We (heart) Al

It was the fuel pump. That little piece of crap has kept my family from the beach for over a year. It was sly, and worked for the mechanics every time we had it looked at. But Al was patient. Al kept going on longer and longer test drives until it stalled on him, too. Al took his time and didn’t settle for telling us that nothing was wrong with the van. Thanks to Al, very soon the van that I plan to thoroughly clean this weekend (could too happen!) will be dirty with sand and bits of seashells and seaweed that will slip from the pockets of the boys and probably the mouths of the girls. I am happier about this than is reasonable. But, having a car that stalls randomly, usually on the freeway, for thirteen months is nerve-wracking. (Of course, at this point my internal dialouge is chastising the complainer in me by pointing out how lucky we are to have the van and how lots of people who need one don’t have one and so forth. At some point I just have to say that, you know, things are all relative and my problem is my problem even if somebody else’s problems are greater. For instance, my brother’s girlfriend today said she was tired, and then said that compared to me she had nothing to complain about. But I disagree. I told her that tired is tired. Her tired is just as tired as my tired. And there! I just sidetracked myself into a what was I talking about there corner!)

Today I was in the front yard saying bye to the kids who were going to their dad’s for a dinner visit. My neighbor pulled into the drive. The neighbor who is a) really really pretty, b) tall and thin, and, c) about ten years younger than me. She had lots of groceries, so Willow and I grabbed some and helped her inside. Their yard is SO nice. She spends lots of time on it. And their house is totally clean and the carpet is new and not so covered in stains that she has to put down a quilt and still be embarassed about the ick factor. Ahem. Her baby is a little older than Willow, and super sweet and cute. We visited for a few minutes before I took Willow on a walk (down the sidewalk to the grocery store truck loading area. So. Facinating.), and the whole time I felt like, well, a slug. A big slimey slobby useless slug. So, when I read this, I felt, if not better, at least less lonely.

I am feeling more and more determined to clean up around here. We need to get rid of the clutter. The toys and the videos and the pants with holes in the knee. Used up batteries. The books that I will not reread. Broken things, old shoes, too small underpants and things that are supposed to hang on the wall that I don’t want on the wall. Old perfume and makeup. The poopy sand in the sandbox.

Next door, their garbage and recycling area was clean enough to sleep in, and ours is kind of festering and undulating.

Maybe I can work on getting rid of stuff first, and that will make it easier to keep up with what’s left. I have a bag of shoes and a box and bag of clothes in the hall, waiting for the van to come home so I can drop it all off. I bet I could come up with loads of stuff we don’t need or use. Cookbooks that are mostly about meat? Bye. Cool candle holder missing vital piece? See ya. Those velvet stretch pants I bought in the late eighties thinking to myself, I will wear these with my docs and a white tee shirt after I lose a little weight, that have never seen the light of day? It is time to move on.

This is off the subject, but something has been bothering me for nearly a month. I saw an obituary in the local paper for a man who died at age 35 of a heart attack. He was married and had two toddlers. There was a photo, and I am sure I know him. But I cannot remember where from. It’s possible that I worked with him, but I asked two people who worked with me at the time I’m thinking of (which was the early 90’s) and they don’t remember him. I sure did feel weird google-stalking some poor guy who just died, and I had no luck. There is a website about him with tons of photos, which made me certain that I know him, but didn’t give me any clues where from. I can picture having a conversation with him, and remember his smile and laugh. I think that years of sleep deprevation is seriously messing up my memory.

Willow just woke up, again. Think I’ll go lay down with her and sleep. I let the kids put on The Rescuers at bedtime because nobody was listening to the book I was reading. They were stunned. We’ve never put on a video in their room at bedtime. I quickly fell asleep and they watched the whole thing. Lexy was even nice to Sophie and shared his pillow and said he loved her. Or maybe I was dreaming that. Generally, all he says about her is “I hate her,” so I was really happy to see him be not such an asshole to her.

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