Adventures

Hero’s journey.

Party Pegasus

Lady Bug recently had her birthday weekend. A two day run of festivities. We celebrated the birthday weekend because of parenting guilt for not preparing a party or bothering to bake a cake. In fact, we had no real plans for how to celebrate with our four-year-old until about two days before her big event.

As the day broke we realized that something must be done. When I got home from work everyone loaded up into the car for a trip to Toys R Us. Up and down the aisles looking at all manner of cheap plastic shit to step on. Why do we constantly buy this stuff? Each child selected something that they couldn’t live without and the birthday girl got a larger budget than the others. A total first-world way to handle the issue. Once everyone is satisfied with their selection we pay the lady at the front and get into the van. The children immediately open the new toys and lose 53% of all the accessory trinkets in each box.

All that shopping made us hungry so we went to the number one choice for when mommy says, “I don’t care..” when asked where to eat. Cracker Barrel. It was 7:40 at night so we hoped the dinner rush was finished. As we pulled in the parking lot I noticed a charter bus with a large Cruisin-for-Christ logo down the side. I don’t suppose the logo is relevant to the story other than I found it humorous as I imagined what road tripping for the lord in a charter bus and stopping at the Cracker Barrel actually looked like. I found out. Inside the lobby was a group of 40+ septuagenarians who refused to group up and share tables so they were being sat two at a time. I was disappointed. I feel that Jesus would have encouraged sharing of tables. Especially in the midst of a cruise in his honor. BDAY2

I could see that my family of six was out of luck for quick eats. We had to fall back to the always decent second choice of Olive Garden. The only place that I go into with the intent of eating soup and salad and end up bingeing on every carb ever created. This trip went exactly like that. Pasta speaks to me in a dark and romantic language. As I crammed the last scorched end of a buttery breadstick down into my stomach I remembered that we promised ice cream as desert. The girls were smart enough not to touch their dinner while I ate like a land based catfish; hovering over uneaten scraps. Shoveling the precious pasta into my pie-hole.

Once I felt totally defeated from the inside out I sat in my self-loathing for a few moments until I overheard a conversation that was happening a couple of booths down. A grandmother person was angry at a child person and was berating her. The child spilled a drink and it ran off the table into this grandmother person’s purse. Grandma proceeded to pepper the child with frustration and f-bombs to the point I thought she was going to become physically violent. The mother of the child was there but remained silent. Obviously, she was a victim of the same type of abuse. It was very disappointing to watch.

I noticed my girls starting to stare at the action and I got their attention.

UD: See that lady. (I pointed)

Kids: Yes.

UD: No one should ever talk to you like that.

Kids: Okay daddy.

UD: Don’t let them!

Kids: We won’t.

UD: There’s a second part…

Kids: What?

UD: Don’t ever treat anyone like that. No matter how frustrated or mad you get. Look around. I mean it. Everyone here has an opinion of that woman now and it isn’t a good one. Her kids will grow up thinking that treating people that way is normal. You can’t be part of that.

Kids: Okay.

UD: I love you girls.

Kids: Love you too daddy.

They seemed to understand that not all people are nice and that calling a child a “stupid little f*ck” is generally in poor taste. It was hard to get out of my head because those scenarios are tricky. I have trouble deciding on action because nothing big will change and my saying something might make a bad situation worse for the child. I do report people who are really shitty but I don’t confront people directly as often as I would like. We paid off the Italian overlords and got up to leave.

As I lumbered into the parking lot, smelling like garlic and shining from the greasy glow of alfredo sauce, I realized that I would need a minute before heading to the ice cream shop. We went to the literary purgatory known as Books-A-Million. Everyone got a book because of course they did. I turn my back for one minute and they had made their selections. I didn’t really turn my back. I actually took a dump in the world’s most uncomfortable bathroom. The only stall is handicap accessible which means the door is five feet away so you already feel like you are pooping in the middle of a room but the extra gaps in the partition walls really help bring the feeling home. When you can make eye contact through the small gaps in the wall and feel the social impulse to wave or do the head nod thing, I think the gap is too big. Toilets should be caves of solitude. Regardless, I am a man of action. A second critique of the bathroom… washing up I learned that the water pressure at Books-A-Million is amazing. The slightest turn of the knob ignited a geyser that soaked my pants in the general region where incontinence would have done the same. I returned to the sales floor with a large wet stain on the front of my pants and I tried to not make eye contact with the gentleman who ventured into the bathroom and stared at me through the partition gap.

