Saturday, July 11, 2015

Things that take longer than you expect

I went out on my deck this morning, determined to do some work since it was perfect weather--we've had a cooling trend, so it was cloudy and pleasant outside. I wanted to plant some lavender and wallflowers but thought, first I'll get rid of that box. I had a huge box full of large pieces of styrofoam, which had contained the disassembled bench my sister-in-law and niece put together for me more than a month ago. I thought I could break up the pieces of styrofoam and put them in a big black garbage bag and then cut the box down into manageable pieces. Well, it took three big black garbage bags to hold all the styrofoam, and then cutting the box up was not as easy as I had imagined. The right tools make all the difference, and I had the wrong tool--a pair of scissors, open wide, instead of a box cutter. Once I did get it cut into smaller pieces and bundled them with string and carried box and bags up to the garage, my allotted time for work on the deck was done.

I came inside feeling hot and sweaty. I remembered my mom's advice when I was a little girl and came in overheated from playing outside: Just sit quietly for a while and you'll feel cooler. (When I was a kid I hated that advice. Few things are more boring to an 8-year-old than sitting quietly, and a "little while" to my mom equaled a long time to me.) But as I sat down I wondered, What if a spider crawled up my pant leg? There had been spiders setting up household in that box. I tried to ignore the idea, but finally had to hurry down the hall to the bathroom, take off my clothes, turn them inside out and shake them vigorously, then put them back on (right side out).

Finally ready to sit quietly for a while, I thought that I would get on the internet and quickly use the program my dad uses to send out invitations for our family reunion. It's a clunky, non-intuitive, user-unfriendly site, and today it was running slower than molasses in January. Every time I clicked to the next step, it would sit for a while saying "waiting for" before moving on. After I went through my dad's address book on the site, clicking every relative one-by-one (and I have a large extended family), I went over the list of those I had chosen and realized one cousin was missing. So I went back into the address book and clicked that cousin. Well, then it thought I only wanted to send one invitation to that one cousin, so I had to go in and click each person again and get it right this time. Seven aunts and/or uncles. 30+ cousins, plus my own parents, siblings, and their children. Got it right then paid for the cards and the mailing. The site has this goofy system where you buy "points" to send out the cards, and pay dollar amounts for the postage. Got it all done, entered my dad's credit card information, and submitted the order. After spinning for some time, the site said Oops, some kind of error. I had to go back through the process again. Just about the time I'd planned to finish lunch and head over to my folks' I got the order confirmation screen and was free to start making lunch.

Well, even if I didn't get my lavender planted, I did get rid of that unsightly box on the deck. I don't have to keep looking at it and thinking I really should get rid of that. And even if I was late to my folks' I did get the invitations mailed out for the family reunion. My glass is half full. I think I'll make it a full glass...of gin and tonic.

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