Good evening, everyone. Happy Saturday. It’s time to stash some leftovers in the fridge, pour a drink, and sit outside under a blanket. The windows in our house have been painting shut for so long that I forgot how nice it felt to have a gentle breeze roll through the living room. Marissa was already working on some dry wall in the basement staircase, and with a putty knife in hand she decided to go on a window opening spree throughout the whole house. Some chiseling, a small amount of precision cutting, and finally a hard upward yank - one at a time we snapped each of the windows free.
“Do you hear that?” said Marissa. She was sliding the window on the track, which made the hidden weight at the end of a concealed rope knock against the inside of the secret compartment. “These things are so silly,” she laughed. “They really couldn’t think of any other way to hold windows open?”
The old windows in our house give us lots of trouble. They’re crooked. They’re heavy. They’re all rigged with this same stupid weighted rope contraption, but most of the windows are so old that the hidden rope snapped.
“If it were me, I’d just use a bolt to hold the windows open. Just leave it on the window sill and screw it in when you want to hold the window in place.” Then again, if it were me building this house in rural 1920’s Wisconsin, I’d probably be mauled to death by a buffalo or something.
Speaking of windows, Marissa had to call a special reclaimed goods shop in Madison to ask about replacing the dining room window. Remember the one that I pelted with Rodney’s bouncy ball? The window is custom made, so no one is just going to have it on hand. But they could sell us the glass, and they recommended us another place in town that could cut it to the custom dimensions. Imagine that - just an unassuming bouncy ball creating weeks of research and calling around town.
Sip. So how’s your Saturday going? We worked hard today. Finally sitting on the living room couch, my sore back and worn out legs are doing that comfy tingly thing. You know, when you’ve been on your feet all day and the first time you flop on a couch feels like you’re peeing in a swimming pool. Marissa and I wonder if that’s just a subtle hint that we’re getting older. In our younger life, I don’t remember sitting being this much as a highlight.
We worked outside today. We finally pulled down the outdoor Christmas lights. I changed a burnt out light bulb above my porch. The screws of the casing were painted over, so I had to use a pliers to pull them all off. It was a simple task, but working outside on a ladder with a nice breeze hitting the house, I couldn’t help but linger.
Rodney played with the neighbor girl and a friend of hers that was visiting. They dumped some Lincoln logs and plastic horses in the grass. Rodney was polite, talkative, and he wore his mask the whole time. From the ladder, I watched the two girls get in a fight around an oblivious Rodney. One of them stormed off, the other girl marched defiantly in the other direction, and Rodney just continued to putter around with a plastic horse. Marissa sat with Miles, watching the whole scene unfold. She mouthed the words I LOVE BOYS to me silently. We know that Rodney and Miles will eventually give us trouble, but in the meantime they’re so much less complicated.
Rodney was good today. He’s been really helpful lately picking up things around the house, so I ordered him a surprise Dinosaur lego play set. He sat at the table with Marissa today lovingly assembling each menacing feature.
Muscular green legs. Sharp slicing talons. Long chomping teeth. This might be one of the fiercest additions to our dinosaur kingdom yet.
He continues to be on his “building things” kick. Last Friday we finally tried Minecraft with him. I sat on the couch beside Rodney with my laptop and Marissa played around the corner on the living room computer. We shared her screen with the living room TV so Rodney could keep track of both of us. It was a blank map, so we spent a few minutes rotely gathering sticks, stones, and coal. Rodney loved the building, the monsters, and the animals. But he hated the caves, and he spent a lot of time worrying about us when mine and Marissa’s characters separated.
“Dada, let’s just go find momma. I think we should find momma this time.” said Rodney. “MOMMA. WE’RE OVER HERE. MOMMA COME FIND US.”
I had my hay-day in Minecraft. In college I spent a lot of time diligently building trains, bridges, portals, underwater houses, and monuments. I think my try-hard days are over, and now I’m minecraft lazy. I can’t even be bothered to put a roof over my head or keep my supplies organized. When I play Minecraft, I simply log on and start procrastinating - fishing, killing spiders, and putting up vulgar signs around Marissa’s house.
Rodney must have enjoyed it. In his quiet time today he built me a Minecraft guy out of k’nex. Holding my hand so he wouldn’t lose my attention, he explained to me that this Minecraft guy “has a green tongue, two white nipples, and little podies.” Rodney stared at me blankly, wiggling the tiny legs back and forth. “See? Little podies,” he repeated.
It was a good day today. Take it easy today, reader. Find a comfortable chair - the kind that is so comfortable it makes you feel like you’re peeing in a swimming pool.