The Captain gets full points this week, not just for being a great life partner, but for being a good dad, too. Don't get me wrong. He's still not perfect but I would never, for example, hit him in the head with a shovel and then eat his body so I wouldn't go to jail. (More on that later.)
So first, Alison was a little stressed out last week. She has a lot on her plate. She's part of the 7-8 Football cheer squad which has two practices and one game a week; 8th grade basketball, two practices a week but the season has yet to start; she tutors twice a week and has acting every Saturday.
This week has had a couple of major tests and she was fretting about how to find time to study. I told her I'd be happy to make some time to study with her. "No offense, Mom. But you always give me the answers. Dad is harder on me."
Some wives/mothers would hoard this kind of information and perhaps question their value in the homework department. I, however, passed it on. Jeff went home early from work twice to help her study.
We hosted an impromptu dinner party in the middle of the week as if we had no responsibilities at all. It was so much fun we hope to do it again even though we were having so much fun we almost forgot to get Ali to basketball practice.
Thursday comes and it's finally the day for us to go see Eric Church. The show is in Louisville, so Alison is beside herself thrilled that she has the evening to herself. I called from work to check on her and make sure she was OK with being home alone so long.
"Now we'll be home," I started.
"Home? You're coming home?" she wailed.
"Well, yes," I said, meaning we'd be home before morning.
"Mom. I can totally do this. I will be all right. I'm just going to study," she said.
I explained that we weren't coming home before heading south to Louisville. Just that we'd not be spending the night in Kentucky. "Why are you so excited to have the night to yourself," I asked, thinking that some kids might be a little leery of so much time on their own.
"Well I'm going to be in charge of myself!" she said. "I'm going to eat when I want, what I want and where I want."
So we go to the show. As I've reminded you all many times, Jeff isn't a country music fan. I'd told him that Eric Church isn't your typical country artist. I don't think he believed me. Plus, Dwight Yokam was the opening act. Terrible traffic kept us from the first act.
Dwight Yokam was just what you'd expect -- great, but vintage country. He stood, he twisted about in his painted on jeans and peered out at you from beneath the lowered brim of his white cowboy hat. When Eric Church hit the stage, it was a different sound altogether.
While I soaked in the sound and live appearance of an artist I've really liked for a long time, Jeff kept talking about arpeggio runs and power chords and dueling lead guitars and yammering about how many guitars were in play. He kept shaking his head and saying, "That's not a country band." Appreciatively.
I don't know much about power chords and arpeggio runs, but it was a great show. Well worth the four-hours of driving to get to it. On his own, Jeff wouldn't drive across the street for a country show. This was totally a gift to me. Seeing him enjoy it was just icing on the cake.
We both took Friday off work. He got Ali to school (and her tests) and I woke up at 11. Research man discovered Eric Church's lead guitarist used to be the lead guitar player for the Black Crowes. Whoever they are.
Jeff played poker Friday night while I chaperoned at the Chatard High School football game. I was prepared to read a book in the car but Lisa Vielee saved me by letting me join her group. Saturday, Ali and I finished up three cakes we'd made to help celebrate Aunt Shirley and Uncle Larry's 50th wedding anniversary while Jeff put the finishing touches on a playlist for background music.
It was a four-hour event. Jeff found 18.5 hours of music that might be appropriate. He didn't want to miss anything. We like these people a lot and were excited to see them. Ali had acting, so she and Jeff came down later while I went early to help set up.
We got to spend time with Allyssa, who we treat as a niece even though she's really a cousin. She's a newlywed living in California where she serves in the Coast Guard. That didn't stop Ali and me from beating her and husband Ryan at euchre.
It was fun to see them not just with family, but also with the friends, some of whom they've known even longer than they've been married.
Today started with Alison making cupcakes for a football game, driving to a country school with the top down on fall day that couldn't have been nicer. We scrammed back home in time to get Ali to a basketball scrimmage. Jeff and I had used our day off to get most of the chores done so besides carting Alison around it's been a lazy day.
Which is good because I'm seriously worn out. Oh! That thing about killing and eating your spouse. I had Ali at the library last week and we took longer to get the book she needed for school and I ran out of time to get my own stuff. So I grabbed a few books that were out on display and I ended up with a book called, "Season to Taste" by Natalie Young.
I took it to the gym Friday. And when I clambored up on the elliptical machine, I had nothing to keep me there but the book. Which is a about a British woman who kills her husband and proceeds to carve him up so as to get rid of the evidence. I had a long workout planned because I'd gotten busy at work and was behind.
It's a TERRIBLE book. Will likely cause the opposite effect of my sex-charged vampire books. Which is a terrible thing to do to a guy who took me to a country show and was so good to my daughter.
I'm about half-way through (it was a long workout) and now I need to know if she was crazy before she smacked the guy in the head or if she had a psychotic break after. And does she get caught? She's leaving a diary that's part recipe and part how to get away with murder, which is a really bad idea if you're going to get away with it.
You'd think I would skip to the end, but that's against the rules.
Jeff and I are closing in on 17 years together and it's not all been as lovely as this week. Some have even been better, but there have been days when neither of us were all that happy to be in the other's air space. Now, I've never actually seen my aunt and uncle have a bad interaction, but she is my mother's sister and he is my father's brother. They have it in them. And if some of those stories were true....
But if my Aunt Shirley can make it 50 years without killing and eating my Uncle Larry, I think Jeff and I will be OK. He's way taller than me so doing him in with a shovel would only bruise his shins. Plus, I'm not a very good cook even when the ingredients are pre-packaged.
If I thought I could trust all my Book Club friends, might have to pick that book when I host next...