Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gay Bowling ... The Full Experience

On Monday after work I went home to make dinner for the kids.  Monday at my house is pizza night so when I say I "made" dinner, it means I made the call to Papa John's to bring pizza to my house.  K has class until late on Monday so I knew should not be home for a while.  I got the kids situated and then I got ready to leave.  Tonight was the first meeting of the "Rainbowlers" and I wanted to sign up.

K got home a little earlier than I expected so I was able to leave earlier.  Good thing too, because I hit a bunch of traffic on my way to the bowling alley.  When I got there, there was nothing obvious saying "Homos over here" so I bravely went up to the person at the desk and asked where the Rainbowlers were meeting.  "If you head over to the bar, the 3 gentlemen there are with the league." she said with a smile.  I should have known to check the bar first.

I walked into the bar and the 3 guys sitting there all seemed normal enough, but hearing 2 of them speak caused my gaydar to ping.  The third guy was Asian and if he was hanging out with white guys he MUST be gay. The Asian guy was younger (by younger I mean mid-30s) and the other two were probably mid to late 50s.  After introducing myself, they gave me a form to fill out and told me they would get started in about half an hour.  I also found out last year they had about 100 bowlers so there will be lots of opportunities to meet people.

I was pretty early so I took a seat.  After a while people started coming in.  I watched as they greeted each other.  Lots of hugs, some kisses, and an occasional, "Honey, it's so good to see you!!". It seemed like a very friendly bunch.  More good news for me.

These 2 guys sat next to me.  Scott & Tony.  They seemed to only know each other from bowling together for a few years.  After a few min of talking to each other, Tony asked if I was bowling with them.  I said I was and we struck up a conversation.  It seems they are both from New Jersey and we talked about how you can't get a decent bagle or good seafood in the south.  We also talked about how hard it is to get good BBQ in the north.  I was pretty happy with the ease of the conversation.  This bowling thing was looking promising!

As we were chatting Tony said, "You see that guy there.  The one dressed up.". I looked over expecting to see a man in a suit, but what I saw was a man wearing what looked to be a dress stolen from the set of a 1980's Cyndi Lauper video.  He was not a passable woman, in fact he didn't really try to be.  He had long hair tied with a pink ribbon and bow, but he wore no make up and didn't have fake boobs.   Tony said he asked the guy last year if he was transitioning from man to woman, but he isn't.  He just likes to dress up.  Tony went on to say that despite his strange appearace, he was a pretty nice guy.

I have never had an urge to crossdress myself, and I really don't understand people who do. To each his own, I guess.  I mean, I'm a guy who likes guys who is looking for acceptance so who am I to judge, right?

More people arrived and it was almost time for the meeting to start where they go over the rules for the year and vote on any changes.  I was happy to see that the vast majority of the guys seemed to be within 10 years of my age. If it was mostly 20-somethings, I may not have been as comfortable there.

The meeting was boring.  They could has just passed out the rule sheet and let us all read it.  When it was over they asked about teams needing additional bowlers and people who did not have a team.  I raised my hand.  Since I didn't know anyone anyway, I said that I would join any team.

"We have an open spot." a notably masculine voice behind me said.   I say "notable" because many of the men spoke like stereotypical gay men.  

"OK." I said as I turned around.  Of couse, the voice belonged to dressup guy.  I was immediately uncomfortable but as I thought about it, what the hell.  Everyone else in the room seemed to accept this guy, there was no reason I couldn't too.

So, now that I am on a team, bowling starts in 2 weeks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Man's Life

When I was at the Pride Festival, I talked to a group of older gay guys.  They say their group is open to men 21 and older, but I did not see anyone that seemed under 35.  I chatted for just a couple of minutes and then I took their flyer.  I folded it tightly as I put it in my pocket.

After I got back to my car, I opened it up and read it carefully.  There was a section that listed the "ideal" reason to join their group.  "Whether you are new to town, coming out late in life, of just want to make new friends..."

As I thought about that for a while, there was an awkward moment when I was talking to them when I wanted to say, that I was new to being open about being gay and did not know many gay people. .  For some reason, I just could not.   I thought about why, and though I already knew the answer, I had a mental block about it.

Then as I was poking around the internet I found this picture.  This guy, is me (no, this is not my picture).  For the past 40 years I have been living another man's life.  I have been pretending to be someone else.  That is why it is so difficult to come out at this age.  I have a lifetime to being someone else.

