7:30 am: Wake up against my will: Shelly is calling on the house phone. They are at a rest stop outside of Mammoth Lakes, CA. Their car won’t go more than 30 mph uphill, so Rob is replacing the coils.
8:00 am: Might as well start my day. Shelly’s shower has a neat “mist” setting, but I can’t figure out the hot water. (Bathroom renovations were a DIY project, so the hot water situation is tricky.) I head to my parents’ bathroom for a normal shower. I count 4 bottles of shampoo, 3 bottles of conditioner, and a bottle of men’s 3 in 1 body wash/ shampoo/ conditioner, or /moisturizer, or /whatever. Mom’s hair is buzz-cut and Rob’s isn’t much longer, so why they need so many wet-hair products is beyond me.
9:00 am: Head out to breakfast with my laptop. I try to pull yesterday’s pictures off my camera’s memory card, but I freeze my beloved computer. I imagine that it’s saying, in a very robotic voice, “Does not compute…does not compute…”
10:00 am: Start chatting with a friend.
1:00 pm: Finish chatting with a friend.
2:00 pm: Arrive at my own home to check on my offspring. I take Jess and John to pick up some last-minute odds and ends for the fishing trip. I invite them to dinner. We call Drew to invite him, too. He’ll come, but Jess and John didn’t tell him they were leaving and now he’s upset. Normally, that would make him happy. Looks like PMS today.
PMS: Pre-Manhood Syndrome. It’s the same as female pre-menstrual syndrome only cheaper, cramp-free, and less predictable.
3:00 pm: Meet with my coach, Claire. Coaching is hard to summarize, but I’d say Claire is a mentor who helps me move forward when my life feels stuck. An early session went something like this:
Claire – If you didn’t have any worries and could do anything in the world, what would you do?
Me – I’d go back to school and become a writer.
Claire – Go back to school. Become a writer.
It wasn’t that simple, but you get the idea.
4:30 pm: Compose “Noncation, Day 1” blog post. I resolve the problem with the photos. I realize I haven’t taken any new ones today. Bummer.
6:30 pm. Arrive back at my parents’ house. Shelly sends me a picture of the folks from her phone:
I text back, “They’re still smiling! Good job, Shell!”
7:30 pm. Dinner at Robin’s BBQ. The food is marginal and the service is worse. I remember thinking the same thing last time we ate here. I decide not to eat here again. Someone at another table orders the Big Messy Sundae. It’s a huge dessert goblet dunked in hot fudge, rolled in pecans, and filled with a half quart of ice cream, more fudge, and whipped cream. John’s jaw drops to the floor. I decide I might come back, but only for dessert.
9:45 pm: Braid Jess’s hair into two tight French braids so she won’t have to bother with it on the trip. I haven’t fed the cat yet. Usually she’s at her dish crying by now.
10:30 pm: Joe takes everyone home. Peace and quiet at last!
11:30 pm: Put wet food in Sahara’s dish. I bang on it hard with the spoon so she can hear it wherever she is, but she’s a no-show.
12:00 am: Conduct my pre-bedtime duties. I see Sahara outside, so I try to coax her in. She stares at me like I’m a monkey, then gracefully ducks under Rob’s car. My instructions are to lock the cat door and block it with a huge rice container whether Sahara is in or out. I guess she’s out tonight.
12:30 am: Crawl into bed. I only leave one kitchen light on this time, but I fall asleep with the TV on.