Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Sorry it has been so long again folks, but once again I've found myself with much more on my plate than I can handle. Seems to be a recurring theme with me, eh? Call me a recidivist, I suppose, but let us go over the salient points for the last two weeks. There is a lot here with a crescendo towards the end so stay with me as I titillate your senses and compel you to read on with rapt attention.
Friday: I'm suffering from low morale, sub-standard motivation and near zero inspiration. A rather dark round of prospects given that it is Friday. You know you may be bordering on depression when you find that your only emotions concerning Friday is the omnipresent animosity for the Inevitable Monday. The one saving grace is that my Parents were coming down to 'Kidnap' the kids for the weekend. A few days with the Grandparents and no 'Mean Parents who make you do stuff' is good for all parties. The Mrs has picked up a dual DVD player with 2 screens for the car so that they would be able to keep the Twin Tyrants occupied during the 4 hour trip from Philly to Ithaca NY. It was in our best interests to make sure that this experience was well received by the other parties so as to insure future emancipation deployments. Guess who was being emancipated. Once the kids vanished, I got to do a little wood chopping and chores that I usually had no bandwidth to get done. A fine situation indeed.
Saturday through Monday: The Mrs had to leave for NYC to pick up her father from the Airport. He was flying in from China to attend a wedding that we were all invited to as well as an excuse to spend some time with his only grandchildren ... so far. While the Motivated Mrs was on the lamb, I went about the Manly Father Business at hand. Cleaning up the Great Labrador Mountain Ranges of dog poop. Mow the newly uncovered lawn. Sand and slop the wood floors. Enjoy the chemical fume enhanced reality from the mineral spirits and polyurethane. Spread out wood chips from the forest of white pines Hero Dad and I had chopped down last fall. Chop MORE wood, because you cannot chop just one cord. Husk and freeze a few gallons of peas from the Agricultural Sector. Hoe weeds out of said garden. Cross-cut shred a few months of newsprint and lay it out in the garden to keep down the weeds. One of the best uses for newsprint, reading it can be toxic. Chop wood ... again, but stack it this time. And finally, on Monday evening at the twilight hours, go to the family friend's house out in Downingtown. "Giant David" is a former co-worker who happened to have gone to college with my father but the two never really met. Peculiar since they both now enjoy wine and some of the more sybarite pursuits of life. The whole family was back in time for this (with the exception of the FIL and the Big Little Brother) so we all went on the expedition in the Family Tank. It was a good hours drive and once there, we met up with my current co-worker 'C' and a former co-worker 'Always Sunny' and her husband, the owner/brewmaster of Victory Micro Brewery. A good business to be in, you know. When times are good and people are happy, they drink. When times are bad and people are depressed, they drink. Indeed, the children where rambunctious, adorable and refrained from being destructive. Strange. We ate, we drank, we enjoyed each-other's company and promised to do more together soon.
Tuesday: Attended the Southampton Days Parade at 0930. The Tyrants fluctuated between being transfixed and stimulated by showers of candy cast upon them. They sat still till Sparks the Fire-Dog made a move towards them. Alexis fled in terror and Jacob utilized the diversion to make a frontal assault. Quite entertaining. Later on, the haunted hay-ride rolled by and a similar scenario played out. A cavalcade of emergency vehicles from the surrounding townships rolled by in every conceivable shape and color. Jake was certainly getting his fill. Near the end of the display, A barrel-chested man with a fire-team of security started to stroll up the street. Initially, I thought it was yet another glad-handing small time local political hopeful till he got close-enough to be recognized. It was our governor, Ed Rendell. Now do not get me wrong, I'm not a man to cast ill will towards him. He was a great Mayor of Philly and an incredible Cheer-leader for PA in general. I'm just not a big fan of his. Neither is Alexis. Jacob, however, shocked everyone when he ran out into the parade and gave him a big hug/kiss/raspberry. A politician in the works. Jake will certainly do well as either a Diplomat or a salesman. Alexis, being dear to my heart, just uttered a single phrase in spite and crossly sat down. More flies with sugar than vinegar dear. After the parade, we went back to the manor to have some fun in the Elmo Sprinkler and pick beans from the Agricultural sector. Beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. The onions have a ways to go and I still need to cull the carrots.
Wednesday: Work, chop wood.
Thursday: Work, chop wood (seeing a trend here?).
Friday: Chop wood, no work. Drive to Parsippany NJ to attend the rehearsal for the wedding that the Tyrants have been invited to participate in. This involves stopping off at multiple locations in one of the least favorable driving environments this side of Beirut during the 1975-1985 timeframe. The kids had a birthday party in the morning with their class-mates. Grams had baked a couple hundred individual cakes shaped like trains or Pooh to share with all the little sugar-starved munchkins. Then, after the rehearsal, we had a Chinese Banquet where ANOTHER chocolate covered cake was presented. Essentially, several cakes in less than 24 hours were presented to the kids. They know not what want is. I remember as a kid, we were lucky to have a mud pie on our birthday ... and we were HAPPY to have that! Honestly though, Super Mom really did the best to make sure that we got the best she could bake for us, but I'm fairly certain that such abundance never rained down upon our undeserving little rears.
