If well-laid plans were like trains, then my plans for this weekend would be the Old 97. Wait, that’s not quite right. If weekends were like songs about trains, then this weekend would’ve been the Wreck of the Old 97. Except I wasn’t scalded to death by the steam; I only suffered minor injuries, and the nagging sense that I’m not nearly as clever or effective as I think I am when I’m drinking and making big plans. On the other hand, we are pretty adaptable, and ultimately we did get a lot of stuff done this weekend—just not anything I actually planned on getting done.
I’d been looking forward to this set of days off for a few weeks now. I envisioned these five days (Friday through Tuesday) as the perfect opportunity to get some BIG THINGS accomplished. MizBubs was starting to worry that our household was coming unglued; the clutter was piling up, and while my lovely and talented daughters were doing well in school, they were apparently losing their ability to clean up after themselves.
Between my side business and a three year losing union organizing campaign, I have generated a frightening array of clutter in the form of documents, transcripts, catalogs and publications that take up big chunks of our dining room and bedroom. Our garage needs to be cleaned out and reorganized; an organized garage would give us a place to store the little canoe that could over the winter. Our basement had reached a point where stacks of ill-defined stuff threatened to close off access to the washer and dryer.
I was going to step in, clean like a maniac and set things right. I’d start with routine stuff on Friday, transition into the big two-person jobs on Saturday and Sunday with Miz, and then finish up on Monday and Tuesday
Here was my original plan:
Friday: catch up on laundry and generally clean the house.
Saturday: Clean out the garage. Create a safe place for the little canoe that could.
Sunday: Clean out the basement.
Monday: Clean and reorganize our bedroom, including the closet.
Tuesday: Clean out and reorganize my files and shit-can anything useless.
Two things ended up affecting my grand plan: the storm that brought half a tree down in my backyard, crashing my neighbor’s fence in the process, and a 14 hour workday on Wednesday night that included a 7 hour defensive tactics/ground fighting training session.
Here’s how my plan worked out in real life:
Friday: Slept late, and then drank coffee until almost . Remembered that I had half a tree down in my backyard, and some in the neighbor’s yard too. Spent the rest of the day cleaning up the backyard, and then went to Homeowner Hell to buy lumber to repair the neighbor’s fence.
Saturday: Slept late. Took the whole family to a big garage sale at
Sunday: Slept late. Skipped church, prayed for forgiveness. I went down to the basement to do some laundry, and made a fascinating discovery. The concrete floor all around the washer/dryer and slop sink was covered in an invisible film of detergent, rendering the floor just slippery as anything. I discovered this by stepping onto the detergent slick while carrying a basket of laundry. This caused my left foot to slide quickly forward toward the washer, while my right foot stayed in place and my upper body twisted to the right. A large metal pipe stopped my falling forward onto my face, and I was able to push back from it, using the laundry basket as a bumper. I finally stopped sliding and stood shakily upright. Well, not completely upright, because some damaged muscles in my thigh, groin and lower back would not let me. I thought maybe I put the goocher on myself by writing about the Iron Crotch. I am not an athlete, and I am not a particularly agile or flexible person. I am not suited for this type of scenario.
What I think happened is that the vibrations of the dryer caused the detergent bottle to slide off the top of the dryer and hit the floor, cracking the cap, giving the detergent time to cover a 4’x4’ area. You want good times? Try standing barefoot, groin and back throbbing, on detergent-slick concrete, and then clean it. This made me mad at the basement, so I started cleaning it. And then MizBubs charged in and started, and we got about halfway done. And then I iced myself, muttering darkly and folding laundry, gobbling ibuprofen and Wild Turkey.
But today is a new day, and today, by God, today we’re getting back on track.