Grandma’s House, Harry Potter, and Pianos

Isaac’s Log—Stardate: 2018.178.

.

.

It’s been a busy five weeks! Here’s the gist of everything that’s happened to my family lately.

.

On May 23rd, Mommy and Daddy tested for the nursing school in Portland, and Mommy left to go to her healing touch therapy training in southern California. Mommy and Daddy were accepted into the school, Daddy was able to leave his job on good terms, and so now they’re both going to school together. So that they can get to classes on time, and so Levi and I aren’t by ourselves so much, we’ve all basically been staying at Grandma and Papa’s since May 27th—when Daddy, Levi, and I got tired of waiting until the next day to see Mommy again (who had just come back to the Portland area from California), and drove through the night to Grandma’s. Emma (my cat) did fine as usual, and Pat-me (Levi’s dog) likes car rides; we were worried about Dante (Levi’s cat), since he threw up and peed the last time he was in a car for a long time period, but he actually did really well. It actually turned out pretty well, because Mommy and Daddy’s first day of class was on the 29th, so we they had all of Memorial Day to recuperate. They still go back regularly to the house on the coast to study, and overall it sounds like they’re doing well in their classes.

It’s really great to get to see the rest of the family much more often now; the only real negative is that the cats are in Mommy and Daddy’s room in the upstairs room above the garage, while Levi and I are sleeping in the living room, and Levi often isn’t feeling well enough to go upstairs. I was really used to having Emma at bedtime, so that’s been a bit of an adjustment, but I still usually go upstairs and spend time with her when I can, typically at least once a day; on the whole, though, she and Dante seem to be doing pretty well, and Dante’s been much less neurotic without the dog around (she stays downstairs). Levi’s health generally hasn’t been the best (although that was true before we came), but we’re hoping that we’ll soon get approved for OHP and he can start seeing doctors again.

One big positive for me is that my head has improved a lot lately; I still have some days that are harder than others, but overall it feels like even my hard days are much more manageable than they were even just a couple of months ago. With my post-concussive syndrome getting better, I’ve been able to do more things; the other day, I helped Papa build four sort of A-frame things to help keep the seasoning wood in place, and I was even able to move a wheelbarrow full of wood without much effort at all (and it was the metal one with only one wheel, which was even hard for me to handle without spilling before my head injury).

.

On June 8th (the day before Mommy and Daddy left to spend their 22nd anniversary at our house at the beach), Mommy finished reading the last bit of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to my brother and I; both Mommy and Levi had read it once before, but it was all new to me. So, I’ve finally heard the entire Harry Potter series; and, now that it’s over, I’m left feeling both happy and a little sad—I really enjoyed the books, and getting to know all of the characters throughout them, so it is unfortunate that there aren’t more than seven. I checked out Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from the library; we still haven’t read it all, so I might enjoy it more later on, but it’s definitely not the same. My favourite book in the series is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (which I guess is a pretty common opinion; I also really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), and my least favourite is probably Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (which, to be fair, I mainly dislike just because Dolores Umbridge has such a prominent role in it, and Harry’s actions can be frustrating; but it’s also a pretty fun book, with Harry Potter organizing an underground study group called Dumbledore’s Army, and it’s the one where Luna Lovegood is first introduced). In my opinion, J. K. Rowling is one of the best authors I know of when it comes to character development and dialogue, and the mysteries woven throughout her series are very well executed (when there’s a plot twist—of which there is usually at least one per book—you can usually think back to little details you’ve read up to that point that you didn’t realize were actually hints for it). I think sometimes her more large-scale worldbuilding can feel lacking (how wizards from different countries interact with each other, their specific histories, and so on) but she does an excellent job with places and details on a smaller scale (Hogwarts itself, Platform 9 ¾, etc.). The interactions between her characters usually feel very natural; I generally felt like she gave enough time for their relationships with each other to develop, while still keeping the overarching plot cohesive and focused, if that makes sense. I like a lot of her characters, but I think my favourites are Luna Lovegood, Remus Lupin, Hermione Granger, and Rubeus Hagrid.

.

One sad thing that happened this month was that Clay’s grandfather, Olen, passed away on the 13th; he was 83. Clay was really close to him, and went to visit him in Oklahoma shortly after he was put on hospice; and he also traveled there for his funeral last week (he made it home last Thursday). While he was traveling, I was able to see my cousins more often than usual, since Stephie would often bring them to Grandma’s house to play.

.

