Sunday, July 26, 2009

Up again at 2 am.  Slept for 3 hours, but now I'm up eyes itching, sneezing, awake.  

Friday was an extremely busy day at the store.  The tourists, the second home owners, everybody is here, it's the end of July, what I call prime summer, busy, busy, busy.  Andrew worked his first full day, there was plenty of help, so things went pretty smoothly.  I did have to have a conversation with an employee about dealing with stress, putting on a happy face, taking deep breaths, and smiling to the customers, but that was actually a good thing.  I was there to make the save with the customer, fix it, and move on.  Not in the mood to go into detail with this one.

Friday night we had our first family dinner with all of us since Jackie and Andrew's return.  I bought some fresh sushi tuna, and Jackie did most of the prep work, and we had a wonderful sushi dinner.  Jackie also cooked the boneless chicken thighs she had prepped the night before (remember the chicken thighs?) in a sweet style stir fry. She actually rolled the chicken is seaweed with rice and veggies. They were really good, but just weird to have "chicken sushi" It was Andrew's first night sleeping at home except for the very first night.  He had slept at his friend Grant's house Wednesday and Thursday night.  I saw Grant's parents on Friday at the store and I asked them both, "How's it having your son, Andrew back?"  They both laughed and said, "It's great we missed him, it's nice having him back on his couch." 

It was nice to have everybody at the table.  Which we did again for a late breakfast this morning.  I asked Andrew to tell a story about Kenya and he told the story about losing all his money and having to take a boda boda ride home on a super uncomfortable seat and having to walk uphill and then ride downhill and then eventually had to walk the rest of the way home.

Tired from work and a scrumptious sushi dinner, Friday night was actually the first night I slept through the night, fell asleep after putting my book down and didn't really wake up until morning.  Jackie was already up and out in the living room on her computer.  I read in bed for awhile and wandered out of the bedroom after 8.  Jackie and I then took the dogs for a walk behind the house and up the hill.  It was a beautiful morning, a nice walk, I don't really remember what we talked about.  Back at home, it was already 10:30 I started breakfast, making coffee, and pulling stuff out of the fridge.  Everybody was awake and ready for us to return, hungry and wanting breakfast.  I put on some potatoes and started chopping onions, and when all was ready we sat down for our family breakfast.

After breakfast I needed to head to the store to help get a grocery delivery done.  It was about noon.  I left with Jackie on the phone and Andrew and Micah planning to head to town together in Andrew's summer car (the store delivery truck).  The order was ready when I got there, so Dan and I loaded my car and took it up to Spanish Peaks.  Then back to the store where the lunch counter was busy, so I took it over and helped for about half an hour working the deli register. Then I started heading home, but remembered the pork shoulder which was supposed to come in yesterday and I never delivered it, so I went back to the store tracked down my customer and offered to bring it up to her.  Luckily for me she was on her way down to the store anyway and would pick it up herself.  Andrew and Micah arrived at the store to get some smoothies and snacks and were sitting in the deli area, so I checked in on them, told them to have fun and drive safe.  Meanwhile Jackie called me for more nori sheets, we were going to make sushi for dinner again.  Gail and Alex were coming to spend the night with their girls Anna and Laila, and go to the Bozeman Symphony concert together. When I called Jackie on my way home for real this time after 2 pm she said they were on their way and should be up in half an hour.  

Home at last, Jackie off the phone, Gail and Alex arrived around 3 and the fun began.  Alex and I headed down to the river with Murray for some fishing.  I caught the biggest fish ever, a 20 inch brown trout!  Super exciting. One of the great things is that I caught the fish with a fly that my employee Dan had tied the night before and had just given me.   Alex caught a couple of nice rainbows, one of which took a couple of big jumps and splashes and broke away before we could see how big it was.  It's fun to catch those feisty fish.   It was beautiful down by the river, miraculously the only other fisherman we saw were walking to their car as we crossed the highway.  Perfect conditions, cloud cover and tons of bugs.  

Back at the house, it was time for another wonderful sushi dinner. And then a quick clean up and off to the symphony in Gail and Alex's VW bus.  Another whirlwind concert event with great music and great friends.  The weird thing about the symphony which I had never been to before (it is an annual Big Sky event) is that it appears that one is supposed to be quiet. Not the usual for a Big Sky music event.  I found Sabine, already 12 days old, and as soon as I got her in my arms Jackie found me and stole her away.  Howie and Anna ran around, Grandpa sat and listened and really enjoyed the music.  The weather was beautiful and sunny, which is funny because when we left our house it was raining, but it looked like it was clearing back at the concert area and it was, it was hot and sunny!  The concert ended early with the famous 1812 Overture with it's 17 gun salute - by 8:30 - way before dark, so back home where it was all about getting ready for bed and who was going to sleep where.  Howie is alseep in the VW van in the driveway by himself!  That's Howie.

