Monday, August 27, 2012

Memorable days or memories that make days

To set up this story, I am reminded of a book I have been reading, where the author insists that the big events in life aren't what make memories, instead it is the smaller things, the details that make the memories and what ends up being important.

Looking at the caledar, today was not supposed to be a monumental day. It was not our first day of school, like most, but from the get go, it seemed to be a day intent on becoming monumental, if for nothing else, everything that was going wrong.

From the realization that it was a filling from my tooth that was in the sink, rather than in my head, to the realization I had to leave Grace at home when she was sick, to the realization that my lunch did not make it to the car, the day just seemed to be piling up with things that could go wrong.

It was also the day I was expecting to pick up my car after the body work was completed from when a concrete column jumped out and hit our car and at every turn, I saw so many really serious accidents, I was beginning to be nervous about driving my newly repaired car.

So as I began reflecting on my day, I thought about what the book and author had said and realized that regardless of all the things that went wrong the day did provide some great memories.

Starting with the man who repaired my car and worked really hard to save me from as much of cost of the deductible as possible, I think that is a good memory.

Then the role both parents played, with Mom staying with Grace so I could go to work, to Dad, willing to ride along as I picked up my car, and on to return the rent car, even though he was really too tired to go, and then his offer to help pay for the rent car. Yes, those are great memories too.

But out of all the memories of the day, I believe the fact that I did not accidentally pack my sister's skirt, rather than my own to change into after gym, and ended up having to "borrow" a skirt that was so short that my shorts showed, is probably not the best, but definitely the funniest memory of the day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A quick and funny story

My parents are the kind of neighbors that entire neighborhoods dream of having.

They have lived in the same house for more than 55 years and make it a point to know all their neighbors. They are not the nosy kind that watch you but they do notice if you are not on your usual schedule or if strangers come to your house during the day.

Dad waters his plants every evening and greets every one that is out for a walk so his neighborliness extends past our block.

He also likes to take walks and when he is out, checks on the rest of the neighborhood. He is especially interested if you are working on your house or your yard.

One house in the neighborhood had renters for a long time, but then sat vacant for a long time. It was on the verge of becoming a victim of blight when it was bought, gutted, garage razed, and even the bricks removed, while receiving its makeover.

Dad got to know the man who bought the house and kept up on the vast improvements that were made.

Then it got hot here, so hot that Dad stopped his walks for a while.

Last night, with the cooler weather, he resumed his walks and stopped by to check on the progress of this house. He went up on the front porch and because he is so tall, could glance inside.

Much to his surprise, it had been completed and the new owner was staring back at him.

He waited to see if the neighbor came out to ask why he was on the porch, but when he did not, Dad finished his walk and went home.

Within a few minutes, the first police car arrived.

The officer got out and asked if Dad had just gotten home.

Well, yes he had.

At that point the officer began to hem and haw, and Dad finally offered that he had been looking in a house that he thought was under construction and was that why the police officer was there.

The officer was clearly relieved and became more relaxed and began to explain that the neighbor had flagged him down with a very accurate description of Dad, who wasn't hard to find, standing 6'5" with overalls and an orange shirt.

Dad explained what he had been doing but before he could finish another squad car appeared.

The first officer gave the all clear sign to that car who also got out to hear the story which was again stopped as the third police car had appeared.

Pretty soon all the neighbors had gathered round as they were concerned thinking Dad had called the police, rather than ever considering the police were called for him.

Of course Dad ended up friends with all the officers, a lot of back slapping took place, plenty of chuckles, and I ended up with a good story.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Suicidal chicken or what I did on my summer vacation

I think I must have blinked because summer is over for us.

It happened that quickly and for once, I am not thinking, I wish we had done... You know how it goes, always sure there were a certain number of things you wanted to get accomplished in a limited time and when that time is over, none of them are done.

I went into summer a little more realistically this time, knowing that our summer break was shortened considerably by the school. Whereas most schools begin at the end of August, ours was slated to begin on August 2. When the last class is held on May 24, that does not give you a lot of time.

In the two months that we have been off (ok, just the girls have been off), we have gone to Destin, Florida, had company, gotten new water heater, new tires, had company, traveled to Austin, traveled to Hot Springs, AK, the girls volunteered at the hospital, they took Chinese classes, Grace took piano classes, I took a memoir writing class, and Annabel was on a softball team. I think that is all and tonight for the first time in weeks, it is a Monday night and we were through with dinner, clean up, plans for tomorrow, and there was still time to sit down and try to catch up on other things, like email. But, of course, I was wrong.

I've been off kilter a little today and I am not sure whether it was from falling last night or the fact that I was awakened in the middle of the night with one of those dreaded, "Mom!" stage whispers that can rattle the dead, followed by the news bulletin that Nina, the dog, had peed on Grace's bed, which required me to wake up enough to locate sheets, start the washer, and send Nina outside.

This was especially painful since I had fallen earlier in the evening when Annabel asked if we could go to the dollar store and since I plan to participate in the American Heart Association walk in less than a month, told her we would walk. Somehow I did not take time to change shoes, so off we went me wearing my flip flops. The sole of my flip slid in the mud and made me flop on a neighbor's lawn. Lovely.

Anyway, tonight I was determined to take a break and about the time I pulled the laptop on my lap, Annabel comes in and announced, "Mom, one of the chickens is missing." I ask, "Are you sure?" as sometimes they huddle up very closely and you can't count them as well.

Before I have time to stand up, she is back announcing, "There is a chicken on the roof!"

Yes, there was. Dorothy, not our brightest, had managed to get on the roof of the shed/chicken coop and then did not seem to know how to get down. My attempts at forcing her down with a very long pole, seemed to urge her to go to the opposite side toward our neighbor, who has a really tall fence even with our roof line, and try to escape that way.

By then Grace has joined us and all three of us are imploring Dorothy to come down, even trying to bribe her with feed, which she is dutifully ignoring.

She then plops down, closes her eyes, and seems as if she is calling it a night on top of the roof!

I finally agree to calling Dad who stands on his deck and says, "Well, you do have a chicken on your roof!"

Dorothy seems to rally a bit and goes back to the edge, which looks down in the chicken yard, and much like the divers in the Olympics, looks down, looks out at the distance, and then jumps, only instead of jumping, she flies!!! She almost makes it all the way across the yard to our house's roof! The distance is close to 1000 feet, because I cannot tell distance, so it might be more like 15 feet, but when she misses the next roof, she instead crashes to the ground.

At that moment, I am faced with one of those fears that mothers experience of trying to protect your children from all things dreadful, as I am sure she has broken her neck and I will have to dispose of her but wanting to protect my children from seeing one of their pets in distress, at the same time wondering if you can cook a chicken that has committed suicide.

I can't decide whether to make them go back inside while I check or Dorothy, but they have already run to look for themselves.

There is crazy Dorothy, upright, rather stunned, but making her way into the chicken coop!

Tomorrow night I will try to catch up instead. That is enough excitement for one night!