I'm leaving for Creation in 30 hours.
So of course it's vital that I clean my C drive before I go.
And Clint's room. That too needed an hour's worth of attention this evening.
Did I bake anything? No.
Did I pack anything? No.
I cleaned random things and drove my kids nuts.
Welcome to 'Holidaying with Jane'.
Anyways, as previously mentioned, last night I moved all my photo files over to my external harddrive. This afternoon, I transferred every WORD file. That's right. Every word I've ever written and every photo I've ever taken has been saved in a little metal box that fits in my purse.
I started putting words together before I started blogging.
Today I call myself a blogger.
Back then, before I knew about this medium, I fancied myself a writer. Sort of. My main fear in those days wasn't so much that I couldn't write. But that I'd run out of things to write about.
So, in case you didn't know me back in May of 2003, here is what I wrote on the first day of that month:
(Oh, and by the way. It's kinda long. Back in those days I rambled alot.)
When working out the details of our divorce agreement, my lawyer was amazed that one of the clauses stated that I would continue to receive spousal support til June 2004, regardless of my income. He said it was unheard of that an ex-husband would continue to pay support if his former partner ended up getting a good job. He suggested I take advantage of this “loophole” and get settled into a career as soon as possible and bank my support for a couple years.
That was good advice. I am blessed. Luckily, I’ve been dumped by a hardworking (somewhat self-employed) successful businessman. My support payments are fair (generous by some standards) and consistent (always on time). In order to protect myself from possible future financial difficulties, I would be able to save up a lot of money if I applied myself to a job right away. Think of the security. Think of the peace of mind.
Think of my kids.
The last thing they need is a mother who is storing up mannah in case a famine hits.
God has His hand on us. He is providing for us everyday. Saved up mannah rots. (No, really, it does. My nest egg of RRSP’s smells like sulphur.)
I have enough. Plenty.
It’s a faith thing. Our needs are being looked after today. Our requirements will be looked after in the future. I will get a job in June 2004. Or a husband. (A job would probably be less complicated.) (But, God’s will be done.)
I’ve been invited to join a writer’s group. Gulp. Am I a writer? Am I going to become a writer? What am I going to write about? What do I know? About anything? I know nothing. And my experiences are so… so… (yawn)… ordinary. Maybe, every couple of days, my kids will do something entertaining, or I’ll go off the deep end being blonde… but basically, crumb…I think I’ve just about run out of topics.
Up til now, most everything I’ve written about has to do with conversations with my kids and/or the difficulties in raising them. (With the exception of a series of events that seemed to centre around underwear. By the way, I ended up getting 9 packages filled with skimpy, silky, lacey, stringy panties.)(Kinda useless now. But maybe I’ll need them in June 2004? Nahhh. What kind of job would require that I wear sexy underwear?) (Shoot. My mind just wandered again. I’m way off the topic…but seeing I’m out here anyways… do you know what my mom was doing last night? Looking for a son-in-law.
“Jane, have you seen this? It’s called Christian Café…”
“Yeah mom. I wrote about it a few weeks ago.”
“Maybe you should have a look. This one seems good…”
“Mom. I’m watching hockey.”
“He’s over 6 feet and has brown eyes…”
“We’re tied. It’s the playoffs…”
“Hmmm. I’ll just print these off…”)
That was subtle.
I jumped from kids, to underwear, to prospective husbands… all in one paragraph. I’m sure that’s NOT good writing.
Let me try to find the original thread…
Oh yeah… nothing to write about. Boring life….Here we go -
And, it occurred to me; what if my boys turn out to be perfect, normal, boring children? What if I finally get it figured out and become a flawless, patient, thin mother? What if I get my own house and don’t live in my old bedroom anymore? What then? Would I have to make things up? (Even more than I already do? Sometimes I might embellish a bit. Not much, but a little…)
I started writing last September when God closed a door that I really, really, really wanted open. Since then, I have been supplied with at least one piece of writing material a week.
Is this, like, a trust thing?
Was today’s incident mannah for writing?
It’s Wednesday, my ‘day off’. After I drop the kids at school, I’m free. To go back to bed. To tan. To read. To use the computer. To pluck chin hairs. Whatever. Total freedom til 2:30pm the following day.
Today was “Girls Day Out”. Terry, my mom and I went to Richmond to buy some craft supplies at a craft wholesaler. Just minutes before entering the tunnel, my cell phone rings. (No it doesn’t. The kids have programmed it to sound very un-ring-like… my phone plays a short song to get my attention.)
“Hi Clint. What’s up?”
“We had a bomb threat at school today. Everyone has to go home. Come and get me.”
“I can’t come right now, I’m almost in Richmond. Walk over to Auntie Julie’s house, and I’ll phone your dad to pick you up from there. It’s his day to have you.”
“Can’t you come?”
“Nope. Not right now. It’ll be a few hours before I would be able to get out to Langley. Dad will…”
“I’m going to get a ride to Dave’s house. OK?”
“Is Mrs. R picking you both up?”
“Is it OK with her if you hang out at their place this afternoon?”
“Uh huh. And we don’t have school tomorrow. Can’t I come be with you tonight?”
”Well, it’s your dad’s day to have you. We’ll have to check with him.”
I left messages for Mark regarding Clint and continued on, enjoying my day.
Ten minutes later, the phone sang again.
“When are you coming?”
“Not for awhile. Can’t you just stay with Dave for a few hours?”
Two minutes later, a disney theme song began playing in my pocket;
“MOM! I know! Can’t Baps come get me? Wouldn’t that work?”
