Archive for January, 2012
“Hey, Mom. We found a chair and it’s a recliner…and it’s really fuzzy. And it was free. And we thought we could use it when we wanted to play Airsoft…or if we need to chill somewhere. It’s a good chair. So, yeah…call me back when you get this.”
That was the voicemail message Noah left on my phone one afternoon when Ron and I were out running errands. “Eww….” I said to Ron after relaying Noah’s message to him.” I wonder where they found that chair. They better not have brought it home.’ I didn’t call Noah back and assumed that if I didn’t give him permission to bring the chair home, it would end up at a friend’s house instead.
A short time later, we pulled into our driveway and to our delight, we found a stunning, green chair (circa 1974) parked in the second stall of our garage. Noah and his friends were nowhere in sight.
We got out of the car to inspect it. “Gross,” Ron said as we both stood gazing at it. The fabric was seasick green-colored synthetic fuzz probably made from a combination of polyester, nylon, and melted plastic. The piping along the front cushion had worn down to its pallid grayish innards, there was a hole in the back where a button used to be, and the handle that operated the reclining mechanism was hanging precariously by a thread. Taped to the front of the chair was a piece of paper with the word “FREE” scrawled across it in bold Sharpie lettering. As I sized the thing up, I could only imagine how many cans of Billy Beer, Cheetos, and episodes of “All in the Family” this chair had seen in its lifetime.
“Great…what are we going to do with it?” I asked my husband. “It’s disgusting.”
“He’s going to bring it back to where he found it,” Ron responded matter-of-factly.
When we went inside of the house, Noah was sitting at the kitchen counter eating a snack. “What are you planning to do with that chair in the garage?” I asked him point blank.
Noah paused long enough to look up from his Ramen and said, “Me and Jake and Eric are going to take it into the woods and shoot it. You know…with our Airsoft guns. It’s cool.”
“You need to take it back where you found it,” Ron told Noah. “We can’t have that thing sitting around here.”
“I don’t even remember what house we got it from, Dad,” Noah said.
Noah explained that they had discovered the discarded recliner at the edge of some yard off the county road and they were so pumped when they saw it, they didn’t pay attention to where they were before they began hauling it home. Now none of Noah’s friends were around to help him lug it anywhere, anyway. And the clincher was that even if Ron did load the chair into our truck to help Noah get rid of it, our observant teenager didn’t have a clue where it needed to go. What if they ended up chucking it in front of the wrong house? Try explaining why you’re dumping a giant pile of green trash on someone’s yard to the cops.
So, while we tried to figure out a cheap way to get rid of it, the chair sat in the garage. For weeks it sat. Then weeks turned into months. We walked around it. We parked next to it. We moved it across the floor a few times. We stored things like toolboxes or huge bags of water softener salt on it. Finally when Ron got tired of constantly maneuvering the thing around the garage, he pulled it out onto the driveway.
“You still need to get rid of that thing, ” he reminded Noah again and again.
Noah’s chair-hauling posse had been gone for months. The chair never made it to the woods, and to my knowledge no one ever shot it. Now outside, the green albatross endured snow, sleet, rain, and acorn showers. And yup…Greenie was displayed front and center outside our house on the driveway. We were quickly turning in the classiest family in the neighborhood but unfortunately, no one was jealous enough to sneak up and steal the chair.
I know you’re wondering. Why didn’t we just throw the thing out? Well, that would mean a painstaking call to our waste management service and a hefty fee to have it hauled away. I wasn’t ready to fork out money to have trash hauled away that wasn’t ours to being with. So, we just left it there, hoping that it would eventually turn to compost and blow away. But since it was made from some super secret 1970’s indelible material, it didn’t. The chair had pretty much become a lawn ornament and sadly, it had gotten to the point where I barely even noticed anymore.
A few weeks before Stella’s graduation party Ron had finally had enough of the nasty recliner and handed Noah a crowbar, saw, and sledgehammer and said, “Go chop the chair up.”
Noah was ecstatic about this idea and quickly ran to the driveway and set to work. After an hour or so of sawing, hammering, and prying, the chair had been broken down into bite-sized pieces that were easily dropped into our trashcan. The next day, Walters Refuse finally hauled ol’ Greenie away. And the best thing about it was that we didn’t have to pay anything extra to have it done.
Have your kids ever brought anything strange home that you had to deal with? Did you ever do it as a kid?
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Stella, our college freshman, has a friend named Kayla who is driving up to visit her for the weekend at the University she attends in the northern part of the state. Kayla lives close to our home so Stella wants her to stop by our house before she leaves to pick up a few extremely critical supplies she desperately needs delivered to her for college survival.
