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Last night, there was this amazing storm. It rolled through after we went to bed, so I wasn’t ever awake enough to think about recording a few seconds of it – and now that I want to share it with Leah, I’m kicking myself.

It was riotous – lightning never more than a second apart, and more often than not, 3-4 bolts PER second. Thunder crashing constantly – never silence or the sound of rain, just some very loud crashes amidst a dull, rolling roar. (This is the first time I’ve ever understood the phrase “rolling thunder”.) It was intense – an awesome display of power.

But I had other things to think about. The street was flooded – a river that ran almost up onto the sidewalks. The water was rushing – we had to check the backyard and the basement for flooding (after the big flood a couple of years ago, we always do a check before we enjoy the storm).

And there was the dog. Who was hysterical. Accompanying the constant roar of thunder (for at least two hours), we heard the constant whine of a scared dog, punctuated with little (and big) yelps when big crashes came.

This is something we’re not sure about. He’s very frightened of thunder and fireworks (and gunfire). In the past, we’ve tried staying up with him downstairs (he’s not allowed upstairs). We’ve tried bringing him upstairs to sleep in our room (didn’t work, so he’s still not allowed upstairs). We’ve tried leaving him in his crate and draping it. We’ve tried ignoring him. NOTHING calms him down.

Aside from the dog’s misery, we were pretty happy – I love storms like that. Everything about them. The sound, the blinding light, the charge in the air before it breaks, the smell of the rain on a hot street, the lightness of the air after the storm has passed…

We didn’t get much sleep last night. But man, what a show! Wish you were here, Leah.

posted under indiana | 2 Comments »



That guy I posted the article about, Michael Haynes (lives in my neighborhood and got shot trying to break up a dog fight), is out of the hospital.  We just got this letter through our neighborhood association.

 Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Most of you know about Mr. Michael Haynes, 41, a father of five who lived on Tecumseh and 12th, who was shot trying to rescue a neighbor’s dog being attacked by a pit bull.

Sky Bank has set up a fund for Michael Haynes and his family. I am inviting you to contribute. If anyone deserves community support – it’s Michael Hayes. He did a brave and selfless act, and he even managed to keep it civil.

Donations for the Haynes family are being accepted by Sky Bank, where a special account has been set up. .

Checks should be made out to Michael Haynes Jr. and sent to:

Sky Bank
3824 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227

Here’s the background:

The neighbor’s dog ran loose a lot, and the Haynes kids were playing with him. The Hayne’s dog was inside his house.

Although Michael Haynes had a job as account manager for Rent-a-Center, he did not have health insurance. His injuries included 2 bullets lodged under his arm, and another through his lung. Hospital costs are unknown at this time, but are expected to be quite expensive. Although he is now out of the hospital, doctors don’t know how long recovery will take or whether he will gain full use of his arm. The family is moving out of their $800/month home and will be staying with in-laws until the wife, Stacy can get a job. She was a stay-at-home mom.

About the incident itself — the whole time Haynes was trying to get the neighbor’s dog away from the pit bull, he was talking to the owner – “come on man, grab your dog”, the owner kept saying “can’t”, “yes you can, just grab his collar and pull”, “can’t”. Up to that point, Haynes had neither touched nor threatened the pit bull. But after getting nowhere and fearing for the dog’s life Haynes raised the rolling pin as if to strike the pit, which is when he was shot. At that point the dog owner yanked on the pit bull and took off. The other dog survived.

The Haynes’ had one more pay check coming after the incident, and that’s all the funds they have on which to live.

I like being part of a group like this.

posted under indiana, life | 2 Comments »



This happened in our neck of the ghetto: 

Man shot while interceding in pit bull attack
Police: Victim was trying to stop dog from hurting other canines when gunman fired.

An Eastside man was shot twice Sunday while trying to stop a pit bull attack on two neighborhood dogs, police said, and fell to the sidewalk as his children watched.

Michael Haynes Jr., 41, was in stable condition Sunday evening at Wishard Memorial Hospital after undergoing surgery to treat his chest wounds. Indianapolis metropolitan police continued to search for the shooter and the pit bull.

The children were in the Haynes’ front yard with their small dog, Duchess, when the shooter was walking his dog north in the 1200 block of Tecumseh Street, neighbors and police said. One resident, Tracey Matthews, said the small dog from her next-door neighbor’s home had gotten loose, and both dogs were being threatened by the pit bull.

The pit bull latched onto one of those dogs and wouldn’t let go, police said. Haynes was trying to get that dog away from the pit bull, when a friend came out of the house wielding a rolling pin.

That’s when, neighbors and police said, the dog-walker pulled a handgun from his waistband and said something like, “I told you not to touch my dog,” before opening fire.

“The kids were hysterical,” said neighbor Anita Graeser, a 25-year-old graduate student studying counseling at Christian Theological Seminary.

She took all five children, ranging in age from 2 to 10, into her house after the shooting.

The gunshots woke Graeser from a nap. She said Haynes’ friend might have given the rolling pin to Haynes or tried to use it himself. The aftermath of the shooting was chaotic, she added, as the man with the dog quickly left north on Tecumseh.

