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Alex, I'll take How to stay married 16 years for $200

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Here's a couple of things from the last two weeks.....  since I've been missing in action.



Fireman Dave made the news again this morning..... saving people from floods like it's just no big deal.   

 
And yesterday he popped by the house on an official fire department grocery store trip... He walked in and asked, What's that smell?  There was no, Honey, you look lovely on this fine day.  He just told me something smelled like mold.  So I told him that it's actually the smell of my creativity on fire.  Or in other words, real fire.  You should recognize the smell of danger, Fireman Dave....

As it turns out, that mesh like fabric that's wrapped around your chair and couch cushions to make it easier to slip the actual upholstery on there?  It's flammable when you get a bunch of it stuck in your vacuum cleaner.  There is such truth to those tags on all upholstered items that say Flammable, do not remove by order of the something something.

And how I know this is that I am in the middle of another thrift store chair makeover.  I'm only at the beginning stage of ripping everything dirty off the chair, and boiling it at the highest temps possible in the washing machine.  Step two was a tad delicate.... I tried to run the vacuum over the bare cushion which made the vacuum start smoking.   

Rate the fire danger, Kristi,... you might be saying about now.  

So on a scale of 1 to 10, .... 1 being very little chance of flames leaping from the chair cushion; and 10 being a phone call to Fireman Dave saying we may need another new vacuum cleaner and/or for him to rush home asap   ... I would rate my situational fire danger as a 7.  Visible smoke in the area, and smells of imminent doom.  

But I happen to be a really quick thinker in times of emergency so I just unwound all the smoking polyfill from the vacuum beater bar and sprayed some air freshener.  

And I had no actual plans of telling husband about the mishap as I knew he would say something like,... How many new vacuum cleaners does this make in all our years?  Or maybe something like this...  I knew I should never let you stay home alone.   

Who knew he would make a surprise visit?  




Last Thursday I woke up at 2:30 AM with a migraine headache.  And hungry.  Which I couldn't decide which was worse in the middle of the night... But I was awake enough to consider it, so I ate a donut and took some migraine medicine and hoped that combination would cure both problems.   

But we all had to get up at 3am ish anyway to catch an early flight to visit family in North Carolina.  And though we arrived at DFW airport at 4:30 in the morning, we still missed the flight.  Because we totally underestimated the number of people who are awake in Dallas at that hour of the morning.  I had no idea.  

So we stood forever in the security line and then sat around in airport chairs for the next 5 hours.  We also ate yummily expensive airport foods and tried to occupy ourselves by people watching and continually charging our phones at the free, all you can charge battery stations.  And I may or may not have see Prince William waiting on a flight to Philadelphia, but Kate and the baby weren't with him so I didn't take any pictures.  I did, however, definitely see Oprah Winfrey's boyfriend Steadman riding on a cart with someone who may have been his elderly mother.  It wasn't Oprah, but it was still exciting in a celebrity spotting sort of way.   


And on both flights to NC that day - we got what we got, and were all subdivided all over the plane.  A kid here, a parent there.....  

I'm usually borderline terrified on planes, but mostly in the takeoff and flying portions.  Joy returns when the flight attendant starts gathering trash because I know we're about to land.  The smallest plane that we flew held about 50 people,... one of those little ones that still have propellers.  And it shook and rattled noisily, far more than I think it should've.  My window looked out over the right side propeller, which I imagined in great detail unscrewing itself looser and looser with every rotation and flying through the window and cutting my head off.  But here I am alive to tell about it.  And y'all, thank the good lord, I still have my head.  
 
But all turned out well because we got to North Carolina with only one newsworthy disturbance, that being Kid 1 and Kid 3 creating their own turbulence by fighting over a bracelet.  There were ugly words, tussling as much as seatbelts would allow, and ice throwing.  Oh, and the stink eye from the older gentleman one seat over who kept sending me creepy mind messages about how much he hates me for bringing these hooligans on the plane.  But they're my hooligans, mister, and I can't just toss them overboard.  So recline your seat-back and go along for the ride.  Oh, I forgot.... our little rattly plane didn't have reclining seats.  


Here's the note I held up to show Fireman Dave what he was missing while he sat way up there in front of us next to that pretty blonde lady.



So we arrived about 8 hours later than anticipated and that's okay because we arrived to family that totally spoiled us like nobody's business.  Enter my lovely/loving inlaws, Debby and Charley, who cooked enough food and entertained us so much that we seriously thought of never coming home.  We arrived to find the kitchen loaded with Halloween candy, two kinds of brownies, two varieties of snack mix, cases of cokes, and to my boys' delight,  ... zero vegetables for 5 days.  I do believe there was serious discussion between Favorite Aunt Debby and Kids 2 and 3 about the dangers of childhood obesity and diabetes.  Kid 1 didn't enter into that conversation because his mouth was full of brownies. 


And we had a beautiful visit.  There was a haunted hayride, two warm days to have play time in the ocean, and our 16th wedding anniversary that we celebrated with a walk down the island to the Dairy Queen.  Because husband and I are crazy romantic that way.   


Fast forward to the trip back to Big D.... 

On the way home, an hour down the road back to the airport, we conducted a just-in-case check for our car and house keys for when we got home.  And realized the keys were still vacationing in the top dresser drawer at the beach house.  

So Debby went the distance, fueled by love and most likely a good dose of all the sugary baked goods she kept flowing all weekend, and took off driving to meet us at the airport with the keys.  I call that LOVE.  

But she got lost on the way to the airport and I can only imagine she looked like this chasing down our plane as it taxied down the runway....  



But she sent us a message that she wasn't giving up and sent the keys on a flight of their own to meet us back in Dallas.  5 days later we've decided the keys took a sight seeing trip around the world.  So if you see a package containing keys, Kid 3's glasses and possibly a pair of men's pajama pants, send it our way please and thank you.  

So, you may wonder... how did we get into our car back at the airport?  

More LOVE.  Because we have friends that are heavenly made out of every ounce of goodness, kindness and thoughtfulness that ever was.  And they happen to have a spare key to our house.  So.... they hunted down our extra car keys, met us way the heck out at the airport, and even stocked my fridge with food for breakfast the next day knowing it was gonna be a crazy morning.  I think we're pretty lucky to know them. Thanks Rock and Debi !!!



And about that anniversary.  

Alex, I'll take How to stay married 16 years for $200.   

Marriage is totally a game show situation if ever there was one. So I have absolutely no advice for you.  Unless you want my ever growing list of things NOT to do if you want to stay married 16 years.  THAT, I can share.  

Y'all, I know a lot of people in my stage of life that have been married for way longer than I have.  But I come from a tribe of people where things are never okay, and it made me forget how to tell when things ARE okay.  Bless husband for waiting me out on that one.  And yes, there's definitely a bigger story to be told with that one.  

I really think it's all about not putting a number on it.  And not setting a giant goal for it.  I think the small goals are the best - and the ones that really make a difference in a family.  Just making an effort each day to be good for each other.   I try anyway.  You win some, you lose some.  


But one day you wake up and notice that 16 years of togetherness flew by.  And then you walk to the Dairy Queen with your kids and eat their leftover fries and call it a good day.  



post script...  I think the chair makeover was a bust this time.  Turned out to be a $50 lesson in how to burn up your vacuum cleaner.

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