Sunday, August 23, 2009

I don't know why you say 'goodbye,' I say 'hello'...

I’m trying to rid myself of that “just been run over by a bus” feeling.

A quick rundown of what occurred this week, for those of you not keeping score:

1. I started a new job.
2. Heir 1 started a new job.
3. Dirtman started a new job.
4. Heir 2 headed off for his first year of college.

This last in particular has us reeling, more than we expected. That he seems to fit in so comfortably at Roanoke College; that his move-in was a breeze made possible by several Roanoke upperclassmen (and women), who descended upon us as soon as we pulled up to the curb and had him unloaded in a matter of minutes in spite of a torrential downpour; that the college fed us to the gills; that he and his roommate are so perfectly matched, it’s eerie (the clincher came when we went out to his parents’ car and it was the same as ours…); that his academic advisor is perfect for a freshman math geek – knowledge of all this was still not enough to prevent that gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I might add that all this emotion is all due to our missing him and not a bit about being worried. He’s had plenty of freedom at home, while we were his safety net, and he’s proved himself over and over has a guy with enough common sense to stay out of trouble, but enough self confidence to try new things and accept others’ differences. He’ll be absolutely fine.

Us – not so much. But we’re getting there.

I don’t know what to say about my new job, mostly because I’m still adjusting to everything – both at home and at work. I know I like my co-workers, which is half the battle right there. But I come home exhausted, probably because of that adjustment period, and not much use to anyone and especially not able to tackle housework. Since I could be working six days a week, this is something I’m going to have to force myself to do when I get home or things will be going downhill fast – and taking my mood with it.

But I’m giving myself a few weeks, especially in view of everything else that is going on.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A brief update

Just poking my head up briefly to update everyone -- I'm sure you've been spending the last few days worrying about me because that's all anybody had to do...

The troops have rallied 'round and I come home to dinner cooked every night and the house as clean as three guys deem suitable. Dirtman cooked the first two nights and last night Heir 1 put together a huge meal -- with some help from Heir 2, who breaded pork chops.

It's been wonderful to be able to focus on getting used to the new routine and not have to worry about everyone else. This is more self-inflicted guilt, I realize. Therefore, everyone is forced to work all the harder so that I don't feel guilty about slacking on a job that I'm not doing. Anyway -- it makes sense in my head.

Time to head off to work.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday is Spot-On Day

I'm not quite as depressed as this week's column sounds, but I'm surprising myself with how much dread I'm feeling about Heir 2 leaving for Roanoke College a week from Saturday.

Really, I tell myself, it's not like he's all that far away. And he's surrounded by friendly souls.

He's in no danger whatsoever. I'm confident I've taught him how to deal with every crisis he is likely to face, though I'm sure as the time draws nearer I'll think of the stuff I forgot to teach him.

No, I'm afraid all the negativity is pure selfishness on my part. I don't want him to leave because...I don't want him to leave.

Avalanche. We never discussed what to do in case of avalanche.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Day As a Slug

It's not like I didn't announce it ahead of time.

When Heir 1 decided to schedule his family birthday party for Aug. 8, I announced to all who would hear me and listen that, on Aug. 9, TCM was having an all day salute to Cary Grant and to forget I exist and forget the living room exists. Both would be off limits that day.

It started out well enough. The marathon offered me a chance to sit for an extended period and get my gift knitting done with minimal interruptions. I'd already seen several of the scheduled films before, so it was like visiting an old friend to have a nice chat and do some knitting.

Then it suddenly occurred to Dirtman that there were entirely too many cucumbers around here and that bread and butter pickles* had to be done today.

How long have I been lamenting the cucumber dilemma? How many weeks? Suddenly it has to be done -- on TCM Cary Grant day.

Anyway, I told Dirtman that I'm sure Cary and I wouldn't mind if he made bread and butter pickles, to which Dirtman harumphed, "Okay. I will." So there.

Well, there were sighs of exasperation. There were pots banging. There were inane questions. There were cooking buzzers buzzing to empty rooms without a Dirtman in sight.

I persisted, though. (I might add, I hardly ever get to use the television in the living room. It's just a given in this house that it must be available to Dirtman at all times of the day so that at any given moment he can watch Dog, the Bounty Hunter. I can't tell you how much I hate having to admit that.) I didn't even respond when, upon walking across the kitchen floor, my shoe stuck to the floor where pickle juice had landed in a puddle and dried there.

Of course today I'm paying for it since, for the fourth time this week, the kitchen floor has to be scrubbed. Still it was worth it.

I had my day and Dirtman has six pints of pickles.

*I'm not sure whether pickles as a side dish is a Southern phenomenon (like ambrosia) or a Protestant phenomenon (like Jello molds).

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Wednesday is Spot-On Day

Nothing thought provoking or controversial this week. My brain has been steamed with canning water.

After all, "...the things I write are only light extemporania..."*

Give me a break -- sometimes I just don't have an opinion on anything.



*Ben Franklin in 1776

Heir (twenty) I

It's one of those rituals that a mother may not attend -- a 21st birthday.

Saturday the family will trot out for a BBQ in Heir I's honor and we'll offer him a legal beer or something. But today is for him and his friends.

Of course we've talked. Don't be stupid, we said. Use your head, we said. Realize the head you use when you've drunk enough is not the head to use, we said. Call us, we said. Call a cab, we said. Designate a driver who will not drink all evening, we said.

All the time we are saying this, we know that, in the end, it's only good character and a deep-set sense of responsibility that will prevent him from becoming a danger to himself and others behind the wheel of a car.

So I've stopped saying anything and I will rest easy.

Happy Birthday, Charley*. I'm so proud of the adult you have become.

*You will notice I did not once call you...oops! I almost said it. You'd really be mad at me then, huh? You know. if I slipped and called you...oops! There I go again...