Staying the hell out of the way…

I don’t get the kids down here to Charlotte all that much, what with their lives and goings on. That’s what the experts probably advise: prepare them as best you can then stay the hell out of the way. So I go to them and that works just fine. It makes when we do manage to get together all that much better. The brood is in good order. I saw that first-hand last week in St. Paul, MN.


May 12, 2014

Ellen/Reid: What I do know after this past weekend is that I will return – today – to the semi-vegan diet that was totally abandoned while around you guys. But it was the sort of weekend you wouldn’t have any other way. It was totally fun and now we can put a wrap on three consecutive weekends of Emma’s birthday celebrations. She had to be on complete sensory overload what with all the people and all the stuff. Her grandfather met his sugar quota for at least the next year. Geez. That was a lot of sweets, much of it admittedly self induced. But a few days in a row isn’t that bad. Here’s to hoping we can all return to a dietary routine.

Ellen and Reid above the St. Croix River just across from  Minnesota. This is what they've become - good adults and good people.

Ellen and Reid above the St. Croix River just across from Minnesota. This is what they’ve become – good adults and even better people.

One thing is for certain, the steaks that Donna and Tom grilled to perfection are not the sort you can find in the South. Those were incredible. Nothing like Midwestern beef. Saturday night was just great fun, and their cabin was beyond belief. This morning I’ll call the wine shop that’s close to them and send them some sort of gift certificate on our joint behalf for whatever wines they normally consume, which would seem to be pinot noir. It was so gracious of them to let me crash at their house. About the only time I had to talk to them, and that was with Tom because he nearly rivaled me in getting up at the crack of dawn, was in the morning since I was hitting the sack so early.

Ellen and Tim are the best of couples - and parents.

Ellen and Tim are the best of couples – and parents.

Emma has just grown and progressed so much even since Thanksgiving. It was such a contrast from then to now. Sure, she’s just two but she’s putting away her toys and being responsible, mostly, much of the time. She’s just a good little girl. It was marv to see Kristin and Jeff. It hadn’t been since the wedding. Kristin seems happy with Delsin, who seems like a really good guy, and Jeff seems relieved to have graduate school over and done with. He seems to like the Twin Cities and I hope he finds the right sort of job.

Boy, you guys sure have good dirt up there. Thanks for letting me plow asunder some of the garden and do a little planting. Other than the weekend Emma was born, that’s really the first time my hands have gotten dirty by handling soil. If only I had a small garden plot to tend to. That would be complete nirvana. A few seeds here and there, plus pulling a few weeds, would be a total joy. A space smaller than the one you have would suit me just fine. Nice to see the raspberries coming up again. That’s the one perennial I wish could be grown down here.

Emma wasn't all that sold on a tram ride down to the St. Croix. Tim's arms seemed to take care of any qualms she had.

Emma wasn’t all that sold on a tram ride down to the St. Croix. Tim’s arms seemed to take care of any qualms she had.

The flight home was pretty uneventful. I hit a jackpot of sorts in that there was a vacant center seat between me and the adjacent passenger. That really was a bonus in today’s age of jam-packed, sardine-ish seating and flights. Got home early and was immediately greeted by heat in the upper 80s. Not that it was oppressive but it was just warm compared to Minnesota. My intent was to walk but I ended up on the couch and closed the evening with Game of Thrones. I don’t think this season is quite as gripping as the others before it.

There was a crush of emails when I logged on this morning about 6:00. But those are all sorted or disposed of by now and it’s back to the work routine. Thanks again for this past weekend. The one thing it bolsters is that there aren’t enough of those long weekends. I’ll continue in my quest to get you guys down here at some point yet this year, so keep me in mind if you have a few spare days.

Love, Dad


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