I need more bins or bookshelves.  At 3:30 Curly brought Cooper and Cody and I loaded up the van and took them and Micah to soccer practice, dropping Howie off at Jackson's on the way.  When I got to Jackson's Denise told me that their baseball game had been cancelled due to a very wet field.  But it was onto soccer practice in Bozeman for me.  If I had known the baseball game was cancelled I would never have hesitated on the soccer driving.  On the way there it poured rain in Gateway, but by the time we got to the fields it was beautiful out.  I walked the dogs and talked to some other soccer parents.  Stephanie and Victor were there on their way to Kalispell right after practice.  At 6:00 pm practice was over and it was back to Bozeman picking Howie up on the way home.  On the way it was raining and totally sunny at the same time.  I drove along the rainbow and told the kids that we were the end of the rainbow.  Once in Big Sky, Sarah, Howie's babysitter called me and met us at the house.  So immediately on arriving home I went over dog care, Howie care, plant care.  Then as soon as she left I put on the Mets game - it was the bottom of the ninth the Mets were up by one run and Howie and I watched as K-Rod walked in the tying run, then gave up the winning hit.  ugh.   Made dinner.  Micah requested pasta with sauce the way Mom makes it with garlic, tomatoes and veggies. He helped pull the veggies out of the fridge, "Can you use asparagus?"  Howie had pasta with butter and parmesan.  After dinner, Howie and I walked the dogs.  When we got back Micah packed his bag for soccer in Kalispell and then after that we went through all his stuff for his canoe trip which he leaves for first thing Monday morning.  We will get home from Kalispell on Sunday night and he needs to be in Bozeman by 9 am Monday morning.  So we got his bags ready.  It's late, but they are still awake watching t.v.  They can sleep in in the morning - Howie has Sarah coming at 1 pm - that's when I hope to leave for Kalispell with Micah.  I'll work in the morning, and then get home and load the car.   Haven't heard from Jackie since Tuesday, no blog, no e-mail, I figure they are busy and not spending any time at the cyber cafe.   

My new bedmate, Buddy

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Micah's New Haircut, Howie with the Flowers, Paul Stocking Beer

Howie's in bed, Micah is watching That 70's Show. It's after 10pm.  First day I didn't have to drive to Bozeman at all. Might have to be the soccer dad tomorrow, hoping not so I can go to Howie's baseball game and watch him pitch. So today began with getting the dogs walked and Howie some breakfast. His 4th day in a row having his chocolate chip pancakes that his mother made him on Sunday morning.  I gave him his usual 2 pancakes warmed up in the microwave, but he only ate one and I kept asking him if everything was O.K., then finally in tears he told me, I sneezed on that one. I offered him another one, but he went downstairs and got dressed.  Then off to the Conoco with the dogs in my car dropping Howie off with Barbara on her way to gymnastics camp in town.  And then off to work I went driving behind a big garbage truck with stirofoam peanuts one by one flying out the top of the truck.  

Work.  I let the dogs out of the car and didn't leash Buddy. Greeted by Paul, the beer driver, restocking beer in the beer aisle.  Crystal looking tired in the produce section.  Went outside to check on Buddy.  He was still there. Chelsea arriving around the same time as me not too excited about rolling the new t-shirts with rubber bands.  Laila cutting a hang nail.  Drew looking a bit tired.  I was feeling up, excited for my time without kids.  Went outside to check on Buddy, not there.  I wandered around outside looking for him calling his name.  No Buddy, went back to the front of the store.  And there he was next to Murray, who I never worry about anymore.  I tied Buddy on the leash and went back inside. Went over the produce order with Crystal, continuously interrupted by other thoughts, she patiently awaited my answers.  I got an e-mail from Jackie, all is great!  Paul went over the beer order with me because he was worried the salesman didn't send near enough beer up for the week, so we did another order of beer and wine that would be brought up later in the day.  

Micah called from Cooper's wondering about his haircut, which I left a message to change yesterday and again this morning, but without word from the salon, but we decided he would go at 2 because that was with Jackie Clack who he preferred to cut his hair.

I did the deposit and walked the dogs over to the bank.  The bank loves dogs and Buddy loves the bank.  He gets biscuits and buries them in the upholstered chair. He runs all over the place and everybody laughs.  I tried to wire Evans the money for Jackie, Andrew and Sawyer's Mt. Kenya trek, but the bank needed street addresses so I had to e-mail him for the info.  Back to the store, I put the dogs in the car and made a few phone calls to make sure Howie would be dropped off at the store even if I weren't there.  I told my employees to feed Howie and let him work.  And I went to the gym to work out  my knee.  I woke up with hip and lower back pain, wondering if I screwed up when I worked out on Monday or was it just too many hours in the car or did I lift something badly.  At the gym I had Chris check out how I used the knee machine and she said I was doing well.  Mark showed me a hip stretch on the ball.  I had a good workout and then it was back to the store just in time to take Micah to his haircut.  

