The Tail End - Just Before We Leave


I am on the tail end of one of those "busy" periods again..  In the past two - four weeks, between an overwhelming schedule at work, copious amounts of overtime, training new dispatchers (five out of the past seven weeks), a brief illness, the Mother of Five's work schedule (remember, until recently she was a SAHM - getting used to her being gone is not easy), a looming tax deadline, and a unique blend of curricular & extra-curricular activities involving the kids - there have been instances (all joking aside) I have actually had to postpone my own use of the bathroom to make sure I had enough time to fit everything in.  There was also a four day stretch that I went with only (averaged) 3 hours of sleep each night.  Trust me folks when I tell you that it will catch up with you at some point. 

I'd like to acknowledge something here....

Since having children, we have always felt that it was important to make whatever sacrifice necessary to ensure one of us was always home with the kids.  Thankfully, my career has been able to exclusively sustain us for "extended periods of time".  The Mother of Five (for the most part) has been a SAHM.  Well, the kids are getting older, and older kids start wanting to be involved in more "activities".  More activities means more cost.  More cost means a need for some extra funds coming in.  To solve this problem, the Mother of Five has started working part time again.  We work opposite shifts (so we can maintain that "one parent always home" status).  This has thrust me (for the first time in my life as a father) into the roll of being a "single parent"  *.  I have always had my wife home when I am home - and now that she is not, I am (for the first time ever) experiencing what she has had to put up with all these years.  To be honest, it gets overwhelming at times.  I cannot give my wife enough kudos for doing what she has done, and putting up with what she has put up with for all these years.  She is an AMAZING woman!

* Note:  I wish in no way to offend the truly "single parents" out there.  Regardless of how many days my wife works, I always know that she will be home again, and that when I am not there, she is helping.  A truly "single parent" does not have that backup safety net.

Well, the big project that has been looming over us for the past few weeks (at home that is...) has been the Science Fair Projects.  Thankfully, as of tonight the Science Fair Projects are complete, #2 of 5's Egyptian Project is complete, my work schedule is lightening up a bit, the copious amounts of overtime have dried up, taxes are complete, I'm feeling much better (and a little more rested), and I am about to undertake the unique experience of chaperoning a group of 5th and 6th graders (my sons included) on an "Environmental Learning Adventure".  This means three days "unplugged" (no work, no phones (cell or land-line), no electronics, no pagers, no email, and no blogs...) in a wilderness setting in rural Minnesota.  I am looking forward to this "down time" to de-stress a bit, while spending some time with the boys.  (Although I suspect #2 of 5 will spend precious little time with me and more with his friends - he is more "social" than #3 of 5, who tends to have some of my "loner" attributes.  That's ok...  He is also my more outdoorsy son, and can't wait to get out and hunt with Ed and me.)

So, tonight I helped the boys pack, I did some needed laundry (so I could pack myself) - I'm all showered up in my jammies, and going to be heading off to bed.  I'll be on the road by 9:30 am.  I should be back some time Friday, and I may have a story (or two) and a pic or two by then!

On a side note... Who remembers my Unattainably Dreaming post?  The one about Christopher McCandless, John Mallon Waterman, Carl McCunn, and my (Unattainable) Alaskan Dream?  Since I wanted to add it to "the stash", I stopped and picked up my very own copy of the book  "Into the Wild" (by Jon Krakauer).  I've flipped through the chapters, and got hooked into a chapter in the middle of the book... I had to stop - knowing I'll get there in due time...  Start from the beginning!  So, as soon as this post hits FOF, I'm off to curl up with my new book, and get a good start.

Although it's not the same adventure that McCandless endeavored - Since I am heading out for a mini-adventure of our own, I'll sign off the blog for the next few days with an infamous quote from a letter sent by McCandless to a friend as he headed out into the Alaskan Bush. 

"I now walk into the wild".


  1. If Lucy and I worked seperate shifts it may very well be the end of it. There's something about only seeing each other for an hour a day that makes us fight the entire time. It's odd I know.

  2. We started our marriage working different shifts for the first 4 or 5 years. We would go 3 or 4 days sometimes without actually being both awake in the same room.

    Glad those days are past us now.

    Most of the time!


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