a message from jeterville...
take me back
Two days in a row? WOW!
Don't get too used to it though, as my schedule is ramping up again...
Yesterday while I was at the doctor's office waiting to find out that Chris's finger was not merely dislocated, but fractured, I ran into someone that I hadn't seen in nearly 20 years. She is Ruth (used to be Howell) that was in my graduating class all the way back in 1982, and until yesterday I hadn't seen since graduation night. Pretty amazing huh? And in a doctor's office where I wouldn't have been had my son not injured himself on Sunday evening -- what are the odds???
Anyway, the whole experience got me thinking about cosmic coincidence again, and left me wishing that I'd gotten to know more people like Ruth in high school. She always was, and continues to be, a very nice person. I'm sure she wouldn't appreciate it if I revealed the details of her life on my web site, so let's just say we had a very nice conversation -- which it was. How can you catch up on nearly 20 years in less than 15 minutes??? You can't, but it was a very nice chance meeting just the same.
PS: My daughter's 7th grade volleyball team lost their first match to Sumner Junior High 2 games to 1. She wasn't too disappointed, and it was lot of fun to watch. We'll get 'em next time!!!
I apologize for the lengthy absence to those that actually enjoy reading about my life, but I do have some pretty good reasons.
Most of the last two weeks have been extremely busy, and the fact that we are all mourning a huge loss in the family didn't help us much while conquering our most difficult schedule. In addition to the normal routine -- soccer practice, volleyball practice, soccer games, running errands, etc. -- I was in class in Bellevue all last week during hours that I don't normally work -- 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. With the 90+ minute drive in the morning and the 70+ minute drive in the afternoon, it really disrupted our schedule -- a lot!
Add to the mix 'Part 3' and 'Part 4' of a job interview that kept me away from the house until about 8:00 PM on Monday and Wednesday and you can see that I had very little time to rest, let alone update my Message.
Well the upside to all this ferocious busy-ness is that I DID manage to land this new job as Project Manager at a company called Bazillion. The downside is that almost immediately after they offered it to me, they installed a hiring freeze that will keep me at Boeing for at least another month. *sigh* It seems that just when things start looking up, they become slightly tainted almost immediately -- it's the story of my life. Oh well, I'll just have to be patient.
This weekend -- although fun -- was also very busy.
Saturday we cleaned house, cleaned up the yard -- those annuals were starting to look kind of, well, dead -- then we went to a party to celebrate one of our neighbors attaining her black belt in Tae Kwan Do. WAY TO GO SUE!
Yesterday was an odd one. It was my birthday and it turned out to be one of the busier birthday 'days' that I've ever had, however very little of the busy-ness had to do with celebrating it.
First we had Chris's soccer game, which they lost pretty badly. Dad and Uncle John showed up to watch though, which made it nice despite the loss. Thanks Dad! After we got home my friend Chris Morrison came by to 'trade' videos and visit for a while. We also had to run Chris to and from a friend's house so he could participate in a group project for school -- where he dislocated his finger playing football while waiting for us to pick him up. Believe it or not, this is about all we could fit in! Yah! I know. Today I am home to take Chris to the doctor for his finger. The start to yet another busy and exciting day in Jeterville.
All wasn't lost though on my Birthday weekend. Pam did fix me a rhubarb pie and she gave me a very nice card. Dad also gave me a nice card, and so did my sister (Thanks Jode! Very funny, ha ha. You know, it really wouldn't be that bad to have a body like that. At least it would be fun in the shower!) My brother stopped by on Saturday and gave me one of those portable, foldable chairs that you can take anywhere -- which is excellent! However, the best gift of all, without a doubt the BEST gift I've ever received, came from my friend Ralph during Sue's party on Saturday night.
You see, about five years ago I started writing poetry and the first one I ever wrote was a little one called 'Hell's Kitchen.' This had always been one of Ralph's favorites, and he's kept a copy of it around ever since I wrote it. Well, Ralph works with a young woman named Karen whose husband -- Thom -- is this amazing photographic imaging artist. To make a long story short, Ralph gave Thom a copy of my poem and said...
