Sunday, June 29, 2014

Help is on the way

Sunday night. I've been slacking off here so I could enjoy life outside of words on the screen. My son Drake and his fiance Montana were here this weekend, so I spent as much time with them as possible. We went out for pizza Friday night with her brother and his wife, who is currently in labor with their first child, and Montana's grandfather. Her grandad hates me, but I don't blame him. It's Obama's fault. Entirely Obama's fault. Him and his damn bumper stickers.

(I'm sure he's also responsible for Shockwave fucking flashplayer, which decides to crash every night when I sit down here to write.)

In any case, I don't care if an old man hates me because of my bumper stickers. I don't have that many and the ones I do have are just the tip of my political and social and cultural iceberg. I am his worst nightmare, and I really don't give a shit.

He's a man of my father's generation, and for all I know, if he had lived long enough, my dad might have fed his paranoia with Fox news too, and he probably wouldn't like me very much either -- even less than he did when he was alive. He died 31 years ago though, so he avoided seeing how bad I got over the years.

But even if he had lived and didn't like me, I still would have loved him, just like Montana loves her grandpa. I wouldn't have given an inch, and I would have wished we could be closer, but I still would have loved him.

Back to the weekend. We also went out last night to listen to a band. The lead singer is an old friend of my friend Alex. Turned out, Drake knew him too. Small world.

As often happens, somebody asked me when I'm going to have my housewarming party. I made the face I make and said I wasn't sure, but I'd try to have it soon. Drake laughed, because even though he doesn't live here, he's heard that question before often enough.

When we got home, I confessed I didn't think I'd ever throw that big party. I told him I'm overwhelmed by my to-do list and by the list of jobs I wanted to hire done, but haven't found anybody to do yet. I told him sometimes I look at those lists, and I can't even choose one of those things and just do it, so I sit here and scroll through Facebook and read blogs until several hours have passed and I hate myself, so I eat some chocolate and take a nap. Then I unload the dishwasher or do some laundry or practice music or write a blog post or vacuum or pull weeds or plant my garden or cook dinner, and my list stays there on the kitchen counter looking innocuous like a simple piece of paper does, but weighing on me like a piano on an unraveling rope above my head. It's embarrassing that I can't get more done.

He asked to see my lists, so I showed him. He asked me to show him what work I wanted to hire someone to do, so I walked him through. He said, "Mom, I can do most of these things. Why don't I take a few days and come here and work my ass off and get them done for you? You pay for my gas and food, and I'll do the work."

And then he fixed my ice-maker, which hasn't worked since I moved in. All he  had to do was turn on the water to the line down in the basement, which I should have figured out (except .... overwhelmed), and now I've got an ice-maker.

Then today after church we went to a home improvement store for a couple of hours, made some decisions about a dining room cabinet I want to build out and make into a bar, and bought a new screen door for the widow's walk off my bedroom.

It's a little porch that seems like such a wonderful place to sit and drink tea and read a book, but honestly? It scares me to death. Coraline is fascinated with it. She calls it her "flying place," because she thinks she can fly like a fairy. She thinks I can fly off it too. She says, "C'mon, Mommers. Let's fly!" And she means it. She's sure we can fly just like Tinkerbell. My imagination takes a different turn. All I see is a 20-foot drop to my brick patio. Right now the only thing between her and that porch if the door is open, as it often is in the summer, is a fabric screen held together with magnets.

So we bought a wood screen door and some hardware. When we got it home, it was about an inch too wide, so Drake used the electric hand saw I bought for $2 at a garage sale last weekend (serendipity!) and trimmed both sides by half an inch. Then we painted it to match the house. He didn't have time to install it, but he will next time he's here. With a lock way up high.

While we were doing that, I got out some other paint, taped a brush to the 7-foot strip of wood we'd sawed off the door, and touched up some peeling paint on the porch ceiling. Easier than getting up on a ladder. Then I touched up the paint on the porch floor too. And he cut up the branch that fell off the neighbor's tree last week and damaged the fence, which I'll probably end up fixing too, because it's really easy for people to walk away from houses in this neighborhood.

There's something about somebody else working with me that energizes me. I work better in collaboration, or at least with people around. Maybe it's the accountability. I don't know. I've done a lot of work -- in spite of feeling stuck and overwhelmed -- here all by myself. And that's as it should  be. It's my house. It's my work to do. My responsibility.

But having someone here to work with me, to brainstorm with, even for just an afternoon, doing things I'm not comfortable doing myself or simply not strong enough, damn it .... It felt  good. And it's such a relief that he's willing to come back and help with a few of the big jobs.

For a few seconds, I felt like I might eventually get all settled in and have that big party. At least I'm getting close to imagining it.

That's my weekend. That's why I haven't been writing about vaginas or women's issues or what I want for Christmas this weekend.

It's not easy to admit I can't do it all, but I'm feeling better about it tonight. Maybe I'll be writing about a party sometime in the future.

Tell me what overwhelms you. Does the feeling make you put your shoulder down and get 'er done? Or do you find ways to avoid the LIST and then feel like a failure? I can tell you I'm looking for more of the former in my life and less of the latter.

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