Actually, I’m not. Everyone who knows me knows for sure and certain that I am not perfect and don’t pretend to be. Still, I wish my friends could be better examples for me.
This week’s words are mostly in the ‘a’ section of the dictionary. I love learning new words and hope you do, too.
- absquatulate: when it’s funny that someone leaves in a hurry, you can say they absquatulated. So, I guess the definition is a laughable leaving.
- acerbic: this word usually refers to someone’s speech. For example, his acerbic wit. Think acidic or sour, sharp, biting words.
- alacrity: brisk and cheerful readiness. The students changed into their Halloween costumes with alacrity. (So would I for a plastic pumpkin full of candy.)
- animus: hostility, ill wishes, evil thoughts. He prepared the noose with more than the usual animus. (Think animosity.)
- conker: I couldn’t resist this one (I tossed anthelmintic in its favor.) A conker would be an acorn if it fell from an oak tree instead of a horse chestnut tree. Since I’ve never seen a horse chestnut tree or a conker either, for that matter, I shall leave you to enjoy this post and go look up images of conkers and horse chestnut trees.
But I didn’t lock myself out of the house.
Except for the part where I did.
No shade if I park in the driveway, I thought. So, I’ll park in front of the house. If I park in the drive it is closer to the back door. Parking in front of the house under the shade of the sycamore tree yields an easy few steps to the front porch. The deadbolt on the front door has always been a trifle stubborn. It is hard to lock and to unlock the silly thing. Sometimes you can jiggle your key to get it in far enough. Sadly, sometimes you cannot. I can always force it in when jiggling and wiggling are ineffective tools. Well, I used to be able to.
However, one day last week I took my daughter to band practice, then I went to the gym to work out. I got home just before 9:00a.m. I was ecstatic. I had three hours to write. Three quiet hours to write. I could turn off the home phone, cell phone, modem, and every other time-sucking device in my home. I stuck the key in the front door and it almost went all the way in. I jiggles and cajoled. I didn’t just talk to the lock; I also talked to the door and the key. None of them listened. Good thing someone invented Bluetooth. Now I can talk to myself and most people don’t even clue up that I’m not wearing an earpiece.
I pushed hard on the key and it bent sideways. My shoulders dropped. Well, I’ve never happened to bend a key before, at least not at a 90 degree angle. Now I have to walk all the way around the house to the back door. You know which door, the one that always unlocks easily. I stuck the bent key in the door and voile, nothing. Nothing? Nope. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nein. Not. Nyet. No. No, as in no, it didn’t unlock.
The key didn’t go in far enough because it was bent. An easy enough fix, right? I simply bent the key back straight. And it snapped. I was so shocked that I didn’t even yell–or breathe. I just stood there with my jaw brushing the tops of my shoes. Now could it snap so easily without warning? It broke off flush with the outside surface of the lock. It must have been an conspiracy between locks and key.
Fortunately, I wasn’t without hope. My daughter was at summer band only six miles away. (And under the direction of an unforgiving maestro.) My older daughter sometimes works from home, only seven miles away. Sorry, not that day. That day she was working out of the downtown office. She was only twelve miles and nineteen stories away. She might as well have been a hundred miles away. She was in the middle of interviewing candidates for an IT job. She said, “Mom, really? You’ve got a screwdriver in the tool box on your truck. Surely you can take the door off its hinges or take out a window or something!” Nope, I can’t. The key to my tool box is in the house. The key to the shed where I can probably find a dozen helpful tools is also in the house. She laughed and hung up after reassuring me that if I could get the broken key out, I could come get her key. She was right. It wasn’t going to do any good to get a key if both locks had gotten jinky.
Well, I thought, my handsome prince charming is only 26 miles away. He said I could come get his key, or he could take a half day and come fix it for me. I’m not sure he’d do a better job than I could. I told him I’d call him back if I couldn’t get it. Lowes is only six and a half miles away and the front lock needed to be replaced anyway. Surely Lowes would have a cute little tool to remove crises from locks. Don’t bother looking for such a thing there–they don’t have anything close. They had several beautiful lock combinations though. I got new locks for the front and for the back door. I even got them keyed alike. But, they had nothing with which to remove the broken key. Fortunately, I do not give up easily. Unfortunately in this situation, I didn’t have the luxury of giving up. In real life we seldom do.
