As we spent a large amount of time at the post office while doing errands, we decided to get our moving packets so that we could start working on the (very minimal) paperwork. Well… we filled out a card for each of us (since we still haven’t legally hyphenated our names yet) and faced a conundrum when we got to the third card — the K_____-M_____ card. We had to put the head of household in for the name.
Jen: So like which one of us is the head of household?
Jon: I don’t know.
Jen: Should we like flip a coin or something?
Uh yeah… we put both of our names in. Jon might be the man of the house but I pay the bills and buy the stuff. (Jon however earns the money.) 🙂
Jon answered his Interview Meme questions (and updated his blog for the first time in 6 months — wooooohooooo!!!!!). Go look. Do it now.
Jon and I at my in-law’s house (and yes, that is my infamous “Slugs for Jesus” shirt)
My twin brother Sean with Jon and I
Me and my friend Brian
Since I’m posting on 5 days, I’ll just bold the day and describe stuff. I’m also at the point of being deliriously tired, so this entry might be edited tomorrow.
Friday: We left for the airport at 11:30 and got there around 13:00. We checked in and grabbed food and then decided to go through security. Well… it took me 20 minutes to get through because my backpack had something in it that was setting off the security x-ray machine and they had to get someone to hand-search my bag. The guilty party: my 16-count pack of batteries from Wal-Mart. (Probably a good thing I didn’t take the 20-count pack because that one looks like an ammo clip.) Our flights were good and the only downside was that we had to fly through Houston. [begin rant about Houston] Sorry to those from Houston but… your airport is a hole. It’s oversized, it’s ugly, and it’s named for George Bush — three strikes against it, especially when one gets in at the opposite end of the airport from their connecting flight and barely makes the connection. Oh yes… there’s also the fact that Houston is L.A. with Jon’s dad driving. When Victoria (my esteemed mother-in-law) found out that I hadn’t read Till We Have Faces, she decided that I needed to read the book while I was out there. I got partway in and fell asleep.
Saturday: I got up, showered, went over to the house where Victoria is taking care of some rabbits/cats/tortoise, loved up the smaller of the cats, and read the rest of Till We Have Faces. It’s a very strange book and you wouldn’t recognize Lewis’ style in it. My parents and brother arrived in Claremont around 2:30 and we hung out until it was time to go to dinner. The eight of us went to the Danson, which is a fairly well-known restaurant in Claremont. We sang to Jon and gave him his presents there and then we went over to Pitzer to drop Joanna (my sister-in-law) off and she showed us around the campus. After that, we went back to my in-law’s house and Ray (my father-in-law) played some organ and piano for us.
Sunday: We went to the 8:30 service at the local Lutheran church. It was a contemporary service (on a scale of 1-10, it was a 7) and went to take care of the animals when we got home. When we returned, my parents and brother came back over and we hung out until they had to leave this afternoon. I’m thankful that they were able to come down to see us (an 8 hour drive to my in-law’s house) because I really miss them and it had been 4 months since I’d been able to see them. That night, I went for In-N-Out and to see “Bend It Like Beckham” with Joanna and Victoria. I highly recommend the film — it is just brilliant. Jon was left to his own devices and spent the evening chilling.
Monday: After the fiasco that morning, we took Brian out to lunch (as a thank-you) and then we returned to my in-law’s house (with me driving) so that could go take care of the cats that Victoria has been feeding. I showered (again!) and we went to Saca’s to get some Mediterranean food for Joanna and then to visit Jon’s grandparents. When we got home, we had to figure out how to pack everything into our suitcases and a box so that we could get all the presents back to Ohio.
Tuesday (today): We got up at 4:00 am and Ray drove us to John Wayne Airport. We flew out at 6:45 and barely made our connection in Minnesota. (We had literally 30 minutes between flights and in addition to one of the moving walkways being broken, a fat guy was standing in the middle of one with his suitcase talking on his cell phone and blocking the way for the 50 of us who had tight connections. When he got off one of them, all of us ran around him and onto the walkway.) It was a fairly peaceful flight. We had some chattering kids (see my rant about this in a few days) but I wasn’t gonna sleep, so it wasn’t that big a deal. One of our church people picked us up and brought us home. I ordered some See’s Candy for Bill (I’d promised him anything he wanted as a thank-you present for saving our butts yesterday and he mentioned that he liked chocolate) and I’ve been trying to stay awake until 10 p.m. I’ve got about 90 minutes to go and I think I’m gonna go read…
For those of you who know us either really well online or in real life, you’ll know that Jon had his VERY IMPORTANT interview today that determines whether or not he’s going to be ordained.
Well… we got to the Ayers Suites where all the interviews were taking place and found out that Jon’s final internship evaluations hadn’t been sent to the Synod. This is a problem. Thankfully, I was available to call the sem and see if they could be faxed. No luck. So I and my friend Brian (a really good college friend who lives close to where the interview was taking place and who agreed to come and sit with me so I’d be less of a neurotic lepicat) called Jon’s supervisor Bill. Bill was shocked (I think he’d *WATCHED* Jon fax these to the Synod) and so he faxed his eval over and offered to go to our house and find the evals and fax them to us. So… we got the 60+ page fax and Brian helped me sort it into individual evals and we sent them up to the meeting room. Well… the results:
JON WAS APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Or at least recommended for Approval when they vote on all of this later this afternoon)
We are elated. This means that we go through the Bishop’s Draft in a month and we might actually find out where we’ll be next year.
