AuGuSt 8 + 10  2005
8 Aug 2005 (Monday)

My dad is not coming home today, but apparently
doesn’t need the test they were going to do.  
Something about a table that you lie on, it takes
your vitals, then suddenly stands you up and
takes them again.  They’re looking at getting
medicine to regulate his heart.

In any case, I didn’t go for a visit today as I
had one of my own.  The plan was to meet Lorien,
Mindy, Becky, Yvette and whoever else went along
for the ride at a restaurant that was on their
way and not too far from where I live.  Nice
plan, but the time got a trifle mixed up.  They
were well over an hour late.  I realize that
planes can be unpredictable, so I was prepared
for a potential wait.  But it was well worth it
when I saw them all.  Lorien and Mindy gave me a
hug and a kiss which didn’t surprise me, but I
was a little surprised when Becky did too.  But
as Lorien likes to write, “that’s Becky.”  I got
a hug from Yvette as well, and a semi-hug from
Josh.  He had hugged me before, but it’s been a
little while since he’s seen me, and perhaps he’s
getting to where he might think he’s getting too
old to hug men anymore.  Hopefully, that will
pass.  I don’t believe you’re ever to old to give
or receive hugs, regardless of the sex or age of
the recipient or the giver.

The food wasn’t particularly great--I had
something that resembled a chicken patty, or
chicken-fried-something.  But the important part
was seeing them again.  I’ve known Lorien online
for over five years, Becky for I believe three or
four years, and Mindy for over a year.  I’ve met
Lorien and Mindy before, but not Becky.  And of
course I have seen Yvette and Allen and Josh more
than once now.  But for now, I’m going to write
about Becky.  Or perhaps I should say “Crystal,”
for that is the name she asked me to use.  I
would just call her Crystal here, but she doesn’t
mind me writing her name as Becky.

Becky, or Crystal, comes across in person much as
she comes across online, which in my experience
is a little unusual.  I haven’t actually met very
many people in person that I first knew online,
but even speaking on the phone is often very
different than chatting by typing in a chat room,
or emailing.  She acts as if she has a devil-may-
care attitude, as if she can do whatever she
wants whenever she wants, and damned be the
consequences.  But under the surface, she is a
caring and vulnerable girl.  She’s more
intelligent than she lets on, and more concerned
about herself and others than she reveals.

True, I’m meeting her not all that long after she
lost her father, so that may have a quite
significant affect on her actions.  But I believe
much of this was well established before that

Lorien is dealing with being away from mom and
dad, as Becky and Mindy are, but also from having
just ended a two-year relationship with her
boyfriend.  It wasn’t a hostile break up, as she
simply wanted a break.  So right now she’s just
beginning to discover what she wants, having been
broken up.  She has some discovering to do.  It
also seems that she and Becky are somehow
competing with each other, but I wasn’t around
them long enough to discover the source of it, or
even if I’m correct.

Mindy, as I noticed last time, is a different
person altogether.  She seems to know more than
she reveals, and has a maturity that’s hidden by
her young age, and even younger appearance.  I
think she uses her apparently youthfulness to her
advantage.  From what she and the others have
said and written, Mindy, although 14, is often
mistaken for a preteen.  I don’t know whether
that bothers her or not, but she does seem to use

Allen is as Allen does.  I don’t want to say he
has no depth, for that would imply shallowness.  
Shallow people have a thin cover, and little
depth underneath.  But Allen seems to just be
Allen.  He’s loud, sometimes rude, boastful, but
also fun, caring, and basically nice.  He’s
almost the type of person I generally don’t like,
and on the surface he is.  And yet his surface is
his depth, for he shows that a person can be rude
and boastful and also caring and nice.  It’s one
of those odd combinations that you sometimes see
in real life, but are hard to reproduce in a
fictional character.  In that sense, at least, he
reminds me of Zeus, who is perhaps the most self-
centered person I know, and yet will go out of
his way to help others.

Josh is more intelligent than his circumstances
warrant.  Like Mindy, he looks younger than he
is.  But in some ways I think he’s more aware
than his elders.

Yvette is as I’ve described before.  Spontaneous,
quick to change, fun-loving.  She’s like Allen in
that she is largely what she appears to be, but
she has the added layer of self-deception.  
Having seen her when she wasn’t involved with a
man and when she was, I can see definite changes
in her.  She acts more dependent, apparently, the
more she has someone to depend on.  Whether that
person is dependable or not, I don’t at this
point know.

I had dinner with mom and Charles, I put in a bid
on a couple of cameras like mine, but was outbid
on one.  I’ll check back on the other, which runs
out tomorrow.

The rest of my evening went largely as usual.  I
look forward to my dad returning home, soon, and
to seeing my friends again, soon.

It’s been a while since I’ve written this; I
don't know why it has been so hard for me to
write each day.  I do write each day, just not

10 August 2005 (Wednesday)

As my dad was expected back in the afternoon, I
decided to do a bit of traveling in the morning.  
Just a bit, but enough to see Lorien, Becky,
Mindy, Yvette, Allen and Josh.  I found it odd
that Lorien, Becky and Mindy had come out to stay
at Yvette’s trailer, but so far hadn’t been there
more than a few minutes to drop off some of their
stuff.  They’d been staying at Yvette’s current
sother, Stu’s, which was actually more convenient
for me as it meant they’d be coming quite near
where I live.

