When we pulled up in the driveway, Bruce came out to meet us like we expected. We stopped and let him in and drive the rest of the way down the driveway. We were all very happy to see each other.

We had dinner with Karen, Phil, Michael and Peggy and Earl, who had come over for it. Michael and I played a baseball game on Xbox. He beat me once then I beat him. We played some Tiger Woods golf too, and I beat him at that (I think by one stroke). He’s not a good loser. Actually, he did alright with these. He’s usually not too good at losing though. We also played Scrabble with Amanda and Karen. I can’t honestly remember who won (although I want to say it was me). Amanda and I found out that you can actually add whole words at the end of words, which we thought before was not legal. It’s turned out to be a nice new rule for us. We’ve also started playing that everyone draws a letter and the closest to A goes first (as opposed to going with whoever has the highest scoring letter when you first draw). There’s also the bit at the end where whoever uses all their letters first gets the points of everyone else’s unused letters added to their score, and takes those away from the opponents’ scores. These are all real rules, and I don’t much like any of them except the adding whole words thing.

Michael bought a kitten for Sarah on Tuesday for their anniversary and for the apartment she’ll have next year, but then he found out the apartment didn’t allow them. Then he asked if we could take it (until he finally gets out to a place of his own) because Karen was afraid Paddy would eat the poor thing. We were going to take it, but Amanda was afraid Selena might give her something since we have no idea what kinds of shots she’s had and all. So then I called the vet and set up a time for Selena to go in the next day, even though we’re really tight on money right now. Well, Michael ended up taking the poor kitten back. I’m sure he felt awful about it. Petsmart took back the cat, but not the starter kit he bought for it.

On Wednesday, Karen called and told me she’d been going through the closet in the room we were in to clean it out and that she found a duffel bag with some pictures in it. I said, “Oh. A redhead?” She’d found some pictures that I’d taken of Julie when we went to Cancun back in, oh, 2000 I think. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but she was doing all these poses on the balcony of the hotel room. I mean, it was a one piece bathing suit, but not at all what you’d want your mother-in-law to find. She asked what I wanted her to do with them and right away followed it with, “I’d suggest burning them.” I’d been chatting about some business stuff with Josh before Karen had called, so I told him of the situation. He thought it was funny, which I did too, a bit. Adam called later and I told him about it too.

Anyway, Karen said she’d keep it between us, but I figured there was no big deal to it, so I told Amanda when she got home. To Karen’s credit, Amanda tried to get it out of her, but she never told and Amanda finally told her that I told her about the pictures. I felt embarrassed about the whole deal, but a bit indignant too. Amanda said Karen sounded upset about the pictures on the phone, but it really was none of her business. I hadn’t even thought of those pictures in years. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t exist before her daughter met me.

Karen came yesterday and when she went shopping with Amanda, she unlocked the van and let me get the bag. All offending material has now been disposed of. I did keep pictures that would in no way offend though. Some of the beach shots, the blue sky and bright blue water, are just too nice.

On Sunday, on the way back to town, we’d stopped by Target and picked up Phantom of the Opera, which most of the family had watched at the beach house on Friday night. We watched it, but I was tired and fell asleep at a few parts. Last night, after playing Scrabble (which I won, and was leading in all but one single round) with Karen and Amanda we watched it again. Of course I happened to fall asleep at one of the same parts I had before, so I’m still a little unsure of the details concerning Christine’s turning from the Phantom and falling in love with Raul. (I really just wanted to type out such a soap opera-ish sentence!)

I had mentioned to Amanda the other day (actually, I think it was Sunday after church) that there was something in a lot of classical music which just speaks directly to your soul that is lacking in almost all music today. Some of the music in Phantom does that though.

I just read that a recreation of Flight 93, the one that, on September 11th, fought back, will air on the Discovery Channel on the fourth anniversary of that day. Mentions of September 11th send a numbing shiver up the back of my skull.

So, back to last week. I guess there’s not a whole lot to add, really. There’s this bar next to Johnny Mercer’s pier that we surely kept in business by buying a crapload of shaved ice from them. It was the best I’ve ever had. The younger generation of Dotsey boys (Tom’s kids and Jerry’s kids) went to the pier one day to do some fishing, but it was too expensive and required cash, so the next day (Friday) Tom and his boys, Adam, Dad and Josh went out on a boat. I could have gone, but I wasn’t overly excited about it and there were only six slots. Adam got queasy and Dad actually got sick, which he apparently always does on such outings, despite the Dramamine. Jaime cooked up some of that fish for dinner that night. (There was Dominos for those of us who don’t eat fish.)

The waves were good that day too. Really big and tough. Those of us who didn’t go fishing had a good time in the ocean. And we’d gone to some small place for breakfast just this side of the bridge near the marina and Blue Water. It was a very small place with only a few people on staff, but they were very personal.

A bunch of us had started to play Balderdash that night, but there were so many of us that it was kinda tough. Plus, everyone else was watching Phantom of the Opera, so the game sort of fell apart. There was some nice lightning outside, so Preston, Paige and I went out to look at it. Then we went to the end of the road to look out over the intercoastal waterway, which was impressive. I went back to get my camera (I’ve been waiting to get some lightning pictures) but it soon started raining so we went back.

On one of those days, Wednesday or Thursday, Parker and I went riding around the island. We went up to the BP to get some air for the tires, then rode around the neighborhood there before heading to the north end of the island and stopping by Anna and Barry’s. Anna gave up each a freezey pop and, since they were about to go riding themselves, went back with us, along with Kirstin and a friend of hers who seemed to have a prehensile tongue. Tsota was sick that night, so Adam didn’t get to show her off very much. They were really worried about her, but we ended up figuring she’d gotten into a beer can. She had symptoms of being drunk, but she was climbing all over things and biting people again in a few hours.

Back to work for me.