Monday, June 21, 2010

Africa Hot

I'm trying to figure out how to describe the weather in my new state without sounding whiny. When I first arrived here in mid-May, it was already blazing outside and I told pretty much everyone I knew on the planet (and even a few strangers) how I felt about it. "If it's this hot in May, what will August be like?" I said one too many times. Turns out that this line of thought was irritating my husband more than a sore tooth. I had to stop.

I decided upon the phrase "Africa hot." It's descriptive and yet not offensive. I liked how it sounded when I said it, kind of perky and cute, a cheerleader of description. It also had the added plus of not annoying hubby. That in itself is reason enough to adopt it, so I did.

Yesterday, I was standing in my kitchen and a tear rolled down my cheek. Only I wasn't crying - it was sweat. And, I did mention that I was inside, didn't I?

Perhaps Africa hot is not accurate enough. From now on, maybe I'll just say I live east of Hell.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Relative

Some days start out innocently enough only to blossom into disaster before your very eyes. Yesterday was kind of like that.

Often I stay up too late and I had played one too many video games the night before, making that knock at the door at 8 a.m. seem evil. Guys had come to bury the cable at our new house but when they arrived, they found our lift station oozing sewage and that changed their plans. And mine. Before yesterday, I had no idea what a lift station was or why it was that I wanted one.

Just about the time I was figuring this out, the plumber (my new best friend) was figuring out how to get rid of it. "Sh** don't flow uphill" is the saying and, unless we want to spend a lot of money quite often, the saying is accurate in our case. To achieve the coveted downhill flow will involve excavation and roughly two years' worth of college tuition, but flushing toilets is rapidly climbing my personal "top ten" list of fun things to do. Like so many things that we take for granted, when we can't do it anymore, we realize just how much we enjoy doing it. Right about now, I'd pay pretty much anything for that privilege.

As soon as I broke the news to Dad that we wouldn't be able to flush our toilets for the next three days, he started packing up. He's decisive like that, able to make snap decisions and act upon them. I envy that trait. In ten minutes flat, my dad and his wife were in the car driving with ease up our remarkably steep driveway. 

I ought to give my little brother a heads-up call, but why spoil the surprise?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


"Ain't no excuse for bad manners," my daddy would say. He would say that.... he has made a bunch of pronouncements like that since he arrived three days ago. Right now he is sitting in my dining room. I am hiding in the basement.

"Who's gonna tell Charlie about the hat?" my husband whispers to me. I have zero idea what he's referring to, so I just adopt my normal puzzled look and he takes the lead, walks in and says to my father (who has just spent two long days riding in his car to get to our house), "Charlie, you have to remove your hat at the supper table. My father was adamant about this rule: Shirts have to be worn, hats have to be off at the table." 

"Shirt?" Dad says in response. "Your Dad made you wear a shirt to the table?"

The question bouncing like a tennis ball around my mind is this: Which one of these guys is ruder, the one who wears the cowboy hat to the dinner table, or the host who tells him to take it off?