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…