Elderflowers and Rosebuds

From the elders to you – the parents now. What we want you to know about the little ones standing shyly at your knees….

Please get us together and party. We simply can’t get enough of their company.

We watch in fascination as our genetics and smiles pass down the generations, cleverly packaged in sweet smelling skin, sparkling eyes, and fresh views.

It’s like pushing the “do over” button but we no longer feel the need to do it ourselves. Life has been crazy and we’re tired, but these little ones are so ready to go after it.

You parents are encouraging them to reach for the stars. We love that. We hope to be stars, ourselves, at some point.

Reach for us, little ones.

The littles are so innocent. We know it can’t last. But maybe, just maybe, you can let them have a childhood for just a bit longer? Once childhood is behind you, there’s no going back to this place of wonder and fearlessness and trust. We know. We tried.

Thank you for putting our mistakes behind us. You and I may have quite different views on a great many things that I used to think were very important. Now, not so much. The older I get, the fewer things are worth being dogmatic about. It will happen to you soon enough. And you will discover that the simple, beautiful, and playful parts of life are profoundly fulfilling.

And I want to share those moments with the littles.

I know there are doubts and worries in your head. I know because I went through them in my turn. You visit in the hospitals and convalescent homes and my own home and worry non-stop over germs and food and medicines and random oxygen lines that could find their way into your little’s mouth. You wonder what that smell is and whether the cleaning lady is up on my laundry and if you will make it home in time for the little’s nap.

You hold them, wriggling in your arms like the fish they are, and bribe them to stay five more minutes so I can drink them in with my eyes and soak up their babbling with my ears. And when you bring them close for a kiss or a cuddle or even a handshake, my world lights up like Christmas.

Will I still be here for Christmas?

Will this little one take in that wonder as much as I take in this one?

I do not need entertaining.

It is powerful and satisfying when this little one sits in my company and simply exists.

Many people love me, and they show it with flowers and treats and visits full of cheer.

But you.

You brought life into the room when you brought the littles to see me.

You brought my reminder that today is lovely and tomorrow is hopeful, regardless of the details.

Thank you.

The Hip Happiest Time of the Year

Aaaaah!

I hope you are all as cozy as I am this very moment. What used to be an awful, frantic three months of endurance has evolved into just doing what I love.

You have your fuzzy socks on, right?

I completely ignore Halloween and Christmas and stretch Thanksgiving out into as many weeks as I can get away with. It’s delicious.

I asked a girlfriend yesterday if she was ready for Thanksgiving and she made that face that I put on when words don’t do justice to the injustice of forced festivity.

Who uses the Grinch face for Thanksgiving? Who?

Her family is coming to her house, so she has to clean, cook, rearrange furniture – you know the drill.

She freely admits that they put zero pressure to perform on her lovely shoulders: she does it all by herself.

Now there’s a girl after my own heart!

I know you already saw this video clip on Facebook, but here’s the link anyway, if you want a good laugh.

This used to be me, my kids unanimously agree, although none of us thought it was funny back in the day.

Now I recognize my own special brand of crazy and embrace it.

I don’t do it because I have to. I do it because I like it. And that makes all the difference.

I have been fluffing up my house for two weeks solid and I am in my happy zone, let me tell you, even if it wakes me up at 3am to go over the bottomless list:

  • buy canned green beans; no snow peas
  • burp the vacuum; suck up drifts of dead ants in basement
  • get the giant beanbag up the stairwell; pretend it’s real furniture
  • bulk buy toilet paper and kleenex
  • remove half cord of wood from property and rake area: just because I can see it from my window
  • den curtains: red or ugly nondescript mud brown?
  • wall holes: repair or hide with houseplants?
  • Ecuador: send the kid or no?
  • basketball uniforms cleaned: hot or cold water?
  • blog: write one!! write two! get up right now and write them!!

I know there’s not a soul around who cares if I do a single one of these items.

But.

Remember the couches I was determined to buy?

Boom.

Hubby and I drove in circles until we made a kill two cities away.

I’m not sure why factories feel compelled to manufacture ugly furniture.

Maybe they chat with the clothing industry.

“Make it smoky blue. With fat nail heads. Everywhere. I want to see that sofa gleaming like Vegas when the lights go out. Also, it should render a person unconscious if they flop their head backwards against the cushions.”

I put a tab so large on my credit card (financing is for sissies) I expected it to melt in the swiper machine. This sofa is no small potatoes.

It cost a million dollars.

