Yesterday and The Day Before

I returned to Oregon Monday evening and was greeted at the exit gate by my first wife who  took me home after a brief stop at Arby’s for a sandwich. It’s funny how a person’s mind works to adapt to current conditions so I was still on Connecticut Time, expecting Connecticut Trees, and Connecticut license plates, but everything was Oregon, Oregon, Oregon, just as it should be. So, as I nibbled my food, gazing at my lovely bride, I flipped that switch in my head and returned home mentally, as well as physically. Though it was sad to leave Ruth, and all my Girls and Guys “over there”, it was time to move forward. The mission was accomplished and I think we are all better for it. My one regret is that everyone else from the Left Coast couldn’t go, also. But, life gets in the way sometimes giving us other areas of concern that require our attention. I understand.

By 9:30 pm Monday evening I determined that it was well past my bedtime, even though there was still a bit of daylight remaining. I’ve always found it difficult to justify going to bed when it isn’t dark. Makes me feel like I’m cheating, or something. But, I was tired. Diane blessed me with a kiss and sent me on my way where I slumbered all the way to 5:13 am Tuesday morning. I was still on Connecticut Time. It was quickly apparent that the switch I flipped didn’t include that aspect of updating my brain.

So, I got up, fed the animals, did my pitiful little exercises, took my meds, and even ate breakfast. All without making enough noise to wake Diane. It was a successful endeavor, up to this point, which was good because it sometimes isn’t. I drop things a lot. Like just now … I went to get up and get my 2nd cup of coffee and knocked my iPad keyboard on the floor. Very noisy. But, I do not hear any stirrings from the East Wing, so all is well. She sleeps on.

Back to yesterday … after Diane got up I shucked my jammies in favor of some work clothes and went about the never ending task of moving things around in my shop in an effort to seek order. But, it’s a hopeless venture. The only way to make it “right” is to just stuff everything in a bunch of Avon boxes, donate it, and start over with new shiny tools. Easy to say, impossible to do because lots of my tools, and assorted screws and nails have been in the family for far too long to just casually toss them aside. I still find the need to dig around in my shoe box full of really sharp screws, nuts, and bolts, looking for the one I need for one project or another, and I know, way in the back of my head somewhere, that doing this takes far more time and effort than a trip to ACE to get the exact “thing” I need.

I digress … what’s new there?

After re-disovering the futility of cleaning up my shop I had this image of Lyle’s shop. It’s not large, but he managed to maintain it in a manner which I found commendable by keeping it messy. Actually, messy is just a visual clue that it was well used. And, I would (almost) bet that he knew where everything was out there. Now that he’s gone, so is that knowledge and really important “stuff” will languish on that work bench until there is an overpowering need to recover the space. I think it should be a family affair where everything is removed and divided up for transport, leaving only a hammer, a pair of pliers, sixteen screws, seven nails, and nine screwdrivers of various size and configuration. That’s all Ruth needs. Maybe a crescent wrench for when she feels daring. That’s all.

I continued fiddling around until Diane gave me a rudder and refocused my attention on the laundry room. As some of you may recall, I removed the laundry tub some time ago and rearranged the washer and dryer, placing them next to each other which I couldn’t do previously because the laundry tub was between them. A consequence of removing the tub was the open drain with no trap. With no trap, sewer gas was allowed into the laundry room which caused one of us a great deal of concern because the other one was oblivious as he wasn’t here. This required a temporary fix until the tub can be replaced and it was accomplished with a small piece of aluminum foil wrapped over the end of the offending pipe.

Then I took the laundry tub into the back yard and partially dismantled it so I could power wash it, preparing it for a new paint job. Power washing required me to move that unit from the garage to the back yard. When I checked the oil, it was pretty gnarly looking so I decided to change it. After searching the mechanism for an hour or so, I couldn’t find any obvious method of draining the old oil so I went to my work bench in search of the owner’s manual. It wasn’t there, so I went to my computer to look online, but couldn’t find it there, either. So, I just tipped the entire unit upside down over an old coffee can until it quit dripping. Before doing that, I actually made sure the gas tank was empty so I wouldn’t drip gas all over. Finally, it was done, and the washer started right up, just in time for lunch. We had BLTs.

After lunch, and a short nap, I returned to my task and power washed the tub. It still needs the attention of a wire brush, but we have some nifty paint that totally encapsulates rust, making it paintable. But, I want it smooth and pretty before I reinstall it. This may require the purchase of a new laundry tub.

