Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Old Blue

So after hubby relinquished the keys to the Civic he had just bought, the search for a car for him resumed. He found exactly what he wanted in a small town in Missouri. He was leaving for a trip to Minnesota anyway, so he opted to make a detour to pick up the new car and leave the old one in Missouri. Awhile ago, we were cleaning out the fifteen year old Accord. After having told Jeff that I don't get attached to vehicles, I have to admit I had a twinge or two thinking back on our adventures in Old Blue.

Here she is the day we picked her up at Krenzen Auto Mall in Duluth. Our first ever brand new car. The first summer we had her, the kids and I took a 2000 mile trip to New Mexico. Later that summer, we all headed to Seattle, another 2000 miles. In August, my daughter took an art class at The Depot. One of the assignments was to draw a picture of what you had done over the summer. Most kids drew lakes or swimming pools or skylines of Minneapolis. My daughter drew a picture of a little blue car. When the teacher looked confused, Jess explained that she had spent a LOT of time in that car over the summer.

Our little blue car took us to Seattle, California, Washington D.C., Canada, and a lot of other places in between, as you can see.She's a little worse for the wear, but she still plugs along. Yeah, I did get a touch of nostalgia for all the family vacations we took when the kids were little. So I must be somewhat attached to the car. But here's the cool part. The people hubby is buying the car from are going to buy Old Blue and fix the CV joints. There is an elderly couple in their small town who need a car and don't have one, so Old Blue will be a gift to them. Now that's good karma.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Easy Come, Easy Go

This is the vehicle that our daughter has been driving for the past two years. I call it The Banana. It's been a fun little truck for her, and the 4WD served her well the winter she spent in Minnesota. It's also been great for muddin'. For those of you not from these parts, muddin' is pretty much what it sounds like it would be, and the ultimate conclusion to a good muddin' session is a trip to the car wash.

Recently, Jess made up a budget for college and realized that The Banana is not a good car for commuting to and from college (those weekend trips home to do laundry and get some mom cooking). She made an ad for Auto Trader online with plans to start looking for a more gas friendly automobile.

Meanwhile, hubby has been tooling around in a Honda Accord with 320,000 miles on it. He's been sorta kinda looking for another vehicle, and last Thursday, he found one. A nice little Honda Civic only an hour away in Stillwater. Last Friday, he drove the Accord down and bought the Civic. Later that afternoon, Jess put her ad online.By Saturday morning, she had received five calls about the truck. One of them was a farmer up near Topeka (about a 4-5 hour drive from here), who said he would drive down that afternoon with payment. So Jess and a friend set out to clean the truck in anticipation of a sale. During this time,she's still getting calls and e-mails from interested parties.

Late afternoon, the farmer and his wife pull up. He checks out the truck, takes her for a spin, and his wife writes a check, 24 hours after the ad was placed. He was happy, we were happy, as we watched The Banana turn the corner and disappear. Jess, remembering all the good memories of the truck, heaved a little sigh and looked a bit rueful. Then, she turned around and beheld a shiny, red Civic parked in the garage. Dad reached into his pocket and handed her the keys. It's all good - he really didn't want a red car anyway.

Oh, and I think the farmer is going to want to remove this. Yeah.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I'm sitting at the desk again with the insomnia. That started with the whole daylight savings time and I thought that would be the end of it, but NO!

I have pictures of my family covering my desk. I was trying to decide if I wanted to read or watch television or just lie in bed praying for sweet sleep, when this picture of my son (one of my favorites) started looking weird to me.

I'm starting to wonder if this is really my son, or an actual 'Rooshan' spy in the guise of my son. Check it out. There is snow in the background. The hat, Russian down to the fur. He's obviously not a big fellow, but his coat is wide, so I'm thinking there are cool spy things hidden in it.

His left hand is freakishly long, almost like an amphibian device. The right hand seems normal, but there is a large ring-like implement on the third finger. I'm thinking some sort of locating device, or a transmitter.

Then, there is his face. Note the piercing eyes and the bushy,arched brows (which he gets from me - no, wait, he's not my son, he's a spy). And it looks like he's implanting something into the propellar of the plane while trying to look cool for the picture.

I'm thinking he's up to some evil and I would like to know what he's done with my son. Having said that and gotten to post a blog after a fairly stressful week, I think I'm going to sleep. I know it's summer, but keep your eyes open for guys in mad bomber hats.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Paper Tiger

I'm not big on celebrities. I think most of them get way too much press for really stupid things. Sure, I like to watch their movies or listen to them sing, but they don't do many things aside from that that I find particularly admirable.

There is a group that I find impressive, however, and that is professional golfers. Not only are they great athletes (they make golf look easy, and it ain't), with rare exception, these guys are down to earth. Most of them don't have the arrogance of other professional sports stars, they donate their time and money to a variety of charities, and when they win a tournament, the first thing they do is embrace their children. I like that.

