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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Watermelon Worries

It sounds silly when I type it and read it back to my self, but I'm afraid of my watermelon. It's alone in the garden, but its presence strikes an ominous chord all the same.

It taunts me. Maybe it's ripe. Maybe it isn't. Maybe it will just up and rot. 

I'm scared to pick it. 

I'm scared to let it stay on the vine.

One would think that knowing it's the only one of its kind in my garden would give me comfort, but the thought petrifies me.

Monday, August 26, 2013

One Last Adventure

One more adventure survived, I thought. I theorized that if I didn’t acknowledge aloud how the plane skidded askew down the sandy runway, it didn’t. 

Two days later, my husband worked up the audacity to say, “Were you looking out of the cockpit window when we landed? Sideways!” Was it more horrifying that I had a view through the cockpit window or that we nearly tumbled into the Eleuthera International Airport stall belly over back? 

At the Pineapple Air desk in Nassau, I reluctantly surrendered my carry-on bag, then my husband and I and a smattering of additional passengers exited the double doors to the tarmac. An airline employee locked them behind us. As I mend the rips in my recollection, stitching together snatches I deleted, it occurs to me that she anticipated our urge to sprint back and rattle the hinges until someone met our desperate eyes and denied us access anyway. 

Peering around the airfield, I searched for Pineapple Air jet. “Where is our plane?” I muttered, even while ascending the steps of a 12-seat, double-prop, puddle-jumper. Two pilots kneaded themselves into the cockpit. One clicked open his window to accept the flight manifest scribbled on a yellow legal pad page, which he crumpled under the solar-powered calculator balanced between their seats.
No stewardess pointed out the exit door or alerted us to life vests under our seats or told us how to use oxygen masks. There were no life vests. There were no oxygen masks.  The exit was obvious.
No one instructed us to fasten our seatbelts or stow our personal items. Five people did. Three didn’t. A woman in front of me played Candy Crush on her phone during takeoff. No one cared. If the plane went down, flying debris, seatbelts and cell phones would be the least of our worries.

Eight backseat drivers watched the cockpit duo manipulate the controls. I braced myself for the pilot on the left to look over his shoulder to reverse the plane.

Aft, I spotted my suitcase piled in the cargo hold. It was carry-on luggage after all. 

Once in the air, white caps boiled in the ocean not far below us.  I nudged my husband and pointed to a duct-taped square on the ceiling. “That’s where someone tried to dig out a life boat,” I yelled over the engines.  “Planes like this float,” my beloved concocted, but he checked his pocket for his passport in case the authorities would need to identify his body. 

I took inventory, too. If we went down in the Caribbean, we could collect rain in my shoes. My inflatable neck pillow would hold my head above water. I rehearsed the junior-lifesaving technique of tying knots in the legs of my pants and filling them with air for flotation. At the bottom of my purse, I found a pen with a flashlight on it. We could signal for help and cross the lost off of the manifest. I had a ration of pretzels saved from the Atlanta to Nassau flight. 

Fifteen minutes later, while I dug for safety pins so we could attach our passports to our underwear, the landing gear connected with earth. I looked through the cockpit window to see blue sky replaced by scrubby landscape. Our plane screeched down the runway crossways, at odds with aerodynamics. 

It righted and decelerated. One of the pilots casually extracted himself from the cockpit, opened the door and reached out to stop the propeller.  The woman in front of me still played Candy Crush. We had survived another adventure that I was content to believe didn’t happen, until my husband forced the issue. (And if you're wondering, YES, I would do it again.)


Friday, August 16, 2013

Come to Me, My Minions

Woohoo! I've received an email with a Secret Video and a Super Spy Decoder Ring! I'm doing the Snoopy happy dance. If I watch the video, I can learn to control women's minds.

If you are a woman, I'm controlling your mind right now (I think).

Imagine the possibilities this opens.  Women will bring their shoes to my closet. Women will move to the side to let me check out in front of them in the grocery store. Women will share their private babysitter lists with me. Women will flock to give me their grandmothers' coveted recipes.

They will be my minions and with them I will take over the world!

Wait. There's a disclaimer at the bottom of the email message:

This video is meant only for designated recipients. It should be used for its intended purpose. If it falls into the wrong hands, it will self-destruct in 60 seconds, disarming your computer and obliterating your data stored therein.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Find the Right Red

I know, I know. I've received the emails and the FaceBook messages, and I wonder where I've been my self. 

It's been a red alarm summer. Catastrophe has befallen my family at every turn in the road. From hydro planing across a busy Interstate in a driving downpour and totaling the car but not ourselves to being faced with the obligation of rescuing an abandoned kitten, our challenges have swelled. To top it off the kitten is a girl and she's very at home with us. Concussions, stitches and bee stings warranted ER visits. 

My minivan caught on fire. What's worse is someone put it out. Worse than that, I'm still driving it.

And my 17 year-old son hit a dear with his car. He field dressed it. I now have road kill in my freezer and I'm wondering if it means I'm a success or failure as a parent.

This is only half of the stuff that happened in July. May and June came with their own worries too stale to mention as excuses now. 

Thursday, I leave for the Bahamas. Friday, my children start school. When I return home, I expect the summer of catastrophe to be officially over and for things to return to our usual ordinary chaos.

Please pardon my long absence. Blogging to resume momentarily. Time for the green light.