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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One of Those Days

Last week, I had ONE OF THOSE DAYS. I wrote about it in an e-mail to a friend of mine, and decided it could easily go here too.

It all began with me going downstairs to fix breakfast for the girls.
I opened the freezer side of our side-by-side. Things were goopy and
oozing because it was WARM in there. I made cereal for the girls, and
the milk from the refrigerator side was lukewarm. So my morning was
spent getting food from the fridge to the cooler, and throwing away
garbage bags of thawing food. Whee.

I got the repair guy coming early in the afternoon, and went off to my
regularly scheduled volunteer hour in my youngest daughter's classroom. I walked
in, and my daughter looked up at me with eyes that clearly shouted "I am
suffering". I didn't even have to ask her if she was feeling well or
not. Her forehead was hot. So I left the school with her in tow.
She slept all afternoon.

I had lunch, then proceeded to my afternoon job of washing the fridge.
EWW. I do actually clean my fridge on occasion, but it's only when
everything is out of there that you can see where you've fallen
behind. I get seriously soaked with ammonia and water as I scrub out
crisper drawers, and have to dry off to let the repairman in. He
fiddled with things behind the refrigerator, then packed up all of his
stuff, charged me $50, and said that he couldn't fix it, and I needed
a new fridge.

Mindful of the fact that all of my dairy products and vegetables were
in coolers in my backyard, I figured it would be a bad idea to wait
too long for a new refrigerator. As soon as the oldest child got home, I went to
Sears and spent WAY too much money on a refrigerator I didn't want to
have to buy.

I drive home already grumpy. I hit horrible traffic which is
unusually slow at 4:30 in the afternoon. Great. An accident. This
was no ordinary accident I soon realize as the Life Flight
helicopters- THREE of them- zoom over my head and land in the middle
of the highway along with hundreds of pretty flashing red and blue
lights. They completely closed the highway and routed traffic
everywhere but where I needed to go.

I decided there wasn't going to be any cooking tonight, so I picked up
Chinese food. I wanted soup, and I knew the girls wanted it too-
for the youngest because she was sick, and the oldest because it's her favorite food. They had enough for two soups. But if I wanted to WAIT, then they
could have some ready in five minutes. Whatever. I waited. Twenty
minutes later I had my soup, and I went home.

We sat down at the table, and I started passing out food. I knocked
over MY soup, and it spilled all over the table. That was okay,
because my youngest started crying that she wasn't hungry. So I ate hers,
and sent her back to bed. I cleaned up soup, then went to the store
to make sure I had enough children's painkiller on hand to help the sick child
feel better.

I decided that mindless television was really the only thing I was
mentally capable of after the day I'd had. I turned it on. CSI
reruns, which for me aren't reruns because I've never actually watched
the show. I was JUST getting into it when my daughter yelled down, sobbing
that she had thrown up, and hadn't gotten to the toilet in time.
Small favors, she'd made it to the bathroom, but hadn't lifted the lid
to the toilet in time.

Jay got home. I mopped up vomit. And pretty much I decided that
there was no point in trying to do anything else with the day because
once you've mopped up vomit the day is just plain over.

I went to bed early.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How my Father Broke His Leg- The Second Time

When I was in the fourth grade, my parents went into a partnership on a gas station. We went into it with some friends we had made, and I remember many hours spent at the gas station, or at our friend's house playing with their children.

Part of the business was the rental of a trailer that was behind the gas station. My father was working one night trying to get the trailer fixed up for the next tenant. He needed to do some work underneath the trailer, so he had the trailer propped up on a jack, and he was crouched underneath to do the work.

A storm blew up. It had been threatening to hit all day, and when it did hit, it was a big one. The winds were fierce, and we were in an open area without a lot of homes or other trees to shelter things. My father was working quickly, and decided to stick it out and finish rather than wait for another day.

The winds became so strong, that they hit the trailer hard enough to rock it, and the jack slipped out from underneath. My father fell back as the trailer fell on him, and the leg that was supporting his weight snapped. One of the beams underneath the trailer slammed into his other knee, causing serious bruising. If it weren't for a single cinder block still holding the trailer up, he would have been crushed.

I remember we stayed the night at our friend's house- something that should have been the best thing ever, but was more worry and fear than fun. It was another day or two before my father came home. I was so excited the day I came home from school and found Dad there on the couch- all cast and crutches. I was so glad that he was going to be alright.

We weren't in the business much longer. It was one of those investments that seemed like a good idea at the time. I wasn't aware of what happened beyond that other than my Dad got better, and we moved away not long after that. I think about it sometimes, and remain very grateful for that one cinder block that saved his life.

"To be a person
is to have a story to tell."

- Isak Dinesen  

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