I stopped in at Sally’s Beauty and the incredibly compassionate clerk showed me where the tweezers were. Eventually, she did. She had to stop laughing hysterically and catch her breath first. When she could breathe halfway normally, she giggled her way past the nail clippers and polish to the eyebrow tweezers.
Considering all of the opportunities I’d already had to lose my joy, I got the broken key out of the lock easily. I was still locked out!
By then it was 12:30 and time to pick up my young teen from band. I explained what all I’d dealt with that morning and made her give me her key. She complied giggling, but asked, “If we can’t get in the house, can we go to Subway for lunch. I really want a meatball marinara.”
That was a request I could honor. “IfF we can’t get in, yes. A 6″ chicken bacon ranch sounds good to me.”
To her dismay and my delight, the backdoor opened easily. After she’d eaten something far less worthy than the meatball sub she wanted, I delivered her sans key back to the high school for another session of summer band.
I put her key in the back door lock and I was shocked again. The door unlocked and opened easily for the second time in a row. After the morning I’d had I expected another crisis. In less than two hours I’d found the necessary tools and had changed out all the locks. I gathered up the spare keys and the errant locks and even put my tools away.
I don’t think this should count as locking myself out of the house even though I locked myself out of the house. I think I need to plant a tree so I will have shade when I park by the back door.
While I try to write in my journal every day, the truth remains that I don’t even write in it every week. Today I was especially grateful for a plastic canister full of sugar that didn’t break when it crashed onto the floor. The lid didn’t even come off! Tiny blessings are sometimes the most profound ones. I also mentioned that my beautiful daughter helped me make delicious sweet tea. (I must admit the crashing sugar was entirely my fault.)
2. I have wanted irises the same color of purple that my grandmother (Ma) had since my parents dug up and got rid of Ma’s iris bed when I was a third grader. I haven’t been able to find them anywhere. The iris tubers that I’ve found are either too dark or too light or too many colors. On to the good news. Remember I was headed to a Cousins Reunion? My cousin Patti happened to know where some descendants of Ma’s irises were still stubbornly clinging to life. I am delighted to report that a few of those lovely purple connections to my past are now happily planted in the corner of my yard. THANK YOU, PATTI!
3. I am grateful that I got to spend time with my sister Bonnie while she was gracing the state of Oklahoma with her inimitable presence. For that I must thank my brother Don who loaned her a vehicle. For that I must thank my friend Rodney for loaning Don a vehicle so Don could loan his to Bonnie. Way to go Rodney! Reminds me of the poem, For the Want of a Horseshoe Nail.
4. For the want of a nail the shoe was lost.
for the want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
for the want of a horse, the rider was lost
for the want of a rider, the message was lost.
For the want of he message the battle was lost
for the want of the battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
I’m grateful for poems no one author can claim. This poem is one example of that. Sundry variations spring from every culture and people.
My truck broke down. While it was in the shop a friend loaned me his Miata convertible. I was in Tulsa Monday and Tuesday of last week. I could say that I was driving home, but that would be an understatement. I had the top down and was singing at the top of my lungs. I wasn’t speeding much. I didn’t have to speed. The speed limit was 75.
Yes, you’re right. Even at 75 miles per hour, I am much too pale to have been sitting in the sun that long. The thought really stayed in my mind for a long time. “This is going to hurt tomorrow! It feels great today.” My face is peeling–not pretty!
Back to the jealousy. I passed a two-toned pickup truck. You know the kind. The cab is one color and the bed is another, entirely different color. The tailgate particularly caught my attention because it matched most of the cab. I think the driver’s door matched the bed. It was closer to the orange of the bed than it was to the blue of the cab.
I was jealous because he was in a truck and I was not. Did I mention that I was in a wonderful mood? I was surprised by jealousy. I was offended that I was jealous of that ratty old truck! So, I turned it into a song. It’s terribly funny. I made fun of me for being envious of his tail gate. Tail gates are extremely useful. The song mentions a few of them. I think Toby Keith could take the song to #1. If you know Toby, have him contact me. If it doesn’t make it to the top ten, he won’t owe me a dime in royalties. (At least that’s my plan of the moment.)
Cruisin along in my pick-em-up truck Laughing at your ’cause your ride really sucks. You should have thought ‘fore you signed on that line Tail gate envy hurts every time.
You get the drift. There’s much more, but it is still a work in progress. Aren’t we all works in progress?
Blessings to you and yours
Be good to people. Most of them are hurting.