Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2007: 2

   After returning from our transatlantic cruise on Wednesday night, May 2, we stayed overnight at Alex and Phil's home in Glen Mills, PA. On Thursday morning, we went with Alex to drop Bridget at daycare; we needed to become familiar with the route to daycare and Bridget's classroom there. My mid-morning we were ready to head home. We stopped at Gallo's GMC in Vineland, NJ to pick up our RV and dropped it in our storage yard in Cape May Court House. On Cathy's inspiration, we ate lunch outside at the Lobster House in Cape May. It was sunny and warm and a great choice for lunch. We finally showed up at home around 2:00 PM. Our friend Jim Sosna had set some things up for us to smooth out our return. We found that some mice had been running amok while we were gone. We set some traps and trapped a mouse during the early evening. We ate a tortellini dinner and watched some back episodes of Sopranos while we ate. We found ourselves suffering from jet lag and were quite ready for bed at 11:00 PM. On Friday, we attended to some more details of returning from a trip. We walked along the Bay during the afternoon. We watched some more episodes of Sopranos and one episode of 24 on Friday night. Saturday was another beautiful day with lots of sun and warmth. We ran a lot of errands on Saturday morning. During the afternoon, we drove to Cape May Point and walked into Cape May. Bill picked up a 2008 calendar from Corey Gilbert and put the information on his website. We caught another mouse on Saturday. We caught up on the rest of 24 on Saturday night. On Sunday, we spent a good bit of the day reorganizing the computer area upstairs. The end result was a huge improvement. On Sunday evening, we caught up on the rest of Entourage and then watched the new episodes of Sopranos and Entourage. On Monday morning, we found our fifth mouse since returning home. We will continue to trap them as needed. We checked in with Alex during mid-morning and then took a 6 mile walk along the Bay. It was windy and chilly. After lunch we ran some errands. We caught up with the episodes of Lost after dinner. On Tuesday, we tackled some outside chores. Cathy worked on cutting back roses and decorative grasses; Bill killed weeds in the driveway. After lunch, we worked on straightening up the storage area upstairs. Jim and Linda rode their bikes over for a visit. While they were still visiting, Tim, our exterminator, came in and set several mouse traps in our cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. He also put out mouse baits under the house. Later, we went to dinner at Luck Bones, but were disappointed in the lack of fresh fish on the menu. On Wednesday morning, Bill checked all of the mouse traps and everything was clear. Bill also did a bit of work for Aqua Trails, updating their website. We saw our first dolphins of the year, in front of the house. After lunch we walked along the Bay. Alex called and we all decided that we should stay up in Glen Mills until after the new baby arrived. We had dinner at home and then drove to Alex and Phil's with no traffic. We talked for a while after we arrived and headed for bed, after we all watched "Lost" of course. On Thursday, we familiarized ourselves with the routes to Erin's school and Bridget's daycare. Bill got in an hour's worth of walking in and around the neighborhood. We picked up Erin and Bridget at daycare and then drove to to Giant and then to Starbucks for hot chocolate for the girls and a Frappuccino for Bill. We started taking bets on when Alex would deliver while we all ate dinner. After dinner we watched part of "Children of Men" which was violent and confusing. Friday morning, Katie and Rachel came over for the day. It was a beautiful day, so we spent some time outside. Also, Katie and Bill made some arrangements for our trip to California in the fall. We all went to dinner at McKenzie Brew Pub which had good food in a kid-friendly atmosphere. Afterward, we stopped at Bru-sters ice cream store; Bill has been avoiding desserts since the cruise, so he abstained. We all went to a nearby playground until dusk. We watched some of "Planet Earth" before bedtime. On Saturday morning, Bridget had a doctor's appointment for her coughing; she was accompanied by Alex and Cathy. Erin went off to a friend's house for the day. Phil did some household chores. Bill worked on confirming our cruise for next spring break and inputting embarkation information. The cruise will be for Bill, Cathy, Erin, and Bridget on the new ship, Carnival Freedom. Phil, Bill, and Bridget ran some errands to Borders, Dick's, and the playground during the afternoon. Cathy cooked a good pasta dinner. After dinner, we viewed part of "Music and Lyrics" - pretty good for a chick flick. Sunday was Mothers Day. The mothers among us received some cards and gifts. After breakfast, Alex decided to be a mother again and headed for the hospital. At 1:57 PM, Baby Garrett was born at a whopping 9 lbs, 5 oz. Katie, Tom, and Rachel had arrived and were able to enjoy the text messages updating the proceedings from Phil and the photos and video that he sent to us. We called Son Bill and shared the good news. Katie and Tom headed home during mid-afternoon. We took the girls to the Crozer Chester Hospital to see Alex and Garrett. Unfortunately, Garrett was only available to us through