Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Morning

I'm enjoying a slow morning, sipping my coffee, catching up on the internet.

All of a sudden I hear noise outside. It's my crazy next-door neighbor. The one with the poodle that doesn't stop barking.

What's he doing today? He's vacuuming the street. He's done our side and the other side. He's vacuuming the gutters free of leaves, so he can put them in his garden. At least that's what he tells people.

These are the neighbors that wash their house every month. On the outside. They wash out their garage on a weekly basis. They wash and wax their cars on a weekly basis. They wash and wax their 5th-wheeler on a weekly basis, but they only use it once a year.

These are the neighbors that hate disorder. They mow their lawn twice a week, three times if he feels the need. I'm not kidding, either. And it's usually three times a week.

These are the neighbors that are constantly spraying chemicals on their lawn.

These people have no children, and don't give a hoot about the environment. They use a leaf blower to blow all the grass clippings into the street, which is illegal here. We have five lakes in this town, and the grass clippings promote algae.

I used to get mad at them, because they're loud. They're always using some gas-powered appliance outside making noise, stinking up the air. Now I just see them as funny.

The leaves are just beginning to fall here. They'll be done the end of the month. These neighbors will be vacuuming the streets every day. And I'll laugh, because it looks so silly. I know them, I know that they use the excuse "it's for our garden" but in reality, they are bored, young retirees that have nothing better to do. These people cannot stand disorder. That's why he vacuums the leaves from the street.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Soldier in my Home

One of the furnace guys and I got to chatting yesterday afternoon. When I first looked at him, I figured him to be in his 50s. I don't know how old he was, but he mentioned Iraq. I asked if he was in Desert Storm. Nope, he got back last summer and went with my town's National Guard unit.

He wanted to go. He wanted to go because he was higher up in rank, but he wanted to be with his fellow guardsmen. He volunteered.

He told me he arrived in spring, before it was too hot. That helped his unit acclimate to the conditions there.

He didn't talk about what he did, and I didn't pry. But I did say two words to him: Thank you. He smiled, and he knew my sentiments were heartfelt.

Ever since my Dad was at the VA in Colorado, where he passed away, I just developed a bigger respect for our men and women in the armed services. It's not that I didn't respect them before, but being there enabled me to see, to feel, to experience something on a different level. And there were no Iraq vets there. It was old timers: Viet Nam vets, Korean War vets, and a few WWII vets.

I was very proud that our government took such good care of these men and women. I told the furnace-guy that.

I then asked him a very personal question. I asked him which presidential candidate would be better for the troops, the war and for our vets. As I suspected, it was not McCain. That was no surprise to me. It is unusual for where I live, though-- there are McCain/Palin signs everywhere. I don't think I've even seen an Obama sign in any yard in my town.

While I do not support this war, I do support our troops. I also support our vets. My time spent in that VA where Dad passed taught me so much.

They did something very special for Dad when he died, and they do this for all the vets that pass there. After I visited him after his passing, I had to go do paperwork at the front desk of the hospital. It took awhile. On the way to the desk, I passed the special gurney rolling down the hall, and I knew what it was and where it was going. It wasn't an ordinary gurney.

As I was at the desk, I heard my oldest sister proclaim, "Well, I don't need to see that" in disgust and horror. I turned and watched. What for her was awful, was one of the proudest moments in my life.

There was that special gurney, and Dad's nurse was pushing it. I knew it was my deceased father. What made the moment proud, though, was he was covered in the American flag. If death can be beautiful, that was. I was proud of him, for his service to our country decades before. I was proud of my government for taking such good care of him. They gave him a death of dignity.

It was beautiful.

My other sister was gracious enough to give me that flag. I cherish it.

I felt honored to have a soldier in my home (even though having him here three days was a bit unsettling!) It did remind me, though, that he wasn't the first soldier to be in my home. Dad visited here, as did Bob's dad, who was an MP during WWII.

Thank you, to all the men and women, who are serving and have served for our country.

I'm Tired

Really, really tired.

Birthday was a success. I'll post more about it when I'm not so tired.

I've had workers in my house since Wednesday. We left South Dakota very early Wednesday morning, and I drove back while Bob, Thomas and the pups slept. The whole time I drove, I focused on two things: Chevy Chase, and that scene in Vacation where his whole family is asleep in the car and the camera pans to him and he is as well. I was that tired, and that scene kept me lauging (in one of those you-really-need-help kind of ways). The other thing I focused on was that I was going to take a nap the minute we got home. I said it out loud, over and over.

It's okay to talk to one's self when no one else is listening, right?

It didn't work out that way. We got home, unloaded the car, had a quick phone call, and Bob took off for work. I was about to have Thomas read a book, when the phone rang. The furnace people wanted to come right away to start the furnace.


And so they did. I did not get my nap. I have been dragging ever since. I don't like when people are in my home--the house is small and there's no where to go. It's just unsettling to me. I'm weird that way. So having them here made the week a little more stressful.

I don't like being up and showered and dressed by 8. Neither does Thomas. We like our s~l~o~w mornings. I like to putz in the morning.

The new furnace is installed, the air conditioner, too. We're just waiting for the city inspector to come back and inspect. And then I will have my house back. Then I can take a nap.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

a little annoyed

I'm a little annoyed at Bob. Kinda sorta.

Thomas's birthday is Tuesday. We have everything planned and have managed, so far, to keep the secret. Bob and I sat down and discussed what we would give Thomas for his present. He wanted one Webkinz and a Sims pack. We felt -- rather, I felt that, plus the motel, was a super birthday.

Today Bob ran to Wal-mart. He came in and told me that he picked up a new bike for Thomas. He got it 50% off and couldn't resist. Plus, he used town money. He has this program where he works that gives them town money for safety points on the job. No one gets hurt, they get certificates to certain stores in our town. Bob saves them up and buys something big every now and again. So he used his town money for Thomas's bike.

Most of me is very proud that Bob did that. I asked him why he did, and he said, "Because I love my son." It makes me happy that he loves his son so much. BUT

but but but, there's always a big but in there...

To me, this crosses the line of spoiling a child. This is an expensive birthday. What will my child expect next year? How about when he's 16, will he expect us to buy him a car? Gulp, that's only three years away.

Bob gave him the bike today because all the neighborhood kids were out playing. They were riding bikes, so Bob knew that he would enjoy it this afternoon. And he did.

Thomas is thrilled beyond belief.

I just smiled and didn't let on I was annoyed. I saved that for the blog.

I won't say anything, ever. Bob rarely reads the blog anyway.

I'm just annoyed that we made a decision, jointly, as parents, and Bob deviated.

But, it is a cool bike.

sigh I'm usually the one to spoil. Go figure.