Monday, March 07, 2005

Yabba Dabba, Doo!

Sunday afternoon:

Went to grocery store = spent too much (grocery prices are going up in tandem with the cost of gas.)

As promised, I took my daughter to the beach despite how late in the day it was = It was so cold I stayed dressed and wrapped in a towel the entire time we were there, which lasted approximately 45 minutes. There was a man-o-war on the beach and no shells through which to search. We ate a bag of sour gummy worms like it was popcorn. Casey talked a lot and I listened and then we left. It was a nice time despite the fact we didn’t do anything. The highlight was the man we saw on the way out of the parking lot with the scariest, hairiest back we’d ever seen. We stared as long as we could without being detected as we drove away, we were compelled, and then we didn’t think we could eat dinner tonight.

Arrived home to our post-hurricane home which amazingly still looks post hurricane 5 months after, and decided then and there to go to the home improvement store to get lattice to replace that which the wind carried away along with the bougainvillea (I can't spell it either, how's this version?) that once grew upon it. I don’t like my house looking naked. Casey despises home improvement stores but perked up to find we weren’t going to K-mart. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Found Lowe’s lattice department after being taken by Casey through the kitchen and bath centers where she gleefully tested every appliance and faucet, touched every countertop, opened every cabinet and appliance door, dreamed of owning every single cool item we saw, and a few we didn’t. We found and carried the bulky 8’x 4’ lattice out to pay for it, all while Casey, who was bringing up the rear, kept poking me in the butt with the two posts she was carrying as well. She found this exceptionally funny. That’s when it hit us that we would have to have a way to get this huge thing home in our not so huge car. But there was no turning back. We had carried the thing a quarter of a mile. We would find a way to get it in the car.

In a flash of brilliance we decided to try putting the back seats down. We were so excited. We had never used this feature. This would be cool! Actually it wasn’t. The opening from the back seat into the trunk was the size of a toaster oven. So we had no choice; we bent the lattice in half lengthwise, shoved and pulled and risked stares and quizzical looks from passersby and the possibility of breaking or bending it for all eternity. But we are exceptional women. Even without twine to tie down the trunk lid, and the lattice sticking out, we took off, but not without Casey warning that we weren’t allowed to do that. We made it home despite the constant banging of the trunk lid as it flung first all the way up, then crashed down. All the way up, bonk! All the way down. Clunk! Over and over. A little nerve-wracking.

We managed to unbend our lattice quite easily when we got home. I had to get the two posts into the ground to attach the lattice to since it wouldn’t quite reach that far down from the roof where it was to be attached. This was when I realized that I had gone from living in the 60’s, the era I feel stuck in most of the time, and realized that now I had fallen back perhaps to the stone age, doing things in a manner not unlike like the Flintstones. See, I don’t have many tools, and rarely the one I need. I always improvise. Come over some time and I’ll show you ways to rig things you wouldn’t dream of doing on your own property. It may not be professional, but I can usually find a way to make something do for a long time in a less than efficient way. Then I leave it that way until it breaks to the point of ir-rigability

I was digging the post holes, first with a kitchen spoon, and then when I needed to go deeper I moved on to the only other object I could find with enough length and the correct width to do the job. A big paint stirrer. I used it like a drill. One end had indents and I twirled and twirled trying to soften the ground so the 2x2 posts could be sunken by the might of my right arm and a hammer. I thought about my crude tools and the way I find to do the things that have to be done and I thought, what the heck, it’s free. Why spend a money I don’t have on tools I’ll use once in a zillion years, when I can improvise for free. The paint stirrer didn’t cost a penny and it worked. I pounded those posts in like a maniac. And though it took a bit of muscle, yes I have some in there somewhere, and some grit, I got the little posts in really quite far, despite the fact that one of them was the wrong kind and was pointed on both ends and the other had no pointy end. Try hammering a pointy ended piece of wood about a foot and a half into the ground with a hammer. But we did it. Casey helped. I told you we were exceptional women.

We stopped at that point, leaving the lattice up against the wall, job unfinished because I noticed a significant number of weeds in the grass that needed my deft pulling technique. At that point it was all over. I spent the next hour until darkness had overtaken my eyesight, pulling weeds with fury. I get started and I can’t stop. Of course I do it with the most careful posture. Here’s the technique: stand, bend at the waist and pull using only the lower back. Works wonders for keeping pain relief companies in business.

So that was the adventure of the day. Casey and I spent the rest of the night on the couch watching extreme home makeover and another show about people who had struck it rich winning the lottery. The lottery show made me wish for more and made me thankful to have less both at the same time. We discussed our distaste for the gaudy overabundance that we see on TV. I told casey I was content with the things I have. She argued that babies and old people are more content than I. I disagreed, and said babies are the greediest. So we settled on old people as winning the title of most content with what they have. This led to Casey trying to figure out how many years she had left to live and then calculating how old she would be when I died. I tried to remind her that you never know how long you have. I told her we could have an accident at any time. She said something kind of funny about not wanting to hear me talk about accidents. And then she kept calculating though, because she wants to be sure she’s at least 20 before I go. She said she needs to have me around until she moves out at the least. I told her I would do my best. That gives me eight more years. I hope I can make it at least that far. We could have a lot of great times from here to there and beyond. I hope to enjoy each moment like today.

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