April 30, 2007


Friday? I don't remember. I think there was something that went on, but details escape me. Obviously, there was some laundering that went on, Oldest went to a birthday party, and we continued to look for Catherine's recorder.

Actually, that silence around the house has been a blessing, but she does need it for her concert next week. Although she could probably do as well screeching and squawking. Oh, that's just mean--actually, she CAN play songs on it--from the simple of Hot Cross Buns and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, all the way up to Amazing Grace and Ode To Joy. But it takes a lot of concentration for it to come out as Amazing Grace and not Unbelievable Awkwardness.

Anyway, some time last week she was happily squeaking her way around the house at top volume, and then seemingly almost as suddenly, she couldn't find her recorder. Not on the table, not on the dining room table, not on the stairs, not in the den, not outside--it had simply vanished. Our guess? That is was buried under the avalanche of closet contents that she had, for some reason, taken out of her closet and piled in the center of her room. The task for the weekend? Put all the stuff back up and find her recorder.

SO, that was just about all she did on Saturday. She'd move some stuff, then I'd have to come inspect and tell her the next set of things to put away. She'd do a layer of books, then I'd suggest garbage. She'd get that up, then I'd tell her stuffed animals. These would get picked up, then we'd get on to the next strata of hard toys. On and on, layer by layer, all day long. As involved as any archaeology dig.

While she did that, Reba fixed breakfast, and I took the Volvo down the hill to the shop. Again, some issue with alignment was bothering me, so I told them to do that and rotate the tires, and I made extra special sure to tell them how to get the hubcaps off. They're the old type with a little black center cap that holds on a larger stainless cap on the wheel. If you don't pop off the center cap, you'll wind up bending the bigger cap. And these things are getting much too scarce to bend.

Went and got some breakfast at Hardee's across the street, sat and ate, then came back.

"Mr. Oglesby, could I show you something on your Volvo?"

That's the sound of money leaving my billfold.

Worn out tie rod end, and the bearings were a bit looseish. ::sigh:: I kinda was figuring in the dark recesses of my mind that the tie rod end might be shot, because there has been a disturbing bit of shudder in the steering wheel when I'd have to stop suddenly from high speed, so it wasn't a complete shock. But it still made me very sad. Because it cost a lot of money. And because I had them go ahead and change the other side, too. ::sigh::

But I have to say this, they are a nice bunch of guys. They got one of the guys to take me home, and in addition to being a nice service, it was exciting as a bumper car ride. Our neighborhood was having the annual neighborhood yard sale, so unknowing strangers were clogging the streets with their ignorance of local driving customs, and add to this my own visitor (who seems to have indulged in a variety of controlled substances in the long distant past) blithely driving along as if there were no cars anywhere, and it was quite a jump start to the morning.

Home, kissed the ground, went in and got on my yard clothes and went to work. Made several passes, and then remembered I have a son who needs to get out more, stopped, went in and yelled up to him to come on and get to work, which he did (grudgingly) and off we went again with the mowing.

He did a pretty good job. He did a very fast job when I told him he could go to his friend's birthday party if he'd get the rest of the backyard done by 11:30. He took off and even managed to get most of the grass cut in a recognizable pattern.

I'd been not wanting to let him go, because his friend never could quite say what movie they were going to see, and where it would be, and things like that, and added to the problem was a lack of phone number on the invitation which could be used for contacting the kid's parents, and the lack of a listed phone number, period. I like having a few more answers about such stuff.

But, he worked hard, and he really was looking forward to going, so the deal was struck and he managed to get all done in time. Time to get a bath, get dressed, and time to go to Target to get a gift and a card (and household supplied for us) and to get all the way to Hoover to meet these folks. Why they had to drive all the way to Hoover to enjoy a movie and pizza is beyond my ability to understand. Luckily, I did not learn until later that the event planning (or lack thereof) was no more haphazard than the transportation being provided. Turns out there were 16 boys invited to the party, and they got hauled all over town in two vehicles, the legal capacity of both amounting to only 12 occupants.


Now, I realize back in my day, no one thought a minute about loading up wads of kids in a station wagon or pickup truck and hauling them around, but this is bad news waiting to happen nowadays. I've tried to chalk it up to simple ignorance on the part of the parents, who are relatively recent immigrants from Southwest Asia, but they ain't THAT recent--they do understand "y'all," after all. Thankfully, nothing happened untoward and they had a good time. (Although I don't think I would have taken them to see Ghost Rider, either.)

Anyway, we made it to Hoover right on time, and after I got home, I called and the car was ready to go. Got Oldest to drive me down the hill, which was almost as entertaining as the ride up the hill from the shop, in that it's as if the accelerator pedal in the car is like an on-off switch.

Got to the shop, kissed the ground, sent her on back home, and paid my bill. Which thankfully was only about half the price of a new washer and dryer! YAY!

But, I still have this to say--they run a nice joint there--they actually washed and vacuumed my car out, and put shiny goop on the bumpers and tires! It looked better than when I took it to the carwash a few weeks back, so I figure that was pretty good.

Back up the hill, although I took the long way around, so I could make sure it was driving right. Felt good, no quivering stops or clunking, so that was nice. I drove up the bumpy back road that goes by the landfill, and turned down the radio so I could listen for bad sounds.

And then I heard one--a faint ::pingclang::


There is only ONE thing that makes that sound--aside from a Garand rifle expending a spent clip--that was the sound of one of my precious ol' skool stainless steel hubcaps hitting the pavement.

I pulled over immediately at the back gate of the landfill and got out to go searching. One would think that given I knew the general area where it came off that I would be able to find a relatively large shiny disc.

That's what one gets for thinking.

Sure, there was tall grass and a big ditch, but I thought sure that I would be able to just walk down the shoulder and find it.

No dice.

After lying down in the middle of the road and kicking my heels and crying like a two-year old, I got back in the car and went on to the house, sad that I'd not been more explicit in the instructions on how to put the hubcaps ON the car.

Luckily, when I got those four out of the junkyard, I had the presence of mind to get three more as spares. Downside? I was having to dip into my reserves, and the other three weren't quite as pristine and dent-free as the one I lost.


ANYway, after I did that, I walked in and found out the charity that had twice renegged on their commitment to come pick up our old washer and dryer (which meant that it had been on the driveway for over a week, no doubt upsetting all the people in the neighborhood with nothing better to do than look at my driveway) had called and said they'd be by Saturday afternoon to pick up the appliances.

Only thing was, when I got home Friday, they were already gone.

Yep--someone stole the junk off my driveway.

I am torn--do I report theft of junk, or thank God that there are some thieves out there with more initiative than a charity that had already begged off twice from coming and getting the things?

Obviously, I chose the latter.

Went back and inspected Catherine's big dig--still no signs of a red plastic Yamaha recorder, but it was heartening to see THE FLOOR! Gave her her next batch of cleaning assignments, went and did some more stuff (although I can't remember what), then went and picked up Jonathan from his expedition, which despite my parental disapproval he counted as great high adventure, had some supper, got the kids bathed and bedded, and took the Giant Snore to refresh myself for Sunday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 30, 2007 10:52 AM