Scrambled eggs and bloody toes

I live the sort of life in which things happen, all the time, that I don't understand. I've come to accept this. Sometimes I try to figure it out, and sometimes I just let it go.

As an example, the other morning I was in my kitchen and I happened to look up at the ceiling. Eric and I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into de-popcorning our ceilings, so I was distressed to see a large area covered in pale yellow splatters. I climbed up on the counter to check it out and quickly identified the substance as scrambled egg........which made perfect sense. When my grandmother was visiting I woke up one morning to find that she had decided it was a good idea to make herself some scrambled eggs.....in a mug.....in the microwave. Didn't know you could do that? Read on.

When they were done, she took them out and went to stir them with a spoon, and they exploded all over the kitchen, so that when I happened upon the scene I found the dog licking egg off the floor, my grandmother fluttering around looking for a rag and talking to herself and Brigham taking it all in with a look of silent glee that could only belong to a child who has witnessed an adult making a very big mess. That was the end of that mystery and it fit perfectly into the puzzle of my life- I am the kind of woman who would have eggs on her ceiling. I embrace it.

But this has really got me stumped:

I'm a slow starter in the mornings. Usually by the time my teeth are brushed, my bed is made, everyone's been fed and the kitchen is relatively clean, Marley and Mustang are running around the house, frantic to get outside and go for a run. So I open up the front door and let them frolic on the lawn while I get my shoes on, update my podcasts, etc.

Lately, by the time I make it outside, both of Marley's big toes are bleeding. And she seems totally unaware and un-bothered by the fact. What is she doing in the three minutes between my opening the door and being ready to go??? Maybe I'll have to crouch in the bushes tomorrow and spy on her....



A few pictures from the big day...

This is the only one I have of them together, and I'm thinking of calling it: Duke won! Where's the bathroom?!

This next one provides the explanation for why I spent almost thirty dollars tonight...

There was the haircut (his first in over a year) and the short-term bribe of a pack of gum and a bag of skittles (and then of course, a pack of gum and bag of skittles for his brother), plus the promise of three bakugans upon my return from Target tomorrow afternoon.

Worth every penny- because temporary tattoos, a basketball jersey and a sideways hat when you're eight years old? Mmmm....okay. But all that plus long, sweaty, shaggy hair? Too much. Just, too much.

Many thanks to Ashley- our friend from church who was the only person Eric would agree to let perform the momentous task. She's got tattoos- I think that's what did it for her. So now Eric has his own personal-stylist-named-Ashley, a la Cjane.

He's fast asleep in bed, dreaming of his big field-trip to the zoo tomorrow, but I'll post an "after" picture sometime soon. They're leaving at 7:15 sharp. He asked me three times today to remember to wake him up early so he won't be late. They're going to ride on a coach bus. He asked me twice how big a coach bus is. I really hope it lives up to his expectations. And I hope that alarm goes off.


Goodbye day

Today was a Goodbye day. I remembered it as soon as the alarm went off at 7:30. Even though my grandmother was only here for two days, I knew the house would feel empty when I got home from passing her off to my cousins for the second part of her trip this afternoon, especially with Eric out of town. I shuffled around in a sleepy daze, putting yogurts into lunch boxes, issuing orders to put on socks and glasses. Goodbye followed me around like a shadow.

Grandmom came in my room while I made the bed and tried to decide what to do for the morning. She said she didn't care- we could go the quilting morning at the church, to the library, take the tour of historic Stagville, whatever I wanted. I said I would call Lindsay to see what she was doing and she said, "Lindsay is just the dearest person in the world." My throat closed up and I thought, yes- that's exactly what she is.

In the end we stayed home and Grandmom drew me a family tree and told me stories of my ancestors while Marley emptied my bathroom drawers. Then we took Marley to Lindsay's and went to the museum for lunch. I saw an old professor and stopped to talk. He said he remembered me, which I doubt. While we waited for our food we called Eric in Atlanta but he didn't answer. Then we called my brother in California and left him a message telling him he ought to be awake by now. I thought I saw Goodbye out of the corner of my eye, but I looked away and took another bite of my sandwich.

After lunch we wandered through an exhibit of contemporary Chinese art. Grandmom obsessed about a giant painting of men in what looked like baggy speedos and I contemplated how fuzzy the Art History corner of my brain has gotten. I checked my phone and found it was time to get Marley and pick the boys up from school.

We drove to Chapel Hill and met my cousin at Trader Joe's. I wandered around and let the boys put cartons of chocolate soy milk and Gorilla crunch in the cart. I bought two hiacynths. We hugged goodbye at the car and I drove home thinking about the purple hyacinths my mom planted when we lived in our old house in Durham. I glanced in the rearview mirror and caught a glimpse of Goodbye in the way back. Eric called back to say his job interview went well. It seemed like a formality. They might make him an offer next week. I took a breath and tried to be excited for him, because he sounded excited- and happy. But it was hard, and I was glad when I had to tell Brigham to stop trying to kill his brother with his homework folder.

At home we ate frozen pizza from Trader Joe's. I fed Marley her bottle and did Mad Libs with the boys. When asked for a body part, I said "nipple" and they laughed so hard I thought they would pass out. I almost forgot about Goodbye, until I was standing at the sink scrubbing a cookie sheet. I thought of climbing the magnolia tree in my front yard when I was eight. Carrying boxes into my dorm on East campus. Kissing Eric on the quad with books spread out around us in the grass. Bringing my first baby home to our apartment on Central campus. Birthday parties for Brigham at the gazebo. Driving out I-40 to the beach. Friends that will be a part of me forever.

How do I say goodbye to all of that?


What dreams are made of

Picture it:

You're eight years old. You love Duke basketball more than anything. And you happen to have the coolest Dad in the world. He wakes you up early, tells you to eat breakfast, grab your toothbrush and get in the car. When you're on the road he asks you if you could go anywhere, do anything tonight, what would it be? The game, you answer. He tells you that the game is in Indiana, ten hours away. You accept this. Of course that's too far to drive, too much time for your Dad to take off school. And you would need to take food with you, he says. And a toothbrush. You think for a moment and then your eyes widen and you smile incredulously. You drive all day and make it to Indianapolis with an hour to spare. They win by two points.

Does it get any better?