Micah is so funny when it comes to haircuts.  He's like a conoisseur.  Jackie cut his hair, but he wasn't happy - the bangs were too perfect, so she went around and made everything more jagged and less perfect.

Back to the store, Micah had some lunch, and then his friends Cooper and Carly showed up and he left with them. 

Howie and I took Murray and Buddy for a walk behind the store to the river.  Then we went to the baseball field to practice pitching, but there were people using the field already so we went to the nursery to see Kelly (Cooper's Mom) and to buy some flowers to put in our pots at home.  We bought a tray of pansies and some daisies and geraniums and some herbs and some hang over the side plants and of course one spike.  We  took it all home put it out on the front porch and then went down to the yard to play catch.  Howie pitched to me for at least 3o minutes and then we went back up and potted all the flowers.  It was fun.  Howie helped get the flowers out of their little containers and helped design the pots.  It was raining on and off the whole time.  Micah called to get picked up.

After cleaning up and putting the flower pots along the front porch, I left Howie home with the dogs and drove to get Micah and Cooper.  I drove Cooper home, went to the store to grab dinner.  Walked in, no one saw me, grabbed a package of chicken, some garlic and asparagus, and walked out, with still no one seeing me.  Not sure how good that is.  At home, put the Mets game on the tube and started dinner.  Stir fry and rice.

Dinner ready, the three of us ate and then watched the end of the Mets game.  They lost. My Dad called.  We talked for quite awhile, he's coming here on July 4th for 5 weeks.  He told me that they fitted him for a hearing aid at the V.A.. He's excited, but won't get it until some time in late August.  He says his sister paid $6,000 for her hearing aids, and his are free. When he gets home from here, he's flying to Chicago for a week just a few days later.  He told me you can't win baseball games by coming from behind to tie, you have to take the lead.  He told me he has permanent acid reflux, his body is falling apart.  I said, "You're getting old."  He said. "I'm not getting old, I am old."  He is sick of taking pills, he takes too many pills, and he can't really see what he's taking.  "See you soon, sonny."

Howie and I walked the dogs one last time.  Last night I had my first new bed companion, Buddy slept with me the whole night. There's lots of extra room there. He's asleep right now in his own bed, but I'm leaving his door open to see what happens.  Usually we close the door - he sleeps and eats in the guest bathroom, but I think it's time to let him have some freedom.  If he pees downstairs again I'll have to lock him back up at night, but for now we'll give him a chance.

checking in the 50 pound bags of soccer gear.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I just received an e-mail from Ronald saying that Jackie and the boys have arrived safely to Bert's home in Nairobi. Which is what I was telling everybody today.  So let's see what did I do today.  Woke up at 7, walked the dogs, woke up Howie,  fed him breakfast, helped him get ready for gymnastics camp, drove to the conoco, got gas, met Denny who gave me Kuka and Katie M, drove down to the Wades and picked up Jackson and Nickie, and then off to Bozeman.  On the way to Bozeman, about 10 minutes from the gym, I could hear Nickie moaning in the backseat.  "What's going on back there?"
" I don't feel good," Nickie answers.  So I open windows, pull over, get him out of the car, take off his jacket, and make Howie switch seats with him, so he's now sitting in the middle seat, and I give him a plastic bag.  I drive away.  Nickie looks fine, but a few minutes later I see him breathing into the bag.  Whatever works.  We arrive at the camp.  The five of them run in and do their thing.  It is 9:05 am and I don't need to pick them up till noon.  So it's off to do chores.  First stop Staples to buy office supplies for the store, then Pet Smart to buy shampoo and a brush for Buddy, and a toothbrush and toothpaste for Murray.  Then Bob Ward to buy rainpants and a rainjacket for Micah's canoe trip. Success on the pants - found a pair for only $11 that should work.  I gave up on the rain jacket - he will have to borrow my fishing jacket - it's a little too big, but it'll work.  I couldn't spend $60 on something he will never wear.  At all three stores the salespeople were all unbelievably helpful. I was impressed and grateful.
What next?  I walked Buddy.  Murray, I left home with Micah, who I left at home alone, asleep.  He called while I was shopping at Pet Smart.  I called Lance to figure out the weekend soccer tournament plans.  I got back in the car and drove to Town and Country where I bought myself my pretzels.  I also called the store to see if there was anything they needed from town.  We  decided on a couple of watermelons.  I drove to the synagogue to see if the rabbi was there to discuss Micah's Bar Mitvah.  He wasn't.   I also wanted to tell Jenny Rassaby I was sorry, but I was unable to figure out a way to get the kids to jewish camp this week, but she wasn't there and the other people there were all in a meeting.  So I just left.  As I was driving away from Town and Country my phone rang and it was the store - we need a case of potatoes.  "Really?  I'm already gone, I'm sure we will be O.K. on potatoes."  So I drove back and got a case of potatoes. Somehow that all took 2 hours, so I drove to see my friend Alex who is building his family a new house over by Storymill.   When I arrived, Alex was helping one of the workers put up some corrugated steel siding.  Cutting, fitting, and screwing it into the house.  I walked over with Buddy.  Then I watched as 3 guys rolled a garbage pail over to his neighbors house to fill it up with water to clean out some drains, the water to the house was supposed to be turned on today, but it wasn't. Alex and I walked around the house and found the spigot, 2 guys rolled the pail around, one guy drove the lift over.  They cleaned out the pail and discovered it had a hole in it - they tried filling it up anyway. No good, so they go a wheelbarrow, and filled that up and then drove it over and lifted it to the high drain on the rooftop patio. Buddy enjoyed running all over the place.  I tried helping fit the cut out siding to fit around the speakers, and of course I talked to Alex who is planning on working on the house with the crew for the next month.  Then it was back to gymnastics for the noon pick up and the drive back to Big Sky.  The kids ran out of gymnastics and headed to the car. Nickie seemed fine, nothing like a few back flips to fix an uneasy stomach.

