Category Archives: My Life

Kansas and back

For three strange days, I couldn’t put a smile on my face… –School of Fish

It’s been an unusual and somewhat difficult week for us. Michele’s grandmother passed away this last weekend, and so we found ourselves making a last-minute trip out to Kansas for the funeral in the middle of the week.
I didn’t know Michele’s grandmother very well, but by all accounts she was a wonderful person. She had been struggling with various health issues over the last year, so most of the family (including her, I think) had time to mentally prepare. There was a lot of sadness at the funeral, but also a lot of confidence in the knowledge that she is at home with the Lord.
Michele was going to stay in Kansas longer to assist with the post-funeral duties, but rumors of an approaching ice storm that might ground the Kansas City airport prompted her to come home sooner than planned. So we’re both back now.

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Home again, home again

Well, we’re back from our San Diego visit. It was tremendously fun and quite relaxing, and I’m pretty confident you’ll be reading more about it on this here blog in the near future. It was great to visit with my side of the family, and getting to catch up with Bill, Mark, Tiddo, Arie, and their families was great. I’ve known most of those guys since grade school (in the case of Mark and Arie, since kindergarten!), and it’s great to see how well everyone is doing.
There were a couple people we didn’t meet up with due to various scheduling issues–next time!
Now to get busy re-acquainting myself with glorious Grand Rapids…
update: Wow, so Bill’s brother Robert has bitten the great big banana of blogging. I go offline for a week, and I miss all sorts of excitement.

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California, here we come

Vacation time! It’s frightfully early (by Andy standards, at least), and we’re scurrying around finishing up the packing and preparation for our big plane flight out to San Diego. Michele is busy worrying about how many clothes to pack and how the cats will receive nourishment while we are away. I’d help her out, but my mind is preoccupied with vastly more important matters:

  • …should I pack my bag o’ gaming dice in my carry-on backpack, or in a suitcase to be checked in? What if I need my dice mid-flight?
  • …will my Gamecube Carrying Case set off the Super Nerd Alert at the airport check-in?
  • …what is the minimum number of RPG books I can fit in one duffel bag, and still be able to cover the maximum number of game genres, settings, and styles?

I’m never good at making these sorts of tough, last-minute decisions.
To my California friends and family–see you soon!

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Demons vs. democracy

Michele is in the other room waiting for the vice-presidential debate to start.
I’m here in the computer room, wrestling with that most vexing of dilemmas:
Watch the vice-presidential debate?
…or play Doom 3?
Become a better-informed, critically-thinking citizen?
…or blow apart the denizens of hell with a virtual rocket launcher?
I just don’t know. But I have a sinking feeling that this isn’t going to be a victory for Democracy.

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Natural order is restored

Well, as most of you know, Michele has returned safely from the sordid depths of Late Bronze Age archaeology fieldwork. (She will hopefully have an official report for us at her blog sometime in the near future.) Once we get the photos from the dig developed, I’ll see if I can persuade her to put some of them online for your perusal.
update: Wow, that was fast–she just posted about the dig.

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Home soon

Michele returns in just a week and a half! I’m counting down the days. It feels like it’s been forever since she left. The thing is, I know that our two-month separation pales in comparison to what some of our friends have undergone–we know numerous couples who spent a school semester or even a full year away from each other. I don’t know how they managed!
Being separated is a bit different than what I expected. I expected that it would be hardest during the first few weeks, but that we’d sort of adjust and get used to it after that. I’m actually finding that it is working the other way around–I think the duration of her trip didn’t really sink in until the third and fourth weeks. Ah well, just another week or two of patience and all will be well again.
Michele reported that the Philistine comb she found is going to be featured on the official Ashkelon excavation t-shirt. Pretty cool to have found the defining artifact of the season! On the digs I went on, I found lots of broken pottery and rocks, but nobody offered to put them on a t-shirt.
Hopefully, Michele will not be too horrified at what she finds upon her return home. The cats are still alive, I’ve been remembering to eat at least semi-regularly (meals… so much work for so little payoff), and several of the plants Michele asked me to water are still hanging desperately onto life.
I can’t wait to see her step off of that plane. Soon!

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Michele update #3

Michele continues to do well out at Ashkelon. She has really appreciated the letters she’s received thus far from friends and family out here, so feel free to keep sending them! She’s there for another 3.5ish weeks, so you’ve got time to get a letter out to her in the next week or so if you want.
When I spoke to her earlier this week, she was excited to report that she had unearthed an artifact of interest–a Philistine ivory comb! Today she visited Jerusalem with a number of her fellow excavators. Thanks to everyone who has written her–only about a month to go!

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Another Michele update

Things seem to be going well for Michele at Ashkelon. She’s told me a number of pretty humorous stories (my favorite being an incident in which the excavation was closed down for a few hours because a “drunk Russian” was scaring people away from the dig site), but I’m resisting the urge to the post them in the hopes that Michele will write up a complete report when she gets back. It sounds like they’re finding some interesting artifacts there–the other day, they found an amulet with the insignia of the Egyptian pharaoh (is there any other kind of pharaoh?) Thutmosis III.
It doesn’t seem that email or Web access is going to happen for her, unfortunately. And the postal connection between the U.S. and Israel is not proving to be exceptionally speedy. But she is receiving some mail and says “hi” to y’all.
Two weeks down, five to go…

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Ashkelon update

Michele is doing well and it sounds like she’s settling into the excavation routine over at Ashkelon. I just talked to her for a few minutes this evening, but I foolishly squandered most of the conversation complaining about the cats. Sounds like they’re working their student excavators pretty hard–work starts at 5 in the morning and continues through mid-afternoon. Fortunately, I sent her to Israel with this killer arctic camo hat (that’s me wearing it on the left) with which to ward off the sun’s harmful rays. Dang, that’s a cool hat.

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Talked to Michele on the phone this morning–everything went OK with her flight and she’s on site at Ashkelon now. Sounds like excavation work starts up tomorrow. She said the flight wasn’t too bad, as far as international flights go–no crying babies in the seat right behind her, that sort of thing.
If you’ve ever been overseas for any amount of time, you know how great it can be to get letters and email from home. If you’d like to drop her a note (via email or snail mail), I know she would really appreciate it. If you’d like her contact information, just drop me a line and I’ll happily get it to you.

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