Archive for August, 2011

Grange Rover

A pygmy goat welcomes us to the fair

Last year, when we took Clay to the local Grange fair, we planned the trip a little better. Fresh batteries in the camera? Check. Notebook and pen? Check. Out the door by 10 a.m. to avoid the heat and, more importantly, the crowds? Check.

This year, not so much.

It was past noon by the time we hit the fair this past Saturday. Those few hours combined with the heavy rains the day before, made for crowded walkways and long lines for food. It was hot and muddy and the batteries in our camera ran out as soon as I tried to take the first picture. (Fortunately, my cell phone served as a backup.) Read the rest of this entry »


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Happy to Be With You

Clay and Emily

It has been a bit of a funky summer for the little guy. He spent five weeks at his school and three weeks at camp (plus, he went to camp every Friday). Hard to tell how he felt about that schedule, or the summer in general.

One clue came last Friday, when Clay and his fellow campers were putting on a play at a local elementary school for the parents, something the camp does at the end of every summer. I was running late, and  immediately bumped into Clay and his counselor, Emily, in the lobby as they walked laps around the school, waiting for Clay’s turn in the spotlight.

Last summer, on a day when Clay was not feeling well, Emily sent us an email about how the little guy had cemented her career choice in special education. So, it was great to find out Emily was working with him again this summer, and she was clearly happy to be assigned to Clay. Read the rest of this entry »

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Musical Sofas

The Spoils of Victory

The excessive heat this summer has led to an unexpected armageddon at our house. A battle royale between man and beast. An epic drama rivaling the Cuban missile crisis and the standoff in the Middle East combined.

Am I overstating the situation? Decide for yourself.

I have to begin by explaining that we don’t have central air conditioning. One searing August after we first moved in and it seemed you could see the heat shimmer off our kitchen floor, we decided to get an estimate. When it arrived we fought off the nausea, politely said, “We’ll have to think about it” and bought three window units, instead. When my father-in-law’s aunt passed away several years back we inherited a fourth, an ancient monstrosity that sounds like a truck struggling up a steep incline and may have been built in Thomas Edison’s lab. I’m not sure who wired the electricity in our house but I don’t believe he had all of his vision or the use of both arms because it is a tad, how shall I say, unbalanced. I blew out an outlet in the upstairs bathroom once and found that the outside lights, the garbage disposal and a closet in the attic are on the same Rubik’s cube of a circuit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Looking Deeper

We didn’t know quite what to make of it when vultures took up residence in the loft in our garage this past spring. We’ve had bats, mice, birds, squirrels, racoons, groundhogs and assorted relatives living in and around our house over the past 19 years. (Note: the relatives eat a lot more.)

This morning, a deer decided to take a leisurely breakfast near our two apple trees.

Vultures caught us by surprise, though.  Read the rest of this entry »

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On the Town

Saturday night, we were getting ready to head out for what constitutes our big night on the town, when the sitter realized that Clay had managed to unlock the backyard gate and was standing in the driveway. Excited to go somewhere with somebody.

Thanks to a local nonprofit, we enjoy a couple of nights a month of respite care, so my wife and I can go out as a couple—be something besides the parents of a child with autism for an evening. Sometimes we get together with family. Sometimes with other couples. Mostly, it’s the two of us for dinner and a movie. We fantasize about just going somewhere and taking a nap, but haven’t figured out how to pull that off, yet. Read the rest of this entry »

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