'Do something cool with it.'
The result is a fabulously dark and moody piece with the words of my poem strategically placed within the body of the work. The montage REALLY picks up the mood of my poem and when I saw it I was completely overwhelmed! Tears welled up and I was so totally speechless! It was the most personal, most unique, most awesome gift that I have ever received! To say that I LOVE IT would be a gross understatement!!! What made it even more special was the fact that he only had three made -- one for me, one for himslef and one for our mutually close friend Joanne. Unfortunately Joanne fell ill on Saturday morning and was unable to attend Sue's party, so she'll have to wait for hers.
When others heard the commotion, they came into the room to see what was up. When everyone saw the magnificent piece and heard the story behind it they all started crying. Everyone was amazed and touched by such a tremendously thoughtful gift -- especially me. I will always cherish it! The whole experience made the weekend for me, and helped to make my 37th one of my most memorable!
Yesterday was an extremely emotional day here in jeterville. To start the day, my wife and I had to take our old dog Duncan to be put to sleep. Duncan had been with us for 15 years -- nearly our entire marriage -- so his passing provided my wife and I with quite a severe emotional whallop.
We will always remember Duncan for his 'grimace' -- a 'smile' he used to greet us with whenever he was happy to see us, and for sticking by us, especially Pam when she used to get up sick in the middle of the night. She would go outside to the deck at our old house to get some fresh air and he would come cuddle up next to her chair and lick her hand to comfort her when she wasn't feeling well.
Duncan stuck with us through it all and remained loyal right up to the end. He looked very sad, but grateful that we were there for him as he passed to the next world. He didn't whimper, or cry out, he just kind of lifted his head and looked at us one last time, while we comforted him. Needless to say, my wife and I were inconsolable for quite some time afterward -- even though we both knew that it was time. I won't go into the details, but for anyone who's ever had to put a family pet down, you know what I mean.
So now, after nearly 3 years of 'retirement' following 12 years of tussling with porcupines -- losing twice, playing with deer and elk in the front yard of our old house, and scaring away his share of 'varmints' -- including a bear -- he has once again returned to greener pastures as we buried him on his old stomping grounds near our old house. We figured this would be were he'd like it most.
We are going to miss Duncan tremendously, although we know he is a much better place now after 15 happy years with us. Right now he's probably hanging out with our Gran who passed about 4 1/2 years ago -- who also loved Duncan. She used to call him 'Dumpit' and would feed him bits from our Thanksgiving turkey while we cleaned up the kitchen after a wonderful meal. She's probably very happy to see him.
Even Fargo, our Siberian Husky, is a bit confused. When we got home yesterday, he spent most of the day looking for Duncan to no avail. He wasn't very hungry and he wasn't his usual playful self for the rest of the afternoon and evening. He knew what was up.
At the end of the day we took the kids out to visit Duncan's grave and we placed a cross with his name on it to mark the location.
Here's to you Duncan! We love you and miss you, but know we will all see you again some day on the other side!
On the other side of the coin, near the end of the day we picked up our daughter from Jr. High volleyball tryouts to discover that she had made the team! We were all very excited for her, and look forward to watching her play for the Mountain View Junior High Lady Wolves!!!
So I got the brakes fixed on our Honda yesterday and can now drive without that horrible "squeak" that emerged last Friday morning.
Have you ever noticed that having your brakes fixed is different than other repairs? You know how with most repairs or tune-ups -- whatever -- there isn't a noticeable difference when you pick the car up? I mean -- sure -- the repair always makes a difference, but you don't notice it as much as when you apply new brakes for the first time and you damn near fly through the friggin windshield! *Shit!* At least you know they did a good job I suppose.
Thank God for seat belts...
Well? How'd it go?
Friday I watched "Prospero's Books" on IFC. It wasn't wide screen, but enjoyable none-the-less.