“Nope. He’s at the lake, pouring a concrete basement today. Why don’t you just hang with Dave? Go suntan or something…”
Five minutes later, do dododo dodbleep bleep cha cha…
“What now Clint?”
“I’m coming to your place for night, right? I’m not going to dad’s? Right?”
“I don’t know. He hasn’t called me back. But I’m going up to the lake tonight, so if you’re planning on staying with me… that’s where we’ll be.”
“No. I just want to go back to the farm.”
“Sorry, not an option. You can invite Dave to join us…”
“Uh. OK. Bye.”
About an hour later, another call;
“Are you coming soon?”
“Not til after three. But I still haven’t heard from dad. So you might not be coming with me. We’ll have to wait and see.”
“Uh. I got hairsprayed in the face. My eyes hurt.”
“What? Who sprayed hairspray in your face?”
“What kid? Aren’t you at Dave’s?”
“We went to the Skate Park.”
“Oh. Well, I guess the next time you go, you’ll have to wear some protective gear. Like goggles.”
“’Kay, I gotta go.”
After getting the OK from Mark to keep Clint for night, I stopped in at the farm after my shopping trip to Richmond, packed an overnight bag for me and Clint and headed out to Murrayville around 4. Lori was setting the table for a bridal tea she was hosting. An assortment of boys were hanging around the kitchen. I invited a few of the older ones to join Clint and me at the lake. “Oh, wow. Sure. Can you ask my mom?”
Lori looks at me, “Have you checked to see if there’s school tomorrow?”
“Uh. No. Clint said…”
“Maybe you should check…”
So I called the school board offices. Yes. There would be school. A bomb threat does not require that the school be closed for 2 days.
“Sorry guys, there’s school tomorrow. Guess I’ll drive Clint over to his dad’s…”
“Uhhh. Mrs. O? Did Clint tell you what happened?” Dave hesitantly inquired.
“Yeah, there was a bomb threat, and you guys all stood out in the fields and firetrucks and police cars and…”
“No. Not about that. About the other thing…”
“What other thing?”
“Oh. Didn’t he tell you about the hairspray thing?”
“Oh that. Yeah. He got sprayed in the face.” I turned to Lori, “I told him to wear goggles next time he goes to the skate park…hehehe.”
I stood there, in the doorway, chatting with the guys, and finally asked,
“Where is Clint?”
“In your car…”
So, I said goodbye, and went to the car. The guys followed me.
I hopped in the front seat, and saw Clint in the passenger seat with a damp cloth held up to his lips. His face had red patches all over it, the most noticeable spot being right under his left eye.
“That was from hairspray? Yeeesh. What did you have? An allergic reaction?”
His buddies are on the passenger side of the car, looking in through the open window.
“Well, the hairspray was on fire.”
He took off his toque and showed me his new hairstyle. Frizzy, lightened, singed, shortened, stinky hair on the left side of his head.
Dave offered, “He said he was getting his haircut this weekend, anyways…”
“Yeah, it’s mullet week at school, and so… it’s no big deal.”
No big deal.
I removed the ice-cube filled cloth from his mouth area and noticed that his lips are burnt and swollen up double in size. The tip of his nose is reddened. And he’s got a nice blistered rash on his chin.
Yep. No big deal.
This is just mannah.
We said goodbye to his friends, and I immediately called Jul.
“Hi, are you going to be home for awhile?’
“I need you to clean up Clint’s head. He had an accident.”
“What kind of accident?”
“A run in with some hairspray and a lighter. He needs a haircut.”
“Don’t call dad, OK? Just take me to your house afterwards, OK?”
“No. After this, I’m taking you to his house. I’m going to the lake. And you’re going to school tomorrow.”
“NO. He’ll just make fun of me…”
“Oh? And you don’t think I will? Guess again... It’s one of the perks of being your parent.”
Julie is waiting for us as we pull into her place. She gets him to share his story, and bites down hard on the inside of her mouth the entire time he talks. He can be such a moron sometimes…
While she’s trimming and shaping, she looks at me and says, “I was just writing you a response to your “Going Pro” question. (Note: Clint wanted to be a professional online gamer that year and was pestering me to let him enter tournaments) I was going to tell you to support him and give him a chance. He needs your encouragement."
Then she turned to Clint and cuffed the non-burnt side of his head. “But you’ve got to work with us here. If you want your friends and family to help you convince your mom that you’re old enough to make some decisions about your future, you’ve got to stop doing dumb ass moves like this.”
Jul then brought out her medicine kit and gave him an assortment of ointments. Clint looked at us both and said, “I remembered everything I learned in life saving. I did what I was supposed to. I didn’t panic…”
“Oh?” I inquired, “While taking swimming lessons, they prepared you for an occurrence like this? Getting burned with hairspray that’s been ignited with a lighter?”
As we leave the Koop’s place, Jul leans into the car. “He probably needs a good pain reliever. If you go the Pharamasave in Murrayville, get him the Advil Gel Caps. They’re in the Pre-Menstral Cramps section beside Midol…”
Oh yeah… mannah.
Sometime later, maybe a year or so?, I found out the real story.
Not hairspray. Propane from the BBQ tank.
Not a lighter. A blow torch.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. The weather at the Gorge is expected to be 93 degrees next week. After 7 straight days of rain, the sunshine will be so appreciated. None of us will grumble or complain about the heat.
2. The front corner of my entry way? The gaming corner? We attacked it this afternoon. Pulled the couch out, rolled up the carpet, moved the entertainment centre, unplugged Max's computer, then vacummed, washed and polished 2 bags of garbage out of there. We're going on vacation. These things need to be done.
3. My master to do list? Of things I want to do in the next 30 hours? Half of them are done. That's a passing mark.