We went to the mall early today- Mom, Dad, me, Amanda, Adam, Uncle Tom and Aunt Terry, plus Jackson. The van was right packed. Tom and Terry were going to return some of the clothes they got for Baba a couple days ago and the rest of us were just going to go. Amanda, Adam, Jackson and I went to Express for Men just to see what they had. They were having a mad clearance so I ended up getting a suit, shorts and a t-shirt and Adam got the same suit and a button up shirt and a t-shirt. He almost got a second t-short, which was the same print as one I’d worn the other day that he liked. The one he got was one I thought about getting a week or two ago when I went to Express.

When we headed out of there we thought we’d take Jackson to a playground they have in the middle of the mall. I called Dad to tell them where we were and he asked us to come over to the Dell kiosk, which was very close to the playground, to help Mom with the purchase of a laptop. She got a really good deal on it- it had everything she wanted including a docking station and an extended warranty (very recommended for laptops) and came to under $900 including tax and shipping.

Baba and Pap, Andy and Jane Dotsey, Share a Birthday Kiss | Zach DotseyWe left after that and went back to Baba and Pap’s. Uncle Bernie’s crew was there and us kids, including Steve’s girls when they got there, played a bunch of Guitar Hero II. Several of my record scores were dropped. We ate dinner after a while then had Baba’s birthday cake. Happy 81st birthday Baba!
Yesterday and today Jackson had a really good time following David (or Hank or Dank) around. He’s the youngest cousin so I guess it’s easiest for Jackson to identify with him. David got a little perturbed about it though. He’s at the age it seems where he can recognize how a small child should act, but can’t understand why he doesn’t act a bit more, I don’t know, like a big kid.

(Most of) The Immediate Dotsey FamilyEveryone was sitting out on the porch (including Charlie Bowsher and his girlfriend who had come by) or playing basketball or badminton in the yard when it started to thunder, and the rain came not long after. Actually I was in the dining room talking to Pap and making CD copies of pictures for everyone on Aunt Terry’s computer. The rain started getting bad aso I gathered a few people together to play the game Aunt Terry called Bungadoo and taught them how we played it in college under the name of Asshole. It was me, Amanda, Adam, Roger and Alex. Adam and I played with beer, Amanda had a Mike’s Hard Berry and Roger and Alex started with Coke (although Roger later graduated himself to a different drink). The rain was really coming down and the power went off not too long into our game so we lit candles and continued to play for a while. It got pretty dark so we moved the game into the garage, where we used candles and a bit of the available outside lighting, which we optimized by opening the garage door (there are windows and a door taking up the space of the garage opening).

We had a really good time playing Asshole. Adam was President most of the time and Alex was Asshole quite a bit. Adam and Roger had a run as President and Vice President, a time Adam coined as the reign of terror. I’d made a rule that any time there was a social we all had to toast by saying “Nostrovya,” which Pap had taught us was something akin to “cheers” in Slovak. Adam liked the rule enough that he repealed it then reinstated it so that it could be his rule. While the power was out (which it was for a long time) we would go out the garage to the side of the house to pee, since, whichever substance anyone was drinking at any given time, a lot of liquid consumption was going on.

Anyway, it was really cool to be able to hang out with Roger and Alex that much, to relax and really get to connect and know one another. That’s not to discount Harper and David- we had a good time with them, particularly when playing Guitar Hero.

After they left around midnight we started packing up for tomorrow’s journey back to North Carolina. We’re going an alternate route in order to drop Jackson off in Gastonia with his mom and dad. Our clothes took forever to dry, so we just set the dryer on another hour, cleaned the lint trap and decided to call it a night.

Zach Dotsey