Once the laundry tub was sufficiently scrubbed, I decided to mow the front yard because the grass, though it rained in the morning, was dry. To get the lawn mower out I had to fire up the downstairs air compressor so I could inflate one of the tires on the trailer, which was in the way, and add more air to the mower’s front tires so it would steer easily.

I forgot … somewhere in there I took the furnace filters out and used the upstairs air compressor to blow them out. I do that occasionally, when Diane tells me to. I think I did this before power washing the tub because I have a vague memory of being dry when I did it.

I love my lawn mower. It always starts right up even though I abuse it … maybe not like Larry and Todd would, but it’s well used. My mower and I buzzed around the house to the front yard and had it done, lickty split. I only took the top couple of inches off, so the bagger held pretty much all of the clippings. So, I continued around to the side yard and did that. Things were going to well, I just kept going around to the back yards and finished it all. On the my mower it takes me about 2 hours to do all of this. If I just let the mower fling the clippings all over the place it wouldn’t take as long, but I suck it all up into the bagger and dump it down by the burn pile. I’ve been doing that for years and I’m always amazed at how the grass just seems to sink into the ground. I never turn it, I just keep adding to it, and it never gets taller than about 3 feet. I suspect there’s some pretty mushy ground under that pile, but I’m not inclined to look because I sometimes forget and step into the pile while emptying the bags, and it’s like thick, liquid grass. Nasty smelling, and will no doubt devour a shoe if given the chance.

By the time I was done the clock said I only had about an hour before Lydia’s game at Campbell Park. So, I took a shower to wash off all the grass.

When we got to the park, the girls were working on the infield, to get rid of the standing water. It looked like the games (it was a double header against Clatskanie) were going to be a lot of fun for the girls, especially if they had to slide, And they were, and they did.

Though it’s June, the weather is pretty iffy. The day wasn’t too bad, but the evening was very cold. Everyone was wrapped in blankies, except me. I had a manly blanket that I shared with Cedric. Thankfully, Jeran was also there and was happpy to take my camera and snap a few shots of the girls playing, leaving me to huddle under the blanket. Lydia made it worse for pretty  much everyone watching because she chose to play without long sleeves, unlike everyone else on both teams. Made me shivver just to see her out there. She did well both pitching and fielding. I think the temp was around 9 degrees, or so.

At one point I was on the phone with Jack when Diane got my attention to stop and watch because Lydia was at bat, bases loaded. She fouled off a couple of pitches then was called out on a pitch that was easily a foot outside. I grumbled, loudly, but the ump didn’t turn on me. Instead of grumbling, Diane got out of her chair, more than once, and took a walk behind the bleachers. Lyd’s team won both games, 11-0 and 12-4, so the bad calls were inconsequential. Still … why teach the girls one thing, then call the game using different rules?

Between the games Lydia came out to visit and wanted to look at some of the pictures Jeran had been taking, so gave her the camera. She buzzed through them and came across a special photo I have of some of my favorite girls giving me the universal gesture normally reserved for bad drivers who tick you off. She said, “Grandpa, what’s this….?” So, I told her the significance, naming everyone in the picture, explaining that they were all Cousins she’s never met, and they were just sending along a special Connecticut “Howdy” to the West Coast. She knew who the Aunt in the middle is, and I’m sure she understood the gesture. She’s 13.

During the 2nd game Jennie showed up while she was on her break from work. She works at Safeway doing pretty much anything that requires to be done in the store. Apparently she had a date with some boxes later because she had a nifty little knife strapped to her waist. She went to get some nachos, her dinner, and left most of them because time ran out on her. She did get to see Lydia bat, however. It was the only base hit she got and it resulted in at least one RBI. Maybe more. I blinked a couple times right about then.

The games were over around 8:30 and we were both tired when we got home so wound things up for the day. I was in bed before 10pm which is a modern day record for me, except in Connecticut it was almost 1am. I’m still not totally connected to Oregon clocks, yet.

Gotta quit now because I’m hungry and my fingers are running out of ink.

2 thoughts on “Yesterday and The Day Before

  1. Lovely Ruth, you know he will never be NORMAL, but keep on wishing. We love you! Come WEST any ole time that you wish. . . . . .There is a room waiting and lots more family.

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