Thursday, November 12, 2009

2009 11 11 Happy Birthday Kenny!!!

If you didn’t know it Ken’s birthday is a public holiday!! When he was in grade school he knew he was special because everyone got off school on his birthday. Sometime after he was out of school they decided to quit letting the kids out of school for his birthday.

I’m writing this as we are back on the road, on our way to Charleston for the last two regular season games, this Saturday and next Thursday. Both will be at the EIU home field.

We set up the Frericks ‘bed and breakfast’ before leaving since Ken’s sister and brother-in-law, Carlene and Buddy Kurk will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend and so our place will act as housing for some of the out-of-town Frericks clan. We both really hate to miss these family gatherings but our families, especially Carlene and Buddy, understand that if Trevor is going to be on the football field, we are going to be at the game. Call it superstitious but the only time we missed a varsity or above game for the boys was a basketball game for Kyle and he ended up in the emergency room that game. That’s been 9 years ago but we’ve been consistent since then to be sure at least one of us is at the game, until the weekend of Michelle’s funeral, a few weeks back. Even then, Ken had planned to drive over to Charleston just for the game until Trevor informed us that he was going to take that game off because of an ongoing aggravated high ankle sprain. (Then we get a text from the team doctor while still at the funeral that Trevor’s changed his mind and is playing…arghh!!)

I can be writing this post while we are driving because Ken is mostly on the phone. Ken loves getting phone calls on his birthday and his phone has been ringing steadily this morning with calls from family and friends who know that. Ken and I seem to have had a gender reversal when it comes to telephones. I hate to talk on the phone and Ken loves it. Honestly, it’s partly a technical issue since I really have trouble hearing on the phone. I also feel like I’m being intrusive since the person then has to pick up the phone when I choose rather at their convenience. That’s why I tend to instant message, text message, or email when possible—probably why some think I’m standoffish, but its more of a habit from decades in an office environment where I tried to minimize disruptions to those around me. Ken on the other hand, has his phone on his belt at all times and loves to talk on it. He gets frustrated quickly when using text messages and is quick to dial the number to respond instead of playing dualing texts. If you are trying to make immediate contact with us, the surest way is Ken’s cell phone since, unless he’s in an area without signal (or he’s without his pants!) he’ll be quick to answer.

The other time Ken is spending on the phone is taking return calls from the various RV supply sites that he’s contacted regarding fixing the damage on the side of the RV. I am blessed that as one of the middle children in a family of ten, Ken learned to be a frugal do-it-yourselfer. We have a $1000 deductible on our insurance and so he has taken on the project of seeing if he can pull the parts and labor together himself to save both money and the potential longterm costs of filing a claim.
Because Trevor had a ‘bye’ week last week, Ken and I had 8 days at home which is a record for us during football season.

And so, what do we do for entertainment while we are home but go to another football game!

QND versus Effingham

Trev’s high school football team, the QND Raiders are in the post-season playoffs and kicking butt at this point. It was fun to go back to a high school game. We spent most of the time walking around and talking to people since the game itself was a blowout.

QND stands aren’t big enough for the fan base so the field is usually surrounded by lawnchairs
The year Trevor was a Senior his high school team made it to 3rd place in the state which was the highest QND had ever placed in football. I think this current team has the possibility of beating that record, if not this year, then possibly next year since almost all the key players are juniors. Ken made a call after the game to the head EIU recruiter. He thinks there are some of these boys skilled enough to be future EIU panthers and he gets frustrated when these guys don’t get visibility because of being in the ‘Forgottonia’ section of Illinois.
For his birthday, Ken got a new electric leaf blower/vacuum.

Kenny using his new leaf blower for gutter cleaning

He wanted one that was electric instead of gas and compact enough to carry in the RV. With Ditka’s allergies to oak leaf mold, he likes to be sure that our campsites are as clear of piles of leaves as possible. It also keeps the rig cleaner and reduces the numbers of possibility of ticks which we are both pretty freaky about.
I got to have my fix of ‘lady lunches’ while in town, doing the walk/eat out routine with the ladies at work, and having lunch with my sisters and sister-in-law. I also got to spend some time with my BFF Shelly who lives in Naperville and was down for the weekend. All my friends who still have kids in school and say they are envious of Ken and my ‘early retirement’ make me appreciative of being empty nesters in our 50’s. A lot of folks we know now will still have kids in school/college when they are 60.

The weather has been so beautiful that we took a break one evening to ride down and enjoy a trademark Quincy, IL view of the Mississippi River bridges at sunset.

Hugs, C

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