Fortuitous: when your parents visit on "crisis day"

One renegade horse and an exploding water heater. Could it get worse?

So, we are in Emmaus as reported, and because we wanted to help a bit more, decided to stay another day in the area. Katelyn and Mike need to sell their home asap for a move to Baltimore. Mike will be working for BGE.

On the way up the drive, we spotted one of the two mini horses, Dusty, gleefully munching on grass just outside his pen. He is an escape pro. And, no matter how often the kids replace or repair fencing, he seems to find a way out.  Since they were all out at work, Ken and I were challenged with wrangling the skittish critter.  Of course, because of the rain, rain, rain, the ground was muddy and the corral a total s*** slide down a slope.  We lured him back in with a fresh flake of hay, and Ken shored up the fence Montana style.

Later in the day, I was in the middle of painting a bathroom in a delightful shade of gray when I was informed that the basement was flooding: Stop whatever you are doing and come help. I was so close to finishing (another story with a practical tip about vinegar and water) but I dropped everything and ran downstairs.  Still covered in mud, Ken was now mopping furiously as water continued to stream out of the tank. Katelyn emptied bucket after bucket of filthy water and I grabbed the mop to soak up the disaster.  A few hours later,  we headed back to our hotel to pop multiple ibuprofen and shower.  

Apparently, the huge 80-gallon water tank was under too much pressure (corroded valve?) and burst its guts all over the basement floor.  This was especially unfortunate for Ken who had earlier punctured his heel while fixing the fence.

So, yeah, it was all kind of "worse", but I'm so proud of our daughter as she kept calm and carried on throughout the day. Special thanks to their nanny, Ariel, for staying longer while we waited for the plumber! They should be getting a smaller heater tomorrow so they can turn the water back on.

Again, we are never too old to lend a helping hand to our offspring.  We were just glad to be around when they needed us.  Perhaps there were greater forces at work today, but one of them must have tripped over the plumbing.

The escape hole, now a distant memory for a sneaky little horse.

The escape hole, now a distant memory for a sneaky little horse.

On parenting: Jo

Younger children

"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings."

                       Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Older children: Jo Coyle

When our younger children become our older children, parenting gets a brand new wardrobe.  I used to think my girls were changing quickly but I look back and realize I was changing just as fast.

Our middle girl, Jo, started drawing when she was a toddler. Today, she has her own business as an independent graphic artist and designer, and works full time in marketing for Outward Bound. Sometimes I forget she is a noteworthy entrepreneur and not just my kid.   My best shot is to view our blossoming adult relationship from the view I have of my own mother. This puts the brakes on boundary quarrels.

I told her I would link her professional sites to mine since I believe in partnerships with older children.  Below are some of her creations. With 30 years in between us we have a ways to go before seeing eye to eye on everything, but her work is good and I wanted you to see it.  Frankly, there's too much of it to put on my fridge.


A unique task in its own category.  More to follow.