imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Friday, May 12, 2006
THE POWER WENT OUT & THE ROOF LEAKS, BUT IT'S STILL A WONDERFUL LIFE
I finally finished my story for this contest, the one where you plagiarize the entire thing -- not one single word of your own -- using a minimum of five published books. Every phrase, sentence and passage had to be cited by work, author and page. And, as an added monkey wrench, you couldn't use single-word citations, which was the greatest challenge of the contest.
As I was working on my story yesterday, the power went out. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit shit shit! We've been threatened with rain for more than a week now. Last week, which had the potential of a muddy mess, was dry as a bone because I mowed the lawn. You know how it is: wash the car, mow the lawn, and it will rain. It was becoming so dry by the weekend, that I treated my windshield with Rain*X, in hopes of rain. Not a drop until yesterday. But when the power went out, it wasn't raining. The sky looked like I might be visiting Oz at any minute, but no rain. The power flickered; 30 seconds later it was back on. However, it was just long enough to bring everything to a halt. Thank God Microsoft XP saves everything you had open, and then you get to sort through which version of what you want to save. After sorting through and saving everything I wanted, the power went out again, and this time for quite a while. Without power, there was nothing I could do. Just about everything requires electricity, including the water pump. At that point my biggest fear was not being able to flush the toilet. There's nothing like not being able to flush to bring on that urge. With nothing left that I could do, I read, which demanded a great deal of effort because my mind was consumed with my story, as today's deadline ticked closer and closer (not to mention that flush thing).
The rain finally began in the evening, and it was a soaker. I was on the couch working on my story, and DogMan was practicing his gypsy guitar, when I heard trickling water. The house was built by a man who had never built a house before, so it's riddled with nasty surprises. (Not to mention that the roof is probably more than 30 years old.) When the rain is driven by an fierce easterly wind, there is the possibility of water getting in. And it did, right into the living. Then I heard a drip drip drip in the dining room and discovered water trickling from the chandelier. DogMan went up into the attic, a place I have not ventured into since I heard creepy noises up there about 10 years ago. He discovered the source of the dining room leak and put a bucket under it. "It was from where the two levels join. It has nothing to do with its age." Yeah, right. But the fact is that a new roof, which we badly need, would necessitate other costly repairs, too. It's that old money pit domino effect: fix one thing and you'll be forced with more co$tly repair$.
I slept with the TV on so I couldn't hear the dripping. I dreamed about the house in the movie It's A Wonderful Life. Remember the old rundown house that Mary wanted? Remember how it leaked like a sieve? I spent my entire sleeping hours dodging the leaks in the Bailey household.
This morning dawned sunny and clear. I finally finished my story: entitled How The First Jewish Kimberly Got Her Life Stuck In A Groove; 744 words, which gave me a 6-word cushion; 94 footnotes. I e-mailed that sucker with a few hours to spare. So right this minute, life is good.
On to surfing the net. First stop, my daily NY Post horro-scope: Put your money worries behind you today because your prayers will soon be answered. Tomorrow's full moon will undoubtedly bring matters to a head and force you to make necessary changes. The amazing thing is they won't be as painful as you had feared. The fact is you should have made them earlier, but better late than never. HA HA HA !!!
Tomorrow, DogMan and I will be visiting my mother to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. Speaking of which ...
My Mother's Child
Almost fifty years later, and my mother is still worried, genuinely concerned!, about a neck rash I had at six weeks of age! Always my mother's child. It was only a short time later we learned my mom had lung cancer, and only a short time after that when she breathed her final breath. Every Mother's Day since herpassing (the windier the better), I try to take a particularly strenuous bike ride or maybe hike to the top of a mountain peak and make my heart pound and my lungs gulp air so that I may savor the gift of life she gave me and nurtured. For, I believe, her soul still keeps a careful watch on me, forever a mother's child.