I was more than ready when we left for ice cream. Not just any ice cream. The good place where they mix all the candy you want into the most glutinous pile of sweet cream ever scooped. My children have a terrible habit of touching, licking, or face pressing any glass display cases that they come across. The only problem is that other kids do the same. I noticed Donna Threeto sliding her hand across the glass just in time to tell her that I think she ran her hand through a smeared and dried booger. It was crusty and slightly green. What did she do? Smelled her hand and then licked it. I suppose to see if I told her the truth. I don’t even try to understand anymore. All the girls devoured their ice creams and we realized that it was way past bedtime so we started for home.

We managed to bribe the kids into bed solely on the fact that we still had birthday festivities the next day. We had promised a night at the movies to see Captain Underpants. I started to question the whole birthday weekend concept.

BDAY3

Captain Underpants was exactly the kind of movie that it promised to be. Fart humor. Funny banter. Crazy plot lines. Everyone had a good time. We snuck in some half -filled bags of candy and finished them off with popcorn once we got settled. Lady Bug set her bag down beside her chair and during the movie she started reaching down beside her seat by muscle memory to find her popcorn. Her eyes were glued to the screen. The bag fell away at some point and I noticed that Lady Bug was still reaching down beside her seat and eating something she picked up. Further investigation showed that she was eating the long forgotten pieces of old popcorn that fell between the seats sometime within the last five years. I only put the time limit of five years because surely, they manage to vacuum the seats at some interval? I shuddered in the darkness and then told her to stop eating the seat treats. What else could I do at that point? Charcoal, induce vomiting, stomach pumping? I leaned over towards Supermom.

UD: (in a whisper) I think Lady Bug just ate old seat popcorn.

Supermom: Nice.

UD: I told her to stop.

Supermom: Good.

 

The movie ended. We left the theater and Supermom decided that she needed a new bathing suit for going to the river the next day. We went to Target just before closing time; with four children who were jacked up on Sprite, popcorn, and a movie about flying around in underpants.

BDAY5

It was a test of my patience. It also tested my humility because my job was to take pieces of the swimsuits back to the rack and exchange sizes as needed by Supermom. The only worse job would be taking the four girls tampon shopping and having to explain the features of all the wings and strings and where each might fit in their future active lives.

BDAY4

I thought we were nearing the end of the punishment when Lady Bug announces that she needs to poop. Supermom disappeared to the bathroom with Lady Bug. I was left holding a striped blue swimsuit top while standing near the entrance like a creeper guy who got a job as a greeter. If Target even bothered with greeters. Honestly the store feels a little too arrogant for that. A few minutes later Supermom emerged with the blank stare of a parent who is done for the day. The exact same stare I had for the previous 45 minutes. Turns out the seat popcorn might have triggered diarrhea. Awesome.

At that point I knew we had achieved birthday success. It started with indulgence. Progressed through entertainment. Ended with shitting of pants in a Target bathroom. The tale of all good birthdays!

If you enjoy a good celebratory binge, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

River Days

Yesterday we took the girls to the river. What river? THE River. Anytime a place becomes a familiar hangout it loses any associated proper nouns. The river. The lake. The farm. The movies. Our river is a place on a bluff against the Tennessee River.

It was a work trip. Our goal for the day was to get the boat dock secured in place after the spring floods. The dock had been stored on a trailer all winter and now that it is June, the red wasps and mud wasps had built lots of nests. No worries though, I didn’t get stung. Dad used a broom and water hose to send most of the bees away. The few that hung around were murdered in a brutal chemical attack from GJ. We put the floating dock into the water at the boat ramp and embarked on a voyage to float it back to its home. Granddaddy, Supermom, and I paddled like an out-of-shape group of river rafters from a Mark Twain novel. A neighbor tried to bring his Waverunner out to help us but he discovered that he was out of gas and needed a paddle of his own. No good deeds go unpunished.

The dock and gangway were installed with zero life-threatening events. A definite improvement over days gone by. We had an audience from the local water police agency. They were watching us through binoculars. I assume they were trying to figure out what the hell we were paddling down the river and if we should be ticketed for not having running lights, registration numbers, using an unregulated paddle, or not being properly secured within a coast guard approved life jacket. Ultimately, they seemed satisfied that we were not going to die and the raced off to more important violations.

After some lunch and cleaning out mud wasp nests from the boat, we were ready to take a river cruise. The girls had been waiting all day to ride in the boat and swim in the river. We slowly migrated down the 42 steps from the pavilion to the pontoon boat. Everyone took their seat and we set sail.