the nursery window, but we did get to visit with Alex. We ate in the hospital's Department of Lousy Food in the atrium. Phil stayed on until late evening; we took the girls home before 8:00 PM. On Monday morning, Bill got a chance to do the NY Times crossword before driving Bridget to daycare. We stopped at Starbucks for coffees and newspaper on the way back. Bill did a power walk for 45 minutes while Cathy showered. After lunch, we both got a chance to take an almost 2 hour walk. The day was a spring beauty with warm temperature, low humidity, and flowering trees enhancing the sights and smells. We drove to a florist to get a flower arrangement for Alex and then picked up the girls and drove them to the hospital. We were all pleased that Garrett was in the room. He was alert as various people held him (not Bill, who prefers kids over 6 months old). Alex was doing well also and was in good spirits. Five of us drove to a pizza joint for dinner on the way home. We watched "24" later in the evening. Tuesday was a nice warm day. Erin got on the school bus and we dropped Bridget at daycare, followed by Starbucks and grocery shopping. In late morning, Cathy, Bill, and Phil, in 2 cars, stopped at WaWa for lunch stuff and went to the hospital. We ate lunch with Alex and then helped get mother and baby ready for departure. Bill pulled the minivan around to the main entrance and the rest of the gang exited the hospital. Cathy and Bill headed to Walmart and then daycare to pickup the girls. Everybody met back at the Stoops' home, different now with a baby boy in residence. Garrett was the center of attention back at the house for the rest of the week. He proved to be a good baby with some crying times at night. The other kids kept up a normal week of school and daycare, punctuated by a Phillies game on Thursday afternoon involving Bill, Phil, Erin, and Bridget, where they enjoyed the weather and the game. A streaker enlivened the seventh inning stretch. Katie and Rachel came over on Friday and stayed for lunch and dinner. During the late afternoon, Katie, Phil, Bill, and the 3 kids went to Thornbury park for the playground, some walking, and some bike riding. Alex's "Moms Club" provided great meals on Wednesday and Friday nights for dinner. We decided to head home for the weekend, so we left Glen Mills at a bit before 10:00 AM on Saturday. We ate lunch at Lucky Bones before arriving home to process mail. We spent the remainder of the afternoon attending to household chores. At 4:30 PM, we went to a surprise 60th birthday party for our friend Wayne Mazurak. It was a successful surprise and a good time for us as we caught up with several friends. Bill encountered Dave Smith, who had crossed the Bay with him in 1997. Later, in the ACME, we ran into Beth and Lauren Findlay and chatted with them at length. When we arrived back home, Bill felt the need to watch our HDTV and so we viewed most of the movie, "V is for Venetta", which was incomprehensible, but had good photography and special effects. The wind increased on Sunday, but we managed to do some walking anyway. Bill spent some time at the Armada and Water's Edge motels in Wildwood, installing software. The new computer at Armada had Vista on it, which caused several errors. Later in the afternoon, Bill researched the errors and found that Vista did not support the animations provided by Microsoft Agent, needed by older versions of Office. We enjoyed good fish dinners at Louisa's in the evening. Bill headed back to Armada bright and early Monday morning and installed Microsoft Agent. Bill also readied two laptops for networking. The Armada's computer person came and failed to complete the networking due to unfamiliarity with Vista, another in a series of flawed Microsoft products. We left to return to Glen Mills during the early afternoon. We all had a good week adjusting to the baby. The season enders for "24" and "Lost" punctuated the days. The weather got hot and summery. By Friday, the Stoops' pool was open and functioning. Bill did some running and walking during the week, trying to get into better condition. Memorial Day weekend was very summery. The temperature got into the 80s each day, so there was lots of swimming. We tried to get some exercise each day. On Saturday, Katie, Tom, and Rachel came over for the afternoon and for dinner. Pete and Amy also joined the crowd. On Sunday, we had an early dinner and then Bill, Phil, Erin, and Bridget went to see "Shrek the Third"; they all loved it. On Monday, Bill drove to Katie and Tom's for the day. Bill and Katie spent 3 hours kayaking in Lake Nockamixon, north of Doylestown. They stopped at a WaWa for hoagies to eat back at the house. After Rachel's nap, Bill, Katie, and Tom went for a 6 mile hike around Lake Galena; Tom carried Rachel in a backpack for the distance. After the hike they all went to Roman Delight for a good dinner. Bill got back to Glen Mills around 9:30 PM. Monday was our last day helping with the new baby. Alex and Garrett were doing well and Alex had done some driving on Sunday to make sure that she was able. We dropped Bridget at daycare and then packed up and left around 10:30 AM. We ate lunch outside at the Lobster House. When we arrived back home, we moved back in for the season. Later in the afternoon, we drove to Cape May Point to take a walk on the beach. It was good to be back.


        Bill and Cathy