Life is like a bowl of nachos.  Well not quite, but hang in there.  It should make sense soon.  I interacted with almost everyone important to me within the last week.  I am tired, but not weary and I wanted to share the itinerary and try to tie it in with the above bowl of nachos.

Friday – – one week ago

Up early to visit this blog – – my last substantial contact.  I read and replied to comments, thankful for the interactions that are slowly building.

A busy day at work with some difficult conversations – – one particular interaction that I will not soon forget. Most of us don’t know when death will come, but some do.  Could I balance realism and hope in my own heart as I told the truth in love?

Work through then home to pack.  The Pascals going in three directions.  Mrs. Pascal and P1 were at an all night tennis-a-thon for the varsity team.  P3 was next door at the practice fields playing five 7-on-7 football games in the final tournament.  P2 had been dropped earlier at our local park for the youth group campout.  I got my tent, sleeping bag and camel back and went to pick up P3 at the football field.  I made him a dinner with a big sandwich and lots of fruit.  He was excited, but exhausted.  Our good neighbors took him home and I went on to the campout.

With P2 at the youth group.  My boy scout helped to set up the tents and was a leader on the night hike.  We had s’mores and something called dough boys – – buy the cheapest biscuits in a tube that you can find.  I slept like I always slept on the first night of a campout:  fitfully.  But the weather was perfect and the dawn came quickly.  Breakfast tacos and cheerful singing around the newly stirred fire to annoy the non-morning people. P2 and I had to leave in preparation for the rest of the day.  We stopped at a flea market and had a bright Mexican cookie for breakfast.

P1 had returned from tennis-a-thon by 0500 and was sound asleep.  Mrs. P had returned at 2300 and was gone to her morning Jazzercise.  P3 was sound asleep.  Teenage boys sure sleep a lot.  I went to get our trailer checked out as the lights were sketchy and I was marginally street legal.  A man who smelled of smoke and had a deep Texas drawl demonstrated competence once again by diagnosing and fixing the problem for a fair price.  More on that another day – – I’ve always respected work well done.

Back home for the five of us.  Scrubbed and in the van to join my niece, sister, and brother in Austin (Mrs. P, P1, P2 and me).  P3 is picked up by friends for a Monster Truck Rally and birthday sleepover.  The four of us head to an Austin restaurant:  niece graduated from college and is off to PA school.  We’re so proud of her.  Good food and memories from 2-4 pm.  Then to REI to change those Brooks for P2.  After he ran only 3 miles we realized we were off by a complete size.  Then home.  P2 goes to the school dance recital to see the girl he admires.  I pay P1 $20 to be his cabbie.  Mrs. P and I watch Clippers/Spurs and have our hearts broken.

P3 later tells me that he was checking the score obsessively at the Monster Truck Rally.  He’s quite the basketball fan, practicing for hours in our driveway, knowing the difference been Chris Paul and Ron Paul. Actually, he probably knows nothing about Ron and Rand Paul.  And as P3 groaned in disappointment I was at looking for two tickets to Rockets/Clippers for Monday night.  There they were.  Was it worth a 7 hour round trip on a school night and several hundred dollars?


A close family friend teaches middle school youth as I had for the past two weeks.  His life group announces a pool party for the last meeting Sunday night with their kids.  Mrs. P and I exchange a lightning glance and nod and make the same announcement for our kids.  The pool has always been a blessing designed for sharing.  It was green and now is blue thanks the efforts of a kindly pool consultant and the Pascal mens’ elbow grease.  Out for Sunday dinner with P1,2 and Mrs. P – – a weekly tradition.  P3 is still at the birthday party, now at a local water park.  Please put on sunscreen!

Back home.  30 minute nap/coma.  Mrs. P to afternoon tennis.  Me to a 5 mile trail run that felt wonderful. Back to host our 7th grade family at the pool with our favorite 7th grader returning – – he wore sunscreen!  The other boys are sworn to secrecy.


Busy but productive day at work.  I got there early to work ahead and was able to shift meetings and appointments to leave by 3.  To the middle school to check P3 out.  He looked puzzled when he came to the office and we walked to the car.  Nothing’s wrong buddy – – I just had to pick you up instead of Mom.  And on the way to the car I tell him – – we’re driving 3.5 hours to Houston to see the Rockets.  Game starts at 8:35 with doors opening at 7:00.  He is still young enough to get more excited than reasonable.  And so am I.  He picked the music in the car and we talked for hours.

Rockets lose.  The nachos above were purchased and consumed.  P3 and I arrive home at 0305.


P3 plays hooky (authorized by Pascal and Mrs. Pascal).  I awake at 0705 and go to work.  I’m surprisingly awake with my normal level of caffeination.  The biorhythms of residency are coming back to me.  We have another pool party – – the first annual Don’t Sink-O De Mayo for the Boy Scouts with fajitas and all the fixins.  It was a great evening, but I’m in bed by 2130 and don’t remember anything until 0545.


Full day at work then I go to The Table (our last several posts) with CC and Russell.  I’m thankful for a church that has this discussion with my friends and I’m glad to experience it in person.


Full day at work ending with a ceremony to honor my nurse, chosen as one of the top 25 in our system.  She is truly outstanding and it was important to represent how blessed I am to work with her.  In bed by 2130 with purposeful alarm at 0445 to start this post.


Good morning friends.  Here I am.  P3 just stirred for morning basketball.  We leave in 20 minutes.  All five of us meet tonight at the senior banquet.  Tomorrow’s ultimate frisbee tournament was cancelled.  A weekend of rest ahead?  The boys and I booked a nice dinner Saturday night to celebrate Mrs. Pascal.

Life is like a bowl of nachos – – memories outlasting indigestion and the calories that I didn’t report to MyFitnessPal.  Life is busy and messy and well worth experiencing.  I interacted with almost everyone in the circles of my influence and affection this week.  And now I write to you because I include you in that circle, in that affection, in that bowl that I’ll never forget.





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