It’s been a long time since my last Blog. I guess I had writer’s block … or maybe it should be called blog clog!
We got our first snow of the year on Friday night. Minnesotans pride themselves in being able to drive in winter weather. We got somewhere around 3 to 4 inches and there were 442 accidents in MN. Coincidently, I remember mentioning the first November snowfall last year in this Blog, and guess what – there were over 400 accidents that came with that storm.
In my life I have driven off the road 3 times. All 3 times it was because of ice. Actually it was because I was driving too fast on ice. The first time I was a junior in high school and I went into the ditch on the way home from wrestling practice. It was a snow day – school was canceled due to bad roads, but we still had wresting practice. I drove off the road on a big curve with my monster-1968-faded-blue Bonneville. I took out two mailboxes! Some guy by the name of Joe Reisinger (he’s my brother ‘n law now!) was behind me. His sister was driving and they got a farmer to get me out of the ditch. He came down with a big John Deere tractor and didn’t bother towing me. He went down in the ditch and put his tire up against my bumper and pushed me out of the ditch. Bumpers were made a little sturdier than they are today. Later my Grandpa and I came back and put the mailboxes back up. An elderly man who lived in the house came out to make sure we did a proper job. Once we were done he said, “You too young men are good workers!” Grandpa was in his late 60’s. It’s all a matter of perspective.
The last time I drove in the ditch (a couple years ago) I was driving my entire family. It was about 35 degrees, raining and the sun was going down. I had just finished saying, “When it gets a little colder tonight, this road is going to be slick.” Less than 30 seconds later I was in the ditch, my heart pounding, and my ears ringing from my daughters all screaming as we went off the road.
Now when there’s ice … I slow down. I am a proud man … a competitive man. Do you know how hard it is for me to drive slowly when people are following behind, frustrated and impatient at my speed (or lack of)? I don’t want to be that old, slooooow person! But I have also gained wisdom – ice and speed do not mix.
I have been known to share a few gross child-rearing stories on this Blog. Well sorry, but here’s another gross child-rearing (or should I say rear-end) story. Eli (4 years old) had double-ear infections, so he was on antibiotics. Of course antibiotics can do a number on one’s stomach, and that is no different for a four year-old. The one difference is a four year-old doesn’t necessarily have the discretion of holding back on passing gas - in case its not … gas. It wasn’t! We heard very loud shouts of disgust and panic coming from upstairs. The words I heard were “diarrhea all over the floor.” I expected gross, but as I arrived to the top of the stairs it was clear that this accident was a bit more serious than an accident in his pants. Foot prints of diarrhea came down the hall and into our bedroom. I yelled for Lisa! I followed the footprints into our bedroom, which went all the way through our room and into the bathroom. I used my tracking skills to continue on and find Eli. He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and socks. Eli was trying to remove his t-shirt as the diarrhea had escaped up his pants and into his shirt – just a little. His hands were a mess, his socks were covered. The stench was bad! I peeled off his shirt, then picked him up under his arms and held him as far away from me as I could. I carried him into the kids’ bathroom to place him in the tub. I carefully stepped around the tracks Eli had left, and Lisa had already started to clean. I turned the corner to find … “Ground Zero!” Without being too graphic (hard to believe I don’t consider this graphic already), there was a pile that had come down Eli’s pants and onto the floor. I yelled for Lisa again! I instructed one of the kids to get me a plastic trash bag. I put Eli in the tub and removed his socks. I tossed the socks into the trash bag. Not worth saving considering the cost of socks compared to the gross factor. I pulled off his pants and started to gag! The smell was awful. Lisa was gagging just outside the bathroom cleaning up “Ground Zero”. You should have seen and heard us! Both of us were gagging and doing everything not to throw-up. I pulled off his underwear and tossed them in the trash bag. I looked inside the jeans and the inside legs were literally coated all the way around in diarrhea. I rationalized, “these pants were getting a little small on him!” In the trash bag they went. Sealed up and outside! If this story sounded gross – then multiply that feeling by 100, and maybe you will understand just how gross it really was. Ugh!
Funny communication errors:
Lisa was reminding me that we needed to go to the Manda Torri basketball meeting for Isabella. I asked, “Who is Manda Torri?” Lisa looked at me confused and then smiled. “Not Manda Torri … mandatory!”
Lisa texted me and asked if I could pick up Isabella at 9:30pm. I texted back, “Where is she going to be?” Lisa text’s me “Dr Ed in Rogers”. I start thinking, who is Doctor Ed? Why is Isabella going to the doctor? It is 9:30, why would she be at the doctor’s office so late, and without Lisa? Then it occurred to me – Dr Ed actually meant - Driver’s Education! I felt stupid and confessed via text that I was wondering why Bella was going to the doctor. Lisa text’s back, “She is going with Manda Torri.”
Ok – my last funny story … and I saved the best for last!! Lisa calls me at work and asks if I have checked the oil lately; the oil warning light is on. Her Suburban burns oil and needs oil added every few weeks.
I tell her that I haven’t and she should check it.
She says, “But I haven’t taken a shower, and
I’m in my jammies.”
“Lisa, you can’t drive if the warning light is on.
You have to add oil.”
I ask her, “You know how to do it – right?”
She replies, “Yes, but remind me.”
I tell her that the dipstick has the yellow handle on it.
No – step back – start with - how to get the
With a little coaching she and Isabella figure out
how to pop the hood and then pull the lever to open
it up. They quickly discover the dipstick.
“Make sure you don’t overfill it. Ok, you have it from
Lisa hesitantly confirms that she can figure it out
from this point.
Lisa and Isabella together check the oil and determine that they need to add a quart. Isabella goes into the store and buys a quart of oil and brings a paper funnel with her.
They study the funnel and Lisa says, “The hole
in this funnel is too big.”
Together they try to make it work, but the funnel
hole is bigger than the hole that the oil goes into.
Lisa goes into the store and asks for another funnel.
“The hole was too big in the first funnel you gave us.”
The guy in the store is puzzled and asks if he can
take a look.
Lisa gladly accepts his offer, even though she is
embarrassed by her appearance.
They walk to the Suburban and look under the hood.
Lisa happily exclaims, “Oh she got it to work!”
Isabella had folded the end of the funnel and fit it
into the opening of the dipstick and had begun to
pour the oil down the dipstick shaft.
(If you don’t think this is funny yet – I’m guessing you
are also blonde!)
The guy smiles, and says, “The oil actually goes in
here,” and opens the oil filler port. “This should go a
lot faster! "
Lisa and Isabella almost pee themselves with
laughter. Isabella says, “I tried to read the container
and see if there were instructions for blondes!”
We are now immersed into basketball! The girl’s high school season started last week, and the boys’ started today. We purchased a dry erase calendar to keep track of all our commitments. Here is an example of one evening (last Friday). Lisa takes Gabi to basketball practice at 6:00pm, drops her off, then takes Eli to the Veggie Tales Premier at church. I pick up Luke, take him to basketball practice (same location as Gabi) and drop him off. I then drive to Rogers (20 minutes) to pick up Bella from basketball. I drop Bella off at church to join Lisa and Eli. I then go to pick up Gabi. As I arrive, Luke and his team are exiting the building. They got the location of practice wrong, and they were going to the other elementary school. I got Gabi and Luke and drove them to the new practice location. I then took Gabi home. A half hour later I go back and pickup Luke. Now its time for dinner!
Even though we are busy, we are looking forward to the basketball season this year! It should be fun!
Have wonderful Thanksgiving!! We will celebrate at home with just the nine of us. Lydia will be coming home on Tuesday. Then on Friday – its Sophia’s birthday! 13 and a real teenager!