The sky was a deep blue with a healthy supply of cotton ball clouds. We had a strong wind in our hair because the first cruise of the year must be enjoyed at full throttle, for the good of the engine. The girls were riding on the front of the boat with their faces in the breeze like four happy Labrador puppies. The music was rocking some summer-boat-country tunes and the girls were dancing along. Supermom was sitting on the back reading her kindle and soaking up some sun.

It was one of those nice moments that exist in the midst of the chaos of life. In that moment, everything was simple and right with the world. It made me wonder if they would even capture the day as a memory. I think so.

We landed the boat on a sandy bank that we call a beach. A river beach. The girls played in the water beside the boat and tried to bury their legs in the muddy sand. Granddaddy’s dog, a sometimes mentally challenge chocolate labra-doodle, ran up and down the beach as fast as she could go. We played until the sun started to set and we went back to the pavilion for some chicken, corn, and macaroni & cheese dinner. Jane got to drive the boat for a few minutes and learned about navigation buoys. We played some side-yard whiffle ball. I learned my children have better hand-eye coordination than I give them credit for. Darkness settled in and Granddaddy started a fire in the fire pit. Everyone gathered around in chairs and told funny stories while the logs slowly burned.

Around 10:00, everyone was way past tired and ready for bed. Supermom and I loaded everyone up in the minivan and headed home. We rolled in the door and all four girls marched straight to bed and went to sleep. Supermom and I did the same. It was a good day.

I know the girls will remember the river as they grow up. They will remember being able to ride on a boat, play in muddy sand, run wild in the yard beside the camper, sit on the deck and watch the barges, hunt for fossils in the crumbly limestone rock that lines the river bank, smell meat cooking on at least one grill, and hear a constant backdrop of music that drifts from country to rock and back again. I’m thankful that they have those opportunities. I know that I am loving dad and a fun dad, most of the time. I also know I’m not the dad that is going to own a camper or a boat or be really motivated to put those experiences together.

Thankfully my dad is. Happy Father’s Day. I love you and all you do to create space for all the memories we enjoy!

I have a second father who my children call Papaw. He has a lot of the same motivations albeit more farm and horse oriented. I’ve learned from both that doing things creates more memories than having things. We’ve done lots of things over the years.

If you have a dad who is awesome, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Summer 17 Notes

I have lots of good notes in my phone about things to mention in my blog. How about I just mention them and we have several disconnected laughs.

First note. A couple new rules. Toilet Seats do not double as armrests. I may have covered this before but it is still a relevant concern. Just because you can fit your narrow behind into the toilet doesn’t mean you should. I had to rescue a child who was panicked from being stuck. She looked like a bully had crammed her into the toilet down to her armpits. Legs were all hanging over the side like crab legs on the side of a buffet pan.

We also still have to discuss not using technology while on the toilet to prevent rooster-tailing the underside of the lid. I thought twice would be enough but apparently My Little Pony LARP is some fascinating stuff. I need to throw away their iPads.

Second note. Don’t wipe your face down the glass display case for the fancy meats and cheeses at the deli. Having a greasy booger streak mark across the assorted meat selection is not good for business. There really is zero need for it. Lady Bug was the culprit in this one. She was staring at the Oven Roasted Turkey loaf and suddenly pressed her nose into the glass with a thud and started sliding her face to the right. What neurons must fire in a brain for it to say, “Hmmm, I should rub my face on this surface.”?

I can’t take these kids anywhere. I shouldn’t take them to eat at fast food places because they don’t like anything. I’ll never understand how people who eat boogers and lick random surfaces can be completely disgusted by a ham sandwich and proclaim, “It’s GROSS.” They ended up with a small drink and a bag of chips. Restaurants should really research smaller straws for the small drinks because kids have a preset notion of where a cup should be located, in relation to their mouth. They end up gagging themselves on the large sized straw because it extends six inches past the top of the drink. Donna spent half the meal licking her straw like a mother cat cleaning a baby. She is encouraged by the phrase, “Please stop.”

Wed_PedalPub

Exercise and booze cruise combined into a strange street phenomenon. 

Third note. When should you have the big talk? You know the one… Here are the differences and how your body works and don’t trust men because they only want the goodies until they are around twenty-five, then they mostly want the goodies but they might carry an honorable or coherent thought. This is a topic I want to devote a larger blog post towards. The topic comes up from time to time and we have had a couple of talks with some of the girls. It is awkward and uncomfortable and necessary.

