Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On This Date in 1998

Sorry for being out of touch for so long. We should have made definite plans to see David Grisman at the Barrymore. That would have given us both something to look forward to. As it turned out, no surprise, I didn’t go, another missed opportunity to see a performer I have long admired.

Life is proceeding at its usual hectic pace. Only 6 more days of school left, and then we shift into our summer schedule. Which isn’t all that different from our schoolyear schedule actually, since it offers no relief from the usual juggling of activities and commitments. The boys will be attending a daycare program at a local school, one that provides them with a variety of offsite activities throughout the summer. Our evenings, at least three times a week, will be taken up with baseball games. We probably won’t venture out of Dane County until the end of June. (Not quite true.)

The boys and I drove to Pennsylvania during spring break. JoAnna was immersed in a special election. Her busy schedule didn’t permit a break. On the drive east, we made a planned stop at a Holidome in South Bend, Indiana, where the boys enjoyed the pool and a large activity area. In fact, they didn’t get to bed until 1 a.m. Party time! Nothing of interest to report from our four days in Warren, except that my dad continues to deteriorate both physically and mentally form Parkinson’s Disease.

Before returning home, we spent a couple of days in Chicago. I splurged and got us a room at a Days Inn on Lake Shore Drive, just across the way from Navy Pier. We visited the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Museum of Science & Industry, which I first visited when I was Andy’s age and remember being literally cluttered with all kinds of fascinating exhibits. Now there seems to be so much open space and all these rinky-dink displays. Even the boys weren’t overly impressed with this stop. We also walked around Michigan Avenue, bustling with activity, and took a ride on a speeding elevator to the top of the Hancock building at dusk. We had a great time.

Easter weekend the family spent on night in – get ready to cringe – Wisconsin Dells at the Polynesian, a resort hotel with two indoor waterparks. The boys, of course, had been lobbying for this getaway. Perhaps it’s a sign of how much my life has been transformed since those crazy Oshkosh years of excess, but I actually enjoyed myself. Family outings have been somewhat of a rarity this year. The waterparks, a bit of a stretch to call them that, are geared for younger children, Eddie probably being at the upper end of the age range. Andy still had a great time, though. Friday evening, Mom and Dad kept an eye on the boys from the bar, drinking margaritas and playing casino. We told each other we should have got a suite, so we could have some privacy after the boys went to bed.

We spent the Memorial Day weekend in Two Rivers, where JoAnna and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. All day Saturday I was an almanac of historical information. Exactly twelve years ago today, at this very minute, I was getting out of bed with a most horrendous hangover. Twelve years ago today, the men in the wedding party were hanging out in the parking lot of the Lighthouse Inn. Twelve years ago today, I was sweating bullets minutes before Dad’s homily. Twelve years ago today, people had finished inching their way through the reception line and pictures of the wedding party were being taken. Twelve years ago today, Joan Kranick’s husband was wearing JoAnna’s bra at the reception. What a weekend that was!

Saturday evening of this past weekend, after playing baseball with the boys in Nashotah Park in the morning and golfing with JoAnna, Andy, and Larry in the afternoon, we grilled steaks on the barbecue and had a feast. In many ways, it was a perfect day of fun and relaxation. We topped it off by playing cards and sitting around the fire in Larry’s outdoor pit.

Teaching stuff. I survived my class and a series of other teaching commitments without incident. The home front. As a result of years of rough play in the back yard and a blight in the front yard, I’ve been doing some major work as a lawn doctor. At first, I thought about hiring a professional, but the results of my test area in the back yard were very satisfying, so I convinced myself it is a job that I can do. Although I was grousing about its condition in March, the yard looks beautiful now what with the perennials massing and the annuals providing attractive splashes of color. So if it’s not my Middleton Public Library commitments, there’s still plenty to keep me busy.

We now have a new member of the household. Boxer is a little gray-and-white furball, just the cutest little kitty. We got him a few weeks ago when he was 6 weeks old. At that time, I could cup him in my hands. He’s a playful little guy. JoAnna and I have to close our bedroom door if we don’t want to be disturbed at 4 or 5 in the morning. “Time to play,” Boxer says. When I walk home for lunch, he bounces around my feet like a puppy. Today he didn’t appreciate the fact that I was ignoring him while eating my lunch, so he started to crawl up my legs, claws digging into my shins. He didn’t get the hoped for reaction.

I had been resisting the idea of a pet for a long time, remembering our previous experience with Misty, the hairball queen, but JoAnna and Eddie kept pressuring me. They promised that the cat would be their responsibility, and so far I’ve held them to that. As I told JoAnna, Boxer is not going to be like the laundry or the grocery shopping a chore that I take over almost exclusively.

Let us know when you’re going to be in the area. Look forward to seeing you soon.

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