The past week or so has brought a couple of worthwhile achievements — and working on others. If you didn’t read last Thursday’s (June 15) Oak Ridge Observer, pick up a copy before they’re gone. It’s free, and they’re all over town.

I have a column on the op-ed page, sort of an expansion of the thoughts seen in Calling Council’s Hand. I’d rather you read the whole paper (the main editorial is good food for thought as well), but if you can’t get it in time, you can read the text of my piece here.

On the heels of that endeavor, our whole family engaged in the time-honored tradition of helping friends move. They only relocated about a mile or so, but it was from a house that was getting a little cozy (now that their boys are 9 and 15) to their dream home. So our family — along with several others — packed, loaded, transported, unloaded, and helped unpack the essentials.

I was exhausted and more than a little sore, but it felt really good to help accomplish something neighborly, the way people used to help each other as a matter of routine.

Next was Gamma’s birthday — daughter #3 turned 14. Her wish for the day was for the whole family to do something together, so we all hung out at the Secret City Festival for a while, and she attended the concert Saturday night with her father and me. While at the festival, I snagged a copy of Cooking Behind the Fence, a collection of recipes from the 43 Club.

Father’s Day was a laid-back affair, with my husband enjoying an uninterrupted nap for most of the afternoon. We went to my parents’ house for supper, where my father ranted about Phil Mickelson’s meltdown on number 18 in the US Open. I told Dad he should have been caddying for Mickelson, to which he responded “damn right! I would have told him to use a 2-iron.”

Somehow, I have no doubt that Dad would have no problem doing exactly that. And he probably would be right. Funny how the older I get, the more he knows.

I also spent a bit of Sunday missing my father-in-law, gone a little over five years now. I treasured knowing him for 15 years, long enough to recognize that my husband is who he is in large part because of his own father’s influence.

The upside of the moving experience is that it has inspired me to do a little packing of my own — packing up things we don’t need, that is, and clearing some of the clutter that has accumulated over the past 20 years. There’s a long way to go, and we’re not likely to be cured of our pack-rat tendencies in this lifetime, but at least we can be a bit more organized.

With Alpha college-bound in August, the remaining three are eyeing how to divvy up the added space. Gamma has set out on the ambitious project of cleaning out the “office” (a room which was once an office, but has now become a repository for boxes of stuff that doesn’t belong anyplace else), so that youngest sibling Delta can move out of her shared room.

Seems like just last week that I was nursing one, trying to keep the other three from writing on the walls or disassembling the electric outlets. Where have the years gone?

2 Responses to “Etc.”

  1. on 21 Jun 2006 at 7:14 am AT

    Don’t tell me things like that. I’m perfectly happy thinking that Pigpen will enjoy the appeal of the electrical socket for years to come.

  2. on 22 Jun 2006 at 11:14 pm bosphorus

    I look at my eldest, who is seven now, and wonder how quickly she’s paced through those years. We just got back from our third vacation with my Father-in-Law and that’s hard to believe. It seems like yesterday when he first floated the idea of taking our vacations together. Now that is three years past.
    Hey, on a different note. Any advice for life with a fourth child?

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