Saturday, October 15, 2005


I don't have time for a decent blog post, so here goes a brief update of the more significant events of the last few days. I just keep getting behind ... I've got several planned posts and a bunch of pictures, but can't seem to get caught up.

Oh, and ... Happy Birthday Kim (yesterday!). Actually I mentioned this in the last post's comments, late last night ... but now it's officially blogged!


Since my last post was about tennis, it seems fitting to start out with an update on my progress.

In short, there has been no progress. But it's not my fault. Really.

This Wednesday's class was cancelled because it was a holiday in Brazil. Children's day. That's right ... as if every day weren't enough, Brazil has created a day specifically for spoiling your kids. Children's day is one of the big three kids' day's in Brazil, along with Christmas and their birthday, complete with presents and no school.

So anyway, that was the reason that I had no tennis class on Wednesday. Still, so as not to pass the whole week without at least hitting the courts once, Sergio and I planned to get together Friday evening (last night) at the club.

I think God or some other supernatural force doesn't want me to play tennis.

This is a long story, and I'm sure I could draw it out into an interesting blog entry, but I'm kind of in a hurry, so I'll just restrict this account to the basic facts.

Yesterday was stifling hot. I mean, really hot ... scorching, sweltering, torrid, searing, sizzling, blistering, boiling, and several-other-adjectives-from-the-thesaurus hot. At approximately 5 pm yesterday, about the time I was waiting for Sergio to call me to meet him at the club, a heat-related blackout knocked out power to all of Ilha do Governador (the island I live on), and much of the surrounding region. Cristina had just left to pick up James and Christian from their catechism class, and Kevin was at home with me.

Sergio called me from the club within minutes of the start of the power outage. What ensued was a series of events so complex that it would be impossible to effectively describe them in a few paragraphs. To simplify it, I'll just say that, basically, I couldn't leave home because my heavy steel swinging garage doors can't easily be opened without power. (Of course, they can be opened; but it would mean removing bolts and more effort than I thought it was worth at the time.)

So I was waiting for Cristina to return with the boys; but their class was delayed, and by the time Cristina arrived it was after 6 pm. Realizing that her staying to bake at home with the kids without power, fans, or air conditioning was not going to be fun, we decided to load up the whole gang and head to the club. Before we even left home, however, the power had returned.

It turns out that, in this interval, just about everyone who lives on Ilha had decided the same thing. By the time we arrived, there were no courts available until 8:30 pm. I signed up for a court reservation, and we went to the park for the kids to run free a little.

Just before 8:30, Sergio and I approached the court and were informed that our reservation had been delayed due to court maintenance. While we were waiting, wind started picking up and distant flashes of lightning threatened ominously. Then, in a span of time that was literally less than five minutes-- just as we were to take the court-- the light gusting wind grew to a gale, the "distant" lightning enveloped us, and heavy drops of rain began falling all about. Power again was knocked out. In a hail of leaves, branches, and other flying objects, we fled the tempest, running to the car, avoiding as much as possible passing beneath the huge trees that loom over most of the club. The gusts literally knocked us from side to side. With the exception of Kevin, the kids loved it, thinking it was all great fun and adventurous. Kevin was somewhat alarmed: he kept saying, "just like Mickey!", referring to an episode of his Mickey Mouse DVD in which Mickey Mouse is chased by a bunch of tornadoes. The exodus was reminiscent of scenes from TV coverage of Hurricane Rita: lines of cars trying to escape the storm, navigating downed limbs, fallen signs, no traffic lights.

Anyway, I'm quite sure this account hasn't done justice to the irony of the situation. I'm just amazed at the lengths to which nature will go to prevent me from playing tennis!

Time's Up

Time's up for my update; I'm going to have to cut this short. I meant to mention my birthday on Thursday (just mentioned it!), the progress on the house construction, and other facts from the week.

But I took too long. The kids are up, and it's time to go. Today, Cristina and I plan to spend the night in Petropolis, a small mountain town about an hour from Rio. This was Cristina's birthday present for me ... or, more appropriately, it's my sister-in-law Ana's present, since she has "volunteered" to take care of the kids this weekend! (All three of them!!!)

So, within minutes, we will be taking the kids to her house, and we will be leaving for Petropolis. This is a historic event, and will be the first time that Kevin has spent the night without one or the other of us!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I think I will....



At October 15, 2005 2:21 PM, Lori Enochs said...

I hope you both have a great time, it is a well deserved and needed trip for you both. I'm sorry I missed your birthday Jim, but happy belated birthday anyway. I hope it was great.

I have such a hard time keeping track of my life, no less others, so please forgive me when I miss birthdays and other events.

I love reading these blogs Jim, it is great reading your stories. I don't get a chance to read them all the time, but I try to back track and catch up on most of them. I must say though, sometimes, it is theraputic for me knowing that I'm not the only one who can make poor choices. (Just kidding - reading about the last B-day party was just a typical consequence that would have happened to me when trying to do something nice.)

Well anyway I have to go now, can't wait to read about your trip. Take care. Hope everything goes well. Love you all.

At October 16, 2005 12:26 PM, Mark said...

Have a great time! We recently had Ben's first night without either of us, and he did great. I'm sure Kevin will, too. Petropolis. Sounds exotic and remote.

Too bad on the tennis, but a great read about the power blackout and the storm. Kevin's relating it to Mickey Mouse's tornado adventure was priceless.

Happy belated birthday!

At October 16, 2005 1:22 PM, Anonymous said...

Happy Belated birthday Jim! I love reading your blogs and your memories of some of your's and greg's childhood antics. Those were some fun times. I miss seeing you, Lori, Ricki and Steve. Hope all is well with the family. Sheila

At October 17, 2005 12:08 PM, Lisa said...

Happy Birthday on thursday !!!!!! It's funny that so many of the people I read are Libras...

interesting =)

Have a great day!

At October 17, 2005 9:54 PM, Jim said...


Thanks! Well, I'm glad to be an inspiration to you ... even if it is as a "negative role model" to reinforce your self esteem!


Kevin did fine. His parents did too. Maybe we can cut the umbilical cord now ...


Hey! Great to hear from you! Drop me an email sometime so we can chat! I also have many unforgettable memories from the farm and lake!


Thanks! Congratulations on your husband's new job!

BTW, I like toasted cheese sandwiches too!


Thanks to all for the birthday wishes!

At October 18, 2005 1:22 AM, Simon said...

Happy belated birthday, Jim. And I trust you enjoyed the time away from the spawn. With only one I know it happens very infrequently. Much less so for three, I'm sure.

At October 18, 2005 7:32 AM, Jim said...

Thanks, Simon.

You have NO IDEA how infrequently! ;-)

Yet another lesson in life I can impart ... on what NOT to do! Don't wait for your third child to restart your life!


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