“Random notes ‘n’ stuff” was already taken.

I sit staring down at a little creature in a kick-n-play and wonder how I could love so much something which wasn’t a part of my daily existence even three months ago. He stretches and yawns, hiccups and burps. He yells loudly when unhappy, leaving Erin and I frequently to guess at the cause. He flashes occasional radiant smiles. He sucks his hands to comfort himself. He sleeps a lot. He probably loves us both to the extent he can, which all any parent can ask. It’s been two months, but I’m still awed by the whole thing.

Last night was supposed to the closing of our house refinance but the title company rep was a no-show, so we’re rescheduled for Friday evening. It’s unclear what the deal is with First American Title Insurance Company, but I’m inclined to think that they’re boneheads. I’ll refrain from further complaint just as long as my loan goes through.

We had four Mormon missionaries out here this morning to help weed the side yard by the pathway down to the park. Elders Jackson, Ferrin, Green, and Tonks are nice guys. Like every LDS member I’ve ever met they’re unfailingly polite and genuinely happy. I spoke with Elders Jackson and Ferrin a couple weeks ago (see All visitors welcome on June 7), at the conclusion of which they volunteered to help me with whatever service project I could dream up. Well, I can dream mightily.

When they dropped by a few days ago to ask if I had thought of anything, I laid before them the idea of weeding the path to the park and removing the blackberry bushes from the parkside of our backyard (as they continue to encroach on our property). The Elders asked if they could bring a couple of other missionaries as well. You betcha.

Today the four of them worked along the side path down to the park while I hauled out as much yard debris as possible (over huge four bins worth). Temperatures were in the low 90s so I also made a point of keeping them hydrated with water, lemonade, and whatever soda wouldn’t offend their sensibilities (since Mormons, as a rule, don’t drink caffeine). They did lots of hard work, but we didn’t finish before the pizzas I ordered came, we ate lunch, and called it a good day’s work.

Interestingly, since they didn’t finish, they volunteered to come back next Tuesday and keep going. This I think is very cool, by which I mean both in their willingness to continue working and how the park pathway will look when we’re done. Since we’ll be laying a weedblock mesh and bark nuggets down, I expect that the path will look fantastic, and it will provide me with the opportunity to start building the side retaining wall if I so desire. That’s an expensive proposition, so I’ll have to think about it, but in the long run it’s absolutely where I’m heading.

With much help from and thanks to the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.