-By ALEXI VENICE
The last few weeks have been busy. No matter how much daylight there is, May always seems to be busier than the holidays.
We went to Bootie Pepper’s college graduation ceremony in St. Peter. Like all parents in attendance, we were excited to watch our adult child walk the stage, shake hands with the president of the college, receive her expensive degree, and hear her name called overhead.
When the professors—clad in their colorful doctoral robes—assembled in the section directly behind the students, I thought the cast of Harry Potter had arrived. Purple hair. Long, grey beards with flowing hair to match. Round spectacles the size of manhole covers. They were an impressive crew that tutored our youth, now casting smug glances at the clueless parents of the miscreants who occasionally attended class.
Bootie had 520 kids in her class, so we settled in on folding chairs on green turf over a wood floor atop the ice in the hockey arena. At first, I was concerned my feet would get cold, but as soon as my first hot flash hit, I was thankful we were over ice, as the steam billowed around me. I was possibly the most comfortable I’d been in days after a hot-weather spell. The Pitcher, who was next to me, was amazed at the fog swirling around us due to my intense body heat.
Once they started announcing—very clearly and slowly—each graduate’s name, I left the arena to tinkle. Bootie Pepper’s last name starts with a W, so she’s always named last, only a Xiong and a Zehe behind her. We had a long way to go.
While in the lobby, I might have found a comfortable club chair and read a few chapters of a Donna Leon book on my iPad. I also might have fallen asleep for a catnap, but I awoke while they were calling the T names and made it back inside to watch Bootie cross the stage! I feel like I really put that two-and-a-half hours to good use. (Shush. Don’t tell Bootie I read a book and napped.)
(I must have had a surge of energy after that nap!)
Without skipping a beat, Bootie started her new job in our small city, and went to work with a song in her heart and a smile on her face. We’re so pleased to see the passion in her belly. What she lacks in experience, she definitely makes up for in enthusiasm and smarts. We’re grateful to the witches and wizards at her liberal arts school for teaching her.
During her third day on the job, The Pitcher texted her to tell her he’d been drafted by the Houston Astros to play professional baseball.
I called her shortly after that, knowing she’s surrounded by coworkers who can hear everything she says on the phone. Our conversation went something like this:
Me [just shy of a scream]: Did you hear? The Houston Astros drafted The Pitcher!
Bootie [in a hushed voice]: I am aware. Thank you.
Me: Have you spoken to him yet?!
Bootie [speaking calmly in her business-voice]: I can’t talk now. I’m at work, and I’m sequencing a check.
Me [bubbling over with excitement]: I understand. I won’t keep you. What does “sequencing a check” mean? [I pictured her gluing sequins on a paper check. I know, right?!]
Bootie [sighing]: I have to go. Bye.
She hung up on me😊 So proud! She must have learned those decisive phone skills through parental modelling.
Undeterred, I immediately texted her, advising her to double check her work that afternoon in case she was a tiny, tiny bit distracted by The Pitcher’s news. No reply. No surprise.
I, on the other hand, told everyone on my floor at work then left abruptly to buy champagne and every Houston Astros ball cap I could find at Scheel’s. My shopping spree was short-lived, however, because Scheel’s doesn’t carry any Astros apparel in our fair city. Humph. Again grateful for Amazon Prime.
I made it to the Pitcher’s parents’ house in time to wheel my beverage container into their garage before the celebration began. I’d never attended a “draft party,” but his family certainly knew how to throw one. Within 45 minutes, they had 100 people at their house, and this was just local family. I can’t wait to see the length of the guest list for the Bootie Pepper-Pitcher wedding. It will be standing room only, like a college house party. And, if there are a good number of ball players there, it WILL turn into a house party!
A few days later, The Pitcher and Bootie visited us at the lake for a quick boat ride before he flew to Florida for training camp.
During the same week, Bill and I sold our house. Yes! You read that correctly. We sold our house. After prepping it for numerous showings over the last month, we finally figured out what made it irresistible. Wait for it—
We accidentally left a pair of Bill’s boxers on the floor between the chair and ottoman in our bedroom. They were clean, but nonetheless, they were there. In the open. For people to see. Yay us! We’re classy. We decided they are lucky boxers, so if any of you are trying to sell your house right now, I’d be happy to bring them over, so you can strategically leave them in a not-so-out-of-the-way spot!
The only downside to accepting the offer on our house is that they want to move in in 30 days! When our realtor texted me, asking if we could move out in 30 days, I cleverly replied: In the wise words of Bob Dylan in Highway 61, “I think it can be easily done.”
Then I turned to Bill, and said, “WE CAN DO THIS! RIGHT?!”
“Hell yes!” he said. “We can move the small stuff each night after work, and we can hire a moving company to help us with the big stuff. No sweat. Mind over matter.”
Yeah, that moving company that I haven’t contacted yet. Hmm. Wonder what they need for a lead time.
Since The Pitcher left for Florida, Bootie said she’d help us move several items during the evenings this week. We’re moving one mile down the road, so we can make a few hundred car trips. I’ll keep you posted. Instead of packing boxes, I’m sitting here blogging. This is a productive, good use of my time while I take a break.
If you get bored this week, call Bootie Pepper at work and ask her what “sequencing a check” means. Just for grins and giggles, ask her if she glues glitter on them too.