Archive for April 14th, 2012

Settling in

White Sox home opener, 2012. Hot dogs, fireworks, Jack Ingram singing the national anthem, cheering, a fly-over. Both pitchers settled in right from the start, but it took Whitney a little longer — it was the fifth inning before she could sit down!

The White Sox put on a great show – Mike and I had a ball. It was one heck of a well-played, entertaining baseball game. If you appreciate the game, you appreciate great defense, and there was a lot of it: a diving catch in left field by Dayan Viciedo, and shortstop Alexei Ramirez started a double play with a terrific play behind second. Jake Peavy, who suffered a horrendous injury (a muscle literally tore off the bone) two years ago pitched great. The Detroit starter, Max Scherzer, was almost as good for most of the game, so the game went quickly.

Whitney doesn’t yet appreciate the game, so I’m afraid her favorite part of the day was trotting down the ramp to leave the park and go home!

Opening Day started a week of firsts for Whitney. It’s Spa Week in Chicago, so I’ll be celebrating Monday, getting my first massage since coming home with Whitney in December. Will she sit quietly for the entire hour? We’ll see.

And then, this Wednesday Whitney takes a train with me to Champaign where she’ll be asked to sit through her first university lecture: I’m giving a talk to an animal sciences class at the University of Illinois. I plan on telling the students what it’s been like transitioning to a new Seeing Eye dog, then going over some of the qualifications necessary to become a guide dog instructor. Most guide dog schools require instructors to have a college degree and then do an apprenticeship, and some apprenticeships last as long as four years.

Considering that guide dog schools are non-profit organizations, I would guess the pay for apprentices and instructors is far below what a lot of today’s college educated people expect to earn. If you’re looking for job satisfaction, though, this kind of work must be pretty dang rewarding – I’m hoping my talk might motivate some of these University of Illinois students to consider it as a career. I’m also hoping Whitney will settle in to her first university lecture a whole lot faster than she did for her first baseball game – there won’t be any fireworks or hot dogs, and everything I’ll be talking about will be old news to her!

Another great-grandchild for Flo: Addie Rose.

We’ll cap off our week of firsts on Friday when Whitney will attend her first birthday party for Flo, who will be 96 years old on April 20. We’ll ride a commuter train to Elmhurst and meet Flo and other family members to celebrate at the wine bar across from the train station. No need to bring presents; Flo says she already got the gift she wanted. Her 20th great-grandchild, a healthy little girl named Addie Rose, was born on Friday. We’ve got a lot to celebrate, and It’s going to be one joyful celebration. Cheers!


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