Friday, August 25, 2006

Lost and Remembered

Today started out as the worst day in my recent memory. So bad in fact that I am amazed at how well it ended. But to get to the moral of the story you have to read why I had a bad day.......

Getting to School: Today Amelia didn't want to go to school. Once I got her out of bed the battle to get dressed and in the car began in earnest. All of the best 4 year old tactics were on display: laying on the floor screaming; claiming to be sick; refusing to eat breakfast; and, culminating with kicking her father. The last step elicited a sharp retort that sounded distinctly like, "One more of those and you will spend the rest of the day in your bedroom." (I think I was channeling my mother) Eventually she settled down, but not until my nerves were pretty well shot.

The Walk: When I finally got Amelia in the car so that we could go to school, my lovely young wife suggested that I walk downtown today -- just to clear my head (not that she didn’t want to ride in a car with me given my mood). A great idea -- I went back in the house and grabbed my Ipod and preceded to head out. Two steps down the walk my allergies kicked in. I went back to the house, took some Benadryl, grabbed my tissues and off I went. Within two blocks I having a full-blown allergy attack and my Ipod battery had died. This was turning into a great little walk.

The Construction Company: I have been helping out the Vines by overseeing a construction project and the installation of new telephones. When I arrived today I found that neither company had shown up on time, one company was trying to move us back by an entire week and we installed a couple of phone jacks in the wrong place. All aggravating and nothing I won’t live through, but enough to add to an overall bad mood and to convince me to skip my Spanish lesson (something I can hardly afford to do).

The Theft: Today I was reminded that we live in a city and one with some poverty. Janalee had taken notice of my generally shitty mood and suggested we have lunch together. We don’t spend enough time together (I am in the guest room in the middle of the night writing a blog after all) and so off we went. We were sitting at our table when a strange guy bumped into me and kind of turned me to one side. He started talking to us about diabetes or something - I really couldn't tell (I knew I should have gone to the Spanish lesson) -- and then he ran off. When he left we started talking about how strange the encounter was and about 10 minutes later I realized my backpack was gone. The strange guy had distracted me so that his friend could steal my bag. In my backpack I had my computer, my Ipod and everything that I have been working on for the last few weeks.

All of that left me in a pretty foul mood. But, there is a bright side to this little tale.

The Offer: Janalee and I arrived at the school to pick up Amelia after my trip to the police station. (The interaction with the police is worth a blog all its own – at a later date.) Jan doesn’t usually go with me to pick up Amelia, but given how my day was going she thought it might be best to accompany me (and keep me away from sharp objects). She also wanted to tell me that she had talked to our friend Michael who is in the states for a visit. She wanted me to know that Michael called to volunteer to bring a replacement for my computer back with him. Nice to have people who want to help without you even thinking to ask.

The Mac & Cheese: When we got to the school we ran into some friends of ours who just moved here from the U.S.. And, they had a gift for us (chocolate chip cookie mix, syrup, macaroni & cheese – you would be surprised what you crave after being away from home for a few months). The gift couldn't have come at a better time (Mia ate her first pop tart today -- woo hoo, cavities here we come).

The Love: As I got to the door to retrieve Amelia she ran to me with a picture she had drawn. On the back she had written, “Te Amo, Papi” and signed it “Amelia”. (Did I mention that Mia has learned to write? Pretty cool, don't you think.)

By the end of the day I was reminded that what I lost is nothing compared with what I have.

And, that is about as emotional as I am going to get on a blog.


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