[Author’s note: In fairness, I have debated a number of different ways of telling our story of the past months… from order of life-altering importance to a homage to the non-linear narrative of William Burroughs. In the end, let us begin at the beginning, and start chronologically. I will try to tell episodes and break it up as much as I sensibly can.]
First off, I think a word of explanation is needed. Periods of silence don’t come without reason, and usually the reason is due to being overwhelmed in some way shape or form. That was certainly the case for us this past year, and it started this summer.
For those who may not remember, I’ve been working on a control system for a large plant in Kazakhstan for the past few years. In engineering, work has ebbs and flows and my work reached its hectic crescendo over the summer. I was shipping two very large buildings at the end of summer and there was a MASSIVE amount of work to make that happen. What that meant to the family was that I was away for weeks at a time in northern England. Regularly, I would work for two weeks, come home for the weekend, and then be gone for two more weeks. This is what it was like for me the past summer. Each time I went through King’s Cross railroad station. I know exactly where platform 9 ¾ is located!
Work was at least 10 hours a day for the time I was there. I would go to work, go out with co-workers to one of the local restaurants, grab a drink, rinse and repeat. It’s hard work and it’s hard on you.
The tough part is that it’s hard on your family. When you’re gone for that long, it puts a strain on your family. The little breaks in your day that you would get when your partner would help out… time to take a calm shower… time to plan meals for the week… time to… relax. This time is, well, scarce. Not only that, your child misses you as well. FaceTime is nice and it’s thrilling to hear ‘Daddy! Hi, Daddy!’ when you call.
Libby was able to keep busy, though. She became very active in her gym. Duke and she were regulars. Libby would go to workout classes while Duke would play his heart out in the crèche. After class, she would stay for coffee afterwards with her friends. She became really close to them and she would always talk about how much fun she had. Afterwards, Libby and Duke would go exploring. There are lots of little trails around our little village and our little park was just around the corner as well.
Luckily for us, we also had help! Our friend Kathryn, in particular, was a tremendous help to us during this time. She regularly came over and Duke loves her!
She also was gracious enough to allow us to have the occasional date night.
So while the summer was very tough on us, we did manage to sneak in some really great times over the summer. All work and no play… and speaking of play, we had some serious fun when our friends came to visit. More on that in the next post!
Until then, we hope you’re well!
Derek, Libby, Duke, and…