I plan to count, and when the millionth person sits down on it, we will throw a party, having finally gotten our money’s worth out of the behemoth.

Anyway.

I moved all the house furniture around and then carefully laid out the placement of our sofa sectional on the floor in blue painters tape. I needed a visual.

And we will keep this virtual couch until the real deal arrives and fills the air space.

I keep telling the kids to keep their feet off it. Were they raised in a barn?!

Don’t answer that.

Thanksgiving prep is my perfect alibi.

When else could I be shaking up the house like Yahtzee dice and no one raise an eyebrow?

Build it and they will come.

And they will.

All the family for Thanksgiving and then more family staying through the weekend.

They’re lucky to not be sleeping in virtual beds.

Today I was up to my elbows midwife-ing turkey giblets, because I cook my turkey the day before Thanksgiving. It’s not my original idea (thanks, Flylady) but it’s transformed the day into one with my family and a glass of wine instead of feeling like I’ve been chained to the kitchen (which is not a bad idea per se, but I can do that any day).

No one was hanging over my shoulder rushing me. I enjoyed my tea while setting out pie plates and slicing the golden bird of destiny.

With this tune running through my head:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

With the kids mingle-yelling
And everyone telling you
“What a careeeeer!”
It’s the most tea-chugging time of the year

It’s the hip-happiest season of all…

With those furniture needings
And virtual seatings
When friends come to call
It’s the best praying-est season of all…

There’ll be Facebook for posting
Your in-laws for roasting
And Skyping to friends in the snow (haha!)
There’ll be old Viking stories
And tales of the glories
Of recipes long, long ago…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

There’ll be movie line know-ing
Our pies we’ll be throwing
When loved ones are near
(throw more brandy!)
It’s the best family time of the year!

Just Can’t Swallow This

Two Easters ago I was attacked by a snow pea.

I never saw it coming.

The fam was over for the day and we had already eaten lunch. We were lounging around enjoying our blessings: the kids were well past the frivolous baskets filled with Big Rock Candy Mountains and also they no longer wanted to hunt eggs unless they were filled with hundred dollar bills…yeah, no.

Each kid did what has now become our latest tradition for both Easter, Halloween and any other ridiculous wanna-be holiday that has nothing to do with anything: walk the candy aisle at the store and choose a favorite. Eat it when you’re feeling a little left out of the general festivity but know better than to get sucked into it.

We’re trying to spend more time just being together.

As I took another cruise past the food piled up in the kitchen (doing dishes has perks), I realized I had missed the relish tray altogether in my zeal for ham.

Priorities.

But not necessarily a draw-back in this land of opportunity.

I grabbed a fistful of snow peas and the tub of hummus and brought them out to share with my fellow loungers. I’m nice like that.

One and a half snow peas into the treat, I knew something was awry.

My throat was closing up. It didn’t want to swallow any more snow pea.

I analyzed it for a moment, looking thoughtfully into space. I’m sure it appeared that I was simply digesting the fascinating conversations going on around me.

But no. Things were getting exciting in my throat.

So I asked myself the basic life affirming questions:

  1. Can I breathe?
  2. Can I still repeat movie lines from Finding Nemo in my head?
  3. Does anyone notice I might keel over any minute or will I die in obscurity behind this houseplant?
  4. If I do, will they eat all the dessert without me?

My answers were leaning into the “yes” category, so I did the next logical thing.

I made a cup of tea.

Denial is my favorite flavor.

I sat back down in the very middle of my people and took an experimental sip.

And it stayed right there, trapped in my mouth.

Now I knew it was the real deal. I got all bug-eyed and spit the tea back into my mug and my people cheered and reminded me that tea is hot and I should know better.

Stupid people.

One single drop of tea had wandered back toward my tonsils and taken a look down.

“I can do that,” it said.

It went rappelling through the maze of lumps that went from my tonsils clear into my stomach.

It took a long time. And it was very uncomfortable.

And my people thought I was doing facial exercises and found them entertaining.

“Hey,” said a kid, “Did you guys know you can’t touch your tongue to the tip of your nose?”

Maybe this whole “family together time” thing is overrated.

I pulled my sister aside, told her the issue, and made her watch me.

She was ready to dial 911 if I keeled over into the houseplant.

It took three hours for my throat to feel normal again.

My tea got cold.

When I went to an allergist that week, I discovered that I didn’t have an allergy to either snow peas or avocados, which I was also highly suspicious of. I was told that if my body was blocking them, just don’t eat them.

