Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm just askin'...

When your husband "accidentally" wakes you up hours before a civilized time while searching for his missing car keys and says "he's trying hard not to be mad" (at you), would you ever think to check for them in the pants pocket of a house guest?

I'm just askin'...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Adventures in moving

For the last year we have been living in the land of sugary sweet tea while all our household goods resided in maple syrup country.  This past weekend was the appointed time change that equation and, to add to the fun, we threw in moving our youngest from a basement apartment to third-floor living quarters. 

For years Jer has refused help from all but his closest friend (thanks, Jack) and stoically carried refrigerators and the like alone up countless flights of stairs on his back.  Lately he's been re-thinking this and now wants a small army of strapping lads to assist.  Most guys would be happy to accommodate our gorgeous daughter if she merely asked them, but she appears to have inherited his gene for reticence. She found one guy - one guy - to help. 

We got up early, early and rolled into the area at 10ish.  We had time for a quick stop in Hudson and then planned to go to Mantua to check out our house which we hadn't visited since last Thanksgiving and assess how much packing there was to do and develop a game plan for tomorrow's agenda.  Then Jer was going to drop me back in Hudson at so I could go to lunch with friends while he picked up the rental truck and got the lease and the keys to the new apartment.  We were going to start the move around three, giving Kate (who works nights) time to sleep.  I hadn't even stepped through the door yet when Kate called and said, "Don't be mad but John has to be at work at 4:00."

Mad wouldn't be an adequate description.  My husband morphed into a flaming ball of fury before my very eyes.  Thoughts of dragging a couch up three floors while I obediently followed with a cushion played in the film room of his mind, causing him to become unhinged.  "Get in the car!" he yelled, desperation in his voice.  "I haven't gone inside yet."  "We don't have time!  GET IN THE CAR!"  Now was NOT the time to remind him that I'd made plans to meet my gal pals in Hudson for lunch.  Nope.  I rode off to Kent to start the move.

Is now the time to mention that we lived in Kent for six months when we began our home project in Mantua?  We lived in the basement of a friend's condo which was within easy walking distance to the apartment that Kate was vacating.  This neighborhood had literally once been my backyard.

If you tell me a story about your third-cousin once removed, I will remember it for decades but I can go into a building, come back out and I won't remember which way I came from.  I compensate for this lack by paying strict attention to where I am, especially if I plan to do any serious navigation. Sadly, on this day, I was totally distracted both by the prevailing mood of the day as well as by texting my friends to apologize for missing lunch.  Therefore, I did not notice that we passed Katie's street before we got to the truck rental establishment.   Turns out I would be driving the Jermobile behind Jerry while he drove the rental.  Jer's mood did not improve when was issued a got a rickety van and trailer to drive cross-country but he was hellbent in getting Kate's heavy stuff moved by 3:45 p.m, so he took the keys, told me to follow him and zoomed off.  A man on a mission cannot be distracted.

About two blocks down, Jer turns into an auto parts store and I, who was in the wrong lane to follow him, wondered what's wrong with his vehicle as I pull in and turn around in the grocery store parking lot.  Of course I got stuck at a red light, but I never saw him go past me so I went back to check on him. By this time he wasn't in the auto parts place  either.  I cruised up and down this stretch of road a couple of time but he never came out.  Finally I decided that he knew where Kate lives, we'll meet up there.  And then I drive.  And drive.  And drive. 

When I got to the intersection of I-90, which I knew went directly to Hudson I realized that I was traveling in the wrong direction.   Now I realize that Jer made a wrong turn with his big rig, immediately realized it, turned around in the auto place while I was turning around in the grocery store lot.  He'd already left before the red light changed.  Jer rarely makes a wrong turn, so of course I made the assumption that I was traveling in the right direction. 

I realized my mistake but I was dreading arriving because now I'd piddled around being lost in what was once my own backyard for a good half an hour and, you might recall, my husband was in a foul humor before we'd even started this particular project.

When I got there, Jerry was happy as a pig in slop.  Katie had opened her basement window and was handing items out it and the yard was swarming with guys who lift weights for fun.  It no longer mattered what time we finished.  Later Katie asked me why I hadn't just taken her car and gone to Hudson.  I just didn't think of it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's enough?

Now that I'm "retired" from active mothering, occasionally I regret not having a career.  Or even a job.  It's not that I wouldn't enjoy being gainfully employed, it's simply that no one has called and graciously invited me to walk through their door and enter the working world.

Yesterday as I was starting my morning walk, I stopped to help my neighbor put some stair treads in his truck.  We got to talking about what's wrong with government, why we don't have cable tv, how we still don't know what we want to be when we grow up and wound up discussing ways to make a positive impact on our children.

As I was walking away, the thought struck me:  Could it be possible that I'm right where I'm meant to be, doing what I'm supposed to be doing? 

Maybe helping your neighbor really is enough.