I worked for about 10 hours the other day, stopped to spend a half hour okaying FEMA paperwork for the city I live in (I’m a council member), then went home to spend about four hours sitting on a hardwood floor with a hot air gun, scraping ancient glue off an oak floor that’s about 130 years old. Luckily it was only about 87 degrees out, so the bazillion degrees of heat coming off the air gun was refreshing.
After taking a quick detour to clean out the fridge (it was garbage night), I whipped up an inspiring supper of lunch meat sandwiches. I used the week-old Hawaiian bread to make it seem festive. With a handful of potato chips and some Top the Tator, I had a meal fit for kings. Or two really hungry, tired people.
By now it was about 9 p.m., and I’d been up since 4 a.m.
I grabbed a book I’d been trying to read and was taking a moment to relax, when something caught my attention.
“There’s a small herd of kids in the backyard,” I told my husband, who had just experienced a day very similar to mine and was just as exhausted.
He looked up from a baseball game on TV and tried to focus on the yard. From his chair, it is virtually impossible to see the back yard, but he gets points for trying.
“They aren’t ours, are they?” he asked.
Since we haven’t has a child living at home for several years, I didn’t have to look very close to answer his question.
“Nope, not ours,” I responded. “One looks like a miniature Adelia (kid across the street), and the other is blonde.
He thought it over.
“That’s only two,” he said. “Not really a herd.”
“I told you it was a small herd. They moved fast,” I replied. “Maybe chasing a dog.”
Since our neighbors across the street with the previously mentioned Adelia have about 54 dogs to go with their 26 daughters, this wasn’t a shocking piece of information.
“Must have been Boo,” I said, referring to the neighbor’s granddaughter. Her real name is Serena, I think, but when we lost track of which kid was which, we started giving them names of our own. Boo used to talk just like the little girl from the movie “Monsters, Inc.” Hence the nickname.
Eric didn’t even get up.
“They’ll probably go over to Tom’s yard,” he stated, turning his attention back to the game.
A few minutes later, the sound of shrieking kids died out, and all was quiet again. We went back to being blobs of tired, sweaty, exhausted people.
It made me think of a time, about five years ago, when a little blonde mophead of a girl came barreling into the back yard in pursuit of a shaggy mutt. We spent 20 minutes capturing the wayward pup, gathered up the girly and the doggy and hustled them back to their parents. Then spent another half hour chitchatting.
Not so much, this time around.
I think we’re officially old and used up right now. Maybe I’ll feel younger tomorrow.