Saturday, June 8, 2013

On This Date in 1998

The past four days could almost be viewed as a mini-vacation. JoAnna and I took Thursday off, and I worked only a half day on Friday. Wednesday was the last day of school for the boys.

The boys and I went to a Brewers game Wednesday evening. This was supposed to be a family outing, but JoAnna had to attend a meeting of the Dane County Airport Commission, of which she is a member, at 5:30. The game was scheduled to begin at 6:35, a half hour earlier than usual since the game was being televised on ESPN. JoAnna couldn’t afford to miss this meeting as her appointment to the Airport Commission had been controversial, the former chair of the county board of supervisors, a Republicans, speaking out against her selection. So Meaghan came with us in JoAnna’s place.

Sitting in the back seat, Andy and Meaghan kept up a steady chatter of conversation on the drive to Milwaukee. They get along so well. At Eddie’s request, we listened to a Beatles tape. Getting to the huge parking lot surrounding County Stadium was not the chore I expected. I picked up our tickets at the “will call” window, and we found our seats after a stop at on e of many souvenir stands. Meaghan bought one of those oversize foam hands, index finger pointing skyward in a “we’re number 1” gesture. Andy bought a miniature wood bat with the Brewers logo on it (why he felt he needed some worthless thing like this I don’t know), and I bought a hat for Eddie. He was the only one without his own spending money. We quickly found our seats in the family section, 20 rows behind home plate. Very good seats, actually. Most of the people in this section were older adults. I didn’t see many parents with younger children. No drinking or smoking is allowed, so choosing seats here is one way people avoid dealing with belligerent, obnoxious drunks (known to be a fixture at baseball games) and polluted air.

The Braves were in town, for the first time in 33 years, when the team deserted Milwaukee for Atlanta. We saw the final of a three-game series, the Brewers getting swept 5-2. The home team staged a rally in the bottom of the ninth, which got the remaining fans revved up. It looked as though at least 30% of the 19,000+ in attendance headed for the exits at the end of the 8th inning. Gotta beat the traffic.

We waited for the crowds to thin before leaving our seats. The worst of the parking lot gridlock was over by the time we reached the car. Andy and Meaghan resumed their chattering – they never seem to be at a loss for things to talk about—but the two of them and Eddie had fallen asleep by the halfway point of our trip home. It was 11:30when we dropped Meaghan off.

JoAnna and I painted Andy’s room on Thursday. What an improvement. The walls were dirty and pocked with nail holes. We had to use a scraper to remove all of the two-sided tape we sued to display the boys’ sports team banners. I had never really liked the color we had chosen the last time we painted this room. A beige with too much of an orange tint. I stopped at Mautz paint store last week and picked out more than a dozen “neutral” color samples. Side by side we were able to determine which one were actually more green or blue or orange than tan. We selected a “Silver Mink”, which looks great. It’s a very neutral color, exactly what we wanted for this room, even though it can’t be classified as tan.

Outside of the baseball game and the painting project, it was a relatively lowkey weekend. Andy spent most of his time playing with Meaghan and Nick. They went swimming at the indoor pool on Friday evening and at the new outdoor pool on Sunday, Eddie accompanying them both times. The outdoor pool was scheduled to open on Thursday, but the weather was too cold. Ditto Friday. After last Monday’s beautiful introduction to June, we experienced an extended cool spell, weather more suitable for the end of April than the start of the kids’ summer vacation. A couple mornings I was tempted to run on the furnace.

Both JoAnna and I have been dealing with summer colds this past week. Nothing major, just a slight runny nose, slight congestion, slight cough. It’s more of an irritation that ailment. Unfortunately, it just won’t go away. JoAnna felt extremely rundown Friday after work, spending most of her evening sacked out on the couch in the family room. That’s when I did some more reseeding in the back yard and swept al the maple “droppings” off the patio.

JoAnna and I went grocery shopping Saturday morning, while Andy was at Nick’s and Eddie was at his baseball practice. Whenever my wife accompanies me on these trips, we end up spending a small fortune on food. Not so bad this time. She wanted to select some items for her lunches and easy meals at home. The boy’s baseball schedules will make a regular suppertime a challenge. But then that goal has always been a challenge. She doesn’t always want us falling back on high-calorie, high-fact options like McDonald’s, which, of course, the boys would choose every time.

We had to change our Saturday evening plans when we learned that the movie we wanted to see, The Truman Show with Jim Carrey, was sold out. We ended up renting a video, Trains, Planes, & Automobiles, a rather silly comedy with Steve Martin and John Candy. The humor was very broad, something I wasn’t particularly in the mood for. I divided my attention between the TV screen and computer screen, where a game of Hearts completed with the movie.

On Sunday afternoon, more than a month after its delivery, I reduced the pile of shredded bark to nothing. I trimmed the evergreens in the back yard, creating a cozy little outdoor picnic nook. We have this beautiful yard (notice how I’m now singing a much more upbeat tune) that we don’t take the time to enjoy. After completing the yardwork chores Friday evening, I sat on the patio and just enjoyed the view.

Boxer is at least twice the size as when we first got him. He’s a very affectionate, playful kitten, sometimes too much so. We are trying to get him not to scratch and bite so much. Not that we’re all covered with scars. When Boxer get over-exuberant, we just put him down. The boys are very good with him and know how to deal with his friskiness.

He comes into our bedroom, purring and ready to play, at 5 each morning. Saying “no” or “go away, Boxer” doesn’t get results, so one of us, usually JoAnna, as I seem to have better luck tuning out Boxer, will take the cat out of the room and close the door so we can sleep undisturbed for another hour.

This is all I have time for right now. We send our love.

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