It's different when you are a teenager.  You are supposed to be figuring out who you are.  It€'s normal.  You could even accepted from someone in their early 20's.  But by the time a man hit's is 40's he should be pretty well established.  He should know who he is.  What's more, all the people (or at least the close ones) that he has known over the years, should know him too.

But they don't.  They don't know who he is at the core of his being.  That is such an uncomfortable thing to reveal.  Feels like a betrayal.  It's seems that not only is it uncomfortable to reveal to friends, but also to strangers.  Even when there is a very high likelihood, they would accept me more because of it, not less.

One more thing to work through I guess.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Alone in a Crowd

I did not chicken out.  I went to the Pride Festival in Uptown Charlotte.  They blocked off several blocks of South Tryon St. and had a big frakking party.  It looked to me a lot like any street festival you might see anywhere.  There was a stretch with food vendors.   On the far end, was a stage where live music was being played.  In the middle, there was a plaza with another stage, that was playing dance music with assorted drag queens lip syncing to the music. 

I really did take this picture of that middle plaza.  As you can see there was a lot of people.  Most everyone was fully dressed.  There were a handful of guys walking around without shirts (and some of them were even nice to look at).  I saw a handful of people with WAY too many tattoos and facial piercings, but I really did not see to much that was crazy.  Well, there was one guy dressed head to toe in a bright green spandex body suit.  I told K about it and she informed me that it's called a "morph suit".  I told her I called in a "yikes suit".  She laughed.  (LOL!!)

Since I was there alone, I was largely unnoticed.  As a middle aged, overweight balding guy, there were not too many people checking me out.  If there were, I didn't notice.  Anyway, as I walked though the crowd, I began to notice some things.

  1. Very few people seemed to be there alone.
  2. People seemed to know others people where ever they went.
  3. Even the people that appeared to be coupled, seemed to be there with a large circle of friends.
  4. There were not a lot of kids, but more than I expected.  (The event was kid friendly, but I think it was probably kid boring.)
  5. There were not a lot of people who looked like me.
I started to feel very alone.  I was wishing T was there with me.  I was feeling like I wanted to leave.  I was starting to wish I had not bothered to go at all.  Like it was a mistake.

I simply to not have it within my personality to walk up to strangers and start a conversation.  I just can't.  I know that paralyzes my chanced of making friends, but it's just how I am and I do not think I will be able to conquer that.

I walked to the end of the blocked off area.  I walked back.  I walked slowly so people could pass me.  My goal was not to finish quickly.  My goal (as T put it) was to see what gay people were like.  I found out they are a lot like me, except younger and better looking.  But I kept going. I made it back to where I started.  I thought about leaving, but then I decided to walk it again.  

I'm glad I did.

I came across a group known as "Prime Timers" who say they are a social group of older gay and bisexual men.  They are open to anyone who is 21 or older but the guys I saw all seemed to me my age or older.  Since I am not looking for a twinkie to get into bed, I thought I might as well talk to these guys.  But I kept walking.  I took a few steps and turned around again and walked up to the table.  There were several guys there.

I struck up a conversation while trying to take a flyer off the table.  I was pretty windy this afternoon.  Anyway in the short conversation I was able to find out that have about 100 dues paying members ($30/year).  They meet several times a month at restaurants, movies, and other places.  They even plan weekends away.  The guys who were there were friendly and made me feel comfortable (well more comfortable anyway.)  I took the flyer and told them I needed to meet new people, and would be looking them up.  

The encounter only lasted about 5 minutes, but it made me glad I have gone to the event.  I walked around for another 20 minutes or so and then left.  Now I can say I have attended a Pride event.

After leaving I met with with T at a large mall.  He was looking for something to wear to a singing engagement he has tomorrow.  He really does have the most beautiful voice.  Anyway, he was looking for some stylish and young looking clothes.  Boy did he find them.

I waited outside the fitting room for him to emerge.  I could hear him rustling around with some stuff in the changing room.  When he opened the door and stepped out looking for my opinion.  He looked incredible.  Not that he does not always look good, he absolutely does, but this was even better.  If I looked as good as he does in his new clothes, I would have gotten phone numbers from people at the festival.

After I stopped drooling over my boyfriend in the fitting room, we walked around the mall a little more and then left. 

I had not eaten yet, so T and I went to, kind of an open air market.  It was really nice to be walking through it with T.  We were not holding hands or anything but I felt like we were there as a couple so it was nice.

After dinner we want back to his house, where we were able to have some alone time, that we have definitely been wanting. We snuggled on his couch in a way that really made me happy, and him too.

After a couple of hours, not enough, I left for home.

