This feels like the World’s Longest Day, or at least The Day The Sun Will Not Set. It is summer solstice, you know, which is why the sky is light here in the Pacific Northwest, despite the fact that it’s 9:20 p.m. Darkness will finally arrive at about 10:00 p.m.
But that’s not why this day feels so long.
Last night, we were at the swimming pool. Yes, when I say “we”, I am referring to me and my Girls. Oh, and my family, too. Anyway, when we got home, there was a phone message for my husband from our friend, Michael, who hails from Portland, Oregon. Michael and his family had been in Maui on vacation and their scheduled flight had been changed or rearranged and they missed it. The next best flight was one whose final destination was Seattle.
For those of you who missed geography class (we didn’t have geography class in my high school), Portland, Oregon, is three hours (or so) from Seattle, Washington. Michael and his clan boarded the plane, hoping that my husband would meet them at the airport and help them get home.
The plane was scheduled to arrive at 11 p.m. Or so he said.
My husband, being a prompt man who hates to be late, arrived at the airport before 10 p.m. He called me. “Did Michael call?” “No,” I said. He figured that Michael’s flight had to be the one arriving at 10:20 p.m.
At 11 p.m.: “Has Michael called?” “No,” I said.
At 11:30 p.m.: “Michael and his family are here. Can you get on-line and check the shuttle service from here to our house?” I checked. Last shuttle left at 10:20 p.m.
At midnight: “Someone will be staying at our house tonight and then tomorrow, they will take the train home. I just wanted you to know.”
So, all seven of them piled into our 1993 Mercury Sable. Their eight suitcases were piled into the trunk. Our little sedan has seat-belts for six. I still cannot imagine where they put seven people–which included one baby and her carseat.
Meanwhile, I come back downstairs, turn on the lights and survey the damage. I hadn’t done the lunch dishes because, well, because I hadn’t. Martha Stewart would be very disappointed in me. I finished my transcription after dinner, then we went to the pool and when we came home it was late and I was tired and I figured it could all wait until the next morning.
I swept the floor.
I unloaded the dishwasher.
I filled the dishwasher.
I washed the remaining dishes.
I scrubbed the stove.
I cleaned the bathroom.
I made a bed on the couch.
I cleaned off the table and stacked the newspapers neatly.
At 1:00 a.m., I crawled into bed. I was watching Bravo network’s “Insdie the Actors Studio” when I heard the front door open. Someone came upstairs to use the bathroom (I was so glad I’d cleaned it). Then my husband cracked open the door and saw that I was still awake, so he told me that they were just going to take the car home and he’d take the train down tomorrow and drive it home.
Then, he said, “Someone’s coming through to use our bathroom now.” I pulled the covers to my chin and said “hello” to Debbie as she walked through my laundry-strewn bedroom. How awkward.
I made small talk from under the covers. How odd. Even stranger still was a few minutes later after she’d left. My bedroom door opened again and Rachel (Debbie’s grown daughter) popped her head in and said, “Hi!” Again, more small talk about their vacation and adventure. I am gracious, even when tucked into bed for the night.
They left fairly quickly and then my alarm was ringing and it was morning. I showered and finished dressing before the phone rang. It was DaycareKid’s mom telling me she wasn’t going to bring him today because she was taking him to the doctor for his worsening eczema.
Hooray! A day off!
Bummer. No car.
My husband intended to take Amtrak down to Portland to retrieve the car. Until he remembered that his driver’s license was in the car. And you can’t get a ticket to ride on Amtrak without a picture identification card. So, Mike and Debbie had to turn around and drive our car back to us. He drove our car, she followed in their car.
Since he couldn’t go anywhere, my husband took the baby for a long walk in the stroller and while he was gone, I mowed the lawn and trimmed the ridiculously long boxwood hedge and sprayed the driveway weeds with Roundup. The sun was hot and soon, I was, too.
Our friends arrived an hour early at 3:00 p.m. I was in the front yard, sweating and pulling stupid grass from my ugly little flower bed by the driveway. My husband has suggested weed-whacking it to the ground. He was serious. He said, “Just tell me how to pull the weeds,” which, when translated into plain English means, “Go outside and pull those weeds.” I’ll admit that I was pouting a bit, because I didn’t want to do more yardwork. He was clipping ivy and a wasp stung him, leading me to remind him that if we had not done the yardwork, that never would have happened. Serves him right.
The rest of the day just dragged on and on. Babygirl never went to sleep–until she was in the car with her daddy, going for a ride. My husband is sweet–he takes her away so I can get things done. Today, I worked on letters for my volunteers for Vacation Bible School, which is approaching too quickly. Later, he took the boys to the video game store, while I played with Babygirl in the backyard. Then, still later, I took Babygirl shopping with me at Target. We sang “la la la la, la la la la, Elmo’s World . . . ” as we shopped. The theme from Elmo’s World–sometimes I wake up in the night and that song is playing on auto-pilot in my head.
Finally, finally, finally, the kids went to bed. The sky is now fading to black. Each day will now be subsequently darker and darker until I am complaining about the early nightfall. And so it goes.