It’s time for a mid-election “amateur dude potpourri”

From David: Well, this has been a trip. A couple of weeks ago, I’d been noticing some strange heart arrhythmia – which isn’t all that unusual for me – but this time it felt different, so I told Ben I’d like to run up to K.C. to have it checked out. He drove me up to St. Lukes North and left me at the emergency room (“visitors” aren’t allowed inside due to Covid concerns). Within an hour, they had me in an ambulance headed to St. Lukes main hospital on the Plaza. I was in intensive care for a few days until they got my heart under control… then installed a “defibrillator” – which can restore a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to my heart.
And that’s how we ended up in K.C. and what I did while there. I’m very fortunate. I had one of the World’s leading “cardiac electrophysiologists” taking care of me and doing magical things I can’s even imagine. We’re back home now – and so very happy to be here. I’m feeling fine and have scheduled some cardiac rehab over the coming weeks. Dub wanted to see my “scar” so I showed it to him. He said “What’s this lump?” I said, “Well, Dub, it’s a super-power pack. Now that I have it, I’ll be able to leap tall buildings with a single bound… and lots of other neat stuff.” He just grinned and said “NUH.UH. I think it’s to make your heart beat regular.” I said, “Well, that too, but I’ll still be leaping a lot of tall buildings.” He said “Sure, dad. I’m glad you’re home.” Then he gave me a big hug. 🙂
From Ben: I feel like we’ve really “been through the wringer” these last couple of weeks. Being in K.C. and limited to one visit with David per day was really tough, but I knew he was receiving the best cardiac care in the World and that’s what’s important.
While in K.C., I stayed with “Dr.C” and his amazing wife – who treated me like a rock star. “Dr.C” has an complete a/v studio in his home where he can “tune in” to classrooms – either in-person or remote learning. From there, I could get on-line and participate in classes at the “Table Rock campus,” so I spent lots of time working with Chad and the kids at the lake. I also “met” with the faculty and curriculum committees and we got a lot of things worked out.
When we got back to the Lake, I had several messages from “Alyssa’s grandmother and her attorney – wanting to meet with me “at my earliest convenience.” So, on Saturday, I went over to her house. It’s a large home on an acreage outside of Branson.
I met her attorney and we talked briefly… until “Miss Evelyn” pushed herself into the room in a wheel chair. She looked nice – despite some sagging on the right side of her face. She’d obviously just had her “hair done” and was wearing a sort of soft silver dressing gown. At first, she struggled to talk and it was difficult to understand her, but I caught on after a minute or two. She said “This damned stroke is a pain in the ass, so please be patient with me. I’m honored to meet you. May I call you Ben?” I said, “Please do.” She said “I’d like it if you call me Evelyn.” I told her I thought it was a pretty name.
She said “First. I know you. We’ve hired private investigators and they’ve provided us a great deal of information. I know about your father, your Cousin Donnie, his wife Angie and Dub. I know about all your friends and the wonderful kids you’ve adopted. Although we’ve not met, I feel like I know Chance and Bella and Travon and Austin and Matty and their Dads. I realize this is all terribly intrusive, but it’s legal and it’s information I felt I needed.”
That blizzard of information pissed me off… and I finally said “Congratulations. If you need additional facts like blood types or underwear sizes, by all means let me know.”
She said “Please don’t be mad with me. I just felt I had to know these things. Now I’ll tell you about Alyssa and me. I’m not her grandmother. In fact, we aren’t related at all. I’m blessed to have been left independently wealthy by a husband who passed many years ago. I’ve been actively involved in charity work and the anti-abortion movement for many years. I met Alyssa’s mother when she was waiting for an abortion at a small clinic over by Springfield. I tried to talk her out of it, but couldn’t. She didn’t want a baby. She wasn’t in love with the sperm donor and had no interest in marriage. Long story short, I paid her to have the baby. Twenty thousand dollars. I also paid the sperm donor a thousand. After the birth, they both provided DNA information and signed away legal rights to the child. Neither of them ever even looked at the baby. My plan was to find her a “perfect home” but it’s taken much longer than it should have. These past weeks while she’s been in your school she’s been happier than we’ve ever seen her. She laughs and sings and jabbers about her “friends” and learning to speak Spanish and French and making pottery. I’ve had a stroke and can’t provide proper care. She needs to be a part of your group and I’m offering her to you for adoption.” I’m a wealthy woman and plan to send her to you with considerable means. It’s just that simple and I’m willing to work with you to make whatever arrangement you find acceptable.”
I was stunned. I just sat there for a while listening to the ticking of what sounded like a grandfathers’ clock somewhere down a hallway. I finally said “It’s been a pleasure meeting you. This is a lot of information. I’ll go home now and talk with my husband. And our friends. I’ll show myself out.
On my way home, I just kept asking myself “What just happened, Ben. What tha fuck just happened?

We think the best dudes are amateur dudes!

It’s official… we have a new student in our little Table Rock classroom. It’s a long story that’s still developing, so we’ll update you as time goes by. Our newbie is a a delightful 7-year old girl named “Alyssa”, who was referred to us by our Minister. She’s lived all her life in Branson with her grandmother who recently suffered a severe stroke and is currently living in an assisted living facility that specializes in stroke rehabilitation. Since the stroke, “Alyssa” has been self-quarantining with an older couple that’s active in our Church. She has her own i-phone and i-pad and has been doing “virtual school.” The couple she’s been staying with has been concerned about her education and feels she needs to be interacting with other students on a daily basis. So… our Minister contacted me wanting to know if we’d consider another student. I talked with David – and the other members of the gang and everyone thought we should do everything we can to help her. I talked with “Dr C” and he’s really excited. He says he thinks she’ll make a wonderful addition to our ” Table Rock student body.” Alyssa has been tested twice for Covid and takes and records her own temperature every morning and evening. She’s been in our school for a week (the people she’s staying with bring her over each morning and pick her up after school). Academically, she’s “totally lost” and it makes me realize just how “advanced” our kids are. But they’re crazy about her and have been really good to help her understand what we’re doing in the classroom. Dub started calling her “Lissa” as soon as he met her and it’s stuck with the others. She smiles a lot and obviously loves all the attention.
So that’s what’s happening here. We haven’t posted much lately because things have been real busy with school and closing down the summer lake stuff, but we promise to do better in the coming weeks. xoxo Ben (and David).


We’re all really “pumped” because WE VOTED today. This year, any registered Missouri voter can vote by mail – due to the Covid threat. We sent in our “Mail-in ballot requests” on August 25th and our ballots arrived by mail yesterday. Of course, Missouri wanted to make voting by mail as difficult as possible so they require that ballot signatures be notarized. Our attorneys have a young lawyer in the office who is a notary, so he came over this morning (wearing mask, gloves and shoe coverings). We all (sort-of) ignored how CUTE he is while he notarized our ballot signatures. Then David took the ballots to the Kimberling City post office and mailed them. Now we won’t have to burst our “covid bubble” here at the lake by going to the polls on Nov. 3rd. It’s a wonderful feeling!
On an unrelated subject, we surprised the kids last Friday when “Patricia” came over to begin teaching them about pottery. Dub and Austin figured out that “throw a pot” is “jeter un pot” in French or “tiara uno olli” in Spanish, which was news to Chad, Patricia and me. It was just an introductory session but he kids had a blast (there’s nothing kids like more than playing in mud and potting clay is a lot like that). Bella and Tra took the work very seriously and probably made the best pots of the day. Patricia helped each of them work out a potters signature and date their work. We’ll continue with the training for at least the current quarter – and probably much longer. xoxo Ben