Tuesday, February 25 2020

canine sports zone, madison, and feeklejams

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Tuesday, and thanks for stopping by. For those of those accustomed to a journal entry at 8 AM on the dot, please accept my apologies. Apparently I'm still operating on weekend hours - no doubt from the chaos of moving out for the week. At the moment, I've retreated downstairs to write, and Marissa and Rodney are eating scrambled eggs and donuts upstairs. Marissa and I didn't get good sleep last night, but we're hanging in there. Hopefully after a mellow remote day, and maybe a long walk and some homemade soup this evening, we'll start to rally.

Yesterday was a long day, and it was a blur of a day. I barely remember doing anything, let alone writing. I was proud that we were prepared, but sitting in the car while Marissa drove away, I promptly nodded off. Up until that point, I think it had been coffee and adrenaline giving me the energy to move furniture and live out of a bag all weekend while we packed.

We hung out at Canine Sports Zone the rest of the morning. The dogs were visibly relieved to hang out somewhere familiar for a while after such a hectic morning. And to add to that, I think they finally convinced themselves they weren't going to the kennel. Marissa quietly worked on her mural on the back wall while Rodney wrestled and tossed a ball around on the spacious agility course.

I get a kick out of watching Rodney hang out at Sports Zone. He and Marissa spend time there each week - way more often than I do - so watching Rodney walk around the giant facility as if it were his own basement is a funny side of him I don't usually get to see. "He can turn on the lights, he knows where the poop bags are… he's almost too comfortable here," laughed Marissa as we watched him chat up a lady practicing with her dog.

After a brief pizza lunch, we swung by the house. The floor treatment guys had just finished sanding and wanted to show us how it turned out. If I didn't know any better, I would think they were done for the week. The floors were sanded down, and looked brighter and more… wooden? I'm kind of out of my element when it comes to house construction, so as he walked around and talked shop with Marissa, my only contribution was "Wow, it looks like an art gallery in here."

After a walk through, we jumped back in the car and headed to our temporary house. We found our designated parking spot, and after two incorrect guesses, we found the lockbox with our key. The house was pretty beautiful. We sighed in relief, compounded by the fact it was the first location we've been to all day where we could shut the door and take our shoes off. The dogs darted around the living room. Marissa dumped Rodney's trucks, airplanes, and coloring books on the ground. I signed into Plex on the TV and promptly queued up a never-ending shuffled playlist of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. After we finished unpacking, Marissa and I each took a couch and napped through the rest of the afternoon while Rodney quietly played at the foot of the couch.

I woke around five to the dogs crying at the door. Instructing Rodney to stay behind with Momma while she slept, I leashed the dogs and slipped out the front door, locking it behind me. Together, we walked further up Jenny street along the lake. I imagined what it would be like to be a visitor in Madison, and staying in a vacation style lake front rental, that was easy to do. I'd probably walk the same route, and stand in the same place I stood looking over the lake. In the distance a few blocks away, the bustling bars, coffee shops, and restaurants on proper Willie Street could be heard. If I was a visitor, I'd be tempted to walk deeper into the city, following the noise until I stumbled into a place where I could drink a beer with the dogs. Madison is a cool city, isn't it?

When I returned, we packed the dogs away. I changed Rodney into his favorite pair of pajamas. "I thought we were going out," asked Marissa. "Why is he in his pajamas?"

"It's vacation, who cares," I said over my shoulder. "Plus these are his feekle'jams we're talking about. These things are always in style. He just looks like some classic Willie Street hipster hitting the town, no one is going to look twice."

I bed feekle'jams deserves an explanation. I was saying vehicle jammies, shortened to vehicle jams. Rodney adds his own toddler flair by just saying feekle'jams. And like with most phrases circulating in hour house like a game of telephone with the English language, we made him even more confused by adopting that phrase also.

We had a nice sit down dinner at Eldorado grill, right on the corner from where we were staying, then returned to put Rodney to bed. I walked up the street to the co-op, picking up milk, eggs, a bottle of red wine, and some donuts. We capped the night by watching the season premier of Better Call Saul, then finishing up the movie Togo.

As I got up to refill my wine glass, I tripped on a step in the middle of the room. Marissa chuckled. "I can only imagine how many people have face planted there," I said regaining my balance. "It's treacherous. Look, it blends right in to the floor. It's just a sudden drop."

"There's also a bad one in the basement that almost took Rodney," replied Marissa.

Back to this morning - it felt good to wind up for a work day. I'm looking forward to feeling productive, even if it just means catching up on emails and finishing a few tickets from our backlog. Being on ticket duty this week, it's kind of a good fit for where my head is. I feel a little scatter brained, and I'm hoping some of the familiar routines of work will help establish a feeling of normalcy. After such a crazy weekend, it's easy to forget that this is a vacation home. It's designed to be relaxing, and I'm sure after the right amount of naps, home cooked meals, and long walks down a new street, I'll get there.

And above all, it felt good to write. Writing in a new environment with so much going on is a challenge, but in a good way.

Hope you have a great Tuesday today. Thanks for reading.