A big shout out to all those presidents who not only worked so hard to build our nation, but gave us a week off right in the middle of February. Is this a great country or what?
It’s been a pretty interesting week. Of course with any vacation week, there are always home improvement projects. The fact is, we’re actually starting to run out of projects. The last big thing is installing new bathroom linoleum, but that’s a little pricy for our current budget. We also have to wait on replacing the landlord-grade bathtub with a jetted soaking tub, a personal dream of mine. Hey, I’m not greedy or anything; I just want the entry-level model with three basic settings: “stimulate,” “arouse” and “frenzy.” I think I deserve that.
But this week’s projects were pretty simple: we cut and hammered in some wooden risers onto our stairs so that no more underwear would tumble into the closet below and be lost for eternity. No wonder everyone’s gone commando around here! We also made a little bookshelf at the top of the stairs and shelved the big pile o’ books. In the process of sorting and organizing, we found Mr. W’s missing nuts. He’d been looking for them since last fall. Well, I’m glad to report they’re safely back in his hands.
Speaking of nuts, I saw a new product being offered at the checkout of our hipster grocery store. It’s a party mix of walnuts, almonds and cashews called “Doug’s Nuts.” This is the actual text from the label: “To serve DOUG’S NUTS, place in a warm and receptive hand and enjoy. If you are not 100 percent satisfied with DOUG’S NUTS, return the unnibbled-on portion for a full refund. To learn more, visit our website—Doug likes to go on and on about his NUTS!”
Well, I shared that with the boys when I got back to the car, and pretty soon we were brainstorming some varieties we might see on the shelves soon. “Doug’s Roasted Nuts,” I said.
“Doug’s Salty Nuts,” the 11-year old put in.
“How about ‘Doug’s Hairy Nuts?’” our teen suggested. At that point I had to pull over. Honestly, I don’t know where these boys get their low-brow humor.
That reminds me: earlier in the week, our big brown retriever ate an entire grocery store receipt. Then yesterday, she pooped it out on the trail during our morning hike. Unbelievable! Pop-Tarts at a buck eighty-eight? Now that’s a great price!
But the really big thing that happened this week is that I temporarily (I hope) took leave of my senses. It all started with the Cadbury Cream Eggs. The regular kind with the sugary yellow centers don’t excite me too much, but Cadbury used to make one with a fudge center that rocked my world. Well, we found the chocolaty kind at Target and picked up two boxes to last the whole week. I’m not really sure how it happened (I might have blacked out) but I ate an entire box while measuring for the stair risers. Then after the stairs were done I ate the other box. Immediately I was overcome with a sense of complete and utter happiness. The blood was pounding through my veins and if I held the empty foil wrappers up to my ear, I could hear the ocean. What a rush!
But here’s where things started to go wrong. The next morning, while the boys and I were walking the dogs along the railroad tracks, we spotted an old wooden boat on a trailer. There was a sign flapping from the prow that said, “Boat and trailer FREE!” We climbed up on the trailer and looked in. The boat was filled with trash, but there was a cute little captain’s cabin and wheel.
Right then and there, I wanted that boat more than I’d ever wanted anything in my life. The boys tried to talk me out of it. Finally I agreed that if it was still sitting there, TOTALLY FREE, by the time we got back from Loleta, I would borrow a truck and tow it home.
We went to the Cheese Factory in Loleta and filled up on free samples, then cut the cheese all the way home. But my mind was already busy with plans for my new boat. We drove to the railroad tracks and it was gone.
I was devastated. But as the last vestiges of the Cadbury Cream Eggs wore off, I tried to rationalize my loss. What would I have done with a boat? I don’t fish. I don’t even swim well; as the great Paul Stookey said, “Swimming to me is like staying alive in the water.” And speaking of water, the nearest body of fresh water is more than three hours away. What was the plan, to tow the boat there with our Prius? And I was setting a dreadful precedent for Mr. W, who is just one junk vehicle away from being required to hold a scrapyard license. The thing is, this experience gave me a glimpse into the dark recesses of Mr. W’s mind. It was a scary, compelling place.
And if I’m honest with myself, all I would have done with my boat is park it in the yard, paint it pretty colors, hang a bell from the cabin and every once in a while stand in the wheelhouse and shout, “EAT MY WAKE, LANDLUBBERS!” Clang clang!
Well, today looks like a pretty peaceful day after all the week’s excitement. My youngest is overdue for a haircut and that’s definitely on the list, if I can tear him away from the nuclear reactor he’s building. Unfortunately the boys hid my salon shears and all I have to work with are some left-handed safety scissors, but I’ll do my best. My eldest is working on his “controversial topic” essay in between bouts of trying out his vintage “Sega Genesis” game console he bought yesterday at the thrift store and got working within the hour (the kid’s a freakin’ genius!) Mr. W is hard at work at the home office doing taxes, but I’m hoping I can persuade him to fill my inbox later.
And me? Well, I’m not up to anything much. Just out on the water doing twenty knots.