Oh yeah, the moose antler on our porch.  This morning I noticed this giant brown cluster attached to one of the prongs of the moose antler on the banister of our front porch.  Looking closely I saw that it was a giant cluster of baby spiders, at least 100 of them placed inside a spider web.  Well, last night when we got home they were dispersing, blowing in the wind and crawling all over the web.  Just wild.  Alex was loving it.

Well, I took lots of pictures so I will post them, they too kind of tell the story of the day. Hopefully I will be able to get some sleep now.  

Friday, July 24, 2009

They're Back

Strange.  Internet not working as if the phone lines were dead.  Kind of like what happened at the store today when the phones were acting weird, not ringing on the first line, only the second line, then the visa machines stopped working, there were lots of glitches with the phones.

And so now at 11:30 pm on a Thursday night, something’s not working.  I need to reboot the router and see what happens, but in the meantime the computer is working so I can just write.  When I feel like stretching I will reboot the router…

So I have lost my routine.  Jackie and Andrew have returned, arriving at around 11 pm on Tuesday night.  Tuesday morning I crawled out of bed later than I wanted to since I was up for at least 3 hours in the middle of the night.  Anxious, watching their flights progress over the internet, and also my allergies, probably the medicine, but if I didn’t take the medicine, I’d probably be unable to breathe.  Unable to breathe vs. unable to sleep… hmmmm… staying awake which I am doing now gives me the time to think and write and read. 

So Tuesday, was a hectic enough work day.  I had one new worker helping relieve stress by doing lots of grunt work.  I told him when I hired him you will be doing lots of grunt work, washing dishes, cleaning windows, sweeping, restocking, slicing, dirty work.  He was fine with that.  He helped unload the truck and Micah was working as well. 

Now, Micah has been home sick for a day and a half.  Jackie had to take him to Bozeman today to our pediatrician.  He’s been coughing, feverish, shortness of breath.  Dr. Feist, who has been his doctor literally since the second he was born tested him for lots of things, but it’s just a virus and he needs to rest.  Thank God Jackie was back because today I had a somewhat busy, stressful work day and I was needed at the store.  If she were still in Kenya I would have had to figure things out from the road plus take care of Dad and Howie…

Back to Tuesday, I think we all worked until after 5.  Oh yeah, I went home around 11, took my stuck together rod to the fishing shop, then moved laundry along, washing my sheets and Dad’s sheets, making beds.  Howie had gymnastics camp from 12:30 – 4:00, so that kept him busy and out of the store for the afternoon.  Micah helped put the Associated order away.  And now that I think about it, things did go pretty smoothly.  It was the night of the Big Sky Food Festival which I always have fun at, but this year I would have to drive to the airport after it, so I had to resist drinking too much wine, which, with all my wine salesmen there wanting me to try some different wines, wasn’t going to be that easy.  As always I was bouncing socially from one person to another, a bunch of employees were there having fun, and then just lots of people I know.  Everyone asking for Jackie and me saying, I pick her up tonight.

Another whirling dervish of a moth hits the computer screen, flies around and around the chandelier then lands on the wall. 

When we got home from the store, Grandpa, Howie and I watched the Mets game.  Santana was pitching and the Mets won.  I ended up watching the whole game and it was after 7 by the time we went down to the Food Fest,  Micah suggested we ride our bikes which was a great idea.  We didn’t leave the Food Fest until 9:15, so we were cutting it close as far as needing to leave for the airport.  We road our bikes home. Micah said he puked on the way home. When we got home I had Howie walk the dogs and that is when I discovered that Murray was still in the car.  No one had let her out when we got home and both Micah and Howie were sitting with her, but both of them just got out of the car and closed the door behind them.  I was pissed, yelling at them and then yelling at my dad who didn’t go with us because I fed him a big late lunch around 3 pm but who didn’t warm up a slice of pizza for himself. So I put the oven on, threw a slice of pizza in the oven, had Howie walk the dogs.  I took a quick shower, looked on the computer and saw that the plan was arriving 15 minutes early at 10:45, it was almost 10, we had to leave, then I realized I had to set up the guest room for Grandpa since he moved out of Andrew’s room to the guest room upstairs.  That took like 5 fast paced minutes, Howie put on jammies, the boys and the dogs got into the car and off we went.  Micah asked me to turn off the airconditioner in the car because he was cold.  It was pretty hot in the car.

