Happy Fourth of July! I don’t know about you guys, but for me, this year is DEFINITELY going to be better than last year. Independence Day 2010 started out fine. For the most part. Sure, we were living out of duffel bags in a tiny garage apartment that was far away from a thrift store, we had no jobs, and we were having Air Force withdrawal trauma. On that last one, by ‘we’, I mean Lloyd. OBVIOUSLY. I WAS having thrift store withdrawal trauma, though. Which is WAY worse.
But the early light of the glorious fourth last year dawned bright and clear; we probably could have seen the broad stripes and bright stars flying over Fort McHenry from our ramshackle abode if we’d squinted just a little. We had relatives in town and a cookout on tap. My dad had picked up a discarded self-propelled airplane from the park where he goes to walk the dog. At least, he SAYS it was discarded. I hope some poor little kid isn’t waking up this Independence Day all sad about the airplane some mean guy with a big dog stole from him last year. Either way, the kids were having a blast flying that thing around the yard when destiny guided it to a gentle landing on the roof. Lloyd bounded upstairs to go out onto the roof through a second story window to retrieve it, and all hell broke loose, along with skin, muscle, multiple blood vessels and most importantly, a tendon. You can read what I wrote about it then, and look at the gory picture.
Thus began the worst six months of my entire life, including the six months between April and October of 2007 when I was enormously pregnant and Lloyd had to go to the sandbox and I had to travel around the country with a toddler and then be on bedrest for my high blood pressure and then have a baby by myself in a Louisiana hospital and then move to Korea. No, that was a walk in the park compared to the descent into the ninth circle of hell of 2010. Hmmmm, now I can’t decide if I should bore you with all the dreary specifics or not. There’s something very satisfying about describing all my travails in painful detail, right up until everyone starts to call me Crybaby McWhinypants and throw rotten tomatoes at me. Now, THAT would suck, because only spoiled potatoes and dead rats are worse that rotten tomatoes.
Maybe just the tiniest little smidge of a description, for a speck of holiday self-indulgence: Starting July 4, 2010, Lloyd was unable to move his left hand and had to have reconstructive surgery followed by intensive physical therapy multiple times a week. We were living in a garage apartment with one car. He could not drive, carry groceries or children, cook, clean or write blog entries about how miserable was. He could, however, verbalize his dismay at his sudden predicament. Which he did. Also at this time, my mother was having chemo and requiring daily trips to the cancer center, followed by five weeks in the hospital. During this period, I had a job interview. Then she came home on hospice. I got a job offer, and we had to find a new house near my new job, and take delivery of our household goods. This consisted of two semi-truckloads and houses full, one from storage in Louisiana and one from Korea. These things, all 17,000 pounds of them, had to be placed into our small house or otherwise disposed of. Remember Lloyd’s hand? ME, TOO. We had promised Weston as soon as we had a house, he could have a cat, so we got Henry. Perhaps you recall him. Then my mother died. This was followed by a giant steaming pile of necessary planning, and none of it the fun kind. As soon as Lloyd could drive, he had to fly to the east coast to bring his truck, boat, bee hives, pine beams and other assorted items back. These things, too, had to be somehow incorporated into our tiny new home. On the way back, the truck and boat both required expensive repairs and an extended stay in some podunk town in Montana. THEN, I started my new job. You can read about the very first day here, when I had my pants come undone and spilled tea all over my brand new cube. After a while, miracle of miracles, things started looking up. Lloyd could move his hand, the boxes started to disappear, and I was settling into my job. My mother was still dead, but maybe I was getting a little more used to it. And then Henry died.
Wow, that sounds really bad, now that I look at it in black and white. See what I mean? There’s no place to go but up from there, right? Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America. Pass the beer and the roman candles, and make it snappy! I have a lot of life improvements to make and if there's something that can’t be made better with alcohol and fireworks, I don't know what it is. At least that's how it works in Auburn, where I come from.