Stupid allergist. I love them both. You’re telling me to give up something I love “just in case”.

We all know how I feel about that.

So I refrained and had some uneventful weeks until the final straw, if you will.

There’s a brand of health drinks in the produce section that I love but only buy them when I want a fast, healthy treat.

I chugged the delicious green goodness and immediately my throat began to swell.

Thankfully, I was riding in the car with Hubby at the wheel and he drove straight to a drug store and brought me out liquid Benadryll.

I chugged two capfuls and felt them go spelunking down my throat.

The allergist gave me Epi-pens. He had no explanation.

“Here is a list of raw, green foods that you should avoid.”

That’s it.

I sit in Mexican restaurants and stare down the guacamole.

“So, we’re cheating death now, that’s what we’re doing, and we’re having fun at the same time, I can do this, just be careful…”

But I never do.

“Hey there, Mr Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do?”

Angels in the Backseat

Once upon a New Year’s Eve, we got it together on a bright and beautiful Sunday morning and headed across town to church.

You reckon that God is over there waiting for you and you’ll hear some lovely thoughts on scripture and practice loving your neighbor and teach the kids a thing or two about how Jesus loves them so.

And your suburban is in the shop (again) but that’s okay because another member is driving two of your kiddos and you’ve got the other three in the Lexus with you, so you make a cup of tea to go and debate just briefly whether to hassle the carseat into it because the kid is five already and it’s only across town.

So you don’t bother.

Hubby’s driven the exact same route a million times.

So when we entered the intersection and got hit by another car incoming at 3 o’clock and spun and got struck again and then spun into another car who was just minding it’s own business waiting for the light to turn and we all landed smack in the middle of Oz, it made no sense.

None.

Hubby immediately jumped out of the car.

“What happened?” I heard him asking, “I don’t understand…what was that?”

His first thought – and all of the alternatives were just as awful – was that somehow he had run a red light. That someway he had just made a terrible mistake. But he had seen a green light.

Hadn’t he?

It never occurred to anyone that – hey – he had just jumped out of a totaled car.

And walked around trying to understand stuff.

I vividly remember sitting in my seat, wondering the same thing.

I was surrounded by deflated air bags; tea was all over the place.

There was a breath of complete silence.

And then my little one started to cry.

“Kids!” I shrieked, “Kids! Are you okay? Somebody talk to me!”

“Yeah mom,” said my eldest. He was sitting directly behind me. “I think so.”

I heard glass shifting in sharp little ice cube sounds. I heard the car door open behind me. I heard my daughter in the far left seat groan very quietly. My baby was still crying.

I must’ve lost it just a little.

Over and over, I screamed at the kids to tell me they were okay until my eldest opened my car door.

He got right up in my face.

He made eye contact until I was quiet.

“Mom,” he said, “we’re okay. We’re all three out of the car and standing here. I’ve got the kid, he’s just scared. Look, he stopped crying.”

And that’s when it occurred to me that I couldn’t move.

My brain told my head to turn and look out of the car, but my head didn’t want to.

Weird.

That was it, weird.

And I just didn’t care because my babies were standing in the middle of the road and promised that they weren’t hurt and they were okay and everyone was going to wait for the emergency vehicles and stay together and take care of each other until everything was okay again.

That’s what I needed to do. Fix stuff. Make it okay pronto.

I sat there and called my mother.

I know.

I told her where we were and could she come and collect us and that we were all okay but obviously without a vehicle.

Oh, and I couldn’t really move yet but it was all the same to me to sit there in the comfortable car and wait for her. I was fine. I called her, didn’t I, to tell her so. I must be.

I sat in the car, hearing voices that seemed jumbled and far away and looking at nothing much in particular, feeling tired and thankful and completely sure that we were all fine.

Which makes no sense.

But I didn’t need it to.

I just knew.

I was very surprised when a strange man popped his head into my personal space.

“Hi there,” said Mr Handsome.

“Hi.” Mental eye roll. Surely I could’ve come back with anything more clever.

“How are you feeling?”

“You know,” I said, “I’m fine, thank you. I just felt like I didn’t want to stand up yet. I’ll get out now, if you need me to.”

“Have you moved at all since the crash?”

I didn’t like his insinuation.

“No, but I was just pulling myself together. Look, I can turn my head, it just hurts to do it, but I’m sure it’s fine.”

I had barely shifted my chin to the right when he and the entire firefighting crew around him exclaimed, “STOP! No! Don’t move!”

