Jackson Wiley Sawyer in the rental van getting ready to go to Lexington, Kentucky | Zach DotseyAmanda and I got up at 5:00 today. Dad was the only other person up at that point but I think everyone was pretty much up and ready to leave for Lexington, Kentucky by 6:00. Unfortunately my mom couldn’t find her purse. The problem with that is that it had her driver’s license, credit cards, debit card and $500 in cash for the trip. Everyone scoured all over the place for it- all over the barn, the yard, the house, the trucks- nothing. She and dad even retraced the places she’d been since she last knew she had it but didn’t come up with anything. One thought was that she’d put it on the hood of the truck and driven off without getting it. So that really sucks. When we finally got going sometime I think around 7:30 or so she spent some time on her cell canceling her cards.

I think Josh had a hard time with us leaving, since we’re taking Jackson from him and Andra for a week. He’ll be in good hands though. As Andra said, who else besides Mom and Dad, me, Amanda and Adam would be better trusted to watch Jackson for a week?

We’re maybe 60 miles from Lexington as I type this. The trip’s been pretty uneventful. We stopped once to get gas, pee and grab some snacks. We’re in a rented van that, unfortunately, only Mom and Dad can drive since they were the only ones who were able to be in person to sign the rental papers. That sucks, particularly because Mom talked to Aunt Terry who is also visiting Baba and Pap, and she said that neither she nor my uncle Tom has a car with them, and Baba and Pap’s car hasn’t been driven in about a year, so there’s no telling what shape it’s in.

Adam gave me his Gameboy to play (Amanda just told me it’s actually 33 miles to Lexington right now) and in it was a game with a few Capcom games on it, including Bionic Commando, which was one of my favorite classic Nintendo games. I used to be able to beat it in about an hour without dying. I beat it in a couple hours, and I did have to use several of the continues I earned, but I still enjoyed it. I always used to think it’d be cool to have a bionic arm that could shoot out and latch onto things like in the game, but not at the expense of being able to jump. Really, aside from the fact that there are only two buttons and the guy needs to be able to use his bionic arm and shoot a gun, it makes no sense that he can’t jump.

I think the game would be good as an updated one. It’s got a mix of play styles, a bit of puzzle work and lots of shooting. I think it’d make a cool Wii game. I remember playing an arcade version which I was never very impressed with, but I think it could make a good modern console game. I’m not sure if they’d be able to have the Hitler knock off though. This game has one of the most memorable game endings to me because when you beat it, the Hitler knockoff (named Master-D, but seriously, a Hitler knock-off down to the Hitler-stache and everything) blows up. I mean, on a lot of games from back then they’d show up a picture of the the person who is supposed to be talking along with the text in a box next to it. When you send in the killing shot there are about four frames of the Hitler knock-off’s face blowing up. In one you can see what I think is an eye flying off the the side, then in the final one it’s just a bloody mess. And the blood is even red! In an old-school Nintendo game! You just didn’t get that kind of graphic reality back then, so I always thought it was so cool.

The battery had cut off just after I finished saving that last sentence, conveniently enough. Right now I’m in the basement on the air mattress with Amanda to my left and Adam to my right. (“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am….”) Today was pretty nice. Everyone but Dad, who was driving, got to nap a bit and the trip went very quickly. We got in around 3 or 3:30. Aunt Terry and Uncle Tom were on the famous back porch with Baba and Pap when we got here.

We spent most of the rest of the day talking and playing with Jackson. Mom, Dad and Bab, maybe Pap too, went to church at 5:30. When they got home we had some Sir Pizza, which we always have the first night of our Kentucky trip. Uncle Steve got here with his twin girls Elizabeth and Felicia. Amanda and I decided to go on a walk a little after that, taking Bruce and Jackson with us. Jackson rode on my shoulders all the way over to the Quinns’ house and Bruce, well, Bruce needed the walk with all the food he got from Jackson sneaking it to him or from Jackson having dropped chips and such on the ground.

When we got to the Quinns’, Christian was outside on the sidewalk, and Hunter and her grandma were out on the front stoop. Hunter’s son Xavier was on the sidewalk too, as was Christian’s step-daughter, who’s about the same age as Xavier. I talked a bit while Amanda went to the backyard with the kids. While back there, Xavier drove an electronic kiddie four wheeler around with a wagon on the back of it that jackson sat in. Amanda said it was really cute.

The big news to me was that Christian had gotten married recently and was planning a ceremony for September. Then Mary Jo Quinn walked out with a tiny baby. Rebeccah, who had gotten married last year, now has a three month-old son named Quinn. Actually, Quinn’s his middle name but that’s what he goes by.

John Quinn came out after a minute. Baba had mentioned that he was having trouble with his legs, and while stepping off the stoop to the first step he lost his balance and almost fell over it, but was saved by Rebeccah and Christian’s husbands Allen and Ginerro (sp?). I went up and gave him a hug and told him I’d come up to him, that I wasn’t worth falling off the stoop to come see, and he told me I was. I’ve got a great affection for John Quinn.

So we hung out there for a few minutes then walked on back. While we were there, when Amanda and the kids came back, the kids started playing a game with Bruce. They’d run up to him then they’d run away and roll down the hill. It looked like they were having a great time, including Bruce.

We came back and Mom and Amanda went to the grocery store. Uncle Steve and the girls left and Uncle Tom pointed out that it was almost 9:00, which shocked me. I know it’s the middle of summer, but judging by the light in the sky I thought it would have been closer to 6:00. When it did get dark though, it got dark pretty fast. I was getting pretty tired and was thinking of retiring to the basement couch until everyone else came down then helping them setup the foldout bed or whatever else needed to be done, but everyone else was about ready to turn in too.

I put Jackson on the recliner and Adam said if it’d be easier he’d just sleep on the couch instead of pulling the bed out of it, which is probably much more comfortable anyway. I blew up the air mattress and now, I believe, it’s time for me to close my eyes.

Zach Dotsey