Gone Coastal

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I've some catching up to do. I've posted nothing since I went back to work, apart from the pictures post for Shirtless, which took nearly two weeks to get done. As such, this post is going to incorporate a lot of rabbit trails. If I tried to break it up into neat and tidy individual posts, you'd never get most of it.
My first week back was carefully crafted to be a somewhat easy start. It was a short week, and I didn't yet have a project assignment, so I worked from home catching up on admin type stuff like a year's worth of e-mail and password changes. Of course, putting in a full day's work with a little one at your feet tends to take a day and a half, but it was still a good thing, as we didn't have anyone to watch her, yet. By the third day, a colleague I'd worked with on a previous project had tracked me down for something new. So that afternoon I went in to the office for a couple of hours while the Bear watched over Tweetie.
That first trip in without her felt very strange, even alien, and I was very glad it was just a few hours before I could go home again. But it was also good to finally do it. To put on the professional attire, get all the bits together, hop on the bus and go to work.
I had the Thursday and Friday booked off, as we had company coming through, and then we were headed for K-town for a surprise birthday party. As things often are, it was not the weekend we had planned. We got word halfway there that the Bear's mom was on evacuation alert for forest fires in her area. With minimal information, and a lot of stirred up emotions from our own encounters with the firestorm a few years back, we opted to drive straight through (after a brief but greatly appreciated stop for food at the Martens' desert oasis) so the Bear could help out with evacuation preparations and some work around the property to reduce the risks. So we got in in the wee hours Saturday morning. The Bear was already planning to come that way after the weekend, and we figured with T along, I was more likely a liability sticking around, so after some sleep I turned around and headed back to K-town with Tweetie.
Or so, we thought. We were all loaded, and I put the key in. The Bear was just beside the car waiting to wave good-bye, but a sound like a hard drive about to implode greeted us from beneath the hood. After some poking around, he identified a fan, but couldn't get in to do anything about it. Calling ahead, he spoke to our dealer in Kelowna, and made arrangements to have someone look at it as soon as I got in. I drove direct to Turner Volkswagen, with one eye on the temperature gauge the whole way, and got there half an hour before closing. To make a long story short, these guys are AWESOME. Not only did they fit me in and identify the problem, but knowing I was here from out of town, couldn't make the drive home without the fix, and that parts would likely take a few days, they had not one, but two of their fine mechanics stay late. Like a transplant operation, one guy extracted a healthy new part from a car on the lot, and the other removed the damaged organ from our car, then they hooked the new one in, tester her, and I was ready to go. On a long weekend. And all under warranty - no fuss, no hassle. Three cheers to Sean Miller for making it happen.
So, we missed B's surprise for her 60th, which was a bummer, but the car didn't melt down on the Coq, on my way home with a teen and a baby, which is very nice. Tweetie and I stopped by on Sunday to pass on our wishes to B, whose house was still full of visitors from near and far. And we still fulfilled the other mission for the weekend, which was to pick up the Goddess' daughter, Thing One, who would be keeping an eye on Tweetie for us in August. The holiday Monday was spent showing Thing One the ropes before heading back for week two.
My second week at work felt way too long. I had put in the paperwork to switch to an eighty percent work week on my return, but it hadn't been approved yet, so I was still putting in full days. I was thankful, though, for getting into a good, interesting project that kept my mind busy. One of the oddest things that week was getting into the car and driving back and forth to work alone. I kept wanting to check the back seat for Tweetie. I've so rarely gone anywhere in the last year without her that it felt like I was forgetting her somewhere when I didn't buckle her in before pulling away.
Overall, I think I did better than I thought I might, as did Tweetie. She's hardly fussed at all when I've headed out in the morning. Somewhere in me there's a little disappointment ("She doesn't even miss me"), but truly, I have no desire to visit the alternative. As it turns out, she may be missing me more than I thought, as the Bear's suggested it might be part of the trouble we've had lately at bedtime.
On the weekend, we went to the library, saw my neighbour's show at the Deluge gallery, plus a couple of other galleries, and did some of the usual weekend catchup.
This week was the first of what ought to be 'normal' weeks. My part-time status was approved (Hallelujah!), so I worked five shorter days between two locations. Thing One was happy to have her days shortened up a bit, too. And, Thursday afternoon, the Bear made it home again from his mom's, and as I pulled in from work, the big red truck was still idling in the driveway as he pulled open the gate. Tweetie'd been missing the man in the phone, so to get a good bear growl in person made her very smiley. I got food on the go, leaving the two of them to catch up a bit, and very much enjoyed listening in as the Bear found his Dr. Seuss voice.
In fact, one of the best things about my whole, crazy summer has been watching the Bear breaking in his Papa shoes. As Tweetie has developed more into a little person, one that crawls and stands and babbles and giggles and explores and listens, he's been finding his feet in the world of parenthood. It took a long time for him to start to feel comfortable with her, and with being responsible for her, but God's gracious and took him there gently when he was most needed. As I've stepped back into the world of work, he's stepped up to the plate, taking on her care as needed and finding other ways to make all our lives smoother. And it's been wonderful, even in the couple of days since he's been home again, to have him backing me up when things get crazy in the evening.
I couldn't ask for more, except maybe a few other pictures like this one from Friday night, courtesy of Thing One:

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