All the kids got dropped off at Katie M's house, including Howie.  I drove off, calling Micah, letting him know I was on my way.  As I talked to him I realized I left Buddy at Katie M's and then my call waiting started beeping.  I turned around, said goodbye to Micah and hello to Barbara and told her I was on my way back.  So I picked up Buddy and drove home and got Micah and the back to the store.  Now it was already 2 pm so I had maybe an hour and an half to get some work done.   Which I did, emptying out the car of the store purchases, hearing about scheduling issues, payroll mistakes, answered e-mails, phone calls, did a deposit, walked to the bank with the dogs, on the way dropped off a bottle of Siduri wine for Beth's 40th birthday who was absolutely thrilled -"Beth, you're my oldest friend in Big Sky", bought change and before I knew it, it was 3:25 pm.  Time to find Micah, who had just returned to the store, and now go pick up his friend Cooper and drive back to Bozeman in time for their 4:30 soccer practice.  

When I got out of the canyon I had 2 voice mails on my phone.  Christian asking about coming early to the Baked Moose opening day softball games at 5:30 and Sarah calling about babysitting for Howie and the dogs this weekend.  I returned the calls.  About 5 minutes away from the field and it was almost 4:30 I turned around and asked the boys if they were dressed for practice.  Cooper said he would change in the bathroom at the field. I told them to change in the car, and I would try not to drive by any teenage girls who might try to look in and see them changing.  We ended up at the fields at exactly 4:30.  I let the dogs out of the car, and chatted with some other parents for a little while.  And then it was off to pick up the t-shirts that the screen printer had called and told me were ready a couple of hours earlier while I was at the store.

Is anyone out there still reading this?   

The I took the dogs to Cooper Park because I had like 20 minutes that were not planned.  Then I  bought a $5 pizza at Little Caesars, put it in the trunk, otherwise Buddy would eat it.  He dug a pen out of my box and chewed it up, he found Howie's leftover snack and chewed it up through the ziplock bag, and I hardly ever left him in the car for more than 5 minutes.  

Back to the field where I walked the dogs some more and ran into Amy Stefan who was at the field collecting even more soccer equipment.  I gave here a hug and talked about Jackie and the boys, and then it was finally time to head home with Micah, Cooper, Cody and Isabella.  Yes, a couple of kids already in Bozeman needing a ride home from practice. They found the pizza and devoured it. And then realizing I had no more water we stopped at the 4 corners Conoco where the kids all bought liter sodas for only $1 each.   That pumped them up with sugar and made the ride home very talkative and silly.  When we got to Big Sky it was just in time to catch most of the 2nd game of our softball doubleheader.  Howie was there, left by Denise who called me as I was driving home to let me know he was there.  We had lost the first game, but were winning the second game handedly. Lots of Baked Moose jerseys everywhere.  People were having a blast, and best of all we were winning by playing good defense and hitting the ball. 

