Autumn Ramblings…

I love the not very scarecrow and the upside down witches legs at the next store

I am in a strange mood for the start of my favorite season.  Fall has taken some of the heat out of the air and I woke up cold today.  Can you believe it was 73 F (23 C) in the house?? Every so often, I have notions about moving to somewhere quieter with better air quality but those places are always cold in the winter so, ‘No Bueno’.

Before the pandemic, I was delighted at myself for fixing the leaking U-Bend pipe under the sink, with step-by-step instructions from the local hardware store.  Then it leaked again, mid pandemic, and my husband fixed it.  This week it flooded again and the plumber had to be called.  Over the last two decades I have cultivated a cache of trusted contractors in Texas.  We came from a small village in Scotland where you could rely on word of mouth for good service.

I know the plumber’s wife very well and we chat away like old friends, both trapped in the house by work or anxiety. “Hello, Mary”, said I, “Could you send that nice young man that came before?”  As soon as the phrase was uttered, I burst out laughing, as did Mary, at how horribly ancient I sounded.  We shared memories about how embarrassing it was when our respective mothers talked to complete strangers.  You never think your mother’s words and accent are going to fly out of your mouth like Parseltongue.  Then you look in the bathroom mirror and she is staring at you…like Moaning Myrtle.

Mary told me that James would be delighted to be requested, especially from a VIP customer, such as myself.  James came early but phoned to see if that was okay (isn’t that perfect?) and arrived with his wee pal, Carlos.  Both were married and about 30 years old but seemed so young to me.  About a decade ago, I might have tried to emulate Mrs. Robinson for a good price (for the plumbing) but can only pull that off with old codgers now (the electrician, for example).

They went straight to the sink and James said, “This is my last day.”  NO!!!  Then I turned into Auntie Kerry as he told me that he had to take 2 months off work because his mother, in Washington State, just had a serious stroke and was awaiting a brain operation.  He was really agitated about it, understandably, but particularly because he might lose the best job he had ever had.  We chatted some more about making difficult decisions but I assured him that he was making a good decision.  Life is so short; he would probably regret not going and the plumbing company would keep the job open as long as they could.  If not, there is always a need for contractors.

As they were fixing the sink and then the cistern, I whispered to Teddy about the situation and asked him to find a nice geological rock for James as he collects them.  As they were leaving, and undercharging us, Teddy presented James with an ancient rock from Ireland and one from Scotland.  Carlos was just standing, being supportive to his colleague and I felt sorry for him.  So…I asked him if he would like a Popsicle?  Now I had gone from Auntie to Granny Kerry.  They both left, looking happier with popsicles and rocks.  How does this happen and when did I turn from sexy cougar to nice Nana?  Thank goodness I still have my gardener who calls me Babe!  Even Martha Stewart does thirst trap Instagrams.

On the squirrel front, ‘Half’ has been behaving badly.  He was chasing everyone off the deck so he could eat all the peanuts.  I opened the back door and shouted, “Half! I am going to smack your bottom, if you don’t stop that.”  Distant neighbors will be calling social services about the Scandinavian neighbor who assaults her children  The drought has returned and I am watering the garden again.  Yesterday I went into the back yard in my disgusting nightie (stains, no shape).  As I was hosing, a GIANT grasshopper landed on my head.  I had a tiny mental break, lost control of the hose which soaked me and my newly cleaned windows.  The grasshopper was terrified too.

I got washed and went to Trader Joe for groceries.  It’s a hip and groovy store and all the checkout staff are interesting…  My Dude was about 45 years old and looked like he had started a degree at a liberal arts college in California.  In my imagination, weed and surfing took over his life and now he works at a store.  He was so friendly, Bro, and we started talking.  I had bought some cans of wine (it’s a trailer home next) that were pre-mixed with sparkling water for Teddy’s restrictive diet.  The label said that the beverage was for those with an active lifestyle?  I started laughing and told him that I fully intended to sit motionless on my sofa and watch Netflix with said cans of wine.  He laughed and suggested I drink the harder stuff at the weekend.  In response, I told him that I only drink Jagermeister at the weekend (I was joking) but he looked at the old lady with new respect.  For the Brits, Jagermeister is the equivalent of Buckfast.  Gives you a hell of a hangover.

There was a big social event in the street – the second I have attended in a month!  I was so pleased with myself for going to both, behaving like a normal person and not drinking much.  But a toll has been taken – my mental health took a dip from all the social anxiety.  They were all people that I know and like but these last two years of introspection have made it difficult fight against my overwhelming desire to stay at home all the time.  I know it is important to keep challenging myself so although I didn’t feel like it, I kept a promise to visit one of our local antique towns today, with Teddy, and regretted it almost immediately.  Still, I followed through, and that’s important to improve my health.  Now we are meeting friends for lunch on Thursday.  Go, Kerry, Go!

Who doesn’t love a Corpse Bride at the Wedding Store?