Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Vacation Good -- VBS Wild

Our beach vacation was good, not long enough (what vacation ever really is?,) but good.

One our way down we entered (unbeknownst to us) the airport triathlon: KC to Dallas, Dallas to not the beach but Houston, Houston to Destin, on a different airline altogether. Four differnt airports, three different flights, two different airlines, none of which corresponded to the tickets we purchased. At least we got there. Boy did we need to be there once we got there; it took two days just to relax from that!

And btw: Houston (International, aka George Bush) is not an airport I recommend flying into/out of/or through. Hot, really hot, and VERY POOR signage, not to mention that in transferring to a different airline meant having to go down two floors, back up two floors in a different part of the airport and then through security again. It may be hard to imagine, but I was, at the end of the day, actually happy Frank insisted that I not check any luggage.

The beach was good, family time was excellent. Our four year old niece is well into being a little girl and is quite the conversationalist. She is also drop dead cute when her hair is in pig-tails and she twirls her hair as she is asking you a question. And our 10 month old nephew is very mobile and had just discovered he can open and close doors. He crawled his way down the hall following the sound of his sister’s voice as she talked to me. And he is wild about balls. He can already (with both hands) throw a ball about 4 feet w/ good aim. Aren’t kids amazing?

Tropical Strom Cindy curtailed our outdoor activities on Wednesday, but my niece and I did arts and crafts all morning. I’m really glad that ink will eventually wear off and that her mom is laid back enough to not worry that I made her daughter’s hand dark purple…it did wash to a nice shade of pink, which is my niece’s favorite color. The sustained winds on the eastern side of the storm were strong and long lasting; I thought the windows would never stop whistling.

Thursday Frank got kissed by a sea lion at Gulf World. It was the highlight of his day. (natch)

Friday morning was a beautiful picture perfect Gulf of Mexico beach day. The waves, which had up until that day been huge w/ a strong riptide, were just lapping up to the shore. It was wonderful just hanging out in the water. And that would also be the day that I was least diligent in putting on sunscreen. The strips of burn are beginning to itch; I can’t wait for them to peel! Foil by Blistex is a great product to put on a sunburn.

Long story short we didn’t find out about the hurricane Dennis mandatory visitor evacuation declared at Noon on Friday until after we’d decided to leave Friday night at 8pm, a night early and drive through the night with the family back to Atlanta. That meant that Frank and I got to change our flight from Destin to KC (through Dallas, thank God not Houston) to Atlanta to St. Louis. A big thank you to my parents who picked us up at the St. Louis airport and drove us home on Saturday. I went to bed at 7 pm Saturday night and slept hard for 12 hours. Another thanks goes to my sister who turned around on Sunday afternoon and helped us get our car parked in the KC long term parking back home.

This week is Vacation Bible School, in the evenings. It is another busy year with over 75 kids in attendance! I serve a really neat church, people are very generous and this week is no exception. The church is elaborately decorated for our Serengeti Trek, lots of live green plants from a local garden center and from a member’s personal collection: animals from Africa: we have a giraffe in the sanctuary, neck up, it’s taller than the cross. Frank will take pictures b/c I know some of you will just not believe it unless you see it. Other animals lurking about: a zebra, an antelope, a warthog, a baboon. I can’t wait until Sunday when we celebrate VBS in worship!

This Saturday we send our Senior High Sunday School Class off on a mission trip and then Frank and I’ll head for a family gathering on the western side of the state.

Monday finds us traveling back to Indy for Frank’s post surgery check up w/ Dr. Foster and also an appointment w/ Dr. Einhorn. I think Dr. E likes to meet w/ TC patients who come through IU even if he’s not been directly involved in their care. Heck if it weren’t for him finding the BEP one-two punch of chemotherapy many men would not be alive today. I would like to shake the man’s hand, perhaps even prostrate myself at his feet to say thank you. And like all good research drs. my guess is that he wants to see what Frank’s experience was and since Frank’s tumor tissue now part of the IU research library on TC, perhaps they want find out if they could tweak treatment and or find a way to help prevention efforts.

It feels weird talking about it though. I guess that means that it is no longer occupying my every other thought. This is a good thing. It’s still a part of who we are, where we’ve been, but I am so DONE with it. I’m ready to have Frank back at 100% (he’s getting there) and for us to move on and live our lives. Here’s to the new normal!

And remember how stressed I was over him losing his hair? He’s decided to keep it short and had his 1st hair cut since chemo yesterday!

From the wilds of Mid-Missouri, I hope all are doing well.


The Rev.