The summer of 2005 will be remembered for many things. It was a summer where the first few weeks seemed slow, and the final seven or eight weeks took about 20 minutes.
In no certain order, just how it comes up in the mind, here are thoughts back:
--Katie Pickles. Easily one of the most difficult moments I've ever experienced. Actually, two of them. First, it was Bonnie and I who discovered her dead, and I had to go and verify the ID. Then, three days later, it was breaking the news to the kids that was the second moment. If you ask Robbie or Rachel about their summer, they'll tell you it was fun, except for one catastrophe.
I know in light of Katrina, that seems over the top, but that's their term. To them, it was the loss of their first pet. The way it happened was horrible.
--Cody and Zoe. Please welcome this brother/sister tear 'em up; leave no piece of the house unturned duo. Cody's growing faster (Zoe's my favorite, but don't tell anyone..) and I'm kinda getting used to them. Katie was much, much more refined in her behavior. These guys are in no way in the class of demeanor. But as long as they don't come into my room while I'm sleeping, we'll have an understanding.
--Work. Lots of it. The loss of a key employee July 1 causes vacation cancellation and lots of extra hours in the cubicle. We just keep on rolling. I'm thankful for a job I enjoy that's only four miles from home.
Speaking of which....
--GAS PRICES! Yikes. Saw an interesting site in the neighborhood Friday. There's an old-fashioned, throwback-era small country store a few miles from our home that we pass going to Ashland. Their gas prices for both regular unleaded and premium were $2.99. My wife asked why? I told her; they had to spray paint the "two" on their sign, so they probably weren't ready to have to deal with a new paint job. :)
Prediction: They'll start to go down now that Labor Day is behind us, the summer "cleaner" gas will go away for the winter, and the pipeline's continue to get back to 100% flow. I'm afraid, though, that even dreaming of a price of $1.99 or lower is, barring some unforeseen international event, is a waste of time.
--The family goes to Washington: my work issues didn't prevent the other three members of the Witham Nation to head to DC with other family in mid-July. Two days, hot, filled with many photo shots, a less-than-pleasant hotel experience, and the hope one day all four of us can go there. I still want to get to the Library of Congress.
--Quiet or Tough Birthdays: Mine (6/23) was a quiet workday with little fanfare. Just the way I like it. Bonnie's (7/3) was the day Katie Pickles died. Enough said.
--The Football Draft that almost wasn't: Last-minute quick-thinking leads to the survival of our family/friends fantasy football league, expanding it to 16 teams and two separate state-based divisions, for the first time.
And, Summer 2005 will be remembered for:
--The day my body's anti-freeze didn't work at Kings Dominion and I had to be taken home.
--Live 365 (my music companion after hours at work)
--The loss of Peter Jennings
--The arrival of our church's sound system
--Calorie-crammed fast food burger of choice for 2005: Big Mac. Eclipsing the 2004 winner, a Wendy's double with cheese only.
--The death of childhood friend Clinton Terrell in a hit-and-run
--Our trip to Busch Gardens
--The Employee Discount for Everyone. Two words for this fad: GO AWAY!!
--The London Bombings, July 7 and 21.
--Advertising Cliches from Hell
--The Late Show Bear!
--After almost two decades, getting to see some David Letterman at night.
--Concern over the effects of Prosperity Theology on the real witness of Christianity.
--Someone googled "erotic" and actually got this blog.
--The I-Book Trampling of 2005
--Richmond wants the NASCAR Hall of Fame
--Lingering effects of Star Wars, Episode III
--High School Reunion Planning
--Blogging (including 1st anniversary)
--My wife's vertigo, stomach virus, back problems and neck problems, in no real order.
--Robbie's trips to Travis' house
--and, unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina.
And now we look to the fall. Probably my favorite (and busiest) time of year.
--Fantasy Football starts Thursday night
--I begin my 4th season calling play-by-play of my alma mater, Patrick Henry High School, this Friday night, on the local radio station (that is so much fun!)
--Making sure all commercials run correctly for UVA and University of Richmond radio broadcasts...
--Revival services September 18--20.
--I haven't taken a vacation Sunday yet. So, I know at least one's coming.
HIGH SCHOOL REUNION:
--Saturday October 1st. Be there, so you don't dis 1985!
--Robbie is his last year in middle school. Rachel starting the second half of her elementary years. Trying to keep Bonnie out of aches and pains.
--Work. Blog. Sleep as I can (I have an appointment w/my sleep doctor on September 15th), and making sure I hug my kids at least once a day before they are taller than I am.
OH--AND THE LAST GREAT EVENT OF OUR SUMMER:
Bonnie was home from church today w/the stomach virus I referenced earlier. She was cleaning the soap dish at the bathroom sink in our bedroom bath, and, apparently, got distracted, left the room and didn't return.
So, when I went into our bedroom after coming home from church and eating lunch, I discovered a very slow-paced Niagra Falls. Plug was in, holes at the top covered unknowingly by a draped hand towel, and water water everywhere.
Well, I guess we'll finally have to pull the trigger and buy carpet. Or maybe hardwood floor this time. This will sound extremely vein, and some of you may hate me for saying it, but the reason I postponed my kids' baptism ceremony here at the pool this summer was because our carpet is in such disrepair, I'd be embarrassed to let the church folk in!
And the negative cashflow continues........
August's winning numbers: 3,12,14,15 and 23.
You have my permission to play 'em sometime. But never the way I do.