Mel and I had a taste of what life is to be like from now on this past weekend.  Evan had to work a full schedule of lifeguarding at the pool and Erin was invited to a friend’s lakehouse for the weekend.  I wish somebody had invited me to the lake for the weekend!  As a result, Mel and I had a lot of spare time together but we never knew when somebody would call or come blowing in wanting food so we didn’t do much that was different from normal.

I finally tackled a nagging issue with one of the gutters which I had been dreading and procrastinating on.  That would be an episode of my TV show:  real issues that real people have.  Things you have to do that don’t make your house any prettier; they just get you back to normal.  This particular problem was one of many that face homeowners in which you can invest heavily in monetary terms or invest heavily in time.  I always go with the latter but hope to one day grow out of that.

Basically, the fascia behind a gutter was rotted due to a strange confluence of roof lines and I had to either remove the entire gutter, replace the fascia, put all new guttering in, and paint the new guttering to match or somehow do microsurgery on the wood behind the gutter and salvage the gutter.  I chose the latter.  It involved much sweating, working awkward positions on the edge of the roof and two trips to Lowes but in the end, the job was done and I’m pretty happy with it.  My illustrious brother in law came over to watch at one point and ended up being invaluable.

Plus, I took action on the lawn mower issue and bought what I believe is a nice one.  Let it be said here in public:  I think I bought a nice mower and I intend to follow the manual and take care of it and I think it will last at least 10 years.  You read it here first.  This one is more powerful than the last (although at 6.5 HP, it’s not what I would call large), it is self-propelled, and it has a Honda engine.  I’m hopeful that the last item will insure better performance than the last engine which self destructed inside for no reason.  I think Erin and I will take the old one apart just for kicks.  It’s easier to throw away that way too:  the trash men won’t take lawn mowers but they will take lawnmower parts that are hidden inside the other trash.  I’m sure that’s against the rules but I don’t know what else to do; the dump is a long long drive from the house and I don’t want to devote that much time to it.  I guess that’s like the story of the guy who stole a car one part at a time.

But mowing the lawn with the new mower, even in the heat of the afternoon, is so much superior that pushing the old clunker around that perhaps I won’t mind it any more.  As long as it will start without my tinkering with it for half an hour first, I’m OK with it.  But the self-propelled feature is pretty sweet.

Erin got back late Sunday night with no sunburn and many stories to tell and not too exhausted so that ended well.  I had some trepidation about the entire adventure; it’s the parent in me I guess.  I have visions of all sorts of bad things that could happen even though she was with the nicest, safest, most respectable family I have ever met.  And of course she was fine.  Not even any sunburn and apparently, she learned to water ski a little.  Again, one of the kids has accomplished something that I never did.  I guess that’s the way it goes.