Monday, April 18, 2011

Stuck Between a Window and a Window

It was a harrowing moment. For the second time in a month, I was going to make my wife late for work. There was a common thread – besides trying to do too much in a small space in time: Home Depot.

Like a vortex, I get sucked in there every time I go. There’s just too much cool stuff. Plus, my mind just wanders as I wander from aisle to aisle. Look at all the things I could be doing to fix my house. The following are actual thoughts that have run through my head while traversing said theme park:
• I totally need new hardware for my kitchen appliances.

• Who doesn’t need a riding lawn mover?

• Retiling a shower would be a cinch.

• My children need a 300 square foot treehouse.

I could go on, but I won’t. Yesterday I was focused: 3 items, no messing around. I found the paint, the brackets, and the lumber. Be home by 2:10pm. No worries, I was checking out at a quarter ‘til – plenty of time to even hit the Starbucks drive thru. But then…I forgot about loading the lumber. As I was walking to my car, I remembered I brought the wrong vehicle.

I attempted to load the eight foot 2x10s into my Camry – eight of them I bought. After number five I hit the panic button. It was taking way too long and the boards had practically glued themselves to my windshield and rear window. Between moments of cursing the selling of my truck, I knew I was in deep. The guy watching me in his car must’ve thought I was an idiot. He’d be right!

With every passing moment I knew I was getting dangerously close to coming home late. Finally I made the call. Gulp. Jana had to throw all three kids in the car and drive to Home Depot where she would switch cars and head to work.

I spent the next 10 minutes methodically coaxing each 2x10 to detach from my import and to think of the best way to eat humble pie. I chose to say nothing, feeling “sorry” was lame. After the switch was made she called and told me she loved me. Wow – undeserved for sure. But that’s who she is. 15 plus years of putting up with me and she still loves me – beyond tolerance. Maybe she knew her birthday is Saturday and by chewing me out I’d return that four carat diamond. Nope. She’s better than that. That’s not her style. She’s definitely a keeper

Monday, April 4, 2011

Collective Whining

I can taste it! Spring is here. The signs you ask? Why it’s the greatest week in sports: last Friday – opening day in baseball, tonight – the NCAA basketball final, and Thursday – the Masters golf tournament starts.

But I’ll spare you another sports entry. The other signs of spring? There are a few birds chirruping. Our days are getting longer (read: I can go for a run without a headlamp). I’m only drinking 6 cups a coffee per day as opposed to winter’s 8. The white glow of my skin is more visible than it was a few weeks ago. And of course, the weather is turning. We’re now mostly in the low 50s at the peak of day.

As I hear weather reports from our neighbors to the south, I grumble. Sure it’s warmer than t was in January – but a mere 10-12 degrees warmer. This is spring? Boohoo. Yet it’s not just this soft California boy complaining. The true sign of spring in the Northwest? Collective whining.

My good buddy Brenden loves it. He loves the wet days, the clouds acting as blankets to cozy us up. But everybody else I talk to – “waaa, waaa, waaa.”

“Why won’t it stop raining they wonder.”

“You’re in Seattle you dummy,” I think. “What are you expecting?”

My feet are cold. Softball practice in the rain is a new experience. When the sun comes out once a week, I sprint for the front window – still too cold to go outside for sunning. But when my colleagues who’ve lived here their whole lives complain, I feel a little better. Somehow our group complaint enables us to survive.

But I know I’m spoiled and life is good. Give me time and I’ll complain about almost anything. My vacation was too short. My latte had too much foam. My house isn’t big enough. Then I read Scripture or watch the news or talk with my eight-year-old. When I told her about the trips I used to take to Mexico to build houses for the needy, she wondered why they were only 10 x 20 feet long. “We’ve got more money. We can share more with them can’t we? People live in cardboard boxes?” ’Nuff said! I’ll gladly take my 45 degree spring day.