Monday, September 14 2020

groceries, the bears game, and outdoor projects

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Dear Journal,

Dang it! Missed the Woodman's pickup again. I swear, it feels like Monday is booked solid before I even wake up to start the day. We could have really used a grocery run today. We're down to only one stick of butter in the house. We're completely out of milk and juice today, meaning poor Rodney will just have to roll with Mirilax flavored tap water today.

Today, I swallowed my pride and just put in a quick Hy-Vee run for later today. This will be my first Hy-Vee pickup since our big falling out. Shopping during the pandemic is difficult enough as is, I don't think I can afford to complicate it any more with personal beefs. Hy-Vee it is.

And that's fine. There are still one or two things that Hy-Vee has that Woodman's doesn't. I can't find regular kosher salt at Woodman's. Have you ever tried deviating from the salt you regularly cook with? It's a treacherous, difficult adjustment, I tell you. I recently tried cooking with coarse grain sea salt, and I'm pretty sure the result tasted more like the ocean than I wanted it to.

Sip. How is your Monday going so far? I've only been up for a little over an hour, but so far so good. The weather is lovely outside, and it promises to stay that way for at least the first leg of the week. Maybe we'll get a little more outdoor time before all the mosquitos wise up to it.

I'm feeling good today. We had a long relaxing weekend. But if I'm being honest, the extra pep in my step is probably due to my team's performance yesterday. Here's to the Bears, winning their first season opener since 2013.

Pretty much the whole midday yesterday revolved around football. With kickoff starting at 12, this didn't give us much time to get through the usual weekend morning motion. In a weird way, it felt like we were rushing around the house for church - football church.

We watched the first quarter on the couch together, but soon I sprang back up to start preparing some lunch. I've found that I like to move around the house during games. I get too nervous and too fixated on the game if I stay in the same spot for the whole thing, and if your team doesn't do so hot, than at least it doesn't feel like you wasted away a whole afternoon.

So while the Lions built on an early and commanding lead over our beloved Bears, I cleaned up from breakfast and set out some snacks in the living room - ranch, celery sticks, and to Rodney's delight, the rest of those silly colorful carrots.

The game wasn't looking good. I could tell the team was different since last season, but we were still lopsided and not very consistent. My take on it was that the offense was finally up to snuff, but the defense was surprisingly sleepy. As the jaws of defeat felt more and more inevitable, I baked a batch of chicken wings for us to snack on.

"Want to work on the roller coaster a bit while we watch the rest of the game?" asked Marissa.

"That's a fine idea," I replied. "I'm feeling doom and gloom around this game, and I could use something to take my mind off of it."

The roller coaster still looked like the picture I uploaded the other day. The track was crunched flat on the floor in several spots. The orange cable that was once meticulously fitted around each orange rivet was detached and spooling wildly. Some support beams were cracked. The mightly loop-de-loop was lying on the floor. We took our places around the jobsite and got to work.

"Do you want me to get the manual?" asked Marissa.

"Nah," I said confidently. "I think we can figure it out."

"Good call," replied Marissa. "There's nothing worse than needing the manual again after you've already built something."

Rodney helped us too. He took a precarious station in the middle of the roller coaster. As he did his best to patch up the broken track, he lost his balance, catching himself on the loop-de-loop. His foot crunched a piece of track that I had just fixed.

"Like a bull in a china shop," I quietly chortled.

Just as we started to get sucked into our project, the bears turned a corner. Our quarter back has a weird way of turning into an elite player only in the remaining two minutes of the game. Mitch built some momentum slinging laser precision passes. We scored, then forced a turnover.

We watched the rest of the game standing on our feet in Rodney's play corner. The Bears moved the chains into Lions territory. "We're in field goal range," I muttered nervously.

Mitch took the snap. He scrambled right, throwing a long rolling pass to Anthony Miller in the endzone. It was a diving touch down. We hollered, bumped fists, and exchanged high fives.

"Dada, take deep breaths," said Rodney, worried about the sudden outburst.

"Thanks dude, but I'm fine. The bears scored," I said.

What a game. I can only imagine what it must have felt like to be a Lions fan, watching your team squander a commanding 17 point lead in the fourth quarter. It probably felt like the exact inverse of what it felt like to be a Bears fan during that game.

Feeling good off of a Bears victory and with the rest of the afternoon at our disposal, Marissa made a humble request.

"So fam. We haven't been to the board in a while," said Marissa.

"Yes, the project board has been kind of ignored this week," I laughed. "Want to take a look and see what we can get done?"

After heading outside, Marissa got to work mowing the lawn and filling the new raised garden bed with dirt. Rodney and I went on cleaning detail, wandering around the backyard looking for rocks to pickup. For the occasion, Rodney called me recycling dada. Marissa was recycling mama and he was, you guessed it, recycling Rodney - all lazier variations of our usual work outside nicknames.

"I just moved over like four cards," said Marissa proudly. "That felt good."

"We underperform all week, then pull it together in the last two minutes of the forth quarter," I said.

Marissa laughed. "Just like the dang Bears!"

Thanks for reading. Have a great day, everyone.