On a side note, tomorrow (Sunday, 8/28) is the 18 Anniversary of K and I getting married.  With the divorce set to be final in the next 60 days, it will be the last.

Quirks, Gay Husbands, and Pride

I think most couples that have been together for a long time develop little quirks together.  (Assuming they like each other.)  One of the things the K and I started to do fairly early in our relationship was say quotes from movies at just the right time to fit our current situation.  We found you can there is a quote to fit any situation from either "The Simpsons" or a Disney movie.  Occasionally, we pull from "Family Guy"

We do it a lot and then laugh about it.  As I type I know it sounds lame, but we think it's funny and it is a connection point for us.  I am really glad the that connection point has remained after all we have been through.

What I think is even better is that AJ does not quite get it.  That means it is one thing that I will continue to share with my best friend.


When I got back from vacation I discovered my car is leaking coolant.  The water pump is leaking, and not just a little either.  I took the car to the shop yesterday afternoon and K came to pick me up and take me home.  

While we were driving home the gay ex-husband came up.  While she has achieved a good outcome, I think there are still flashes of, well... not anger, but irritation, with the fact we had to go through all of this.  I pointed out that now she was with "Mr. Wonderful" (who she says is much better in bed that I was (of course, I WAS a gay guy with a woman, I did the best i could)) and that maybe he was better for her anyway.  I can't remember exactly exactly what she said, but it gave me the impression that she wish either I stayed "bisexual" or I had come out 20 years ago and not had to deal with this at all.  

She was not cranky about it exactly, but it was a little uncomfortable for a while.  I guess no matter how well we are doing, there will always be that... something... left behind.


Today is the Charlotte Pride Festival.  This will be the first time I have ever gone to a pride event anywhere.  I have always wanted to go, but I have either been afraid or not able to find the time to get away.  

Today I have the time and I am not afraid.  I'm actually pretty excited about it.  I wish that T was coming with me, but he has to work today.  

After the pride event, I will get a movie from the RedBox and head over to T's house.  We will snuggle on his couch and I will be happy to be with my man.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More Conflicting Clarity

There are times that I feel like I am of two minds on some things.  Earlier this week I wrote about how I have some concerns about my kids and K moving out of the house.  On the other hand, there are times when I look around and I am asking myself, "Are you people still here?"

I know that may sound wrong, but I can't help it.  I think as the date gets closer and closer, now less than 2 weeks away, I am thinking more and more about my new life.

On Monday I am going to join a gay bowling league.  I am very much looking forward to that.  In addition to bowling, which I enjoy, I hope I will be able to do some gay networking.

This week has been Pride week in Charlotte.  (I'm not sure I have ever mentioned I live near Charlotte)  This Saturday there is a Pride Festival.  They do not have a parade here, they have a something like a festival on private property so as to reduce interference from protesters.  Again, I think that I may find out about clubs, groups, or something that will help me 

As time goes on, I am getting more and more comfortable with the idea that I will be alone in my house for a while.  Of course I am not as bad off as I could be.  K and the kids will be near by and my relationship with them is very good.

Of course, there is also T.  I can't forget about him.  His love has and will continue to sustain me.  From reading the blogs, I know that I have something that other gay men want.  I appreciate him very much.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Forget Me?

We are about 2 weeks away from when K and the kids will move out of my house and we were talking yesterday about scheduling. She is starting school full time to finally finish her nursing degree. I am joining a gay bowling league that meets on Mondays. She works at her church job on Wednesday nights. In the winter, her coaching season will start again, which will, have her practicing on Tuesday & Thursday nights, plus Saturday mornings. All in all there will be a lot of time that I will have to watching my kids.

I'm not complaining, mind you, I'm really not. In fact I welcome the time where I will be needed in the parenting capacity (NOT babysitting). As we talked I mentioned that with her and the kids moving out, I did not think that my schedule was going to change that much. It might be difficult for me as I persue my "new" life. She said she did not think so pointing out that AJ can help with the kids. In fact, on more that one occasion he has told her that he understood the implications of marrying a woman with kids. He expected he might have to look after them when K or I were not there from time to time.

Of course I am not planning on relinquishing my parenting duties to AJ or anyone else. I told K that I needed to be there for homework, bathtime, and maybe even some bedtimes. This is when K told me about AJ wanting to step up. Then we talked about who gets called what, will the kids call AJ dad or just AJ. How my kids should think about AJ's daughter a,ind other questions.

Then she asked me, "Are you afraid the kids will forget about you?"