Two days ago, we had the opportunity to attend a practice round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa. This is how much I wanted to go see my golfers. I don't do mornings and I don't do heat. I got up at 4:30 a.m., drove to Tulsa and spent five and a half hours walking in the 95+ degree weather. I not only got to watch the guys play golf, I got to take pictures. One of my favorite golfers is Retief Goosen. He plays amazing golf, and I am in awe of him because he has been struck by lightning. Twice.

The first time, he was 15. It burned his clothes off and melted his shoes. He was in the hospital for six days and two weeks later, he was playing golf again. Okay, I'm not going to focus on how dumb it is to be out playing golf when there is lightning around (twice), because that would spoil my image of what a badass he is. It was probably freak lightning from a clear, cloudless sky anyway. Yeah, I'm sure of it.

So I, who isn't easily impressed, came around a corner and turned into a teenage girl at a rock concert because "OHMIGOD IT'S TIGER WOODS!"

The only thing cooler than to watch him drive and get a couple dozen pictures would have been to get his autograph. Probably just as well I didn't get that close to him. I might have passed out. Just saying.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Times Have Changed

Yesterday the dorms opened at OSU. Daughter was eager to check out her crib and make a game plan for what she will need when she moves in, in a couple of weeks. Check out her new digs.

I'm very impressed with this space. It's actually in one of the older buildings on campus and it's not central to the campus. Which means she'll walk a lot, which may help fend off the freshman fifteen. She doesn't have a roommate and she has her own bathroom.

Being there got me to thinking about the dorms I stayed in when I was in college oh so many moons ago. Always had a roommate and two suitemates. Now there's a kooky plan - four teenage girls and one bathroom. Our beds were narrow and hard, we had desks the size of postage stamps. We didn't have mini-fridges or microwaves or laundry rooms (non-coin operated even) down the hall next to the lounge with the cozy chairs and flat screen television. There wasn't a coffee shop or a cafeteria on the bottom floor.

We had RA's who had been trained by Hitler. We also had room inspections every few weeks, so we had to keep everything shiny and clean. And my room did not resemble hers at all. In fact, I found a picture that reminded me of one of my dorm rooms.

I'm just saying.

Monday, August 06, 2007

My Peeps

I've been in a slump and not prone to writing, and I think I've figured out why, due to some big deal things. A wedding, a baby shower, and kids going places. I homeschooled for several years and then my kids went back to public school. We lived in a small town and our son went to school there. But our daughter wanted to do junior high thirty miles south, so I drove her down every morning and went back to get her in the afternoon. Do the math. It was worth it. And this is why.
Bad picture of a picture. The guy on the left is Joe. Joe is the kindest, most sensitive person on the planet. He has a great singing voice. I would have a van full of kids talking louder than you can imagine. ANY song that came on the radio, you would hear Joe's voice from the back of the van "I LOVE THIS SONG!" Always followed by a chorus of "JOOOOOOE!" They all called me Mom. One time, Joe needed my attention. After a few feeble "Moms,", he said "Mrs. Kooiman!" Brought the entire van to dead silence. Love it.

Next over is Jennifer. Jenn was a year older and didn't spend much time at my house. Suffice it to say, she's a firecracker outside and a marshmallow inside.

Fourth over is Kate, whose wedding we attended yesterday. Surrealistic, given that my favorite memories of her are riding on the back of the lawn mower while Jess mowed our lawn in Pond Creek.

Next is Jess, who gets a lot of press on this blog. Then, there is Bennett. My favorite memory of Ben is when he and my daughter were doing a project together. It consisted of building a finite object from balsa wood, and designing it in such a way as to stand many pounds of pressure before collapsing. They had been working on it in class for a couple of weeks, and had one weekend to finish on their own before grading. I picked the kids up after school, dropped several of them off, and got to Ben's house. When he got out, their project fell out of the car and shattered. Bennett looked down and was silent for a couple of seconds. Then, he broke out into bwaahahaha laughter. I wish I had a picture of that face.

Then there is Tonica, third from left, a force with which to be reckoned. Since I've known her, when she was 13, that child could belt out a song . . . you can't imagine. She sings all the time. The only time she didn't walk through my door singing, she walked through it after a breakup from a year long relationship with her first love, straight into my arms, crying. I prefer the singing. Hubby has said for years that he would sponser her to audition for American Idol, and I would go as her chaperone. I wish she would do that. She just left for boot camp for National Guard. I'm so proud and so scared.

These are my kids. They have been a huge part of my life. I love them beyond measure. I pray that their lives are all they hope for, and I am so grateful that I have been blessed to have experienced them.