Fourth note. I got stung by a wasp a week ago. It left a mark that was about the size of my hand and it lasted for three days. Then I got better. Then I got stung again this weekend. A small bee got into my shirt and stung me twice before I could crush him into a venomous paste. I spent the better part of a wedding reception dosed up on Benadryl. I hate bees. So so much. They find me somehow. They taunt me at traffic lights and just outside my bedroom window. Flying anger needles.

Fifth note. You really never know what you will find in a house with lots of kids. While cleaning out a kitchen cabinet, Supermom found a tooth in a plastic cap. Dried. Cracked. Un-accepted by the toothfairy and therefore it hasn’t been placed into the official tooth record. We don’t know which child the tooth came from. I think the kids may know but they are testing the veracity of the toothfairy narrative by waiting to see if she gets it right. They suspect us and are working to unravel our lies.

Wed_Tooth

Sixth note. This weekend we attended my cousin’s wedding. (Congrats Mad and Cam!) The same wedding from the bee story earlier. There were several interesting things about the day besides the obvious magic of watching two best friends become husband and wife. None of my kids farted during a silent pause in the ceremony so we are doing better than the last wedding they attended. The reception was in an old car factory that was founded around 1913.

Wed_MarathonI’ve seen it several times from the interstate but I never knew it had been renovated and repurposed. One of the buildings houses repurposed antiques and oddities. It is associated with the American Pickers show. There was a baby wolfman mummy that was interesting but the giant pig-head that read “Kiss Me You Fool” was my personal favorite item.

Wed_PigHead

During our journey, out of town, there was a slow down on the interstate. We saw blue lights and some activity ahead. Turns out a small aircraft had to make an emergency landing. With all the light poles and overpasses it is amazing that the plane landed in one piece. The pilot definitely channeled some Captain Sully skills.

Wed_Plane

If life has been busy and the summer has been in full swing, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Birthday Goat Summer

School’s out for the summer. Yay.

Everyone passed their classes so everyone has leveled up. Donna Threeto graduated kindergarten. I guess a lot has happened since I last updated everyone.

We had a birthday party for Jane several weeks ago. She is ten now. We have gotten out of the habit of holding birthday parties for anyone but usually feel guilty enough to slap something together at the last minute. It isn’t that we don’t want to celebrate but rather we are poor planners. Who wants to juggle the coordination of locations, spending five times what you expected, and trying to have a guest list that invites everyone who would be offended if they were but is pared down enough to fit everyone into one space. Maybe we are just bad people or unmotivated. Who knows. Janes birthday was going to be different.

She felt a special significance towards reaching double digits and was emphatic about having a party. Her choice of party was having all her friends out to the farm to meet her animal friends. This would be a friends party and I made sure the invitations mentioned “Horses, Goats, Food, and Fun”. We folded the invites and wrote each friend’s name on the outside and packed them into her backpack.

Here is where I will offer a tip for other last minute parents. If you write out an invitation on the computer, save a copy. Or print an extra. Or write down the time that you invited everyone. I didn’t do any of this. I printed an exact number and closed the Word document without saving. About a day later I couldn’t remember the exact time of the party.

As the party date got closer the weather forecast became more ominous. Jane looked at me on the Wednesday before that weekend, with tears in her eyes, afraid we would cancel. She had been dealing with that transition from childhood to tween where the illusions of life begin to fade and mix with reality. She needed to know that a special fun day was still possible. I promised that rain or shine we would have the party. And we did. The forecast the night before showed rain until the start of the party and then it was predicted that the weather would clear. If we could deal with a few minutes of rain then the party might be a success.

Party2

The day of the party was cloudy and had been rainy right up to an hour before party time. We had three tailgating tents, a charcoal grill, and several camping chairs. Her friends all arrived with mud boots or flip flops. For the first thirty minutes everything went smoothly. Then the rain started. It got more intense and the wind started to drive it sideways into the safety of the tents. Lightning started to crash and everyone was pretty well soaked by the time we acknowledged time-of-death and moved the festivities indoors.

Party1

I was a little disappointed because I bought several foam swords and hoped to have an epic battle. We had one at the house later so that was cool. The only downside of the foam swords is that now Judy Cornbread is deathly afraid of anyone holding anything that looks like a sword. She is non-confrontational and watching us beat each other was traumatizing. Plus the kids have probably beaten her when I wasn’t looking.

What I went on the trip to California.

We had the traditional Mother’s Day. Good lunch. Good dinner. Supermom didnt get any time to sit alone and read which I found out is what she actually wanted.

Then things turned a little darker last weekend. I warn you about some graphic pictures to follow. Read on at your own risk.

