September song

September 10, 2000

Some people mark the transition from summer to autumn by the subtle weather changes, the cooler temperatures, the earlier sunsets, the start of a new school year. Around the Gehlke household we know that fall is on the way by the ringing of the telephone and the neverending parade of deadlines associated with the approach of the annual Oakley Almond Festival.

Yes, it's festival time again, and Roni has been hard at work handling the myriad of details associated with getting the show ready for its Sept. 16 and 17 performance. Most of her work of late has involved getting the festival's program guide designed and printed, along with helping the show's volunteer coordinators nail down loose ends. The telephone, it seems, scarcely gets a rest in between calls; there are so many questions that need answers.

For Glenn and Benji, the ringing of the telephone at this time of year can only mean that football season has begun anew. Glenn and his brother Sean have rekindled their friendly rivalry in the Gehlke Bros. Football Picks competition, which means that every Sunday morning there is a conference call to discuss the current week's predictions. Benji sometimes looks more forward to these calls for the chance to speak to his uncle and grandparents than for the chance to pick his winning teams. It looks like it's going to be a good season.

Family news has been on everyone's minds in the past month. We still are awaiting word on the much-anticipated arrival of the Fabulous Ferreira Twins, who for a time some of us thought might be August babies. It turns out that the twins had other plans, and now it appears they may arrive in time for Glenn's upcoming vacation. Our thoughts are with you, Jenny and Tom. Our thoughts have also been with Roni's father, Norm Ekstein, who at this writing is recovering from triple-bypass heart surgery in a Florida hospital. He has been in poor health recently and we wish him a speedy recovery.

September, as always, is vacation month for the Gehlkes. On Friday, Benji began an almost four-week break from school. Glenn will join the vacation set Sept. 15, during which he hopes to get back to some of the outdoor projects that have been neglected since the spring. There are stairs that still need completing in the garden, and some gardening chores to attend to. With luck, perhaps we'll have a day or two to sightsee. Roni wishes she were on vacation, but just having her two guys around the house full time for a couple of weeks ought to rub off at least a little.

Speaking of the garden, or what there is of it, we sort of let things slide in the past two months and are paying the price in weeds and brown folliage. One thing that did perform well, however, was our grapes. We harvested 17 bunches of red flames from our little arbor near the gazebo. Our lone bunch of Thompson's green grapes are still on the vine, but we suspect they are probably ready to eat.

Benji's interests continue to evolve, and recently he has been spending a lot of time in his "office" located in one corner of our living room where he does his homework assignments, colors, reads and performs other office-like functions. We humored him by resurrecting Glenn's old blue student desk that had been gathering dust in the garage since our move to Oakley in 1991. It needs a little work (or perhaps a lot of work), but Ben loves having drawers to put his papers in and he currently has it set up with his workbooks and a huge box of Crayola Crayons we picked up at Target.

Ben is also heavily into Digimon, his new love. But he still has plenty of interest in Pokémon, and occasionally Dad can still get him excited about trains. His first-grade teacher has been working with the class on learning about weather, and given the summer-like temps in these parts for the past couple of months there really wasn't much variety. However, a week ago we awoke to cloudy skies and some unseasonal drizzle. You would have thought Santa had arrived early; Ben was floating on Cloud 9 trying to observe the unusual weather conditions so he could report on them in class. Perhaps we have a budding meteorologist in our midst.

Yes, fall is on the way. Enjoy these last days of summer and we'll try to do the same as we prepare to "go nuts" at the Almond Fest.

Glenn, Roni and Benji


September 14, 2000

The Ferreira twins have arrived. Jennifer went into labor around 7:30 yesterday morning and gave birth to twin girls that evening. According to Glenn's mom, Susan, Baby A was born at 8:05 p.m. and weighed 5.9 lbs. Baby B weighed in at 6.5 lbs and was born via Caesarean section at 8:58. Their names are Emily Susan and Shannon Joy.

Congratulations to Jenny and Tom on their new family.

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