Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Day of Summer 2012

Coulda fooled me, who does not consult calendars or clocks. We are in the midst of typical June weather: hot, hot, hot and, unfortunately for the corn, dry dry dry. The weather guys are offering tantalizing promises of rain and drop in temp. Soon.

Even though we try, we can't completely flee our 'schedule' mentality. Each morning, I get up and ride the mighty PED to our local Walgreens (NEVER CVS!!!) to grab newspapers. We realize we are becoming dinosaurs, but we like to read the paper while eating breakfast.

I pick up all of them (today there were 4!) and bring them home. We have a Newspaperpalooza with our cereal and melon. Yes, there are many similar stories but that's OK. We are now up on local news in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Warsaw, and the USA.

The PED is our little moped, a 1975 Honda Express. We purchased a newer model with automatic start and working lights, but it lacks the charm of Ol' Yeller. Last winter, we added a black plastic basket to the front, which cuts down on aerodynamics, and then sprayed the back baskets to match. You can carry 2 12 can packs of pop, 6 quart containers of sorbet, a few pound containers of whatever cold is for dinner from the deli, a gallon of milk and a 1/2 gallon of juice in one run. Loaded this heavy, it's hard to see the usual 20 MPH, but it does the trick for our frequent grocery runs.

Today the load is light.

And today, the day is hot again. On the road right now is my little brother Ken. He was and is the baby of our family and that long-dreamed-for boy in a family thick with estrogen. Mom told me once that each of us girls was going to be "Patrick" in those quaint, long-ago days when parents waited to see what they got. My folks got no Patrick: they got Janis, Lynne, and Kristine.

Bench pressing at 1 month
Then, whoa! A boy. And what a boy. My teeny little mom birthed an 11 lb. 7 oz., 26 1/2 inch-long male child that looked, frankly, not so much like an infant. How in the world do I remember what he weighed? I imagine it was the topic of discussion for many years. And what about 'Patrick'? Mom said that when Dad and she discussed naming him, my dad said that the 'guys at work' thought this amazingly full term boy should carry his father's name. So be it, he was crowned Kenneth McCray II. Crowned!

Did I resent him? I believe I did. I remember that when Dad brought his boy home from the hospital (you know, the 11lb7oz261.5in son), he asked me if I wanted to come inside to look at him. I remember that I had just screwed my roller skates to my shoes (you'll need to google that, young 'uns) and that I would be in when I was finished cruising the neighborhood.  Such are family dynamics.

Did he replace ME in the role that I saw myself? That being the Daddy's girl who got away with much. I believe he did. No matter, I've gotten over it.

Ken visited us at the lake last year at this time, on his yearly trip to all things Hayes in Vandalia, Ramsey, Pana, and Decatur, Illinois. It's time for the annual Hayes Family Reunion and Ken always represents our family.

Last year, I remember, the temperature was in the '50s and it was drizzling. Last year, my sweet sister-in-law Janelle was with her husband. This year, she attends other reunions as she passed to Heaven in May. Last year, as she and I walked out in what I considered dreary weather, I commented that we had not arranged the forecast in a favorable way. And I will recall for the rest of my life what Janelle said to that. "Oh no Lynne. This is OREGON weather. I LOVE this weather. It's perfect."

She always could put a positive spin on just about anything. Just another one of her gifts that we miss so much.

Anyway, Ken is working his way through the labyrinth of grief and healing and, as of this morning, plans to drive to the reunion. We all know that plans can change. I'll clean up a little here and there, and if he changes his mind on anything. that's OK. The place can use a little cleaning.
Still chasing him

Another little wrinkle here: Mike's doctor decided to cut back on his chemo. He had been heading in every other week for infusion (through that port thing) coupled with 6 daily pills. The last two times, his blood work was troubling but they went ahead. THIS time, his blood work was more troubling --- chemo wreaks havoc on your immune system -- so she wants him to take a break. Hopefully, he will feel a bit better; hopefully this deep fatigue will be relieved a bit. We shall see.

So that's it for today.


  1. A great trip down memory lane ... but Lynne.... one correction ... he weighed ONLY 11 pounds 7 ounces... that is what I remember... and you are right, he was the talk of our little world for quite a while...
    I hope you and Ken and Mike have a gret time... wish I was there... and I pray that Mike's chemo vacation leaves him less tired and able to do the things he loves... love you all, janis

  2. Ok, you ATE my smartwriter-than-me sister, bit I stand by my stats.