ten seconds out of nine


The visit with my in laws, sister in law and her little grand daughter on began August 6th. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. Darren let me out at the front entrance of the airport, the sliding doors that open at the cafe across from baggage claim. I stood watching the seas of people coming in, waiting, and grabbing their luggage. New flocks of people would crowd in every few minutes all in a hurry. I considered how I ought to be when I spotted Darren’s family–I knew I’d see them first.

Should I take their luggage and tell them where we were to meet Darren–like a hired escort. Or should I greet them like people whom I’d known forever and loved my whole life. The more I thought about it the giddier I felt. I saw Kim first, she was holding MaKayla’s hand and looking around, walking in the direction of the baggage claim. Her eyes were searching for me and her bags at once. I think I said hi and asked where her mom and dad were. She pointed behind her and I saw them, through the thickness of the crowd. They caught up shortly and each gave me a one armed hug. MaKayla was introduced to me as Aunt Laura and we searched for luggage. They had way too much to fit in the rental car, I knew it before we’d collected the bags. Thankfully Darren was right there outside the sliding doors when we finally managed to collect the bags and drag them out of the building. He and his dad miraculously managed to fit everything but three of the bags in the back of the vehicle, the three were Bungee Cord-ed to the roof of the car.

We went to a buffet afterward. I hate buffets. This particular buffet is great because they have plenty of healthy foods, all fresh because the place is so busy. I enjoy it because the food is delicious and I don’t have to do any of the clean up–at the same time I hate it. Darren tells me to just worry about my own plate, not everyone else’s–those people are people who eat in one meal what I could eat in a week. My favorite part in the carrot cake and the coffee. The carrot cake tastes exactly like the carrot cake my mom makes every year for my dad’s birthday. And the coffee, well, it’s just perfect. I have no idea what type it is, but that doesn’t matter a whole lot. The three times we’ve been I’ve fed Deeder their cantaloupe, French bread and a glass of milk–he really enjoys it! Darren loves their fried chicken. Anyway, Darren’s family liked the food, in fact they are there right now, filling up on buffet before their plane ride!

The drive home was long, we stopped half way to feed Deeder and buy MaKayla a chocolate milk. Arriving home we all napped after settling baggage in my unusually clean house.


The next day we were up early, planning to go for a scenic train ride that we’d done when Darren’s parents came before. We arrived ten minutes before the train ride was to begin (according to the website we’d found), the station was empty. There was a sign that said tourist rides were temporarily out of operation. What now? We had a day beautiful and full of possibilities. After a good night’s sleep we were all game for just about anything. Darren remembered a must see sight recommenced by co-workers of his. Not knowing where it was we decided to call looking for it an adventure.


The adventure took much much longer than any of us had thought it might. Finally we stopped and asked someone. They gave us you-can’t-miss-it directions and we retraced out drive about forty-five minutes. Sure enough, it was beautiful. Well worth a sore butt. Everyone got good pictures, except me. I was busy holding Deeder. I hope Darren will show me how to resize and put pictures on the Internet through his camera’s program. I can’t remember where we ate that day.

Darren’s always wanted to take the exit to Boston so that was adventure for Wednesday. It was a hot day, humid and brought out my most irritable spirit. The drive was awfully long, Deeder was grumpy because he was stuffed in his infant seat for over two hours. When he was able to get out he was full of energy excitement and an insane need to move. Due to his high lead level I have become freakishly afraid of dirty places. I wouldn’t let him off my lap on the subway!! We didn’t have much trouble finding our way to the aquarium. I was really looking forward to going inside. I love aquariums, and air-conditioning! Put them together and boy life’s good!

But the adventure didn’t unfold quite the way we’d planned it to over breakfast that morning. Darren says that’s what adventure is all about–being random and sporadic, open to anything. So there it was, a cruise sign up booth planted right in front of a sparkling bed of water. The wale watching cruise was booked so Darren decided he wanted to take the harbor tour cruise. Without thinking for another second he had handed over his credit card, saying yes to spending thirty-five dollars a head for five people (kids under 12 are free). The tour was 90 minutes. Can you imagine trying to hold a 1-year-old still for that long? I did it. He was as cute as a button for the first three minutes.

His white blond hair blowing in the afternoon breeze, a huge smile on his face, standing there on the bench with his hands gripping the railing on the second story of the boat. I was a proud and happy mama to see the glee and excitement in my perfect beautiful baby. After studying his surroundings he decided he should get down and explore the deck and meet some of his fellow passengers. The deck was perfectly white-washed, except for the dust scuffs of the fifty passengers. If this day was a day before I had received the report of his high lead level I would have let him down. But I didn’t. I think he was surprised by this since he’s used to roaming free. Ten minutes of fighting with him I was ready to drop dead or scream. I’m here typing this post so obviously I made it through alive! 90 minutes did pass. Somewhere in there Grampa Harr bought Deeder a snickers bar. He ate it in less than five minutes. Darren got me a pile of napkins and helped me turn the brown nutty caramel covered creature back into our son.