We took the kids to Red Robin for a 'pre' start of school dinner. Stephanie was a great waitress and, although the burgers are getting smaller, and the prices are going up, dinner was still pretty good. Afterwards, we came home and I watched Peter Greenaway's "Prosperos Books" on the Independent Film Channel. This is the 3rd time I've seen Greenaway's interpretation of Shakepseare's "The Tempest" and was probably my most fulfilling viewing -- despite the fact that it was NOT presented in wide screen. Because I was not able to view the splendor of the Greenaway set full on, I was able to concentrate more on the words, which I actually followed quite easily, considering Shakespeare -- historically -- has been very tough for me. The whole experience was very satisfying, so when I am able to see it in wide screen next time, I will be able to absorb it all. Brilliant!!!
Saturday I watched the Huskies beat Idaho 44-20.
Got up early! Gassed up the Honda, and waited for my brother and his entourage to arrive. We left my house at 8:30 AM for the game and arrived in Seattle about 9:30 AM after making a stop in Auburn to pick up Mark. After walking around for a while, we stopped in at the All American for their breakfast buffet -- and three pitchers of beer. I know!!! I suppose I should have at least had some tomato juice to mix with it. We walked to the stadium from there and managed to seat ourselves just as the Huskies made their entrance. After a lack luster first quarter, and a ton of ribbing form the multitude of Idaho fans that sat just across the aisle from us, the Huskies broke out, put the burn on and left the Vandals in the dust -- 44 - 20. After the game, we headed home where I took Pam out to our favorite Greek restaraunt -- Kouros in Auburn. We'd both been Jonesing for gyros for the longest time, and we got our fix on Saturday night.
Sunday I golfed with my Dad, then set up a scanner for a friend during a lightning storm.
I rose at 5 AM for our 6:20 AM tee time. UGH! Once I was there I did fine -- except for the golf. It was the worst round I'd had in a VERY long time. However, golfing with Dad and my neighbor Jim was a lot of fun, so it didn't matter how I golfed -- it never does really. It was all about having fun and spending time with Dad, which is something we hadn't done for a while. The weather held out nicely while we were on the course, but would turn later in the day. I sure am glad that we teed off so early! Afterwards we wound down in the clubhouse with a sandwich and a MGD, then Dad and I played pool for an hour or so at our house before he had to split. Shortly after I showered, I got a phone call from Bob, a friend of my brother's that I'd promised to hook up a scanner for. He asked if I had time to do it -- which I did -- and if so, would now be good -- it was. While I was installing the scanner for Bob, and working out a few other bugs he had with his Gateway PC, a severe lightning storm moved in. I finished as quickly as possible and headed home for dinner -- between lightning bolts. We found out later that someone had actually been hit by lightning during the storm not more than 5 miles from our house. After dinner I watched some TV and fell asleep -- after all, I'd been up since 5 AM.
Monday I mowed the lawn, then fixed a ham dinner for my brother and his family.
This day I got to sleep in -- until 6:00 AM!!! Not by choice though. I woke up at 6:00 and could not go back to sleep. Don't you hate that???? After I woke up, I had coffee, read the paper and mowed the lawn. After that I visited with neighbors for a few, showered and started cooking the giant ham we fixed for dinner. When the ham was in the oven, I finally sat down to relax a bit until about 3:30 PM when my brother and his family arrived for dinner. We had an enjoyable dinner and visited until about 7:00 or so, then we started getting all the kids' stuff rounded up for the start of school. YIPPEEE!!!! They weren't too excited as you might imagine. And although we had a bunch of organizing to do, we still managed to hit the sack by 9:30 PM.
All-in-all, a very satisfying weekend. Relaxing? Not very. I was up no later than 7:00 AM every morning. This also meant that I was in bed no later than about 10 PM each night. Kind of early at both ends for the last weekend of Summer 2K. Oh well, at least I had fun.
Any plans for the last big weekend of summer 2K???
My weekend will be filled with two-legged dogs, water, sand (traps) and celluloid.
I hope that yours is just as -- well -- FULL.
Enjoy it! Fall is definitely coming! Consider yourself warned...