Well. I didn’t know I was so popular.

I gave Mr Handsome the stink eye.

“I can wiggle my fingers and my toes. I can move my arms and make phone calls. I’m fine!”

“Look,” he said very calmly, “we don’t know if you have a hairline fracture anywhere in your spine. If you turn anything at all…you could pop it.”

And that’s when I went a little to jelly.

I let strapping young men strap me into a hard stretcher. I forgave them for lying me smack in the middle of the street in broad daylight with a crowd of onlookers who will remain forever anonymous, as my neck was in the cone of shame.

It was a bit much though, (paramedics take note here) that I was on an incline with my head lower.

I had a head rush, but I was glad I was wearing my nice skirt and top.

Someone else was put into the ambulance with me, and the paramedic asked me questions all the way to the hospital.

But not the other guy.

The other guy had broken ribs and a collapsed lung. But I didn’t find that out until much later.

By the time I was laid out in the ER, and my X-rays were being scrutinized, Hubby was sitting next to me again.

He told me my parents had arrived on the scene and collected the children and taken them on to church where they were surrounded for the day with instant multitudinous family.

A police officer stepped into our cubicle.

He explained that the other car had blatantly run a red light. The driver and his passenger were heading home after an all-night party. They had just stopped at a drive through for breakfast and the driver had glanced down at his wrapped McMuffin and never even saw the intersection coming.

He struck our front right car panel at full speed, crumpling it just to the edge of my door.

When we both spun, he struck the back right car panel, crumpling it just to the edge of the back door.

When we spun into the other car, we smashed out the left rear of our car.

The three kids in the back seat were leaned forward when the rear window shattered and threw parts from the other car into the seat at them, showering them in glass.

Not a scratch on them.

The officer mentioned that this was a perfect lawsuit. They had all the evidence in their report available. This negligent driver had totaled a family car, minors were involved, and here was the mom laid out in hospital.

He gave us paperwork and respectfully backed out.

Hubby and I just looked at each other as a doctor walked in.

“No fractures,” he said. “Just a full-body whiplash. Take your time starting to move. I’ll prescribe some pain killers.”

Sometimes you have “church” in the most unlikely places.

It dawns on you that God wasn’t waiting around somewhere for you to show up.

He was sitting right here with you the whole time.

With His arms around you.

Every scripture involving the concept of thanksgiving, grace, and mercy popped into my head.

And I thought they were all beyond true.

I felt nothing but sympathy and sadness for the people in the car that had hit us. They were hurt, and we weren’t. We had a loving family with multitudinous arms lifting us up.

I didn’t know what kind of family these strangers were going home to.

What would their own mothers say, running to see them in the hospital?

Were they afraid? How many ways had this morning changed their lives, maybe forever? Were they going to spend months worrying, waiting for us to hunt them down?

Because we didn’t.

When God hands you the lives of your children, you don’t ask for a single thing more.

I believe my kids learned a thing or two that day about how much Jesus loved them so, without anyone saying a thing.

Later, at home, I put on – very slowly – the sparkly top I had bought for New Year’s Eve.

I answered the constantly ringing phone to reassure everyone that, yes, our open house New Year’s party was still on. Please come.

For once, I didn’t do dishes or join the Xbox dance-off or hula hoop contest.

I just sat up very straight and soaked in the love that permeated our home.

And tried to thank the angels who had been sitting on the kids in the backseat.

Another Hair-brained Idea

My niece received a large package in the mail the other day containing a head.

Specifically, a human female head with long, luscious locks of hair.

My niece is training at Paul Mitchell to be a licensed beautician and tells me this is a normal event.

She uses this head to practice on and resists the urge to nab pedestrians off the street.

I myself have never once dyed my hair, although cutting it off short about two years ago seems to have worked out nicely.

Hubby didn’t put my head in a box and mail it off to advance experimental science.

I am at a point, however, where some grays are showing up (a handful per child; more for the teenagers) and I’m looking into coloring it.

My hairdresser is super excited.

My girlfriends are dismayed.

“Your hair is such a rich brunette, why?” they say.

Because my grays are actually whites and I’m not into the Cruella deVille look.

The Irish in my blood line (we’d get into more mischief in general if we weren’t always working so hard in specific) tends towards dark hair, hot tempers, and an “act first, think later” mentality.

As I’ve made my peace with two out of three of these, it just feels logical to dye my hair red.

A deep, mahogany red.

