Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Request

My daughter texted me asking if she could bring a friend to Thanksgiving dinner.

"Sure," I said and I meant it.  The more, the merrier.

Then she texted me instructions.  She said, "Be normal and don't wear something too weird." 

Yeah, good-luck with that, Kate. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Perfect Couple

When Jerry gets up in the morning, he's like a ninja.  He silently slides out of bed while I remain deep in slumber.  He could be dressing an inch away from my face and I'd never know it, he's that quiet.

When I get up, I'm like a baby elephant.  With every step I take, the house shakes on its foundation.  Pictures rattle as I bump into walls and doors.  It's hard to believe I can make this much noise when I'm trying to be so quiet.  Not only do I wake Jerry (and anyone else who might happen to be sleeping in our house,) I'm pretty sure I wake up the neighbors too.

It's true what they say:  Opposites DO attract.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Growing up, I was a feisty, stubborn little thing and I hated milk.  HATED!
My folks ascribed to the "clean plate" school of parenting (and that included liquids) which is how I ended up sitting alone at the dinner table one evening while my mother cleaned the kitchen.

I knew that children were starving in China but couldn't connect how my drinking this milk could help them.  Finally, I snapped.  When Mom had her back turned, I poured the milk into the trash can which was lined with a brown paper bag.

 "My milk's gone."

"You may be excused."

I went off to play while my mother finished up the dishes.  When she lifted the brown paper sack out of the wastebasket to take it outside to the garbage, the bottom fell out. 

My parents also believed in corporal punishment, so I got spanked.  I secretly felt things worked out well for me though - because nobody thought to pour me another glass of milk.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How I Spend my Time

This morning while I was in the middle of executing a perfect "Y" turn to get out of my garage and head up my driveway, I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw that I'd nudged my garbage bin and it had tilted backwards.  I put the car in park and as I walked over to right the bin, I realized that it's twin, the recycling bin, was missing. 

My bin nudging had sent the recycling container sailing down the hill below our driveway. The garbage bin was empty but our recycling only gets collected every other week so it was overflowing.  A week and a half's recycling had now fluttered down to rest on the hillside. 

When I was cleaning yesterday, I dumped the shredder wastebasket into the recycling bin so there were teeny tiny strips of paper intermingled with the plastic berry containers, tin cans, bits and pieces of aluminum foil, newspapers, magazines and junk mail littered all over my backyard.  It was a major mess.  I would have to wade in leaves to get to the bin -- leaves that are, I might add, the same color as snakes. 

Earlier in the year I made a bargain with all creepy crawly things that if they'd stay out of my area, I would stay out of theirs. This hillside was clearly not my area. It seemed wrong to welsh on an arrangement that had been working so splendidly.

What to do? Honestly, my initial impulse was to let Jerry deal with it but I immediately discounted that as being a little immature.  It was high time that I put on my big-girl pants and handled this mess myself. 

I broke into my secret Halloween candy stash and ate three miniature Butterfingers.  Fortified by chocolaty goodness, I grabbed my jingly snake bracelets and searched the garage until I found my rubber knee boots -- these boots are not the cute kind like the girls in Charleston wear when it rains.  These are brown rubber farm boots which I wear when I don't know how high whatever muck might be that I'm about to step in.  I pounded them upside down on the pavement until I was satisfied that all the spiders were gone, crammed my feet in them and embarked upon my task.

It took two and a half hours for me to pick up the recyclables and drag the bin back up to my driveway.  Although I was serenaded by my neighbor dog during the entire time, the only living thing I saw was a Daddy Long Legs.  That's all I saw.  The whole time I imagined thousands of beady eyes staring out at me from under piles and piles leaves.

If, like my husband, you've ever thought to yourself, "Chris stays at home all day.  How does she spend her time?"  Well, now you know.  Not quite what you'd imagined, right?  Me either.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Night Text

Whenever I get a text from a kid of mine that starts out with the words, "Don't freak out but..." I know the next few words are not going to be something pleasant, especially when I receive the aforementioned communication at 3:21 a.m.  Just waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of a text coming is scary enough for me.

The bad news was that I did, in fact, freak out. The good news was, well I couldn't think of any good news right then.  The rest of the message read, "A tsunami is going to hit us on Oahu in an hour or so."  My teeth began to chatter uncontrollably.  Most mothers will understand that, I think.

Josh and Susan were staying at Turtle Bay, one of "the most spectacularly beautiful places on earth, where every room has an ocean view."  I'm not sure how much of a plus having a window facing a tsunami is, but I can say that I prayed to God in Heaven that everyone would be okay and I believe he heard my prayer because about the time the tsunami hit, my lights flickered off, just once.  I took it as a sign from Heaven and calmed down a bit.

The second text, that the tsunami - which had roared in at a mere three feet -had been downgraded, arrived at 5:23 am.  It was the longest two hours and two minutes of my life. 

My ardor to visit our 50th state has cooled considerably. Most mothers will understand that, too.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Learning the Ropes

Wednesday was Brody's first trick-or-treat Halloween.  He and his baby brother dressed up as Mario and Luigi for parties, but Halloween night it was too cold to wear the outfit outside so he wore a cute sock monkey hat. 

At the first house, they put a Kit Kat in his bag.  At the second house, the man held out the bowl for Brody to choose a piece of candy.  He looked at it a little while, then Brody took his Kit Kat from his orange bag, gently placed it on top of the mound of candy in the man's bowl, turned around and walked away.