Erin attended her first wedding ever this weekend and believe me she took it all in (and approved, by the way). She, Walter, and I ignored the barrels of oil we sacrificed to drive out to west Texas (7.5 hours each way) to take part in the wedding of our baby nephew Mike and his new bride M'Kenzie. Erin pronounced everything "lovely." I slipped up (apparently) and forgot to pack a suitcase for Rosie (Erin's best beloved traveling bear companion). Imagine my embarrassment when Rosie had nothing but a sweatsuit to wear to the ladies' luncheon on Saturday. Erin attempted a quick fix by fabricating a beautiful decorative belt for her, but they were both much aggrieved that there was NOTHING formal for Rosie to wear to the wedding that evening.
Do you believe in divine intervention? If not, this may change your mind. At the luncheon, Erin received an unexpected gift as thanks for taking part in the wedding (she was scheduled to pass out the birdseed for guests to hurl at the departing couple). What present would be a sign of divine intervention? New bear party-wear? Better yet: a $12 gift card at WalMart. A trifecta. A new outfit for Rosie with change leftover for new puppy toys (more about that miracle later) all rolled into a shopping spree at the largest (only?) discount store for miles around. Not just great gifts, but entertainment, too.
The wedding came off without a hitch, and we enjoyed sharing the evening with all our friends and relatives. Erin danced with all of the single and many of the married men and tucked away chocolate-covered strawberries as if they had life-prolonging properties (Hey! Maybe they do. I'll volunteer for the Phase I trial).
Davis, in the meanwhile, like any normal, red-blooded almost eighteen-year old, languished at home, alone. The Vikings played (and won) their last regular season game in Waco Friday night (playoffs start tomorrow at 6:30 against The Woodlands), and although Waco wasn't that far out of the way on our trip west, we really needed to be further down the road than that by game's end. We also couldn't guarantee a timely return on Sunday for him to get his radio show prepped and on the air. So he stayed home (did I mention he was alone?). I have yet to find any telltale signs that herds of teens used our home as a watering hole or that there was a dancing girl reunion in our absence. I really expected much worse given the phone conversation we had Saturday afternoon:
Mom: "Are you more awake than when we talked this morning?"
(I had done the unspeakable and called before 11:00.)
Davis: "Yep. I just got back from helping with the KEOS fundraiser at Half-Priced Books."
Mom: "How did that go?"
Davis: "I found some great vinyl you can get me for my birthday. Maybe we can go there together next week."
Mom: "Sounds good. What do you have lined up for tonight?"
Davis: "The guys and I are going to play pick-up basketball at 4:30. Then, I'm going to grab some dinner and probably watch some college basketball."
Mom: "That's fine. Don't forget to feed the dogs and walk them."
Davis: "No problem."
Mom: "So, what are you going to do until your game?"
(Here's where it starts to get fishy.)
Davis: "Since I have a couple of hours, I thought I'd work on that essay for the scholarship application that's due next week."
Mom (thinking to herself): "Oh sure, it's a beautiful Saturday afternoon, and next week is like next year from a teen's point-of-view. What's he up too?" Then says out loud: "Really? That's the best you can find to do?"
Davis: "Welllll, maybe not."
(I can think of a litany of things he might be considering.)
Mom: "Okay, what are you REALLY going to do?"
Davis: "Come to think of it, I do have something more important."
Mom, bracing herself for the worst: "What?"
Davis: "I think I'll work on my sermon for the Easter Sunrise Service instead."
(Now I'm really chuffed. What unspeakable thing is he thinking of doing if he needs to pull out the big guns and tell his mother he spending the afternoon writing a sermon? I'm onto him now, but I don't let on. Instead, I decide to let him figure out how to make his own bail when he's arrested.)
Mom: "Don't you think the scholarship application is more important? It is for $5000, and the deadline is coming up real fast."
(That ought to confuse him.)
So, I don't really know what he did while we were gone. And that's probably all for the best.
Now, what's all this talk about a puppy? I know. I know. I have on this very page complained about our Corgi who leaks at both ends and does not know the meaning of the words "good manners" and our Yellow Lab who is to the Buenger family budget what the Iraq War is to the federal deficit. Are we really idiotic enough to adopt a third dog? Apparently so. This new pup, To Be Named Later, showed up weekend before last, so skinny he could almost fit through the spokes of Erin's bicycle. We fed him out of compassion, not because we wanted another pet. We spent the next several days enumerating reasons why we shouldn't keep him (a list, by the way that far exceeded the almost empty list of why we should). But he's still here, round puppy belly and all. I'm going to Once Upon a Child this afternoon to look for a child gate so he can stay in the kitchen when we are at work everyday. I know. We're hopeless.
Three additional updates of past entries:
1. Erin will continue to collect cans for another three or four weeks. It's best if you rinse them out first.
2. No lasting effects from the port-removal surgery. The steri-strips should fall off in the next few days and the whole thing will become a memory. The best part (so far) is that when Erin complained of an itchy throat and sniffles this morning, I didn't have to hesitate about taking her temperature. If she had fever, we wouldn't have to head to the hospital for a three-day stay to check for possible infection. She could curl up on the couch with Rosie and nap in between cartoons. As it was she was normal and went to school.
3. I'm too modest to boast about Erin's softball debut last Tuesday, but let's just say that she didn't look like a beginner to me.
What's coming up: Erin will have blood counts done this afternoon. Davis has a first round play-off soccer match tomorrow night in Magnolia against The Woodlands. Go Vikings! Erin has her next softball game on Thursday. Go Panthers! We're hoping Aunt Kat and Emma get to come for a visit really soon. Go Emma! Davis has ForwardFest this Saturday. Go KEOS! Cousin Matt is stopping by for a visit on Sunday afternoon (if he survives ChiliFest). And finally, but maybe most importantly, Erin has a clinic visit in Houston next Monday to get approved for the next round of etoposide. After that I may have to go into hiding, as exams and student projects will flow in steadily until the end of the semester.