As much as I hate grocery shopping, I don’t really mind picking up a few things to send along to school for her today. And I’m really not sure why she needs a dress at the University, but whatever. To be honest, I’m just glad she asked me to send up chocolate instead of a couple cases of beer and a carton of cigarettes.
Did you get “care packages” from home when you went to college or moved out? What kinds of things did they include? And most important of all, did you love them or were they repulsive like the attic-flavored cookies my friend used to get from her grandma?
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First up is Noah. Noah is my middle-school aged son who is pretty darned smart but his love for school is …well…AWOL. It’s boring to him and I constantly hear things like, “When am I ever going to going to need to know about ichthyology,” or “Why do I have to know how to compute combinatorics?” Noah is all about video games and has created a mini man cave of his own in the basement family room where he can play without my constant injections of “Please, stop blowing your friends’ heads off,” or “Quit stuffing your candy wrappers between the sofa cushions!”
He recently started playing football and surprised himself when he found out how fast he can run and how easy it was for him to flatten the occasional quarterback. We are frightened because he is now snowboarding. I know…it’s a dangerous sport. Dangerously expensive.
Stella is a college freshman and since her move from home last September, she has discovered something new and interesting: self sufficiency. She holds the reins for clean laundry, finding food to eat, changing sheets, and managing time. She was a very accomplished high school athlete and saw her team to two consecutive state tournaments but left that behind to pursue socializing and pizza-eating at the University. Like me, Stella is lactose intolerant so she’s had to cut back on her cheesecake and Dairy Queen French Silk Pie Blizzard intake.
She, like 98% of all other female college freshman, claims she would like to major in psychology but I can see that swirling down the tubes over time. She’s far too artistically creative. She would love to go into fashion or art and has a dream of being on America’s Next Top Model. I hope she’s ready to have her hair dyed chartreuse or eyebrows shaved off if she ever makes it on the show.
Ron is the king of the family – former fire fighter, technology buff, and repair wizard. I apologize for his photo (or lack thereof). That’s what happens when you take a picture of someone shortly after you roll out of bed at dawn…you neglect to put the SD card into the camera. I’ll work on it. I’m sure I can snap a photo of him on the sly for you when he’s digging around in the fridge for a snack or snoozing on the sofa.
Ron and I met in high school, dated briefly, and parted ways. A few years after high school, we met again, married and have been living in paradise ever since. He has been nicknamed “Inspector Gadget” by some of my friends who know about his love for fancy electronic gizmos and cutting edge technology. He thrives on his music hobby and I pray some day he realizes that there are indeed musical selections that were composed and recorded after 1976. Like me, Ron can’t cook so we’re constantly hungry over here. Please feel free email some easy recipes to him so he can cook for me. Or just skip that and send us a casserole.
Me? Well, I have dabbled in all sorts of jobs including customer service, e-business, web design, graphics, and writing. My favorite job will always be writing and one of my favorite experiences ever was writing for local newspapers. I did a lot of interviewing and noted that whenever I met someone and told them I worked for the paper they’d treat me like royalty. Everyone was always worried I’d write something bad about them and print it in the paper. I only thought about doing that a little…
I’m a sub par housekeeper, and you have all learned that I’m a terrible cook. I’m an animal lover and thrive on the quick witted humor of others. I have been told by my kids that I’m not a “normal” mother. Mission accomplished! Some day, I would like to be a ballerina or professional skateboarder.
Annie is our pitbull terrier mix. Don’t believe what you hear about pitbulls…they are often wimps like our dog. She’s afraid of thunder, cats, and catching a chill. Living in this house, she has been forced to develop a sense of humor. A few weeks ago, Annie spent the day parading around in the bikini Stella found in her bottom dresser drawer. Annie enjoys eating carrots, lettuce and cauliflower and has learned to cry at the pantry when she wants a Scooby Snack. She also insists on having her water changed once or twice a day. She demands freshness. Who doesn’t?
Laverne and Shirley are the elderly gerbils Stella and Noah received for Christmas in 2008. Since they are constantly battling obesity and don’t watch their diets like they should, I purchased an exercise wheel for them. As you can see, they get a lot of use out of it. I’m hoping that I can get them hooked on a regular exercise regime soon. I think we’ll just start with some simple stretching and a few situps. I suspect that by Laverne’s poor posture, she’s developing a bit of osteoporosis.
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Ron and I were elated a few weeks ago when Noah actually expressed interest in something – something other than “Modern Warfare” and “Elder Scrolls” (which in case you are unaware, are video games). The moment he told us he wanted to learn how to snowboard, I sprinted to the computer and signed him up for lessons toot sweet. And wow! What a bargain! Three 2-hour lessons on Saturday mornings that included a lift ticket and equipment rental for a mere $99!
