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Posts Tagged ‘Fun’

Really, it WAS a dark and stormy night, all purple prose aside.

The day had been punctuated by startling moments of sensory surprises, like standing at the copier in the office under a skylight and being suddenly overcome by a perception that something is amiss in my brain’s sense of Normal Daytime Expectations. I looked up and beheld a completely black sky overhead, prompting me to seek the nearest vertical window and exclaim to anyone within earshot, “Oooooh, look!” Looking, we all saw an impressive gust of wind busy itself with pruning a few dead leaves and small branches, barely visible through the thick blankets of rain.

Commuting home, the forward march of one of Lee’s outer bands ominously loomed in the distance, casting a mirror image of his fury across the water below, the water precisely matching his darkest parts and a couple of sparse hints of shimmer on the water, showcasing Lee’s best efforts to conceal the sun, which he had effectively snuffed out ’round about noon on Thursday.

Then came night, indistinguishable from many parts of the day. That last band had graciously passed at the time designated as local sunset (the clock was all we had to go by, as the dark clouds made the night darker….likely what Mr. Edward Bulwer-Lytton was trying to convey by describing a dark night with the word “storm” in the same sentence). Darker than night, how ’bout that?

Sitting quietly before bedtime, an other-worldly sound pierced my peace with its ghostly strains, demanding that I engage in the process of attempting to decipher its meaning and purpose. I was too tired to play another head game with Lee, so I took the best shortcut to make someone else figure it out: “What the hell was that?” It could have been the approach of the headhunters on Gilligan’s Island, for all I knew.

I don’t believe a definitive conclusion was ever reached, so we chalked it up to a wallop of wind, since the noise was immediately followed by an intense tropical downpour. The wind bullied the thunder, restraining its commanding voice by carrying its crash aloft in waves, making it sound like a strange symphony of muted tympani and belittled brass. This, combined with the tinny thud of each heavy raindrop landing on the chimney cover, lulled me to sleep, the backdrop sounds yielding to the strangest of dreams….

….dreams which were interrupted at some point by a poltergeist-like indoor event, the miniature Dirt Devil toy vacuum turning on by itself, its glaring light at the base illuminating the room and the sickly groan of a toy with drained batteries trying to revive itself back to life. Who left this out last night, anyway? As if we didn’t have enough entertainment going on outside our walls.

After surviving some of the most destructive hurricanes this beach has known, a little ditty like Tropical Storm Lee is most welcome. We need the rain this year. It waters the garden of journalism for the long weekend, encourages bonding among the affected, and forces those of us with growing lists of Ignored and Mundane Indoor Tasks, to finally face the music. You know, stuff like sewing the button back on the forgotten shirt that’s been patiently waiting, folded on the shelf in the laundry room for a semi-eternity (does it even fit anyone, anymore?) Studying for that nagging exam. Purging the accumulating crap off the (name any and all surfaces throughout the house). Fixing the leaky faucet. Carving a path through the dust on the uncluttered surfaces. Reclaiming the tool drawer as a right and true tool drawer, instead of the tools being crowded out by things like the spare part to the thingamabob which we no longer have, the broken piece off of Buzz Lightyear’s space pack which would never survive being glued back on anyway, and the massive collection of Keys to the Unknown, which go to nothing anybody in this current generation of home occupants can recall.

On the other hand, Lee is an even better excuse to relax and have fun. Every tropical storm has a silver lining! Instead, I think I will stay in my jammies a little longer today, with an extra cup of coffee fueling the posting of this blog, to the beat of another band of downpour drumming overhead.

I will continue to ignore the buttonless shirt in the laundry room and instead spend a little extra time studying the Scrabble board so I can beat all my online opponents, instead of my usual, thoughtless, hurried plays on the fly which inevitably cause me to pay attention and wonder why my average has tanked.

I will walk briskly past the tool drawer on the way to the freezer, where I will get out the ice cream to go with the cake to go with the presents which go with the young man in our house who turns three today. We will sing “Happy Birthday” at the top of our lungs, the surreal thunder that’s not quite thunder accompanying our rendition. We will be wearing our conical SpongeBob party hats and plying the children with terrifying amounts of refined sugar and Red Dye # 40. I will take said young man on my lap and marvel at how quickly time passes, and attempt to hold on to him tightly (little wiggle-worm!) and hope that he doesn’t repeat what he did last night when I attempted the same (he did what any pre-gentleman would be tempted to do as a practical joke on someone’s lap – ’nuff said).

Speaking of which, we will bypass the leaky faucet and nosh all day on the Boston Butt our good friend talked us into buying, all proceeds going to a child’s gymnastics travel fund (eating for a good cause is standard in the South).