As it’s hard to find my crib, as Lorien called
it, and as I’m lousy at giving directions, I met
them at the local Dairy Queen.  I saw Lorien,
Becky, Mindy, Yvette, Allen and Josh--they hadn’t
even been back to Yvette’s place since my friends
first arrived.  So Vickie wasn’t with them.  
Yvette seems to be pretty free about her
offspring, letting them stay where they want,
apparently.  Perhaps that is good, and perhaps

Everyone acted glad to see me, and I got hugs and
kisses from Lorien, Mindy and Becky.  They
decided to eat there, but as I had already eaten,
I just got a shake.

One piece of good news was that Yvette brought a
camera I could borrow, a Canon.  I had a little
difficulty figuring out how to control the
settings and Yvette wasn’t familiar with it
either.  But as I hadn’t used that camera before
and haven’t done photography for three years and
have new glasses with no-line bifocal lenses
which I’ve never had before, my problem was
understandable.  When you’re taking a photo,
which part of your glasses do you look through to
get the proper focus?  At least I could shoot
some photos, even if I was a bit nervous about
it.  I hoped they would come out well.

I almost thought we were going to have a food
fight in the restaurant, but fortunately that
didn’t happen.  I was armed only with a
strawberry milkshake, which would likely prove
inadequate defense.  A cold strawberry shake in
the face could make a good offensive weapon in a
food fight, but it could only be fully used once.

They all wanted to see my “spread.”  It became
something of a game to see how many terms they
could use to describe the house and land,
including spread, farm, ranch, house, hotel (I
don’t know where that one came from), farmhouse,
barn, crash space, bed, crib, hang out, the pink
house, etc.

Lorien and Mindy insisted on riding with me, and
Becky drove the rest and followed.  I’m not
usually very comfortable driving with anyone else
in the vehicle, except for my brother Charles,
because I have a learning disability that gives
me a very poor sense of direction.  I can go
somewhere several times, and still get lost.  
Fortunately, I led them with no problem.

I wanted to take photos of everyone, but was
nervous for the reasons I’ve already mentioned.  
But I figured the best way to get in the water
was to jump right in.  I am very particular about
the shots I take, but I got around that by
thinking of this as an experiment.  I shot two
rolls, and after a few shots felt relatively
comfortable once again.  

They enjoyed seeing our goats, cats, dog,
chickens, and a frog or two.  One of our tanks is
dry, and the other is very low and filled with
algae, so they didn’t get to go fishing as they’d

Dealing with the goats was fun.  They were out in
the pasture and my guests wanted to see them, so
I tried getting them to follow me into the barn.  
No luck.  So I took the large black plastic
bucket we put their grain in, and tried leading
them that way.  It worked at first, but then I
turned and found they still weren’t following
me.  So I put some grain in it, called to get
their attention and waved it around, then poured
a tiny bit into their outdoor feed trough, where
they usually get fed.  Finally, they came.

Lorien wanted to try milking a goat, but I told
her that all our goats were dried up now.  But as
Dancer is the most patient, we managed to
maneuver her to the milk stand so I could show
Lorien how to milk a goat.  She tried it but got
no results, as Dancer is dry.  So Becky had to
try as well, but got the same results.  But they
had a good time, so it was worthwhile.

Lorien and Mindy wanted to use the Internet, so I
ran a phone line to Mindy’s laptop so she could
access it using her own computer.  I wasn’t sure
if it would work, but it did.  They and Becky had
fun talking to Rocky, and Lorien chatted while I
gave the rest a lesson on living on a “farm.”  
They also had fun bidding on eBay, especially
Becky.  I was going to show everyone my website,
but that will have to wait.

I did get to show them my dumbek, my Middle
Eastern hand drum, and showed Allen how to play
some basic Middle Eastern rhythms.  He picked
them up quickly, and said he might get a drum
like that himself.  Of course many of them wanted
to give it a try.  Allen asked me if I knew any
belly dancers, but I said unfortunately I wasn’t
in touch with any in the area, but could likely
get him information on them.

They wanted me to go with them to a water park,
but as I didn’t know exactly when my dad would be
coming home, I very regretfully declined.  I was
going to see them Thursday while I was working as
floor manager over clothing at the place where I
volunteer, but now it looks like we’ll be able to
spend more time together on Friday as I got my
work schedule changed. I’m not certain if they
plan to go to a rodeo or Six Flags that day--I
told them I really need to know by tomorrow.

Ironically, right before they left I got a call
from my mom at the hospital saying my dad would
be coming home today.  I was glad to hear that,
naturally.  Everyone congratulated me, but I was
most moved by Becky.  She had been kidding around
and acting silly in a fun way, and generally
enjoying herself as a “wild child.”  But after I
told them I heard my father was coming home, she
hugged me and really held onto me as if she’d
never let go.  Then she looked at me with tears
in her eyes and said, “I’m so glad your Daddy’s
coming home.”  It got me choked up as well, for I
realized how glad I was, too.  Then I held onto
her, and wished she had been as lucky as I am.

After they left, Mindy called me to tell me they’
d see me Friday and that they’d have details for
me on Thursday.  I also talked to Andy, which was
very nice.  Andy is special, so it was a nice
chat, with us discussing camping, writing,
roleplaying, religion, etc.

Today was a very good day, for I got to visit
with some good friends, talk with another, and
see my father come home.
Copyright 2005 by The Loveshade Family
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