Archive | December, 2013

Joy and Pain

26 Dec

I love this time of year.  The Christmas season brings back so many fond memories from childhood.  Music, food, family, presents (of course, you’re a kid) all wrapped up into a couple of insanely busy and fun days.

This year we continued the tradition of Santa coming on Christmas Eve after dinner, while we’re hiding in a bedroom.  Someone (this year my sister did the honor) gets “stuck” in the bathroom and we sing Christmas carols until we hear Santa arrive and depart.

My daughter, who is six, went nuts.  She kept telling us to be quiet and peeking under the bedroom door looking for lights downstairs.  It was precious to see her so excited and believing in the magic of the day.

After Santa leaves and my sister gets out of the bathroom, the madness of gift opening begins. Wrapping paper flying everywhere, screams of delight or groans if they received something boring like socks.

I found a toy my daughter wanted last year on clearance and thought she would be so excited to finally receive it.  She was thrilled and begged for us to put in the batteries.  The toy is turned on…nothing.  Batteries are new, so that can’t be the issue.  Are we missing a part?  Nope.

What began as sheer joy has now turned into pain.  Ugh.  Figures the one toy I grab off the shelf is broken…very frustrating indeed.  Luckily, enough other toys were around to distract, but still.  The poor kid wants nothing more than to play with it and it’s a heap of junk.

Thanks, Toys ‘R Us.

The Driving Pit

19 Dec

My Pontiac Grand Am is eight years old.  It’s not a fossil by any means, but it is getting old.  It’s been a great car, until this year.  I’ve loved driving it and it’s run like a champ.  However, the time is coming to consider turning it in.

It’s a bummer, because I’ve really enjoyed the car and it’s been trouble-free.  The last six months, I’ve poured too much money into repairs.  It stinks.

First, it was the metal piece that supports the front tires and steering column that rusted out.  It was really bizarre, since the rest of the frame was rust-free.  This part, however, was completely rusted through on one side and almost rust through on the other side.

The mechanic was able to find a used part to replace it but it still set me back a few hundred dollars.  Next, the battery crapped out, which was another hundred plus dollars to replace.

The last straw was this week.  I started noticing a raw gas smell inside my car.  At first, I blew it off, thinking it was exhaust or maybe I spilled gas on my shoes or gloves  which stunk up the car. However, when I was smelling it every time I was in the car I started to think it’s more serious issue.

I took the car to my mechanic and he was unable to find the source of the smell which was not what I wanted to hear.  It’s frustrating driving a car with the windows rolled down and feeling nauseous afterwards.  To then hear he doesn’t know how to fix it was beyond frustrating.

I can’t exactly afford a new car, but I also can’t afford to have the fumes affect my daughter’s health or heaven forbid, cause a fire.  It’s not worth it.  So, this weekend I’ll begrudgingly go car shopping with my 6 foot 5 inch co-worker, hoping not to look like a piece of fresh meat and possibly get a decent deal.  Merry Christmas to me!

The Six Year-Old Brain

12 Dec

My daughter just turned six but some days I swear she’s twice that age.  Today, for example, she told me she will live with me until she’s 33 years old.  I said no.  She insisted.  I then explained that when she graduates high school, she will be more than fed up with me and will be sprinting to the door with her bags packed.  She said no.

I told her she can’t live with me because when I retire I will be living in a one-bedroom apartment downtown and spend the winters in Hawaii.  She said, “Oh, that’s the place where they have bikinis, finger paints, and hot chili peppers.”  What?!  Where does she come up with this stuff?

It’s crazy because some days she seems like a little child and others like a young lady.  Being in kindergarten all day has really made a difference in her development.  The kids are little sponges and she’s excited to absorb everything she can.

So for now, I’ll smile and nod when she says she’ll live with me until she’s 33.  Someday when she’s a bratty teenager I will think back and smile, remembering when she still liked me and actually wanted to be in my presence for more than ten minutes.

Snow Legs

5 Dec

The first major snowstorm of the season is here.  It sucks, but it’s Minnesota, so I shut up and (begrudgingly) deal with it.  If I could just look at the snow, I would love it.  However, I do have to work and unfortunately, drive.

Every year the first snowstorm is a major slap in the face.  It’s not like I’ve never driven in it before, considering I have been here my entire life.  I swear every winter is so miserable that at the end of the season, my brain permanently erases it, like some horrible trauma.

When the first storm arrives, I panic.  How do I drive in this stuff?  What if I spin out?  Why is everybody driving so damn fast and giving me the evil eye?  What’s wrong with driving 15 mph…on the freeway?

Yes, I’m one of those sad creatures who (pun intended) freezes up when I have to drive in the snow and ice.  I’ve had enough spinout experiences that I’m terrified it will happen again.  So, I drive like a grandma.  I’m lame, but I’m safe.

All I need to do is win the lottery so I can be chauffeured around, sit back, and admire the scenery.  Good luck with that, right?!