Thick fog greeted us Friday morning when I took the children–my own four, plus two extras, to the pumpkin patch again. My 8-year old missed our first outing and wanted to pick out a pumpkin. And I knew all the kids would love seeing the baby animals again. The farm has six kittens, a lamb, two baby goats (kids?), two piglets, a calf, ducklings and two ponies. The children are allowed to enter each enclosure and pet the animals.
So, off we went, leaving at 9:30 a.m. and arriving before the farm even opened. The sun shone at the farm but the ground was damp and moisture hung in the air. We sneaked in anyway, blending in with a preschool co-op that arrived before we did. My 8-year old picked out a 57 pound pumpkin and one of my twins picked out a 31 pound pumpkin. I picked out half a dozen Granny Smith apples and the 2-year old picked out a baby pumpkin. My daughter begged for a bag of potato chips.
We returned home at about 11:00 a.m. and I launched into full panic-attack cleaning mode because at 11:45 a.m., a local (very small) newspaper reporter was due to arrive. She’d already interviewed my husband about our participation in our state’s virtual academy (Washington Virtual Academy) and she wanted to ask me a few questions, talk to the boys and take their pictures.
The boys were not happy about three things:
1) I ordered them around, like hired help.
2) I insisted that they comb their hair.
3) I requested that they change into decent shirts.
I was shoving dishes into the dishwasher and relocating the paper-piles from my desk and sweating lightly when I asked one of my 13-year old boys to sweep. He did so, but with an exasperated sigh. “Why do we have to do this?”
I said, “Because that lady is coming.”
He squinted at me, held the broom aloft and said, “This is just like dad’s sermon. You know, where he talked about people cleaning up before they have people over . . . how they pretend, you know. This is just like that. This is just a big charade! No one lives like this!”
(I thought he was talking about hypocrisy, pure and simple, but my husband told me he’d been talking about hospitality in his sermon and about how people shouldn’t feel that they couldn’t invite guests over unless their homes were perfect.)
I told my son that some people do indeed have clean houses, but he was unconvinced.
My house looked pretty good by the time they lady arrived. Unfortunately, I was only halfway through a hurried make-up routine and had to appear downstairs (where she sat on the sagging couch in the living room where I hadn’t intended to invite her) without eyeliner or mascara. Hello, no eyes!
She was very friendly, though, and I had flashbacks of the long-ago interview gone awry that I gave once to a reporter at the Charlotte Observer while I worked as a college intern at Heritage USA. I mention this only because on that particular occasion, I was chosen as an interviewee by my bosses at Heritage USA . . . and during the interview with the reporter, I yapped on and on, saying things that made Heritage USA look bad, in an era when the Charlotte Observer was intent on finding dirt in Jim Bakker’s ministry. (Within two years, the whole empire collapsed, but I promise, it was not me who started the dominoes falling.) I was told my by boss later (when I was gently reprimanded) that upon reading the article, Jim Bakker said, “Who is that intern?!”
The only other time in my life that I had been as full of mortification and horror was in seventh grade when my homeroom teacher sent me to the principal’s office because of my impudence. Me! Saucy, indolent, mouthy! Imagine!
(I had mentioned to the reporter how I worked 70 hours my first week at Heritage–I’d been on the grounds crew until I wised up and unwittingly used my family connections to get a transfer to a different department. The focus of the interview was their college intern program and it didn’t look so good for me to talk about the overtime, blah-blah-blah. Oops.)
Anyway, so I worried I would say something stupid, but I thought she seemed very favorable to the virtual academy, so I’m sure the slant will be positive. And it’s an extremely small newspaper.
And as soon as she left, I returned the three-level desk organizer to my desk, along with the pile of stuff that needs my attention and my tower of Post-It notes. The dust will take longer to reappear.
* * *
Saturday, my dear husband opened the gates and let me out into the world. I had a glorious time, saw a very violent but well-done movie (any guesses?) and returned home to so many dirty dishes that I had to run two full dishwasher loads to clean them all.
* * *
My husband woke me at 6:42 a.m. to ask me to look at something in the bathroom. The bathroom light blinded me, but when I could finally open my eyes enough to look, I peered into the grossest bloody eyeball I’ve ever seen. Too bad it’s not Halloween yet. He could scare a lot of people! He said it didn’t hurt, so I said maybe he burst a blood vessel coughing or sneezing (his cold lasted almost two weeks) and I went back to bed where I fretted until I had to get up.
Our friend at church who is a practicing family doctor assured him that, indeed, it looks like a blood vessel burst probably from coughing or sneezing. (I’m telling you. I should have gone to medical school. I have excellent instincts.)
* * *
Our church is having an All Saints’ Harvest Party . . . we all have to dress as a character (or animal) from the Bible. I was thinking about going as Eve, dressed in a big leaf, or maybe as Jael, holding a tent peg and a hammer. Or maybe as Gomer or Jezebel . . . high heels, fishnet stockings, red lipstick, big hair, small skirt . . .
Okay, just kidding! The party is for kids, after all, and these things would be tough to explain. (I’m going as Deborah who was a judge in the Bible.) My husband and I keep coming up with implausible Bible characters we could portray . . . this is funny to me because the party planners insist on Bible characters because they want to keep the party wholesome. But Bible characters, so many of them, were involved directly in an epic struggle between good and evil . . . if anything, they are way scarier than a vampire ever could be.
And that’s how my weekend was. How was yours?