Somehow they can tell. En masse they push me to the brink, where I'm reduced to a door-slamming, foot-stomping, drooling village idiot, and then they surprise me with sweetness, light, and occasionally some chores well done.
Well, kinda sorta.
Again it was CW out mowing the meadow, Allen helped some, Tony stepped up to the plate by helping in the house, as did Tabby, Nando, Jack and Scotty. My Sunday afternoon bliss generally arrives in the way of me allowing myself the luxury of sitting on my tail and watching the Braves game, but yesterday was a night game instead.
I have a couple of pieces of furniture that've been bugging me, silently reproaching me to haul the suckers off, gimme more floor space in which to twirl and dance, to glide over happily, less stuff in the house, me loudly swearing when everyone's grown there'll be nothing here at all, but my bed and a Lazy Boy recliner for me to wallow in and watch baseball games.
Len Penzo Dot Com wrote a thoughtful post about being financially free, but not rich, and it's a stretch but I'll exclaim that's how I feel too. I never have to work again, even though I took a 14% pension cut that hurts for the rest of my life to parent a specific sib group that all bombed out of the house, all except one of 'em.
Like Len Penzo, I've always lived way, way, way beneath my means, preferring experiences over things which sure came in handy when a buncha folks moved into my house and set about systematically desecrating, destroying, and defacing what little I owned.
Nice try, kids, I wasn't attached to those things anyway. I do miss my soul though. My heart's been shredded and my once sunny disposition has been sorely compromised. I miss my four kitchen cabinet doors, both dishwashers, my youth, and my once shockingly complete lack of fear.
JoJo, as usual, amping up, ratcheting his behaviors into the stratosphere, I'd even caught him arguing with the stones we'd hauled home. "Good golly, son," I'd started to address that behavior, but instead busted out laughing, as I usually do around him, because the rocks were winning this argument. Oh my.
I watched Hoarders last night, eating popcorn in my bed because I can, and the show had a lady with a shopping addiction, facing bankruptcy, all those expensive clothes and shoes only trapped her, did not fulfill her.
As a child we kids never had piles of toys, but our parents took us on month long camping trips each summer, traveling to Canada and Mexico, beaches, National Parks, and other places. I vividly remember each trip. My brothers and I still abhor owning stuff, preferring instead a life that does not embrace things.
So the errant furniture that's been irritating me is plopped in my truck to be hauled off, a sofa Shatter loved and some other crap. Shatter stared balefully after his perch as it was indignantly dragged outta the house, plopping his butt down on the floor staring at where it used to be. She's bad about sitting on the kitchen table too, but it gives her a birds eye view out of the picture window I was bright enough to have put in when the kitchen was rebuilt some 13 year ago.
I interchangeably refer to Shatter as both a he and a she, only because I keep forgetting. And its real name is Shadow.
I have two remaining ugly sofas, bought second hand, or maybe third or fourth, who knows? I know I didn't hardly spend $20 on each one. I'd rather wonder about its history than make payments on such a depreciating asset that's gonna take a beating by my kids.
My lovely daughter ,Gina, 34, took my pretty Lily to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens yesterday after church along with a former student of mine. Lily came home exclaiming over its wonders. A fifteen year old who knows great gardens when she sees 'em. I'd love to go there sometime. Maybe I can talk Emily into skipping work one day soon?
Following Sarah's lead, I've been as vegan as possible for about ten days now, only erring one day when I was at the Braves game and had cheese tortellini with the rich folks in that private Sun Trust Club Seats Restaurant. Like I'd said before, this is very easy to do in the summer time. I feel fine, I don't miss dairy products like I thought I would. Maybe this'll be tougher to do in the winter. I'm not gonna stress about it, it's a mostly vegan thing. Unlike Sarah, I haven't lost a single ounce, but I did stop porking up like I've been doing lately.
But right now I have about $17 dollars left until the end of the month. Seriously. The bills are all paid and we have groceries, we'll make do, there's gas in the van and in the truck, all we're gonna be doing anyway is going to the soccer park.
These two sweethearts, both science nerds, make my heart sing with joy. 22 years ago Gina had just moved in with me, neither of us knowing I'd soon be unmarried, moved to another house, and the mother of another 31 kids.
That's why God doesn't let us see into the future.
Gina and her three siblings had come out of a disrupted adoption, back into foster care, scared and hurt, not too excited to see me coming either, viewing me as just another dumb, possibly well-meaning lady in a long line of caretakers.
Gina then didn't know she'd follow Grandpa and I into another family tradition via Emory University, my birthplace and the source of my Master's Degree, and previously Grandpa's Master's Degree in Divinity. We can only hope Lily will want to follow suit, technically she's Gina's birth niece which would handily continue the tradition.