Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Post Dear Son Is Allergic To Minnesota

Dear Son and I are on a road trip that will eventually take us to the wedding of one of my nieces, or one of his cousins, depending on perspective.  Yesterday was the third day.  We discovered that he is allergic to Minnesota.  Seriously.  We crossed the state line, stopped at the first rest stop, and he threw up.

He complained that throwing up was not accompanied by feeling better, which to his mind is the purpose of throwing up.  I sympathized.  He's been feeling lurgy since then.  

Today we're visiting Beloved Son and his Dear Wife.  Eldest Offspring will fly in on Thursday and the four of us will continue the road trip to Ohio, the location of the wedding.  The day after the wedding, at the latest, we'll reverse the procedure, only with less visiting.  

It hasn't been too tough so far.  We've averaged twelve hours driving per day.  We've slept on real beds.  Dear Son has forced me to do stretches and squats every time we stop, which, thanks to my bladder, is often.  So my bones may be vibrating a bit but I'm not feeling run down.  

We passed the Spam Museum last night.  According to their website, "Referred to by some meat historians as The Guggenham, Porkopolis or M.O.M.A. (Museum Of Meat-Themed Awesomeness), the SPAM® Museum is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of spiced pork artifacts."  I can only say that there must be a SPAM® processing plant nearby.  You can smell hot spam from the highway.  

There's a billboard near the exit saying that the Spam Museum is where Hawaiians go on vacation.  I've never been to Hawaii, but I've heard from those who have that you can get SPAM® burgers at McDonalds, there. I've also never been to the Spam Museum, but Roadside America has a nice writeup.  There's also a shorter and less flip (and therefore less fun) writeup at Explore Minnesota.  Google shows pages of reviews and a few YouTube videos.  Not sure I'd want to watch someone else's tour, but if you're undecided as to whether or not to visit this free attraction, you might find one useful.

I'll tell you about the truck fire later.  It wasn't our truck.  We're driving in a van.  Oh, and the word of the day is uropatagium, a word I discovered here, in a review of a childrens' book centered around a pterosaur.  You know you need one of those.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Post Fluff Dried

[Written when we lived on M St.  Probably the first year I delivered pizzas for Professor’s Pizza.]  [[It was originally typed, with strike-outs and everything.]]

The kids washed a dead duck today.  At least I hope was dead.  It certainly was when they were finished with it.  They mentioned that it was dying, when I phoned from work, and that they were trying to warm it.  This on a day that had hit the 90s. 

“No, Kevin, it’s not cold.  This isn’t a cold day. Take my word that it’s not cold and just leave it.  I’ll look at it when I get home.”

I could tell that they were really pooling their resources and trying to find a way to help the poor, half-fledged thing.  And they had already learned something from the experience.

“Mom, I don’t know what’s wrong with the cat.  She’s just acting crazy.  I don’t know what to do.”

“What’s she doing?”

“She just keeps attacking it.”

“She’s outside?”

“No, we brought it in.”

“Oh, OK.  The cat’s fine.  That’s just the way cats are, they’re hunters.”

“Oh.  Should we shut the bedroom door, then?”

“If that’s where the duck is, yeah, that would help.”

“Hey, David!  Shut my bedroom door!”  (If she’s crazy or being bad she’s supposed to get over it or control herself.  If it’s just the way she is, well, we can think of ways around it.)

“Mom.  David says the duck's dead.”

“Just leave it where it is.  I’ll look at it when I get home.”

“He says it’s stiff.  Does that mean it’s dead for sure?”

“Yeah, it does.  Get a plastic bag and put it in the garage.  Can you do that?”

“Oh, sure.  I can do that.”  (All problems solved, now.  Kevin in charge.)  “No problem.  I’ll go do it now.”

“OK.  The next pizza’s up anyway.  I’ve got to run.  See you in a few hours.”

A few hours is more than enough time to forget a duck when you’re working two part time jobs that don’t mesh together well.  More than enough.  When I got home at 10:15 and the dinner dishes were still on the table (although the bowls that I had told Kevin to do were done) and there was an unbelievable pile of things in the bathroom with my hair dryer, of all things plugged in in Kevin’s room, I did not, at all, think of the duck.

I went into Kevin’s room where the three of them were sleeping in a sweaty one-sitter-sacked-the-next-not-yet-found mass (I’m certainly not going to tell them they have to sleep in their own beds when any fool knows there might be something looking in the windows) and I got them up.  Sort of. 

They don’t wake up well in the middle of the night.  Eric tried his hardest to pretend he couldn’t possibly wake up and therefore almost couldn’t.  Kevin got up and laid back down four times before he actually knew he was awake and that someone was talking to him.  David got up. Was told to clear the table. Wandered into his room thinking he had been told to sleep in his own bed.  Got yelled at.  Got up. Almost went back to bed.  Decided he was supposed to be doing something and started trying to pick up his pants and take the belt out of them so they could go into the laundry.

When I stuck my head in the door and frowned, he groggily yelled, “I’m doing it!  I’m doing it!”  I led him to the kitchen.  I led Eric to the bathroom.  I asked Kevin what my hair dryer was doing in his room.

“Oh.  We were using it to warm the duck.”

Now they’re back asleep and I’ve unwound and there were soggy black pinfeathers stuck all over the tub when I went in and took my shower.  And I realize that what was for me a four minute phone call was for them the whole night and a good deal else besides.

It was a test of their ingenuity / competence / resources / knowledge / independence.  It was a chance to learn and do without an adult to map it out for them (until the phone call – but that was too late anyway). 

They had been proud and excited and had worked together on it as hard as they could.  And it took up so much of their time and their thought, even after it was all over, that of course they had no time to remember other things they were supposed to do.

It must have been really something.

I can picture the collaboration, the arguing, the suggesting, the deciding.  Of course warm water, but that wasn’t working and now if we try something else, it’s wet, and that will make it cold . . .

A fluff dried dead duck.  I can picture it.  If the duck went the way of it’s recently departed brothers and sisters (who died when I was home and the kids weren’t), it was dead when they found it in the yard.  I hope so.  They said it never moved the whole time they tried to revive it.

I think I know, now why there was a suitcase in the bathroom with one of the sheets off of their bed stuffed into it.  I’m not so sure about the tape player.  Maybe that was to cheer it up.  I’m not sure I want to know.