March 26, 2008

Break's Over

They say the way to get something done is to ask a busy person to do it. It's so true, yet irrelevant to this post. I just find it a fascinating truth in human behavior.

We gave ourselves the winter off from house projects. A small kindness, a personal gift perhaps? I like to think of it as such. It beats thinking of ourselves as slothful. More than likely it's a combination. I'm okay with that.

But now it's Spring. Days are longer, things are blooming, an urge to "do" buds within us.

I wasn't feeling particularly inspired when we awoke Friday morning. A three day weekend stretched out before us, filled with possibility. I contemplated rolling back over and taking a nap. But that urge nagged. That urge to "do".

I was laying there teetering on the edge of whatever when the Tornado hit, the Tornado I affectionately call "Wendy".

This is where good couples dynamics pays off. Knowing when to lead, when to follow, when to step in and when to stand back. I have learned when the Tornado hits to just ride it. She's a purposeful whirlwind, my Wendy.

Over the next several months, we'll be creating useful, hopefully beautiful, living space in the lower level of our house. (Yes, there will be pictures.)

First up, whole house (re)organization. Our home is not large. Renovating an entire level requires optimal organization elsewhere. In our case it took on the added benefit of spring cleansing.

Before I had even downed my second cup of coffee, Wendy had three closets emptied and had started on a fourth. Then she disappeared into the attic. Piles of "stuff" appeared everywhere. (Where did it all come from?! ) I sorted, purged and neatly repacked as assigned.

She blew by me at intervals, here there and everywhere, pointing, soliciting opinions, answering questions, solving problems. By Saturday evening, the work was almost complete. We retired to the fort for s'mores.

See, not only did Wendy re-organize our closets, basement and attic, she found time to set up a firepit in the fort. I heart my Tornado.

Next up, a laundry list of projects and events-to-come: plumbers with jackhammers, shower layout and construction, floor coverings, lighting design, power tools, problem-solving, electricians, Kerdi and tile, drywall dust, fresh paint, trim work, and a budget we'll try not to blow too badly.

Yes indeed, our break is over. The game is afoot!


March 17, 2008

Spring Fever. We Have It.

We've got a cat. He's not our cat, but he comes to visit often enough that we keep a bag of his food in the cabinet. I haven't slipped and called him Figero yet, but I'm certain I will eventually, much in the same way I occasionally slip and refer to Pixie as Cosine.

Oliver is an indoor cat. He thinks he is an outdoor cat, consequently one must be very careful when opening exterior doors. Oliver is quite skilled at slipping by those not paying close attention. His quick escapes are followed by wild chases through the neighborhood. I'm not sure what he thinks he's running from or where he thinks he's running to, but he's definitely in a hurry.

I'm of the opinion that a cat who wants out that badly should go on out. Maybe he needs to get his ass kicked by the neighborhood menagerie in order to develop an appreciation for the safety of an interior perch on a windowsill. Maybe he'd kick their asses. Maybe he just wants some fresh air or has a hankering for some fresh squirrel meat. But his mother knows him better than I do and she makes the rules. An indoor cat he is.

As has become a loose routine, Oliver arrived this weekend in company of the Next Generation, Emily and Jackie. Emily bubbled over with enthusiasm born of Spring. She twisted her sneakered toe into the ground and blurted, "Can we build a fort in the backyard this weekend?!"

I will leave to you to decide what it says of us that we hesitated not at all to undertake such an endeavor. And so it was we enjoyed the Spring weekend somewhat frivolously yet with great purpose. Tools and imaginations were employed, good humor abounded. Evening found us, all of us, Oliver included (secure on a leash to his mild disdain that in no apparent way diminished his obvious delight at being outdoors), grouped together in our newly constructed fort, swilling sipping beers and swapping tales while reveling in the suburban delights of Spring.

Forts. I highly recommend them.


March 12, 2008

"Don't You Fret"

I stared blankly at my computer screen as my mind wandered off as my mind tends to do. Worrying I was, as wont I am, this time contemplating whether The Boy will pack enough Immodium AD to last his entire trip. It's the one medication everyone agrees is essential for traveling in Asia. But how much is enough? I repeatedly attempted to devise a reasonable equation. The variables are too many and I obsessed with no success.

I thought of my sister. She offers a strategy for anxiety management I call the bubble technique. When something is worrying me, I imagine it tucked comfy-cozy inside a buoyant bubble. My bubbles are translucent with shimmery changing colors, prismatic soap bubbles on steroids. Often the size of my fist and never smaller than the average green grape, the bubble, once burdened with my worries, is imagined floating off into the netherland. I wave farewell. The worries, along with the bubble, disappear in the distance.

I've sent a lot of worries floating off via bubbles this week. The title of the post is advice from my son. I'm working on taking it.


March 6, 2008

A Dark and Stormy Night

Tuesday evening I retired to our bedroom early after a particularly trying day of work. One window was wide open, the temperature moderate. Wearing only my Longhorn t-shirt I stood in the dark leaning on the sill, enthralled by the action in the backyard.

The tops of the tall trees swayed and bowed their heads, the branches creaking loudly in response to the howling gusts of wind. Soon torrents of rain cascaded through the trees and drubbed on the roof. The tensions of the day washed away in the resultant cacophony.

For the past few weeks, an owl has serenaded us intermittantly from somewhere way up high in the treetops, his rich voice echoing eerily. In the midst of last night's storm, his voice again rang out crisp and clear. Do owls not seek shelter in a storm?

I slept like a rock that night.
I wonder how the owl fared.