Archive for June, 2010

Outsourcing Summer

Have you ever felt like you were failing being a Grown Up?

This might seem an odd intro into this week’s Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop topic of what summer means to your family, but it’s a nagging question in the back of my mind when certain aspects of summer come up.

Growing up, I remember the trips to the nursery every summer to pick out the hanging baskets of ferns for the back patio, the geraniums for the front porch, and all the varieties of flowers my mother would plant in the beds in the side yard.

Summer flowers

My dad would mow the grass, carefully edge the yard and rig up tiny metal gates around the sprinkler system so my sister and I would stop cutting it too close in the driveway and running over the little sprayers.

The smell of lawn and roses and dirt and heat. The garden gloves, the weeding tools, the little shovels. That was summer. And it was all something the grown ups just seemed to know how to do.

Michael and I? Not so much.

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June 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm 7 comments

Cats and Dogs of a Feather

Michael can sleep through anything. Not me.

So when a tiny muffled meow came from somewhere in the house one night, I was UP.

Lou the Cat

Lou the cat is not a big meower. She’s more of a snacker, relaxer and hider. But she does like to go “on patrol,” as we call it, in the middle of the night. As soon as the lights are all turned out and things are quiet, we’ll hear the little click-click-click of her claws on the hardwood floors, climbing the stairs, finding out what she may have missed during the day.

But meowing? Never.

So even though it was 3 am, I was instantly up, trying to clear out the sleep in my head and figure out what was going on. I went to her usual hangouts – the guest bedroom, the upstairs den – no sign of Lou, but I could still hear the constant meowing. By this point, even Michael was awake and beginning to become alarmed.

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June 18, 2010 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

all you need is love, but some talent would be helpful

“You play the guitar!”

On his first visit to my house, my boyfriend (now husband), Michael, immediately locked his eyes on the black case propped up in the corner of the guest bedroom.

“You play the guitar!” He actually seemed to be glowing, he was so thrilled with this discovery.

GuitarMichael had attended the Atlanta Institute of Music. He had five guitars (“Seven, if you count the ones still at my parents’ house”) of various pedigrees, genres and styles. He had spent a year of his life practicing guitar eight hours a day while collecting unemployment and pissing off his at-the-time girlfriend. They were that couple who had conversations like:

Her: “You care about that guitar more than you care about me.”

Him: [Doesn’t hear her because he’s too busy concentrating on his chord progressions.]

So it’s no surprise his gaze would instantly fall on the guitar case in my house. Apparently, though, he didn’t notice the two-inch layer of dust covering the case. Or the fact that it was wedged behind piles of books and files and cat hair tumbleweeds.

“I uh…well, I own a guitar. ‘Play’ might be a bit of a stretch.”

On his second visit to my house, Michael proudly presented me with a laminated chord chart. All I needed to do, he assured me, was practice a few chords every day. I’d be playing in no time.

Oh, Michael. Poor, well-meaning, misguided Michael.

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June 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm 3 comments


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