"What? I'm not worried about... Well.... Maybe." I replied.

She responded that she did not think that was realistic.

Having no experience with this sort of thing, I find I worry about everything. As we get closer to the move I think I am worrying more. More than I should anyway.

Today I am there for everything. Every bathtime. Every illness. Every milestone. I'm there when the younger kids jump on my bed in the morning. Some of that will change. Not all of it, but a lot of it. I think this will be the hardest adjustment so far.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Party and A Room Full of Denial

Earlier in the week it was T's sister's birthday.  He actually has four sisters and this sister, let's call her "Heather" is the youngest sister.  She is straight,super cute, funny, outgoing, very friendly and single.  She is also a physician who works with T in his office.

The family threw a birthday party for her and they invited family, business associates and the instructor & students from her Spanish class.  I went with all 4 of my kids.  The older ones were bored at first, but after a while, even they started to have a good time.

There are a couple of things that make tonight noteworthy and a good topic for my blog.  The first is that I was there at all.  Several years ago, even after I had met T, there was no way I would have been invited to an event like this.  His mother would have been VERY uncomfortable about me being there.  Now, I am practically routine.  There was no difference in anyone's behavior that I was there and that is factoring in I brought all 4 of my kids for the first time.  Though we were not overt about it, I think if someone was observant, they could have deduced that T and I were a couple.

I have gone to other parties at his house and the outcome has always been positive.  I have written about it before too, but I still enjoy the normalcy of just being normal and gay.

The other thing that made tonight noteworthy was the presence of 3 other gay men (besides T and I). Each of these men have set off even my unpracticed gaydar with very clear signals, but each of them claims to be straight.  Let's review.

Guy 1:  This guy is an Asian man who is about 6 feet tall.  He was introduced to T's family because his sister (remember Heather?) met him on an online dating site.  While she likes him, she even set off her gaydar (and she is straight).  I got the chance to meet him on several occasions.  He has several stereotypical gay mannerisms  which I know is not necessarily an indicator, but stereotypes don't come from nowhere.  His facebook profile picture is his face next to a huge sunflower.   His mother has asked him several times if he is gay.  He does not understand why people keep asking him that.  Well, it might be because he is in denial.

Guy 2:  This guy is T's CPA.  He is a fairskinned white guy who runs a lot.  Consequently he is is great shape.  He looks good, if very friendly, but like Guy 1, has some mannerisms that are gayish, but not nearly as bad as Guy 1.  He sets of  my gaydar, but there is something else that really lets me know.  He is engaged to a woman who lives 500 miles away.  She was supposed to move here this summer to be with him, but he is not sure he wants her to come.  In fact, when her arrival was pushed back from this summer to early next year, he was relieved.  That's a little strange for a straight guy in love with a woman.  Now remember I told you that Guy 2 is in really good shape.  I have seen pictures of his fiancee on facebook.  She is SMOKING hot.  Any red blooded American straight men would want that hot piece of tail nearby not only so he could be having sex with her, but so he could ensure no one else was raiding his hen house. 

What could be the reason that this young, athletic, straight man prefers to be separated from his young, athletic, and very hot bride to be?  I can think of just one.  DENIAL!!

Guy 3 is Heather's Spanish teacher.  She has been telling me for months now that he is gay.  Until tonight I have not had the chance to meet him.  I don't know much of his story, but by the time this guy got the party, my gaydar was off the frakking charts.

If people want to be in denial, I guess that's their business.  It's not healthy though.  In fact, I was telling someone just today.  The sooner you can be honest with yourself about who you are, the sooner the pain will stop.  No one said it would be easy, especially if you have a long history of denials to others.  But once you get that off your chest, the world opens up in a whole new way.

A Civil Action Has Been Commenced Against You...

That is basically what my lawyer told K.  After all the years.  After all the laughter.  After all the pain.  After all the ups and downs.  After all we have been through, our marriage has been reduced to this. "A Civil Action Has Been Commenced Against You..."

Rather than be served by the sheriff, K chose to go to the lawyers office and pick up the papers herself.  On Tuesday, they were submitted and filed with the court.  Today they came back from the court with a very impersonal cover sheet.  I didn't really feel the sense of loss that many men in my situation talk about, but I did regret it was such a sterile process.  I was imagining a situation that was not as friendly as ours and a straight wife getting these papers in the mail.  Talk about re-opening an old wound.

But our situation is not like that.  K called me complaining she did not really know where the lawyer's office was and she did not have time to look it up. I offered to go with her.  How many soon to be ex-husbands do that???

