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June 25, 2008 - Wednesday, 1:46 p.m.

June is almost over...

Where does the time go? It's been a warm summer so far, but we've gotten by without air conditioning. The fans are going all the time, but still I climb under the covers at night to keep warm.

A month ago we had Scott's 40th Birthday Party. It was a nice party. Lots of good food and plenty of company. He really enjoyed it. It was one of the nicest birthday parties that he'd had in years. Then a week later Megan headed off to Maine for her Youth Year of Service at Greenacre. She is enjoying it so far, but I miss having her around.

Life at work has felt unsettled most of this year. I feel like I am in the constant state of getting ready to go on a long vacation. Feeling driven to tie up lose ends and get things in order before I leave,except it has nothing to do with a vacation. It feels like at any moment they could shut down my department and that would be that. There have been rumors of Union interest in the Fab here. That would put the last nail in the coffin, and they'd shut down the Fab if that happens. I guess the intent to go to 8 inch capability has been put on hold until this is settled. There was a communications meeting with the hourly people in the last week or so. There were promises again of re-evaluation of pay to match the industry more closely. I worry that this new promise is too late, so many promises in the past and so few of them delivered.

The state of the economy is not very comforting either. Gas prices are over $4 per gallon now. It seems a life time ago that I was miffed that gas had gone over $1 per gallon. Increases in gas prices cascade over to increased food costs. Flooding in the Midwest and fires in California aren't going to bode well for produce and grain prices. There looks to be little hope for many home owners who are in jeopardy of losing their homes. I thank God that I was able to get my loan refinanced before all this!

My life is changing. There have been really good things happening, like meeting Scott and getting married. And then there are things that make me a little melancholy like my boys growing up and all getting ready to go out on their own. Curtis is working hard on his weight, which is the only thing keeping him out of the Air Force. I worry some about him being in the military, but overall I think it is a good move for him. Justin and Philip are both looking to be out of the house by the end of summer.

These are days that I will treasure all of my life. I have been so blessed to see my boys grow into men, and become more then brothers. They are best friends. How wonderful it has been for them to have spent so much time together as adults. All the worry when they were fighting terribly in their teens that they might never actually like each other has slipped away.

It's the end of an era. This is the last summer they'll all be together and with me. I have enjoyed having them around, I've loved all the activity. All the people in and out of the house. Life is going to go to a much quieter place. There are good things about that as well, but I will miss it very much. My 'nest' won't be empty, but it'll never be like this again.

My house has felt like it has been in a permanent state of disarray for months now. So many things with no place to be. Not enough closet space or dresser drawer space. So much I just look at and think "now where am I going to put THAT?" There is a lot that needs to be gone through and thrown away. Where will the time to do that come from?

I worry about Camille's health. She struggles so hard with debilitating migraines and her weight is a concern. It is effecting her knees so much now that it is restricting her ability to get around. I'm not ready to lose my sister and yet I don't know what to do to help. She talked to me about putting in order all the correspondence I have of Grandma Shipman's. I have the letters between her and Grandpa from before they were married and then some when he went to work in Montana for a while. Camille would like to write Grandma's life story. She lived from 1901 until 2002. There were a lot of changes in those years.

Scott keeps thinking about jobs in the Northwest, specifically Washington. It would really be nice to live there, but I don't think now is necessarily the right time to do that. He was talking about a job again yesterday and I said that he really needed to talk to Alex about it. Scott needs to know what Alex is willing to put up with rather then be away from his brother. I think if we were to move, their mom would offer Alex the chance to move back with her. I know that he really doesn't want to live with his Mom, but it may be that being away from his brother is less attractive. Scott would be crushed if both kids stayed with their Mom. Alex didn't have an immediate answer, so it would be a tough choice for him. I know that it is frustrating and pulls at Scott's self esteem to not be working at a job that he went to school for. And that he sees the Northwest as having more opportunities for him. I so wish he'd find something in HR. It would make a huge difference.

Alex is struggling with school. I know that it is something that Scott has tried to work with him on. He tries to motivate Alex, but nothing seems to work. I think, somehow, that Alex has very low confidence in himself. He doesn't quite feel like he CAN do well. He feels that this is the best he can do, and doesn't try harder. How does one shift that belief in another person? How do you make someone believe that they can do anything?! Alex is very forgetful about things he doesn't care about, like his jobs around the house or laundry, but when it comes to stuff he likes he remembers a TON of information, so it isn't about capacity, it's about belief and interest. The years are slipping by quickly for Alex. He'll be 15 in December and he'll be in 8th grade (if he can make this summer class count). If he excelled he could still graduate by 18, but if he falls another year behind he'll never graduate high school, as they don't let kids remain in school after age 19. He'd have to GED. I wish I had some amazing fool-proof method to make him believe that "anything is possible, you just have to want it and focus on it."

I wrote another letter to Nancy today. She's been moved away for a long time now. They are now in Pennsylvania. Her husband's health isn't good and she spends a great deal of time helping him. He's a big man, more then twice her size and in a wheel chair with a bad heart. I imagine she is working herself very hard. I heard from her around Mother's Day, and I thought, even if she doesn't write me back, I am going to try to write her more often, maybe give her a bright spot in some of her days.

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