Monday, June 29, 2009

Week 26 - Au Revoir Connie

It’s that time of year again where I walk around like a zombie, sleep deprived and exhausted. The problem? There aren’t 8 hours of darkness so I can’t get enough sleep. It’s not full dark until close to 10:00 and the sky begins lightening somewhere around 5:00 a.m. Then add that the 4th of July fireworks tents are up and running and, no matter how bad the economy is, my neighbors seem to have no problem finding money for fireworks, which they let off some nights as late as midnight. Last night, I was struggling to fall asleep (I even got up and took a pain pill) and was just drifting off when my neighbor, who was outside enjoying a fire in her firepit, let off some salutes at 11:00 o’clock not 15 feet from my bedroom window just as I was finally drifting off. I woke up with such an adrenaline rush that I was awake for hours. She’s my age and couldn’t resist lighting fireworks to end her evening? WTF! (Monday evening update - it wasn't her! She thought someone threw something up her driveway but didn't see it, just heard it like me. I should have known better.)

Sleeping has become a luxury but I figure I might as well get something productive done so have started doing things before work. Thursday morning I cleaned 3 Husker Cats feeding stations (I had scheduled it with other volunteers for Wednesday at 2:00 but it was so blazing hot – heat index of 110 – that I cancelled) and Friday I picked up a donated load of cat food on the way to work. I also had an appointment at the podiatrist, where I found out I did not have another wart but only a clogged sweat gland so no acid on my foot this summer. Yay! The heat wave broke on Friday too, so it was a good day.

Anyway, the highlight of the week, if you can call it that, was that Connie moved to North Dakota. She’d been talking about moving back since I met her and when Mark died right after she lost her job, there was no reason not to do it. Saturday was her last day in Auburn so I drove down to say goodbye. We had a pleasant day. We went to lunch at what I call the Therapy Café (it’s actually called Family Connections, which I think sounds more like a counseling center than a restaurant), went to the thrift store and Serendipity, a wonderful gift shop that I still can’t believe Auburn can support, and hung out all afternoon doing a bit of last minute packing but mostly talking. I had brought steaks and salad for dinner but there was no way to cook the steaks without unpacking so we ended up going out to dinner with her son Dylan. The actual goodbye was a bit tearful but not bad. There’s always email and the phone so it’s not like our friendship stops. We’ll just be lacking in face time, which I’ve gotten used to since she moved to Auburn. So I drove away, forcing back tears, with my car full of the contents of Connie’s freezer and a whole array of sad looking plants, facing another long distance friendship.

Sunday was supposed to be my productive day but I realized early on that I probably wouldn’t get much done. I was reading a good book that was making me cry (maybe I would have been crying regardless) and figured I’d get the bare minimum done between stints of reading on the deck in the beautiful weather. I had lots of laundry to do and hang out and needed to mow but everything else could wait. I had done my regular laundry – one load of clothes and one of sheets and towels that I hung on the line – and was starting on the pile of blankets, pillows and such that was the end of my garage cleaning from last weekend. I put in the first load of that stuff and headed to the deck to read another chapter. But when the load should have been done, I went downstairs and the machine was buzzing. I opened the lid to find that an old pillow had disintegrated and there was fiberfill everywhere. I sieved it out with my hands, removed the clothes and started bailing. Despite googling how to fix it and my best efforts to take the machine apart, it was dead. I was not a happy camper.

I read another chapter and then decided to mow the lawn then rather than waiting until evening so that I could feel like I got something done. Well, my neighbors had borrowed my mower and hadn’t returned it yet, which would be odd for normal neighbors but not for them. So I went over to get it and found it with the handle mount rotted out and broken. Now my mower was dead too and my grass was way high. Damn! What else would go wrong? I went to my neighbor on the other side and asked to borrow her mower . What a monstrosity! It was super heavy and required me to bag the clippings, which made it even heavier. What would have taken 20 sweat free minutes with my little mower, took closer to an hour and I was drenched, exhausted and achy. I sat for a bit to cool off and then decided that since I was already pitted out, I might as well weed at the library and take all the blankets, both the soggy, half washed ones and the rest of the pile, to the laundromat while I was weeding. I ended up at my friend Lorri’s dropping off the pile of weeds (she takes her yard debris to her brother’s farm) and her husband, who was born and raised in Wahoo and knows everyone, had the name of a local man who repaired appliances. This could only happen in a small town – I called him and he came out at 8:00 on a Sunday night and fixed my washer. When he took it apart, there was fiberfill everywhere – in the body of the machine, clogging the drain pump and the water tube – but once he removed it, it worked like a charm.

So, despite my frustrating day, I at least got my must do list done. My house is a wreck and I still haven’t made my new purse (although I stopped on the way home Friday and bought the missing fusible fleece so as soon as it gets icky outside, I’m headed downstairs to sew) but the day wasn’t a total loss. Plus Lorri’s husband Bob offered to sell my a spare mulching mower he has that he only used for a year. After using Cara’s behemoth, I’ll have to see how much it weighs before I commit. I may just get another lightweight cheapy if Bob’s too heavy but at least it’s an option. Life is still good!

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