Thursday, June 29, 2006


Doug's uncle passed away earlier this week and the family is gathering in Western Pennsylvania. This was a very unexpected and unanticipated death, and it comes as a complete and total shock. I often dread phone calls from my mom or Doug's mom, because the days of "oh this interesting thing is happening" have passed and the "your grandmother isn't doing very well" are upon us.

Doug decided it would be better if he went by himself to this gathering. I just saw him off, and I'm kind of sad -- I'll miss him.

But I'm also kind of sad because I feel that I'm excluded from participating under the auspices of puppies and children and money.

That is probably not the case in any way, shape or form. But I have truly never felt a part of Doug's extended family, and it is moments like this that kind of make me ponder the relationships.

Part of me not going is because our kids really don't know John, or his son Andy, and I think that they'd be in the way and not able to participate in the process the way that mourning is expected. Geoff especially. Geoff would perceive a trip to Beaver Valley as a vacation, not two days and nights of wake and funeral, and then family discussions about What To Do Now. I volunteered Jess to go, but I don't even know if Doug asked her if she wanted to.

So he'll be home on Monday. And our long holiday weekend looks like it will finally be filled with sun, but I'll be a single parent cleaning up after puppy poop for four days (five really) instead of going to Maine to go camping and watching fireworks as a family.

Kind of a grey, gloomy morning here. And I'm incredibly sad. I liked John a lot. He was never all up in my business but genuinely cared when he'd ask "how are things?" when we'd visit. I could always count on a Christmas card from him with a picture of him and his son Andy with some big humongous fish they'd caught earlier in the summer.

I think I'm most sad for Andy right now. He's only 23, and there is still a whole series of life experience ahead of him that he isn't going to have his dad to turn to and share with. He's always had his dad. His parents split up when he was very small. And his whole life has been his dad. And John's whole life was Andy.

John was an exceptionally good dad to him from what I could see, and Andy was never a hellion messed-up kid from a "broken" home. His home worked just fine.

And now home is a house that Andy can't bear to walk into.

Please pray for Andy. He can use the spirit of support from all angles.

face fight 7Anyway. Things are going alright over here. The puppy is doing well, Jack is settling right into the big brother mode.

As evidenced by the love fest happening in this photo.

They're just playing -- if you don't know dogs this looks like a throw-down battle, but Jack is really gentle with her, and she kicks his ass. This morning we were outside and she ran up behind him and bit his tail and started pulling. That, my friends, is a no-fear dog. No Fear at all. She's giving us a hard time with the pee situation. She came to us house-trained but so doesn't seem to be remembering what to do. Either that or (especially Jess and Doug) we aren't taking her out often enough. I got up with her at 5 am and it is now 8 and she's been out about 10 times. Only producing something three times. I may get a second crate to keep downstairs so I can put her in it for 15 minutes before taking her out to kind of reinforce the "pee after you get out of the box" philosophy.

Jess' play rehearsals are going well. She's supposed to be there until 2pm but because she's in the chorus and doesn't have a principal role, she has been getting a ride home at noon when they break for lunch. I think today is the first day they are all required to stay until 2, and then next week on Wednesday and Thursday it will be long days for all, including a full dress rehearsal. I am impressed with the fact that they are taking a bunch of kids and having them put on a full-fledged musical with 10 days of practice and learning. I am looking forward to what they present (In case I forgot to mention, they're doing "The Wiz").

Geoff is enjoying camp and is already tan and blonde. Lucky!

The other day our washing machine broke. It still works, but it is leaking water from the bottom... and Doug and I decided we'd just go get a new one. So last night we hit the store and bought a really nice washer and dryer set, it'll be delivered next Saturday so we have to make do with what we've got for a week. I can handle that. Good thing the basement is already wet from all the rain. Our dehumidifier is working triple time.

So in the period of time I've had this journal, this is the second washing machine I've purchased. I shouldn't have left the last one behind. It was perfect and I loved it. LOVED it.


Double Meh.

I'm off to work -- gotta shuttle the kids to their respective locations and make sure Jess remembers to pack a lunch today.

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