pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: Busy bee

07 August 2015

Busy bee

Temple Square
Salt Lake City, UT
13 July 2015

While I find myself yearning for airplanes, missing the hunt for hotels, and all the chaos attendant to those things that I am not doing (anymore?), I am, of course, swamped.

One of the big projects of the summer has been to get the daughter driving. We missed the window of opportunity around her 16th birthday because she helpfully blew out her right knee (her mother's daughter) which required a surgical fix, and then she just had too much going on with school (School: 8 am to 5 pm and filming all day on the weekends). As it turned out, waiting until she turned 18 made the process a lot easier (O CALIFORNIA), but there is still the small matter of actually teaching her how to drive. Because the 6 hours of behind the wheel we paid for is hardly going to do it.

So every day since she got her permit a month or so ago, I take her out on the road. First we drove in circles around the neighborhood, then we added the cul-de-sac next door, and then the big streets. Miles and miles in ever widening circles.

It turns out--and this has astonished everyone, including me--that I am an incredibly patient driving teacher. I rarely raise my voice (except the occasional "slow down slow down SLOW DOWN!"), and I tend to think out routes with some care (when we started lane changes, I didn't ask to change lanes on a blind curve).

Today, the daughter drove the 16 miles required to pick up the DVDs we had made for the cast and crew of her senior project. With quiet instruction and only one bellowed, "SLOW DOWN!," she competently passed a gravel truck, parked correctly, and didn't give me a heart attack. Her license test is 5 weeks off, so the next challenge is parallel parking, something I cheat wildly at (I find a place where I can pull in head first, even if I have to walk an extra block, and I have four years of excellent practice at it, thank you, Santa Ana). Then, we start doing the drive to her university (only 5.5 miles away, thankyouthankyouthankyou).

But I'm not only driving instructor. I am the woman who had to find new doctors for everyone (not going into that one), who hauled the daughter off for a TB test (because we had the temerity to visit Poland, Russia and Estonia 7 years ago), who is trying to cope with the closure of her grocery store and who is presently trying to come to grips with the fact that last year's 257 lb beef order was probably 50 lbs too much--and who has another 225 lbs arriving Sunday. And she doesn't know where she's going to put it.

(We all know I'm picky about where my food comes from. So I buy an organic beef quarter--yes, a quarter of a steer--from a woman in Wyoming who raises beef humanely. It gets delivered in August. I'm not quite sure why we have so much left over this year, but I do. In July and August, I do freezer cleanout, so anything that's been sitting around since last year gets eaten. We end up with some pretty interesting dinners. Mahi mahi tacos tonight with mixed berry cobbler for dessert. Evidently I haven't been sufficiently on top of that this summer. I have yet to defrost my garage freezer, which has about 20 lbs. of chuck roast in it. I'm already defrosting an enormous pork loin roast and 6 lbs of short ribs for weekend meals. Thank god my human vacuum cleaner comes home this weekend. I may be having a party...)

Have I so much as called a contractor yet?

(She laughs quietly in despair).

And we're supposed to get an epic El Nino this year. No doubt it will start the moment they rip the old roof off.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000. Have I learned how to use it? NO. I'm too busy baking pies.

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