Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Day in the Life: The Chaos of Kids

1602679_origI’m not a journaling kind of person. I really wish that I was, ’cause so much of my life has just disappeared into the netherworld, and I’m sure at least some of it was interesting…

There have been occasions, however, when I took the time to write about some happening. I give you Sept. 10, 1996, when my sons, Tristan and Tracy were ages nine and five…

Whew! What a day! Actually things didn’t start going crazy until about 3:00. That’s when I realized we had a tape that needed to go back to the Lawrence Library today.

Well, with lists from three different stores staring at me, I was determined not to drive clear to Lawrence just to return a tape, so I threw together my grocery lists as fast as I could and we were out the door by about 4:00.

As we were heading toward Food-4-Less, I glanced down at the gas gauge and saw that my tank was nearly empty, so I whipped into a station and filled up. Then, of course, I needed cash for the grocery store, so I went to the bank and got cash out of the machine. I then remembered the checks I’d been carrying around for awhile, so I decided to turn around and get in the drive up lane to make a deposit.

With cash in hand and stickers for the kids, we finally, really, headed for Food-4-Less. It was 5:00. I parked the car, gather our shopping bags, and Tristan announces, “I don’t have any sandals.”

I just looked at him.

“You mean to tell me,” I began slowly, “that you didn’t put on any sandals”–I was starting to build up steam–“before we left home?”

Tristan shrugged.

Not knowing what else to do, we headed toward the store anyway. I was hoping they wouldn’t care, but there it was on the door, “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.”

What could I do? I knew one thing. I was not going home without groceries! I decided to take the kids over to Kevin at work, so he could take them on home while I got the groceries. We just missed him, however, so we went on to plan B…buying new shoes for Tristan.

Forty-five minutes and $25.00 later, we emerged. It was now nearly 6:00, so I decided to go to Dillons to call Kevin to tell him of our unfortunate afternoon, and that we were going to eat out and then do the shopping or we wouldn’t get to eat until 8:00.

With that accomplished, we got back in the car where my brain suddenly started firing–we couldn’t eat out–I had not brought any of Tracy’s enzymes, and there wasn’t much he could eat without them. So we had two options, just charge ahead and get the shopping done and take home frozen dinners to eat OR scrap everything and go home.

Since the latter meant that the forty-five minutes of hell trying to fit Tristan with footwear JUST so he could go to the grocery store had been all for nothing, I opted for the former.

The kids were so thirsty that they felt that they couldn’t leave Dillons parking lot without a pop, so we piled out of the car once again only to find that everything in the vending machine was either sold out or not working.¬†As we were heading out of the Dillons lot, Tracy pointed to another pop machine, but for some reason, my foot refused to leave the accelerator.

Well, to make a long story even longer, we finally stepped over the threshold of Food-4-Less. That’s when Tristan and I stopped and stared at Tracy dancing. Yep, we needed to find a bathroom.

We really did finally make it home with groceries, and yes, we sat down to eat at 8:00 sharp.

Hiss to Snakes

I am not a snake lover.
I did not play with the greenish snake in high school biology (I think his name was Herbie).
I have no understanding of them as pets.
If there were no more snakes anywhere, I would not cry.
Oh, I know they probably have some important value in the whole scheme of the natural world, I’ll grant you that, but surely there are some creatures just waiting for their chance to move into their niche if snakes were all of a sudden gone. I say, let’s give something else a chance at the mice, rodents, and small mammals of the world.

Even though you’d never know it from the amount of snake nightmares I have, I really don’t see snakes all that often. I haven’t seen a really big one for probably fourteen years, but on the farm I grew up on, we had quite a lot of bull snakes.

One summer there was one with a big lump in his middle (hmmm, wonder what that was. Ugh!) that we kept seeing. My mother swore up and down that it launched up at her from under the propane tank when she was mowing, and tried to get on the riding mower with her. This was not substantiated by other witnesses, and my mother was sometimes prone to emotional outbursts, but with my bias against the slithery beasts, I wholeheartedly agreed that something needed to be done to rid our farm of this terrorist.

I soon got my chance.

One day when I was doing the mowing, I saw him stretched out in the sun. I pondered the fact that I was driving a sort of blender…yeah it would be gross, but it was a snake. It wouldn’t be much different than taking it out with a hoe. Okay, it would be much more disgusting than taking it out with a hoe, but I wouldn’t have to get off the mower to do it.

I set the blade to its lowest setting, threw the mower into high gear and sped over the unsuspecting creature. When I was a good distance away, I stopped and looked back just in time to see it beating a speedy retreat.

I had forgotten to engage the blade.

Well, I did give him a good scare, and since I never saw Ole Lumpy again, I assume he took his terrorist activities elsewhere.

Either that or he just stayed in hiding until he was done digesting.