We showed up at the lawyer's office.  The attorney was not there, his legal assistant had the papers we needed.  K pick up her copy of my divorce complaint.  Then we turned the distribution of property agreement that we both signed and got notarized.  Just like the lawyer, the assistant was just as surprised to see me and K in the office together, not fighting ...even being friendly.

As we drove away from the office, I found us laughing together about something the kids had said in the back seat.  At first I was a little sad that our situation ended up the way it did.  Then after thinking about it.  We had a pretty good run and our relationship is not over, just changed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Can I Make You Some Dinner?

I was not able to go see T last night like I planned.  It just did not work out.  But tonight T came to my house.  I made him (and my kids) dinner.  Nothing that special, I baked some chicken in a marinade and some instant rice.  The chicken came out pretty good, but the rice was under-cooked.

After we too the kids out for ice cream and while my kids were not the best behaved, we had a good time.  He did not stay too late, but I know that he worked hard today and he had a long drive home.  I was really glad he came.

Saturday, T's sister (the straight one) is having a birthday party at the house.  There will be a lot of family there, including a whole bunch of his nieces & nephews.  My younger kids two kids are going to go with me and they are excited about it.   I don't know if my older kids will go, but they  might.

What I thought was especially nice was that T's sister went out of her way to invite K and AJ.  K told be she is trying to talk him into going.  I told her not to push him.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Home, Moving, and Looking Out

After a good vacation with my family it was time for the kids and I to return home.  We drove overnight Saturday into Sunday arriving mid morning Sunday.  I had planned to take Monday & Tuesday off anyway so I had a couple of days to decompress before heading back to work tomorrow.  I had a good visit with my family but I was really glad to be sleeping in my own bed.  (I'm not sure who took that picture of me sleeping.)


This afternoon I went to have the first sit down meeting with my lawyer about my divorce.  I really think they don't know how to deal with me.   Because the divorce complaint was initiated by me the lawyer told me K will have to be served by the sheriff.

Me: The sheriff?  Can't I just give her a copy?
Lawyer:  What?
Me:  I will see K this afternoon, can I just giver her a copy?
Lawyer:  Are you friendly enough with her to do that?
Me:  Yeah.  I think it will be OK.

Then we were talking about the division of property document.  The lawyer drew it up based on a worksheet he gave me to fill out.  K actually filled out most of it for me.  Under state law, she has 30 days to review and respond to the proposal.  K and I are both eager to get this all done.

Me:  Do we have to wait 30 days?
Lawyer:  Yes.  The law said she has to have time to review and respond to our proposal.
Me:  What if she agrees?  Can she waive the 30 days?
Lawyer: (staring blankly) That... um... never happens.
Me: Look, I told you that this would be an easy divorce.  K actually wrote most of the worksheet I sent you back.
Lawyer: (staring blankly) Um... OK... well... if she signs the agreement then that should be OK.

I spent about 20 minutes with the lawyer, wrote him a check for the court costs (from K's checking account) and I was on my way for paper's for her and I to sign and get back to the lawyer.

Later tonight I am going to run down to T's place.  I will be the first time I have seen him in 2 weeks.  I can't stay too long, but I just can't wait any longer to see him.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Family By the Fire

If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know my family likes campfires. There is something about the flame that is special to us. I frequently have fires at my house, even if I am all alone.

Tonight, however, I was not alone. I'm nearly 1000 miles from home with my family. We set up a fire and my sister and my parents sat around it talking and swaping stories of years gone by. In the past, K was around these fires, but she did not come with me on this trip. While I do miss her, my longing thoughts are really for T.

He would have loved this campfire. He would have loved to hear the family stories. What's more, my family would have LOVED keeping him up late telling him every funny thing I have ever done in my life, no matter how embarrassing.

My family would really embrace him as one if our own. Gay or straight would not matter. All that matters is that he is the one I am in love with and he would be accepted

I really wish he had heard the stories tonight. Maybe next year.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Clues

My parents are moving to a new house. They closed on the new house yesterday. The movers come in about 2 weeks. Once they are out of the old house, they will sell it. My sister and I were helping my mom pack. Today we worked on the basement.

