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I am a bit bummed.  The Walking Dead season four premier is tonight and I have to wait until the episode is available on the WD Youtube channel.  Poop.  And I say ‘poop’ again.

It’s been one of those weekends where I don’t know what word to describe how it has felt.  ‘Alone’ might be one word if only because a lot of it has been spent by myself.  That is not necessarily a negative thing, the quiet and freedom to just do my own thing a real tonic for my soul.  ‘Discovery’ might be another because, well, there has been a bit of that.

OMG — Dustin Pedroia just made one of the most awesome defensive plays I have seen in a while.  I love love love love love love LOVE seeing baseball in October, the passion for the game demonstrated by guys pumped with dreams of winning a World Series.  The pure delight of an all out dive and throw falls in that ‘this is what makes life special’ category for me.  Shallow?  Maybe.  I can feel the satisfaction inside still and the inning is now over.  It doesn’t hurt that MY CARDINALS are on another World Series hunt and playing like they really want it right now.  I listened to them win as the sandman visited me on Friday night, the game ringing in my ears from my iPod on my nightstand.  Yesterday, my brother and I watched the game while we sipped Woodchuck hard cider, played catch with his adorable three year son Tyler, snacked on the guacamole Paul made with his wife (soooo good), and enjoyed the scent of the marinated chicken fajitas he was cooking on his grill.  Sublime, especially as we relaxed in the glow of another Cardinal win while playing Candyland with a delighted blonde haired, wide eyed three year old boy.  Tyler brought tears to our eyes as he climbed the stairs at bedtime and told me “Un-cole Steve, I love you”.  Unabashed three year appreciation for an uncle who was able to give his nephew undivided attention is what it was.  I’ll take it.

I drove two hours south to Bloomington, Illinois by myself, without my wife or son, to meet my brother, his wife Melissa, and their boy so we could watch my daughter perform as drum major with her high school marching band at the state competition.  Friday night I watched her perform with the band at halftime of the high school football game, her last as a high school senior.  Miriam and I accompanied her in front of the crowd before the game as the seniors from the marching band, football team, cheerleaders, and dance team were honored.  Earlier in the day, Miriam texted me and told me it might be best if I went to the Saturday band competition by myself.  I didn’t question it.  As she said in the text, I knew the time by myself would be welcome.  I have been that way a lot lately.  Conflict has been rampant in our house, our relationship rocky, so I did not mind the idea being in a car by myself.

It did feel very strange visiting my brother all by my lonesome, without my wife or family.  I got the idea they thought maybe this was a sign of things to come.  To be frank, it felt that way for me too.  All afternoon and evening, we kind of danced around the possible pain I might be feeling, at least the relational kind, something I just did not feel like dropping on my brother and his wife.  My goal for the visit was simple — enjoy my time with them.  They are aware of my struggles and I could feel their pity through the way they looked at me, their expressions a little too concerned at times.

I also was able to travel on my own schedule, which meant I find mountain bike trails close to Bloomington, literally minutes from my brother’s house, and tested my body by riding for ninety minutes.  My gut complained a bit, but not too much, and I really enjoyed the riding.  Hopeful for another chance to ride this weekend, I left my mountain bike in the back of my car over night.  That paid off, my afternoon cleared up after I drove Nate out west for an overnight with friends, my day suddenly clear as the 70 degrees and clear blue sky.  Two hours later and after sharing the ride with a friend I met on the trail, a guy close to my age enjoying his first ride at Saw Wee Kee park, thankful to meet someone who knew the trails.  He’s a motocross rider and offered to let me use his spare bike with him some time, an offer I might just accept.  Brian, my new friend, is also a committed Christian and seems to be someone who could provide a good influence for me.  You never know who you will meet on a mountain bike, especially since I will talk to practically anyone, plus the mountain bike crowd is one of the least pretentious class of people I have ever been involved with.

There has been drama in my household, bringing on more stress, this time last Wednesday night.  It started with my son, continued as my wife once again showed her stellar support for me by telling our son “you can’t talk to dad when he is like that”, a lack of spousal support that I found to be totally uncalled for since dad wasn’t “like that”.  He was in the middle of one of those my no means no discussions with his son, one she doesn’t agree with since everything must involve negotiation with her.  I expressed my displeasure by telling her what I expected from her — and that was to support me instead of defending our son by telling him that he was wrong, that he must accept my no and immediately stop his argument.  It didn’t work.  I had to resort to yelling, something I do but don’t like to do, but seems like the only way to get my two challenges to pay attention, to realize I am serious.  At one point, I told her she was stupid for not supporting me.  I also said that my only choice might be to leave if both do not change their behavior immediately.

A friend advised me that I should not go without talking the situation over with Miriam.  My friend was right.  Actually more than one friend told me that.  So I asked her to go to breakfast Saturday morning.  We talked.  We fought.

And here is really where the word ‘Discovery’ comes in for the weekend, although I discovered that my body still likes me and that I can survive time by myself.  But what I really discovered is that my wife is never going to support me the way I need her to.  She does not want to, will not do it since she does not respect me and does not like the way I approach her or my son, does not agree with me.  It has to be her way, won’t try to see the logic even in a little bit of what I say.  I know where I stand with her.

And there is my weekend.