Monday, June 9, 2008

Gnawing Gnawing GNAWING

At the moment that describes my hunger. In general it describes the eight billion cicadas that are lying dead on the sidewalk, playing dead on the sidewalk, buzzing through the air, carpeting trees, and getting stuck in windshield wipers.

WHAT a weird weekend. No, seriously. I mean it. This one was random and strange straight through. John and I decided to go garage saling Saturday as a sentimental ode to one of the first things we did together when we were almost dating but not quite: one Saturday we stole out of town, visited yard sales, antique shops, and a retro drug store/soda fountain.

And BOY did we hit it big! We called my brother and woke him up out of a sound sleep and he complained but came along. Now, it was in the mid 90's this weekend, but the mid-morning wasn't too bad. We came away with a computer monitor, a red round lamp, a cabinet/counter, two square cake pans, a charming lil' green cup, free tomato plants, a picnic in a bag set, two nostalgic Matchbox cars from the '80's, a coffeemaker, bookshelves, and an antique ledger from a Methodist building fund, plus paint for the cabinet and bookshelves, all for under $25. Oh and a rug for next to the back door. And a crocheted dishcloth.

Because our monitor got scratched during a move, and the red lamp was great, and we needed more counter space, and I keep losing cake pans, etc, etc, and the carafe to our coffeemaker was broken recently, and we ALWAYS need more bookshelves. Especially for $4 when you take them home and repaint them green.

What I DIDN'T bring home was the $800 Klan sash from the late 19th century. See, it was the weekend for Kentucky's 400 mile yard sale, so there were lots of booths set up at the edge of town, cicadas diving bombing browsers and caught in the displays amongst paper milk bottle tops and old Nazi ensignias, an 8-track player/radio and antique silver spoons, spools of lace and some great old expensive Jadeite.

By this time I was whining about things like heat and how I'd forgotten sunscreen and how I was going to die of thirst, literally.

And then we found some more yard sales and got (what I thought was) lost in the world's biggest sinister subdivision that had me laughing so hard I was crying because I was so panicked that we would never exit the manmade monstrosity, and anyway, do you know how long those neighborhoods piggy backed on each other? Seriously, it was like five miles of houses that all look alike, a Twilight Zone, and maybe it was heat, or the cicadas, or the old lead paint on antiques, but I've never been more relieved to get out of a series of subdivisions in my life. I was a rat in a maze, or stuck in molasses swamp in Candy Land, as I said to John and Ethan, who were completely befuddled by my panic and distress at being trapped in rows and rows of brick and siding and lawn sprinklers and hanging baskets of wave petunias.

So then I had to paint the cabinet, and then we watched the Twilight Zone, and it happened to be my most favorite and least favorite episode because it broke my brain the first time I saw it. It's called "All the Time in the World," about the man who loved to read.

Church Sunday was a fiasco. And that's before the video clip of Mary Poppins came on. Yes, Bert the one-man band tied to the point the pastor was making, but seriously, people...half my kingdom for an exegetical sermon.

Anyway. The cicadas wanted to come to church too, and John and I were horrified to sit down at the end of the row, look out the wide, floor to ceiling windows over downtown, and see gnats. Only they weren't gnats, stretching over the streets the way bugs swarm in a ballpark on a summer evening. They were cicadas. Large, bulbous, bumbling cicadas that fly slowly and can't alter their path quickly. They kept bumping up against the window, and the lackluster worship leader had completely lost me to the mesmerizing view of cicadas banging their heads on the window.

Also, there was one on the floor down the aisle from us. And one on the good lady's purse sitting in front of us. But THAT one decided to move - right as prayer was beginning. As John started leaning his chest and body back from it but attempting to swat it away (he hates bugs), the lady saw the motion, turned, and let out a yelp, half standing, then covered her mouth quickly and backed out the aisle. Unfortunately, John had succeeded in swatting it - towards me, who also backed out into the side aisle. There was something about prayer and redemption being said up front, but all I know is we kept backing up til she took a courageous stomp with her shoe, and the little cicada soul floated up to heaven, or, well, down to insect hell, or maybe it went into purgatory, or maybe it lost conciousness til Judgment Day. The remains were solemnly scooped up by Someone as I returned to my seat.