We went and visited Papa Jeff and Ramona on the 15th; we hadn’t seen them since they visited us at the beach on May 21st, and they’re planning on moving out of the Portland area soon. We went out to one of our favourite Chinese restaurants with Papa Jeff (although it took us longer to get there than we would have liked, partially due to traffic), since Ramona was busy at the house; he ordered takeout for her, and afterwards we stopped by their house for a little while. They’ve lived in the same house for pretty much all of my life, so I know it’s going to be weird when they sell their house; they were talking about moving to the coast, so they can be closer to Ramona’s parents, but they’d still be a couple of hours away from where our house is.

.

.

Tami with her favourite chick.

.

Some of the hens that live on Grandma’s road have had chicks lately; they’re pretty cute, and Tami really likes them, but I don’t pick them up or anything (when I was little, I saw a girl get pooped on by a duckling she was carrying around in her hands). Unfortunately, some of them have shorter lives than others; the same day that we left to visit Papa Jeff and Ramona, one of them was killed by one of the little neighbour dogs (we buried it afterwards, and marked its grave). Its mom didn’t seem super concerned; I’m honestly not sure if she ever really noticed, maybe chickens just can’t count—or, at least, maybe they think more like “One chicken, some chickens, no chickens” than in actual numbers. I don’t really know, I’m not a chicken expert.

.

RecentIy, I was looking at Craigslist, and noticed a lot of free pianos; I thought it was kind of sad that people were giving away their pianos, and my brother pointed out that it would be cool to pick them up and refurbish them. I thought this was a good idea, and reached out to a piano technician in my area (who I didn’t know at the time is actually the president of the Portland chapter of the Piano Technician’s Guild), asking about education options for gaining the skills I’d need to tune and refurbish pianos. She answered my questions, and invited me to join the guild for one of their meetings (which took place the day before yesterday) in a piano shop not very far from Grandma’s house, which had a hands-on technical afterwards. Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t have been home from school in time to get me there, but fortunately Grandma was able to drive me (I still don’t have my driver’s license, just a learner’s permit); and I was really glad to have her there, especially since I was so nervous about going to a new place and meeting new people. I knew next to nothing about piano technology, but everyone I met there was very nice and helpful; in the technical after the meeting, I learned about how to restore keys, both white and black (I was allowed to bring home a white key afterwards to show to the rest of my family). The only kind of hard part for me was using the aerosol can on the black keys, since the spray smelled so much. Afterwards, the guy who owns the building showed Grandma and me the rest of his shop, which was really cool. One of his pianos was from around the 1830s; and there was another one, from Germany, that had extra strings over its usual ones that would vibrate sympathetically to add to the sound. On the whole, the guild meeting was an enjoyable—although tiring—experience, and I think being a piano technician someday could be really fun.

.

A lot has happened in the news since in the past weeks; Donald Trump met with Kim Jong-un in Singapore (even though for a while it looked like the summit was going to be cancelled), over two-thousand children have been detained away from their parents while crossing the border (a policy which, while the current administration has finally abandoned, has permanently damaged many families), and the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s travel ban. Between the good, the bad, and the ugly, I’m really hoping someone besides Trump is elected to the white house in 2020; but, with the way the Democrats are struggling to provide a cohesive alternative in their message (other than just opposition to the president), and with Trump’s approval rating (at least according to Gallup) as high as it was back around when he first entered office, I’m actually really concerned that that’s not going to happen. But, hey, we can hope.

.

Yesterday, Uncle Andrew turned thirty-six, Aunt Linda turned sixty-six, and Aunt Maxine (Grandpa Hauck’s sister) turned ninety-seven. Uncle Andrew was unfortunately sick on his birthday, but I wished him a happy birthday via text.

This coming Friday, Sandy and Katie will leave to visit with Sandy’s dad in Washington for a few days; he recently went to see his mom, who lives in Cuba, and whom he hadn’t seen since he was six. Next week, we have the 4th of July to celebrate, which should be fun (although hopefully not too loud).

.

.

.

.

Today’s Question: Which is your favourite Harry Potter book, and why?

.

.

.

.

Today’s Joke: A lumberjack went into a magic forest to cut down a tree. But, just as he was starting to swing his axe at the first one he came to, it shouted, “Wait! Stop! I’m a talking tree!” The lumberjack grinned, then said, “And you will dialogue.”

.

.

.

.

-Isaac““

.

.

.

.

 

Advertisements

There are no comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: