Archive for November, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Steal…Siding

That there are four pieces of old siding parked against the seat of our van is hardly signigicant.  Yawn-worthy, really.

Only they’re not our siding pieces.  And, well, they shouldn’t be there.

It’s just that my son detoured from the unwritten but understood Munson Law.  The one that means, “don’t touch a thing on the way to the car,” even if I’ve only said, “get in the car, please.”  And so as I chatted with a friend just outside her front door, my daughter crawled into the back of the van and simply waited.  And my son…

My son started dragging all the old boards he could find near the walkway of their home to our van.

He was in the middle of shoving a piece of siding back to his sister when we saw him.  Only how you apologize for something like that while stifling the biggest guffaw, I’m still not sure. 

And so we, uh, left.

Without the siding.

It seemed the right thing to do.


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It isn’t that wearing a bike helmet at breakfast is a problem.

When you’re six.

Nor is running so hard your hair feathers right down the middle.

Only why that would happen is a mystery.

A solved one.

And the problem isn’t a missing pair of pants, though those would help.

Nor is it a pair of sunglasses that might be on the wrong face.

The problem isn’t a tiny tree burdened with bells and listing to the left.

Not when it brings her this much joy.

The problem’s not even baby Jesus doing a wheelie in his manger.

Or the wise men swappin’ out their riches and bringin’ gourds instead.

The problem…

if there is one…

is a perception one.

So, uh, keep me seeing the joy, God.

I’m gonna need it.

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That I ended up in a ‘work out’ room with two treadmills, six hand weights and four elderly men wasn’t the problem.  Nor was it the united fact that the five of us were all there to work off the extra pie we hadn’t said ‘no’ to on Thursday.  Or Friday.

The problem was me.  On a treadmill.  Uh, walking.

I’ve been on a treadmill before.  I think I was desperate then, too.  And I remember pushing buttons to increase and decrease speed.  But I mostly remember hating the whole experience.  Who does this to themselves?  

Only this morning, there wasn’t much else to choose from.  It was either breast stroke it in the pool, which, uh, required the use of a swimsuit.  As in wearing one.  Or I could watch the sweat drip off the arcadia door in the work out room and climb on a treadmill born in the same year as me.

I went with the dripping sweat.

That there was a flat screen television clinging to the wall eight inches from my face broadcasting a football game I had no investment in may have been the reason I forgot where I was.  Or rather what I was supposed to be doing, which was keeping up the pace on the treadmill.  Until I zinged right off the end of the thing and donated an eight inch strip of skin from my left shin to the revolving black tarp. I was still clinging with one arm to the side of my moving machine, like I thought it might drive away without me, when the gentleman still jogging on the treadmill beside me said, “don’t worry.  That already happened to me.”

I repeat.  Who does this to themselves?

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Thanks at 3

Come Thanksgiving, there’s a time for everything.

A time for wearing a blue sweater vest from 1985.  Or having your ribs tickled right off.

A time to crawl with a kid clutching your sweater vest.  Or to hitch a four-second ride from the fireplace to the couch.

A time to eat of the bounty.  Unless the thought of turkey makes you sad because all you want is butter.

A time to be retickled on your remaining ribs.

A time to gape at artifacts and wonder what they were ever used for.

A time for opening the jackpot…

And finding happiness is but a power tool away.

A time for discovering your type A tendencies.

And learning you won’t let yourself walk away from a job undone.

A time for workin’ on a new number.

And for finally giving purpose to all of grandma’s coasters. 

A time to be three…


a time to be three.

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When the Thanks is in Giving

Per the calendar, it’s certainly the day to be thinking about family.  That is unless you’re already at their house with the fridge open and sticking your finger in the pie.  And well then, I’d say they’re completely on the top of consciousness.  Or the pie is.

But for me…I’ve got my younger sister on my mind.  The one with four boys.  The one who, on that account alone, we should all pray for.  Uh…right now.  And then never let up.  The one, who with her husband, owns two restaurants in Chelan and who might’ve last slept sometime in January.  That sister.

The one whose back I saw today as I zig-zagged behind her between restaurants,  as she prepped for dinner and I chatted about things so important I can’t remember them now.

Only I remember this…

I remember how her boys got Christmas.  Boys who last year asked to take all their own wrapped presents from beneath their tree and then carry them to a family crowded in a trailer, a family that wasn’t planning on having gifts for Christmas.   But did.  Boys who got to smile the whole way home lest their chests burst with the joy of giving.

And I realized it ain’t too early or late to have that kind of joy…

For Christmas.  For Thanksgiving.  For any ordinary day.

Wow.  Thank you, Jesus.


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Toilet Paper Omission

My daughter wipes.  And I’m grateful. 

It’s just that she wipes and then misses the actual toss into the toilet.  Often. Which strangely or unstrangely is, uh, gross to me.  And not gross in the sense that her used toilet paper bounced on the floor before it was recovered and flushed.  But gross because it’s still there.  By the other two slowly unwadding misses.  On the left side of the toilet.

Only as much as I’d like to pity her aim, it’s really my two fingers and thumb I’m pitying.  And thinking about scrubbing again.  The ones that have pinched the wipe rejects before and tossed them unwittingly into the trash.  I remember thinking, “c’mon…who’s blowing their nose in the dark?”

Um.  Nobody.

It’s just that I didn’t completely understand this until yesterday, as there on the back of the toilet seat, doing its last hover before it hit the floor was another wad.  Which, uh, someone had not blown their nose in.  And which I flicked into the water with my shoe.

And never spoke of.

Cause she’s six.  And she wipes.

And I love her.

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Box Therapy

It’s a tote.  And that’s a box. 

And the truth is, sometimes I just want to sit in one, too.  To pull the flaps and peek out.  And not because I think I could get out of the tote without four people pulling, two pushing, and one shouting encouragement, but because I just want to pretend like my children do.  Pretend that no one can see me.   That dinner is ready and ain’t nobody complainin’ that it’s not what they wanted.  That the marker in the carpet will come out.  That my children are wearing more than underwear.

Just for five minutes or so…

I want to hide.

Which I think is exactly what my son is doing.  Only we can, uh, see him.

And which is the exact experience my son thinks the cat also desires.

The dog, too. 

Only the dog’s is more like a motor home.

Which is what I’d prefer over a box.  Or a mobile Thomas tent.

But whatever brings reprieve will do.

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