Let me tell you a little story.
I think it was last Friday afternoon, after a week of Spring Break and moving into a weekend where we had no plans at all, that I wondered if maybe I’d been a little overly dramatic about how busy we are these days. Not that I would ever be overly dramatic in a million, billion years, but it was just a thought. I felt relaxed. I was caught up on laundry. The house was relatively clean and we had meals to eat, by which I mean we were going to order takeout and/or go out to eat all weekend.
Sunday morning felt a little more hectic since we had to actually set an alarm and go to church and get everything set up for our Community Worship Service, but I still felt like none of that caused any real stress.
I pretty much planned our Sunday afternoon around watching Texas A&M play UNC. Maybe you’ve heard of the North Carolina team. As in they essentially dominate the world of college men’s basketball and won the whole shebang last year. And maybe this makes me a bad Aggie (I prefer the term “realist”), but I really went into the game-watching experience with low expectations. Our basketball team has had some ups and downs this season and so I wasn’t entirely sure which team was going to take the court in North Carolina.
In the meantime, the Aggie women’s team came back from a 17 point second half deficit against DePaul and Chennedy Carter sealed it with about the most clutch thing I’ve ever seen a college freshman do.
CHENNEDY CARTER FOR PRESIDENT
— NCAA Women's BKB (@ncaawbb) March 18, 2018
I mean. I could not love it more.
So that meant the Aggie women were headed to the Sweet Sixteen and, honestly, filled me with a little more sports optimism than I’d felt before it happened.
And then – with all apologies to Tar Heel fans everywhere – the Aggies just dominated UNC. Like I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing on the T.V. screen. Friends were texting me and I was afraid to even move or breathe for fear of changing all the sports juju. It was like the Lord Voldemort of games and could not be spoken out loud. At one point, with about six minutes left in the game, P came in from outside and started to watch the game for the first time and UNC scored twice in a row and I told him he needed to go back outside. I wasn’t kidding.
This was a highlight for me.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 18, 2018
All that to say, it was a great day for Aggie sports and a great way to wrap up what had been a relaxing Spring Break filled with no schedules or deadlines. Fast forward to Monday morning. Actually, let’s rewind to midnight when Caroline came out of her room, having not been asleep at all yet, looking for something to eat because her body clock didn’t know that Spring Break is over. I believe I said something loving and warm like “GET A PIECE OF CHEESE AND GO TO SLEEP.”
Okay, so Monday morning.
6:30 a.m. – My alarm goes off. I want to die.
6:40 a.m. – It goes off again. I realize I have to get up and be an adult.
6:42 a.m. – Wake up Caroline. She is excited about going back to school and eager to begin the day. This is a lie. She came a consonant shy of using profanity when I told her it was time to get up and pulled the covers over her head.
7:05 a.m. – She stumbles into the kitchen half-dressed. I have prepared a nutritious breakfast of Honey Nut Cheerios.
7:05-7:15 a.m. – I pack her lunch with whatever I can find because I failed to remember to grocery shop for school lunch stuff whilst I was relaxing during Spring Break.
7:18 a.m. – Yell to Caroline that she needs to leave the house in TWO MINUTES.
7:21 a.m. – She emerges from her room, tells P it’s time to go, and they head out the door. I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit on the couch with Piper and Mabel.
7:30-8:30 a.m. – I check email, answer email, make a grocery list, a to-do list, read recaps of both Aggie basketball games, and check the Aggie message boards for any important news or videos I missed.
8:45 a.m. – Decide to get to work on the outline for the new book since I was supposed to work on it about a month ago. And I have been working on it as long as you consider freaking out about it in my head as work.
10:00 a.m. – P comes in and I ask him to go out to our deep freeze in the back and pull out deer steaks to thaw for dinner.
10:05 a.m. – P walks back inside and announces that the deep freeze is making a weird noise and possibly not cooling the way it’s supposed to.
10:05 a.m. until ten minutes ago.
WE ARE AT CODE RED. I REPEAT. THIS IS A CODE RED.
Maybe the deep freeze being out isn’t a big deal at your house, but it created a LEVEL 10 SITUATION here. Our deep freeze is full of all the wild game P has procured for us over the last year or so. Fish, elk, deer, quail and dove. If P had to choose between me or what’s in the deep freeze, he’d choose the deep freeze. I’m only halfway kidding. IT HAS ELK STEAKS IN IT. He would hug me, whisper that we had a good twenty year run and ride off into the sunset with his quail and venison. Lifetime could turn the whole saga into a movie called Not Without My Deer Meat.
I had to find a repairman, call the repairman, and then we had to spend over an hour trouble-shooting possible causes according to the repairman. This involved moving the deep freeze, unplugging it and putting a fan behind it to see if it was just iced over. That didn’t work.
You know what wasn’t happening during all of this? A book outline. Or grocery shopping. Or anything else I had planned to accomplish before I had to pick Caroline up from school.
We went through our kitchen freezer to get rid of anything we didn’t want or need. I was forced to thaw out two packages of Trader Joe’s chocolate croissants and bake them and then stress eat them. We moved what we could from the deep freeze into our other outdoor freezer and to our kitchen freezer, but had to pull down coolers for the rest of it.
What I’m telling you is it was no small ordeal. There were hair dryers involved and spraying down the inside with a water hose and all manner of other things that were a valiant attempt to fix a forty-year-old deep freeze. Seriously. It has been in P’s family so long that it has a dent in it where he hit it with his car when he was sixteen. Essentially, it’s a Shankle family heirloom.
About the time we finally got everything put away and the repairman scheduled and had performed our own version of Sophie’s Choice over whether to save the California Pizza BBQ Chicken Pizzas or the homemade chicken noodle soup P told me to save and freeze even though we have never ONE time thawed out a meal we’ve previously frozen, Caroline texted me to tell me she was finished with track practice and I needed to come pick her up.
So I drove to the school and picked her up, helped P finish cleaning up the mess from the freezer debacle, told C to finish her homework and straighten up her room and then turned right around to drive her to Young Life early because it was Redneck Rodeo night and a group of them were going to the thrift shop to find outfits and then eat dinner.
I walked back in the door, stared at the pile of dirty soccer and track laundry that had suddenly appeared in my laundry room, threw together something for P and me to eat for dinner and am now sitting here at 10:00 p.m. waiting for Caroline to text me to tell me she’s ready to be picked up. AGAIN.
Then she’ll come home, talk for an hour, finally go take a shower that lasts forever even though I’ll tell her to be quick and she’ll come out with a pore cleansing mask on her face and declare that she’s hungry.
I will lose my mind and then go to bed.
All that say, my Spring Break feeling of zen is a distant memory.
But only ten more Mondays until summer vacation.