“So, what did you do on your birthday, Heather?” you ask, all unsuspecting, like it’s a perfectly normal question. Which it is, sort of. But it’s never really that simple, is it?
“Hey, funny you should ask”, I reply. “There’s quite a story there.”
Long sigh. Your most patient sigh, as you know what that means. Better settle in, get comfy. Need to grab a beverage? Blow your nose first? Make a phone call?
“After blogging, which since we didn’t have internet yet meant saving it as a word processing file to be copy-pasted afterwards, I headed over to Wally World for groceries and a badly needed Rx refill. Astoundingly, I managed to find everything on my list! That’s not to say the list was complete, or even that my shopping is complete with the items I added. But we’re good for a couple days, until I find out what I missed.
“Now, a funny thing happens when you arrive home in the dark, tired and ready to unwind for sleep, in a hot house with a zillion things to do before actually hitting the pillow. You rush, trying to hit all the essentials, not really noticing the small stuff. Not even some of the big stuff.
“We were in a hurry to clean things out of the freezer where they were stored for the summer, not to freeze, since the power was off, but just to keep them away from bugs and wildly fluctuating temperatures. If some of them actually froze, we’d have a monster mess. So we shifted them to other locations, some into the fridge in another hurry, since with the power coming on, and the door propped open to let it air out for the summer, it needed to be shut so not to waste energy. With the AC also coming on, that bill was already going to be sky high.
“Once home from shopping, the freezer items went in first, starting with the most important: ice cream. It already sat in the shopping cart while I tried to locate that final item I nearly forgot, then for the long checkout line, and then rode home in a very hot car. Even that early, outside was 93. I shudder to think what inside was, even with the car’s AC full blast.
“Then I opened the fridge. OMG! Seriously. OMG! Bugs, stuck-on food, crumbs, onion skins, and I didn’t want to even imagine what else might be in there. In full light of day, those shadowy corners weren’t just shadows. But, there were several bags of groceries that were in dire need of a good chill.
“Gag. Gulp. Shudder.
“Of necessity, they went in anyway, but I compromised. The groceries all stayed inside their bags. Steve and I had lunch out: KFC.
“Then, I spent my birthday washing the fridge, inside and out. Of course, this was after doing the dozen dishes left from the morning we headed north. And after, on a hunch, seeing the mess on the counter and stove and cleaning up every surface there too, I checked the silverware tray and washed it and all its contents as well.
“Hey, we could almost eat here now. But it’s my birthday, and Steve is taking me out to dinner at his favorite Mexican restaurant.
“Wait, where did you go? Is that a snore I hear? Or are you just throwing up in the bathroom? Don't you want to hear about...?”