Tuesday, September 13 2022

living room floors, visiting grandma, and math homework

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Tuesday. It's been a busy last couple of days, but this morning I felt determined to write, even if that means focusing through the banging and clanging happening in the living room behind me. I can hear our contractor Marcin mutter to his friend in Polish in between swings of a hammer. One of the workers tosses their crowbar aside and it skitters across the tile floor.

Tile? Don't we have carpet in our living room? Ah, another piece of the puzzle drops into place. The carpet is gone, and until Marcin's crew install the new wood floor, we get to enjoy the funky aesthetic of the original tile.


The blue-green stripe running diagonally through the room surprised us. Marcin suggested that they may have run out of one color of tile and tried to make up for the shortage with last second design. In the meantime, it's kind of fun having our own personal glimpse into the seventies or eighties.

Our house feels a little up-ended right now. We stuck our couch under the outdoor awning, the toys in the kitchen, and we had no choice but to temporarily scoot our TV into the bedroom. The puppies nervously lurk in the background. We wondered if they think we're moving to a new house again.

Sip. Like I said, it's been a busy past few days. Last weekend, I joined my parents and my sisters on a visit to grandma. The visit mostly commemorated her 90th birthday, but it was also to say farewell to the house she's lived in for the last thirty years. My aunts, uncles, and cousins were there. For one last time, Grandma's house was filled with our boistrous, beer-drinking nostalgia. Apparently I was too busy chatting to get any pictures. The only visual aid I returned with was a quick shot of the pond behind Grandma's house.


I used to fish with my dad and grandpa back here. I'm pretty sure a few of my cousins have fallen into this lake too, and my cousin Jack reminded me of the mean swans that used to attack us.

After the visit, Kelly hung out at our place while she waited for her flight back to Iowa. We passed the time with a game of guess the person. Kelly and Rodney swept us - an original Guess Who powerhouse duo.


Taking a game break to feel the new cousin kicking.

In other news, Rodney has found a new appreciation for math homework. The two of us sit down at the dining room table every afternoon to finish his worksheet. The last one took us only five minutes.

"I love math," remarks Rodney to himself before moving on to the next question.

Yesterday's math worksheet left his brain in over drive. He took a new hot wheels track into his room, and I didn't here from him until hours later. He was so focused on putting it together that he left his snack unfinished on a plate.


"It needed the big ones," he said, holding up the plastic bag of D batteries from our electronics stash. "Flat side on the spring." Before I could check his work, he flipped the switch and the track whirred to life.


The other day, Rodney got into another trance modifying a cardboard box in his room. He stole a roll of blue painters tape from the drawer and, much like what his mother was doing in the studio, fashioned his own "fabric" to make the wing of a jet.


Some sadder news - I lost my first spider. Lalo, my Lasyodora parahybana, would suffer an untimely death long before he ever got to reach his adult bird-eater size. I found him at the bottom of his hole with his legs curled underneath him. It's difficult to know exactly when a spider dies, but the trademark "death curl" is a good hint that a spider is on their way out. I did what I could, leaving Lalo gently draped over a soaked paper towel in a deli cup hoping that the warm garage air would zap him back to life.


Lalo was a good, busy little spider. He had an insatiable appetite. He built an ambitious burrow that reached all the way to the floor of his plastic box. I thought he would make it, but for some spiders it's not in the cards. Small spiders are the kind of pet whose survival isn't guaranteed, but taking care of them in the first place gives them the best chance. Rest in peace, Lalo. Take a final stroll down the rainbow bridge, then get to work finding those cockroaches in Heaven.

That's what I got today. How about we end the entry on a silly note with some new napkin doodles.


Guess the Person


Based on a playground game at Rodney's school called "the ancient one"