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Photograph of Robert Bruce Thompson Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 3 September 2007

Latest Update: Sunday, 9 September 2007 1:30 p.m.

Monday, 3 September 2007

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No update. Happy Labor Day!


Tuesday, 4 September 2007

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Having been off since Friday it would have been hard enough to go back to work today as it is. I hate Monday/Tuesdays. The Bilbrey's arrived late afternoon Friday. We had wonderful visit as usual. With two adults and two dogs gone the house seems empty tonight.

Marcia and I spend a fun Saturday. First we drove down to the fabric store, Mary Jo's in Gastonia, NC, about an hour and half drive. On the way back we stayed on I-85 through Charlotte making a lunch stop at Cracker Barrel in Concord before driving on to Lexington, NC. What a nice little town to explore. We hit every antique store along the three block town along with a very nice Army/Navy store that sells the Carhart brand of clothing and of course the pastry and candy store. We arrived back home around 4pm.

Since I too was on vacation we either ate out or ordered delivery the Friday - Sunday meals. Sunday afternoon I did get in some yard work. I mowed the lawn and edged. While a great deal of the lawn is brown and suffering from the drought the grass in the shade and the Bermuda continues to grow.

Monday we lazed around watching U.S. Open Tennis and the fourth round of a PGA golf event before leaving to go over to Frances and Al's for a cookout. Frances always makes a terrific host. Al was away on a trip so I had the grilling honors. We had lovely visit arriving back home around 7pm.

I had gone to bed at my usual 9pm to read it being a school night when the phone rang about 11pm. Al was on his cell phone on the way over to my folks house. My dad's car caught fire sitting under the metal carport. Thankfully their neighbor heard the bang when the car windows blew out or the tires blew up, not sure which. Dad called 911 then grabbed a garden hose to try and contain the fire. The firemen said it was good thing he did or it most likely would have caught the shed on fire. I spend half an hour on the phone with Al, Frances, and dad making sure they were physically okay and no damage to the house. I still did not want them to stay there. Al said he had everything under control so I went back to bed.

Some after midnight they called back to way a wrecker had arrived to tow the car down to a lot by the Texaco. The firemen were afraid since it continue to smolder it might catch the gas tank on fire and blow everything up. Mom and dad went home with Frances and Al.

I had maybe three hours, four max of sleep. This morning I met Frances in the parking lot of her work, right down the street from us, to pick up mom and dad. We drove over to the Texaco "wreck lot" where they had just arrived with dad's car. The front of the car was a burnt shell. The hood would not open keeping me from getting pictures of what was left under the hood. The sun visors and front seats were charred. Stuff in the glove box was singed, soaked, and/or covered in soot as well as the stuff in the trunk. The front and side windows were blown out, etc. Dad loved his car. It was a 1985 Chevrolet Classic limited edition. If you remember, he just had it worked on two weeks ago in order to try and make it hang on a few more years until he gave up driving altogether.

After I took some pictures of the car I took them home. The driveway was covered in burnt car parts, the car port was singed black and buckled in the front, and glass shards were everywhere. Thankfully, the propane tank on the grill was far enough away it did not catch fire and blow up. I took pictures of the that mess then took off for work arriving clocking in at 10am. By late afternoon dad had a rental car. Now we wait to hear from the auto and homeowners investigators to see if they can determine what the hell happened.

I was doing fine on very little sleep until about 3pm this afternoon before I hit the wall. I could barely keep my eyes open in my chair but managed to stay upright until 5pm. After work I bravely went to the gym getting in  40 minutes of a fairly light workout but a workout non the less. Needless to say, it will be early to bed tonight.


Wednesday, 5 September 2007

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No update.


Thursday, 6 September 2007

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Last night I met Frances and her friend Marcie for dinner up town. We had this planned before dad's car went up in flames so we decided to go ahead with our plans. Marcie wanted to try the Thai restaurant. I have eaten there for lunch but not dinner. The menu is much larger with a wider choice of dishes. The food is very good. When we finished we walked back uptown a couple of blocks for dessert at Cat's Cradle. Again, I have had lunch there but not dinner. I gave them a little tour of where things are on Fourth Street and showed them the buildings which have been renovated into apartments or restaurants.

It was just about 8 when I got home, I had a call from the State Farm Home Insurance. They wanted to schedule an inspection this morning. I called dad to let him know. We have made some progress though we still do not know the cause of the fire.

Dad will be getting a check tomorrow for the book value of the car. Home owners will be replacing the car port, burnt bushes and grass, etc. If they cannot clean the driveway they will jack hammer it up and replace the concrete. I am handling most of the phone calls since dad has a hard time hearing on the phone and sometimes gets a little confuses. But, mom and dad are real troopers holding up well.