Game over, Micah and his friends started playing on the field. Finally I get them all to the car and Micah asks if he can sleep over Cooper's.  I call all the parents to make sure all is good and then I drop off all the emerging teens at the Hungry Moose, which is kind of the neighborhood kid hangout, especially since they often get lots of free stuff when they hang out with Micah.  Howie and I were about to head home when I remembered we needed ice cream so we went in and got some treats.  Micah and his friends were all sitting in the dining area eating novelty ice creams.  Howie and I picked out our ice cream treats to bring home and then I remembered the shirts were in the car so I brought them in and then Howie and I finally went home.  I fed the dogs.  I fed Howie and then we took the dogs for  a walk.  And showered and had ice cream and watched baseball together.  Howie went to sleep which is what I need to do now.  But Maybe I should try to figure out how to load pictures onto this blog first...

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Departure

They are on their way.  On maybe 3 hours of sleep I drove them to the airport.  The entire Kesselheim family arrived with Sawyer moments after I parked our car.  The three of them proceeded to check their 6 fifty pound bags full of used soccer balls, soccer shoes, pumps and jerseys.  Each bag was overweight by a pound or two and so they manipulated the luggage as best they could pulling out as little as possible.  Mary Pat was really bumming that some jerseys didn't make it in. I now  have about 5-10 pounds of used soccer equipment in a bag in the garage.  Ruby fixed the collar on my jacket. Last minute instructions, hugs all around, pictures, smiles.  Al told Jackie if Sawyer gets up in the middle of the night and is on a mission to go somewhere and do something shake him until he wakes up!  

After about 2o minutes of hanging around saying goodbye near the check in we walked them up the stairs and said goodbye again.  Before going through Andrew gave me one more hug over the security line.  Jackie stopped herself before going and said to me - I haven't given you a proper goodbye.  We hugged and kissed and those tears welled up in my eyes.  My tears are love security.  I told them I would wait until I could see that they got through security O.K.  You can see the boarding area through some giant glass windows.  

As they walked through security I walked down the stairs with Mary Pat and Al.  Mary Pat told me that I should stop by anytime, especially if I needed help with Micah and Howie.  I told her not to worry, I would be stopping by if for nothing else, just to say Hi.  We're family now, I told her, like it or not we are family and I want to keep track of what's going on with Al as well.  I still had those tears in my eyes and stopped to get a cup of coffee and then went back upstairs and waited for them to walk by with all their carry ons.  It took them about 10 minutes to get through security, but there they were, Jackie's eyes looking for me.  We waved, through kisses and I wandered out of the airport to my car and drove the hour back home.

Yesterday was final preparations.  It rained on and off all day.  We gave Buddy a bath.  When it finally stopped raining I put down a new top layer of soil in the vegetable garden.  I tried to walk the dogs, but it started to pour again.  Howie and I  watched the Mets get killed by the Yankees, 15-0.  Andrew and his friend Grant jumped on the trampoline inbetween rain drops and played pool.  Jackie ran down to the library and put some final touches on some bookmarks that local kids made for the kids in Kenya.  I sat on the porch and read watching the rain.  When the rain finally stopped Jackie and I planted the vegetable garden with beets, carrots, spinach, lettuce, some red onions and zucchini.  Who knows how well it will do.  It's a total learning experience for me.

There was a beautiful brilliant super bright half rainbow over Ramshorn Peak looking out our picture window.  Always a good omen.  I made dinner, a cheeseburger and guacomole for Andrew and Grant, Andrew's favorite meal.  A chicken and pasta dish as well.  After dinner I glanced at the television  The Lakers were destroyng the Magic to win the NBA Championship. And then it was the usual last minute stuff, Jackie on the computer thinking of things, telling me things, making phone calls.  Finally in bed around 11, snuggling with Howie.  I kept getting out of bed and looking for things for Jackie.  Howie moaning impatiently wanting those last minute snuggles.   

O.K. I get going, need to wake up Howie and take him to his ride for gymnastics camp!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And So It Begins...

Jackie, Andrew and his friend Sawyer leave for Kenya tomorrow morning leaving Micah, Howie and me with our dogs, Murray and Buddy and our cat Ziggy and our business, The Hungry Moose Market and Deli for 5 weeks.  The last 5 weeks of our lives have been more than dedicated to preparing them for their trip (check out their blog Andrew and Sawyer Kickin' It in Kenya). Jackie lost her voice last week, and just mentioned as she is making pancakes for Howie that she thinks her voice has permanently changed, my reply, " I don't know who you are anymore."  

Thinking back to the day we met 23 years ago, I can't recall being apart from each other for this long, nor away from Andrew for this long in his 16 years...