Monday, February 1 2021

sledding, reading while pooping, and pictures of grandpa

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. I officially declare this sunny winter Monday a fresh start. We've rolled over into a new month. There's a fresh dusting of snow on the ground. We have a whole new work week to attack.

Not to mention, the era of makeshift paper towel coffee filters is finally coming to a close. We're still waiting for our coffee machine to be fixed, but I finally remembered to add paper coffee filters to the grocery list. It's a shame too - I was getting really good at them. The meticulous tamping and tearing around the bumpy plastic cup turned out to be kind of a fun challenge. I liked trying to make the paper towel snug up against the tray and taper against the top perfectly. If this type of tedious task gives me joy, then maybe I should take up paper mache.

It's good to at least be back on our own supply of coffee. Last week's grubhub debacle seems like it was so long ago.

Sip. So how are you feeling today? Feeling optimistic about February? Maybe the vaccines will be out a little sooner than planned. Maybe the weather will turn around and we'll get to enjoy some rain and wet air for a change. Maybe we'll be able to take a walk around the neighborhood as a family without losing feeling in our fingers.

Rodney and Marissa got their fill of the snow yesterday. After church, Marissa went outside to shovel. I offered to take a shift, but Marissa insisted that shoveling in the morning gave her a solid excuse to skip out on running in the afternoon. I hung back with baby Miles, and Rodney followed her out into the yard with his bright green sled.

Marissa built a little snowdrift beside the driveway. I watched Rodney take big exaggerated steps through the powder, clambering to the top of the snow drift like he was on a dangerous expedition. He fixed the sled under him and leaned forward. The green sled sent him whizzing across the icy pavement. For a little snowdrift by our driveway, he was actually picking up some impressive speed.

2021 02 01 sledding

The dogs got a good romp in the backyard as well. Ollie was just out there to make sure everybody was safe.

2021 02 01 ollie snow

Ziggy was also outside, but for more vain reasons. She knows the sparkly white backdrop only accentuates her worldly beauty, and she wanted to be seen.

2021 02 01 ziggy snow

After watching Rodney take several trips down the tiny hill, we met around the back of the house for a snowball fight. It was a one-sided battle. Since Rodney can't yet make snowballs on his own, he's at a distinct disadvantage.

2021 02 01 snowball fight

Rodney's time outside was cut short. With kids it seems like there's a universal law that dictates the more snow gear they're wearing, the more likely they'll have to take a poop. Rodney tramped his boots through the front door, shaking the snow all over the living room. I helped him peel off his wet snow pants, jacket, and boots. Rodney disappeared into the upstairs bathroom. The door creaked behind him, and I could hear him hastily dig his training seat out of the bathroom closet.

Rodney has the pooping thing down to a science. Barring unfortunate accidents like getting his shirt stuck, he's quick and he doesn't make a mess. His pooping time is transactional, and almost business like.

"How's it coming, dude? Do you want something to read?" I asked from outside the bathroom.

"Nope. Nope daysss," said Rodney while straining.

"Want a comic book? How about your Highlights magazine?" I pressed.

"I don't need anything," Rodney said assertively.

If you ask me, reading something while pooping is one of the simplest joys in life. You'd have to be some kind of self-flagellating monk to turn that down (on a cold Sunday afternoon, less). It's actually kind of intimidating.

While Rodney and Marissa finished up outside, I got lots of work done on the computer. I listed some tech stuff on ebay and started on a big online photo album for pictures of Grandpa. I downloaded all the pictures of Grandpa Recker that were shared on Facebook last week and sent them out to the family.

I'm still looking for stories to accompany these, but in the meantime I can show you the highlights. Here's a photo from when I was in high school. Grandpa leaned close into the camera to emphasize the silly hat he was wearing.

2021 02 01 silly hat

Another along the same theme, here's Grandpa wearing his self-cooling hat. It was a gag gift he opened at Christmas. The hat was equipped with plastic fans that were powered with a battery pack.

2021 02 01 silly hat 2

This is probably my favorite picture. For most of my life people have questioned my undying love of White Castle cheeseburgers. Thanks to pictures like this one, I have proof that it's just a family thing. The Recker family has probably been enjoying White Castle for centuries.

2021 02 01 white castle

Last one - here's a picture we took together with Rodney. Between Rodney, myself, my dad, and grandpa, that's four generations standing next to each other.

2021 02 01 four generations

That's what I got today. Have a great day everyone.