Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sweet Summer 2014

On May 31, 2014 I took the kids to the Nashville airport so they could fly to Beijing and spend the summer with Buddy.  

In the following 58 days, I was in Nashville, North Carolina, Washington DC, Beijing, South Carolina, Portland and San Francisco and here's what I did:

  • Moved all of our stuff in Nashville out of our 2BR/1BA duplex into a PODS

  • Visited my old church in Palo Alto.
  • Met with many dear old friends in the Bay Area.

  • Made a few new friends.
  • Got a facial, a pedicure and 2 manicures.
  • Flew to Beijing for a week to see Buddy and the kids.

  • Flew 20,200 miles, which means I boarded 16 planes.

  • Got our tenant to move out of the East Palo Alto house and got it cleaned, repaired and inspected so it’s ready for sale.  

  • Spent 11 nights in hotels.  
  • Visited every US time zone.
  • Put Cooper into a training camp for the summer.

            $$$$$$$         $$$$$$

  • Agreed with Ty that we’ll let each other go.  The 450-mile distance became a real show-stopper and neither of us was able to move.  
  • Toured the world’s largest digital print facility.
  • When I just slip it in like that does it seem like not a big deal?  Because I really want it to seem like it’s not a big deal.  
  • Dipped my toes in the Pacific.

  • Of course I mean the break-up.  Not the digital print facility.  
  • Ate a lot of sushi and frozen yogurt.
  • Gained 5 pounds.  (Or so...)
(connection?  possibly...)
  • Attended my awesome nephew's confirmation.
  • Ate a cro-nut.  (Whose idea was this???)
  • Facilitated classes for 234 amazing people.
  • Got bangs.

Summer 2014 you were sweet and I loved you.  
Thank you for everything you brought me and gave me.  
It was all perfect in its own way.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Tuesday Rule

Pat’s house on a Tuesday afternoon looks like a glossy page out of a home decor magazine.  

The granite countertops shine.  The bed linens are clean and smooth.  The floors glisten.  All surfaces have been dusted and they are free of clutter.  

There’s one rule on a Tuesday afternoon.  Keep It Clean.  When Pat walks in the house after work she wants to get that moment of living in a home decor magazine.  So if you get home before her, do not put your purse down on a countertop.  Do not pull any belongings out of a closet.  Do not mess anything up.  

Last Tuesday I got home before Pat.  Her son Kyle and his friend Armando ("Armando!  He brings us so much joy!") were in the family room playing video games.  

Whatever you imagine when you think of “teenage boy”, these boys are it.  They are in a huge growth spurt and they are clumsy in their new frames.  They take up a lot of space.  They don’t smell great.  They laugh loud.  They eat a lot of McDonald’s.  If you have a heavy suitcase they will carry it upstairs for you as if it were a briefcase.  They are generally happy and laid back, as long as they have a Lacrosse stick in their hands, or else a Chicken McNugget.

For some reason this day I was feeling responsible for the cleanliness of the house.  I wanted it to be nice for Pat, and I wasn’t sure if Armando knew about the Tuesday rule.  So I poked my head in the family room.

“Good afternoon, gentlemen,” I said.  

“Hey!” said Kyle.

Armando used his one free hand, the one that wasn’t connected to a gaming mouse, to give me a happy salute from the recliner.  

“Okay, Armando, do you know what’s really important today?” I asked.

He laughed.  “I know, I know.  Keep it clean,” he said. 

“Ha, I should have known that you know,” I said.  

Armando laughed again.  “Of course.  I live here too, you know!”

I walked upstairs and laughed to myself because seriously, how could you not?  “I live here too, you know.”

In reality neither Armando nor I live at 300 Alexander Avenue.  

But we feel like we do.  We know where the key is.  We know how to walk the dog.  We know the Tuesday Rule.  

I wasn’t actually planning to live with Pat all summer.  My plan was to live in our empty house in East Palo Alto while I got it ready for sale.  But when I arrived in California Pat asked me, “Why are you doing that?”

“Well, because I can, I guess.  And I don’t want to stay in a hotel all summer,” I said.

“What are you going to sleep on?” she asked.

“Oh!  Right.  Your air mattress.  Can I borrow it for the summer?” I asked casually, as if it were not a plan I had made that very second.  

“Why don’t you just sleep here at my house on a real mattress in the guest bedroom?” Pat asked.  

“For the whole summer?” I asked.  “That’s a long time!  I can stay at the East Palo Alto house.” 

“What are you going to make your coffee in?” she asked.

I looked at her blankly.  

“Exactly,” Pat said.  “You’re here for the summer.  Kyle, put her suitcase in the guest bedroom!”  

And so it was decided.  I stayed with Pat for almost two months.  

We made grand plans for what we would do with our summer together.  We did some of it (moved the dresser, went to the beach for a weekend away) but we didn’t get around to some of our grandest plans (power wash Megan’s house, get tattoos).  

But we spent a lot of great evenings together in the living room, with our laptops in our laps and B-52s on the coffee table.  We read each other funny quotes from our Facebook feeds.  We moaned about everything that was wrong in the world.  We laughed about how easy it would all be to fix if we were just in charge of everything.  We laughed until we cried.  And sometimes we cried, until one of us made the other laugh again.  (“That joke would only have been funny if you were already DEAD!”)  

I love Pat’s house.  It has everything you might ever need.  

Need to snuggle with a ball of sweet fluffy love?  We’ve got that.

Need to take a dip in the pool?  We’ve got that.

Need to relax in the shade?  We’ve got that.

Need to chat while someone else does the cooking?  We’ve got that.

Need a comfy place to watch The Bachelorette and throw things at the TV?  We’ve got that.  

But the very most important feature in Pat’s house is Pat herself.  And that’s why I love it here.