Sunday, July 31, 2016

Too Long!

I can't believe it's been about six weeks since I updated this blog. Lots to do, of course, as there always is in the summer. The boys are home and the weather, for the most part, is more conducive to construction on the house, and so I keep myself busy. But it's not as if I haven't sat down to write, so I don't want to make any excuses.

Since I last posted, lots of stuff has happened. If you've been following the site, you've seen a lot of it in pictures. The boys got out of school, of course, and the very next weekend we trekked down to New Jersey to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ann, mother-in-law of Karen's brother.

There was something of an adventure beforehand getting her gift put together, a 100-year history retrospective in pictures compiled by the five of us. I won't go into the gory details, but it was far more harrowing than I expected.

But the trip itself was a lot of fun, with a chance to visit family that we don't often get these days. And a trip to the Doris Duke estate, with lots to see and some good, invigorating exercise before getting back into the car for the long drive home.

Which then became another adventure. When we were in stop-and-go traffic in Massachusetts, the car started to overheat. There was no one around to fix it, but one shop (which was closed but still trying to serve their backlog of customers) suggested that we could make it home if we kept up on the coolant and made sure not to get stuck in traffic.

So we stopped for dinner, waited until the Sunday night rush had calmed down, and made it home without further incident. Turns out that coolant had been leaking through the head gasket, which is why we hadn't noticed any spots on the driveway. That could have been a very expensive deal, but our mechanic tried a sealant, which seems to be working fine.

In the continuing saga of the sick cat, Sukkie started a new medication. It's fairly expensive, but not horrible. The horrible thing for her is that it's one more thing we have to stick a needle in her for. The horrible thing for me is that I can only get this medication in Concord, about an hour's drive from home. Ah, New Hampshire.

Fortunately, I only have to refill the prescription about every three weeks now. And it may be that sometime soon she won't need it. We still have to keep her hydrated with subcutaneous fluids ever other day, which she really hates, but she forgives quickly and is a loving friend the rest of the time.

Thomas' girlfriend Erin stayed with us for the fourth of July. Karen, of course, didn't have the day off, but she was home in time for fireworks and a late dinner of sandwiches from the local hoagie shop. We had a good time, and Erin even managed to survive Tom's teen brothers. A trooper, for sure.

Actually, Erin went along with Tom and the boys to a video game tournament in Dover. Brave soul.

Karen and I hit the 28-year mark. Sometimes I can't believe that we've been married that long; it feels as though I just fell in love with her yesterday. Oh wait, I did fall in love with her yesterday. Today, too. On the other hand, I can't imagine having ever had much of a life without her.

Our anniversary was a low-key affair. For one thing, we had to go to Concord to get Sukkie's medicine. So, we made a day of it, having a wonderful lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse, then exploring a music store down Main Street from the pharmacy. I had wanted to try out a particular guitar, but the store was out of stock. But Karen encouraged we to play around with some of the other guitars, and I happened upon a rather nice looking guitar for about $50.

Now, I've been going camping lately, and bringing the guitar I've had since I was 15 with me. It's always made me nervous, because sitting around the fire, there are embers flying and the face of the guitar gets hot, especially when one or two of the more inebriated members of the campsite decide that the fire is not big enough.

So, I was thinking that the guitar I was looking at make make a good camp guitar. Karen agreed and it became an anniversary present (not my main anniversary present; my main present is still being married to Karen).

Karen got a gift, too, a pretty tie-dyed New Hampshire hoodie she found at Walmart. We don't have expensive tastes.

Most of the rest of the time has been spent on construction, repairs, or cleaning. William has had one soccer practice already; the coach is new and wanted to get started with them. There was supposed to be a practice this week, but it got rained out.

School is only about a month away. I'm looking forward to it, though the logistics of after-school sports are mind-boggling, because I get a lot more of my work done during the day when the kids are not here.

And so here we are. And, with luck and a little attention from me, it won't be another six weeks before I write here again.