So my mother lives near some bona-fide white trash pieces of shit who own some large dogs who roam the neighborhood and team with other strays to terrorize the countryside. They started a fight with Chester Sparkles last year and he fought them off but was hurt pretty bad.

Party4

This is Chester Sparkles. He is a happy boy. 

They have returned to kill a few chickens here and there. Last week they returned and got into the goat pen. Two baby goats are dead and two adults are seriously injured.

Poor_baby

Bite marks on the neck only. They had one intention. 

One of the goats is named Eli and is a favorite of the girls. He got goat polio as a kid and was nursed back to health by constant attention from my mother and the girls. He is extremely friendly and definitely a main character on the farm. The dogs did some damage to his front right leg and his hind leg. Another goat, named June, is questionable to recover because the dogs tore a muscle in her rear leg.  I’m usually a big fan of dogs but this rogue pack has two Rottweilers and a Pit Bull and no oversight from their owners. At the end of the day, dogs are pack predators and, if left in the wild, will act accordingly.

A couple of days after the attack, Eli was still not eating and was just laying around. Mamaw suggested having the girls come visit to make him feel better. The minute the girls got there he began eating and moved around more than he had the day before. He wanted to feel the safety of his friends. They lifted his spirits. She captured several heartwarming pictures.

Eli_Visit

Is there a sweeter picture? You are crying aren’t you? You should be.

Everyone feels better after a visit from their friends.

Eli_Note

As far as the dogs. I hope they die of parvo and heart worms. Slowly. One upside to living in the country in the south is that neighbors are all armed and have no trouble protecting each other. Offering hide out and snipe the offenders was as common a response on Facebook as the tearful emoji.  I expect it won’t take too long to relocate the problem animals. As far as the crappy owners, that problem is not likely to resolve itself. Unless their meth lab explodes or the moldy cement blocks under their rusty El Camino crack just as one of them slides under the frame to cut off the muffler for the platinum catalyst because he read on the internet that it was worth “big bucks”. I’m sure if he drank less than a case of Natural Light by noon each day then he would be able to feed his dogs instead of letting them off the chain to go scavenge. Fucking hicks.

I’m venting and assuming. I don’t really know them that well.

Take a breath. Count to ten. Okay… Moving on.

Lady Bug came to visit me at work the other day. She enjoyed some delicious pizza and then proceeded to draw a little over 105 separate rabbits. One of my co-workers drew a recognizable rabbit and then Lady Bug attempted to recreate it.

Rabbits

She actually has some good scale and artist skills. She is turning four in a couple of weeks so I’m impressed.

Jane is trying to convince me that we need a snake as a pet. Petsmart has a pink cornsnake that she wants. I think we need a new house or a small petting zoo before we add any animals.

If your life is going a little, birthday goat summer, this post is for you. You’re welcome. Here is a funny picture of a dog photobombing an Easter photo session.

Ruining_It

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Wander Over Yonder

There is something about life and the steady march forward that is, at times, depressing. I hadn’t been able to put my finger on it for the past few years but I’ve felt it. The feeling that each step forward requires leaving something behind. Things that define me. Little intangible things that become faded memories. My hairline recedes while my waistline expands. It is hard to remind yourself that the past doesn’t exist and the traditions you left aren’t lingering just beyond view. They have moved on as well.

I have a few friends who have been a part of my story and life is doing its best to spread us far and wide. Our kids don’t know each other and given our histories, that seems criminal. I have some other friends that, honestly, I don’t know all of their kids’ names. I try to commit them to memory whenever I see them scroll by on Facebook. It is difficult at best. Until I say them out loud a few times, in person, I probably won’t remember. Nostalgia and a longing to keep connected wrestles with an impossible schedule. I can’t seem to carve out time to clean my garage to change the hard-to-reach light bulb in my stairwell. How can I expect to keep up friendships?

A couple of years ago I took a trip to California to be best man in my best friend’s wedding. It was a great trip and I met a lot of great people. Since that trip, my friend’s life has changed and his little girl is getting older. We tell everyone that we are brothers from another mother and my kids know him as an uncle that lives across the country.

One night I was texting with my friend and lamenting to my wife that I never got the chance to go hang out anymore. She was obviously bored with hearing about it and told me I could go visit. I quickly searched for tickets and lo-and-behold there were cheap ones. Like really cheap. I booked a trip leaving on a Thursday and returning the following Monday so I would have three unimpeded days of “hanging out”. Neither of us really considered the logistics but I was very excited to have a chance to see my friend and his young family.

