True Kevin Stories

During the Wuhan virus, my youngest son has been getting his fresh air by cycling a few miles through the neighborhood. Since he’s twelve, we try not to have him go too far, so he makes a few laps around the area.

But that’s not all.

On Tuesday he rode to the BJ’s Wholesale club about a half mile away. He rode his bike through the lot, and suddenly stopped when he noticed something which annoyed him. You see, there were a bunch of shopping carts throughout the parking lot, so he decided to park his bike, and move every cart to the cart corral. (Or whatever you call the thing where you leave the carts.)

When he came home Kevin let us know what he did. While I was proud of him for doing such a nice thing, I asked him when he started working at BJ’s Club.

Yesterday Kevin rode again and stopped at BJ’s again. This time he saw a very large toilet paper box lying in the parking lot. It was probably three feet by three feet. Angered that someone would just toss a box onto the lot, Kevin picked up the box, rode home with it – it was not crushed; the box was large – and put it in our recycling.

Again, I was proud of him, but I said he shouldn’t jeopardize your safety by riding home carrying a large empty box.

I figured this would happen after the weekend, when he stopped to pick up four empty plastic water bottles and rode them home while steering the bike with one arm…

Continue reading “True Kevin Stories”

Kyle’s Going Hollywood

Well, sorta. During most athletic seasons at the University of Dallas, most coaches put up profiles of their student-athletes. Thursday was Kyle’s turn. They asked him a few questions about likes, dislikes, etc., and wrote a few nice words about the boy before posting it to Instagram.

You can see it all above, and if it’s difficult to read, just click the photo.

The photo, taken at UD this season is great, but his favorite movie is even better.

Country Road, Take Us Home

Aaannnddd… we’re back!

I cannot stress enough how beautiful most of the states we visited were. For all the jokes, Arkansas is really kinda nice. Memphis looks amazing, especially at night, as does Nashville.

That said, driving 3,000 miles in four days is a bit of a grind. Everything hurts – back, feet, eyes – and after unloading the car, and starting some of Kyle’s laundry, I passed out. Julia had to wake me at 10:30.

We experienced a little bit of everything – insane, speeding reckless drivers in Texas, a really bad accident in Arkansas (the mobile home was nearly destroyed and there appeared to be no injuries, miraculously), the tornado wake in Nashville, and Google Maps screwing up by taking us through the DC Beltway. In Texas we had to navigate through a foot of water on an overflowing road, and in Jackson, Tennessee I rented a room in the worst motel in America. Dirty, dingy, and I think it reeked of crack smoke. (Kyle said the experience was a good life lesson.)

I cleaned more bugs off the windshield than I could imagine, counted numerous roadkill sightings, saw a million cows, enjoyed the fact every southern gas station carries Mello Yello, and was amazed once again at the courtesy of the South. People are just more polite there, and they are genuinely personable.

I don’t go back to work until Tuesday, and I plan to quarantine myself to either a bed of the couch. I’m still really tired.

Oh, Hi!

After a full day in the road, Kyle wants to get home sooner rather than later, so I didn’t have time to get posts up today.

I’m posting this as we’re approaching Knoxville – Kyle’s driving – and our ETA is midnight. I cannot stress how much I love Tennessee, at least the views from I-40. Beautiful place.

I’ll have posts up for tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

P.S. – Doc, I’m really sorry we missed you. Hopefully I can stop by if I drive Kyle back in April.

Made It!

It took two days, but I’m currently in the Lone Star State. Kyle and I are packing his things – we’re bringing everything back in case classes don’t resume this semester – and will start our voyage home this afternoon.

Yesterday was awful near the end of the trip. I tore open a fingernail trying to clean with bugs off the windshield – don’t ask; I have no idea how it happened – I’m dealing with what looks like another eye infection (I think I’m done with contacts), and it stormed the moment I hit Texas.

A blurry eye, a downpour, and fourteen hours on the road did not make for a good mood. I’m writing this around midnight on Wednesday morning, and I plan on sleeping for a very long time. This will likely be the last post for the day, unless I get some free time later on.

The Last Train To Crossville

I’m writing this post at 12:28 Tennessee time – apparently they’re an hour behind the east, or I’m just too tired to know what time it is – after checking into a hotel in Crossville, Tennessee. Crossville is roughly halfway between Philly and Dallas, so I decided to crash here, get six or seven hours sleep, and continue the next twelve hours to Texas.

So here’s what happened.

The University of Dallas, in its infinite wisdom, decided to close the school until at least April 14th. They could have made this decision BEFORE Spring Break, which began yesterday, but no, they sent out the email yesterday at 11am. They also said everyone needs to be out of the dorms by 5pm Wednesday.

