We have settled on a name for the puppy: Willie (short for Will Rice, where Davis will live next fall, which is short for William Marsh Rice). This moniker opens up all kinds of possibilities for fun. It started out as a continued plea from the kids: "Willie (get it? Will he?) stay or willie go?" Now that we've settled that question, we have gone on to other versions. When he's bad on the carpet we can call him Wee Wee or say "Whoopsie Willie." When he does something clever (we're still waiting) he's Slick Willie. When he insists on NOT COMING when we call, we sing "Little Willie, Willie won't (pause) go home, but you can't push Willie round, Willie won't go." (For those more youthful types, this is a lyric from a smarmy pop song from decades ago. . .probably a one hit wonder.) Erin, by the way, isn't really in the spirit. She insists on the more formal "William" most of the time, even when he is not in trouble. I think she was holding out for "Jo Jo," which had possibilities, or "Brownie," favored by my mother on the premises that we could always have a laugh when we stared down at a Willie mess and said "Heckuva job, Brownie!"
Erin has clinic in Houston this afternoon. Hopefully, it will be a quick in and out, with everyone remarking on her vibrant health and rosie cheeks. Her counts last week during the third week of round three all hit in the normal range which is quite a blessing. We're hoping for the same today.
Like Erin, we have all been exceptionally well the last week. Davis's high school soccer career came to an end last Tuesday in a lop-sided loss to The Woodlands in bi-district. Bryan high's loss is my gain. Since he no longer has to attend soccer practice OR soccer class, he is coming home early this afternoon to mow my lawn! Hey, what a deal. Word on the street is that he is going to use his new found time to start his summer job early.
The Panther's also took the field last week. Erin again had a great time and played her little heart out, in an exciting(?) 18-15 loss. She was behind the plate for two innings (the whole game only last three innings) and opined that she might wait to play catcher again until she grew a little. I think the equipment weighed her down more than she expected.
The adult units of the Buenger household adjusted quickly to the free Friday evening (first one in 2006). We enlisted Nico to entertain Erin and spend the night, and of course, Davis was soaking in the freedom of an unencumbered schedule, as well. We made our leisurely way out to the deck with our refreshments, enjoyed the warm breeze rippling the recently leafed out trees, and wrapped ourselves in the sunset. I think you'll be able to find us there regularly on Friday evenings, from now until further notice. Come on over. The dogs will bark a warning to let us know you've arrived. Otherwise, don't expect us to get up.
Thanks for the support with the aluminum cans. Erin is still collecting cans and will be for the whole month. We really like this kind of fundraising because it has double benefits: raising money for cancer research and getting cans out of the landfill and into the recycling process. If you wouldn't be comfortable with Erin taking the kind of cans you accumulate up to her school, you can always take them to the Finfeather recycling center yourself, and donate the money you earn. If you are virtuous and don't drink beverages that come in aluminum cans, but would like to support Erin's Relay for Life team, you can make a direct contribution. I feel sure that the Honoraria and Memorial Luminaria that many of you bought last year will be available again. I just don't have the specific information yet.
As always, we appreciate all the big hearted ways you support us and the cancer cause. These feelings are especially important to lift us up in good times and not-so-good times. This weekend, three children in the neuroblastoma world died. We did not know any of them personally, but Nick Snow fought the disease for seven years, pioneering all sorts of treatment options, before he became disease-free in 2002. In the end he died of severe pancreatitis and complications from a perforated bowel, both conditions probably stemming from the heavy treatment he endured. Another younger boy from Florida, Cameron, also died. His parent's web site will really make you think about what it means to be a neuroblastoma warrior.