… on cracks and crack ups

This was a very crack-filled week.

As in ‘cracks in the best laid plans’.

Not crack, the drug.

I just wanted to clarify that for you, because if I was going to talk to you about my drug-crack habit (which is imaginary at this point), I would have prefaced it with a parental advisory warning.

I can’t really go into the details of this past week… yet.

What I can say is that everyone is fine and healthy and also not in prison.

There were no complications with any surgeries that may, or may not, have taken place with one person.

There were no automobile-related incidents, nor pedestrian injuries, as a result of any alleged octogenarian escapades that may, or may not, have happened involving a different person.

And, on a final note, it appears that a certain college-aged kid’s Medial Collateral Ligament, meniscus, and Anterior Cruciate Ligament, though all rather irritated, seem to have avoided being fully ripped, crushed, and or pummeled to the points of no return.

Anyway. Three rather anxiety-provoking happenings, but everything turned out fine.

Well, except for my brain.

Because when POTENTIALLY LIFE-THREATENING cracks appear in my best laid plans – or when things go way, way off the rails in general – my brain sprouts these wacky tentacles that noodle out and suction themselves to two activities that I know are all about controlling what I can (my immediate environment), and yet I cannot seem to stop myself. Thusly, I morph into a combination of a malevolent, anal-retentive dictator and an absent-minded (but driven!) decorator.


Imagine being ruled by a fascist interior designer with neat-freak tendencies.

My poor family.

Normally – if you stopped by my house on any random day – it would be fairly clean, but also cluttered.

In the bedroom, the bed might be made, but there’d be stuff strewn on the tufted orangey-goldy chair: A sweatshirt for sure, maybe an inside out long sleeve T (probably my Monhegan fave), and the odd pair of sweats yearning for a nice spin in the washer.

To my chagrin, there are always – always – at least three cloth napkins and/or towels in various spots on the kitchen counters. I don’t know how or why they are always there, but they are. If one disappears, another shows up to take its place. I think it’s a physics thing.

There’d probably be some stuff in the sink…

Random chords and electronics in various rooms…

Piles of books and/or magazines…

Mail that just came in (and mail that needs to go out).

And, of course, dog hair in amounts that qualify as ‘copious’.

That’s on a regular day.

When things go sideways?

That stuff is picked up, washed, rolled up and tucked away. Also, piles are rearranged into neater piles, usually involving a bigger-on-the-bottom to smallest-on-top design (my nod to the ancient Egyptians and their impressive pyramid engineering skills).

Also, the dogs will probably be hiding because I have threatened to make them bald.

So, fair warning. If you walk into my house impromptu-ly, and it is wicked clean like that? I am telling you, all Hell has broken loose, and you should go.

Because that is only Phase One (and I will – seriously, I will – rope you into helping me with Phase Two.)

So far this week, during Phase Two, poor JoHn has helped me move one very large and very heavy armoire, and a huge, two-piece chest of drawers.

He has also helped me move a substantial bookcase from the bedroom, downstairs to a hallway off the side entry room.


The next morning, when he woke up, he had to help me bring the same bookcase back up to the bedroom because I’d decided – at approximately 2.27 a.m. – it would fit better along a different wall than it used to live.

Later, I excitedly explained the merits of disassembling the upstairs office (pretty, but never used) and reassembling it into a ‘dog office’, complete with Blaze’s and Marshal Dillon Dingle’s crates and a dog bed and some toys. And, of course, a desk for Blaze (for when she has to write her royal correspondences and stuff).

JoHn seemed happy to help me realize my dog office dream when I promised him it would be just like building a fort.

Now I’m living with his disappointment, but I’m also pretty happy with the results of our efforts.

Of course, I know that this is just because things are now calm and everything turned out okay. Who knows what will be maniacally cleaned or need (yes, need) to be moved, painted, or otherwise generally rejigged next time.

This morning JoHn and I had an hour or so to ourselves, to talk over sips of coffee and gaze out the window. The winter water was still and grey, and sea birds were diving for their breakfasts.


It was a nutty week, tucked into a pretty strange and crazy time in our lives.

This sandwich generation thing? It ain’t for sissies.

I sighed at one point, and JoHn turned to me.

“What?” He asked.

“This sucks.” I said, pointing at the view with my nose. The morning sun was still sleepy, hanging low in the sky. It was pretty dang splendid.

He laughed.

“Clearly, the issue is, we need to move.” I deadpanned.

“Clearly.” he said.

One of the things that keeps me somewhat grounded in times of crazy, is my faith that I’m always in the midst of a lesson. This faith is my bubble wrap and my ballast. It allows me to lean into the emotions, bewilderments, and frustrations versus being blown back or broken.

It’s not about staring down the worries or fears or anxiety.

It’s actually about letting them all in, gently sifting them through my thoughts and reasonings, and trying to find the gems.

It’s like panning for wisdom.

The good news is that the whole faith thing also helps me to delight in even the smallest victories and wonders, even in the midst of nuts-ville.

The other good news?

My house is wicked clean right now.

And also?

I have a dog office.

Thanks for readin’.

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