So, Friday after he arrived home from school, we headed to the board shop for a few supplies he said had to have for Saturday’s lesson since his snowmobile gear wouldn’t be “fly” enough for snowboarding. It was tough finding pants that fit his nearly 6 foot, 140 pound body but we finally settled on some candy apple red Burton ones. He also picked out some “sick” new gloves and a coordinating striped hat.
“I need a helmet,” he said. “My friends say I have to have one.” Then he jokingly pointed out a child’s Burton Star Wars one that looked like R2-D2.
After the checking the price tag on a few, the smart and thrifty mom in me said, “Ummm…no. You’re not going to need a helmet for a loooong time, especially when you’ll only be going about 2 miles an hour down the bunny hill for the next few weeks.” I figured even if he got hit on the beginner’s hill, a 3 year old on skis wouldn’t be able to do much damage to him.
We went home and Noah organized all of his things for the next day. Then Saturday morning we all got up and were ready to head out the door by about 8:45. We had an hour drive and it was slippery so we wanted to get an early start for Noah’s 10:00 a.m. lesson. Ron went out to the car and waited while I gathered up two heaping armloads of stuff and cussed as I waddled out to load up unassisted. Noah was already in the back seat waiting impatiently for me.
Figuring Noah would be thirsty after spending the entire day outside at the hill, I decided it would be a wise motherly thing to go back inside and get him a couple of bottles of water. After I handed off my load of stuff to Ron, I shut the car door and darted back toward the garage.
The last thing I should remember seeing (and I stress “should”) was this:
Then, I heard something that sounded a lot like this.
The next thing I knew, I was flat on my back in the garage floor. “What the…?” Then it hit me. Not realizing I had decided to run into the house to retrieve something else, Ron had pushed the garage remote. As I was running inside, somehow I never saw the door closing and managed to hit my head square on the bottom of it. The force of the blow sent me flying to the floor on my back and my head hit the concrete. I knew I was dead. Or pretty darned close.
Is I lay there, I saw the garage door closing above me and waited for it to eventually reach my neck and slice my head off. Then I started wondering when the heck Ron was finally going to realize that I was splayed on the garage floor.
After what seemed like an eternity, the garage door did what it was supposed to do when bikes or dead bodies are in its path: it retreated. Then I heard the car door slam and Ron ran over and peeled me off the concrete. “What happened?” he said, lifting me up. “I thought you hit your head on the garage floor!!
“Duh! I did hit my head!” I said, rubbing the back of it. I had hit it so hard, I sounded like two coconuts knocking together. “How bad do I look?” I asked.
“There’s nothing. I can’t see a thing,” Ron said examining my face.
What? I hit my head twice – once gracefully on the garage door and the second time it ricocheted off the floor. How could I not be bleeding to death? He helped me to the car where I continued to sob, mostly because I realized how really bad it could have been.
“How’s the back of your head?” he asked rubbing it. I reached back and felt it. Weird. It felt fine. All of the fat I had been storing up on my head all winter must have cushioned the fall. Ron, an EMT, checked my pupils to make sure I wasn’t hemorrhaging and after giving me the green light, we headed off to the ski hill.
“I’m okay, Noah,” I assured my silent son in the back seat who was probably wondering how in the heck his loser mom didn’t see the garage door in front of her face and ran directly into it. But I think he was also relieved he didn’t have any friends along to witness my Fred Flintstone impersonation.
We finally did get to the ski slope and when I ran to the mirror to have one more look, my face actually looked fine. It’s bruised right between the eyes and I have a microscopic scratch, but I’ve had gnat bites worse than this. And honestly, the swelling kind of ironed out some of those pesky wrinkles I’ve been fretting about for the last few years. I could shelf that Botox idea for a little bit longer…
We sat in the chalet for the day while Noah took his lessons. He started off with his instructor, Sam, on Dandy Hill and by the time lessons were over he was skiing the Sunshine Trail. It was mid afternoon when we saw Noah blaze down Ego Mountain by himself, a treacherous black diamond hill intended for experienced skiers and snowboarders and I regretted not buying the helmet for him.
I’m thinking that this week we’ll be shopping for two helmets. One for Noah to have at his next lesson and one for me to wear around the house.
Have you ever had a close call? Did something stupid but ended up being alright? Please comment!
Were you entertained reading about this mishap? Be sure to read one of my previous posts entitled Hit the Red Button! Hit the Red Button! .
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