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Random Thoughts on a Warm Summer’s Day

Dear Friend,

I spent a moment today just observing the afternoon sky.

It was a very muggy day. No, more than muggy. Oppressive. But beautiful just the same.

My body was so wet that I could’ve used a squeegee as easily as a towel to dry myself off.

There was a gentle breeze, however. I could see wet gray clouds building into afternoon thunderstorms. I told my youngest child that they were just baby storms now, but very soon they would be all grown up and very grumpy.

I petted a dog that once was a favorite of my father-in-law. I told him that I knew that he missed his old owner, who passed away recently, but that my old friend was still here if he just listened carefully enough.

My youngest insisted that she saw grandpa at night – or at least she heard him walking around. Perhaps he hasn’t discovered that he’s dead yet?

I helped my mother-in-law fix a fence gate on her farm. She told me that even little things frighten her these days. Like how was she going to get that gate fixed alone?

This time she didn’t have to.

As long as there are people who care about you, things have a way of working out. At least I believe that. I hope I still believe that if I find myself in my mother-in-law’s shoes. A widow, living alone on a rural farm.

Lots of things to talk about in future posts. We are officially on the road!

As is obvious by now we stopped by my mother-in-law’s house. She had kept my youngest for a couple of weeks. When we got here, my daughter looked like a real farm girl – she’d gone native!

Anyway, I think she had fun. But she was glad to see us too.

I got a hair trim yesterday. Well, more than a trim. I had let it grow pretty long since my photo on this site was taken. Now I look like the photo again. I expect to be doing some videos soon. Perhaps some You Tube stuff. I just wanted to make sure folks recognized me.

My oldest son reassured me that I could grow it out again if I wanted.  But this time I could gentle my users into the new look so they wouldn’t be shocked by the change.  Pretty good for a ten year old.

My mom was happy about the cut. She didn’t like the shaggy look. But when we arrived at my mother-in-law’s to pick up my daughter, I think that my daughter was a bit taken aback by dad’s new look. I had changed so much in two weeks!

I think maybe I should’ve waited to get it cut after we picked her up.

I remember when I was a kid, and my dad returned from a fishing trip to Australia with his business friends. He had grown a short beard.

Now my dad had never changed his look. And he had never worn a beard. Never. I was too old to be affected by anything as silly as a little extra stubble. But when I saw him walk off the plane, I got the strangest feeling in the pit of my stomach – like someone had taken my “daddy.” Someone stole my dad and sent this impostor in his place! That was the feeling. Totally irrational and it took me completely of guard.

Of course, I knew better. But I never forgot that feeling. And I spoke to my youngest about how she must feel. She avoided me at first. Trying to get used to the change, I guess.

I talked to her about the kitten that she had been carrying around for the last two weeks. Bo is his name. I expect Bo is going to be quite the lap cat after surviving the terror of being under the focused attention my five year old for two weeks. Either that or Bo will never come out from under the bed. I think the former, though. Bo seems to have taken a shine to her.

As have I.

Unfortunately, my youngest son and her do not get along that well. Or I should say that my son does not seem to be able to deal with competition from a fast talking, very self assured young woman who is competing for his parents’ attention.

Since my youngest has been with her grandmother, our household has been rather peaceful. Even with all of the last minute preparation for our expedition.

My younger son usually fights, not only with my youngest, but also with my older daughter. But in the last few weeks he and my older daughter have been the best of pals.

I don’t know how things will work out on our trip. I guess we will see.

We have an adult friend along to help deal with the kiddos when we need to get something done around here. She can stay with us for a month, and then will fly back, so we’ll see how we do with and without her help.

Seven people living together in a 35 foot by 8 foot space (actually much smaller when you account for all of the furniture, appliances, and cabinets)!

But we are mobile! Everywhere we go, we are already home!

I hope that your week is going great so far. So far, so good for me and mine!

Talk to you soon,

Hugh

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