Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Wow. Just realized there were only two posts in the entire month of February... talk about "Blog remission" -- I'm infected! So here's the short version since my last post:

My parents brought my last surviving grandparent down from the cold north for a visit. (The Varmints 3 used to refer to her as "Gate GeeMaw" but recently she graduated to "Gwate Gwamma" instead.) They left Chicago after last month's ice-storm to visit my sister in the mountains of N.E. PA... I'm not sure what the logic was there, but Gramma was sure ready to come see me in south Florida after 2 weeks in that inhospitably-cold climate.

Two humorous remarks from the Varmints 3 lately:
1. (To Gwate Gwamma) "It's OK that you sleep in here (my daughter's room), but you can't play with any of the toys."
2. (Another to Gwate Gwamma) "Are you too old to play with toys?"
3. (To each other) "He (or "she") won't let me share!"

Mom & Dad have decided at least one person needs to stay with Gramma from now on -- in addition to poor hearing (even with the hearing aids) she has frequent memory loss, occasional mood swings, and has trouble walking. This will be difficult for them, but is probably "do-able." (Dad will soon be on his way to Germany for another 2 to 3 month remodeling job for BIMI.) My wife and I enjoy having her here, so they may bring her down more often. She doesn't get around much, but she likes to sit on the couch and fold laundry... something we have an over-abundance of.

After a great two-week visit, we all left sunny south Florida last weekend (7th to the 9th of March) and traveled to Clearwater, FL. My parents and Grandma arrived in Clearwater on Saturday, left the Tampa area Sunday afternoon, and arrived in Chicago this (Monday) evening. They travel fast.

I, my wife, and the Varmints 3 left home early Friday, spent 2 days and a night in Clearwater (for the first-ever CCC ensemble reunion), went to some friends' house in Myakka City Saturday evening (WAAAY better than a motel/hotel stay), attended Sunday morning services in Bradenton, then attended Sunday evening services in Naples, before coming back home late Sunday evening. It was a whirlwind weekend for us. The kids were exhausted... unfortunately for us, their behavior showed it.

I've been working quite a bit to attempt to finish remodeling our church's missionary house into our new assistant Pastor's new home. It's mostly done now: the crown molding is up and painted, the knock-down texture is on the walls and ceilings (and has been painted), the tile and carpet are down. Other than touch-up painting, some of the door trim has yet to be painted and caulked as well. This week I'm attempting to finish wiring in the new outlets, lights, and fans in time for the house to be cleaned on Saturday (church work day).

Actually, I should mention that "assistant" Pastor was to be his title prior to the home-going of our current pastor of 34 years. At 5 minutes to midnight on the first of March, he left us. He was ready to go, but it's been difficult for his wife of 51 years. I'm sure it will be a very long year for her.

I've since been juggling church and work responsibilities while attempting to help her (his widow) as much as possible. We're not sure how well (or not) the transition to the new pastor will go, but we're planning to vote him in as Interim Pastor at the end of the month. We're not sure how long he'll be "Interim-ing" before we either vote again, or he changes his mind (doubtful). Hopefully, everything will go smoothly and with minimal problems... I can hope, right?

On a side note, I finally submitted a short story to a local paper for a writing contest. No surprise: I didn't win, but at least the process got my brain working for a few days. In the coming weeks I'd like to editing... well, maybe re-writing is more like it... it and seeing where else I can send it off.

So that's the current version of life in the Matt lane... never slow... rarely organized... and always changing.

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