My legs and arms felt like they had no muscle as the boat finally returned to it’s dock. We got off and Darren bought me a four dollar pretzel and a two dollar bottled water. I shared them with Deeder and basked in the sun until I could pick up my body again and stand confidently on my two feet. Darren carried Deeder and we walked to the aquarium. It was very expensive to get in. But you know they have to feed their fish and clean the tanks, right? It was beautiful.

Deeder loved the penguins best and Darren got to see the 75 year old turtle swim. He said that it’s back legs were as long as his. We waited for it to come around again but it never did, I guess it must have gone to the top. It was in the tank that’s a big circular tube in the middle of the building. That’s always my favorite part–the big tank in the middle of the aquarium where they keep the sharks, huge fish, sting ray and other swimming creatures who have names unknown to me.

Darren gave in to my pitiful reports of exhaustion. I think that I was getting to be a pill to be around. Not that I complained constantly–or atleast I think I didn’t–I’d like to imagine that I just lacked my usually glow of niceness. At any rate he let us hang local through the rest of our visit.

The days after Boston blend together now as I sit in my kitchen listening to the hum of Deeder’s baby monitor. He’s been asleep for three hours now, I’ll let him sleep about half an hour longer then wake him up.
I didn’t cook a meal the entire vacation, that was my favorite part. My only job was to clean up at the end of the day, and set up the coffee maker to start when Darren’s dad came down in the mornings. He is the early riser and loves coffee.

We went out for breakfast once (unfortunately we planned that poorly and sat down to eat at Deeder’s morning nap time–he fussed the entire meal), I don’t remember what day that was.
We all went to my and Deeder’s favorite bakery for coffee and sweet treats then to Keene. Darren took us girls to a little shopping mall where I’d never been before and took his Dad to the Sears Essentials store. I totally enjoyed the little mall, and spent $37 there on two sign language board books and the Jennifer Lauck book Show Me the Way, I’ve been looking for it forever! That day we had our evening meal at LongHorn Steakhouse. Their food is really super-duper tasty! We’ve been in twice before. Deeder’s wouldn’t sit in the highchair for anything!! I held him while Darren ate, then Darren held him for me. Between the two of us he ate most of his kids meal. It was chicken strips and veggies. We attribute his unruly behavior to his new teeth that are beginning to peek through on top and bottom.

Darren’s dad and I are always the first ones up. We read the paper together, put cream in our coffee together and talked. It was lovely. Every morning he would eat two donuts with his coffee, then pour himself a second cup. With each cup he would comment that Darren thinks adding cream kills the coffees flavor. I loved how each morning was exactly the same but happened as if yesterday had never been. I’ll miss having someone to chat with in the morning.

I’ll also miss MaKayla. She’s one of those kids who likes to help with everything, you know how that is. A job that would take twenty minutes to complete takes an hour and twenty minutes, but it’s so worth it. As with any child who has the desire to help coupled with the adult capable of showing patience for it, she was as happy as a child could be.


MaKayla is a child who only masquerades, in some reality beyond yours and mine she’s not a three year old. she’s beautiful and unusual, a person of her own. She’s three, wears Disney princess Velcro shoes–the kind that have soles that blinking light when you stomp–thin blond hair and the voice that belongs only to a young child. She loves her grandma and her grandpa, all of them. It’s tough to keep track of who she talks about, because she knows everyone by name while calling everyone she loves mom and dad. She calls nowhere home, because she has at least four of them. She owns everything, and nothing all at once. She obeys everyone, and lives by her own rules all in one moment. Her mom is Darren’s niece, four months and two point five children older than I am. She loves purple, Barney, Britney Spears.

I’ll finish this post tomorrow, hopefully

4 Responses to “ten seconds out of nine”

  1. Lauren says:

    Good to hear from you, Laura!
    Sounds like you had a busy, busy time…hopefully you were able to rest some, too :)

    Can’t wait to hear (errr. read) the rest!

  2. T says:

    can’t wait to read the rest, either. I’ve been waiting for this new post for forever!

  3. Laura says:

    Thanks girls! For now I’m just going to add pictures…Tomorrow I’ll finish writing the post in a Part II format so you don’t have to check back on this post :P

  4. Gramma Momma says:

    I’m so glad to read what you have to say once again, too, Dearie.
    Mom :)

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