As most of you know from reading this blog, Sundays are our God and family days. Well, not today — or at least that not how it seems. The kids woke up cranky and we were in some kind of funk. Church wasn’t an option today though because it was a youth involved service we were looking forward to. In addition, my oldest daughter is going to be involved in the service on Mother’s Day next week and will be carrying the crucifix. She needs to go to Sunday school this week to familiarize herself with the ritual and get comfortable with it all.

So I told my wife to go with my oldest daughter and I would stay at home with the young ‘ens. That way she could also go into town afterwards like she had planned. I don’t think the idea took that well until my son woke up complaining about the breakfast menu.

The two oldest ladies were off to church and I started in on my day. The list included getting the smoker prepped for our dinner, mowing the front lawn (an hour and half job), changing the oil in my wife’s truck that just left and is now at 200F degrees, and cleaning out my truck from the planting work of yesterday. I enlisted my son’s help in getting the smoker going. I stuck to my guns and didn’t make him pancakes like he wanted (long story — Mommy makes pancakes for the whole family, not just one person and Sundays usually aren’t pancake days because of the time constraints. Aren’t you glad you asked?). Instead he gobbled down a waffle of the frozen toaster variety (you’re talkin’ Dad here, not a gourmet chef) and joined me on the back patio.

I had planned this meal a few days ago so my charcoal and wood chip supplies were plentiful. I got my son going on filling the wheelbarrow with water (for soaking the wood chips) and I cleaned out the water bowl, grates and filled the charcoal recepticle. Soon we were “blasting off” — the whoosh of the freshly squirted lighter fluid inspiring awe in my son’s eyes. I only hope I instilled some respect of fire when I told him “Only Daddy does this part. You can get a very big owey.”. Soon the baby back rips properly seasoned were on their way to culinary enjoyment.

While prepping the ribs, I was actually able to enjoy both my middle daughter and son play together with the fridge magnet in the kitchen. Of course, while I was out actually putting the ribs on the smoker they were not properly referreed and got into a spat. Given that it was still early and this was round 2 (or 3 or 4), I put them both in their rooms for 1/2 hour. At which time my wife calls to thank me for letting them go off to church alone for some quiet time. All in a day’s work, right?

Well, 1/2 hour is up, I am checking off items on my list, so I have the kids come out to the front yard with me while I mow. I would continually check the corner of my eye, but all body language from them (they were about 100-200 feet away) indicated they were still cooperating and playing well together. Of course this was difficult to determine with my earplugs in and mowing sideways to them. But all in all it looked good. Kinda like how my lawn was slowly appearing as I removed swipe by swipe of tall grass to reveal a smooth green carpet below.

Ribs on the smoker, front lawn mowed, fountain pump installed (a quick win) and it was now time to turn on the NASCAR race. My wife wasn’t home yet and a lot was done…..with the kids, or 2/3 of them anyways. I deserved some R & R. Talladega was the answer. When my wife got home, her words were “Is that thing on?” — referring to the race. She then told me the little story of the sermon given by the youth pastor (remember? it was youth Sunday) entitled “Hide and Seek”. She felt it was written just for her where there are times when you don’t feel God is close to you (as in when the kids were fighting this morning and we were in a funk) but then He pops out to reveal Himself to you (the first radio song on the way to church was Martina McBride’s “Blessed” — lyrics covered here in this post — followed by the beautiful hot air balloon race that ended right by church with over two dozen balloons looking for a place to touch down). The church message was perfectly timed and enjoyed.

I balanced the next few hours with the NASCAR race at Talledaga, letting my wife’s motor cool down so I could change the oil and instructing my son on the finer points of watching a NASCAR race. He sat down with me the entire race. Of course, he snuck in a few hour nap. I enjoyed my driver dominating and leading the most laps. A huge wreck extended the ordeal. My wife couldn’t believe how long it was going and added to her previous comment — “Is that thing STILL on?”. I pulled the ribs off during another red flag crash and we chowed on dinner with the race still on. I finally enjoyed my driver taking the checker flag which released me to go work on the rest of my list (after driver interviews of course).

A quick oil change to my wife’s truck led me to my truck. I was going to begin cleaning it out when my wife and kids joined me. They all took over while I could go for extra credit — the back lawn. With the property requiring almost 5 hours of mowing, I have tried an alternative philosophy of doing the front pasture (1 1/2 hours) on one weeknight, the front lawn (1 1/2 hours) on another weeknight and the back lawn (1 1/2 hours) on another weeknight. This leaves the weekend whole but does not neglect the love and care needed by the grass. Last week’s rain didn’t allow me to test my weeknight mowing theory so I was a little behind. So extra credit for mowing the back seemed appropriate. Of course, halfway through required a trip to WalMart for gas. This bumped me up against the light limits because I didn’t get back until 8:20pm. I had just started contemplating the headlight option for the mower when I took my last swipe. By the time I got it airblown off, parked and in the garage, the clock read 9:18pm. My son was enjoying a DVD and my wife was almost asleep (remember that long nap during the race?). He wasn’t going to bed anytime soon so I grabbed the paper for some wind down time to keep him company.

Wow, quite a long posting for no philosophical insights, political rantings, or interesting thoughts (Sunday sermon speak excluded). I guess this post just gives you a regular, ordinary snapshot into a weekend day here. Maybe that’s what the transformation to Kentucky has become. It is no longer this test of turbulent, new waters but a slowly revealing look into our adaptation to scenery that is now more familiar to us.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net