I'm now under 500 days remaining in my career. My union rep came up to me last week to see how firm I was on my date of 1/2/2014. I responded that "I'm 75% sure." I'm ticking down the days, 100 at a time at this point but you know what they say? If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
I was out watering our Impatiens a few weeks ago when I noticed a dust flying off them as the showering water from the hose made contact. I thought it was strange as I'd never seen anything like that before. I didn't think much of it but several days later I noticed the plants losing their petals and leaves. I thought that maybe I'd burned them when I fertilized the lawn so I waited a little over a week to see if they'd grow new leaves and flowers but it wasn't happening. I found a video online that I think explains what I was dealing with; a death sentence for Impatiens: Impatiens Dying from Downy Mildew. I've been doing lots of watering this hot, dry summer so I suppose I'm to blame.
Tammy and I took the pups into Minneapolis for a walk around Lake of the Isles Saturday night, something we haven't done in years. We got there at dusk with the temp cooling nicely for our little guys who don't do so well on walks in the heat. They loved it and never tired during the 2.65 miles around the lake. A couple we stopped to chat with asked us how old they were. It was then that it dawned on me that it was actually Toby and Allie's 8th birthday! We lucked out...what a nice treat to take them there on their birthday considering we didn't get them anything special as we sometimes do. I know, I know but we love our dogs! They're family.
Rachel is enjoying her summer gig at the YMCA in Rochester working as a camp counselor with kids K - 6th grade. They went horseback riding last week. She sent me a text saying "After horse camp yesterday, quote from a 3rd grader (with a stutter): "yea trotting was fun, except i felt like it was gonna blow off my testicle!" Too funny!
She's not getting as many hours as she'd anticipated but she's enjoying the work. The photo to the right is of some of the kids she's working with.
Tammy is enjoying some much needed time off from work but she's doing anything but hanging out and taking it easy. She's been on the road quite a lot. She rendezvoused with Cindy and her mother 2 1/2 hours north last week so she could bring her mom down to stay with us for a few days. She is such a giving, serving, selfless person. I wish I was more like her. She is forever thinking about others and how to maybe bring some sunshine to their lives. Her mother and her aunt Joyce love to play the penny slots at local casinos so she took them there a few days ago and gave them each some cash to burn through. Sometimes they come back winners but not this day. Still, it was a fun time.
We took our moms out for brunch late Sunday morning before Tammy took her mom back up north. It was nice to get them together again as it had been a while.
I'm excited for Keith and Tracee. They sold their home after less than a week on the market and have found what sounds like the perfect place for them 25 miles south in Northfield. It's got acreage and a pole-barn where Keith can one day set up shop. This has happened so fast for them!
One of my favorite things to do in the summer when I'm not riding is breaking down my bikes to clean them, something I haven't had the need to do this summer since I'm sitting this year out (on the road anyway). When I had my PE episode back in January I pretty much just put my Mukluk in a closet and tried not to think about it and how much I love that bike. But I'm over it now and with a few days off from work this week I set aside some time to do a thorough cleaning of both my Mukluk and my Serotta I've been using on my CompuTrainer. They were both in need of attention. It felt so nice to be out in the garage working on them like I used to. I really miss that. Ha! But the best part of all was climbing on my Mukluk and doing a few laps up and down the street out in front of our home. I had the biggest smile!
The amount of time left in my career isn't the only countdown I'm watching these days.