Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A day late (literally) and only God knows how many dollars short

An anonymous commenter (I have a pretty good idea who it is) has complained that I haven’t blogged in five days and also said she thought I’d blog about the exciting weekend I had behind the enemy lines of Alabamistan sooner than this. So here goes nothing, and I apologize in advance for the length of this post:

This past weekend the 50th-year reunion of my high school graduating class was held on a ranch in Texas about 200 miles from the high school, or as they say out west in the wide open spaces, “just down the road a piece.” We decided not to attend as Ellie is still undergoing physical therapy for her new knees. Driving that far would have taken us away for too long, not to mention it being too tiring. As for flying, I felt that having to wend our way through two different airports twice each in four days might still be a bit too strenuous for Ellie.

But we didn’t stay at home, either. After Friday’s physical therapy session we took our dog to his favorite vacation spot and then drove over to Alabama (a three-hour trip) to visit our daughter and her family for a couple of days. As it turned out, the weekend was very busy, in a non-memorable sort of way.

Our daughter, who teaches third grade Mondays through Fridays, also works a second job some days until 7 p.m., so we met her family for dinner at a Chinese restaurant and followed them to their house. On Saturday, our daughter had to work again from 9 a.m. until noon, then rushed back home to take her family to a friend’s daughter’s sixth birthday party from 1 to 3 p.m., after which our son-in-law rushed out to get a haircut for a job interview he had on Monday. When he returned, the four of them went out again to attend a schoolteacher's wedding from 6 until 7:30 p.m. and rushed back home in time to welcome four nine-year-old boys who were spending the night as part of the older grandson’s birthday celebration. (His birthday isn't until next Saturday, but school ends this Wednesday and they will all be at the beach on his birthday.) Our grandson was allowed to open one gift a day early: a Guitar Hero 3. And since a cousin brought along Guitar Hero 2 and a wireless guitar, the boys had something fun to do well into the night. They didn’t fall asleep until between midnight and 1 a.m. Neither did we.

In the morning it was off to church, where our daughter and son-in-law play flute and French horn, respectively, in their church orchestra at all three morning church services. Then they rushed off to Wal-Mart to pick up the ice cream cake they had reserved, and met us and even more party-goers at the local Pizza Hut for our grandson’s birthday party from 12 noon until 2:30 p.m. After that, we caravaned about 30 miles to see the new Narnia movie, Prince Caspian, which started at 3:30, ended after 6:00 p.m., and drove back to their house afterward. Eventually all the mommies came and retrieved their offspring and our daughter’s house returned to what passes for normal. Not until around eight o’clock did the preparation of the evening meal begin. I get tired just describing it. I imagine our daughter and son-in-law are totally exhausted. Maybe next time we'll get to spend more “quality time” with them.

Instead of returning to Georgia on Sunday evening, we stayed an extra day because our daughter asked if we'd like to attend our grandsons’ elementary school’s Awards Assembly. Monday also happened to be our 45th wedding anniversary. We decided to stay and were glad because both grandsons were recognized for having achieved the highest grade point average in their respective classes.

I planned to take Ellie out to eat on Monday evening after we got back to Georgia, but my plan was changed at the last minute. While we were on the way to pick up our dog from his vacation retreat, our son phoned. He asked whether we might be able to retrieve his two boys from their after-school program and stay with them until he was able to get back home from his job (their mother works from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. every day at a Boys and Girls Club in the area.) So we did. We had our dog with us, and our anniversary evening out looked less and less likely. We ended up eating some delicious home-made vegetable beef soup with them that had been simmering all day in their slow cooker.

Finally, this evening, one day into our 46th year together, Ellie and I went out for that anniversary dinner at an establishment a local talk-radio host refers to as Dead Lobster.

As I’ve often said, life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans. There now, Anonymous, I hope it was worth the wait.


  1. God's blessings on your milestone wedding anniversary!!

    The thought contained in your second to last sentence was running through my mind as I read the details of your pleasantly busy weekend.

  2. Bravo! Bravo! My compliments to the very detailed blog! And, if I could remember my darn username and password, I would not be Anonymous any longer...oh well, we all know it is your 40 year old daughter who has "earned the right to say whatever she pleases"! (Or is that when I turn 50? I can't remember which milestone birthday it was when the both of you told me the exact same thing!!)
    Love to you both and we'll see you soon!

  3. Actually, "anonymous," the age at which we said we could say whatever we pleased was 60.