In a summer daze

June 8, 1999

Summer is nearly upon us and it looks like it's going to be a good one. The garden has been giving us fresh berries by the bowlful and the weather has been mild for these parts in recent weeks, which bodes well for out fragile young veggies and flowers. If you want tomatoes we suggest you drop us a line in a couple of months when we will be finding creative ways to get rid of them all.

Speaking of getting rid of things, the end of May found us parting company with Roni's 1984 Toyota Tercel wagon. As part of a series of tradeups within the Gehlke family, we came into posession of a 1988 Toyota Corolla that had served Glenn's folks for the past decade. Although it came to us used, its 74,000 miles are considerably less than the 153,000 miles on Roni's well-traveled vehicle. We reregistered the vanity plates from her old Tercel to the Corolla and have put the older car up for sale. If anyone would like a roomy car with a reliable track record but in need of some repairs, we are asking $1,850 or best offer. Give Roni a call at 925-625-7924.

On the subject of repairs, we had a bit of a surprise one morning late last month when we awoke to discover that Benji had been painting. He had created some lovely illustrations of trains. Unfortunately, he had created them on the living room wall... with latex paint. The bright yellow and red he selected from some old paint jars we had left in the kitchen were just soupy enough to splatter all over the fireplace, the dining room table and drapery, the carpet and his shirt. A quick visit to Home Depot provided us with the proper shade of peach to restore the living room wall to its appropriate color. A lot of elbow grease and some cleaning products cleaned up most of the drips. Benji's shirt and the drapes, unfortunately, are a different story. A word to the wise if you have young'uns -- hide the paint!

A more cheery experience occurred May 31, when we trouped out to Hayward for a combination Memorial Day/birthday celebration with Glenn's folks. We celebrated Jennifer's 30th birthday officially, and Glenn's mom's 55th a few days after the fact. Glenn's dad treated everyone to one of his famous barbecues, overcoming challenges posed by wind and a metal leg that had rusted off the bottom of the barbie.

Vacation time is nearly upon us and we hope to get out and see some of the people and places we have been missing in recent months due to work demands. You can bet we will be doing some train-watching as well, thanks to the advent of Railfair '99 up in Sacramento. We have eagerly been anticipating the arrival of various steam engines and have already been out at the tracks several times to welcome them into the Sacramento area.

When we aren't out and about, the Great Retaining Wall project is also calling. Although we are still deciding exactly what we want to do and how, we are leaning (pardon the pun) toward replacing our failing wood wall with a cinder block wall. Glenn has been reading up on the subject and is almost confident that he can remove the old wall, dig out the sand piled up behind it, pour the concrete footing, order the materials, lay the blocks, pour concrete stairs, cover the wall with stucco and finish the project by autumn. That's autumn of 1999, for all you skeptics. Check this space in the weeks ahead for an update on his progress or further contemplation.

Enjoy your summer.

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