Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2006: 10

   On Saturday, September 9, we ate an early breakfast at the Hampton Inn in Hillville, VA and were on the road by 7:00 AM. Traffic was light and the day was perfect for driving, so we made good time. We stopped for lunch at the Atlanta Bread Company in Cumming, GA. We arrived at Bill and Stacey's house at around 1:30 PM. We took a tour of the newly finished basement area which is almost as big as our whole house. We all went out to Publix for shopping and then stopped at Wilkes Market for meat before heading back home. We grilled chicken and veggie burgers for dinner. Cathy and Bill enjoyed having a suite downstairs. On Sunday, Sarah got everyone up early. Bill and son Bill went out to the Donut Connection to pick up some goodies and a couple of coffees, one decaf for Stacey and one nonfat latte for Bill. After breakfast, Cathy, Bill, and Sarah took a walk using Sarah's wagon. Later, we all went to lunch at Bahama Breeze Restaurant in Alpharetta. Bill ordered a non-alchoholic fruit drink and was served a suspicious concoction which turned out to be something called "A Week at the Beach." Our clueless newbee waiter screwed up the order. Bill tasted something arwry immediately, but couldn't get son Bill or Cathy to judge that there was boozed in the drink. He left the drink undrunk and ordered a strawberry smoothy. The food was much better than the service. We shopped at Toys-R-Us on the way home. During the afternoon, Bill and son Bill set up a wireless network in the new office in the downstairs area. We grilled burgers for dinner. On Monday, Sarah wasn't feeling well and had a slight fever. During the night, around 11:30 PM, Sarah was very hot and shaking, so we all piled in the minivan and took her to Children's Hospital. Son Bill drove the usually long trip down 400 in 21 minutes at around 85 mph. The emergency room was quite a scene: crying babies, illegals trying to get normal medical care for their kids, really sick infants with really upset parents, and a very diverse group of people. The ER is staffed by an independent contractor whose main mission is to make money, so service is more like that of a slow restaurant than what one should expect at a hospital. We were given a pager after proving that we could pay for service. After a very long wait, Sarah was screened and given some Tylenol, something that should have happened immediately. Then we were back waiting with a pager again for an even longer time. Finally, Sarah was brought back to an examination room and diagnosed as having a fever, a nice piece of detective work. At around 3:45 AM, we headed back up 400 at a slower speed. We were back home at 4:30 AM. On Tuesday, everyone was tired. Stacey and Sarah had separate doctors' appointments in different towns. Stacey was 2 cm dialated and Sarah had a fever. It started to rain by mid-afternoon. Bill cooked pasta with onions, raisins, and pine nuts for dinner. On Wednesday, Stacey and Son Bill had separate doctors' appointments. Stacey was re-scheduled for very early Thursday morning. On Wednesday night, Bill and Stacey headed into Atlanta to stay overnight in a hotel close to the hospital. Bill and Cathy were in charge of Sarah, or vice-versa. We got her to bed without much problem and ate dinner in the basement so as to not disturb her. Bill slept upstairs so that he could keep close tabs on Sarah, especially with regard to her temperature. Bill got up at 1:30 AM to check her and found her cool and sleeping well. On Thursday morning, Sarah got up shortly after 6:00 AM. We heard that our new grandson, Billy was born a little after 8:00 AM. His birth weight was 8 lbs 5 oz, the same as his father. Bill, Cathy, and Sarah took a couple of walks around the neighborhood with Sarah in her wagon. We also drove out to some stores for errands. Bill and Cathy got a good takeout meal from the Rice Restaurant in the Publix shopping center. Sarah cried for a bit in the middle of the night when Bill went into her room to check on her temperature, which was normal. On Friday morning, Sarah had a temperature of 97.4, so it looked as if her fever was finally gone. Bill and Cathy wrestled the futon from the family room into "their" bedroom in anticipation of a new sofa arriving for the family room. The sofa arrived about 11:30 AM. We ate lunch, loaded into the mini-van, and drove to the Marriot Courtyard in the Perimeter District of Atlanta to meet Son Bill. We dropped Sarah at Son Bill's room and walked to the hospital to visit with Stacey and Billy. Billy was fairly quiet; he was probably contemplating all of the good football matchups that he would watch on TV with his father on Saturday. After a pleasant visit with mother and son, we drove to Chequers Seafood Grill and had a fabulous al fresco dinner. We picked up Sarah at 7:00 PM and drove back home in relatively light traffic. Bill watched "Flight Plan" on TV and thought it was as stupid a plot as he has ever seen. Sarah had a good night's sleep and, consequently, so did we. Saturday morning was beautiful! The sky was cloudless and the humidity was very low. We took a wagon-pulling lap around the neighborhood followed by Bill doing another lap without the wagon and Sarah playing in her sandbox under Cathy's watchful gaze. Bill finished a couple of projects and then we all went to Publix for some shopping. When we returned, we ate lunch and then Sarah took a nap while Bill watched two high-definition football games on the 50" plasma TV with picture-in-picture. Later in the afternoon, two friends of Son Bill and Stacey, Nittie and Shinton, came over to visit with us and Sarah. Son Bill returned home for dinner, much to Sarah's delight. Sunday, September 18, was a good day for Sarah. It was also good for Bill because he finally took his kayak to Six Mile Creek and launched into Lake Lanier. He fished and paddled and didn't catch any fish. Sarah got to spend a lot of time playing outside with her tricycle and swing set. We also took Sarah on a long drive to Harry's Farmers Market in Alpharetta. There was lots of good looking produce and the biggest fish counter we've ever seen. We bought some nice swordfish steaks for dinner. When we returned home, we played with Sarah until her dinnertime. Stacey, Son Bill, and Billy arrived at 5:45 PM. Sarah wasn't too sure that she liked the idea of a baby in the house. After she went to bed, the adults enjoyed a grilled swordfish dinner. Son Bill and Stacey dug in for a long night with Billy while we headed for bed. A new era had begun in the household.

        Bill and Cathy