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Fresno Activity in June

June 10-16, 2016
Written June 11+
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,

This diary starts with us back in Fresno, after almost two weeks down in the SF Bay area.  This is June, so we expect the weather to start its three-month "bad" spell -- hot.  However, I managed to miss the first set of 100+F days last week by enjoying very nice Monte Sereno weather and now it looks like we will have another ten days of warm-but-not-hot temperatures.  This may be the best weather we ever get, since we can enjoy meals outside and still sleep without air conditioning.  We'll see how long this lasts.

On Friday, June 10th, Gabby and the kids came up to visit with Mamo, a visit much appreciated by her and by us.  I don't know that we had anything exciting planned, but that doesn't seem to matter.  Minutes after arrival, Sam was playing with cars, Ava was experimenting with the piano, and Mamo's house was filled with happy sounds.

Pictures with Mamo were the first "required" activity and we managed smiles there too!

From here it was chatting and swimming, once I convinced the kids the cool water was not a problem.  True while in the water, but the fresh evening breeze chilled us getting out - normally not a Fresno summer problem!

After the exercise, we all settled down to a patio taco bar.  Sam has gotten the hang of making tacos, as we all have, I think.
Gabby and the kids stayed with Mamo over night, and we would try for more easy fun on Saturday.

Our Saturday started pretty normal, gym time and diary pictures for me and Gigi-prepared pancakes for the guests at Mamo's house.  Uncharacteristically, Fresno morning was a bit too cool for more pool time, so the whole crew moved over to our house for some backyard time.
I failed to convince anyone to start up a bocce match, so both kids enjoyed time drawing and coloring. This lasted for awhile before it was on to a new truck for Sam (under Igor's supervising gaze).
Art lesson?  Next time.
Ava was distracted by a loose tooth, so I brought out a tool to help.
Sam found a furry animal on our tomatoes.
d160611_20_avaswim.jpgd160611_22_samswim.jpgAfter a BBQ of hamburgers and hot dogs, it was getting late, so we needed to get back to Mamo's.  Over there, three of us decided it was not too late for a pool water fight.  Fun all around.

d160612_02_pianolesson.jpgSunday was much the same, only slower.  No gym for me, so just a light family breakfast with Mamo.  Gigi and Ava treated us to a piano duet, but this was not going to be enough distraction for two active kids since the temperature was still not pool-friendly.

d160612_10_riding.jpgSomebody suggested "Go to a park", a good idea but not so easy in Fresno, one of the worst cities in America for prevalence of city parks.  Nevertheless, we did find enough at Woodward park for Ava and Sam to work up appetites.  (Even Marianne got in some exercise maneuvering Mamo.)
d160612_12_afterlunch.jpgLunch at Cheesecake Factory was good (no cheesecake however), considering our little crew had gotten both hungry and tired.  A half dozen pieces (each!) of bread fixed the first and we expect the three-hour drive home will deal with the second.  One last weekend picture, and then everyone headed home.

We will miss the whole team.

Monday and Tuesday passed completely unremarkabley.  Wednesday and Thursday the same.  The weather was nice, but without kids or guests, our lives are pretty quiet.  Marianne kept busy with Mamo doctor appointments and I puttered in the garden, but neither activity is picture- or, really, note-worthy.  I needed to get busy with some picture projects and Marianne managed some time in her art hut, but chores seem to take precedence.  How did we ever hold down full-time jobs?

d160616_02_sambefore.jpgI do want to have a bit of a record of one family event NOT in Fresno: Sammy's tonsillectomy.  Why, you ask?  Because it was more involved than any of us planned and notes from Good Samaritan Hospital became an important part of our quiet life.

Everything started out as-planned: Sam got in his hospital gown Thursday morning and killed some time watching movies before the operation.
By the afternoon, he was miserable, as kids are after having their throats cut and sewn.  The doctor had said that he needed to cut more than usual, because the tonsil had swollen larger than usual, but Sam managed to make it home, where he could hold big sister's hand.

d160617_02_backin.jpgOvernight, he remained miserable and by the next day he had still not eaten or drunk anything. Everything hurt.  So, it was back to the hospital where he was placed on an iv for fluids and nourishment and pain-killers to allow peaceful sleep.

The criteria for getting released from the hospital became simple: eat, drink, and swallow.  d160617_04_rabitzclown.jpgBut the reality was that Sam's throat was still hurting so much that the goal has not been reached  yet. (Sunday morning.) Dad convinced him to have some chocolate ice cream, and the idea brought a smile, but actually working his throat brought back Sam's tears.  Dr Rabitz donned his clown nose and got another smile, but that still didn't make the hurt go away. I am not including the sad pictures.  No need to keep those memories.

d160619_02_gohome.jpgOn Sunday, Sam was sprung from his hospital lockup.  Everyone looked happy on the way out, but the truth is that Sammy's smile still disappeared when it came time for food or drink.  Even now (Tuesday) he fights swallowing.  The fights are surely hard for him and for mom and dad, so we hope he gets better, faster.  I suppose difficulty makes one strong, but weren't they strong enough before?

Meanwhile, Marianne have started our trip up to Oregon for some Shakespeare and visiting.  Another story.

Stay tuned.
John and Marianne


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