Monday, April 20, 2009

Sinking curveballs...

This was "the weekend" for the family birthday party we usually throw for our two sons. We rent a shelterhouse at one of the local parks, take the grill, the bicycles, play baseball...those of you who have been around a while have seen pictures from some of those outings.

With our oldest living in DC now, we hadn't counted on him getting home. That's the 1st time in 31 years he hasn't been here for his birthday; we've gotten pretty lucky to get this far into life before it happened.

Saturday my oldest grandson had a car entered in a Cub Scout "Pinewood Derby" for the first time. He and John had spent an afternoon here last week cutting and shaping it then took it home to paint. Dottie was off, and Noel and the other grandkids went and it was quite an affair.

Since their troop holds it at the GM plant I used to work in, an affair in more ways than one. It was my first time setting foot back in the door since I retired; though it wasn't a production day, I saw a lot of Union officials I hadn't seen since then, along with management, some currently employed, some who had been forced out last fall but were there because of their involvement with Boy Scouts. We got to see the final production ready version of the new Buick that we were getting in parts for the preliminary builds for as I retired; it looks very good and if the quality we've always built with holds then between it and the Malibu the Fairfax plant's future should be assured as long as the corporation's is.

Though Dillon's car didn't do as well as we'd have liked, for his first time entering he was happy and we learned much of the technical stuff we need to know for next time. He had a great time and was still carrying his car around yesterday at the family birthday party to show it off.

Saturday evening we cooked a birthday dinner for John and his family and gave him some of his presents. Though we've cut our spending we shopped well and he seemed delighted with our choice of Wii and DS games.

We had rain Saturday morning, then thunderstorms Saturday night with a real deluge we didn't need. When John put his dogs out Sunday morning he lost a sandal in the mud things were so soaked and Dottie and I woke to water in our basement again, though we caught it before it became a major issue.

On top of that, the temps had dropped into the mid 50's with a 30mph north wind, so the party at the park got revised into a party at my sister's house in Lawrence. The only things that really changed were us not having to take a grill or crockpot and baseball got changed to basketball in their driveway late in the afternoon when the wind died down and the sun finally came out for a bit.

Since they had bought a Wii "Fit" to go with their game machine, we watched the grandkids attempts at snowboarding and soccer while cooking brats and such...quite interesting, lol!

Saturday my sister had taken my nephew to Emporia to enroll in college; he is all set, classes picked, ID/debit/key card made and ready to go. She on the other hand isn't ready to let go and will cry at the drop of a hat if you mention it. I keep reminding her that at his age (19 now) I had already been halfway around the world; she doesn't want to hear that either!

So now it's Monday and I'm running laundry and getting ready to wander back out to the garage to try and sort some more and organize things. I should mow, but think that with the water still draining down the hill I'll give it at least until tomorrow or Wednesday just so I don't tear up more than I cut!

May the week be kind to each of you!



Riot Kitty said...

That sounds like fun! We are finally having some nice warm weather, and it gets me in the mood for parks, potato salad, and all that good stuff.

LucyTolliday said...

Hope it dries out for you and you have some sunny days. Shame about not being able to have an outdoor event but sounds like you had a wonderful alternative.

robin andrea said...

Whenever I read your posts, alan, I am struck by the heartfelt nature of your family gatherings. To have this be the first year out of 31 that you didn't get to spend with your eldest son on his birthday is truly a remarkable thing. Yours is the true spirit of family.

zilla said...

Ditto robin andrea.

Also, the Wii Fit? Last week I interrupted the girls' stepmom, ringing her doorbell in the middle of her Wii workout. She was beet red and sweating buckets! I am IMPRESSED!

Lucy said...

hi Alan
I like reading your posts and also your forever young!
It sounds like a wonderful time and your weather sounds like Southend at most times.

ALways look forward to your latest photographs.
hope you and your family are well.

Green tea said...

I agree with Robin..your a good Dad Alan..