Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm not running backward; you're facing the wrong way

My life is running in reverse. The weekend started with matzo ball soup and ended with me feeling like I was getting a cold.

Months ago, you made me shave my beard, and I finally gave it the 10 days we were at Grammy's to return. When it did, my sister kindly pointed out that it appeared lighter than before, as in not-red-at-all. As in gray. Yes, my beard has gone from rust to steel.

(As it came in, it went through all the uncomfortable phases from Nick Nolte mug shot to Brett Favre return to the NFL. Not sure if that's forward, reverse or lateral progress.)

On Sunday, when I got up with the kids to let Mama sleep in, Jewel decided her new word of the day was "actually," as in "I don't want that story, actually. I do want 'Planes,' actually. No, I don't want bagel for breakfast, actually." Or, as her brother observed, using his former word of the day, "Her word of the day is 'actually,' apparently." We'll be here all week, people; don't forget to tip your waitress.

We also had fire and ice this weekend. Friday night, a neighbor below us fell asleep with candles burning in her bathroom. They burned "some papers," according to her, but by the time we got to her place, there was "no fire," again, according to her. No idea how accurate her account is, however, since she wasn't even aware that she had a fire burning in her bathroom and seemed stunned when we opened the door. Stunned as in unsteady on her feet, rubbing her eyes, just woke up in a dark apartment--at 7.30 at night.

We knew--I was knocking on her door with the woman who lives below us and the woman who lives next door to her, which is directly above Smokey Jill's place--because our places were so full of smoke that we almost had to leave them. We were trying to discover the source, because as our downstairs neighbor said, "It's too cold to go stand outside while the fire department does the same thing." When we woke Smokey Jill, there was no smell of smoke that we could discern from the hallway, although the darkness of her place was impenetrable, so we couldn't see if there was any.

As we were on our way back to the elevator, however, she came running after us and explained about her bathroom. By the time we all got back to our houses, someone else had called the fire department, which arrived at full force--at least 10 vehicles, including our local hook-and-ladder, engine, ambulance and reinforcements from the neighboring county.

So we all went and stood outside in the cold anyway.

We probably didn't need to, but we used it as a fire drill for 3B, which would have worked a bit better if I were more relaxed as we were heading out. As it was, he burst into tears as soon as we said we were walking out, but that only lasted for five seconds, then he was back in fire drill mode and we had a fun time all the way down the stairs and outside.

Plus, we learned that our local fire station will be giving out candy, bonus for us.

On Saturday, we had snow. Unlike in farther north, none of ours stuck, but it was snow. Big, fat, wet, gloppy snow. The day started with rain, progressed to sleet, then to snow for several hours. We, of course, took the kids out in it to catch it on their tongues and because...snow!

On Sunday, the skies were clear enough for a long bike ride with the kids. 3B pedaled the whole way and Jewel pedaled her trike--her other new trick this week--about half of the way. We were out for a couple of hours at least, which wiped the kids out. Jewel slept for at least three hours when we got home and 3B spent half of the afternoon lying on the living room carpet with his lovie. Next time, we'll get them coffee with their donuts at our rest stop along the route.

I wish that I could end this by saying we continue to move in reverse and this week we'll be back to late summer temperatures, but now, as I type this just before getting on my bike to ride to work, the temperature is barely at the freezing mark. It's not supposed to get over 55 all day, so at least the seasons continue to progress in the correct order. Winter is here.

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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