May 2010


Evan’s text messages have diminished as they reached their campsites out of range of cell towers and also as his phone battery died (no car charger). But the last text was worth a lot:

“… About 2.5 miles into the trail we encountered a bear so we headed out early.”

I can’t wait to hear the details.

Well, Evan is gone. Fortunately he sent text messages.

Believe it or not, he is not tweeting or updating facebook but he’s been sending us text messages regularly. At least until he gets to a campsite – they are almost always out of range of any cell service. So basically we’ve been getting updates from the road.

I’ve been enjoying them. I look forward to future updates until he gets to his destination camp for CRU at which point I don’t expect much.

I replaced another section of my fence! But seriously, a lot went on.

I did in fact replace not one but two sections of my fence. But this was the first official HOT weekend. The temperature got up to 90 and the humidity also climbed. This is nothing compared to what the mid and late summer will be like but it’s been nice and cool for a long time and that first hot weekend is a bit of a slap in the face. I happened to be working in deep shade and it was windy so it could have been worse.

In addition, Evan was packing for his big trip to Colorado. The time has come and he began to pile and pack and run to the store to get last minute items. This is not his first mission trip but it will be the longest, the hardest (in the sense that be will be in a position of responsibility), and the most expensive. This last item has been the hardest for me to understand but now I think I do.

If you want to do any mission work, you usually just join some existing effort as a volunteer but if you want to take it to the next level, you find something that needs to be done and then raise your own support. Campus Crusade has lots of programs in place that provide something that needs doing and they make you raise your own support but this typically includes your own salary. Oddly enough, they set that or at least they put a cap on it. You can attend the project if you only raise your expenses but you’re an unpaid volunteer.

In the Methodist church, you can go to the committee on missions and request support although Evan did not do that until he had reached about 90% of his funding. He did that ask-friends-and-family thing. The church may yet make up the balance since he got a couple of late-innings checks on Saturday. That would actually put him over the top with a surplus. I’m amazed that any college student would cough up $100 or more since I don’t recall ever putting more that a couple dollars in any given collection plate but actually several have. I can only conclude that we are raising a good generation of kids.

So off he goes today with a friend who was passing through on his way from Little Rock and they are super excited. They’re actually taking a few extra days to do some camping in northern New Mexico and this really underscores how he’s growing up. He’s making a road trip.

Erin is out of school and this upcoming memorial day weekend, she starts her job at the city pool concession stand. After all the griping about it last year, she apparently considers it the lesser of evils and signed up for another year. Her boss was thrilled; apparently always showing up on time is somewhat of a rarity at that job level.

She’ll be working there with a friend who is a lifeguard. I like her because although her name is Megan, Erin once misspelled her name on facebook as ‘Megar’ and now everybody calls her that. It sounds like a Japanese monster. MEGAARRR!

My grass is absurdly long but my mower is broken and so I have to just wait on the yard guy who only comes every two weeks. I bought the parts I think I need but somehow never got around to doing anything about it.

I spent quite a bit of time battling ants. They have decided that they want to own my house and I can’t figure out what they want. They seem not to be in the pantry, they just wander around randomly but a particularly deep cleaning revealed a few M&Ms under a chair cushion. Anyway, I set off a bunch of big bombs before heading to church in the hopes of getting rid of them. Upon returning, I went around the house with some caulk to stop up any tiny holes where I saw them going in. If this doesn’t work, I will give up and call an exterminator. I hate that option mostly because it makes the house reek of exterminator for a week but if that’s what it takes then so be it.

So, to me this has been the first official week of summer. I’m a bit sad at Evan’s leaving but he’ll be back in 8 weeks or so and in the meantime there’s a lot fencing yet to be replaced.

Evan’s been home for over a week but Erin is just now finishing up. She is exempt from finals and has to help out with graduation so she still has to get up and be somewhere but any meaningful learning is pretty much over. There will be much late sleeping in their future.

Except for this morning when we had a line of storms move through that made a bright red band on the radar. That produced enough thunder to wake Evan up pretty quickly.

That donate button on the right there is me experimenting with putting a donate button on Evan’s blog. He is heading to Colorado next week to do a summer mission project with Campus Crusade in which he’ll help run a camp for inner city kids from Denver.

At 8000 feet in the Rockies.

Could be interesting. He’s almost there donation-wise and hopefully, he can make up another $900 or so.

The button works though. In case anybody is feeling generous. All those people who land here by searching on “Knocked out by boobs” are in for a rude awakening.

Rain is good but only up to a point.

It rained a lot last week; so much so that the lawnmower guy could not work which put him way behind. That was bad news for me since the grass was ridiculously long and really could not be put off. So I had Evan do it and called the lawnmower guy and had him give me a pass for this week.

Unfortunately, my mower seems not to have survived the winter – or at least won’t start. We felt some urgency to get it done due to more approaching rain so we went to borrow the in-law’s mower.

Things look much better, we beat the rain, but my mower is still leaking gas. We responded by all piling into the car and going to Pop’s.

For some reason, Evan has developed a deep love for this strange little diner in Arcadia that sells about 500 varieties of soda out of dozens of coolers. It is fun to go though and we stayed for lunch. Erin was going to a birthday party that night too so it was a good opportunity to pick up a unique gift. I got a route 66 T- shirt.

We also went outside to take some photos in front of the giant pop bottle and in so doing, captured one of those rare one- of-kind photos that you always hope for. I was taking a normal picture of Erin when Evan leaped into the photo making a face. Classic photobomb. It was an instant hit on facebook.

We drove back home along route 66 rather than taking the turnpike. I had never been along there before so we saw the towns of Stroud, Chandler, and some that I’ve forgotten already. There are some classic landmarks along there, one of which was inspiration for one of the businesses in the movie Cars; the Rock Cafe. The sign said ‘open’ but all other evidence was to the contrary.

It was fun; it gave me a chance to avoid thinking about the ants in our house that i’ve been battling and which I returned to battling when we got home. I really need to get back to working on my fence too. I’ve been away from it for two weeks now and am feeling that if I don’t get back on it, i’ll never finish.

Not a story from a vacation but a story about a vacation that was not to be. These little annoyances happen all the time to everyone but I write about them as if they were profound and original.

I won a prize at this past year’s Christmas party: two plane tickets to anywhere in the US or Canada. This would seem to be a windfall but is working out to be like the proverbial monkey’s paw: a huge bunch of trouble.

We had a grand plan made up which was to take place while Erin was in a two week long camp at OSU in June. We were going to Prince Edward Island to visit Anne of Green Gables country. We should have made our arrangements sooner but by the time we did, all tours were booked. That is a popular destination it turns out. Well, that’s OK especially since we didn’t yet know if Erin was admitted to the program or not.

So on to plan B. We decided to visit my brother in North Carolina. The airline was running short of these giveaway seats so I had to book quickly. I had to email the director at the Oklahoma board of regents and ask him for a heads up just so I could lock in these flights.

Yes was what he said so I finalized things. Then when we got the materials, lo and behold, we find that she is supposed to come home during that midpoint weekend. Not only that but a parent is supposed to show up and check her out. So much for the two week thing.

I called the airline and was informed that there were no other seats available of that type anywhere or any time. To rebook would incur a fee of $300. Ouch!

“Well damn!” was my overall reaction. I cancelled everything and resolved to deal with it later.

Perhaps it’s just as well; it’s becoming apparent that we’re going to have to do some more college visits so my days off will likely be used up with that.

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