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Just Chillin’ With Our Friends

February 16, 2016

Did anyone else receive an auto-generated slideshow last week on Facebook in honor of “Friend Day”.  Random pictures from my Facebook account were set to music and there was a message on each picture like: “Remember these friends?” and “Your friends are awesome!” Since the only pictures I ever post are of the children, they pretty much dominated my Awesome Friends slideshow.

I have no problem with my small circle of four friends.  I questioned, however, if Annie would include me in her list of friends, when she asked me last week, “Mom, have you ever played with me?”

And do you know, I don’t believe I have!  I consider it a small victory that she just now noticed and it has been three years.  It is all thanks to my other three awesome friends who have done that job for me.  I don’t feel too bad since I never played with them either.  I only got away with it because I started with twins who played with each other saving me the awkward role of playmate to that first child.

But although I don’t play with them, we do enjoy a variety of other activities together, including ice skating. Dan’s Christmas present to me was an ice rink in our yard.  He approached the project with his usual thoroughness, beginning with several months of online research and a lit review.  Then began the planning/measuring/marking/drawing phase. Then there was the zamboni building week. (I never really understood the zamboni but it involved a lot of pvc pipe, a big beach towel, and 60 tiny holes).  Because you wouldn’t want to find yourself with a fine rink and no zamboni!  The final  implementation phase was not without setbacks, but the results, seen in the video below speak for themselves.

Dan has found real fulfillment in his new role of zamboni man.  Most every night, whether the rink needs attention or not, Dan suits up and heads outside to patch tiny cracks, and resurface the ice.  He stays gone so long!  No matter the temperature, he said it is so peaceful out there, listening to podcasts, hose in hand.  I personally, don’t know how he can tear himself away from his awesome friends who are partying inside the house, but I think he is really going to miss his after dinner routine when the ice melts.

In addition to maintaining his ice, Dan has recently taken up the sport of trapping mice.  I think he finally got tired of me whispering at all hours of the night: “Did you hear it?”  Now he sets his traps in the attic before bed and it is quite exciting in the morning.  When they least expect it, one child or another comes up the stairs and sees only Dan’s legs dangling from the hole in the ceiling and they holler, “Dad’s checking his traps!” Once he caught two mice in the same trap.  Bob and Cheryl.  That was a real high.

Our winter is passing quickly between the ice-skating and the mouse trapping and our newest pastime: dining out! Those who read the Watkins caring bridge site (caringbridge.org “Johanna Watkins”) are aware that she has developed symptoms of anaphylaxis in response to the smell of food. She is in such a weakened condition that it has gotten to the point where we can no longer cook in the house.  I tried setting up a “porch kitchen” with a microwave, electric skillet, etc. but even that was too stinky, so we are taking our show on the road and eating everywhere but home. One of our favorite haunts has become the teacher’s lounge at Hope Academy.  You should try it.  You can heat your food up right there in the microwave and then run around the halls for a while with your awesome friends.  I don’t know why we never tried it before.  We have also enjoyed once or twice a week restaurant dining thanks to generous gift cards from friends.  Last week we received a mysterious 100 dollars on our front porch with a note to “bless our children” from an anonymous friend of the Watkins.  So I have let them order a few actual kid’s meals (instead of an adult meal split four ways).  They find kids meals are a blessing on many levels including the beverage level. Not that an adult meal split four ways is not a blessing.  It is, but it comes with four waters. Sometimes a kid’s meal even comes with a cookie.  Imagine.

Dining out is only one of the many blessings that has come to us by way of the Watkins.  Johanna’s cheerful sister and brother take turns coming over to help with her care and have become dear friends.  Charlie gets to pal around with his teacher who is rubbing off on him, I am happy to say.  He told me last week, “Me and Mr. Watkins are obsessed with learning”.  The little things we have given up (such as grocery shopping and doing dishes, ha!) are vastly outweighed by gain every day. It is a pleasure.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cari permalink
    February 16, 2016 3:24 pm

    I wish the video would have gone a little longer and we could have seen mary patience disappear through the window!

  2. georgeisonaroll permalink
    February 18, 2016 2:19 pm

    Please advise Dan that a man in North Dakota received nine days in prison for DUI while operating a Zamboni, which was legally declared a vehicle by the state.

    http://www.startribune.com/man-convicted-of-driving-zamboni-drunk-at-hockey-game/305860871/

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