I also learned that when you tell family that you are going on a weekend trip across the country by yourself, they have one of two reactions. 1) Is everything okay? You know… martially? And 2) Are you looking for a new job?

  • Yes… yes.
  • No

I just want to go do hoodrat stuff with my friends. Is that too much to ask? (A YouTube video reference)

The weekend that I selected was for the exact purpose that our calendar was absolutely clear. Nothing going on. Within one week of leaving the schedule started to fill. Severe storms threatened with tornados and flooding. Jane had a horse riding event to go to. Prima had her first overnight birthday party. Jungle Papaw was coming to visit. My sister from Florida was coming to visit. Plus Supermom does not deal with me leaving in a particularly pleasant manner.

I flew away with a storm brewing at home but I was still excited. The flight out was long. I started in Memphis. Flew to Tampa to change planes and fly to San Jose.

Cali1

An alarm sounded and a cap came whizzing by on a Segway. 

I watched security transfer 10 Million dollars out of the belly of our plane. Bag after bag of cash came down the conveyor. I expected a shoot-out and explosions but it didn’t happen.

Cali2

I managed to see all of the oceans of America in one day. The flight from Tampa was awesome. I sat next to a mother with a six month old baby who liked to breastfeed and fart every thirty minutes. When he wasn’t eating, he was drooling on my arm and kicking his legs while trying to make sounds. Cute kid but it made for a rough five hours.

I finally arrived in California and started the trip with a delicious In-And-Out double double. With fries. It was late so I went to bed. I had accommodations in the most comfortable bed I have enjoyed in a while. I didn’t even mind the Anna and Elsa pillows although I did feel guilty kicking Ms. K out of her room. The next day we went to Stanford to see the campus. We went to San Francisco and had an amazing sandwich. Went to The Ranch and played golf in the hills over-looking San Jose.

Cali4

I lost about sixteen golf balls and got into some stinging nettle plants. That night we went to a craft beer brew house and ate burritos from a taco truck. I got to meet several really cool dads. Shout out to my new friend “Alejandro” and fellow member of the JMSC. (Stay strong) The next day we took a family trip down to Monterrey and looked at the ocean. It was beautiful but the beach was not a useful beach. Cold water, coarse sand, pieces of seaweed, and cold breeze off the ocean.

Cali5

Later that afternoon I called Supermom to see how things were going on the home-front. She had just left a birthday party and was sitting at a traffic light when I heard a smashing sound and she said, “What the f&$%?!”

I could hear a wavering male voice in the background saying, “Don’t worry, don’t worry, I have insurance.”

Supermom said, “I’ll have to call you back. Someone just hit me.”

She hung up the phone and left me with a lot of questions. In about thirty seconds she called back in tears. “He ran away! I told him we needed a police report and he jumped in his truck and left! What an asshole!” I could hear people walking up and asking her if she was okay and offering their witness testimony of what happened. The man was driving a 2006 Toyota Tacoma, wearing a red hat, clean shaved white male in his mid-twenties, drunk, and a terrible person on the inside. If you see him, slap him.

The policeman arrived and according to procedure had to check Supermom’s information. We did not put the new insurance cards into the glovebox so she almost got a ticket. Luckily, the officer had a heart that was connected to a brain so he followed her to the house to see the new insurance card. A ticket for being the victim of a hit-and-run would have been icing on the cake.

Things got better the next day and we Facetimed and I managed to capture a screenshot of my wife wearing Harry Potter glasses. She said that if I planned on any physical contact for the next month then I probably should keep it to myself. What fun is that? (I do plan on physical contact so I will not be sharing.)

I got to see the inside of a Trader Joes so that was cool. The last evening in California we had a really great cookout. We tossed around a football and kicked a soccer ball. We ate steaks and corn on the cob while listening to 90’s era music on a blue tooth speaker. It was a good time and a good end to the weekend. I felt updated on my friend’s life and a little better about the speed of my own. I think adding a few memories here and there help to keep connected.

Flight home was uneventful. Snow on the Sierras. Turbulence near Houston. Supermom and Lady Bug met me at the airport. Everyone was happy to see me but the dog. Judy Cornbread was beyond excited, she was ecstatic. She was circling and making this strange sobbing sound. I thought she might need sedatives. Dogs are ridiculous.

So that’s my recent adventure. I’m tired from jet-lag, missing my family, and drinking a few too many beers. I know I need to post a little more frequently. I haven’t been in the writing mood. Thanks for sticking around to read this stuff. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.