No Harm Done

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Happy Diversion- Part 1

After nearly 3 weeks scouring the 1900 House, the boys and I packed our bags and headed for Boise. With the job change, a big move, and a house on the market, we weren't sure we'd be able to go until the last minute. M. bought our plane tickets one week before our trip!

M. had to stay home and work, but the boys and I get to spend three whole weeks out west!

My family moved to Boise when I was small, and I lived here nearly 21 years before beginning our nomadic journey through the American midwest in 2001. In many ways Boise is not the same town where I grew up, but it has been so much fun taking the boys to all my old homes, and schools, and visiting many dear friends still living here.

The one thing that has not changed is the weather. It is HOT! And DRY! It is WONDERFUL! And the smell of the air here - it's just indescribable. I have no words. When I go out in the mornings, before the heat really hits, it just smells like the west. I went running a couple of mornings ago, and before I started I just had to stand in the driveway and breathe for a few minutes. I've missed it.

One of our first days here I took the boys to the Idaho State Penitentiary. We'd planned to explore it ourselves, but to our great surprise there was a guided tour scheduled for that day. The tour guide, Mr. G., was amazing. He clearly loved history and had 1001 stories to tell about the facility and inmates housed there over the 100 years the Penitentiary was in operation.

Mr. G.'s favorite tour groups are the area 4th graders who study Idaho history every year. He clearly loved kids and was able to keep them engaged and interested during the 2 hour tour.

Here's Mr. G (in the blue ball cap) and Braden and Colson.

The boys learned how prisoners were expected to behave, and Mr. G. made them ask for permission, line up, walk on specific paths, and avoid getting shot by guards just like the prisoners had to.

Prisoners were often made to walk with their hands on their head. Colson got a kick out of doing that for a while.

They even got locked in a jail cell! (Why don't they look more worried?)

About halfway through the tour, Mr. G. made Colson his "special helper." Here they are demonstrating how the guards used a "show of hands" to conduct roll calls.

Colson thought it was great. I was a teacher, though. I knew what he was doing. I used that trick myself. I had several "special helpers" every year, it seemed. I am hoping - or rather, I am choosing to believe that Mr. G picked him to help simply because he got a kick out of Colson.

Early in the tour, Colson told Mr. G how much he liked his blue ball cap. Colson excitedly said, "I have a ball cap on, too! I'm wearing it to cover up my bald spot! See?" (That's a whole 'nother story.)

Mr. G responded with Colson's level of excitement, "Hey! I'm wearing a cap to cover my bald spot too! See?"

They then spent the next few moments comparing bald spots.

Life is never dull with that boy.

After nearly 3 hours of good behavior in the hot, hot sun, we had to disobey at least one sign.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

When Real Estate Attacks......

Apparently the 1900 House has had enough of me bad-mouthing it on my blog and has decided to fight back.

Sunday morning we discovered that some of the plumbing under the kitchen sink was leaking all over the kitchen floor. M. jury-rigged that until the landlord could attend to it on Monday, and cleaned up the watery mess.

Our area has been hitting record high temperatures and Monday afternoon the air conditioner stopped working. M. didn't realize it had quit until late Monday night.

Unable to sleep, M. searched for and finally found two windows upstairs that he could open. The bathroom window would only open 6 inches or so, but he hoped that would be enough to create a little bit of a breeze and help him get through the night.

M. settled back into the bed, and tried to go to sleep, but was startled a few minutes later by a loud crash. The bathroom window had fallen down the 6 inches that M. had raised it, shattering all the glass.

The only good thing about this is that the house chose to attack while the boys and I are out of town, leaving
M. to deal with the aftermath. Fortunately, he's in good spirits and has been able to laugh off my schadenfreude.