Thursday, October 30, 2008

The World Has Changed

Thomas has a car! The car is a twenty-year old Oldsmobile Delta 88 in amazing condition with under 90,000 miles. It's comfortable, gets better mileage than my van, and, despite calling it a "granny car" (with a smile), Thomas loves it. I love it too; no more driving Tom to and from work on nights when I need the van. I get my car back! That saves me anywhere from 4 to 6 hours a week, not to mention gas and repairs.

And Tom is already enjoying the freedom of not having to ask for the car. He took a trip down to the mall with his friend Jeremy Tuesday night to get a feel for the car. Yesterday morning he took me into town to fetch my car (he'd taken my car to pick up his car while Karen and I were out and about yesterday). He looked very much at home at the wheel of his granny car.

Most of the time I'm freeing up will be spent on the house, of course. It always seems as if there is more to do on the house than can actually be done, and for long periods of time there is so little visible progress.

But now we can start seeing real changes. The siding is done, and we expect to have the sheetrock on the first floor started in a week or so (we're hiring someone for the first floor to save time, and finishing the basement and second floor ourselves, fools that we are). I'm buttoning up the last couple of things I need to do to get the electric company to hook us up, and hanging beadboard sheets in the first floor kitchen this week. And hanging doors for the first time in my life. There have been a lot of firsts for me on this house, and there will be many more.

The cold is coming early this year. There have been several nights below freezing and a couple of predictions of snow, though no accurate ones yet (well, okay, we got a few flakes, but nothing like parts of New York got). I'm looking forward to moving into a house that's easy to heat; even before the walls are up, you can tell that the house hold its temperature very well.

Now we just have to get into the new house. We'll keep you up to date.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our New Shutterbug

WIlliam had a blast this evening using his new digital camera. Shooting everything from the pumpkins he and Daniel decorated, to the cat, me, and Jeremy, William took 100 photographs in a single night. It's a lot different than when I got my first camera.

I think I was also about eight, but the camera was my mother's Kodak Duoflex II, a simple twin-lens reflex camera with a single-element fixed-focus lens. It used roll film with twelve exposures per roll, and took remarkably sharp pictures.

What I remember so well from that time, though, is my mother telling me to be very selective about what I took pictures of, and no wonder. The cost of film and processing added up very quickly. Even later, when I learned to process and print my own pictures, photography was a very expensive hobby.

Now I'm happy that I can tell my son to shoot as many pictures as he wants, of anything that interests him, no matter how silly it might seem, no matter whether or not he is sure he can get a good shot. Just keep shooting and shooting. There is almost no additonal expense; just a little room on my hard drive.

And as you will see in the days and months ahead, letting him run wild with his imagination, though it will produce a lot of pictures destined for the Trash folder, will also produce some gems from a perspective I could never duplicate. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday William!

William turned eight today. I can hardly believe it. Eight years since I looked into those deep blue eyes that I just knew would turn out brown just like his mother's. Eight years since I watched him trying to take it all in. Eight years since I left him and Karen at the hospital to make sure that all was well with Grandma Pat and Thomas, and noticed on the way home for the first time that there was a full moon. And realized that it was Friday the 13th. Since then, I think, I have considered Friday the 13th to be an exceptionally lucky day.

To celebrate, we pulled William and Daniel out of school just a bit early (they were originally supposed to have the day off for Columbus...uh Discovery Day, but now we have a day in November called Energy Day instead and, well, it's a very long story), had dinner at Hart's Turkey Farm and played for a couple of hours at Funspot.

William got a board game called Othello from Thomas (which he actually got last night so that he and Thomas could play the game; Tom works most nights), an Air Hog radio controlled helicopter from Daniel, and a digital camera from us. William's been using our cameras and taking wonderful pictures, so we decided he needed one of his own. I hope to be posting a lot of them to the Web site from now on (a picture of Karen,. in fact, is tomorrow's daily picture).

Daniel and William fell asleep on the way home from Funspot, after declaring it his "best birthday ever." He and Daniel are now upstairs dreaming while the adults in the house try to wind down for the night. Tomorrow it's back to the regular old routine. Except that now it includes an eight-year-old.

I just can't get over it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

We Just Keep Going

Daniel has an interesting way with words, an an amazing imagination. Last week he told the teacher in his daycare classroom that he thought they should change the nickname of the room from "The Snowy Owls" to "The Snowy Pouncing Kittens of Doom."

We laughed about that for days. I think perhaps I should start a new section of the Web site called "Dannyisms." What do you think?

Not that it's going to happen very soon. Things are, well, just a little busy at the moment. Let's take the last two days. Yesterday we had a showing of the old house to a potential buyer, and so we spent Saturday night and yesterday morning getting the house prepared, not only cleaning, but trying to catch up on a couple of repair jobs.

After the showing we worked in the new house moving things out of the way for the arrival of sheetrock this morning. Until dinner time, after which I was off to rehearsal. Dancing this time, just what I needed after moving heavy boxes around all day. All well, the show must go on.

And the madness. This morning, I drove Thomas off to see a car, which we took to our mechanic to check over. Unfortunately, the mechanic found too many problems with the car, and so Tom won't be buying that one. Back to square one.

And back home to 70 sheets of sheetrock in our driveway, waiting to be taken into the house. That's where the teenagers come in! They took the sheetrock into the house while I made a minor modification to our stairwell wall. When they were done, I started hanging the sheetrock. I think I'll know what I'm doing by the time I'm done.

Inbetween all of this, of course, are the myriad little chores that are part of being an adult with children--daycare, homework, meals, bills, and the like. Sleep. Maybe. Kind of hard to sleep sometimes; my mind is racing much of the time. A combination of having too many things on my plate and not actually knowing how to do a lot of them.

But for the most part, I'm figuring it out.