A standoff with Emma…


If you ever go to Minnesota, time your visit to coincide with the state fair. An extravaganza of people watching, food (and then some) – it was a wonderland for little Emma, although she has her ‘moments’, too.

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September 2, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Wow, what a weekend. I don’t know how you could squeeze much more into not very many hours – state fair (impressive), a nice meal with Kristin and Jeff, stand up paddle boarding, etc.

Tim and Ellen traipse through the Minnesota State Fair. Time for themselves, even among the crowds.

Tim and Ellen traipse through the Minnesota State Fair. Time for themselves, even among the crowds.

I have instituted a new rule of thumb on post-trip recovery as of this moment: I get four hours of down time for every one hour spent doing things with you. So that means I’ve got 100+ hours of R&R ahead of me. That’ll work.

It is amazing to see Emma’s progress language-wise, behavior and just growing into her little person-hood. She’s just blossoming. And, she’s just a little pistol. Ellen, I hope you and Tim didn’t mind me standing firm during our Mexican standoff about her over throwing her shoes and sun hat out of the wagon in her fit of pique. Man, she’s got some resolve. In a lot of ways, that sort of independence is a good thing. I’m no discipline guru (case in point: look at the two of you) but she just needs to know where the boundaries are.

Emma rides the plastic ponies with the steadying hand of her dad.

Emma rides the plastic ponies with the steadying hand of her dad.

But she is just such a good little girl in all respects. She’s smart, perceptive and responsive. You guys have done a good job with her. It’s nice that she doesn’t get a lot of TV. It lets her little mind concentrate on other things.

Reid, thanks for letting Tim and I crash the party Sunday night. Donna and Tom do things right from start to finish. A couple of the people pulled me aside to say how impressed they were with you. That’s good for a dad to hear, and I’ve already told your mom about it. She’s glad to hear it, too.

I’ll tell you, if there’s a better fly caster than Tim, I’d like to see him or her. It’s just hard to imagine when you see how effortless he makes it.

I've seen lots of folks throw flies in my time - but there's no one better than Tim. The guy can bring it - and bring it softly.

I’ve seen lots of folks throw flies in my time – but there’s no one better than Tim. The guy can bring it – and bring it softly.

I mean, every single cast is just artful and perfect. I’d be out there slashing the water to a froth and he just lolls his way through it. I think he felt bad about not having a second rod but I was perfectly content watching his artistry. He put the fly right where the fish were and they responded as you would expect them to. If only I could transfer his skills to the salt water. I’m gonna head back to the ocean, at Charleston mostly probably, on Saturday, Sept. 13 to try my luck. Sounds like a good move, as suggested by Tim, to get a guide.

The fruit of Tim's labors: a nice 10 inch brown trout.

The fruit of Tim’s labors: a nice 10 inch brown trout.

This time I won’t go down and back on the same day but probably spend Friday night at some roadside inn so I can get up uber early, or however early it is the guide will tolerate. I could also go with him on a Saturday, then try it by my lonesome on Sunday.

It’s broiling down here today. Mid 90s. It is oppressive no matter how you slice it. It was that way the few days I was up in Minnesota so the plants are looking sickly and stressed. Some neighbors kept water on the vegetation on the front porch so things came through the heat in pretty good order. The paper ran a story while I was gone about planting a fall crop of lettuce and the like but I’m gonna wait a couple of weeks or so until the daytime heat really dies down. Man, those raspberries in your back garden are sure good. No wonder almost none of them ever make it into the kitchen. If I were Emma, I’d stand outside and eat them, too. She just loves those.

Among the unwelcome pieces of mail over the weekend were my property taxes. Ouch. All I can say is, living in SouthPark better damn well be worth it because it’s a helluva lot cheaper to live in South Carolina although it’s probably an idle threat on my part to move down there. Reid, I went online today to see the prices for renting my unit out to strangers and you’re guess of $150-$175 a night was pretty spot on. To judge from some of the fancy photos, I’ve really got to take care to get the right shots. I still think it’s about location-location-location and this spot would seem to be a fairly attractive one. But we shall see. I haven’t been snooping around about rentals up in your neck of the woods but will also get around to that this week. I appreciated your guy’s insights into this. Now I’ve got something to think about other than feeling guilty about playing hardball with Emma for not putting her shoes back on. She’ll get over it sooner than me.

Love, Dad

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