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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

The Longest Day

Monday began with a little more school preparation for me, and trying to continue the lengthy recovery from the cold that struck us so hard. Kira’s client still wanted to meet even with the cold, so she was off to that, and I tried to go to bed early. Still, as the next day was the first day of school for me, and I had to catch a very early train in a still sort of unfamiliar place, I went to bed a little on edge. I had a hard time falling asleep due to both the cold, and the anxiety about missing my alarm and then train. I tossed all night, never really getting any deep sleep, or so it felt. I made it to my train, anyway, and then got to the city with a little bit of time before my class. I have two in a row in the morning, then a nice break, then two long classes in the afternoon and evening. Despite trying to rest in my office a little to get some energy back, I was wiped out the entire day. By my evening class, it took me a few minutes to get some momentum, but then I used up all of my strength. The train ride home was exhausting just trying to stay awake. The train had also been a few minutes late, and I came to learn that it was because there was a fatality due to a train collision just a few hours before, so the track ahead had been shut down for a while. 

I was not looking forward to the bike ride home in the dark, along a busy road, with the speed limit at 50 mph. But I was glad to have the following day open, and not needing to go back into the city. I climbed on my bike and figured I could take it easy on the way home. After being on my bike for about 30 seconds, I felt just a few raindrops, and thought to myself, “Oh boy, I’d better get home before this gets worse.” Within 20 seconds of that, I was dripping head-to-toe. It was one of those rainstorms that just comes out of nowhere, dumps on you, and then takes off. I might have pulled off to find shelter, but I was already so drenched that I wasn’t sure what good it would do to ask Kira to come pick me up by then, and I didn’t really know of any shelters on my route home. I plunged through, sopping wet, and the rain still seemed to get even worse somehow. At places on the road, I could barely see ahead. I had a blinking light on the back of my helmet, but I was sure that any approaching cars would not be able to see me, so I constantly checked behind me so that I could move off the road in plenty of time if any vehicles were coming. I eventually made it home, mostly glad to be alive, but wanting so badly to just be done with the whole day. Kira helped me get dry, and we made sure my phone and computer (in my bag) were still serviceable before I went to bed, just a little before midnight by that point. 

Surely, not every Tuesday will be that bad this semester, right?

Wednesday was mostly a recovery day. Kira let me sleep in, and then I did some work from home, and watched over the boys when Kira napped. Thursday was back to the city, but with only the morning classes. I had all kinds of student meetings in the afternoon, and then had a smooth commute home. Friday was another work-at-home day, and then I polished it off with yard work so that we could have a fun day Saturday.

We had so much fun at the beach when my sister was here, that we wanted to do it again before the weather starts turning cold. The forecast seemed to suggest that Saturday would be a better day than Monday (Labor Day), so we arranged to head over in the morning. Of course, it was overcast, and started raining pretty heavily just before we got in the car, but we figured we were going so that we could get wet anyway. It stopped raining before we arrived, but the water was notably cooler than we’d have liked. It was still alright enough, so we had a good time, and then just as we needed to wrap up to head home, the sun came out.

While we were there, we buried some of the kids in the sand, and just as Avey was about ready to get out, a film crew approached and asked if they could get some footage. It was for a documentary that will air on PBS in March, but probably just the local station. Something about vacation spots near Chicago. Anyway, that was pretty neat, and maybe Avey will appear on it.

School’s been better for Avey lately as she’s made some pretty good buddies, although she hesitates to call them “friends” yet. She has been working hard to practice her violin, as that is a major part of her grade. She is still trying to get homework into her routine, but is keeping up so far. She’s started taking a brief walk each day around the neighborhood, probably for a glimpse of what peace and quiet might be like, and also to build her independence a little. I think she also wants to work it into her routine so that it’s not hard to start walking a dog each day, although she’s not quite convinced Kira that we’ll ever get one (I’m softening to the idea).

Carver still enjoys school, and has plenty of friends. He mostly dislikes the homework, even though it’s usually just a matter of reading.

Hakan seems pretty bored without his older brother at home most days. He and Merritt sometimes manage to get along, but it’s rare. Hakan has been so much better than usual at letting me help him with small tasks like getting ready for bed. He’s been in a much better mood than months past, too. He makes up for that by coming out of bed multiple times after we tuck him in. We finally pieced together that he’s afraid to sleep alone, so Kira has been going to lay in his bed with him until he falls asleep. She gets a nice little nap, too, so it’s working out alright.

We’re planning on enjoying our nice long weekend, and we hope that you are, too!


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