Gerald, Tara, and the three little guys returned during the early morning hours yesterday after Southern Force lost 3-2 in the evening championship overtime game. Nevertheless, they reported a good time with family and friends. Tara had driven the entire way back to Illinois. They quickly settled down in waiting beds and all but Gerald were able to sleep in that morning although it was still a short night.
Gerald had to get up early to take our car down to Cape Girardeau to get “my” dent repaired in the new car. (He didn’t call it that; he has been very nice about my little dent that is costing a small fortune to repair.) His brother Keith happened to be in Cape for blood work, so he and Gerald had breakfast and later lunch together and Gerald caught a ride back to Keith’s farm, where I met him in the pickup to bring Gerald home. Despite spending the weekend with Tara and the boys, he really regretted not being able to see them Monday morning before they left for northern Illinois and the busy week ahead for Tara.
Aidan woke first and came quietly upstairs to the kitchen where I was eating my breakfast, and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. He ate bacon and an entire cup of yogurt and a few bites of toast in spite of telling me he wasn’t hungry yet. Maddux arrived at the table next, and then Tara and a smiling Payton. I was somewhat concerned that Maddux would be in a terrible fix when he discovered Gpa was not there to give him tractor and boat rides. But he not only woke up smiling but kept smiling and seemed to understand my explanation that Gpa wasn’t there. Tara persuaded the two older boys that they needed shoes and coats to go outside, and together we accomplished that and headed out to the lime pile.
Despite our only having one little child-size shovel, Aidan and Maddux shared it with no fights much to my amazement. They climbed the pile over and over, scooped lime into the wagon and wheelbarrow, and played together so well. Mary Ellen wrote on Facebook that one of these days Aidan will catch on that all his work is going from pile to wagon and back to pile—and then he will be ready to help Uncle Brian with something productive. Fortunately, he still enjoys all the digging and dumping with no need for productivity.
When both boys were thoroughly covered with lime dust, it was time for them to get on the road. Payton was still smiling when Tara brought him out to the van. Maddux had just asked to see Barney, who was waiting for him in the car. I brushed him off as well as I could, and he quickly climbed in as did Aidan. Tara was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they settled into their car seats, and I was grateful for her since she had a long day of driving ahead of her and probably interrupted sleep behind her when various boys needed night-time attention. But she too was smiling and we all waved goodbye.
Erin dropped in on her way home from work to pick up some mail, and I was able to get an update on Gma Shirley, whose scheduled 4 o’clock surgery Friday turned into late night surgery because of someone else needing the operating room. In intense pain, she was kept over night and didn’t get back home until Saturday night. I am glad Erin is there with her right now.
Today Gerald took Katherine to the Herrin Hospital for the first Tysabri infusion she has been allowed to have after a shingles attack. It was a difficult procedure today, but she told Gerald she was already experiencing improved sight.
I worked a bit going through some old letters from my cousin Carolyn Stanley-Tilt who has discovered and shared so much Martin family information. And I accomplished a few other things including loading yesterday’s dishes into the dishwasher and starting to carry my winter clothes upstairs to our bedroom closet. I even stopped for a cup of tea in the afternoon; and when I realized what time it was, I turned on Oprah. Her guest happened to be President Bush, whose book was released today. Then it was time for the news, which I watched as I fixed a bite of supper for Gerald and me for when he returned from the hospital.
In just a short time from one local news cast to the next, the fire in our Shawnee National Forest over west of Grand Tower has grown from 300 acres to 400. The dry fallen leaves on steep slopes there prohibit fire fighters from getting the fire under control. Fortunately, there are no homes or buildings there in the forest. The sparsity of rain in late summer has caused wide-spread bans on burning, but a dropped cigarette by a roadside can do a lot of damage in a hurry. I hope the fire doesn’t spread too much more.
Catching up - It has been a crazy couple of weeks of deliveries, unpacking product, bar coding, pricing, breaking down boxes, watering plants, writing orders, filling ...
8 months ago