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Dear Diary – I watched Big Guy folding a fitted sheet with horror. I know I taught him how to do it without stretching it across the floor, mainly because I don’t trust what’s on the floor of his apartment. In fact, it’s been less than 12 months since I gave both of my boys a demonstration! When I pointed this out to him, he gave me the lamest excuse: “I’m too short”. I’m way shorter! At only 5′ 1-1/2″ (and the 1/2″ is important), I can still figure out how to make miracles happen!

It’s an appropriate excuse when you’re 12 and your father’s co-worker said you could have ice cream cone if you could reach it (or if you’re caught climbing the bottom shelf at the grocery store because the item you need is at the pinnacle). But folding a sheet?

Can I use this excuse too?

Hubby: Why did the potatoes boil dry?
Me: Because I’m too short.

Hubby: There are enough cracker crumbs on this rug to bread chicken. Someone should vaccuum it.
Me: Not me! I’m too short!

Bed sheets should not be folded on the floor. Ever. But is it the lamest excuse ever, or pure genius? It’s starting to grow on me!

Dear Diary – Walking the last mile to September means thinking ahead to my responsabilities at home. Ugh! I still planned meals and procured produce for Hubby for those weeks I was away this summer. It’s time to boost my self-esteem by fattening him up again. Not really, but we do have to eat, so I made a trip to the local frozen food store. With grocery costs creeping ever higher, any steps to stay in budget are worth it.

While I thought ahead about what to pick up, I didn’t think ahead when I parked at a distance. It meant I had to wrestle my full cart down a steep curb and trail it, wonky wheel wobbling, across the parched parking lot. The lot sloped toward my car, so I needed one hand to hold it while I scrabbled with the other to grab my keys. My keys, however, were firmly lodged between the metal bars. It took two hands, a foot and a lot of straining and straddling to set them free.

With the car door finally open, I had to face the next challenge. The lovely cashier tried to make my job easier, by packing my entire cartload into one box. One large cardboard box that I had slid into the cart at a rakish angle, because it was too large to fit in the cart! Praying I didn’t break the leg that was now a post through the bottom of the cart to keep it from running away, I heaved the box up the side of the cart until it was balanced precariously along the top bars. That’s when I realized I was on the wrong side of the cart to ease the box into the car and the cart was blocking the door from opening. There could only be one winner, so a sexy tango ensued to right the wrongs.

As I was spinning oh SO not elegantly, I noticed a graying biker dude in a big, black pick-up truck enjoying my dilemma. “I hope he’s enjoying the show”, I thought, as I hooked my toe around the cart’s undercarriage and lifted the box.

My load was exactly halfway into the backseat when the wind caught my skirt and tossed it unceremoniosly over my head. If that biker dude was still watching, he got quite the eye-full…of my sad, white granny panties. You know the ones I’m talking about – with the stretched out elastic and the “not so white” hue, and you only keep them because you need something to wear when the laundry pile has grown too large? There was nothing to do but to keep bending forward until I could drop the box and run.

But I couldn’t run. It would be rude to abandon my cart in the middle of the parking lot, even if my face was burning brighter than the sun. So, with what dignity I could muster, I proudly marched my cart with the wonky wheel across that parched parking lot and hauled ‘er up the curb again. I walked back to my car with my head held high, and my hands cupping my buttocks. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

Dear Diary – September started and it felt like the thermostat was suddenly turned down. On Sunday, it was damp and rainy. It was as if weather could sense our spirits as the end of our week-long family holiday neared. It was such a change in weather that when I got home from church, I changed out of my sundress into a hoodie and leggings. I even asked Mom if I could warm my hands in the soup?

She said “no”.

It had been a great week. We stayed up too late and rolled out late. We enjoyed rousing games in the evening, and quiet conversation over coffee or tea in the mornings. We went swimming a few times, and took time to read quietly in the shade. We treated Mom and Dad to A&W one night for dinner, and made the long drive back to the restaurant when they failed to give us all the food we ordered. And we went on a ghost walk followed by late night fancy doughnuts from Tim’s.

One afternoon Big Guy and Little Guy headed into the backyard for a climbing lesson. I watched from as distance as the youngest, now taller than his older brother, strapped on equipment that looked like it weighed more than he did. I took lots of photos and cheered as he slowly ascended the oak. He didn’t get very far because it’s far more difficult than one can imagine. Not only is it a serious workout, but it requires a lot of coordination and skill. I thoroughly enjoyed watching my guys, 16 years apart, hanging out!

A sibling is part blood, part rival, part coach, and forever friend.

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Dear Diary – You know you’re getting old when your sons have to help you get undressed. Sort of. I got stuck in my wet t-shirt after I got out of the pool. It had rolled up behind my head, and while I’m regaining the use of my shoulder, the edge of the shirt was just out of reach. Still, it bodes well for the future that they’ll jump to my aid when I need it.

Dear Diary – It was a gift and rare delight that transported me back to childhood. My Mom’s neighbour arrived on our doorstep one morning with potatoes, carrots and watermelon from his garden. The watermelon was not only deliciously sweet, but it had real watermelon seeds! What’s so terrible about watermelon seeds any way? All the watermelons from grocery stores are “seedless”, robbing children of the joy of spitting seeds in the lawn (or at each other). I relished the pleasure of spitting seeds this week, but not at anyone…even though I was sorely tempted. 😉

Dear Diary – Every now and then, Hubby and I will look at houses online in different communities. We currently live hours between our oldest to the west, and our folks to the east, so even if we could move, which way do we go? One evening, Hubby sent a few links to houses in my hometown. On a whim and even though it was getting late, my parents, Little Guy and I piled into the car and drove around town to look at them. Dad drove into neighbourhoods that I used to walk through on my way to school, and the trip turned into a walk down memory lane. We ended it at Dairy Queen before heading home for a card game. Which I lost.

One of the houses was right around the corner from where my grandparents lived. My brother and I would take our little lunches to their house and we’d watch The Flintstones, Rocket Robinhood. or Spiderman. Sometimes Nana made KD or hot dogs. I’m not sure I could live that close to memories. I miss them.

As a teenager, I longed for life outside of my small town, and after very few years in the big city, I desperately wanted to come home again. I know even if I was able to move back, I can never go “home” again. Everything is so very different and so much is still the same.

Chase our dreams but always know the road that will lead you home again.

Tim McGraw

Dear Diary – A dark shadow was on the horizon last night: school starts today. Unless you’re in grade 11 or 12. Then it begins tomorrow!

I”m not ready for this…