Archive for October, 2011

Orange and Black

Halloween has never been our favorite holiday.

Let me count the ways. Clay has little tolerance for costumes, especially masks and hats. Due to his dietary issues, he can’t eat most of the candy that he is offered. Decorations have a short shelf life with Mr. Busy Hands in the house. And, because of the peculiar positioning of our neighborhood between two busy roads with no sidewalks, no trick or treaters ever darken our door.

We had a few good years early on with Clay dressed as either the Cat in the Hat or a chef, but were not unhappy when he grew out of a holiday that mostly brought agitation combined with a sugar high.

This year, a local autism organization organized a Halloween party at a Knights of Columbus hall. It promised to be Clay friendly, so we asked the little fellow if he wanted to go.

“sure,” he typed on his keyboard. Read the rest of this entry »


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A ‘Whatever’ Weekend

When our respite sitter offered to stay with Clay overnight so my wife and I could get away, we said, “Wow.” Then we said, “We’ll have to think about that.”

To give this some perspective, the last time we were away together—just the two of us—was about nine years ago. Long enough that we aren’t exactly sure of the year. Long enough that we weren’t even thinking of the possibility of doing it again.

So, we thought about it.

We knew we had accumulated a good number of back hours—close to 26—so we could go away for one night. (Paying a sitter for that many hours was out of the question.) We also knew our anniversary was coming up. But how would Clay do with us away overnight for the first time in his memory? Read the rest of this entry »

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Loose Ends

Back in my days as a journalist, it always nagged at me that there was so little follow-up, so little closure. I would cover an event or write a feature article about an interesting person and his or her work, but that would be the end of it. I rarely got the chance to see how things played out. With that in mind, I present the following list of updates to previous posts on this blog:

Visiting predators. The two black vultures that took up residence in our garage this past summer have flown the coop. I needed to store some tomato cages in the garage loft a few weeks back (yes, we keep our tomatoes behind bars; otherwise they might run away). I was pretty sure the vultures had gone (we hadn’t seen them for a couple of weeks), but I banged loudly on the steps a few times on my way up. Some things you just know instinctively. You don’t want to get in-between a mother grizzly and her cubs, you don’t want to eat the creamed corn at the Old Country Buffet and you don’t want to surprise vultures in an enclosed space. No need to push the envelope on that stuff.  They weren’t up there. As we suspected, they had been nesting in the hay bin, a cozy spot that is now filled with vulture feathers. We will most likely board up the broken windows they used to enter the garage this past spring, but that is a decision that has not yet been made. Read the rest of this entry »

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