Writer’s note: I’ve been writing a lot of heavy duty stuff lately. Today, I just need to laugh. How about you? -Be sure to arrange a chuckle today. Hope this helps.
I sleep in the basement. Don’t ask.
I’ve been down here a few months now so I’m getting used to it. It’s dark down here and pretty quiet, kinda like a retreat, really. It’s just me and the spiders…or so I thought (but I digress).
My basement retreat got even darker when the last storm blasted out our electricity. For the first hour, the silence was peaceful. The candlelight was enchanting. I savored the peace.
Then I realized the air conditioner wasn’t humming. Things started heating up with the candles.
After nine hours of power shutdown, it became apparent our plumbing had succumbed to the power shutdown. A pathetic trickle of water and a mysterious sucking sound spouted from the faucet.
Opening the refrigerator was like going on a reconnaissance mission: Get in quick, soldier. Grab what you want. -Get out before the cold follows you!!!!!
Then…as luck would have it, the toilet gave up it’s last flush. Because of Covid, we have a few extra toilet users here at the homestead. Well, long story short, we ALL were in a pickle and the house was starting to smell like one.
We decided to take our tale of woe to the streets of Freeburg. We equipped ourselves with shampoo and toilet paper. We got ready to knock on Grandma’s door., when… Thank you, Monroe County Electric, for rescuing us just in the nick of time!
All that rain brought on the gutters. It’s always an interesting rooftop trek to clean them out. Gutter cleaning is invigorating and terrifying. I love the epic view from the porch roof. I hate the slippery shingles. I also hate the weeping willow leaves.
All these storms have generated a gutter catastrophe. Wind whips the leaves and sticks. Rain floods the gutters and pushes the tree gifts into clogging muck. Then… the water sits.
My gloved hands scooped out stagnant mixtures. The gloppy smell was something akin to, well…the electrical outage. Oh, brother! I tossed the molten mixture into the sky. It settled somewhere on the lawn below. SPULATT!
-Never fear, however. All gutters were cleared. – It was time to rest.
As I disappeared into my basement dungeon. I wondered what critters might be sleeping with me tonight. Hmmmm.
At night I close my basement door. I nestle into my pull-out couch bed, hovering above my sticky “Tom Cat” boards which efficiently catch any spider roommates who might want to join me up top.
In the morning I make my bed. This is a simple life. But…One morning….
I was in the process of making my bed. Tuck in one side. Spin around and tuck in ….Ooops! My foot hit something sticky. How’d this spider-catcher get out from under the bed?
I pulled up my foot expecting to see my big toe keeping company with some spiders who had gotten stuck. To my shock, a mouse looked up at me in terror. He thrashed his little body and flipped around on the board next to my foot.
-There’s a guttural shriek you let out when you feel your life stuck somewhere way down in your throat. You can’t quite muster a scream. My shriek came out as a muffled, convoluted shudder “GGGGLOOOB!”
I shook my foot loose and stumbled backwards sending my roommate mouse and five random spiders sailing on the board into orbit across the room.
When I could focus again. I quickly scrambled for a paper bag. Needless to say…I soon had one less roommate.
The morning mouse dance shook me up a little. I bolted the stairs to step outside and calm down.
The storms left a damp, gray, misty, water-logged morning. (Are you getting the heaviness of rain here, folks?).
I paced the sidewalk contemplating my next move. What to do next? (By the way, please don’t write me about animal cruelty. That mouse had had a good basement life. Just like me.).
When I passed my back garden, I randomly pulled one of the five-foot stalky weeds which the rain has helped grow and strangle my flowers.
To my surprise, the stalk pulled out of the mud easily. I gazed at the weed (which was taller than me) and felt empowered. Before you know it, my blistered hands were yanking stalks right and left.
Wowsers! I found FLOWERS under the bramble! I kept pulling with a gusto, reaching down into the tick and chigger thicket in search of more treasures. That’s when I noticed it.
Back when I was organized and young and creative, I planted lilies in honor of my three daughters. They were marked neatly with little silver stakes. There, in the middle of my weedy chaos, stood a surprisingly unfazed silver name tag next to a flowering, creamy lily.
“Worthy One,” the flower tag whispered to me. The flower’s delicate blossom nodded lazily above my muddied crocks.
Wait. What? Am I hearing you clearly God? God whispered His silver tag again, “Worthy One.”
Haha, God. Good one. Here I am: A Covid bottom dweller, a baggy shorts babysitter, a cynical gutter sludge slinger and a maniac mouse flinger.
I’m standing here in a pile of weeds, God.
My life…and I are not looking too pretty right now, God.
God didn’t pay any attention to my whizzing thoughts. “Worthy One,” He whispered again.
Ah…shucks, God., I said in my mind. Thanks. I dug my toe in the mud and wiped a dirty tear from my face.
Thanks…for thinking about me.
Dear readers, it’s OK to laugh when times are tough, but don’t laugh so loud you miss God’s whisper.