The Day That Wasn’t

Christmas is just over the horizon and I’ve been busily preparing.  Most of the shopping is taken care of and the gifts to be made are at least set out and organized.  There’s still some hope that those will actually get done.  The baking schedule is more or less set up, the menu for the holiday is set and the kids all have their chrismtas finery hanging in their closets.  With all of that going on I knew what I wanted to ask for this year: time.  It’s the best (and unfortunately most expensive aorund here!) gift I oculd get right now, and it’s just what I need.  Time to work on gifts, time to get to projects that have been languishing far too long.  I have projects that have been lined up and waiting for over a year now (did your blood pressure just go up, too, or is that just me?) for me to get to.  Not becuase I lost interest, or because I am committing knitter’s adultery (cheating on your current project with a faster, more exciting one). Nope.  They’ve simply been sitting there waiting because we can’t go around naked and we need to eat and clean dishes to eat off of.  They’ve been sitting there because the dog doesn’t take herself out (except for Paul – for me she just runs away), the litter box doesn’t clean itself (nor do the toilets) and the kids can’t drive themselves to the bus stop.  They also don’t pick up after themselves.  And things compound like crazy.  Today the simple act of making lunch for Oona turned into much more.  While I stirred the boiling pasta she opened a cabinet and pulled out all of the placemats and cookie sheets and redistributed those all over the kitchen.  Then she removed 6 magnets and their accompanying pictures from the fridge and found new homes for them in the living room.  SHe pulled the dish towels onto the floor and moved the dog’s food and water bowls into the middle of the room.  She found a napkin and tore it into 30,000 pieces all over the room I had just vacuumed.  And she moved all the dining room chairs out.  Then, while eating said lunch, she populated the wood floors with countless macaroni offerings and spit out a mouthful of juice.  Just her way of showing the love.  This is how lunch turns into an exercise in stamina.  Can you keep up with whirwind Oona?

As I was saying it is all of these reasons and more that I decided time was what I wanted, and so it was granted.  Saturday the kids had an event for brownies that promised to keep them out for at least 3 hours, and Paul agreed to take Oona as well.  It sounded perfect.  I made a mental list of all that I hoped to accomplish in that short time span.  I had planned a nice pork roast for dinner so I could have something yummy to feed everyone with very little effort.  It was overcast and chilly outside so we had the fireplace going, and as the appointed time approached for my family to leave me alone go to their event it started to snow.  It was so lovely and light and very welcome, since we have not had snow before Christmas in I don’t know how long. The weather reports were confusing, though.  It showed us getting a decent mix of snow and ice throughout the evening, and we becamse concerned about this since Paul would be out on country roads with the kids surrounded by other drivers who historically can NOT drive in snow.  The executive decision, as the snow came down more and more, was that they’d stay home instead.  I could still have my time to be productive; it just wouldn’t be in total solitude.   Plus the older girls wanted to go outside and play.  The tree was glowing beautifully, the fire was roasty warm, there was some good tv on…….there was too much niceness for me to worry.  I should’ve known.

First the kids began to fight.  Normal stuff for them, but loud enough to irk me just a bit.  And then they exploded their outdoor gear all over the entryway, making a walk – through to the stairs impossible.  Asking them to clean it up went over very well.  It simply got spread out all over the place in smaller piles of aggravation.

Then Oona began to scream.  She wanted to climb on me.  She wanted to phone.  She wanted…….we didn’t really know.  But she would not stop.  We had to give up on hearing the movie we were watching.  I decided I’d put the roast in the oven and then start on my knitting.  The roast had other ideas.  Despite the fact that it had been thawing inthe fridge for a couple of days it was still frozen.  Solid.  I found this puzzling – afterall it was not a very large roast – and frustrating.   Here it was 5 pm on a Saturday night, rapidly getting dark outside and snowing, and the only clear plan I had for dinner was not feasible.  I may have uttered a few choice words at this point.  And then the satellite went out.  No tv.  Zip.   Zero.   This actually happens frequently enough around here that it less surprising and more homicide inducing annoying.  At this point I decided it was best if I went outside to the car and retrieved the boxes of soda before they froze.  Maybe somehow the tv would right itself in my absence.  Maybe the snow would make me feel better.  Neither.  Instead as I returned to the kitchen and tried to open the soda box on the counter it ripped and a full can dropped onto my toe.  And the rest of the box followed, though I managed to move my foot in time.

I think, that these are those moments that people mention when talking of some poor deranged relative  laying vegetative in bed for years and they say “that was probably the moment her brain snapped”.

Folks, my brain snapped.  So the upshot is that pretty much nothing got accomplished Saturday, although I did enjoy a delicious taco salad from the local Mexican place along with some jelly –  filled churros.  And we got Get Smart with Steve Carrell and loved it.  All’s well that ends well, right?

As for my much – needed time?  You’ll have to ask Oona.

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