We got to the airport at about 11 pm.  I parked in the front. Put the dogs on leashes and walked down the sidewalk through the doors into the arrival section and there they were talking to the Kesselheims.  Howie ran up to Mommy and wouldn’t let go.  Micah had needed to go to the bathroom, but he said hello to everyone first, then gave me the leash to one of the dogs and went off to the bathroom.  I gave Andrew a big hug then Jackie a little kiss and hug hello.  I gave Sawyer a hug and Al and Marypat.  Al’s parents were there and Jackie introduced me to them.  They were all going on a paddling trip down the Salmon River the next afternoon, including Sawyer if he felt up for it.  Ruby was so happy to see her brother.  It was very sweet to see the reunion.  Andrew’s friend Sophie was at the airport to welcome him back as well.   Then the luggage came around.  I stood back talking to Al’s parents and holding the dogs, while everyone else chatted away as they found their bags off the conveyer belt.  Then we gathered everything, said our goodbyes, and loaded up the car.  About 10 minutes from the airport my cell phone rang, it was the sheriff at the airport, I gave the phone to Jackie, he had one of our bags.  So I turned around and we headed back to the airport.  I was tired, but I had actually made myself some coffee before we left the house which I drank as I drove to the airport.  So we got back to the airport, Jackie went in and got the backpack Andrew had inadvertently left it while waiting for the luggage.  He had taken it off to give hugs and then just forgot it.  Jackie also found the video camera so Andrew could show Micah and Howie some safari footage as I finally drove home to Big Sky.

As soon as we got home, Andrew showered.  Everyone was excited, but tired.  Jackie’s head hit the pillow and she slept well, like she always does.  I was a bit wired from the driving and the coffee and the excitement and eventually got out of bed and read on the couch in the living room  until about 5 am. Got back into bed and finally fell asleep.  At 6 am Buddy woke me up barking loudly and suddenly, he was barking at grandpa who had gotten up to go the bathroom.  I yelled at Buddy, “Stop it, it’s just grandpa.”  And he stopped.  Back in bed I fell asleep until my cell phone rang at 7:30.  It was the plumber for the house in Bozeman.  I told him about the faucets and the tenants desire for a dishwasher and then went back to bed for maybe another hour.  Then it was up to walk the dogs, make coffee, start prepping a big welcome home breakfast. 

We sat around the house, Jackie pulled out her goody bag of presents, my super bright tailor made Kenyan shirt. Andrew and Sawyer picked out the fabric and had a tailor in Kwisero make. Necklaces, beaded bracelets, wood carved animals, a mask. And we just sat around and talked.  At about 3 pm Howie, Grandpa and I headed down to the store.  I figured I could get a little work done and give Jackie some alone time.  Andrew had already been picked up by Grant, and he is sleeping there again tonight.  So, yes I have hardly seen Andrew since he’s been back – the only meal we have had together was the welcome breakfast which I cooked up Wednesday morning and we all sat out on the back porch eating together.

So we got to the store and Howie helped put the Nature’s Best order away.  I walked around in flip flops and my bright yellow Kenyan shirt and did a little bit of work so as not to be as far behind on Thursday.

We got home around 5:30, watched the Mets lose another one. 

Jackie cooked up dinner, a pork tenderloin that I had brought home a few days ago.  So for the first time in quite awhile I had a home cooked meal that I didn’t cook.  At one point I remember saying I had to water the flowers and Jackie said “I watered them earlier.”  I laughed and smiled, “What do you know, I have a partner.”

Again I didn’t sleep that well and was up on the couch reading.

Then up late at 8:30, walked the dogs, because Jackie had to take Micah to town for a doctor’s appointment and then off to work.  I got to work at around 9:30, really just in time.  I missed Laila who was only working from 6 – 9 to get the FSA order done.  Brian pulled in right behind me as did a wine salesman.  I sat down with Brian and gave him Laila’s order.  Then I talked with the wine salesman in the wine section.  He was impressed, we had sold a bunch of his wine over the last week.  There was a produce order to do – the one we forgot to do on Monday.  Whenever it gets super busy were never totally ready.  There was a bunch of wine to put away.  And there was the delivery which I was supposed to do at 10, but we hadn’t even started shopping it yet. Mariusz called and told me he would call me in an hour or so when he was heading back up to the house.  So that worked out well enough.  Howie called me, he wanted me to come and get him.  He was going to play with his buddy Holden.  Grandpa said he was ready so I went home and got them and the dogs.  When I got back Mariusz called and said he was heading back up to the house.  So I loaded the car with the groceries.  Andrew showed up and he ordered lunch and was helping at the register. He helped me load the car.  When the car was loaded I got my Dad and we went up the mountain.  I kind of forgot about Howie, but he had connected with his friend and his father came and got him.  I called down to the store later and checked in and asked Lauren what had happened with Howie and she kind of knew.  When we got back to the store from the delivery I called over to Howie’s friend’s house and all was good.  While we were out on the delivery I gave my Dad a tour of Moonlight, not sure what he was able to see, but we did spot a couple of marmots wandering around a couple of mansions up there.

