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10:41 a.m. - November 16, 2006
Happy Even Though It Rains
For the last two days, it’s been raining here in the heartland. So, of course, it must be close to my birthday.

The cold November rains of Indiana (Axl Rose knew what he was talking about even though I really dislike that song) always seem to happen around this time. When I was a student here at Wabash, it also in the grind of the academic year – after all of the fun of Homecoming and the Monon Bell game and right when exams were given and papers were due before Thanksgiving break.

It does make a soul melancholy.

Added to this the fact that I went in late for work yesterday as Liz needed to sleep (she’s getting over a sinus infection that has knocked her flat) and Katie was sick. The poor girl has a fever, and complains of headaches and a sore throat. She says she’s cold, but doesn’t quite understand that the chills are part of the fever. So she was trying to bundle up, and that just made it worse.

But I had a good day at work, playing with the new toy, and trying to think happy thoughts as the cold, dank weather unfolded outside of my office window.

I went to a late lunch and bought a USB 2.0 port for the computer, and hopefully will install it this weekend, if I’m brave enough. (Can anyone give me advice? Email me if there are things I need to watch out for.) I mean, the new iPod works fine with the current USB port, but it took about 15 hours to download all of my songs and if I have to do a restore I could potentially tie up the computer for an entire day.

Katie had to go back to the dentist. Her tooth she damaged when she took a header off the guest room bed into the window sill (she learned her lesson) wasn’t responding to the initial repair work and the dentist would have to try again.

Liz, despite her state, had to attend a meeting last night and I decided that the Rx for the entire family was pizza. So I told Liz that I’d be bringing home dinner. She later called and added a couple of things to the list, then on the way to the store she called twice amending the order – adding OJ and bananas, and then asking for Children’s Tylenol and Infant Motrin.

I heard Katie in the background. She was crying – she was that miserable.

So I was driving to the store while precipitation was steadily falling all around. The sky was a slate grey, with no color at all, and no defining clouds either. The sun and clouds have been kidnapped by the Rainmeiser, no doubt.

But somehow, with a sick family and a crappy weather day around me, and with me being 41 in a few days, I was not depressed.

Sure, the euphoria of a new toy was there, and the fact that despite the sickness there was a lot of love in our house and a lot of love out there with my friends.

I made my run to the store, and discovered that I’d have to go by CVS to get the medication, because the grocery store did not have the Tylenol that wasn’t already cough and cold. Katie had Motrin that had cough and cold, but we wanted to give her Tylenol as well to take down the fever. But yet, I was not unhappy about this.

I was thinking of how fortunate I was to have a family that I could be the person who goes out and gets their medication and comfort food and can provide hugs and support.

I was thinking of my friends, in real life, and how they are all doing well.

I was thinking of my friends in Diaryland and MySpace. For the most part, they are doing well. Some have new relationships that we all go “Squeeeee!” about. A few of them I’ve become close to in the past few weeks and months. And yes while a virtual friendship doesn’t have much, if any, face to face time, you can still feel the love and support through the words on the screen or the voice on the phone.

Yes, I’m a trusting sort. I gather that no one is a front for Dateline NBC. I swear that I’m not. Honest.

All this time the rain was continuing to pelt on my windshield.

When I got home, Katie was feeling lousy and needed some daddy hugs. Kristin was grumpy and we were worried that she was coming down with something. Liz was snuffling about, sounding like Bea Arthur with a head cold.

(OK, her voice wasn’t THAT bad – yesterday.)

Liz said I had an Amazon box, and lo and behold, my CD box set arrived. I’m not going to say what it is, because I’m going to give it as a gift to my main man, but needless to say I was elated. I also got two more books of the original Peanuts strips and even though my unread book pile is at a critical mass, I’m sure I’ll plow through those with great haste.

We decided that an early dinner of pizza and salad would be in order. Liz told Katie that she had to leave for a meeting, but Katie definitely wanted Liz to give her a bath. Katie wasn’t hungry, so Liz semi-rushed through dinner and got Katie a bath before she left.

Kristin lingered at dinner some more, flinging pizza and romaine lettuce hither and yon. Finally, Liz was done bathing Katie and scooted out the door. I put on a DVD for Katie and hustled Kristin upstairs to a bath.

Oh, Kristin at bath time is a joy. Normally she takes a bath with her sister, but when she’s by herself she just cuts loose, as any 17 month old would do. If I wasn’t already feeling the love, I certainly was then.

She only cried for a minute when I finally put her to bed, instead of her five minute crying jag she goes on when she realizes that she’s in her room by herself for some shut eye.

The DVD over, Katie wanted to be carried upstairs, and I obliged, even though she’s not as light as she once was. She brushed her teeth, and then I carried her to bed. I put one blanket over her and she went to sleep in a heartbeat.

So now, I was basically alone in the house as the rain continued to flow from the sky. I busied myself at the iTunes store, then went downstairs when I synched up the computer. Liz got home, charged up from the meeting (it was a good one) and she said that she was named to a new committee for the Youth Service Bureau but had to go to Campbell’s (a coffee shop here in C’ville) for a breakfast meeting the next day.

I knew she needed some sleep, but some time with me, too. So we watched a Criminal Intent and then I flipped over to the Miami U. – Bowling Green game.

The cold November rain was in effect in northern Ohio as well. That game was a mud bog. It was quite entertaining.

Liz hustled off to bed, and again I was alone in the house. The rain was still falling, I could see, but the wind was no longer blowing so I couldn’t hear it pelting against the window. I had a nice IM talk with two friends, and then retired at a semi-decent hour. Well, semi-decent for me anyway.

I awoke this morning to the sound of Liz’s alarm. Ah, the breakfast meeting. I drifted back into a nice dream / vision, but soon I woke up in time to make sure Katie was taken care of if she woke up.

The rain was still falling, falling, falling from the sky as I dashed out to get the newspapers. I got my decaf, and took the papers upstairs and logged on the computer. Heck, why not multi-task.

My heart was warmed even more when I got online, because I realized that my main man sent me the perfect birthday gift (even though it was trapped in the spam filter for my work email) and then another good friend sent me a couple of nice notes that put a smile on my face.

Katie got up late (she slept about 14 hours total except for when she woke up in the middle of the night wanting a drink of water) but she was feeling fine. Of course, the conversation about how she felt happened while she was going potty. But it made me happy to hear that she’s feeling better.

Mind you, I did NOT hug Katie goodbye. She said, “Daddy, you don’t have to hug me. I’m still going potty.” Well, OK then. I DID kiss Liz goodbye and then drove in the rain to work.

Work is going well. I have a project that will keep me busy and then I need to talk to our new admin about some procedures, but it will be a full and productive day. Well, except for the time I’m taking writing this.

The day is as dreary as it was yesterday, but my heart is filled with joy. In the past, I’ve made you wallow in my squalor along with me – but now come play with my elation. It’s fun!


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