Posts Tagged typing with support

So Peaceful

While Clay’s Mom and older brother went to visit Clay’s grandpa on Labor Day, he and I decided to take a walk in a nearby nature center before the rain hit.

We went straight to a spot where you can look out on the reservoir, and sat for awhile, each lost in his own thoughts as another summer comes to an end. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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The Woods

The temperature approached 100 degrees Monday afternoon. I could smell the softening tar in the street when I brought in the mail. Feel the heat waves rising off the driveway, as I waited for Clay’s bus to bring him home from summer school. (Our sitter had the afternoon off.)  The dog had the right idea. It was a day to lay on the sofa in the air conditioned living room, little legs pumping, dreaming of chasing rabbits across the dewy grass on a cool fall morning.

So, of course, I decided to take the little guy to a nearby state park. He is as bored as I am hanging around the house in the late afternoon. Boredom leads to compulsive behaviors, and that isn’t good for anybody. No skin-searing, eyeball-melting, hair-on-fire heat was going to keep us cooped inside. Read the rest of this entry »

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Where’s the Cheese?

Clay has been banned from our bedroom.

Well, not completely. Just during those times when we can’t be there to keep an eye on him. I’ve mentioned before that one of his favorite pastimes is to slam his body onto our bed. He already has broken the frame. (I’ve got it rigged with duct tape and basset hound saliva to hold together for now.) I may not have mentioned that he also strips off the bed covers, pulls clothes and shoes out of our closets, scatters night-stand books, yanks the not-so-precious gems out of my wife’s jewelry box and generally makes quite a mess.

There are times—a lot of times—when the room looks like a burglar came through the window followed maybe an hour later by a tornado. Then a swarm of rabid, underwear chewing wolverines stopped by. So, we said, “Enough. Wreak your havoc elsewhere, oh Lord of Chaos, oh King of Collateral Damage. The Dark Knight of the Achy Lower Back Shall Abide Thou Foul Knavery No More.”

Here’s the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sixteen Candles

When the phone rang early Sunday morning, we didn’t need to check the caller ID. Clay’s Grandpa Tony (aka “Goots”), an early riser, is invariably the first to serenade the little guy with a rousing version of Happy Birthday, a tradition on my wife’s side of the family. Moments later, his Aunt Ann called, leaving her own version on voicemail.

Clay’s 16th birthday was underway. And we had some decisions to make. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dancing Waters

On a Sunday afternoon a few weeks back, Clay was bored and getting agitated, so my wife decided to take him to a petting zoo we used to visit at a nearby farm. A sad collection of arthritic goats and dirty, balding sheep. A few oddly colored rabbits with swollen feet. A guinea pig the size of a small dog. Clearly a trip born of desperation.

Turns out the petting zoo had been closed who knows how many years earlier (possibly by the local Health Department). But then a miracle occurred, proving that good things happen to those who at least take a shot. Read the rest of this entry »

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