When we got back from the mountain, the Bronken’s truck was in the loading dock so I knew I was needed to help figure out where to put all the beer and wine.  With Lauren’s help they figured out where to put the beer, I helped them locate the wines, they actually seem to know where things go for the most part now.  The George’s wine delivery guys totally left me a mess – they’re new and don’t know what they are doing.  Training the delivery guys is exhausting and non-stop.  I need to hire a wine person or train someone and give them a wine designed schedule.  There are so many details, ugh! 

At Farmer’s Market today Jackie and I were joking how we did everything ourselves, Matt and Prysemslaw were joking how now I have to hire 3 people to do what I did myself and I joked back it’s more like 23 people.

So the day rolled along like that, Jackie called with the doctor’s report on Micah, before I knew it, it was time to set up for Farmer’s Market, then the phone fiasco, which somehow Lauren and I figured out after calling the phone company asking for help which did not come.  Then it was 5 pm and Farmer’s market was on.  At about 5:30 Dad and I started to walk over, and as we did Jackie drove up in the van, so I walked back to where she was parking the car and we wandered to the market together.  Immediately she saw someone – it was Jill – and they talked and talked and I wandered on, checking on our tent, the weather was slowly changing, there was a thunderstorm with lightning flashes in the distance.  So I wandered around on my own and socialized, checking back on Jackie’s progress as she slowly wandered from one conversation to another.  It’s quite a scene at Farmer’s market, especially when Jackie and I think of when we first started a Farmer’s Market before we had the store, in front of the old Blue Grouse office in the West Fork, not too far from where our store is today.  Things do change in 15 years.

At about 6:30 the storm blew in, taking a tent or two with it.  We helped break down our tent and helped the potter next to us by holding her tent down, until she could get all her stuff put away.  It was a bit crazy and soon the wind turned into a rainstorm.  Most people had already broken down and put everything away, but there were some people stuck waiting out the storm. 

Back at the store, the store was a zoo, people everywhere, the deli slammed, the grocery busy. I helped by moving our help around – sending help to the deli.  Then I just had to go home.  When I got home I was greeted with, “Oh you’re home already.  I didn’t expect you for awhile.”  Jackie was cutting up some boneless chicken thighs and was disgusted and wanted breasts, but we were out of breasts, and she was pissed off.  “Maybe I should leave and come back,” I said and she replied, “Yes, maybe you should.”  I fed the dogs and then took them for a walk and contemplated going back out to the free Thursday night music concert which I had planned on going to, but came home instead.  When I got back from walking the dogs I took a shower, my allergies getting to me, my eyes itching like crazy,  (they are still itching me like crazy!).  By the time I got out of the shower dinner was almost ready, and it was going on 9 pm.  So we had dinner, a pasta dish with vegetables, Jackie didn’t use the chicken.  And a salad.  A glass of wine to cool down the nerves.  Micah and Howie sat criss cross from each other and fought with dirty looks, stupid words, the usual.  I ignored it and Jackie got pissed at them, somehow I kept my mouth shut.  Reality sucks. 

I asked Howie some questions about his day, repeated myself three times and Howie just smiled, but didn’t answer.  Jackie got mad at him, but he still never answered any of my questions. Not sure what was going through that little head of his, but he never answered the simple question, “What did you do with Holden today?”

After dinner, Jackie snuggled on the couch with Howie.  Micah went downstairs to sit in front of the t.v.. Grandpa helped me clean up and then I set him up directly in front of the Yankees game sitting on the edge of the bed, one foot from the television screen.

I finished cleaning up, then gathered up the boys for desert, and put them into bed.  I got into bed with a book as did Jackie.  Then I heard coughing from downstairs.  So I went down to check on them.  Jackie was already sound asleep.  Micah and Howie were wide awake and talking.  Jackie heard me get up and followed me downstairs.  I moved Howie into Andrew’s bed,  Jackie tucked in Micah and then we were both back in bed.  She fell asleep quickly and I continued to read, I’m almost done with this book, but I stopped reading to journal all this, will go back to it after I am done here.

