Please, Don’t Spike the Baby

She Shoots! She Scores!

Tomorow, Anne wings her way to Boston. She is going to be the baby whisperer. Maren’s maternity leave is ending soon and before Declan starts daycare, Anne will be filling in. She is seen here modeling Declan’s first Halloween costume. It is supposed to be a soccer ball. It is still a work in progress but should be ready in plenty of time. After I drop her off at the airport, I will be left here, home alone. Anne will spend a few weeks in Boston with Maren, Dave and Declan.

In other East Coast news Brooklyn is flooding. A massive rainstorm has dumped a ton of water on NYC. The NY Times and twitter are both full of photos and movies that show the widespread effects of the flooding. The city is now under a state of emergency. Dan and Britt seem to be doing fine. Their five-floor walkup is still above the water. Although, being on the top floor, their roof leaks, but this has been an endemic problem for a while. No word yet on whether Dan’s Prius has also weathered the storm. He will venture out, maybe later today to find out.

In other Dan news, he has just landed a new job. He starts Monday, assuming the flood waters recede. This job is in Manhattan, so he will need to take a train, which presently are not running. This is not just another 1099 gig, but a real job with a W-2 and benefits. It does not pay as well as the union job normally would, but that job is still on strike. He interviewed for this work this week, got a tour of the facilities and was offered a job on the spot. He had once worked well with the guy that hired him. Nondisclosure agreements prohibit him from discussing this new opportunity, but this group has had a very successful run with their previous theatrical show.

That endeavor, Sleep No More, debuted in 2011 and except for a Covid shutdown has been selling out ever since. Reviewers describe this show’s experience as immersive theater. Cast and audience are allowed to intermingle. The production is nearly wordless, and the audience is expected remain completely silent during the show. The audience is also expected to wear Venetian carnival-style masks. The reviewer recommended that no audience member should drink, since patrons are expected to follow a merry, macabre chase up and down stairs, and through poorly lit, cluttered rooms and corridors.

The set is billed as the McKittrick Hotel but is just decorated warehouses. The plot for that show is loosely based upon Macbeth. Having never seen this show, I am still reminded of Meow Wolf of Santa Fe. Meow Wolf was built in an old bowling alley. It is also a labyrinth but has no actors. Anyway, it sounds like an interesting opportunity for Dan.

Sugar-Plum Tree

Sugar-Plum Tree

Have you heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
‘Tis a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop Sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye town.

We have only been home for a short while, but the wanderlust is already preying upon Anne. She has been regaling me with trip itineraries from the most recent Road Scholar catalog. Not the standard one-week trips, but travel that spans four-months, on a trip around the world or a shorter, but still pricy trip to Ecuador that includes Macha Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. I think that these ideas are mere flights of fancy. I hope.

She does have one trip planned at the end of the month. This travel is to Boston, where she will play the baby whisperer. Hopefully this little trip will satiate her wanderlust, at least for a little while. 

Black-eyed Susans

Black-eyed Susans

Maren, David, Declan and Puck seem to be doing fine. In the little more than a week that we have visited with them, Declan has gone from less than three hours between feedings to more than three. Clear progress, with the eventual goal of sleeping through the night a now obtainable goal. Life here in Boston is not super exciting. Except on the weekend, we are not darting out to see all of the sights. Pretty much just hanging around the old homestead. Anne and I begin each day at our Air B&B, walk to breakfast and then head over to Maren and Dave’s place. Anne is the real boon on this visit, whom Maren has dubbed the baby-whisper. Me not so much. When Declan is in a good mood, I can hold him and also hold my own, but when his mood turns south either Anne, Dave or Maren swoop into the rescue. Not sure though who they are rescuing, Declan, me or maybe both. I try to make up for this by going shopping. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping, mainly groceries and household goods. Anne has stained the mahogany railing top on their new front railing. That took the required three trips to the hardware store. I’ve done some of the cooking, but David has a flair for the kitchen, and I like his cooking better. We walk with Puck two out of the three times each day. Mainly, we hangout all day with Maren and Declan, while Dave works from home in the basement. Dinner is the highpoint of the day and lately, with Declan’s help all four of us have been able to sit down and eat together. A quiet life, family life, full of life’s little pleasures.

Very Scary

Dead Metallica

The weekend is over. Dan and Britt have safely returned to NYC and their very attentive cat Inky. We are still in Boston. Hanging with our new grandson Declan, who is a marvel every day. Oh yeah and his parents Maren and David, whom we also dearly love. I am enjoying this visit, with its associated bonding time, but I have not been sleeping well here in Boston. It could just be the Air B&B or more particularly its bed, which has spawned frequent backaches. To combat those, I take a single Aleve in the morning, which helps with my back, but also creates GI issues later in the day, especially when I’m lying down in bed at night. This distress leads to hours of sleeplessness, as I have to deal with a sour stomach. As I lie awake at night, my mind begins to race with worry. Thinking of all the scary things that could befall my family. If one of our dads got sick, it would take us three days to get back to Michigan and likely six days to get to California. I worry about Dan who lives a life more on the edge then I would be comfortable with. Then there is Maren, Dave and Declan. They have now embarked on a monumental adventure. I pray for everyone’s good health, good luck and success. Around here, Anne is the baby whisperer. Her loving good nature, combined with her well-seasoned maternal instinct makes her a natural. I try to help out where I can. For example, I went to Lowe’s today, with a list of needed home improvement goods. At store, I found something truly scary. The Halloween decorations are already out. Pictured is some of the horror that awaits us. Speaking of horror, last night I checked the current Saint Louis weather, a temperature 99 ºF that feels like 120 ºF. Oh, the horror!

Halibut Point State Park

Quarry at Halibut Point State Park

Weekend! Dave had Saturday off and we all took advantage of this fact and drove to the coast. Our first stop was a lobster shack in Gloucester called the Lobster Pool. I got a lobster roll. I had tried to buy one last fall, when we were up here for Thanksgiving, but then they were priced at $75. This one was much more affordable. Next-door was Halibut State Park, where we walked around the old quarry and looked at the ocean. I was convinced that this quarry had been featured in the swimming scene from the movie CODA, but at the visitor’s center learned that it had not. That scene had been shot at a neighboring quarry. The people there had gotten that question so many times that they had made Not-CODA t-shirts. Next on our itinerary and just down the coast was Rockport. This seaside community is where Maren and her family would summer. Then they would rent a place, but now her brother Luke has bought a house. It is a fixer upper, but he is busy working on it. Maren’s other brother Jake greeted us when we arrived. He and his wife Bella are helping with the home renewal. We hung out there until the little man let us know that it was time to go. Back to our B&B near Malden. Dan and Britt had already arrived there, having driven up from NYC. We picked up takeout Mexican and Maren was even able to dine with us. It was a pretty good day.