Saturday, August 29, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours (A lot)

Recently I read about the notion that bad things happen in "3's," and while I've never been superstitious, I'm inclined to think that may be the case around here lately.
My recent "triple threat" involves water, water everywhere. The first massive puddle in our basement resulted in a new water heater; the second puddle involved the A/C unit which also spewed water all over the basement; and the trifecta. . . drum roll please. . . . a leak in the roof. Stellar. And as a bonus, because of all the excess moisture (ie flooding in our basement) much of the drywall needs replacing. It's like we're providing our own little local stimulus package. . .


But let's not stop there. . .


Sometimes it feels like we've had more than our share of adventures here, whether they come in "3's" or not. For example, last weekend started out with Barnum and Bailey's Emergency Room Circus. I spent Friday afternoon with my youngest as she underwent emergency surgery-- she took a line-drive from a softball to the mouth. Two missing teeth, one fractured bone in her face, one broken nose, and one hysterical mother later she's on soft food and liquids for 6 weeks. This week a follow-up visit led to 3 root canals, and the possibility of several more.
Oh, wait. . . it gets better. . .
While waiting for Youngest at the root canal doctor, I received a phone call from one of my college-girls informing me that she was sitting in the health services building awaiting the results of her Swine Flu test.
Oink. (And of course, my husband is out of the country. Just like him to be 7000 miles away during a crisis. :)
Not that I'm complaining or soliciting sympathy, but should I continue. . . ?
. . . Here is part of a text message conversation from my other college-girl that started my day:

"Hey Mom, my car is dead and something is way wrong with it. I tried to jump it with cables and it started smoking and crap. Ugh."

This message was followed shortly thereafter by another. . .

"Can I take Advil?"

And then. . .

"I kinda burned my hand pulling the jumper cable off."

Followed by. . .

"Just my fingers and palm. It's beginning to swell."
Oh joy. I've lost count, is that 3 things yet? I may stop answering my phone.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Tree From Which the Apple Fell

Yes, it's been quite a while. I could blame my absence on laziness, or writer's block, or laundry, or a super-bad internet connection. But mostly I've been AWOL because I've been trying to tread water in this unpredictable whirlpool called "Life." It's been one killer of a summer, I must say. So in an effort to placate my loyal reader(s?) a bit longer until my life calms down a fraction . . . or two . . . or twenty, I'm posting this article written by my dad a few years ago. It was recently published in a local newspaper. (And for the record, I think my kids are more like swarming locusts with cell phones.) Enjoy!

P. S. I'll see you soon--I promise.

To Grandmother’s House They Go

Twice a year our Georgia Connection comes to town. Our older daughter, her husband and their four children live near Athens, Ga. and visit us at Christmastime and in midsummer.
They left for home 3 ½ hours ago. Since cousins like to be together, our four Middle-Tennessee grandchildren spent most of the 10 days at our house as well, forming an ever-moving, ever-eating mélange of adolescents and pre-adolescents — four boys and four girls who range in age from 5 to 17.
The Georgia clan and the two of us filled our four bedrooms and when cousins slept-over, sleeping bags covered every floor.
Do you remember how much food adolescents consume? Elephants put away 200 of food a day, an amount easily matched by our four grandsons and approached by our two older granddaughters. Where the calories go is a mystery. Not one grandchild has an ounce of excess fat. One hundred forty cans of soft drinks, 10 gallons of lemonade, three gallons of milk, 1½ gallons of ice cream and 72 popsicles disappeared in 10 days. A turkey breast, a pot roast, half a ham, a three-pound meatloaf, eight pounds of barbecue, eight pounds of shrimp, seven large pizzas and 15 pounds of catfish are missing.
We cooked three pounds of white beans from the grocery and four quarts of green beans, four quarts of peas and 40 ears of corn from the garden. Homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and blackberries rounded out their diet.
Lucky Charms and Pop Tarts suddenly appeared on the breakfast menu. Breakfasts ran from 8 to 11 a.m., lunches from 11 to 3 and dinners from 5 to 8 p.m. Of course, there were snacks in between.
Ten to 15 people ate most meals with us but last night we fed 22 as nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, boyfriends and girlfriends swelled the guest list.
Carolyn never left the kitchen for 10 days. I spent most of my time in the grocery store. I haven’t seen the statistics yet but I expect to see an upward blip in the national retail sales figures for July.
Six bicycles of various sizes, two tricycles, a motorized toy jeep, a croquet court and a shuffleboard court provided outside diversions but the most popular activity was hide-and-seek played at night with “it” armed with a flashlight. They call it “German Spotlight” for reasons that escape me. Other entertainment included golf for the boys, horseback riding for the girls, movies and Nashville Shores for them all.
Our house has a computer, four television sets, three bathrooms and a washer and a dryer. All were in continuous use throughout the entire 10-day visit. The upstairs den seemed always to hold grandchildren, one on the computer, some watching TV, some playing board games and all were eating. Now that we are alone, we are considering just raking out the den and hosing it down.
After teary-eyed farewells were over, I watched the final round of the British Open golf tournament and reclaimed my computer. These simple pleasures were somehow less satisfying than I had anticipated and the house seemed far too quiet.
Thankfully, we will see them again in six short months and Carolyn is reasonably sure that she can restore our house to its pre-visit state by then.
Retired pediatrician Bill F. now spends his days working with wood (“mostly making sawdust”), fishing (“but not very well”), puttering around his garden and writing.