Tonight I was supposed to go to the gym. I was heading down the street toward home when I realized I had turned off into our neighborhood and forgot about going. I think the stress of worrying about and helping them handle this plus working has taken a lot more out of me than I realized. So, I came on home.

Last night I finished up the J.P. Beaumont. Today at lunch I started the 13th book in the Stephanie Plum series by Evanovitch.


Friday, 7 September 2007

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I left home at 7:30 this morning to run by the house to pick up the spare tire that goes in the dad's car. When they unloaded all the stuff from the trunk for some reason they removed the tire. I got to the lot to find it locked so I went on to work. I had also planned to get some pictures of under the hood if the insurance investigator had left it so I could get the hood up. It was jammed shut when we were there on Tuesday.

I called dad mid-morning to see how things were going. There was still a mix-up with the City getting his yard waste cart replaced. I called the guy and left him a message. He finally called me back. I got that squared away. Frances called around noon to tell me she had talked to dad and he was not doing too well dealing with all this stuff. I finally decided to work through lunch and leave work at 2 to see if I could get into the car lot then go on to the house. Mom had to get to her hair appointment and dad needed to go over to State Farm to sign some papers and pick up a check for his car. Mom's regular beautician was sick so she made an appointment at the J.C. Penny's hair salon at the mall.

When I called the car lot owner they told me the car had been towed that morning. News to me. State Farm towed the car without letting us know it was being taken and where it had gone. I picked up the folks dropping mom off for her hair appointment and dad I headed out to State Farm. On the way home we stopped by the credit union to find out about their auto buying program. At State Farm, John gave me number of the fire cleanup company to call to set up an appointment.

Back home, I enough time to talk to the restoration folks and the credit union before we needed to go back to the mall. Frances was picking up dad and mom at the mall to take them to dinner after she got off from work around 5:20. I hung around until she got there then decided I might as well eat dinner with them instead of trying to head back across town in rush hour traffic. From there I headed for home and the grocery store.

It's about time for my food rep from Southern Foods to call so I guess I better wrap this up.


Saturday, 8 September 2007

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I drove dad over the Credit Union Car Bank lot this morning. They had a nice but not over whelming selection of cars in dad's size and price range. For people looking for an SUV or truck, they had a lot of nice looking vehicles to choose from.

We quickly narrowed it down to three cars. He decided to test drive a 2005 Toyota Corolla. Nice looking little car with only 14,000 miles. We drove over to Frances' house to let he look at it then back to the car lot which is less than a mile from her house. We had them put a hold sticker on it. On Monday we talk with the lady from Allegacy who handles everything from there. They clean up the car and deliver it which will hopefully happen sometime Monday afternoon.

After lunch at the house I followed dad over to drop off the rental car. He did not need the car the remainder of the weekend so there was no need in have State Farm pay to have it parked in the driveway. Frances will be around this afternoon to take them to the store.

Dad still seems a little rattle today but I think he is mentally flustered with all the details and problems to be sorted out. I told him I would come over Monday morning and talk with Allegacy, the fire clean up folks, etc to get those details nailed down. Once he gets a car and they start the driveway clean up I think he will be doing much better.

I have computer work, etc to do this afternoon and then just rest and relax. All this has taken somewhat of a toll on me as well. We are having dinner with Paul and Mary tonight. It will fun to see Mary again and hear first hand about some of her adventures during the run.

Still hot and dry. I have abandoned watering the plants. As busy as I am during the week I was not able to keep them watered. Watering plants works fine between short bouts of drought but they really need rain which we have not had any substantial amount in the last four to six weeks and none in sight. They tropical depression off the coast of NC will skirt the coast they head north or back out to sea. It would have been nice for it come ashore and dump three or four inches of rain on the entire state.


Sunday, 9 September 2007

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Well, things are getting pretty serious. Last night I dreamed it rain and filled all the ponds back up.

No golf today. Dad needs to spend a quiet day at home resting and I had things to do. After getting the weekly house keeping chores completed Bob and I took off for a Costco run. This afternoon I have several things to do here at my desk plus finish putting away the stock goods we bought. Bob is holding off doing the laundry until the middle of the week in order for me to have plenty of clean stuff to pack for my trip. I need to wash a load of work clothes and a load of towels.

Bob is going to change the blade on my lawnmower from mulching to catching. Until we get rain I will not need to mow anything now. Even the Bermuda grass is dying. If do get rain this week or while I am gone it will not matter how high it gets now that I am catching it. With all the dry weather the leaves are also falling a lot earlier.

We had a nice dinner with Paul and Mary last night at the Mexican restaurant. It was good to see and talk with Mary in person after three months. What an experience she had with memories to last a life time. I applaud her and her fellow runners for what they did.


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