Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off." ~ Author Unknown

In case you have been living in a bubble, or maybe not watching the news lately, the entire Midwest, south and east is getting socked with frigid weather and what the weather experts so delicately call "precipitation."

This was our front yard yesterday morning about 7:00am. No...even though this looks lovely and white, this is NOT snow, my dear readers. This is ice...

...little rain droplets frozen solid as they fell to earth and accumulated over the entire state and our own little piece of it. The final measurement was about 2 to 3 inches of ice pack. Don't you love how Tom turned on our Christmas lights to make our yard look like a festive winter wonderland? It's not festive or fluffy or soft, it's frozen...solid. The whole front yard, walkway and driveway were frozen. Our backyard pond was frozen. The edge of the backyard patio was frozen. The whole backyard was frozen. Watching Karen's dog, Bella, a very chubby miniature pinscher that looks like a large smokey sausage with toothpicks for legs, attempt to navigate the ice-covered grass to find the appropriate place to pee was nothing short of hilarious. She could barely keep her back legs underneath her and was nearly splayed out flat a number of times.

Everything closed. Schools; state, county and local offices; businesses; even I-40 was closed for a time yesterday morning because it was too treacherous. "Stay Home!" was the repeated call on any of the local television stations.

So Tom stayed home. "Aren't you glad you get to spend the whole day with me?" he asked, smiling. "Oh. Sure," I responded, not smiling.

Tom staying home on a week day when he has his van loaded with stair parts and tools ready to drive off to parts unknown to install a stairway that he needs to complete before we leave on Monday afternoon is like putting a very wild, very hyper cat in a cage just big enough for him to pace in and then poking him with a stick. He's all over the house, trying to be nice...What are you doing, honey? Can I do something for you?

The next thing I know, he's carrying an arm-load of tools through the house. "I'm gonna cut down those cabinet openings in our bathroom"... and it's only 9:00am. Oh, yeah, this is going to be a fun day.

When he was done with cutting and vacuuming up the sawdust and putting the bathroom back together again, he was, once more, on the move, pacing, looking for something to do. He went through the freezer and refrigerator we keep in the garage, throwing out stuff he thought we would never use or was too old to keep. I wanted to ask what he was throwing out, but I was afraid to interrupt for fear he would move on to something else. So I didn't question, I just let him go and do his thing. He pulled out some frozen leftovers for dinner, then said, "I'm going to the store for just a couple of things for dinner." I helped him put together a list of grocery items and he was off...very, very slowly. He was one of only about 3 or 4 other cars on the ice-covered road. Luckily our grocery store is literally just around the corner...and it kept him occupied for about 10 minutes more. By now it is only 10:30am.

Once he was back from the store and the groceries were put away, he was on the move again. I was in the office working and he was sitting in the chair next to me asking questions, looking over my shoulder. I swung my chair around, looked him in the eye and said, as calmly as I could muster, "Tom, go clean the garage."

He laughed, raised himself up from the chair and headed out to the garage. He encountered Karen coming out of her room and as he walked by her said, "I'll be in the man-cave." And it was finally quiet and still.

The garage is spotless. Everything is picked up. The boxes we had accumulated from Christmas shopping online are disassembled and in a neat pile for recycling. The sails he brought home from the boat a few weeks ago are folded neatly and resting on top of the stacked coolers. Everything is put away or stacked neatly out of the way. The floor is swept clean and we can now easily walk around the car.

From that project, he finally settled into the den and pulled out a couple of shoot-em-up-guys-only movies from our collection. The rest of the afternoon, all I heard from the other side of the house was: Bang! Pew, pew! Blam! Thwap! Bang! interspersed with loud, ominous music. And I was taking a few deep breaths.

The up side was that I was able to finish addressing our Christmas cards and Tom fixed the entire dinner.

The down side was that once he was done fixing dinner, he was still in go-mode and wanted eat right away. I just wanted to sit down for a few minutes at the kitchen island and watch a little of the news because I had been working in the office most of the day. "Give me 10 minutes, would ya!"

Tom walked over to the microwave and hit the timer. "What are you doing?" I asked.

"You are always telling me to set the timer when I'm in the kitchen. Well, we're in the kitchen, he said with a sarcastic grin.

Okay, that did it.

Meet Mommy's little helper. A dirty martini. 4 green olives on a skewer. 1/2 shot of olive juice and 2 shots of Ketel One vodka that we keep in the freezer. Eat one olive, take a sip of the martini, close your eyes, swallow slowly, breathe deeply. Repeat.

It's that or shoot him.


Alison said...

I have a girlfriend who has one of those baby soft, sweet sounding voices that would make butter melt. It used to always crack me up when she'd belly up to the bar and say, "I'll have a very dirty Ketel One martini with three olives, please." That sounded like such a manly-man kind of drink and to hear that come out of her mouth would always make me laugh. I never think of Ketel One that I don't think of her.

Eric said...

Glad you love dirty martinis. Would love to send you a sample of my company's product - Dirty Sue - premium olive juice for dirty martinis.

Let me know.

Happy Holidays.