OH, and at the garage sales I also got a retro-ice cube tray that's metal and has the folding dividers, because in my Mitford Cookbook there's a recipe for ice-tray ice cream and I always felt funny about making it in plastic ice trays but now I can make it in my metal one. It was a dollar.

So we didn't stay for Sunday School because I leaned over to John part way through the good article - motivational talk - what the bulletin called a sermon, if there had been bulletins, which I didn't see, and whispered, "do you wanna stay for Sunday School? Why go on a second date if you know it's not going to go anywhere?" Because although we really like the Sunday School class, I can't take another sermon where the pastor sings about the Holy Spirit in a cockney accent. So help me, I can't.

I went home, watched Akeelah and the Bee, almost cried, and painted my bookshelves. Then I made a new recipe, "Peanut Butter Bread," LOVED it, took a nap - cause I have a sinus infection, ya know - and then went to play a few holes of Disc Golf with my beloved, which proved a sweaty, hot affair ending in frustration when John lost his disc. We headed to a cookout where I demonstrated a completely random and unforseeable skill at cornhole. If you're north of the Ohio River, you probably haven't played cornhole, and think it sounds pretty gross. It's southern for bean bag toss into boards with holes in them. I also got to see our ringbearer's new grown up teeth crowding out his baby ones.

You see what I mean? What a strange weekend. The air conditioner worked all night and still couldn't get the house down to 68. Daisy and Charlie are NOT fond of cicadas. Our neighbors broke a window out fighting. Most the midwest probably can't even read this because you're all under water.

Oh, and Saturday we accidentally left the debit card in the ATM, which promptly swallowed it. I say "we" because even though an individual has to do it, well, I lose things all the time too, so it was a communal losing. Which meant I had to show up at the bank promptly at 8 just to be told by a smug, self-satisfied, lazy bank teller that they wouldn't get it out til 3. Kids, some women never get over high school, and take jobs at the bank and the courthouse where They Get Their Comeuppance on the World.

Which only goes to show. Be nice to kids in high school.

6 comments:

Becky C said...

Hey, we know about corn hole up here. I don't really think it's a southern thing ;-). I actually never even heard of it until I moved to Ohio. I am terrible at it though so kuddos to you! See you in a couple weeks!

Jeff Rudy said...

Sorry, but I had to laugh when I heard the cicada(s) attack you and John. The 9:30 service decided to drop the bulletins and I, too, felt weird when the odd accent came out. He speaks about once a quarter (a military guy, if you can't tell) and the worship team could use some more vitality from time to time. Hope you guys find a good place to connect soon!

Bitty said...

It's not that I have anything against Cockney accents, Bert from "Mary Poppins," or singing about the Holy Spirit in church. It's just when those things converge on a Sunday morning in the same five minutes and it happens to be a Sunday in which I haven't had much coffee and I was being assaulted by cicadas. It was a perfect storm.

Jeff Rudy said...

I may lose any popularity and/or likeability I may have had with people who read this, but I loathe "Mary Poppins" and pretty much all musicals for that matter. I hope that doesn't mark me as a heretic or something, because if it does, I am not sure what I'll do.

Bob said...

uhm...actually...the people at the bank don't have access to the ATM all the time. I know, it seems like they should, but they don't. So what she told you wasn't just comeuppance. Being engaged to a bank employee has taught me some things.

Bitty said...

I know it's not likely that tellers have constant access to the inner regions of an ATM, but she didn't even offer an explanation, like why, or a sympathetic expression, like I'm sorry. She just shrugged smugly and said "nope" and went back to playing whatever computer game I'd interrupted. It wasn't the inability, it was attitude.