So they are back.  And it is as if they never left, but there is that knowledge that they were away and they did experience an entirely different reality, and things should be different then they were before and they are, but it’s more abstract.  It is obvious to me that Jackie and I need more space from each other than ever before and we needed more space from each other before she left for the trip – it’s that separate, then come together, separate, then come together.  It’s a challenge. But it’s beautiful and it’s love.  Andrew probably wants more distance from his family than ever before – he appreciates his family, but needs distance.  Love and distance, we spend our entire lives figuring out who we are and do we ever find out?

And Jackie is experiencing Stan at 79, the questions, the lack of hearing, the mumbling, the miscommunication, the need for an extraordinary amount of patience, but the rewards if you can be as patient as a saint. 

The crowded house which is only going to be more and more crowded for most of the summer…the only way for me to have time to be alone is to enjoy and make use of my insomnia.  The only problem with that is I need to be not cranky during the day.

I am happy they are back.  I am. I really am. The adventure continues…


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

up in the middle of the night
new moon tonight, which means no moon,
stars are unbelievable, plentiful and bright,
a shooting star

check in on their flight status
they are in the air, starting their trip over the pond
from London to Newark, it's 4 am montana time
they have over 7 hours in the air before they arrive to Newark

check e-mail and there are a dozen photos from their host Bertil
the three travelers on their last day in Nairobi,
checking in on Our Kids in Kibera
at the airport checking in to their first flight
and their journey home

my allergies are stuffing up my nose
and burning my eyes
need to get back to bed
and get the second half 
of my often interrupted sleep

Monday, July 20, 2009

Margy thinks I should take some time off from writing.

A fireworks bangs.  Buddy pops out to the back porch, Murray is probably heading for the tub.
Buddy comes back in and lays down on the couch on a pillow, his head hanging over the arm of the couch.
An orange moth, a whirling dervish dances incredibly around the chandelier and the kitchen table where I write.
If it lands I will attemp to catch it in my hand and take it back outside.  I'm getting dizzy trying to follow it.

Today was a typical Monday.  I walk in the door at the store and I'm told the oven is leaking gas and everyone is dying of headaches and dizziness and oh my god.  Supposedly this has been going on all weekend, but no one called me and no one at the softball game on Sunday said anything about it.  So I call the propane company and have them come in and check for leaks. He comes later in the day, and we test the oven together and we agree there is nothing wrong with it, it just needs to be cleaned.  

And like any Monday I have trouble getting my work done.  Lauren and I have a job interview to conduct, I have phone calls to make, a desk to clean up, special orders to deal with, plus the usual bill paying and accounting.    At 1 pm Margy calls me and we just make up that Howie will come over at 2.  She talks to me about Jackie coming back and how she saw me driving by with my dad chatting away the other day and how this time together is so special. I can only agree. At 1:45 I call my Dad to see if  he wants me to pick him and Micah up for lunch anytime soon - he says to give him an half an hour.  I go home around 2:30 and he's still not ready to go anywhere, so I do a couple of things around the house and then we go back to the store for a very late lunch. I then finish up my work and we head out around 5pm. Micah wants to go to the skatepark so first we go to pharmacy so I can pick up some allergy prescriptions and Dad can get his happy pill prescription filled.   We take Micah to the skatepark and I take Dad home. On the way we stop and pick up Howie from Margy who has a surprise for Mommy and me for tomorrow.  Howie stays home and puts on the Mets game for Grandpa and himself to watch.  The Mets are already winning 4 - 0.  Then Murray and I go back to the skatepark and pick up Micah and we head out fishing to the same hole I went with Dan the other day, the fish were biting, but I was off, I couldn't catch a fish, Micah caught a few, but the stream was not near as hot as it was the other day. I was getting frustrated watching Micah, it was the first time I've set up 2 rods one for him and one for me, and every time I looked at Micah he seemed to be having trouble, but that's the only way he's going to learn.  And he actually did very well. I was off, a bit tense from my busy non stop day, and just not able to set the hook when I got bites. Then m y rod got stuck turned the wrong way and stuck together - I can't turn it or take it apart.  It's a bummer, but I will have to deal with it tomorrow as if I tried too hard to get it apart I would probably break it.  

After fishing, home around 8 pm I grilled a big sirloin and made a big salad.  Howie made himself some mac and cheese and we all sat down for a nice meal together, one of the few that the 4 of us had at home together.  After dinner Howie took Buddy for a walk, and I took a shower.  I made Micah take a shower as soon as we got home from fishing. He sat next to me in the car and he stunk.  He hadn't showered or changed his underwear since Friday. 