When I got home tonight, I found my Opa (“grandfather” in German) online and found out that his neurologist visit didn’t go well today and they’re having to up his dosage of meds to control his Parkinson’s Disease. Ummmm wait a second… Parkinson’s? Apparently, he’s been diagnosed for the last few months and told my mom a few weeks ago. I was a bit irritated that she hadn’t told me but I’m thinking now (after raging about it for a few hours) that she was waiting for a more opportune time when I wasn’t dealing with death and car accidents and other unpleasant things. (I talked to her after I talked to Opa and apparently, she doesn’t know much more than I do. And yes, I refrained from raging at her — after all, this is her father and it’s something she’s dealing with as well.) Opa told me that apparently, he’s suspected that he might have it for a while now and they just confirmed it. When he told me his symptoms, it clicked in my mind and I remember him having some facial tremors in April when I was there and also at my wedding in March 2002. It’s apparently in the early stages and they’re trying to arrest the symptoms. His doctor is predicting a good 5 years before things get too bad which will be when Opa turns 90 years old. It’s a blessing that it’s been diagnosed early; but it’s still sad news because it’s an admission that my grandparents are getting older and their health is starting to go more rapidly. Admittedly, I’m sad and I’m on the verge of tears; but the tears don’t seem to be coming, which means that it’s not my time to cry yet.
As bad as I’m feeling right now, I can’t help but think that this is devestating for my Opa. He is an amazing man and as my mom told me, it’s probably taken him awhile to get used to the idea of having Parkinson’s Disease. This is a man who didn’t graduate from college because WWII started the semester before he would have graduated but still is one of the most literate people I’ve ever met. I memorized quite a bit of poetry as a child because he would talk about poems he’d read or had to memorize when he was in school and I wanted to know what he was talking about. He was a pilot for United Airlines for 30 years and raised four kids. He and my Oma maintain their property in Washington (which is on par with most small farms) and one in the wilds of British Columbia. Parkinson’s is a disease which can rob one of one’s mind and I can’t help but think that such a thought would be devestating for one such as my Opa who is so active, even at 85 years old.
Granted, the doctor did say that Opa would probably have 5 more good years (which means that everything would be bad when he hits 90 years old) but still… I remember my Opa as the one who would take us flying before he had to sell his plane in 1987 due to heart problems and the one who talked of his childhood in Oregon while we were picking wild huckleberries in British Columbia. I remember him swing-dancing with my Oma when music from their college years would come on and taking me to their Episcopal church in Washington where I learned to love liturgy and balancing bulletins, hymnals, and prayerbooks. (This was where I also learned to turn pages with my pinkies and to open the BCP to exactly page 356.)
Abide with me , fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me…
Greetings from Mount Vernon, Washington: the tulip capital of the world! Considering how weepy and devastated I was on Thursday, I have to say that being with my family was the best medicine. My flights on Friday were really good and I spent my layover in Chicago drinking Starbucks and reading Memories of God by Roberta Bondi. On the leg from Chicago to Seattle, I got a letter (en francais) written to a friend in Luxembourg and realized that if I was going to be lucid while around my family, I needed to pray. So I spent the last hour (of four!) praying to work through this all OK. When I landed, my aunt met me and the trip up to Redmond allowed me to talk a lot out with her.
We drove from Redmond to Mt. Vernon with my little cousins and oogled cars on the way up. When we got there, my cousin Steve, his wife Andrea, their sons Benjamin and Nathaniel, and my aunt Dori, were up there. I got to hold Nathaniel (4 months) for the first time! Shortly after, my parents arrived with my uncle David. My great-aunt Jean, her daughter Carol (my mom’s cousin), and Carol’s kids Kira and Cord were there as well. Dinner was Chinese food that night. Happy Jen. Sari (9) and I cuddled and watched The Cosby Show that night after everyone left. Oh yes… I also found out that I still (at age almost 23) can still do cartwheels.
The next morning, I went into town withmy grandparents and we got the cake for my aunt Jean’s 80th birthday. That afternoon, we went to visit the tulip fields for the tulip festival. I got some good pictures and tromping around in the muddy fields was therapeutic for battling the “you’re not good enough” feelings I was dealing with from Thursday. (I’ll blog on this stuff when I get back to Ohio on Tuesday.) We then went to Fred Meyer (while I made a $tarbuck$ run) and headed back to my grandparents’ house. We had some more playtime with Nathaniel and Benjamin before we had to clean up and go to dinner at the airport restaurant. Dinner was great (as all dinners are in my family with 20+ people). Aunt Jean was totally surprised by her cake and my dad toasted my grandparents in Irish, forgetting the last line of the toast which my brother and I *graciously* reminded him off. 🙂 (We’ve only heard it about… 1500 times to recent memory.) We came back and did family pictures: the 4 generations of Cooley men, mixed pics, all the men, and all the women (who outnumbered the men). We then said our good-byes to Steve and company. I watched Animal Planet with Sean (my twin) and Sari before falling asleep and having Sari poke me to get off her bed (a couch) and go to my own bed.
It’s a grey, windy, yucky morning for Palm Sunday, so church isn’t happening. Jon has his hands full this morning with the ecumenical procession and I hope that has gone well. Meanwhile, I’m going to head upstairs and grab breakfast. 🙂