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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Happy Hannah Day

This was another busy week of Hannah’s birthday, minor car repairs, and lots of pumpkin-picking. 

I forgot to mention last week that I was featured in an article in the university newspaper. A student of mine asked if she could interview me, and she asked a few questions for maybe 15 minutes. Then, a few days later, a couple of my colleagues told me about this article. That was a very nice surprise, and it should make a wonderful addition to my tenure application next year. 

I had on my list to make several minor car repairs for our new vehicle. I started Monday by calling to arrange to repair some minor chips in the windshield, which our insurance covered. 

Once the other parts arrived that I had ordered, I also replaced a cracked tail light and replaced the broken driver’s side window control panel. The antenna is also missing, and the place where it’s supposed to be screwed in is all rusted out, so I figured I’d take a crack at replacing the whole thing. It was a much bigger project than I’d hoped, as I had to remove the passenger side tire just to pull the old antenna out through the fender. It has since then been a nightmare finding the right replacement part, so I finally just put in a new antenna, but now I’m waiting for an adapter I ordered so that the plug will actually fit our car. I just hope that does the trick and we can get more than 3 radio stations.

Tuesday night, in preparation for her birthday, Hannah went to a Thai restaurant near where she goes to institute to get her favorite food. She said it’s not as good as the place she liked near her old house, but they gave her so much that she’s been picking at it for at least one meal each day since. Wednesday was her actual birthday, so she took the day off of work and relaxed. I had a trip to Chicago cancelled (thankfully), so I stayed home, too. She opened her presents, but reserved the cake and other fun for Saturday.

Kira volunteered with Hakan’s class on Thursday for a field trip to a pumpkin patch. Merritt played at a friend’s house, while Kira and Hakan braved the cold to pick out a good pumpkin. 

We chose to take the rest of us there on Saturday so that the other kids could pick out some pumpkins, too. Apollo even joined us, but he kept licking at the rotten pumpkins, so we aren’t sure he got the whole point of the trip. 

I spent part of Friday dealing with some pests. I had noticed some soft areas of the front lawn for some months, but I guess I never really put together what might be causing them. The grass looked fine, so I wasn’t too worried, but then Hannah noticed them and said they were probably from tunneling from moles or something. I started looking into it, and found some of their tunnels. I first tried flushing them out with the hose, and that seemed to at least move them. A few days later, we saw some new holes closer to the street, so I decided to get serious about them. I bought some gas bombs to stick in the tunnels. They are supposed to spew the gas all through the tunnels and finish them off that way. They were a lot of fun to set off, but we’ll see if they did the trick. 

I also cleared out a bird’s nest that some sparrows had built in a little gap in our vinyl siding. I waited until they had cleared out, as I didn’t want to kill anybody unless I had to. I sealed up the gap, so that should work now. 

Speaking of pests, Hannah took something out to the trash on Friday evening and two raccoons darted out from our bushes and down to the storm drain near the road. We weren’t home at the time, but when we pulled into the driveway later that evening, one of the raccoons was right where she said it had run, so all the kids got to see it just staring back at us. 

We were gone Friday night because it was the Halloween fair at Carver and Hakan’s school. Kira volunteered to help with the silent auction, so I watched over the kids with a lot of help from Avey. Carver was Optimus Prime, Hakan was Mr. Incredible, and Merritt wore his glow-in-the-dark skeleton pajamas. Avey put the most thought into her costume, going as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. She really pulled it off, but we somehow didn’t get any pictures. We’ll get more the next time they dress up, which should be very soon.

This week, we are without Hannah, as she is providing some supervision for some teenagers in the branch while their parents are away on a vacation. The kids are older and independent enough, and apparently also well-behaved, so Hannah is mostly there as a formality, and support, but we’re sure she’ll enjoy the quiet, even if she misses Apollo terribly. She gave a talk again at church, which apparently went very well.


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