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I know it’s Tuesday and weekend updates should occur on Sunday night or Monday morning.  I have excuses.  Legitimate excuses.  (note — I started this blog on Tuesday and am finishing it on Wednesday, which is really really really pitiful)

Sunday night was the Super Bowl.

Yesterday I worked through lunch, left at four thinking I would cook an early dinner and take a little time to write, only to be foiled by a sales rep who called me on my cell three times.  After I finished dinner, a massive headache greeted me with fangs bared.

Excuses are now out of the way.  With a few minutes left to write before hitting the trail for work, I will now dig in to an account of the excellent weekend.  ‘Dig’ is a key word to describe part of the weekend.  For those who know I live in the Chicago area and follow the news, you probably know we had 18 inches of snow on Sunday.  That sounds bad.  In reality, it is not.  Those who live around here know that the solution is to hunker down indoors, keep ahead of the accumulation by clearing the drive and walk periodically throughout the day, and enjoy a pleasant cocoon.

View looking out on my back yard around 2 PM Sunday afternoon.  There was still a lot of snow to fall.

View looking out on my back yard around 2 PM Sunday afternoon. There was still a lot of snow to fall.

Cocoon is what I did from around 2:30 PM to bed time on Sunday.  The couch time was well earned on Sunday morning.  As usual, I awoke a little before sun up.  Sunday was my assigned weekend for parking lot duty at church, usually involving directing traffic and greeting people as they arrive/depart services.  I cleared my own drive and front walk, got to church an hour early to perform my duties — which did not involve traffic control due to the blizzard that was happening.  Instead, I started shoveling and scraping the walks and handicapped parking area right away.  Four hours later I stopped, only taking a fifteen minute break.  I lost count of how many cars I dug out and helped push.  It sounds like work (and it was) but there is something about helping out at church, the many thanks that were sincerely given to me, that somehow creates a pleasant satisfaction.

My body was tired and sore from my shoulders to my feet, but I really liked the way that felt.  I stopped to buy mozzarella cheese sticks, pizza, and pop to enjoy with Nate during the Super Bowl, heated up some enchiladas for lunch when I got home, showered, then plopped on the couch for the duration of the day.  Satisfaction was aided by one of the best championship football games I have witnessed in years.

Alyssa brought her new beau, Caleb, home for the weekend.  Friday afternoon they picked me up at work for the trek to the Allstate Arena in Chicago for Winter Jam, a Christian music festival.  For $10 at the door we were treated to a 10 band, four hour concert.  Alyssa and I are fans of a group called Skillet, the featured band of the night and the last band to perform.  We brought ear plugs to save our ears.  Good, experienced concert goers bring ear plugs.  We weren’t weenies.  We were smart.

Contrary to what one might believe, Christian concerts are not boring.

Contrary to what one might believe, Christian concerts are not boring.

Loved it.  Caleb was excited to go because his favorite band, For King and Country, performed.  He has good taste in music (and he mentioned that he also likes a favorite of mine, Phil Keaggy.  The kid made big points with me.).  They might be my new favorite, definitely the most entertaining of the night.  They resemble Fun… and they were just that.  Every one of the 7 featured bands were good, including Newsong, Family Force Five (white guys rapping and rapping well), Francesca Battestelli, and Jeremy Camp.

The concert was an opportunity to get to know my daughter’s new beau.  We spent three hours waiting in line outside the Allstate arena, a necessity.  A few years ago, we went but were too far back in line to get in before the arena filled to capacity.  My daughter seems to be in love and from what I observed in the boy, I approve.  The kid stayed with us Thursday night until Saturday night.  They left early due to the predicted snow storm.  He slept in Alyssa’s bed.

She wasn’t in her bed.  She slept in our bed with Miriam.

And he slept on top of the covers.  He brought his own blanket.  Caleb also brought his own towel and used it instead of the towels that Mir left out for him.  I guess he is polite.  That was how he treated my daughter and me.  He seemed quiet yet confident, evidenced by the handshake he gave to me when Alyssa introduced us.  It was a bit funny because he made sure he maintained eye contact as he shook my hand.  I think someone told him to do that as it seemed so intentional.

Alyssa and Caleb almost look like brother and sister, something I didn’t think about until I caught a tall slender teenage girl behind me in line for the concert looking a me with a smile.  Alyssa had just taken Caleb to the Target store next to the arena to warm up and buy snacks. The girl blushed at me, smiled again as she said

“It’s real nice of you to come to a concert like this for your kids.”

Ha!  I guess they do have similar features.  Had the girl’s mother not been with her, the comment would have made me feel old.  She also introduced me to her mom, a rather pleasant person who made the wait in line a lot more tolerable.  The cold gave us an excuse to dad/mom dance for our children.  We had to stay warm, after all.

Friday afternoon was sunny but cold.  We're talking mid 20s.  But we had a good time waiting in line for the concert.

Friday afternoon was sunny but cold. We’re talking mid 20s. But we had a good time waiting in line for the concert.

Saturday afternoon I also took Nate out for another driving lesson.  This time I selected a large parking lot at the stadium where a local Class A professional baseball team plays, the Kane County Cougars.  Nate seemed a little hesitant this time, probably due to how our first driving lesson turned out.  There was no driving over a curb this time though.  I went through a thorough review of the purpose of each pedal, gear shift positions, what to do with the clutch while braking.  My son killed the engine a few times, but over all he did very well.  Too well at times.  I taught my daughter to drive also.  Girls do not drive as fast as boys when they are learning to drive.  Nate was digging the speed and handling of my little VW a bit too much!

There is the weekend report.  Three days late isn’t too bad.

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