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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Itsy Bitsy Daddy

Happy Father’s Day to everyone out there who is or knows a dad. This one strikes us a little harder than others as it’s the first one without Kira’s father. We’ll try to take some time to share fond memories when we all catch a moment. 

Kira is giving me some time to myself today by taking the boys out for a picnic after church. I suppose I should have spent the time relaxing, but there’s just so much that needs to be done, and I’d rather do it now than let it pile up. I mowed the lawn and did the dishes before settling in for an episode of a show I like. I suppose it’s nice to not have a long list of things I need or want, aside from home improvement projects. 

We kicked off the week with the dishwasher repairman coming to see what’s up with our clunker now. He confirmed my suspicions that the thing isn’t taking in enough water, so he would need to replace the part that controls that. The good news was that he knew what was wrong, and the bad news is that the part would take a week to get here, and he couldn’t access the part he needed to replace because our dishwasher is awkwardly lodged into the cupboards. We’re not sure how the previous owners did it, but the dishwasher is too tall for the cupboards. So, the dishwasher is a couple of inches below the slate floor, resting on the actual floorboards. That means that it doesn’t just slide out like a dishwasher is supposed to. Naturally, the repairman needs to get under the dishwasher, so we had some decisions to make while the part was on the way. 

We spent the afternoon at the beach on the lake, while I tried to put off worrying about the dishwasher situation. It was the warmest day we’ve had in a while (mid 70s), and one of the only days this week where rain wasn’t expected, so we gave it a shot. As we expected, the water was still pretty cold, but to our surprise, the beach was about as crowded as ever.

We took Apollo along to see what he would do, and he played in the water a little, often biting at the waves that came in. He mostly just sniffed around, looking for food that was left by others, and he tried to meet some of the other dogs there. He was a good conversation piece with the other beach-goers. Hannah managed him for a good long while, and then when it was my shift it seemed like every other person had questions or something to say about him.

The kids all had a grand time, even in the cold water, and we eventually came home and took turns getting bathed and eating before bed.

The next day, I made it my project to figure out what to do with the dishwasher. I found that there is a panel screwed in to separate the dishwasher from the neighboring cupboard, so I removed that and could see the faulty part from there. Rather than tear up the slate tile to try and get the dishwasher out, I tore out the bottom of the cupboard so that one could access the faulty part. I then took photos and called the repair place to see if they could look at those and tell me if that was good enough for them. That turned out to be a total nightmare – “Oh, we have no way of receiving a photo.” Dude, it’s 2019! Anyway, eventually they scheduled the repairman to come the next day, and I figured when he called I could just offer to send him the pictures. What a total waste of time and effort! He looked at the photos and said that would work, except that I would also need to remove the metal panel at the bottom of the dishwasher. That was another difficult task, but I got it done the next day. Now we wait for the stupid part so that we can get the thing running again.

Thursday was the last day of swimming lessons. They were mostly glad to be done, and each got a nice certificate marking the level they had completed. Hakan was the only one in his group to get a medal! We’re still not clear on why, but he says that it was because he’s the fastest one in his group. He has been wearing it everywhere since Thursday, often using it as an icebreaker when meeting strangers.

Also on Thursday, Hannah had a job interview at the library in a nearby town, and then she and I went for the Costco trek, stocking up on enough food to last most of the month (we hope).

Friday morning I did a grocery run and trip to some other stores, and then I changed our oil. Kira spent Friday afternoon helping some family friends get more settled into their condo. They sold their home and bought some land to develop, but while they are waiting for their new home to be built, they moved the large family into a condo. Kira, being the caring soul she is, offered to come over and help unpack or whatever else. She felt like she did some good work, and Hannah and I took the kids and Apollo to the park while she was there.

Saturday, I had planned to make into a big project day. Cleaning out the gutters a couple of weeks ago, I found a lot of standing water in one. I figured the best move would be to put in another downspout, so I did the planning and all, and bought the parts on Friday. Naturally, it started pouring just a few minutes before I was ready to go start. I wandered around doing other little things until the rain let up enough that I thought I’d see how much I could get done. I finished after a couple of hours, another trip to the hardware store, and lots of rain. It looks like it’s working really well, at least. I also learned a lot about it, so that was fun.

I must have leaned on the ladder weird, though, because my knee has been killing me since I did the job. After sleeping on it, it feels a little worse today, so that’s just great. I hope it clears up soon with some stretching and gentle use.

This next week is the last one before Kira’s trip to Hawaii, so I’m going to try to get ahead of my projects (both home improvement and employment-related), and she is going to work on getting packed. I’m going to work on eye appointments for all of the kids while she’s gone, and see if we can work in some other fun. Stay tuned for all of that…


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