Like a lot of people I have been storing crap in my parent's basement. One of those things is a bar I build with a friend in college. Before my Junior year, My dad had a bunch of extra lumber at the house and said I could have it. He did not ask what I was going to build and I am not sure he would has approved a bar that was to be placed in my dorm room. By the time he got back, it was already done. The bar was a sturdy structure. The legs were pressure treated 4x4's, the top was 2x6 and it was all held together with two and a half inch drywall screws. On the top, I secured a piece of masonite, which is flat back. Since I wanted the top to be shiny and a little colorful, I used a pack of model model airplane paint. In the end, it looked like this:

Today, I had to take the bar apart so we could take it to the dump. I removed the top and decided to save it. I was thinking I might frame part of it. It's art, right?

"Yeah. Gay art." my sister chuckled.

I wondered if this was not just another sign I should have seen years ago.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Talking About My Boyfriend

Yesterday I had dinner with K's parents, her sister and her 2 kids along with all 4 of of my kids. A couple of cool things happened. My mother in law asked if I was going to be OK with all the change that are happening. With K moving into her new house with AJ and me being alone in my old house. She asked about T and how he is and she even asked a little bit about him. I could tell she was a little uncomfortable asking, but not because of the gay thing. I think it's more from a culture that does not really talk about divorce in general. At the end of the conversations she said she wanted BOTH K and I to be happy. I thought that was sweet.

Then after dinner (which was awesome) as we were sitting around talking. K's sister, asked to see the bracelet that I wear. You remember, the one T got me for Christmas.

I handed it to her. She looked at it. She liked the breaded leather band and the weight if the stainless steel. She asked me where I got it. Everyone was looking at me. I proudly told them all that T got it for me for Christmas last year. It was even engraved in the inside. Of course the inside has his initials. She passed it to my father in law who passed on to my mother in law for her inspection. Each complimented the item, but that was not really what there were saying.

In their way they told me:
they accept not only that I am gay.
they are not mad a gay guy married their daughter.
they will accept T as part of the family

Why do I care what my soon to be former in laws think? It's a good question. At the end of the day, they are still K's family and K will always be the mother if my children which makes them part of my family.

For better or worse...

Sunday, August 7, 2011


I'm sitting at the kitchen table at my sister's house. My kids are playing with my nephews. I saw my parents last night and it is good to be surrounded by family. I was disappointed about not going to camp, but that feeling is fading as I watch it pour outside.

I slept pretty good last night, mostly because I was driving since 4:30 the morning before. But as I drifted off the sleep and when I woke up this morning, my thoughts were of the man who is so far away.

It makes me a little sad. If he is not with me, as am I really home?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Change of Plan & Fun with Dad

This is the lake in Maine where my parents own a big chunk of land.  I used to go there most summers as a teen.  When I had my own kids K and I took them every year during the second week in August every year.  K is not really a camping kind of girl, but she was usually a good sport about it.  There is a very small cabin there, but we stayed in a test.

Next week we had planned to go.  Me, the kids, my  sister & her husband and kids and my parents.    The plan was to stay there for 5 days.  There is not a lot to do there, but that is more than half the fun.  We have kayaks and a canoe.  We have lake for swimming nearby and if all else fails my uncle owns a motel with a pool where we can hang out ant swim.  There are campfires and cooking weenies on the open fire.  There is also a lot sitting around.  Lounging in the hammock.  Walking in the woods.  Picking wild raspberries and blueberries (eating them too).

Sadly, this year we are not going to go.  My father has been in poor health for a while.  Like most people with a chronic illness he has good days and bad days.  It seems that now is some bad days and he will not be well enough to go.   Very disappointing.

My sister and I could still go, but I think the truth is if my parents are not there, it will not be as much fun.  It just won't be the same.

I am still going to go north with the kids, and I may bring the tent with me anyway.  Camping in my mom's back yard might be almost as much fun.  I told the kids about it and while I think they are disappointed too, they understand and we will still have a good time.  Maybe we will be in a trip to the beach.  

In other news, 

Things in my house are seeming normal.  Well, normal-ish.  My youngest son is a little clingy and has been acting out a little, but not too much.  Today, we had an interesting conversation.

After wrestling on my bed for a while, youngest son and I started talking about family relationships.

Me: ... and AJ's daughter will be your step-sister.
Youngest son: and AJ will be my step father.
Me:  That's right.  And you can call him...
YS: I'll call him Joel.
Me: Good.  Because you already have a dad.  And who it that?
YS:  A gay person?
Me:  Well... yes... that's right too.

When we back to wrestling on my bed.  I wondered if I should have taken the opportunity to see if we wanted to talk about it.  On the other hand, he did not seem bothered so I thought it was best not to make a big deal about it.  Also wrestling with him was fun and since he will be moving with K at the end of the month, I am trying to emphasize fun with dad when ever I can.