No, not that bird. Not chickens. Not this time. (But soon.)
My friend, M, and I have this thing about flamingos and birthdays. All too late I realized it would be fun to buy flamingos to put in her yard. (Much later I remembered there are companies that do this for you, but oh well.)
Amazon told me the birds would arrive the day AFTER her birthday, but often they only SAY that. Then later I get an email saying, “Your order will arrive early!” as though they are the most amiable, benevolent massive corporation ever.
I was banking on that email. And it came! Telling me the birds would arrive ON her birthday, but that was too late to have them on her lawn by the time she got up in the morning.
Plan B: Construct your own flamingo.
Step 1: Go to Hubby’s work and scour it for large cardboard.
Step 2: Enlist artistic daughters to draw and paint flamingo on cardboard.
Maybe two months ago, this older gentleman at the store was stocking shelves near me. Something I needed was on the top shelf out of my reach. I said to him, “You’re tall. Would you mind reaching that for me?”
He responded, “AND handsome. People always forget the handsome part.”
I laughed and thanked him for retrieving my animal cookies. I mean, uh, something much cooler like ostrich beef jerky.
Anyway, I passed him today and remarked, “You know, you’re tall AND handsome.”
“And handsome,” he said. “That’s right. People always forget that.”
“I didn’t forget,” I said.
“No, you didn’t. Thank you. That made my weekend.”
The son of my neighbor left his flip flops at my house, so I slipped on the mask to return them.
“Jim”, “Pam,” and son were outside admiring Jim’s new work truck when I walked up, slid the shoes onto the tailgate and backed away.
Before I explain what happened next, you should know that Pam and I had a long running joke involving me texting her the ninja emoji. It probably had to do with the time she let me sneak into her house for a cup of sugar.
What happened after this little shoe drop off is explained in this text I sent Pam soon after.
We cleaned out our garage so as to host the “annual” (minus 2020) block party. It was my beloved neighbor who kindly suggested we have it in our garage instead of on the street since we have pool and ping pong tables, shuffle board, and corn hole.
The day before the party, I watched, eyes narrowed, as this neighbor came and went merrily from her driveway, not a care in the world, as we spent hours clearing stuff out of the garage, hiding it in the shed, leaf blowing, sweeping, etc. (I kid, she’s lovely.)
At one point, unbeknownst to me, little Joe got the broom and decided to draw in the dirt, creating an incredible likeness of the letter “P.”
When I saw it, I remarked to my husband, Paul, “You know, that’s not what they mean by marking your territory with p.”
I first heard about it from my friend who tends bar at a nearby brewery. “They play stuff from the 90s,” and he started listing several bands, making my jaw drop lower with each one.
“You’ve got to book them!” I told him.
A couple months later, he did. I told all my friends.
Then, for whatever reason, the band canceled.
Then they rescheduled. I told all my friends.
The band came! And I had one of the best nights of my life. I remember repeatedly saying, “I am so happy right now.” Plus, I did this: (It’s a slide show, so go quickly and you can almost see me playing! 😉 )
Do I know how to play the drums? No.
Did I have permission to climb on stage during a break and play the drums? No.
Did the drummer turn around and say, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” Yes. But after the first two words his face went from irritation/borderline anger to a broad smile. I was clearly having fun, for one thing, and I was the one who gave him food, for another. (That would be a separate blog post.)
Then, after applying some subtle pressure, the band got booked for a second time. I told all my friends.
The band got canceled.
The band was booked for a third time to play this past Saturday! I told all my friends.
Then Thursday morning I got a message from the bartender:
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but the band isn’t playing Saturday night after all. There was a miscommunication and we double booked.”
Picture me hanging my head.
Then he says, “The band that will be playing instead is a Pearl Jam cover band.”
Now picture me laughing my head off.
Pearl Jam is the band of my youth, my first musical love since age 12 when my big brother handed me their first album and said, “Check this out.” I was instantly hooked.
I told the bartender all was forgiven. I’d be there.
I had told my mom and sister that the band was returning, so I updated them with the news that instead the performance would be by a cover band for “a particular Seattle 90s grunge band.”
My sister responded, “Nice,” then launched into a series of puns involving PJ song titles. (I love her.)
My mom said, “Is it a country band?”
She could hear me rolling my eyes from across the country.
“Ok. Ok. EV’s band?” EV, as in, Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam’s singer. Mom’s way cooler than she lets on. Living in Cleveland, my parents sometimes take out-of-town guests to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. After one trip, she mailed this to me:
Indoor skydiving, that is. Not quite as cool as the real thing, but still fun.
Anyhow, I had a hair tie in, but somewhere along the way, it was sucked up into the giant suctioning fan, never to be seen again.
When I got home, my kids said, “Mom, what happened to your hair?”
I spent 15 minutes trying to work out the snarls with my fingers because my brush was utterly useless. In that time, I untangled maybe a third of it. Then I remembered that conditioner exists, so I hopped in the shower, feeling sure there was a bottle in there somewhere.
There was not.
I texted my friend two houses down with a desperate plea for conditioner. She didn’t respond until much later. She’d gone for a walk without her phone, and had wished she could text me because she’d left her oven on. I showed her my hair. She showed me her food.
Fortunately, her house didn’t fill with smoke, but it did smell, she reported.
Her veggies were ruined, and I was seriously considering chopping my hair, or at least portions of it, way short. She recooked, and I spent the entirety of a Doc Martin episode (Have you seen this show? You must.) straightening my hair out with my fingers.
But it was all worth it because this:
In case you’re wondering, I know where my neighbors hide their key due to an unfortunate baking incident in which I had to do the cliché of all clichés: ask to borrow a cup of sugar.
She responded that she wasn’t home, but would be in half an hour. However, if I needed sugar right away, she’d tell me where she hides the key.
I texted back, “Please tell me where you hide the key. And the good chocolate.”
Believe it or not, she told me both, but I didn’t dare raid her cocoa stash. A woman’s chocolate is sacred. But the fact that she was willing to let me partake, in addition to entering her home while she was gone… truly an amazing neighbor.
Questions for you to ponder/comment on:
What’s worse: hair that takes an hour to untangle, or burnt peppers?
Have you been skydiving–indoor or otherwise? If not, would you want to?
Our family took a mini trip to a rented house in a quaint little mountain town known for its apple cider and apple pie. On the drive, as we got farther and farther from our city by the sea (and sea level), Husband warned the kids of several possibilities, due to the altitude:
Their ears might start to hurt, due to the altitude.
The air is thinner, so it might be harder to breathe, due to the altitude.
It’s much colder, due to the altitude.
These possible side effects were mentioned several times… due to the altitude.
At the house, one daughter said the water tasted different, “maybe due to the altitude.” (I suggested it was probably just the different fridge.)
As another daughter climbed into bed with socks on, I was shocked to see how filthy the bottom of her feet were.