Location: Oregon, United States

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Week 7

Wow, week 7. Tempus fugit.

Week of May 15th. Paul leaves for Orlando Tuesday and leaves me with the kids. He does not get back until Saturday night. He has been so busy with work that this is not a huge adjustment for me. This is not a dis, it is just a fact. The only thing I hate about him being out of town is that I know he gets to eat great food every day and I am flat out jealous. I eat leftovers and whatever food the kids will complain least about, which isn't much. I decide this rots and get some decent Chinese food for myself one day and frozen dinners for the kids. They think they've died and gone to heaven. I think if I were dead, I would be rolling over in my grave. How can these really be my kids? Their favorite meal is Swanson's frozen chicken. Maybe they are aliens.

Thomas has a fever and a head cold and does not go to school on Monday or Tuesday. He is bummed because he is missing out. The other two boys develop sympathy pains and wish they were sick so they could stay home. I'm still not feeling 100% every day either, but tough it out to provide an excellent example. They have conferences on Thursday and Friday so it is a short week anyway.

They are doing well in school. The conferences are student led, so they show me all their work themselves. I have to answer a bunch of questions on a worksheet for Stephen's class and get some wrong because I didn't understand the instructions. This is humbling but good, because I can use it later as a teachable moment. Thomas has some great poetry and has test scores that are off the charts. In the back of my mind, I wonder if this is all Thomas' brain, or if the schools are just worse here. I don't even want to think about it.

William's advisor doesn't know who I am or why I am there. He asks which student is mine and I say, "William." He says, "What's the last name?" and I say, "Radke." "Oh! Will is your kid!" I forgot he is going by Will at school. The advisor didn't have a file for him, so that is why he was confused about who I was. Great guy, though, and really working and talking with "Will" to help make these last few weeks good ones.

We decide to celebrate the good reviews by going to see the movie "Over the Hedge". Well done and entertaining. Favorite character: Hammie. Favorite line: "But I like the cookie." Favorite part: Hammie on caffeine.

I have found a dog park nearby and I bring Sundae there 2 - 3 times a week. I have a complete conversation with a couple other dog owners - the first human contact outside of a store. Well, okay, I've met most of the neighbors, too, but those haven't been conversations really - more like introductions.

I did meet another neighbor this week and I'm looking forward to getting to know her. She and her husband live kitty-corner in back of us. They are in their 70's and he uses a cart - I think he may have M.S. from the way he moves around when he's not using the cart. She is very active and they have gardens EVERYWHERE in their yard. I'm a good 30 years younger than they are and I'm tired just looking at all the work they have to do. When I went over to meet them, she took me around and showed me all her gardens and gave me a couple of calla lilies to bring home. Then she came and looked at what I was up to. She was all excited to have a neighbor she could talk to, she said, and she has enjoyed watching our boys run around in the greenspace.

Which is weird. The kids really do run around in the greenspace in back of our house. They never did that before. Is it that our living space is on ground level so they see it and want to go out there? Is it that it is so big and inviting that it draws them out? Is it the fresh air? (We swear we can smell the ocean some days.) The temperature? Whatever it is, it is good and I am really thankful for the time they spend outdoors. We even ate most of our dinners outside this week. Beautiful weather, no bugs. Oh yeah, and the dining room table inside was piled up with papers.

I get a call from my folks and my mother's doctor said it is okay for her to come out whenever she is ready. (I may have forgotten to mention that she had gotten sick the day I left. They don't know what it is, but something to do with her lungs again. She's been on heavy duty anti-biotics and is showing improvement.) So they plan to leave next Tuesday and arrive by Thursday. It will be good to have them here, show them around, and get their opinion and help on some of my projects. Yea!


Blogger jp said...

Hmmm. No posts since 24-May. Oregon must have the same crazy year end schedule as Minnesota. No time for anything between mid May and Mid June. We miss you guys! Love, the xps (jp, kp, bp, and bp)

6:38 AM  

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