Where to begin?

January 2011-Lay of the Land

Our oldest son Craig and his wife Nicole and family, Olivia, Evan and Ella are living in Springfield, Illinois. They are planning another busy year with kids activities, vacations, and the usual trials and tribulations.

Brian, Jen and Fisher are living in Portland, Oregon. Jen’s new business start-up, Rawdacious, shows promise. Brian is busy traveling to and from Guemes Island where he has multiple construction projects lined up for the new year. Fisher is doing well in school.

Todd and Jessica have been on a great adventure. Jessica accepted a new job recruiting students for her Alma Mater, Maryville University. Her territory is California. Todd and Jessica moved to San Diego. Then, great news! Todd found a new job opportunity. All is well in sunny California.

Kelly and Mark have big plans for 2011. Kelly is pregnant, due in May. Their daughter, Rumi, will be 3 yrs. in March. Kelly and Mark have decided to build a new house on their acreage on Guemes Island. They will need to move into a rental home on Anacortes until the new home is built.

Brent left Saint Louis in October last year. He’s planning for a new life in Boulder, Colorado. From the latest report, he’s on track. He found a great log cabin home on a farm overlooking the mountains. Sounds good.

Kerry and Kris have big plans as well. Kerry is pregnant, due in March. Kris has a new opportunity working on the next United States America’s Cup entry. This will be the fastest sail boat in the world. Oracle has offered him a three-year contract. They will need to move to San Francisco shortly after the new baby is born. Sienna is getting ready for her new baby brother.

So, that’s it, our family has BIG PLANS. What could go wrong?

January 18 – Catholic Charities Midtown announces a need to downsize. Sandy looses her job.

January 21 – Kelly calls home to ask her Mom for help. Sandy will soon be headed to the West Coast to help pack up Kelly’s house on Guemes for a move to Anacortes.

February 18- Sandy leaves for Seattle. The plan is to meet Jen and Fisher at the airport, then to take Fisher for a spring break vacation with his dad on Guemes. The plan is to meet with Kerry and Sienna for a while. Then help Kelly with the move. Hang out with Brian and Fisher. Then return on March 3. Well, that was the PLAN.

February 20 – A tornado quickly passes through St. Louis. At 2:00am I hear a loud noise. Sounds like a tree limb on the roof top. I go back to sleep.

February 21 – That noise was not a limb on the roof. It was my dining room ceiling crashing down from the weight of water on top of the dining room table. Glass and water everywhere. Looks like a plumbing issue to me since the ceiling hole is directly under the second floor bathroom.

February 22- The plumbing company comes out to investigate. Thirty minutes and $62.00 later the plumber says this damage is rain related. But, how did the rain get to that spot on my ceiling with no other sign of rain? It’s an unresolved mystery.

February 23- Happy 43rd Anniversary Sandy. Oh, wait a minute. She is on Guemes Island helping Kelly. And, Sandy is worried about our youngest daughter, Kerry.  Her pregnancy has been difficult, especially the last few months. And, now, Kerry’s blood pressure is unusually high. Very  high. The mid-wife is  concerned.

February 24- Kelly, now six months pregnant, gets back lab results to learn that she has gestational diabetes.

February 25 – Heavy rain storm hits Saint Louis. It rains all night. Most of it ends up in our house. Mystery solved.

February 26- I discover rain damage. Water dripping from the kitchen ceiling, dining room ceiling, dining room windows, walls, ornate hardwood floor has buckled badly, second floor bath has water damage in the walls. Water from the third floor to the second floor to the basement,  It’s dripping everywhere. Time to call the insurance company. The $1,000 deductible has clearly been surpassed.

February 28 – Sandy predicts that Kerry will have her baby a few weeks early. She is too concerned about Kerry’s health to care much about the swimming pool in her house.

March 2 – Sandy, and Kerry head to the emergency room with Sienna. Sienna has a severe case of pink eye. Worse case, Sandy has ever seen in twenty-three years as a Peds RN.

March 3 – Kerry discovers a rat (a very large mouse) has entered her kitchen. Of course, Sandy loves living with this undesired visitor. The three dogs–Madrona, Ceilo, and Buddy should keep this guy out of the house.

March 4- Kerry goes into labor. She has chosen a natural home birth. The mid-wife is on the way. Kris is headed back from San Francisco. Sandy and Sienna will “sleep” in one room while the baby is delivered in the other bed room. At 2:00am, Sebastian is born. He’s a healthy 7 lb. baby boy. Kerry is ok too. I make plans to go see my newest grandchild.

March 8 – At 4:00am Sandy calls me to tell me she is seeing “pink elephants.” Two hours later I get another phone call. She is leaving the emergency room. Sandy had a 104 temp. She fell in the bath tub hitting her face on the faucet. She refused stitches. She has a mild concussion, lacerations to the face, scarlet fever and strep throat. She  needs bed rest and, of course, she has to stay away from Sebastian, Sienna, Rumi, Fisher and parents too.

March 9 – Kris and Sienna both have eye infections. By this time Sandy knows the pharmacist on a first name basis. That’s not a good sign when you are an out-of-town visitor.

March 15 – Brian has an accidental fall and breaks the eye socket bone. He may need surgery.

March 16- Mid-wife examines Kerry to find a growth in her lower chest area. She’s concerned and orders a cat-scan.

March 17 – Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I leave St. Louis at 6:00am headed to Seattle.

March 18 – Good news. Brian will not require surgery. He was lucky. The fracture will heal on its own. His multiple construction projects on Guemes will continue as planned.

March 23- Kerry has a ultra-sound instead of the cat-scan and the test results are good. Nothing to worry about for now. She will leave for San Francisco as planned.

March 25- Rumi turns three today. We spend the morning helping Kerry and Kris pack up the 22 foot rental truck for San Fran. They leave for California on Saturday. We have lunch with them and then Sandy and I head to Seattle to spend the night.

March 26 – We wake at 4:00am by an error to catch a 7:00am flight back to Saint Louis. She travels by Delta through Minneapolis. I’m returning on Southwest via Chicago. We learn later that Saint Louis is getting an unexpected snow storm. Our flights are delayed. We finally arrive in STL. Sandy gets to see her ‘home soaked home” for the first time. The remodeling company has accomplished nothing since I left 10 days ago. We had planned to have new gutters put up while we were out-of-town. So, much for PLANS.

March 28- I wonder what happens next…