Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday: The Family Easter Get-Together, and Catching Up

When my wife informed me that that she'd decided to have the family's Easter get-together here, I didn't say that I thought she'd lost it. But the thought crossed my mind.

Now that's it over, I'm glad she made the effort. We had a great time. I'll get back to that.

Thursday and Friday are something of a blur to me. Our son went back to school, with no unwanted side-effects. Whatever he had, he seems to be over it.

I spent most of the time, working on a project I'd agreed to do, processing several thousand records. Many of which weren't keyed in. With considerably less time to work with them than I expected.

It's been exciting.

I spent most of the time, re-creating a method I'd put together a year or so ago, which turns a spreadsheet into simple de-duping software. That reminded of how long software development takes.

Back to today. Two of my wife's siblings' families were able to come, so there weren't as many people as there could have been. We had a good time, though. As my wife put it, describing how our daughters and some of the cousins get along, "the girls had a good time. Of course, they're happy, wherever they get together."

One of the cousins is three. While I was sitting at the computer in the north room, I heard him singing the "A-B-C" song. He'd gotten up to about "L," when one of the young ladies started singing, too. Quite a natural thing to do.

He immediately stopped singing.

Later, as I was walking southward, I heard him again. He was sitting at the bottom of the stairs. As soon as I rounded the corner, he stopped singing again. I never did hear him get to "Z." His parents tell me that he does the song pretty well, although he tends to have trouble around "L," saying "K-K." I didn't catch that, myself.

He's three years old. Or, as he puts it, "thee." He also refers to the device I'm using now as a "compootah."

I missed some of the get-together. Around mid-afternoon, my body let me know that it needed rest from last night's marathon work session, so I took a nap.

Some of the younger members of the family had set up a Bionicle game on the hallway floor upstairs. Apparently, a SpongeBob SquarePants toy was playing the game with them. It was sitting at one of the players' positions.

The high point of the day was when we discovered that a trap door in the floor of the north room hadn't been nailed shut by previous owners. All that was holding it in place was some caulking.

We had it loose in short order.

This was the first look we'd had, into the old cistern. It's about five feet in diameter, and around nine feet deep. One of my brothers-in-law happened to have a fish-cam, its monitor, and battery, with him. He likes to go ice-fishing, and the gadget's handy for that sort of thing.

He showed us bite marks, where walleyes had defended their territory against it (or perhaps thought it was food).

Back to the cistern. He lowered the camera, and gave us a fairly good look at the inside. The camera had a infra-red light source on it, so it gave a pretty good view of the roots and cobwebs that were down there. We spotted what might be a brick, some pipes, and another brick - or maybe a bowl. With all those roots, it was hard to tell.

My brother-in-law said that he'd have jumped down there himself, if it weren't for the neck brace he's wearing.

Some of the younger kids were both excited and worried about the hole in the floor. One of them, the three-year-old, wanted to be sure that his daddy didn't fall in, so he took hold of daddy's shirt. His concern wasn't altogether unjustified. His daddy's the one who was eagerly paying out cable into the abyss.

The three-year-old wanted to see, too, so at one point he was leaning a little past his daddy.

Our son tells me that the three-year-old, after the trapdoor was back in place, noticed a piece of caulking that had been left on the floor, picked it up, and patted it back in place.

After the other families had gone home, we noticed that one of the youngsters had taken a cake decoration, and stuck it in the butter.

I doubt that any adult would think of doing that: From a decor point of view, it actually looks pretty good.

Probing the abyss: That trapdoor had been closed for over twenty years, at least.

Thanks to that camera, and its infra-red light, we could see roots. Lots of roots.

The youngster had been holding on to his daddy's shirt, to keep him from falling in. But, he wanted a look down there, too.

I confirmed that SpongeBob SquarePants had wanted to play, which explains the arrangement.

Nothing says "kids were here" quite like a strawberry cake decoration in butter.


Brigid said...

Too cute!

Wish I could've been there. (hack cough)

Brian H. Gill said...


I/we wish you could have been here, too.

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