Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Burlington Continued and a Busy St. Pat's Day

Sunday in Burlington was fun, but a bit somber because we knew it was the day we were leaving and we had to be back for the Monday grind. I hate the fact that we grow to loathe Sundays because they are the predecessor to Monday, another day we hate. It's such institutionalized learning, and a shame when you get down to it, because every day is a good day, or at least should be.

Either way, we had fun, and I would personally love to make it a regular trip or spend more time up there, maybe when the weather is warmer? They have a nice bike path and we could all blade along it. I will say this-as much as I love the big city, I wouldn't want to live there, not at this point in my life. I find it a great relief whenever we get back to our small town and the life it entails. Maybe it's just getting home, but whatever be the case, it just fits us better right now.

St. Pat's day was one of those days when you are going crazy and saying you can't do this anymore, and you can't believe you got through it but feel a bit of pride and satisfaction when you did. We were having friends over for dinner for St. Pat's Day, but had a bunch of other things to do before they even arrived.

Luckily, corned beef is easy. I got our standard nitrate free brisket from the Coop, which they lovingly refer to as "gray beef," since it has no nitrates for color retention. It cooks up fine and tastes great, and best of all, it has no nasty nitrates. I had to go into work in the AM and get some experiments started, so I woke up at 5:00, got the corned beef into the crock pot, and went to work for a few hours. By the time I got home, it was 10:00 AM, and we had places to be.

Our first stop was to pick up some stuff from a friend who was moving back to Japan. He was a doc at Dartmouth on sabbatical, and his time was up. He was selling/giving us a bunch of things and we needed the truck to pick them up, so we drove out there and immediately got lost. In my defense, I was told to go the wrong way, and though I should have picked up on the mistake right away (eventually I clued in), we started off on the wrong foot. Luckily, the mistake wasn't huge and we'd lost only about fifteen minutes.

We got there a bit late, but no biggie. We loaded up the stuff and had time to get some lunch before our big first guitar lesson. Now I love driving G's truck for the simple fact of having another vehicle, but because of it's enormous size, it's a bear to park, especially in Hanover. Luckily we found a space but ended up taking about 1.5 spaces. I was sure we'd get a ticket, but lucked out. After some pizza, we rushed over to the church where the lesson was, and of course, I managed to screw that one up, as well.

I went to the wrong church. We went in and the woman working there had no idea what we were talking about. It finally dawned on me that I'd mixed up the locations and we packed into the truck and bolted over to White River. Amazingly, we were only about ten minutes late.

The guitar lesson was so cool. This amazing kid named K was leading the lesson. He was a teenager but very mature and composed, and he was patient with the kids, who were all about A's age. N was the youngest. Best of all, our kids loved it, and can't wait until the next lesson. They are taking it very slow, and that's what makes it work, because if it was too difficult, then our kids would burn out fast. Interesting to note that there was only one other girl and about ten boys.

The lesson was only an hour, for some reason I thought it was going to be two, so we had more time than I thought. We headed straight home and I unloaded some stuff and got dinner ready. Now the thing about having company over is that not only do we have to make the meal, but there is also the issue of tidying up the house, which adds to the chore. While things were cooking, I went around cleaning up and putting things away. Fortunately the kids hadn't destroyed the house, making the job a little easier. I hadn't stopped moving for about 14 hours that day.

P&J arrived around 5:00, which was thankfully a little later than they said, giving me more time, and we hung out and chatted and had a really nice dinner. We really like their company, they are great people. Things got a little frenzied with the kids at points, but when managed to keep things reasonably calm. The food and conversation was all good.

Then it was time for bed, and man was I beat, but not before watching a movie with my wife and having some quiet time alone.

We survived another hectic day, and enjoyed it, to boot. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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