Monday, October 15, 2007

Finishing up the vacation report

Thursday we went down to my parents' place for a few days. Matthew had gone with Mom, Dad, and Jeremy to be with them while the rest of us were camping.

Stella was so glad of being in a house that she decided to use the indoor facilities. Stella is still in diapers. Notice that she doesn't even have her pants down. She's just glad to have a safe place to practice sitting that isn't an open pit.

I'm not sure that fear of an open pit is unreasonable, especially in the case of someone small enough to fit through the seat. It's a horrible thing to contemplate as a parent of one small enough to fit through. It gives me the heebee geebees of total grossness and dread even to consider such a thing. My Mom tells a story of someone going down into the outhouse pit to get a quarter that had fallen into the pit. EEEEEEWWWWWW!!!!!!! Tell me a different story, mom! Tell me the one about someone eating spoonfulls of dirt or something much more pleasant like that.

And, of course, the whole week Jeremy had school at Echo Charter School.

Louisa met him as he came off the school bus one day and they raced up to the house.

We learned that our friends, Linda and Gary, are going through a hard time. Linda's mother is facing a serious illness. I know from looking at my statistics that this blog has several readers in the Rocford, IL/Racine, WI area. (Hopefully you are not at work when you read this). But Linda's mom is not doing well. Her husband, Gary, is very concerned for her and her mom. Please keep them in your prayers.

The weather was much nicer at mom and dads; though still a bit too cold for camping in a tent at night.

The first evening I asked Jeremy, Matt, and Louisa to set the tent up so it could dry. "Do you know how to do it?" "Yes, Dad." "Can you work together? It's a 10 minute job?" "Yes, Dad."

After half an hour and darkness was falling I went out. Total chaos. Everyone knew better than the other. No one cooperated. One of the tent poles was split.

I had them pack it up and put it in the van. None of them read the instruction sheet, no one came for help. They just bickered and fought among themselves and got nowhere.

Two lessons. The first for me: Never assume your kids can do something without sibling rivalry interfering. The second for the kids: It's always ok to ask for help.

I hid in some bushes by the garden so I could get a picture of Jeremy getting off the bus. Most people take this photo when their kid is in kindergarten. I took one last year on Jeremy's first ride to school at Oklee. So I tried to get a nice one of him getting off the bus from Echo.

He runs. He's always running these distances. Just like me at his age. I remember a guy in college when I was attending Bethany Lutheran College telling me, "Hey, man, you run everywhere! You run from the classroom building to the dorms, from the dorms to the gymnasium, don't you get tired?" Well, now I do. I suppose I should run some more again.

I imagine that I'm like a lot of 40+ year old men who wish their bodies could be as resilient and vigorous as they were at 20 or so years. I our youth we couldn't wait, we had to get there in a hurry because we might miss ScoobyDoo. Now, we don't want to hurry. Sometimes it's because we have learned patience, other times it's because we want to avoid responsibility. Well, maybe I'll make a point of running between buildings as a matter of routine. Perhaps that can help with my Downover Syndrome (where the gut hangs "down over" the belt).

We had a very good time with my folks. Jeremy, Matt, Louisa, Elsie, Grandpa K. and I did some shooting. I helped Dad with a bit of concrete work and household electricity trouble shooting. Jeremy and I had a nice night out together in Marshall, MN. And we avoided hitting a farmer's goat that was out on the road by his mailbox. This was near Tyson Swamp just south of Wood Lake.

Mom and Dad had a nice time with their grandchildren, especially getting Donna to smile.

We left for home on Monday morning. When we got home, 7pm, I called Pr. Stafford. He told me that Betty B. had passed away in the morning. So I went over to visit with Henry and Lonny.

Betty's funeral is Saturday. Henry apologized for making me have to go to more work as soon as I got back from vacation. He shouldn't worry so much. It is a great privilege to know and serve him and Betty. I thank God that He has allowed me to know such wonderful Christians in this life.

Please keep Henry and his family in your prayers.

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