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  • Elijah Ricks

Hannah's House

There were some pretty big changes around this place this week, including Hannah moving into her own place.


On Monday, Merritt had the good sense to come and wake Kira and me up before our alarm clock so that we'd be plenty awake for the breakfast routine. We both felt it the rest of the day. I took Avey to school, and as soon as we got in the car she mentioned something about the tire making a noise the day before. Kira hadn't said anything, but as we got on the road, we both heard it clearly. There was a thumping sound with each rotation of the tire. The tire was clearly not flat, as there was no dashboard light on, and no resistance in the driving. After dropping Avey off, I pulled over and found a screw in the tire. I consulted with Kira about the timeline for the day, and she was shocked and appalled that she had forgotten to mention the noise to me. They had pulled over to try and see what it could be, and never did see the screw. In any case, I was close to my mechanic, and it was right at opening time, so I had him do a quick repair. I then did a quick grocery run and went home to work.


You may recall that our dishwasher was also making horrifying noises last week, as if everything we own decided to crap out on us. The repairman was scheduled for Wednesday, but he called saying he could come over after someone cancelled that morning. He diagnosed the problem as a failing motor, but had to order one. To our horror, he said that they were on back-order until October, but he then found one in Indianapolis that they could ship right away. Whew! It arrived the next day so that he could come and complete the repair on Wednesday during our scheduled appointment.


I got a little bit of work done at home amid all of the running around and chaos, and then I took over Merritt and was ready for the kids coming home from school when Kira left for work. She worked late into the evening. I slept okay, but I was a little anxious the whole night about the following day.


Tuesday was my first day of teaching, and so I had a train to catch, and several unknowns about the day. Monday, after having waited a month for the IT people to move my stupid computer 50 feet down the hall, I had no response from the official work order or emails. I finally just called the lady in charge of the actual move, and she picked right up and told me that she had unlocked the tethers, but hadn't moved my computer. So why was she in her office right then, and not moving it? Why hadn't she told me that the tethers were unlocked so that I could come move it? In any case, I planned to move it before my courses started Tuesday. Before I left on my bike for the train, I could not find my wallet anywhere. I looked everywhere I could think, until Kira mentioned that I may have left it in the boys' room after I laid on the floor with them last night. Sure enough, there it was - having slipped out of my pocket as I lay on the floor, waiting for Merritt to hold still and fall asleep.


I did eventually get to school and moved my computer in about 20 minutes, and now at least I know it's in the right place. I got all set for my first courses, and I was a little nervous about the technology all working correctly, as now I have to make sure everyone in the classroom can see me and my slides, and also that everyone watching the lecture from home can see and hear everything. I got the tech working pretty easily, but then when I put my syllabus up on the screen, a student said he thought this was supposed to be a chemistry course. Turns out half of the people in the room thought it was a chemistry course. I told them that the room had been changed last week, so I looked it up for them and apparently their professor had not checked to see that his room had been changed also. The professor put up a little fuss, and I politely but firmly told him that my course was officially scheduled for the room, and we were not going to leave. Class went okay for a first day (usually just reviewing the syllabus), and so things feel official. I saw almost no other psychology faculty there, and I've so far had only about 8 students come in-person for either class, but I guess things are just going to be weird for a while.

Kira was home with the kids all day, as they had remote learning again. Everybody did very well sticking to their tasks, for the most part. Hakan even slept in longer than most mornings. Carver was very helpful in getting Merritt dressed so that Kira could take him to an outdoor library class for a while. While there, they were photographed for the local paper!

Avey had a project for the week to design a sort of foot brace, so she made a model out of cardboard and cereal boxes that looked really good. The two younger boys had a grand time playing in the rain, getting thoroughly drenched. I had a remote course to teach at 6:00, so I did that on campus and then caught a train. It was wet and dark by the time I got to the station, so Kira picked me up and left my bike at the station.

Wednesday was rough for me. I randomly woke up very early in the morning due to a throbbing pain in my right big toe. It seemed like an ingrown toenail, so I messed with it after a while and got the pain reduced some, but it was a rough night. After more treatment, I've got it on the mend now. The dishwasher guy fixed the dishwasher, but he didn't want to put the machine back under the counter, as it seems impossible. I told him I'd do it - after all, I am the one who got it out in the first place. I had it in in about 10 minutes, so we are finally back in business with a nice, quiet dishwasher (knock on wood). I felt awful the rest of the day because of my sleep, but other people at least had something to show for the day.


