Wednesday, April 27, 2011

(Husband/Father) Bathmophobia

The title is the phobia related to a fear of steep slopes.  I have that.  I didn't know it until last Saturday but I definitely have it.  Heights is not a problem because I'm on something that is relatively stable.  Roofs are a different matter.  I climbed on the ladder and stood at the very top where it reads, "Do Not Use This As A Step".  Then, with moss removal powder in my hand, I worked up the courage to climb on my roof.  But not enough courage.  So I set the container into the gutter and attempted again.  "Where are you courage?"  Then I grasped onto something that was attached to the roof.  I don't know.  Some sort of small chimney stack sort of deal.  Big sigh.  "C'mon courage c'mon".  My feet felt like they were stuck in dried concrete.  Then I thought, "Maybe this smoke stack thingy won't hold my weight.  That would suck.  That would suck really bad."  So I got off the ladder.

The instructions on the container states the powder is to be applied on top of the crest of the roof so that when the rain comes it can take the powder down with it and kill the moss.  So it is important to get it on your roof when the rain is going to pour in the next day or so.  Otherwise it doesn't have the effect you want and wasn't worth the time or money.  Or my life for that matter.  So I look up and see a dark rain cloud about to roll in.  Just far enough away to where I had about twenty minutes.  This was my inspiration!  I get back on the ladder.  Here it comes.  I can feel the courage mounting.  Mounting?  Sure, why not.  Just when I thought it would come it vanished.  Am I still talking about courage?  I'm getting confused.

I addressed myself by first name and then proceeded to go on a cursing tirade.  All it did was make me mad at the person cursing at me.  Which was me.  Which made me even more angry.  So I went inside and asked Daisy to come outside and curse at me instead.  "It's not that hard!" she yelled.  I swear on all things holy I'm not trying to make this sexual.  It's taking a life of it's own.  "Faster! Don't disappoint me!"  OK. That was on purpose.  I started to argue back, "This is really steep!  I'd like to see you try it!" 

"Your the one who told me to tell you your a Nancy girl" Daisy said.  My last idea was to have the children come outside and weep yelling, "I'm embarrassed to have you as a father!"  Can you tell shame is a big motivator for me?  It helped me through grad school.

Well, we never got to that point because the neighbors brought out a Dora pinata to beat with a stick and invited us over.  Dora was decapitated so it brought a slice of happiness into my life.  But that roof.  That roof is baiting me every time I pull up to our drive way.  "Scared huh?" the roof said today.

"Leave me alone roof"

"Am I too steep?  Is that it?"

"Shut up!"

"You shut up!"

"No you shut up!" 

Then the moss chimed in with their opinion and it went from there.  Just in case you are curious I will get on the roof.  Even if it kills me.  And that is a very strong possibility.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

(Son/Father) High on Grass

Since I am now a homeowner I noticed our grass needed to be cut and decided to be a responsible neighbor by taking care of the unsightly growth.  There is another unsightly growth I need to take care of but someone with a medical license needs to handle that.  And since it is not entirely bothersome I will wait.  However, grass is more easily solved so that takes priority.  We obtained a lawn mower a couple of years ago that had not been used for several years.  I tried to start it without luck.  I took it to my dad's home where there is every tool known to man and someone with knowledge to fix such a problem.

Growing up there was not a single ounce of me that was interesting in fixing things.  Then again, I didn't show much interest in anything other than girls and television and not necessarily in that order.  My dad had been a mechanic in the Air Force and after serving his 4 years went out and became a journeyman electrician.  Actually went to Alaska to service the oil wells for a year.  Or at least that is where he said he was.  All I'm saying is that his pen pal in Nebraska happens to be a few years younger than me and looks a lot like him.  The point is my dad could build a house in a day.  It would be small but livable. 

Did I always admire him for these skills?  Not really.  The electric saws and motorcycle engines hurt my ears.  His asking me if I had changed my oil lately was annoying.  And the clanging of tools coupled with a long line of swear words left me puzzled.  The poor guy tried to show me what an engine looked like and what each part did.  I don't doubt that after he happily explained the details he looked over to see his son playing with his tongue and hung his head in embarrassment and shame.  Could he have wondered if mom and the milkman were on friendly terms?  I'm sure it crossed his mind.

So I pull in to the driveway and see dad working on the electrical system of a boat engine.  I pull out my tired old mower and ask for help.  He begins his work of diagnosing the problem and guess what?  I'm interested.  When I had to perform a hundred point check of my semi-truck to pass trucking school I did so to pass the class, not to actually know anything about what the parts did.  But when dad was checking the spark plug I asked why.  When he checked the air filter I asked why.  He cleaned the fuel filter and checked the carburetor.  Why?!!?  He probably thought, "I had to wait 35 years for this?".  And I thought, "I had to wait 35 years for this?".  I had so many opportunities while growing up and I chose to make sounds with my bellybutton instead. 

Now I'm not saying I would have gone on to rebuild a car engine for fun.  What I'm saying is I assumed people were born with different gifts and either you had it or you didn't.  What I didn't realize is the opportunities to expand my mind were available but the respect for my father's skills were not.  Is it too late?  Yes.  How do I know?  That is what he told me after fixing the lawn mower. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

(Father/Husband) I'm a mess

This morning I woke up with a cherry menthol cough drop stuck to the back of my head.  Needless to say I've been off my game lately.  It is my belief that humans are inherently habitual creatures.  We are looking for a comfortable balance and when that balance is threatened we try very hard to find it again.  When someone suffers the loss of something, any loss really, a hole is left and have to fill it with something. 

We are in the middle of a necessary loss with our 12.5 years of renting and into our first new home.  Exit any healthy habits of eating and exercising and enter in fast food burgers, chocolate, and pop.  Exit any sense of creative energy and enter in an a single minded focus on moving heavy objects.  That and screwing.  Y'know, like light bulbs.  Gone is any good hygiene for our children.  Gone is any good attention toward our children at all.  Right now Beast is repeatedly throwing a blanket on the keyboard in order to garner any kind of attention.  Any at all.  I gave him attention all right.  In the form of biting his head.  I don't know what I'm talking about.  All I want is time to do something life giving.  Taking out a rusty sink is not one of those things. 

Yes I know, home ownership involves work.  I will walk into the office and hear Bill talk about how his relaxing weekend was spent at the beach.  I will brag that my relaxing weekend was spent taking moss off my roof.  Oh yeah, and then I was lucky enough to have time to clean the gutters.  But bits and pieces my friend.  Bits of work and pieces of blog writing.  Yes, blog writing is relaxing for me.  Basketball wasn't so I quit.  I'm equally awesome at both but something had to give.  I know what your your thinking, "I would certainly hate to see you play basketball."  Fine.  I'll stop for now.  But only because Beast is putting a laundry bag over my head.  But I'll be back.  Oh yes.  I'll be back.