This summer has been really busy.
And really rainy.
Here in Windsor, I think a new rainfall record was set for the month of June.
But it never really impacted the fast-pitch softball schedule of practices and tournaments of the travel team my daughter’s play for.
So we stayed really busy.
So our home has suffered for it.
I still need to open the pool. I know, we are in the second half of July now. I know.
But I can’t open the pool until I do some maintenance to the deck that surrounds it. It needs to be re-stained. It’s almost an eyesore. But I can’t do that until I replace a number of boards on the deck. The lumber and stain are both stacked neatly in my very messy garage.
But it just keeps raining. But not today.
So here I sit on my once-beautiful back deck – a beautiful July Sunday morning. The sky is blue. The mugginess of the air is offset by a nice gentle breeze, and my faithful black lab Suzy has found a comfortable corner to lie down. And that damned black tarp is still covering my pool.
This is my first weekend to attack these chores. There are no ball tournaments to travel to, no practices to attend. Once the grass is cut – the front must be approaching ten inches high now. And once the laundry is done – the kid’s stuff is still piled in front of washing machine in the laundry room downstairs.
It’s not like my lovely wife Darlene is not busy. She spends her entire days trying to keep on top of this mess too, to the best of her abilities.
So much of our time and energy is wasted on trying to get my daughters to help. They have their assignments each day. And each day’s daily status update is the same reply.
“We will Daddy, honest”.
But they don’t. They never do. Sometimes feeble attempts are made. I think the feeble attempts make me madder than just not doing it all.
“You call this clean? You didn’t vacuum this! What’s that pile over there?” I will say in my louder than polite voice as I stand in each one’s room and point.
“Don’t touch that! I need that and I know where everything is!”
So Mom and I wrestle their iPods and tablets away from them. And we unhook the WiFi box to cease internet access so they can’t Instagram or SnapChat or watch NetFlix. And we put passcodes on the satellite box so they can’t watch the 500 or so stations on the television.
Their rebuttal? Nothing. They sit in their rooms and read a book, and continue to update their chores status with comments like “I will, I promise”.
Then moments later they re-appear, as I am unloading the dishwasher, and they state emphatically …
“I’m bored Daddy, there’s nothing to do!”
So Mom and I both resume our loud not so polite voices explaining – sometimes with expletives – that they have plenty to do. And we re-state the list loudly enough so that the neighbor’s also know what has to be done.
And then we take an aspirin, and we make a stiff drink.
But this morning I have the luxury of a beautiful summer setting on the back deck that needs repair and staining next to my pool with the black tarp still adorned, and everyone in my little home is still asleep so I can sit here and write with coffee and cigarettes.
I love summer mornings on the deck. Stained or not stained. Pool tarped or open. It’s still a summer morning out on the deck.
But any moment now I expect that Darlene will appear at the sliding glass door and ask me what I’m up to.
“Writing a headstuffing post” I will reply.
“Do you really think we have time for that nonsense today? You need to get those boards cut and repair the deck so we can stain it and then open the pool!” she will remind me in her loud and not so polite voice.
“I know, I know. I will, I promise honey”, I will likely reply.
“And that front yard needs cutting! It looks atrocious!”
“I know, I will, I promise” I’ll repeat yet again.
And then I will down the last sip of my morning coffee, read this post one more time to find grammatical errors, and I will ponder that question again in my head …
“Why are my kids so damned lazy? Where do they get it from?”