Poor Michelle has been laid low with allergies. She had to go so far as to take some benadryl last night (which I refer to as "the nuclear option", since it knocks you out cold, giving you relief either through anti-histamine action or pure stupefacation). In my loooong experience with allergy misery, getting away from the allergen and sleeping are about the only two things that are effective once you're getting the beat down.
Since I take Zyrtec nearly every day, I have a glow of magical armor around me that does a good job of repelling most allergens. It is, alas, not impenetrable - last winter we played a round of frisbee golf in a cedar forest, and I was laid out for two days afterwards.
On Sunday, our neighborhood organized a block party. We have never, as far as I remember, had one in the eight years I have lived in the house. They ostensible reason was to celebrate that our streets have finally been repaved after apprx 15 months of water line work. I'm not going to missing driving over and around the holes in the street on the way to work, nor dodging the dirt movers that would move from corner to corner over the past several months.
Michelle wanted to go but had to stay at home (see: allergies). I walked the two blocks over the party at 4 pm. For a spur of the moment thing, they had done a great job. They blocked off the street for about four house lengths with plain old saw horses. Inside the horses, they put out a few tables for the potlucked goods. The organizers had ponied up to grill some hot dogs and everything else was either bring your own or rely on luck.
A couple of the scruffy neighborhood kids set up their band equipment another four or so houselengths down - they were concerned that they'd be too loud for us oldsters. It was actually really nice. Us old busted fogies swilled beer and ate hotdogs while they rocked out; the teenaged kids hung out by the rock band away from our direct influence and observation; and the little kids whizzed back and forth between the band and the kids on their bikes, scooters, skate boards, etc etc.
We did a cheezy but funny "human powered parade" to walk around the block and show, uh, our solidarity or something. Then back to the hotdogs and to chat up the neighbors for a few hours. It ended up being a heap of fun.
Today, I plan on wrestling with a VM all afternoon and crying to myself as the market continues to hemorrhage.
Special note: JR had her appendix out this weekend. Michelle was planning on visiting (see: allergies again) to say hi. I think she'll still get up there, but I'm glad that your mom came to town to help take care of the kid. I hope you get to feeling okay. How does one get appendicitis, anyway?
I told Michelle that in order to cheer you up that she should remind you that chicks dig scars.