God Help Me

The last couple of days have been pretty raw for me. Everybody has those hard to get through days, and I suppose the last couple of mine could be described as such, but damn. Yesterday everything I touched seemed ready to bite me, or at minimum frustrated the living shit out of me.

It began when my lawnmower wouldn’t start, and after the heavy rains of last week followed by perfect growing weather my lawn definitely needed a trim. So I did what every sensible person would do and borrowed a battery, brought it back to the homestead. Then, on a hunch, I climbed aboard before the swap and by golly, the old one worked just fine. Whew, dodged that bullet.

Now, where is the child belonging the chore? She told her mother she was going for a run. After a quick check on that story, it turned out to be a little bit less than the truth. She was gone, but not on a run. She and her sister were riding bicycles down the highway (something her mother and I have expressly forbidden). Of course, we had a discussion about disobeying and lying, then I told her she needs to start the lawn.

She asked me to start it for her and guess what? It wouldn’t start. Now I had the girl but the lawnmower was stubborn. I set to work replacing the battery and as I was connecting the last bolt, the little bastard dropped pinging off the lawnmower deck and disappeared forever into the great beyond called grass that desperately needed to be cut, thus the reason for the flipping lawnmower to begin with.

Next stop the store.

Upon hearing I needed to go to the store, the wife quickly went through her Honey, Please Pick Up List and gave it to me. It wasn’t much, but in the process of receiving the said list, a child decided he was going along. I told him I wasn’t cheery, in fact, I was a bit pissy, so he had to behave. Sure Dad, sure, sure, sure. Those that are parents can guess where this is going. I found my stuff quick enough, but I couldn’t leave the store because you guessed it … The child that guaranteed he would behave, didn’t. I looked up and he’d disappeared. He was old enough to be out on his own, but son-of-a-bitch! It was at this point that I began to wonder if the Universe’s chuckle for the day was to bugger me. I could see no other explanations.

After a quick, search with no luck, I headed to customer service. I had him paged, and about five minutes later he came running through the store wearing the grandest smile because of the free cookie he’d scored from the bakery. I questioned him to make sure he hadn’t nicked it, and then he dragged me to said bakery so I could see the sign advertiszing the free cookie.

Humph, be damned.

Continuing the day, I looked at the sky on the trip home. I did this while driving and trying to see the duckie and the horsie shaped clouds; I came to the conclusion that the probability of rain had crossed the line from less likely to yup we’re about to get wet.

The climate indoors was stormier than out. The aggressive bunch in the house was for some reason at their rowdiest. The older girls argued about, of all things, someone of them took the other’s ice they had in the freezer. It was a catastrophe! You would have thought that drinking a plain drink would make them melt away like the Wicked Witch of the West. Two of the boys were nose to nose over which charger was actually theirs (for their iPads).

Both of the twins were having tantrums over what they were going to watch on the mind-numbing TV. As a matter of reference: the girl twin has a scream that pierces anything. I’m guessing it could pop a balloon in the next room through a three-foot-thick wall. The boy has a scream that would make a howler monkey proud. Believe me, these are not exaggerations.

The rest of the progeny were refining their superpowers of being obnoxious.

God help me. If He did, it was to help me develop self-control so I wouldn’t contemplate ending some kind of life somewhere, somehow.

Today was a brand new day. It began with wonderful news. Camp Day! Seven out of ten of my darlings would leave today for Rodeo Camp. However, to get them there we all had to go through their chore inspection and the dreaded suitcase check. The inspection rivaled any white-gloved inspection I endured in the Army. I was delegated this by upper management. As to the suitcase thing — this exercise involved all those going opening up their suitcases and my wonderful wife, the house boss, who inspected each and every item and balanced it against the list of things needed. Did they have everything? If so, was the item suitable? Did it meet the cleanliness criteria and of course the, “No rips or tears, unless said rips and tears belonged.”

Now my thought on rips and tears was they never belong on anything worn outside the house. But I belong to another generation, one that would have called me a fuddy-duddy, although I assure you I am not. I mean what do my kids know? Hell, They think I can’t dance, and all of them laugh at the idea. I keep telling them that I would be glad to call Lana, my dance teacher, so she can vouch for me. They shake their heads and say I’m making her up.

I’m not. I can dance. I really can. Well not so much since I have to use a cane, but I could. Really.

The wife dropped them at the camp. Anyway, the majority of the young now have their space in the bunkhouse and are ready for their time in the saddle, imagining how they can jockey as good as any at Churchill Downs, cow-punch like Tom Mix, or ride the bull as well as any in the Frontier Days in Cheyenne. Of course, I’ll miss them, but I’m going to enjoy the quiet while I can.

Is there such a thing as withdrawal from noise and conflict? After writing this I’m going to pick up a book and see if I remember how to read.

Please remember the Smashwords sale starting July 1st. Just follow the link below.


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