I am interrupting this week of 'Ber Love for an underlining note about my displeasure with late July/August.
It started when we were on the Epic Summer Trek through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. First there was the obvious discomfort from all that traveling: the constant pressing drag of the unpack / sleep / repack / drive long tedious distances in a car with a three-year-old who has developed the fine art of being entertained by something for exactly three minutes before insisting for sumfing else, sumfing else please. On top of this hot mess was the day leading up to leaving for the trip, which should have been full of laundry and packing. Instead, there was an emergency run to Alice's doctor and the fantastically-timed diagnosis of walking pneumonia (both lungs, y'all). When the doc handed me the prescriptions for the nebulizer treatment and the antibiotic, I should have noticed her shaking hand. Shaking because when I got those prescriptions filled, our bill was in the TRIPLE DIGITS. After insurance. I am convinced, to this day, that that antibiotic was made with melted gold and the nebulizer could only have been manufactured using bits of ACTUAL DIAMONDS, because seriously---DUDE.
By the time we got to my parents' place we were happy to sort of melt into the woodwork. But that was not to be, because we got a call from Amanda who had bad news. She and her six-year-old Zander were looking in on the cats while we were gone, and because of all the time we'd spent doing a doctor visit and having prescriptions filled (paid by SIGNING OVER OUR HOUSE)--- we hadn't had a chance to give Amanda an actual key. To the house. But not to worry! Of course! Brilliant Whimsy just said HERE IS THE GARAGE DOOR CODE! YOU CAN GET IN SO EASILY! NO KEY NEEDED!
Amanda's phone call was along the lines of, Um--- I can't get into your house. I've tried the garage code about five times and it doesn't seem to be working.
And of course, no one has a key to our house. Not a soul.
There was some discussion of overnighting a garage door opener to Amanda, or even the key on Chip's key ring. That option was denied because it was Friday night and nothing was open, and even in the best of circumstances it would have been Monday before she'd get the package - leaving the cats without water and food refilled in six days.
We ended up calling a locksmith, who met Amanda at the house Saturday morning and then proceeded to explain that he would be charging us over $300 to drill through our locks and get inside.
Chip talked him down to half that and then we just hung up the phone and gulped.
Meanwhile, Amanda watched him drill through our deadbolt, rendering it unusable. She made plans to have her husband come over later to install a new deadbolt. You know, so no one else could get inside the house.
This is a really long story to illustrate something along the lines of how tired we were of those kinds of surprises. But there were several more in store.
Ten minutes inside Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, dear Alice Bean threw up all over the backseat of the car. I didn't know it could come out of a person's nose like that. That one ended in a four-hour detour of washing every article of clothing, fabric, and upholstery in our hotel parking lot.
There was the time that I got sick, also in Moab--- my body had the good taste to wait until very late at night, when Alice was already asleep in our bathroom, of all places. I had the pleasure of attempting to deal with my situation a little more discreetly. Inside the public hotel bathroom, downstairs. AWESOME.
Then there was the small matter of Chip getting laid off when we were only one day from returning home.
A week later, our house presented us with a belated welcome home present: a broken hot water heater. Replacing it, the only option. The plumber quoted us $1,300. Luckily, our dear friends Kate and Abram came through (yet again) with the far cheaper solution of doing it ourselves--- we bought the water heater, and Abram and Chip spent that Saturday installing it. We were only out hot water for about 36 hours, which left me feeling immensely grateful for Modern Conveniences and Very Good Friends.
Since then, Chip has found a new job and things have normalized a little--- but we have had to buy a new lawn motor, replace a light fixture, install new shelves in Alice's room, and buy a replacement laptop for Chip.
Then, last night we got locked out of our house. Not because of a broken garage door code - but because of a broken door knob, the one leading from the inside of the garage to the house. Try as we might, we couldn't get it unstuck. We finally got back inside thanks to some masterful window climbing by yours truly (helped by Chip's sturdy back).
Later, standing in line at Home Depot as we purchased a new door knob fixture thingie (technical term), Chip rolled his eyes as I reminded him that August hadn't killed us.
Truth is, somewhere inside all this misery is humor. I think it's pretty funny, how everything sort of just happens at once like that. At least in my life, for some reason, the misery is always dumped together in one moldy heap. I think it's that way because it forces me to keep moving through it, to never stop and fully digest one part of it. If I hold on to a single bad thing for too long, it will poison me from the inside out. But the Revolving Door of Misery has this Zen gist to it--- that things come and go, ebb and flow, even in darkness. August didn't kill me. And I have a sneaking suspicion that the cooling days of September have something really great in store.