Haynes’ wife, Stacy, and a friend were trying to staunch the bleeding until police and paramedics arrived. Graeser watched the kids in the meantime. The youngest, she said, was shouting into his toy phone.

“He kept saying, ‘Police! Come help my daddy!’ “

Graeser described Duchess as a “Paris Hilton kind of dog.” Matthews said the other dog, named Chewy, also is small, but she didn’t know the breed.

Both neighbors said no one they talked to on the block knew the man or recalled having seen his pit bull before.

Last year, a pit bull attack on a toddler prompted the City-County Council to pass an ordinance aimed at increasing penalties on dangerous dogs of any breed.

However, after a series of incidents this year involving pit bulls attacking young children and adults and inflicting serious injuries, Mayor Bart Peterson said this month he had decided to ask his staff to investigate ways to ban pit bulls in the city.

Margie Smith-Simmons, spokeswoman for the mayor, said staffers still are investigating the ordinances of other cities that restrict or ban pit bulls.

“We want to be sure that whatever we put forward benefits the citizens of Indianapolis,” she said. The mayor doesn’t have a deadline, she said, but she expects a proposal will be released by late summer or early fall.

Graeser, meanwhile, hopes she can help the Haynes’ children cope with the trauma. Her studies focus on helping people after devastating incidents, melding psychotherapy and faith-based counseling.

“They are going to need counseling,” she said. While they were in her house, at least one of the children felt responsible — because they didn’t get out of the yard when their father told them to. “They said if their daddy died, it was their fault. I told them they were children, and none of it was their fault.”



We’re back in Indiana.  And we’re exhausted.  We didn’t sleep at all on the long flight over the Pacific (something to do with the chairs and the screaming infants), so when we came home, after doing a few things, we crashed.  Hard.  Woke up to the doorbell – Dave’s parents came to drop off our dog (they watched him while we were away this time) and to report on his misbehavior.  He was angelic, they said, the first 8 days, and evil the second 8 days (messing on the carpets a couple of times, jumping the backyard fence, etc).  They looked relieved to give him back – and I don’t blame them.  =)  We’ll be keeping a close eye on him for the next couple of weeks – hopefully getting back to his routine and getting a ton of exercise will fix those behavioral issues.

Anyway, we’re back safe and sound for those of you who were waiting to hear. 



This has been a funny week.  I have another story. 

We went “camping” this past weekend.  A friend was finally finished with a semester of a full-time grad school program, taken while working full-time.  As a celebration, she decided to organize a group of friends (10) for a camping trip.  She had her heart set on Turkey Run, so made reservations at a campground just outside the park.

David and I were the first ones on the road.  Which meant we were the first ones to the park.

We pulled into the campground at Turkey Run and asked the woman at the gate if she had reservations for our group.  She said no, and that they weren’t taking reservations at all.  We pulled out the piece of paper with directions, saw the name of the place we were supposed to find, and asked her how to get there.  She pointed us up the road.

We drove up the road, passing a canoeing outfitter we recognized (a couple of years ago, we went canoeing with another group of friends, and rented the canoes from this place).  Just past the canoe place, we pulled into a gas station.  We were stopping to ask for directions (we had been out in a state-parky area, but now it looked like we were driving back into a town – we’d just passed a high school), but lo and behold…  There, in front of us, stood a building with a sign proclaiming that it was the place we were trying to find:


… the “Up the Creek Boat-ique.”  (Yes, we made faces, too.)  This place’s decor was Hooters meets Cheeseburger In Paradise – painted fish totem poles, fake ponds, light-up palm trees, music piped over the speakers…  (It’s actually a neat little place – just not quite what we expected for a camping trip.)  We were… suprised… that Bethany reserved camping sites here.  We thought, “Surely we won’t be camping HERE!”  Yes, we would.  And don’t call us “Shirley.”

Here’s David’s I’m-so-excited-about-this-place face:

Dave loves the Boat-ique

We walked into the store and asked the teenager there if she had reservations for our group.  She called an older woman over and, laughing, said, “There’s some tent campers wantin’ to know if they’ve got reservations here!”

We asked a few questions, told her Bethany would be along shortly to fill out the form (who knows what was on it?), and they gave us directions to the campsite.  Relieved because it sounded like the campsite was a distance away and secluded, we took off in the car. 

30 seconds later, we arrived at the campsite.  Which was the backyard of someone’s [abandoned, now] house.  The yard was fenced in by trees and barbed wire.  You could see the canoeing outfitter through the fence.  You could hear traffic from the school/roads.  You could hear sirens from the town.  And you could see that bright orange, light-up palm tree from anywhere in the “campsite.”

David and I laughed for the entire first half hour.  Here’s our tent site, which was at the far back corner of the yard:

our campsite

It was the funniest “camping” trip we’ve ever been on.  Bethany got there and was mortified - turns out the website and the lady on the phone did a good sales job.  Beth had already paid for the sites, so we all “camped” there.  We had so much fun (both just being together and teasing her – she’ll never live down her reputation as “event planner”) – what a great way to end a tough semester!