Wednesday, December 7, 2011

41 - The Wildest Birthday of them All

Do you remember your 41st birthday? No, not 40 or 30 or 21. 41. I remember mine. It was last week. Betcha I remember it for decades to come too! You’re probably thinking. Hmmm, is 41 a magical Fraser birthday?  Do they do something weird in the Northwest for 41?  Nope.

My sweet wife booked a condo for the family near the ocean last weekend. A great way for the family to celebrate. Day one went great. We all drove up to Bellingham (very close to Canada) after another great Portage Bay Breakfast in Seattle (another entry someday). We explored Bellingham and Birch Bay (a tiny town even closer to the Canadian border), ate some more, and swam in the heated pool.

At 4pm on day two, Jana wakes up from a nap to the sound of a sheriff on a bullhorn. I was watching football so I hadn’t heard a thing. The sheriffs were calling for a man to come out of his condo – a mere 15 yards from ours. After an hour we decided to make the trek back to Bellingham for dinner. The three patrol cars were still there as were the sheriffs. We brought a couple extra items just in case, but were hopeful that whatever delinquent was being coaxed from his apartment would behave and walk downstairs.

As we left the condo, the kids kept asking what was happening. “The police came to arrest the man for not eating his vegetables” we told them. One rolled her eyes, one’s eyes lit up, and one’s eyes were glossed over (he didn’t understand my humor). But we were concerned enough to know that we may not be spending the night in our nice little getaway.

After departing the Olive Garden, child number two began coughing that distinctive cough. There really is no way to descibe it.  You just know it.  The one where you don’t have a cough but something else is seriously wrong. Then she made those moans in the car and began crying. Only one thing was the result – vomit! She’s never puked before, so it was a new experience for all. (Her older sister and all of our pets barf all the time, however.)

A 25 minute drive back to the…oh yeah, standoff. Oh, no. What if it’s still going on? Well. It was. Now the entire road was blocked off. What about my phone? Jana’s medicine? Fresh clothes for the puker? Oh well. Better than getting shot!

We said a quick prayer for the safety of the sheriffs and drove 25 minutes back to Bellingham to find a hotel. After checking in Mama headed for the room with three confused kids. Daddy put the towels and clothing with vomit onto the hood of the car to minimize the fermentation in the Toyota. I borrowed some Febreeze and wiped the seat down. Because it was 30 degrees outside, I knew everything would freeze – but who cares? At least it ain’t in the car!

Well, all was resolved in the morning. It's amazing what a solid four hours of sleep can do! Only one other puking wake-up and only a few hours of lost sleep. Apparently there had been a serious threat along with a gun. More sheriffs and patrol cars including an armored car. An arrest was made and no one was hurt. We showered, laundered, and cleaned. Then we drove two hours south in a smelly car (the Febreeze didn’t cover all sins) and arrived at home where we spent the next three hours REALLY washing the seat, showering, laundering, and cleaning.
Here’s to a very boring 42!

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