After my shower I checked on the boys watching t.v. and got Howie to take his first shower in a couple of days.   I put in a load of laundry.   Then I headed upstairs and remembered, the ingredients sitting on the kitchen counter, I wanted to make a strawberry rhubarb pie with the rhubarb from the farm.  So it's in the oven sizzling away.  We shall see how it turns out.  

So now I should go check on the boys again,  I want them to go to bed, we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.  I checked over the internet and it appears Jackie and Andrew's first flight had arrived in London.  I don't think their flight from London to Newark leaves until 3:30 am Montana time, so they have a long layover in London.  I wonder if they were going to try to do something there?

My pie is sizzling in the oven, overflowing and burning on the bottom of the oven, I think I must have put the crust on wrong, I didn't seal it well enough, the pie is sizzling outside the rim of the pie plate,  but we shall see, it still has 20 more minutes to bake...

the boys are already in bed, they actually listened to me tonight, excited for tomorrow, another long day to be, Micah is working tomorrow, Howie has gymnastics camp, it's the Big Sky Food Festival in the evening and if everything goes right we will be heading to the airport around 10 pm to pick up Mommy and Andrew.

A couple of more moths, one sitting on the chandelier another whirling around.  I can probably save the one at rest. Mission accomplished after  one failed attempt I successfully caught it and release it outside.  I guess moth catching is just like fishing...

Gail called this morning, they're going to come up on Saturday for the Symphony. Sunday Jackie's Boston College roommates arrive for a week of Big Sky fun, so the craziness of summer continues...

I saw Amber today and asked for Devon, I'm going through withdrawal...

there goes the timer...time to take my pie out of the oven... let it cool overnight... 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

5:30 am crescent moon, walking the dogs, boys at the grill, girls on the porch, stormy skies, rainbow

Sunday morning, favorite morning of the week, no intention of working, no real plans, sleep in, read my book, ride the bike, watch the British Open, check my e-mails, new e-mails from Jackie, Dad wakes up, I go out with the dogs, it's overcast today, not near as hot as yesterday, think about fishing, watch more golf, Tom Watson is still either leading or tied for the lead, he's today's story, the guy to root for, 59 year old hero. 

So we watch the golf, Dad, Howie and I don't eat breakfast until after 12. We are glued to the golf.  Watson chokes on his final put on the 18th and the tournament goes into overtime.  I call Jackie, she answers, I tell her, I have a little boy here who wants to talk to his mamma.  They talk for 10 minutes or so, which is great.  Howie gives me the phone and we talk for a few minutes, she's at dinner with a bunch of people so we cut it short, she will be home in 2 days.

We watch the extra 4 holes, Watson loses, Cink wins.  We eat breakfast, Dad takes a shower, Howie and I play basketball in the driveway.  I do a quick car wash, then the three of us take the dogs for a walk.  It looks like it's going to storm, we get home before the rain hits, it never really seems to hit, there's thunder, there's lightning, very little rain.  A little before 4 pm I head to the baked moose softball double header.  I leave Dad and Howie in front of the Mets game.  The Baked Moose gets off to a great start scoring a bunch of runs in the first inning.  Micah calls me at 4:30, he's at the Hungry Moose, he had taken the bus from Bozeman and got dropped off at the store, does not want to go to the ballfield, he's tired and wants to go home.  So I leave the game, pick him up and take him home.  He looks absolutely exhausted, he had a great time at the fair.  About 30 seconds after he gets home he is fighting with Howie, so I send him downstairs, away from Howie.  Not sure were my father is, but I just leave and go back to the softball games.  We are winning big and end up winning the first game easily.  The second game we just can't seem to keep it up and we lost that one, almost make a comeback, but its too little too late.

Then it's home for a barbecue at the neighbor's house.  Chris and Mike do it again, having a bunch of people over and it's very social, and fun, but no kids there but Micah and Howie (the fighters) and Chris and Mikes 3 year old twins. Micah is starving, but the foods not ready, appetizer comes out and I feed him, then when dinner is ready I get him a plate right away, and then he goes home.  I'm hanging out with Dan, Mike, Ty, Christian, Chris, Laura, Amy, Stephanie, Pride, Grandpa Stan.  It is a fun gathering, it's storming out there, sky opens up and it just pours and then we get rainbows.  Always a good sign.  Dan and I were talking about happiness and sadness.  He says his goal is to have all the bad moments in a small pile that he can step over and all the golden mountains to be a mountain in front of him that he can't see over. I was telling him about this article I read which talked about how sadness can sit heavy on you and stick around while happiness is fleeting.  He disagreed, he felt that he sat on happiness and let the sadness be fleeting.  Is it really all out about attitude and perception?