The airlines are a mess right now, and last minute tickets would cost a fortune, so I have two days to get to Dallas, pack up the boy’s things, and head home. We were given very little notice, and considering I wouldn’t be able to make the trip straight through, I packed bag and ran out of the house a.s.a.p. (This, an hour after my sergeant’s funeral services.)

Don’t get me wrong; I love driving long distances alone. It’s something I’ve loved since I got my license, but the longest trip I ever made straight through was nine hours to Ohio for a recruiting stay with Kyle. Yesterday I trekked through PA, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee. (Tennessee being the only one of those states I haven’t passed through.)

The trip was actually really nice. Western Maryland and Virginia are scenic, West Virginia was lovelier than I expected, and I can see why my Tennessee friends rave about their state. Tennessee is gorgeous, and I-81 is a nice ride for guys with a lead foot. Like me.

The first leg was more or less uneventful. A tractor trailer blew a tire in front of me and the pieces hit the car. I passed through MD, VA, and WV in a span of maybe a thousand feet – you hit all three states when crossing the Potomac – and I drove by Shenandoah College and James Madison University’s stadiums. Both are awesome.

Today I’ll be driving through Nashville, Memphis, and Arkansas en route to Dallas. I should arrive there around 11pm eastern.

There are posts set for today, and I’ll try to get something for tomorrow as well.

The Wolverine

Well, after giving my sister a month to get acclimated to parental living, Mrs. Earp and I traveled to New Jersey to see baby Logan.

It’s only a half hour drive to their house, and since gas is cheaper in Jersey, we figured it was a win-win. Their house is nice, and while it’s a little messy with all the baby brouhaha, it’s a great looking home.

For his part, Logan was living the life. He slept for most of the time we were there, opened his eyes once to look at me, and only cried when it was time for a bottle. Even the crying wasn’t that obnoxious; hardly what I expected from a baby with adamantium claws.

Allison and Chris are getting used to a baby in the house, and when she regretted the fact Logan wasn’t entertaining, Mrs. Earp and I rolled our eyes. Believe me, you’ll beg for quiet days in a few years. Trust us.

Overall it was great seeing the boy, and he truly is crazy cute.

Daddy Daughter Day!

Saturday night was spent with Princess P at her grade school. It was the annual Father-Daughter Dance, and since I was off for a change, we danced the night away.

Well, she danced the night away with her school friends, while most of the dads were sitting at the tables checking our phones and tut-tutting the dresses some of these grade schoolers were wearing. Seriously Dads, why would you let your teenager dress like a streetwalker?

Princess P was obviously not dressed in that manner – nor will she ever – but we had a terrific time. We danced during the slow songs, took pictures in the photo booth, and spent maybe a half hour trying to keep a balloon in the air over our table.

All we had a good time, the food was good, and it was four hours spent with the princess. What else could a dad want?

Happy Birthday Kevin!

Today is my youngest son’s twelfth birthday.

Kevin is the funniest person I have ever known. He has always been mature for his age, and instead of watching cartoons, he often turns on the Military Channel. (He’s a big fan of WWII history.) On the other hand, he is also the kid who draws stick figure skulls exploding because they’re thankful for Thanksgiving.

In short, he’s our wild card.

Like the rest of my sons, Kevin is very shy and usually quiet when surrounded by other people. He was never a fan of team sports, but really took to karate – he takes his junior black belt test in a month or so – and ballroom dancing. He will, however, play street hockey when Kyle is around.

Kevin is usually an honors student – he was awarded second honors last semester – and works hard to keep his grades up. In short, he is on the right track, and despite a few dips here and there, he is a fine young man. He has not decided upon a birthday dinner, but Mrs. Earp believes he will want to go to a diner. I, of course, will be working, because shift work sucks.

Happy birthday, Kevin! We love you.

Happy Birthday Kyle!

Today is my oldest child’s 19th birthday. When did I become so old?

Many of you have seen Kyle grow up on this blog. He was three years old when I started blogging, and I’ve posted about him – and all my kids – ever since. Kyle spent his formative years playing soccer, lacrosse, hockey and every Call of Duty game known to man. He’s always done well in school, and worked hard to earn his way into a great college and a spot on the university’s lacrosse team.

As you read here a week or so ago, he also turned into a fine, courageous young man. We’re very proud of what he’s become, and while we’ll miss him when he heads back to Dallas tomorrow, we know it’s the state he’d eventually like to call home.

In lieu of gifts, Kyle would like everyone to pray for an LSU win in tonight’s College Football Playoff National Championship.

Seriously. It’s literally all he wants.