Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Unstress Me, Please

Hand over the secret formula. I need the power of unstress. We cannot find a library book. I SPY Treasure Hunt is missing. Hey, that's sort of ironic... I wish I could spy the I SPY book. Humor is not undoing my stress. The house is clean, so why is 1 book so impossible to locate? Seriously, can anyone explain why when we need to find something (keys, wallet, cell phone, library book, nose ring, bundt pan) it remains lost, very inexplicably and profoundly lost?

After much effort in searching Max sighed and said, "Well, I guess it's anywhere we haven't looked." This particular lost article is especially vexing because it is Max's lost library book. Max is diligent, responsible, organized, orderly. Max knows the book was near his bed. Now we don't know what the book is near, but it certainly is anywhere we have not looked yet.

I guess the stress I am experiencing is partly from my bad library Karma. Trying to be a good library patron has been a lifelong ambition. Yet, for as long as I can remember I have failed to fulfill the basic expectations entailed in a library relationship. I have always misplaced books, returned books overdue, owed quarters. This time I resolved to be 100% responsible, efficient, good. I enjoyed library dialogue with the kind women in the library, so that by establishing eye contact and a relationship of trust, I would reinforce my desire to do good. I chose educational, beautifully illustrated and well written books. I separated the borrowed books from our home books and kept them on their shelf. I felt certain that for once my library experience was going to be simple, routine and uncomplicated. Alas. I am undone. Today I must make eye contact again with the kind library women and I must admit my failure.

Here life has provided me with yet another opportunity to pass my knowledge on to my children. "Boys, Maria you too, borrowing is a responsibility and responsibilities must not be taken lightly. We have agreed to take books from the library and we have agreed to return them. The librarians know us, they have helped us and they trust us, and so now we must endeavor to retain their trust by finding the missing book..." and as I tell them all this I must remain calm. They should see the effort it takes to fulfill an obligation, without the drama and teeth gnashing, hair pulling utter frustration from trying to find one frickin' @#$% book. I must show them how to accept consequences with dignity and humility.

Everything is on computer these days. I imagine my 38 year life of library misdemeanors is all on file. I imagine the librarian will type in my whole name, middle name too, like a scolded child, and pages of history will appear on her screen. Every late fee, every missing tome, every misstep will be before her and then the gravity of my sordid past will make her shoulders square and she will suck in her breath and turn slowly to me... Max asked whether we'll be doing any jail time... her look of contempt, of disappointment will be my jail time. I will be caught in her bureaucratic gaze, and writhing in her look of loathing.

Dread, dread, dread, dread.
The library closes at 5.
We've got only 6 hours to find the book.
Everyone. Remain calm.
This is not a drill.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cold Morning... Warm Memories

Brrrrr.... Because of the time change, I am waking up earlier, but it's way too cold to consider actually getting up to greet the brand new day. The floors are cold, the shower stall is cold, the air is cold, the kitchen is cold. It's all cold and so I pull the covers up around my shoulders and try to think productively. I try to think of what needs to be accomplished, how I might get things done, what I will put off for another day, what needs to be done as soon as possible, where I should go and who I should see.

Then I grope around the bed clothes and under the pillows for the TV remote, and I watch the news. The morning news is my coffee; I need to check on the world as part of my waking up ritual. When an anchor is showing *Dogs that Look Like Celebrities* or debating whether Americans like Diana better than Camilla, then I sigh with relief, because a slow news day beats the hell out of suicide bombings and natural disasters. There are not many slow news days, not really...

Brrrr... it's still cold, especially downstairs, but the day has begun. Max is hungry, so is Maria. William and Alex were brave enough to shower. I guess it's time to gather my productive thoughts and put all my good ideas to work. Rise and shine. Grab a sweater, comb my hair. It's a brand new day. I am sending warm wishes to all, thinking of you and hoping you are enjoying a slow news day, productive thoughts, a tasty breakfast, a bright outlook. Good morning.

Remember I said we've been very busy lately?
Did I mention that before pumpkin carving, after Wild Animal Park, we went to The Big *D?*
Maybe I really am "A-." We played all day and in to the night. Wanna see some more pictures?

Sharpshooters. Not PC? Ah, come on... target shooting is strangely gratifying.

While the boys were hitting fence posts and tombstones, Minnie and I listened to the fiddler playing tunes for Woody and Jessie.

This will always be a favorite memory for me. It warms my heart, and my limbs.