So all I need to do is hang out with Dan as much as possible and learn to be happy and positive.  Interestingly enough I am usually very happy when I am hanging out with Dan.

Amy sat with my Dad and they talked about him working for his father-in-law at his bakery and how they didn't get along, but now much later in life he realizes that that probably had a lot to do with him as well.  "It takes two to tango." Amy was asking him about my brothers, and just making nice conversation with my old man. She is such a sweetheart. Dad thinks all the women in Big Sky look alike.  They are all blonde and beautiful.  I told him when he meets people or sees them again, he just needs to ask them who they are.  They all know he has trouble seeing.  On our way home from the party, Dad said to me, "You and Jackie have made a really great life for yourselves here, and for the kids, when you first moved to Montana I wasn't so sure..."  

After taking Dad home, just needed to walk him down their driveway and up ours - actually Howie was lighting off some fireworks with Mike and Christian, so we stopped to watch the light show and then I took Dad home, needed to escort him home because it was dark and he can't see.  Couldn't take the shortcut, no banister, no light and a lot of uneven ground.  After taking him home I went back to the party to say good night to all, thank Mike and Chris for another great party, and to get Howie and go back home to wind down.  First I had to take Buddy for a short walk, Murray was still in the bathtub downstairs scared from all the thunder and the fireworks. Then I took a shower, and now I'm writing.  

Dad just walked over after turning off the t.v. And had this funny smile on his face.  I got up and gave him a big hug and a kiss, "I love you Mawkie," "I love you, too."  It makes him very happy to see me hanging out with all these great friends.  We were all talking about Jackie and Andrew coming back, and I'm very honest, I'm very excited, but I'm nervous.  It's all going to be great, but it's going to take some time.  Today as I was driving to the softball games Margy was outside so I stopped to talk to her.  Howie wants to see her tomorrow, so I set that up.  Margy was telling me that when Jim used to go away a lot and come back it was always hard and it was best if he just went to work.  Margy told me to go to work a lot and give Jackie time and space to get back into her Big Sky life.  Good Ol' Margy.

So I sat there with my friends and my Dad and we just chatted away.   They are all hiking to Windy Pass for an adult overnight on Wednesday.  A little too soon for me to join in, but I'd be happy to commandeer an empty house for the night...

So I said good night and headed home.  And here I am again trying to remember things.  Howie was hysterically funny today while we played basketball.  We were playing horse and he kept dribbling to my car and reading off the license plate and the make of the car then running back and missing the layup.  If he made it I was supposed to do everything he did. He ended up beating me 2 out of 3 like he usually does.  He's becoming a good little shooter.  He can be so funny, I wish I could remember all of his gems and grandpas gems.

Today while we walking the dogs, Dad kept telling me about his cousin Sylvia, and that his grandmother had 4 uncles, or was it his mother? and that Sylvia was beautiful when she was younger but now she was 92 and she had a lot of trouble walking.  He called her recently and she loves to talk.  And I was trying to understand all the relationships, but unless I'm sitting in front of the computer while he tells me I will never get it straight.  There seem to be a lot of big families from back in eastern europe.  His grandfather had 4 brothers?  I think that's what he said and one of his brothers came with him to America.  That's the grandfather that brought us to America, that's the one were supposed to say, "Thanks, Pop," to.

Time to check on the kids.
So I just put the boys to bed for the night.  Howie was telling me some dream he had last night. He kept saying how hard it was to explain.  He was walking around, but had trouble keeping his eyes open, and when he was finally able to keep his eyes open he woke up.  "But there was more to dream than that, there were these other 2 people I was with and we had a flashlight and when you shined the flashlight everything was blurry, but without the flashlight everything was completely dark. I don't know, it's hard to explain."  He had such a cute smile on his face and kept shaking his head as he told me about it.

Meanwhile Micah was brushing his teeth and taking out his contacts and Howie was asking me if it was possible to be almost falling out of your bed and still stay asleep and then we were talking about the time Micah fell out of the top bunk and miraculously landed in a radio flyer wagon full of stuffed animals that Grandma Pearl had made.  He still bumped himself, but he was fine.  I remember that fall.  I was asleep upstairs and woke to a big thud.  I ran downstairs and found Micah half asleep and half dazed in the corner of his room - he actually fell off the head of the bunk bed, not the side, and somehow did break his fall in all those soft stuffed animals.  Who knows exactly what happened, no one witnessed it and he was asleep, but he was O.K.  

So then I tuck them both in and they are asking about mom.  "Tonight is Sunday and Mom gets home on Tuesday? So tonight is Mom's and Andrew's last night in Africa?"  