The exam material will be ceremoniously bypassed as we stampede out the door in between rain bands, to pile into the van and go looky-looing – you know, go see what roads flooded, take pictures of the angry surf, run barefoot in the puddles-turned-streams…maybe hang around for a beach concert moved indoors and see a fairly popular musician.

We will go beach combing for leftover tarballs Lee may stir up. (“No-no, baby, don’t touch that shell…that’s not a shell.”)

I will hold my head high as I walk past the piles of accumulating stuff, and pause at one of the dusty surfaces, and use my index finger to draw a pretty design in the dust. I may delegate a more thorough, less creative dusting to the Child Labor Department another day, but for today, we will take advantage of the circumstances.

Thanks, God, for circumstances. I see it is getting dark again in the middle of the already-dampered daylight – we’d better go make a run for the van now, while the running is good.

Whoops, too late – that was fast! Another downpour. We’ll just serve up the cake and ice cream for breakfast, instead….

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Hey, God…

I really should lighten up. After all, life is too short. Why, I ask myself, are my posts so, um, serious? Is it because I use most my humor at work, making my superiors and the children laugh? Wait, they must be laughing at me instead of with me. This could account for why I have not been promoted within my impatient time frame. Some coworkers might beg to differ, however, since the new position with the office they gave me is the only one, other than higher administrators, which has an actual window in it, a window that overlooks some beautiful scenery…lily pads with bullfrogs sunning themselves, a blue heron whom I suspect may be a prop on the payroll for therapeutically aesthetic purposes, sloping lawn that dares you to lie down, cross your heart and roll down to the pond. One day I will lead all the children to do just that, simply because it is there. We will get muddy and laugh.

Maybe I am being kept there for their entertainment. Maybe they secretly want to say and do the brash things I (sometimes impulsively) do, like saying what everyone is thinking anyway, but nobody wants to be the idiot out on a limb to come out and say so. Or maybe it’s the double entendres I spit out on daily whims as circumstances present themselves, the kind that go clear over the heads of the children and certain adults, but are clearly understood by those who happen to be on their toes at the moment. Other than a couple of appreciated indiscretions, I have followed my New Year’s resolution this year in the office to keep all emails brief and businesslike.

Blah.

I will have to do an experiment and try being serious at work some day, and see if I don’t have more playful humor left over in the evening for this blog. Oops, that might not work…they recently gave me that office to work in a position in which playfulness is valued, even expected. The staff was stiffly aghast last week at my choice in replenishing the Treasure Box with whoopee cushions, rubber roaches and hillbilly teeth; my superiors suppressed grins and happily but quietly reimbursed me for such purchases. The children and I had a wonderful time, nonetheless, and I hope lessons were learned all the way around about the importance of laughter and lightheartedness. Alas, am I doomed to be playful by day, serious by night? I hereby try not to be so serious, even when I am not being paid to be playful. How much better life is when we keep playfulness a priority. Life is too boring, too straight-laced, otherwise.

I was terribly grateful for the unbusinesslike email a coworker sent me envying my daily playful responsibilities; and shamefully amused at another coworker who went to the trouble to page me overhead throughout the entire facility this morning in front of you, God and everybody, just because she wanted to show me something she found for me on her phone that was best relegated to her phone and not mine, and made me blush just having to look at it in the confines of the office setting. Oh, my. I do want to sign up for those classes, though.

And when I came home, our home was opened to several neighborhood children who emerged out of nowhere when we pulled in. How much more fun was it for them to do homework with classmates who are neighbors; to ride bikes off of the ramp which they rigged up in the front yard; to laugh at the baby who puts a “y” instead of an “l” into his vocabulary and tried to feed his stuffed yion some Yucky Charms; taming snakes and lizards and critters the other kids aren’t allowed to keep in their homes; to feed all seven children supper because they were here and hungry and nobody wanted to go home quite yet. I hope the background strains of “Holding on to Black Metal” didn’t subliminally corrupt anyone.

Now it is my turn to unwind. I am thoroughly exhausted, cold still in full swing, head swimming with all the puzzles and Legos and dollhousing and Monopoly Junior and cards I played today, while I slipped in some neurological rearranging on those with whom I played. I will consider planting a rubber roach somewhere tomorrow. But for now, I am reduced to stick-figure status, tired and simplistic, with X’s for eyes.

Aaaah, thanks, God, for these beach chairs, that we can unwind together! It’s okay to play both on and off the clock, isn’t it?

I secretly think You must like to play, too, God. After all, You rested on the seventh day. You play…for keeps.

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