Happy Birthday ‘Merica!

In our community, the week of July 4th is literally the biggest thing that happens every year… large parade, a grand fireworks display, a party in the park with a full day of concerts, etc.  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the typical infatuation with renting a golf cart for the entire week by many long-term UA folk (including some of my coworkers… must be a status thing!).  Any other year, aside from the one currently marred by a pandemic, this would have been a week-long struggle at home to throw the biggest party on our street.  My wife is an amazing host, but it comes with a cost because she puts too much pressure on herself to make everyone else happy.

Without the stress of having to plan a large party, I was really looking forward to a week of PTO last week; spend some time with the boys coming off of a baseball tournament in Cincinnati where the nine-year-olds took it in the shorts three games in a row.  Unfortunately, for most of us these days, no matter how hard we try and fight it, PTO doesn’t mean a chance to completely unplug.  Here’s a recap of how Independence Day 2020 week went down from the depths of the laundry closet.

Monday – worked for 4+ hours, then snuck away to golf the local executive course with my mom and the boys.  Played well enough; I’ve been able to beat my mom for a few years now ever since that double tennis elbow surgery.  My son Klein carded his first-ever birdie from 100 yards out on number five.  I finished the day with both boys getting in extra batting practice in the garage, enough to wear them out so everyone slept well.

Tuesday – tried getting up early to work (failed miserably), distracted by the fact I was playing Ohio State’s Scarlet golf course.  Played a lot better than expected, kept it below 100.  Hurried home and went our separate ways for two different baseball games.  Let’s hear it now – I’m fully prepared to catch grief from so many of you quick to remind me that I golfed two days in a row.  Most of you know I don’t golf 18 on the weekends, especially if I’m paying.  I don’t like spending that much time away from family.  Hence the reason my week of PTO started with two rounds.

Wednesday – jumped out of bed, ready to rock, got in a few good hours of much-needed catch-up work (mostly emails after turning off my out-of-office reply), quickly derailed by the arrival of my nephew spending the day with us.  We don’t get to see this guy enough, so it was precisely the excuse I needed to get back on the PTO train.  The day ended beautifully with another baseball practice followed by a typical gathering in front of the Solo Stove with s’mores made of Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Thursday – plenty of work, multiple conference calls, all done while wearing winter slippers because while it may be north of 90 degrees outside, the air conditioner has the laundry closet feeling more like a frozen tundra.  Capped off the day with baseball games in two different directions across the city.

Friday – full PTO mode is finally here!  Wait, that was probably supposed to be recorded as “Authorized Holiday” time.  Anyway, the entrepreneurial spirit of our neighborhood was not going to let this year be the downer that it could have been.  An organized (and socially distanced), house-by-house street carnival full of prizes kicked off at 3PM, including Iron Grill food truck and plenty of adult refreshments at each stop.  Our carnival game, the water balloon launcher.

Saturday – back to the baseball field. We’re never really that far removed from the next ball game, but our kids love it and they need sports and friends this year more than ever.

Sunday – exhausted. Might as well go back to work where I can get some rest.

On the bright side, the tax deadline is right around the corner; there is light at the end of the tunnel!!

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