Chaos and perspective

The past two days have been all about damage control. Yesterday I took Megan, Gavin, Ben, and Atticus to Edventure to get them out of the house. I had to watch those little boys like a hawk but I think I did all right. Allison, who works at the cafe in the state museum across the street, made us lunch. Ben took a long, long nap. After dinner and bedtime, Mom, Caitlin and I stopped by Target for a few things and ended up with a buggy full of “necessities”– goggles, beach toys, bubbles, Goldfish crackers. On the way home the car was acting weird, and I pulled into the gas station so my mom could check it out. She turned off the car… and it wouldn’t start again. Dad had to drive the two miles to jump us, and we limped the car home. The 90K-old battery was dead. They replaced it the next morning, and it still died. So they took it to the dealership to replace the alternator. Meanwhile, Allison’s car and Caitlin’s car is in the shop. We are doing our best to get everything fixed so we have enough seats for the beach. I am missing my minivan!

Today we couldn’t go anywhere because of the car situation, but luckily we had those new toys from Target. The kids played in the backyard for a long time with squirt toys and sidewalk chalk. When Ben kept squirting Atticus in the face, I had them draw targets on the fence and shoot those. My brilliant plan worked.

Since we were stuck at home, I decided to help by cleaning the house. I did the dishes, started laundry, and vacuumed. At some point I was vacuuming my mom’s nice rugs and Ben let the dog in. I didn’t realize the dog is not well-trained, and while I was vacuuming the beautiful rug in the dining room, which has a lot of brown in it, I noticed a big streak on the carpet. And a horrible smell. I had vacuumed over fresh dog poop.

So first, I take the vacuum out to the front porch. I am not dealing with that now. I barricade the room (from crawling babies) and clean the rug the best I can. And spray some air freshener. My dad comes home and is like, “Hmmm, that’s an old vacuum, anyway. We’ll probably just throw it away. Tim, why don’t you try and pressure wash it? So, several hours later, Tim takes it to the front yard with the pressure washer and just before he begins my moms pulls up and is like, “What are you doing to my $1000 vacuum cleaner?” And poor Tim was like, “What Les told me to…” And then we had to tell the story over to Mom.

And then we ate pizza for dinner. Olivia had come over after work and got to witness the circus. Chris, Blake, and Macon followed. Megan and Gavin were really happy to see the boys.

Then we all took a deep breath, put a few kids to bed, and Mom, Dad, Ethan, Caitlin, and I went to Melanie Bass Caines’ viewing. Melanie lost her years-long struggle with breast cancer this week. Only 38 years old, mother of two school-aged boys, love of Phil Caines’ life. I am close with the Bass family (Shannon is her cousin, and I’ve always been close with Mildred, her grandmother) so I went, and I’m glad I did. Mormon viewings and funerals tend to be less bleak than the average funeral, with a bit of a reunion atmosphere, but seeing poor Phil and those boys was just overwhelming. They know they’ll see their mom again someday but for now it just plain sucks. Once again, we are reminded at how wonderfully easy our life is.

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