"Actually, it's morning there and they are getting up and are about to spend their last day in Kenya, for this trip.  I'm sure Mom will be going back someday," I tell them.  " They will be leaving tomorrow around 2:30 our time - so you will be at Margy's Howie when Mom and Andrew are getting on their first plane. O.K. guys, good night, I love you."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Love Poem

Love Poem

At 3:20 am, watched the thin crescent moon rise over the mountains
A tiny white fuzz growing tall balancing on the ridge
At 7:00 am woke up to the loud chirping of a very red-breasted robin
Skipping from one perch to another
Sat on the corner of our back porch
Then flew over to our neighbor’s
8:00 am, I’m out of bed,
riding the bike, watching golf,
the British Open,
then walking the dogs,
it’s sunny, not that hot yet
9:45 am, making coffee,
10:00 am breakfast on the patio,
a bialy, 2 over easy and some home fried potatoes
I’m waiting, Dan is going to call at 10:30 am
And we’re going fishing
the whole time I’m thinking about you
you and Andrew are coming home on Tuesday night
you have been away for over a month,
the trip has gone well for both of us I believe,
now I’m nervous about the return, the chaos, the crowded house
we will become for quite awhile
I’ve been our representative in our small community
Speaking for us, working for us, believing in us
I have been raising Buddy alone, with the help of Murray,
But practically alone, I am not a good disciplinarian
But he is a good boy, I am raising him with love
We are connected, still able to finish each other’s sentences,
People were joking with me about that,
I am excited for your return, the boys are counting the days,
Micah went to be with Mike in town for one to make the time go quicker
Howie has Grandpa to keep him occupied,
I think they have a lot in common,
For one they are both still asleep in bed,
It’s after 10:30, Dan called, I’m meeting him at 11:00
Time to catch a fish.
Leave a note:
Gone fishing with Murray and Dan
Call me on my cell phone if you need me –
Howie can see if Hannah’s around or just hang out with grandpa,
And take Buddy for a walk.
Left tv on golf and you can also hit previous button for fox
Which should have the Mets game later.
Should be home around 2:30

Love, Dad and Son

So that was my morning.  I met Dan behind American Bank at 11 am and we fished the south fork.  Dan had never been back there before.  We caught fish right away, I caught a nice big 15 inch rainbow, it was beautiful down there, lots of wildflowers,  the fish were biting, caught lots of little ones, and a few big ones. The magic fly was a small yellow stimulator.   Fished till about 2 pm.

At home I took shower, changed into wedding clothes,  set Dad and Howie up with the Mets game.  At 2:45 off to the chapel for Sam and Michele's wedding.  There were people I knew from all different segments of the community.  The ceremony was very nice, officiated by Sam's father, a somewhat Christian ceremony, with hints of Catholic and lots of god, but very sweet.  After the ceremony I hung out with the younger crowd, mostly Tom and Melissa, a current employee and an ex emloyee.  The reception was at the Timbers, Amber and Joe were there with Devon, who became my date for the evening.  I played with her at our table and I carried her around a bunch after dinner.  She's precious, she was giving me lots of smiles and won me over very quickly.  Amber was feeling guilty that I was holding her so much, but I loved it and kept thanking her for letting me.  

I had planned on trying to leave the wedding at a decent time, but ended up staying until almost 9, there was a message on my cell phone from Dad, he was wondering where I was at and what was going on.  I called him as I drove away, told him I would order a pizza and bring it home, and that I would be home in 20 minutes, all of which was true.

So I came home with a pizza, took out the leftover salad and served grandpa and Howie some late dinner.  I sat with them and had one slice, they were both hungry and had 2 slices each.  I had had a very nice dinner at the wedding, but you know what Tom Vetter says, "You don't have to be hungry to eat."

At dinner Dad and Howie gave me the play by play of the Mets game which they won.   Dad was then telling me how he tells himself how fortunate he is despite his bad eyes which he also says he thinks have gotten worse in the last 2 weeks since he's been out here.  How lucky he is to have a comfortable place to live.  I was telling him that while Dan and I were fishing today we were both commenting on how lucky we are.  Dad was then saying that he owes everything he has to Pearl, his wife, my mother.  He then mentioned the time that Mom went out to California to help his sister Joan when Donald had one of his triple bypass surgeries and how much he missed her.  I think she was gone for about a week and I think it happened when I was in high school, maybe even later.

Then Dad went back to the t.v. and then to bed.

Howie's still awake just sitting in the living room looking out the window. So we are going to play a game of cards, casino and then both of us will go to bed