Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I saved a one-eyed frog. Seriously.

Thursday, August 2 we were in the midst of preparing for the Highway 141 garage sale. There were thousands of sales all up and down the highway. Friday we got up to man our stations. Unkie and Helen, Karen, Connor, Hannah, Grandpa Staker, Grandma Staker, Mom and I took turns outside. It was a garage sale and family reunion in one.

Unkie and I went to my (deceased) Great Grandma B’s house to reclaim my trunk and tub full of books. We had to roll under an electric fence and get past an ill-tempered mare and her colt to get to my stuff. It made for some nice bonding. Between Friday and Saturday I made $7. Woo-hoo! It would have been $17, but someone stole my black velvet dress instead of buying it. Oh, well. Maybe it was some poor person who couldn’t afford a homecoming dress. Maybe she’ll really love it. I hope so.

Sunday, my mom, my dad and I got up and went to church. Grandma and Grandpa were there, as were three of grandma’s four brothers and their wives. One of them shown up as a surprise, and as a result they were all pretty giggly. Members of the congregation teased them about it after the service.

Later that day was Grandma and Grandpa’s party. It was an open house, and people were coming and going all day. I got to see relatives I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was wonderful, and after the party J.B., Erika, Brooke, Courtney, and Sandy all spent the night at the house. It was fun spending time with them and playing with the girls. Brooke has finally gotten to the point where I don't have to remind her who I am each time I see her, so that's really nice.

Monday morning we had breakfast. Courtney, who had been nervous around Scooter, the family’s mini poodle, finally gave the dog a hug. After everyone left, I did dishes and laundry while Mom was at the hospital with her good fried Suzanne. Suzanne was getting a double bypass. I did dishes and laundry. I sorted through books and found some I want to sell to a used book store. I also spent time playing fetch with the dogs and petting the cat. That night I had fried chicken with Mom and Dad.

Tuesday was the day I saved a one-eyed frog. I woke up with a green thunk against the window of my basement room. I thought it was a tennis ball that belongs to Mac (our Border Collie), but later that day it thunked again. Outside my window was a frog…a one-eyed frog. I wanted to help the frog, who clearly could not jump out of the deep window well. First I tried giving him a ramp. He seemed completely uninterested, and the ramp looked way too steep, so I jumped down into the window well with a bucket. I snapped a couple of photos. Then I nudged the frog into the bucket and lifted him out to safety. It was only as he hopped out that I noticed his monocularity. I snapped a few more pictures before he hopped away.

My parents both asked the same question: “Why didn’t you just open your window, grab him and carry him outside?” Why? Because I had this vision of a squeamish me grabbing a terrified and muddy frog and trying to get him out of a house full of new, beige carpets.

After all that excitement, I did more laundry, sorted through a trunk full of old papers from college and discarded a large number. It was so sweaty in the garage that my sweat drops felt like bugs crawling on my skin. I was so creeped out that I abandoned the task. I rinsed off in the shower, then went to hot tub. As I was opening the tub, I almost ran into a spider web, topped with an enormous garden spider. Once I got over the shock, I snapped a few cool pictures. Then I soaked for a bit.

After that, it was time to get ready for the family dinner and Uncle Jay and Aunt Dea’s house. I got a chance to play with my cousins’ kids. Oh, Jenny and Megan’s babies are cute! Megan’s toddler, Logan, is hilarious. He is a sturdy little guy who eats like a 12-year-old. He is also an amazing little dancer (see photo at left snapped by my aunt Sandy this winter). I haven’t been out dancing in…well, in so long I can’t even remember the last time. Instead I got my groove on with a 20 month old. Next week I might go help Megan out with the kids.

Wednesday (today) I had planned to go to Des Moines. Instead I got up and had breakfast, then did some writing. Mom and Sandy went shopping. Around lunchtime, Grandpa Keith showed up. He made nightlights and I did some writing. Then I made us some ham sandwiches for lunch. The next thing I knew, my dad was practically creeping into the house with his boss supporting him. He had thrown his back out and could barely move. We managed to get him comfortable on the floor, but then there was the problem of how to get him up again. He must have really been in pain, because my dad is tough. He is king of “I’m fine,” but for once he was admitting it hurt, and I could see it on his face.

Mom and Sandy got home in time for Mom to take Dad to the chiropractor. He seems better now. I got a call today from my old assistant principal asking if I was coming back. She said she’d heard a rumor, but that rumor was pretty specific (“I hear you might be getting a master’s degree in Indiana?” Yeah, she knew everything but the correct state!). I confirmed that I was not coming back. So now it’s official (well, I’m supposed to put it in a letter). There goes that safety net.

And now and I’m still writing. That’s why I left, isn’t it? To do this? To write? Then I damn well better write. I better get good and make this sacrifice worth it, because if it isn’t…if it isn’t, then what does that mean for me and what I’ve given up?


Gwenda said...

I really wish that I could give you a big hug right now. I'm really sorry that you are having to leave things behind. I'd make things easier for you if I could. *giant hug*

Anonymous said...

Seriously. You and I could both use some giant hugs lately. Unfortunately, I don't think my car situation will allow me to get to Iowa City. Grr. Virtual hugs! Giant, virtual hugs.