About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Thursday, July 21, 2011

When it all goes to hell

My dad likes to help out when he visits.  We like to say he has ADD because the man has to be busy at all times.  Last weekend he came out to Colorado for a quick trip.  He wanted a list of projects to do, but I said that we didn't have anything.

"No list?  No Grandpa to-do list?" he asked, looking like his world had just caved in around him.

"No projects, really. It's all good.  Just relax this weekend," I said, obviously delusional because I thought that the subject would end there.

Well, dad can't sit still.  Before I knew it, he had the chainsaw out and was eying some trees in the yard.  (I live in the forest so there are plenty of potential victims for him to "clear out".)  One tree in particular seemed to appeal to dad.  It stood about two stories high and tilted severely to the east--right over a power line.  Actually, the power line went through a few branches.  I told him not to touch it. Leave it.  Don't go near it.  Too dangerous.

Does he listen?  No.  He takes the first opportunity to climb up a ladder with a chainsaw.  (Picture a 73 year old stubborn Norwegian who becomes deaf when told not to do something he really wants to do.)  

Timber!  Yep, he cut off the top.  It took out the power line that ripped right from the side of my house. Luckily, no one died.  (I thought I should put that out there right away--dad survived.)  

"What the hell just happened?  Do you know how dangerous that was? Do you have any idea what kind of trouble this is going to be?" I asked, still in shock over witnessing the power line fall.  All I could think of was fines for taking down a power line, my neighbors losing power, and potential threat of fire (both house and forest).

He gives me the "do not talk to your father that way" look.  Can you believe it?  I'm 43, he just cut down a tree I asked him not to touch, took out a power line in my yard and I'm getting the stink-eye. 

The surge took out all of my appliances (minus the refrigerator), two stereos, three surge protectors that saved my office equipment and televisions (thank God), lamps, blender, toaster, electrical sockets, etc.  Light bulbs literally blew up one by one throughout the house.  Sizzle.  Buzz. Snap.  When the electric company arrived, the man said he could smell my house from up the road.

No one ever wants to hear that your house can be smelled from up on the road.  (Unless you're making candles or running an aroma therapy spa, I suppose.) 

I wish I could say I wasn't growing accustomed to chaos, but that's not true.  I am actually beginning to expect catastrophe when things start going too well around here.  Is that a good or bad thing?  Believe it or not, I'm thinking it's a good thing.

I am becoming very good at handling trouble (after taking a few minutes to breathe alone in my room, that is). When things are going well, I know it and practically bow down and kiss the earth with gratitude.  I go with the flow--I made a pizza on the grill the other day (you know...because I no longer have a working oven for the time being).  I prioritize--what plan needs to be shelved so I can accomadate this latest upheaval to my budget?  I have become adept at being fluid.

So, when life goes to hell, I go with it.  I feel the raw emotions at the time--the anxiety, the fear, the anger, the frustration--and express what I need to without denying the reality of the situation (stink-eye or not).  But when things get better, as they always do, I notice that the highs are higher than ever.  Like a kid on a swing, I go backward but get ready for the upswing, point my toes, lean back and aim for the sky.