Saturday: This is where things get interesting. We had a morning appointment at a local Arboretum for pictures prior to the wedding. It was only a few miles from the Hotel ... which was between the wedding site and the picture site. We arrived 30 minutes early which gave me the opportunity to look about at some of the fantastic Japanese maples and some rather interesting grasses that grew upwards of 12 feet. Perfect for the easement. Now, we have a bit of time before the wedding starts so start to retrace our steps back to the hotel and then on to the church. No big deal, it's a nice straight road most of the way and I'm cruising along as the wife ticks off each street we cross. We are about to cross the last street before the road where the hotel is located (Smith Road) when a car suddenly appears before me. What? Next thing I know, there is an airbag deployed in my face and the sound of breaking glass is filling my ears. The Family Tank is air-borne. Wait, we are turning over ... no, we are spinning. Glass is every where as the world spins before me. There is no standing still, no life flashing before my eyes. Just the sudden inversion of my line of sight as the kinetic energy of the car blasting through the intersection flips the mini-van through the air and pancakes it onto the roof ... which quickly collapses into the driver and passenger compartment. We spin about and come to a grinding halt as bits of engine rain about and gasoline from a full tank sloshes forth to coat everything. Next thing I recall is me pulling a distraught Alexis from a pile of glass and running her over to the side of the road. I'm not sure at the time how I or she got free, but I dart back to find the blood covered Mrs pulling Jake out and her Father quickly following her. I'm in shock and do not realize what is happening. As I recall this now, I find with swaths of lost time from my memory. People are running out of buildings about us asking what they can do or if anyone is hurt and all I can say is "I'm not sure, I'm not sure ...". The Family tank is totaled. The only part NOT damaged is the rear hatch. Clothing and papers not weighed down by bits of auto or glass is blowing about the road. I turn to see the Mrs speckled with blood as it slowly soaks into the fibers of her pink silk blouse. Since the roof of the vehicle had caved in, both the Mrs and I took a pretty good whack to our heads. She got the worst of it since she slipped out of her seatbelt. That is how she managed to release our precious treasures from the seats that functioned beyond design parameters. A great swelling and a split scalp greatly concerned us, but we were focused on the less capable of family. Police, ambulance and onlookers arrived ... but no witnesses to support our contention that we were in the right. To make a long story short, my Parental units were in the area along with BigLittle brother and were promptly upon the scene to wisk away the stunned but mostly untouched twins to the wedding. They still had the seats in their car from the weekend. Someone was looking out for us. In review, the whole incident should not have gone so lightly. After we arrive at the wedding, we seclude ourselves in a back room and begin the long and tedious process of filing an accident report with the insurance company. Flash forward several advil and cold compress towels, we make our way to the reception after finding that renting a car on Saturday afternoon, especially for a one way trip, required a signed and stamped authorization from God himself. Hitching a ride with another member of the wedding party who happens to live near us, we make it to the reception just before the ceremonies begin. Jake dances the night away and is quite a celebrity. He entices quite a few older women to dance with him, but focuses on the daughter of the people we caught a ride with. It goes so far as to have produced multiple pictures of smooching and hugging. We are considering a monitored play-date since they live in upper darby.
We send the kids and FIL home with the Grandparents as the Mrs, LittleBigBrother and I catch a ride to the Newark train station to schlep our way back to Pennsyltucky on the railways of the unwashed. Shortly after arriving home, I take the Slightly Broken Mrs to the Emergency room where they keep her for 4 hours as a potential Head Trauma case. No XRay or CT Scan till they are certain she is not pregnant. This is done via a 1 hour blood test. Teach us to go pee before going somewhere. Urine samples are tested within a few minutes. They patch her up and send us home. I am entirely uninterested in having myself checked after noting the absurd amount of time it took to get through the 'tests'. Tough-guy does not need tests. Fool.
Sunday: Sleep in and find that the hurting will now commence. Tough-Guy looks on as the Mrs frolics under the sunlit meadows of medication.
Monday: The Grandparents have gone and Tough-Guy is a simpering schoolgirl as the inevitable effects of severe whip-lash settle in. Cannot sleep, loss of appetite, limited mobility and profound depression over future financial complexities have rendered me impotent. The Mrs drops off the kids for a 1/2 day of daycare just to give us a slice of bed-rest. Well, more like ME some bed rest since her prompt adherence to the doctor's orders has granted her a reprieve from excessive and unnecessary suffering. That, or she is significantly more tolerant of pain than myself. Probably a good helping of both. Later in the day, a triple dose of OTC pain relief has given me the moxie needed to take the kids swimming. They are nearly impervious to the events that have transpired outside of their laments over the lost Family tank and admonishments of how Daddy flipped Mommy's car. No mercy.
Tuesday: The kids have absorbed nearly a full day of day-care tempered by the 'Water Play Day' events. Kids+Water nearly always results in joy. I manage a 1/2 day of work and spend most of it recounting the events to coworkers who are stunned by the fact that I even walked away from it all. I had a doctor's visit in the morning who pensively remarked that he would not have expected to see me at all in this capacity. Also stated was the prognosis that if the worst is not over by now, I would need to go in for a few XRays and other non-invasive probes which would likely result in Physical Therapy. Asking if I had any numb extremities only resulted in my observation that the back page of my phone-book thick file would state that my cohabitation partner, MS, had already steeled me to those symptoms. Indeed, the last two weeks will have numbed me to any further events. Here is to the hopes and payers for the rest of the summer being mundane, dull and asymptomatically uneventful.
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