Saturday, May 01, 2010

Call Me Irresponsible

As per usual, here I am blogging when I have no business doing so because I have no time to do so. After 37 years, my complete inability to properly manage my time still manages to amaze even me. Did I blog during the week when my schedule was a little more forgiving when my time was own (in a matter of speaking)? No, I did not. Did I blog last night when I was up late because I couldn't sleep? No, I did not. But am I blogging now in the middle of what I my own self have designated as a Work Day? Oh, yes, I am!

I have much to do, much to do! First, it's Saturday, the day The Viking likes to roll up his sleeves and reinforce his reputation as the hardest working husband whose wife never has to nag him to get anything done around the house. His back has been feeling really super lately and the weather is nice so he is out on the back forty (euphemistically speaking, of course) unloading things from his truck. He just pulled into the driveway with the back full of pallets he begged off of various store managers in the area. He's recently acquired several loads of wood from the sides of many different roads and has spent the last few weekends splitting all of it. Now, he's arranging the pallets on the ground along the back fence in order, no doubt, to neatly stack all the freshly split wood on top of them. We've just emerged from winter and he's already preparing for the next one. How very Pa Ingalls of him.

Speaking of Pa Ingalls, one time I unwisely and jokingly chided The Viking for having to borrow a splitter and Lenny to split that wood. Pa Ingalls, I maintained, did it all by himself with just an axe. The Viking, no stranger to the Little House series, calmly retorted that Ma Ingalls made her own butter and cheese. Yeah, I shut right up.

I am just now looking at The Viking's chores list. While I was still asleep this morning (it's a wise and loving man who lets his wife sleep as long as she likes on Saturday mornings), he wrote up a list with items for each of us. The childrens' items are somewhat detailed, as we've learned they have to be with our two:

"Trash cans in"
"Bring dirty clothes down to be washed"
"G.I. (CLEAN) bathroom"
"Sweep kitchen and dining room floors"
"Help me outside"

The Viking's portion, however, is written almost entirely in one word bullets:

"Tick and flea guard for Nutmeg"

My list, for those interested, is blank. I filled it in myself, mimicking The Viking's clipped manner:

"Coat cupboard"
"Bathroom closet"
"Laundry room"

Yes, it's deep clean/Spring clean day. A day of sorting, boxing and removing. Which brings me to the other reason I have so much to do today:

Dharma, Vance, Bitsy, Rosebud and their two dogs (ever after known as Dharma&Co) are moving in with us in a few days! They had arranged temporary housing for themselves while they wait for Vance's new position in Tennessee to begin, but those arrangements fell through. They have no place else to go and it worked out so well with them staying with us those ten days a few weeks ago that we all talked about it and decided they should just stay here.

So, that means we will have eight people and three dogs (the smallest of which is a German Shepherd) living in our three-bedroom, 1700-square-foot home. Things could get really hairy around here! But it's only for four weeks, we love my sister, brother-in-law and nieces dearly and really do get along with them well and, besides all that, there is no question in my mind or The Viking's that this is what God would have us do.

I felt the Holy Spirit's nudging to ask them to stay here several weeks ago, when they first arranged their other lodgings. At first I dismissed it as a crazy, knee-jerk idea (You know, "Ooooh, wouldn't it be great if they stayed here with us? Like a long slumber party!"), but it wouldn't go away. I began to wonder if the idea didn't originate in my fevered, little brain.

So, I did what any coward does when faced with a possible message from the Lord. I threw out a fleece. I began praying about it and prayed specifically that if God wanted me to make the offer, it would have to come from The Viking with no prompting whatsoever from me. I figured that would do it! The Viking loves my sister and her family as much as I do but he is a lot more prudent when it comes to issues of cramming our house full of people. I come from a family who believes if you have enough room on the floor of one room in your house to squeeze one more sleeping bag, you have room for family. The Viking, thankfully, has more sense and provides much needed balance for me in that area.

Long story short, Dharma&Co. stayed with us for ten days. It went smoothly. Then they left and their plans fell through. A few days later, Dharma called. She was upset about it so I was upset about it. When I told The Viking what had happened (and why he had come home to find me distressed after just hanging up the phone), we talked for a few minutes about what we would do in their situation and then he said, decisively, "They should come here. The health of their children and their marriage is more important than any inconvenience we might have to put up with."

I burst into tears, we talked out a few quick details and then I was back on the phone with Dharma. We talked out a few more details, she and Vance talked out many more, blah, blah, blah, and they're coming on Tuesday. I'm very excited.

I know we're going to have our moments. I know you cannot smoosh two families into one living space without a few headaches. Man-Cub is losing his room, Redheaded Snippet has to sleep next to an aquarium housing two frogs, Nutmeg will spend the next four weeks being terrorized by two much younger, much bigger dogs, and we have to baby-proof everything, but it will be well, well worth it!

Dharma and I have never had the opportunity to be mommies together. We've had stolen bits of time with each other's children and have never gotten to do the small, day-to-day, ordinary life things together. And now we will! She'll have an extra set of hands to help with laundry, dishes, errands, or even just watching the kids so she can take a shower or (wonder of wonders) a nap. And I'll have someone to keep me company while I have to do the same things. We'll each have an ALLY. The Viking will get to have another man around the house to help kill the bugs, take out the trash, smoke cigars and drink whiskey on the kitchen porch. The kids will get to spend time with cousins and an aunt and uncle who are usually far away. I really do think it's going to be wonderful.

But, oh, there is so much to do! I need to clear space in our cupboards and closets, put away the breakable things so tempting to toddlers and give everything a thorough cleaning, not to mention figure out what we're all going to be eating and compose a grocery list.

So, you see why I have no business blogging? It really is most irresponsible of me. Guess I'd better be off and get started...

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