Maybe gold highlights.

Does it come in copper?

I’m told that once I commit to coloring my hairs, I will have to “maintain” them forever.

Which doesn’t make sense to me.

Hair grows. Everything you do to it is, by nature, temporary.

My OCD and ADHD are thrilled about this, but Hubby acts like the world will end.

I ask my girlfriends, “How bad can it be? You just grow it out and start over, right?”

And they back slowly away in horror, hands on head.

They’ve stopped asking me what hair products I use.

We had to use the facilities at my niece’s place three months ago when our water lines burst.

Opening the shower door to go about my business, I froze.

There were, no joke, almost 50 bottles of product in there.

Where was I supposed to fit?

I looked at my little bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo and felt extremely inadequate.

This was yet another piece to the puzzle of why my daughters take 30 minute showers (“Get out already! You could’ve filled a pool by now!”) and I take five.

There can’t possibly be enough dirt on the planet that it takes that long to clean hair.

I can clean my whole house in that time frame.

With my 2-in-1 shampoo.

I reckon they just get lost in there.

There are a few things on my “bucket list”, and dying my hair is one of them.

I’m not going to be that elderly cat lady with orthopedic shoes and hair in a nice, sensible tweed.

I have an appointment with my hairdresser this Friday the 13th.

Seems fitting.

But if a head-sized box arrives on your doorstep…run.

Brawn Before Brains

So.

My practically 25 year old son (I’m only counting because I read in National Geographic that my teenagers’ brains won’t fully develop until they are 25 and my held breath is getting thin) called last week and informed me that he “might be coming by” tomorrow.

This was call for celebration, as he moved thirty minutes away and now sighting him is as rare as seeing Bigfoot.

My response was a bit enthusiastic and I didn’t really ask him, you know, why he was coming over.

Enough to know the child cared.

I cleared my schedule, just in case.

When his car pulled up in front of the house the next day, I speed dialed Hubby.

“He’s here!” I told him, opening the front door, “Just now!”

Hubby immediately left work, calling an extended lunch break, and raced home to see the kid.

I hugged my tall, skinny firstborn and pulled him into the house, saying, “Come sit down and let me feed you!”

This is what moms do. Feed kids.

I put some leftover chili into a big bowl and said, “Wait. Why aren’t you at work today?”

I checked the giant wall calendar to see if I had missed a major holiday.

It’s happened.

“I’ve got the next two days off work,” replied the kid, reaching for a spoon, “I can’t use my hands right now.”

I did a double take.

His palms, forearms and elbows were ground up.

As in, there were holes where body bits should be.

I stood there speechless as Hubby walked in.

“Hey!” said Hubby, “Long time no see, kid! How’s it going?”

He paused as the kid held up his hands for inspection.

I lost my appetite.

“Well,” stammered Hubby, valiantly reaching for a bowl, “um, that looks painful. What happened?”

Our eldest rides a vintage 10-speed bicycle that he loves, whether he owns a car or takes the train. Last week, it was in the shop for a tune-up and new tires, and it had just come back, sparkling clean and itching for a ride.

He lives at the top of a hill.

The hill bottoms out onto a major roadway.

“Mom,” he used to say, “you know I love to ride fast…”

He admits that he was going much faster than his usual way-too-fast down the hill and that his rear tire must have hit a small pebble.

Our son has never worn a helmet, not even after he split open his head on a brick wall in high school.

“Mom,” he says, “you know I know how to roll when I fall. I never come close to hitting my head.”

His sounds of imminent destruction alerted a gardener doing yard work nearby. He ran over to my son, lying sprawled in the middle of the road, and tried to drag him out of harm’s way.

“Mom,” says my son, “you know a car has never come near me.”

His girlfriend drove over and carried him and his bike back up the hill and they put his pieces back together.

“Mom, you know that doctors can’t do anything.”

I fell into a seat half-way through his story and eyed his body up and down, wondering what mangled body bits under his clothes were being hidden.

“Mom, you know I heal fast. There’s nothing broken or anything. My shoulder hurts a little on the inside, but I think it’s fine,” he said, tackling the chili with gusto.

“The shoulder you broke when you were skim-boarding a few years ago?” asked Hubby, trying to choke down some lunch.

The kid reached for more cornbread, “Oh, I’m fine, I just can’t lift heavy stuff because of my hands.”

I passed him the butter.

“This probably isn’t the best time,” continued the kid, “but I’ve been shopping around for a while, and as long as I’m here I thought I’d ask you guys if you would mind co-signing with me on a motorcycle.”

