Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bad Days, Thankful Days

This story begins with tacking on an extra 60 miles to a 30 mile trip, continues with my brakes braking (or NOT braking to be accurate) and ends with me sending a rotisserie chicken skidding across the grocery store floor.
On Saturday I started working on applesauce at 10 am and finally sat down again at 10 pm, having eaten almost nothing that day. On top of that the week had been full of anxiety due to interpersonal drama, in spite of it being No Drama November. So on Sunday I woke up in a bad place physotionally (physically+emotionally). Just sort of a mess. Desperately needing a Sabbath.
And then I found out that my perfectly planned and balanced day was going to be anything but that because we had a 45 minute misunderstanding about the start of the Mass we had to go to for John’s Carmelite thing. I did not handle the news well.
“I’m just a little black rain cloud, hovering over my family.” Except a lot less cute. After lots of mommy-bluster we drove the 30 miles down there and I realized that I had forgotten my iPad. The iPad that had my shopping list for Costco and Aldis on it. The one I had worked on for over an hour. The one that I needed to get my home back into milk and bread and Thanksgiving food – the one I could not live without.
Due to the mistaken timing I had more then enough time to drive back up to the Burg and return in time for Mass (John had to be dropped off quite a bit early). So I drove the 60 extra miles seething and furious.
I returned to the area of the church and promptly lost myself. But I didn’t realize this at first because there are a lot of churches all very close together. I got the kids out, clothed them all again (anyone else’s kids shed more clothes the farther you drive?) and plastered a fake smile on my face as we walked up to…the Wesleyan church. Oops. We were already out of the car so we kept walking and I sent Anthony up ahead as a scout. After about 10 minutes we returned to the car beaten and now 20 minutes late.
I started to turn the car around, heard a clink, pressed down on the brake and…kept rolling forward. Not that this was completely out of the blue, we KNEW that the brakes were bad but our mechanic couldn’t take us till Wednesday and we thought the van was still drivable. Well, I flipped out. Losing control of the brakes is a big fear of mine, I have regular nightmares about it. Granted, my nightmares usually involve me hurtling down the highway into oncoming traffic, but remember, I was a physotional disaster. So turning around in a side street caused me to hyperventilate similarly to the way that I would in my highway nightmares. In my defense, there was significantly less screeching from me then there is in my nightmares, usually.
The brakes stayed more broke then they had been but came back sufficiently for me to edge my way slowly and carefully towards the Catholic church- where mass was now 30 minutes in process. I roll-stopped in front of the church, got out and tried to get John to come outside while also keeping Thomas and CeCe from playing King of the Hill on the 200 year old cornerstone of the original church and getting Rosie to “JUST SHUTUP about those petals!!!” which made her cry and me feel like I wasn’t just a crazy woman – I was a crazy cad. Anthony was smart enough to not “mess with Texas (or Alexis in this case)”. Lucky him.
After John took control of the situation - much to everyone’s relief - he decided to drive (carefully) home as far as he was able because towing it would cost a small fortune. The entire way home I would start to panic and hyperventilate anytime a car came within 150 feet of us. It was not helpful. So John had to “fish slap” me a few times to bring me back to reality (he did not actually slap me, it was more like shouting at me to get a grip – but coming from him it was a fish slap).
As we got closer to home it was clear that the brakes were indeed going to get us home and so we decided to stop at a grocery store and get food since we really didn’t have any milk, eggs, bread, pasta, chocolate – no basics at all. With our one car heading into the shop I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of making several wagon trips to the local grocery store to keep us fed. So we did a big stop and loaded up with victuals. The kids were not too bad in the store and I was starting to feel a little saner and more in control again when I headed over to the deli area to grab a rotisserie chicken for dinner and grab it I did. Until the lid popped off and the chicken flew out of the container and went skidding many feet across the floor, leaving a trail of chicken-juice behind it. 
Just in case I started to get cocky, I suppose.
Our mechanic took the car the next morning, fixed it immediately and I have never been more grateful for the smell of cigarette smoke then I was when I climbed into my former death-trap of a van and smelled Keith’s residual scent lingering on my upholstery. It’s still not completely gone but I’m glad because it reminds me of how grateful I am that Sunday is over.
It was not the Sabbath that I needed but it certainly makes me grateful this Thanksgiving for all those little things like calipers, rotors, brake pads, dirty rotisserie chickens and fish-slaps.


  1. There are no words. No. Words. Ok, I'm regaining myself: Awful and terrifying and horrible and hilarious(ly written).

  2. I'm about falling out of my chair. This sounds like something that would happen to me. But you tell it way better. ;0)

  3. There are no words... the fish-slap part made me laugh the hardest. But seriouly, poor you... that was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

  4. Gosh I love you. I really, really do. The chicken is my favorite part.