By lex, on April 14th, 2008
Thesis work all day Friday, with the transmission repair crew come ’round to pick up the Ancient Caravan at noon. When it’s FMC again, we intend it to be the Biscuit’s main ride at least until she demonstrates a capacity to safely operate an underpowered behemoth (with anti-lock brakes and airbags) for an indeterminate space of time. She watched it go with a glow in her eyes unmatched by any similar fervor of my own, imagining instead the very likely diminishment of capital accounts intended for other improvements, not to mention the potential for mayhems great and small. Freedom, she thinks and I silently agree, adding only a plaintive, “to do what?”
But they will grow up. You can’t stop them.
The garage floor looked strangely empty for the first time in pretty much forever, what with my own little beater parked outside baking in the sun, not to mention the dastardly birds with their nasty defacatory practices, inveterate malice and unerring aim. Has been ever since the garage door opener gave up the ghost with a gasp two weeks past. I kept meaning to get around to around to repairing it, but events – the mortgage crisis, stress in the international banking system, Our Crumbling Infrastructure, etc. – conspired against me.
Having watched that great blue whale heave out of the garage, the Kat coolly surveilled the great emptiness left behind and in her customarily direct, no-nonsense way – I will not call her “bossy” – offered her studied opinion that the time had come for Someone of Suitable Responsibility to clean the place out. You see, the detritus and ashes of the east county fire last October swirled and gathered in odd nooks and crannies – OK, pretty much everywhere – and wasn’t October rather a long time ago, really? This being April?
It was, I answered and added that perhaps she had not just a point but an opportunity for economic advancement, the position of garage sweeper remaining as yet unfilled chez Lex. In the event, the tasking was deemed beneath her dignity, involving as it did physical labor. It was left therefore to the parents to sort things out, alas.
The division of labor is thus: Your correspondent is responsible for the outer demesnes, which he keeps clear of bears, wolves, leaves, crabgrass and most coyotes, while the Hobbit chiefly occupies herself with keeping the interior of the manse to a determinedly naval standard of cleanliness and order. Although there are apparently waivers issued for the quarters assigned to various teenagers. Some of whom feel quite at liberty to offer their observations on the discreditable state of the garage, pithy parental nostrums about teenagers throwing stones in glass houses all regardless.
But the garage has always been a place of a polite and congenial but fixed, grim, grappling dispute betwixt the two of us, with your scribe insisting that it clearly lies within the confines of the house proper and therefore is and ought to come under her purview, and herself replying that what with the power tools, extension cords, golf clubs, workbenches and sawdust, etc. scattered hither and yon it is clearly a boy’s club and as nothing to her. In time it has come to this: She has persuaded herself that the garage does not exsit – she cannot see it. And all of this before half the houses in Rancho Bernardo came to visit, and then to stay, wafted in as it were on the hot breath of the Santa Annas.
So after thesis quitting time on Friday I bought and installed a new garage door opener a Genie model with a 1/2 horsepower worm drive, very nice. I find that the replacement kit I purchase these days (the aforementioned garage door opener, a washer and dryer, the new dishwasher) have one singular advantage of the gear they replace: They are quieter.
Anywho, hating to abandon a project anywhere short of completion, I spent until midnight installing the thing, with the girls taking turns tentatively sticking their heads in from time time, no doubt startled to dread at the grotesque moanings made by your correspondent while singing along with an iPod as he works. In my head it sounds fine. Professional, even.
Saturday morning it was the Ace Hardware shop for a push broom, mop and bucket, answering for perhaps the thousandth time politely that no, I do not have an Ace Club Card, thinking that my weariness at having to answer that question could not possible exceed the clerks’ weariness at having to ask it. When the time came for flogging the deck with a mop, unwilling perhaps to witness their father’s humiliation – or perhaps be drawn into it – two-thirds of the All Girl Spending Team absented themselves to go shopping while the third ensured her readiness to greet the afternoon’s festivities by sleeping on both ears until nearly noon.
By that time I was already up at Palomar, having fought a hot breeze along the way, flown with a Marine amtrack crewman and a civilian college student (one of them got sick, not the one you’d imagine) and flown through one of the most bizarre windshifts I have yet encountered. Which is another story entirely.