A Travel Post

Like Watermelon

You might remember that when we bought our current house the refrigerator and the dishwasher were located such that the two appliance doors could never be open at the same time. This did not trouble me very much - I never felt the urge to check how much ketchup we had at the exact moment I was putting away clean forks - but it alarmed Steve to the point that he was muttering in his sleep and started sticking straw into his hair.

Steve's like that. He gets bothered.

So eventually he did the only thing he could do, really. He spent half a year's worth of weekends extending the house into the garage, relocating the laundry room, moving an exterior door, moving another exterior door, claiming the captured space from the old laundry room for the kitchen, getting what we call his midlife crisis refrigerator (because there is no other way to explain it - glass doors, you know) and voila. Problem solved, peace restored. The dishwasher stayed where it was because it could.  

I was thinking about this as our gravel/dirt driveway is more than ten years old and after a decade of use and winter plowing something needed to be done with it. It is developing potholes inside its potholes and it's beginning to feel like a particularly demanding section of a rally course. I suggested we get a quote to pave it because we will probably have to do it sooner or later (when we moved our road was unpaved but it's been done now as have almost all of the driveways surrounding us) and why not do it while the kids are little enough to bike and chalk and scooter on it?

Steve said urhhmm, hrrrrrmmm, I dunno, maybe but did eventually get a guy out to give us a quote to slap some asphalt on our existing driveway. This seemed straightforward to me but something about the process triggered a reaction in Steve's mind akin to the dishwasher hitting the refrigerator door and suddenly Steve was muttering again. This time he rattled the night watches with reminders that he has always hated the way the driveway comes straight through the yard without giving a proper view of the house and, really, as long as we were thinking about paving it we might as well...


Can you see that? That's my front yard with a gigantic pile of dirt in it and new dirt track (aka "future driveway") snaking its way through what was once a lawn and a playset (no longer pictured but still present: playset.)

Steve took a chainsaw and some flags and a guy with a skid steer and added an elegant serpentinitude to what had previously (I guess?) lacked drama. I dunno. Between you and me I think he's... well... he's adorable but deranged. Moving driveways and laundry rooms, forsooth.

The children, Edward in particular, are mesmerized by the equipment


but my favorite part is when I get to tell people to be careful when they come over because we're moving the driveway.

Everyone says, "You're... what?" and then the ones who know us well say, "Oh. Right. Steve."

Anyway right now the project has ground to a halt because we forgot to ask the guy with the skid steer if he had been recently cursed by gypsies and first he was out for a week with food poisoning and then it rained buckets and then the day he came back his skid steer broke (blocking the existing driveway, by the by.)

So eventually we'll have a new driveway. I hope. But hey you want to know something kinda weird? When you hire someone - someone, for example, who carelessly eats carnival food and owns a sickly skidsteer - to create a driveway for you that person will contact the utility companies and knock down trees and move earth and put in culverts and deliver gravel and stomp it into place but what they won't do is pave it. That's a completely different company. Who knew?

And does anyone want to place a bet on whether we wind up paving this new one? And do any of you remember why I started agitating for driveway change in the first place? Well, no, because I didn't tell you, but Patrick got a scooter for his birthday and I thought it would be nice not to have to drive somewhere paved to use it.


I finished the couch to 5k podcast (I wound up sticking with the 5k101 guy despite the techno because I was halfway through it although I downloaded the lovely NHS British woman as well) and I am now running 2-3 miles every couple of days. I am pretty damned proud of myself I must say and it was a relief when I realized that I can run and listen to audiobooks. I was worried that not listening to thumpy bass heavy music would - cough - affect my pace but it turns out I don't have a pace so I can run and listen to cozy mysteries at the same time. As recently as May I couldn't walk without getting shin splints and I certainly couldn't run for miles and now I can so if it is of interest to you I'm sure you can too. Really. Pick a podcast.

What is a little disappointing, though, is that I have not lost a single pound. Not one. I mentioned this to Steve and said I didn't understand how I could have increased my activity level so significantly without instantly dropping back to, say, junior in high school size. Steve said he thought I also had to stop eating... he claims he was saying "so much" but we'll never know because I clubbed him on the side of the head with 5 quarts of ice cream before he could finish that thought. Ass.

Someone asked in an email a couple of months ago whether Celexa had led to weight gain for me and I hesitated to answer because I don't have a very good sense of whether it has or not. On the face of it, yes. I weigh a good 10-15 pounds more than I did when I started Celexa almost two years ago. However, I also turned forty, I didn't exercise at all and I like to eat stuff and drink wine. So maybe Celexa is a contributing factor but I think there is also just a general metabolic slow-down in action. The nice thing about running is I don't care anymore. I run, I eat and I guess I'll just accept that I'm never going to wear that pair of shorts from college again.

C'est la vie grown up.

Patrick had a gastroenterology appointment today (and I need to leave here in 5 minutes to fetch him from cooking camp because I have to take him for an xray.) They are allowing him dairy again (seeing as how its absence had zero effect on outcome ahem) and we're ratcheting up the probiotics and we have a Plan so that's all good.

When the nurse was making small talk with Patrick about his summer and school she asked what he wanted to do when he grows up.

He promptly and out of absolute nowhere said, "When I'm an adult I want to write the screenplay for a movie called 'Halfway to Hell.'"

Recalling the total silence that greeted this is making me laugh right now. He's so droll and quirky; he just kills me. Also, what? No he doesn't.     

I was about to close this and finish it later but I have been doing that for weeks and I never do. So, publish.