Hannah left for the bus driving early, and then was gone all day at her other job and several stores getting things she needed for her apartment. She has been taking a car load over each day to slowly get moved in, though it's a lot to try to do while also juggling two jobs. She planned to finish it up on Saturday, which I'll cover in a moment...


Wednesday night, while brushing Carver's teeth, I checked how his loose teeth were doing and one seemed very anxious to leap out of his mouth, so he agreed to let me pull it. It was a bit tricky to get a grip on it, but it came out with ease, so that now Carver has a very hole-y smile.


Kira took Avey and Hakan to the dollar store to get some materials Avey needed for her brace project, and Hakan picked out two knight-style weapons to earn so that he could complete his knight costume he's been working toward.


That night was a youth activity, so Avey and Hannah took Apollo to their walk around Coffee Creek for a pleasant evening.

Even though I'd picked up my bike from the station on Wednesday morning, Kira offered to drive me to the station on Thursday morning. I accepted, and went in for my second day on campus. Classes went better now that we could start actually covering the material (way more interesting than the syllabus). At home it was a fairly typical day with Kira getting the kids off to school. She opted to drive all of the them, because Avey would have to get on the bus way early, or she would have to be late to school waiting for the boys to get on their bus. It was okay, although the round trip was pretty long. We may have to think of some other things for the schedule.


I took Avey to school on Friday, and she turned in her foot brace project. I then kept cracking at work while Kira held a Relief Society Presidency meeting at home. It went pretty well, although Apollo tends to believe that everyone not in our immediate family is a serial killer. Hannah came home for lunch, and then took Apollo to a play date on her way for the afternoon bus route. Kira then ran a bunch of errands with Merritt, so while I was home alone I decided to get some house projects done. I cleared out a bird's nest from the garage roof, and then closed the gap in the soffit so that they won't be back. I also cut the grass, in the front, although it's so dry I'm not sure anyone even noticed it was a little long. I also replaced a socket in one of our porch lights that wasn't working, so I'm glad to have that done.


Kira and I went on a date that night, with Avey willing to babysit again. We tried out a local pizza place that was great, and then we went to check out the beach in the dark. It was windy and chilly, but it was pretty cool to see more of the stars, the lights from Chicago, and see the waves in the dim light.


Saturday was Hannah's move day, and Kira had plans to take the kids to the beach one last time for the season. Hannah and I got her heavy and squishy mattress into the van, and were very glad when her boss/landlord was there when we went to unload. He helped us get it up the narrow stairs. We then got the rest of her stuff in, and then went to some stores to get a few other things she needed. In the afternoon, I installed her curtain rod and helped her put together some shelves for her kitchen appliances. She took a last load in our van, and then came back here to join for a movie, and then she slept in her apartment for the first time! She survived the night, apparently, but I haven't yet heard the whole rundown, so maybe when she comes over for dinner tonight I can learn just how haunted the place is.


Kira had an entirely different day than I. She got the boys ready for the beach later than she'd hoped (Avey didn't want to go, so stayed home). When she got to the beach, it was too full so that no one could park. She tried a different beach and it was also a no-go. Carver didn't want to wait any more, so she dropped him off with Avey and then tried another option after asking a local friend about some ideas. She parked at Hannah's boss/landlord's house (he's a family friend and leases Kira's office to her), and he drove them to the beach near his house. There was room there. They had a grand and messy time, with huge waves that were knocking them down. The weather was cool, but the water was apparently pretty good.

On their walk back to the car, they stopped to play at a park for a while, so the boys were very worn out by the time they got home. I bathed them and we fed them, and Merritt actually laid in his bed by himself instead of demanding that Kira be in there with him!


We awoke this morning to glorious light rain. The weather has been nice and cooler in the 70s for most of the week, but still so dry, so I'm very excited to have the rain this coming week. Otherwise, it looks like another busy one full of school and work and meetings and errands, just like most others. I'll need to start figuring out something to do with Hannah's room. I'll probably make it a guest room and office, as it seems unlikely that I'll ever get to escape to the library again.


Everybody stay well!

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