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Daniel the Pirate

As the Barrel Turns...

Daniel is one month old.  Like all newborns, he is intriguing.  The attention we give to those who have only recently seen the light of day is not meant to neglect or make those older feel less significant.  We are all just very excited about their recent arrival.  I keep telling myself this as everyone sweeps past me like I don’t exist and reach out for baby Daniel. 

I got the chance to visit with Daniel one-on-one when he was 9 days old.  Mommy and GranAnne were both distracted and I snuck into his nursery for a chat.  He was awake, honest.  His blue eyes made contact with my cataracts and we bonded.  No words were necessary.  We communicated like men; grunts, facial expressions and other noises… 

Daniel likes to play Pirate.  It took me a few times to catch on, but I got the hang of it.  He distorts his face, closing his left eye and makes his mouth crooked as if to say Arr and Yarr and such other Pirate words.  Mommy would not let me put a patch over his eye, so he just closes it.  He says nothing.  He communicates silently while I interpret.  He looks at me as if to say, keep quiet or they will hear us and make us stop playing.

After several minutes pass, I realize the goal of the Pirate game.  He began to add leg and arm stretching to the facial expressions.  Then he would tense up.  Toward the end of the game his face turned red too.  He was really getting into this game!   

Then the game was over.  Aye Daniel won.  I didn’t want to play anymore.  His tummy gurgled and then avast, something gave way.  It shivered me timbers. It was time to swab the poopdeck. Ahoy, GranAnne! Do you want to hold Daniel now?  He is awake and happy (but not for long). 

"Prissy" The Labor Delivery Nurse

As the Barrel Turns...

Chelsea, after 42 hours of slow labor and one more examination left for the hospital to be admitted and give birth.  This was as much wishful thinking as reality.  She was fatigued from the physical stress, emotional ups and downs and lack of sleep.  Robert drove her and we waited by the phone for “the call”.

The call came about 10:00 PM and interrupted a Netflix show.  There had been no significant change and they may not be admitted to the hospital.  More disappointment.  The next call was better, they found a reason to keep her.  Chelsea and Robert felt better.  We went for a brief visit and to take some essentials - DVD’s and a laptop. When we arrived at the hospital I had visions of an inept staff that needed constant supervision and oversight by us.  Elaine was the nurse’s name.  I had not yet met her, but I had already named her Prissy (from Gone With The Wind)  I expected her to actually tell Chelsea, “I don’t know nothin bout birthin no babies, Miss Scarlett”.

When Nurse Elaine came into the room all of my anxiety was put to rest.  She was Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresa, combined.  She was probably a Doctor and Chief of the medical staff.  Later on I surmised that she might have been “undercover boss” who owned the entire hospital system and was simply in disguise as a Labor and Delivery nurse.  She was pleasant, yet all business.  She exuded confidence which made us all relax.  She became part of the family immediately.  We were going to make a great team.

Daniel was very considerate of the rest of us.  He decided to wait until the next day to come out.  We went home for the night and came back the next morning for the big event.  Chelsea and Robert were a bit tired.  The room was full of computer monitors beeping and popping, graphs, charts, bags full of liquid and all sorts of stuff.  Each time I tried to check my e-mail on these computers the staff would come in and reset everything.  Why are these modern conveniences in the room if they won’t let you use them?

Chelsea was assigned to a funny looking bed that appeared to be quite uncomfortable.  Robert was very attentive and managed to stay out of the way when staff was in the room.  (I told the nurse that it was Robert that kept messing up the computers because he really needed to check his emails).

I looked around for a pot to boil the water and for sheets to tear.  I was preparing to help Robert as the expectant father.  Everyone knows that those were his natural duties.  Go figure, there was no pot and no burner.  I prepared to go get the fish fryer and propane tank.  I got a decent start on ripping up some sheets before I was asked to help with a mechanical issue.  The maintenance staff needed help and asked me to go buy a left-handed monkey wrench.  I eagerly agreed to do anything to help with the delivery.  The only shop in the area that might have one was near San Antonio. 

I did not locate the much needed left-handed monkey wrench before I got a call to return to the waiting room.  Daniel had been born.  Chelsea and Robert were so relieved!  I am so glad that I was able to help in my own small way.

Elaine and the other shift nurses were all so impressive and professional.  Thank goodness for these skilled professionals who have answered their calling to “protect and serve” those committed to their care.  Prissy, watch and learn!

Boots on the Ground

As the Barrel Turns...

The M6 family “boots on the ground” number increased this past week-end.  Daniel (AKA Chelbert) was be delivered to Chelsea and Robert; a bouncing baby boy.  Robert was calm, cool and collected as any expectant father might be.  He did not have his Go-pro or selfie-stick and he left his catcher’s mitt in the nursery at home.  How could he effectively expect to back up the doctor if Chelbert came out like a line drive that shot past the other attendants?

We got the call on Thursday morning; contractions!  I pulled out the duffel and mindlessly packed some odd items. Anne tells me that I’m doing everything wrong while she talks to Chelsea on the phone.  I realized that I should have prepared more.  I had bills to pay, paychecks to write, reports due that afternoon that should have already been filed and inventoried ordered.  Now was time to react!

The Strategic Air Command will probably re-examine their response protocol after hearing how we prepared for the trip, (either them or the Three Stooges).  I packed two starched shirts, an empty shave kit, yesterday’s dirty socks, gym shorts and dress shoes.  Then I go down to apply my business skills in record time. 


I will find out next month how much I paid on each bill.  Paychecks were exactly correct I’m sure.  All reports were filed on time and payments made.  I’ll makeup for the discrepancies and pay the fines next month also. 

I headed to the Tasting Room to prepare to leave it in capable hands.  In a short time, I handled everything to the point it took Clinton and Ben two extra hours to fix my mistakes.  I felt accomplished.

Anne is equally impressive.  She barks out orders like a five-star General.  I’m gone for nearly an hour before she realizes I’m not there.  The dog is hiding in his kennel.  She has prepared several meals in advance which she packs in the suitcase.  The cooler is full of shoes and crackers.  The celebratory wine and cigars however are packed with care, just in the wrong car.

Anne comes to the winery to organize last minute details for the staff in preparation for upcoming events.  She becomes distracted from her priority by inspecting my efforts and pointing out my mistakes and absentmindedness.  I am attentive as usual and don’t remember anything.  We leave our business in capable hands with a good feeling.  Titanic comes to mind.  By God’s grace, the expectant grandparents arrive in Austin safely.  The contractions now seem to be false labor.  Hmmmmmmm.


As the Barrel Turns...

Chelsea is the M6 Design director.  She is our little artist.  Her artwork hangs in the M6 Gift Shop Gallery.  She drew our M6 Logo and illustrations for our labels.  It is nice to have an artist in the family to get illustrations drawn for free.  She and husband Robert do not live locally.  They have real jobs.  They are expecting their first child very soon.  Expect M6 to be closed for a month when the baby is born.  What’s more important anyway?

Chelsea and Robert have a name picked out for our grandson, but will not tell us his name.  Therefore, The rest of us have named him Chelbert (Chelsea / Robert).  Robert’s Dad also came up with the same name independently, so it can’t be ignored.  Chelsea is getting a bit concerned that the name Chelbert is gaining popularity.  She thinks the name might stick.  We all assure her that it will.