Hubby gave him one long look.

“Well,” said the kid, “I had to ask.”

He pulled out his phone. “Here, let me show you the helmet and jacket I’ve picked out for riding.”

I stared out the window, one hand on the cool, smooth countertop.

There were my sturdy, giant oaks and distant hawks, circling overhead, and a leaf had fallen into the pool.

This is what moms do. They breathe.

Unless, of course, they are holding their breath, waiting for certain kids’ brain cells to mature.

As Hubby prepared to get back to work and the kid gathered himself up to leave, I hugged them both good-bye.

Hubby’s was a little fierce, but he’s a solid guy.

Then, cuddled in my arms for one brief second was a pudgy dimpled ten-month-old with a smile that could light up Christmas.

Hugging me back was a limber young man who turned his bright smile to me and said, “Love you, mom.”

And this is what moms do.

They let go.

 

“Fall”ing Apart

One of my kitchen chairs has developed a wobble. Just a little one. We use it when we have to, but we know to sit at the edge.

And most visitors have discovered that the roll-away screen door will snap violently open when you touch it – sometimes when you just look at it – shaking the house and our nerves.

These things are easily ignored during the year but suddenly start screaming at me when I’m about to have guests nonstop for the next two months.

Hmm.

The water dispenser in the fridge no longer dispenses water. I thought at first it was because the freezer recently froze the ice dispenser parts closed, but no, the valve simply decided one morning to either dispense water whether we were standing there wanting a drink or not, or refusing service point blank when we were standing there. Wanting a drink.

I thought it was pretty uncool when half of my kitchen lights refused to light up last month. Only half. The parts by the sink give enough ambiance to wash dishes by (the moon outside the window does what it can) but the nether parts either flicker in migraine-inducing staccato or lie there dead. It’s not about the bulbs. It’s the shattery covers that scare us.

My million-dollar dishwasher only operates on one of it’s fancy computer-chipped programs. When I put it on “normal”, it runs for three minutes exactly and then displays an error code: 9E. As in, “I’m nine-y years old. Gimme a break.”

It’s three years old and I can prove it because the little old man who sold us this money pit house thought it was a major selling point.

His wife pulled me aside during escrow and whispered, “I hate it.”

You know who’s side I’m on, right?

And now the kitchen faucet has a teensy little leak, right at the handle.

Hubby doesn’t believe me.

It only leaks when I’m home alone and staring it down.

And this is only the kitchen.

The clothes dryer cheerfully ran a load of towels yesterday. Without heat. Because spinning things in little circles will accomplish stuff. Ask any two-year-old.

Our big, beautiful front doors? The thumb-latch just fell out. Two months ago. The little front door leprechaun who’s been holding it together in there, just died of old age. Do we buy all new handles? Do we just buy new doors? Where can we get another leprechaun?

Three days ago Hubby had a very interesting phone conversation with our internet provider.

Hubby: “The problem seems to be…that your internet isn’t working.”

Responsible Party: “Sir, can you give me the serial numbers on your modem?”

Hubby: “Yes. BMR854L3,8HW”

(Silence) (faint snorting): “Thank you, Sir. Sir, how old is your modem?”

Hubby: (frowny face) “I’m not sure. I don’t have the receipt.”

Responsible Party After Pulling it Together: “Thank you, Sir. From what I can understand, you have been paying for our highest speed service but channeling it through a modem that can only process one-eighth of it. Perhaps your modem is the problem?”

Hubby ran out and immediately fixed the twenty-years-in-the-making situation.

Our priorities seem to be in order.

Frankly, I’m doing the only sensible, helpful thing.

I’m buying new couches.

All of my girlfriends are laughing at me, not because they don’t know this is the indisputable solution, but because they have heard me say this for a long time…and they have never known me to have new couches.

May I here refer you to the first blog I ever wrote. (Yes, when you see blue words in my blogs and click your mouse over them, it tele-ports you into another one of my stories to which I am referring. Yes, you can come back and finish this story, too. No worries.)

If I buy new couches, our old couches can go into the den and the bed in there can move into the upstairs bedroom and I can replace the twins with a queen (here it is again, pay attention) and then I’m putting the new dining set into the kitchen (bye-bye wobbly chair) so my new couches have some breathing room because we are going to have heaps of people over in the next two months.

And Hubby will notice that things, they are a-changin’.

And fix stuff.

Obvs.