Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like This

The platitudes rise up on the tides of my disquiet mind; when it rains it pours, good things come to those who wait, this too shall pass. I want to shake them out my ears like bubbles of water from diving too deep, but they won’t go away. Frowning, I push my tumbled night hair back and pull on my socks. Padding towards the kitchen, the kids are already bickering downstairs, as I tip the tea kettle under the faucet and look out the window. The blue flames kick to life under the kettle and sizzle the tiny droplets clinging to the chrome to instant steam. Low morning sunlight streams through the window of Little House, and lands on the cerulean blue marble that tops the tea kettle. I love this tea kettle- it was a wedding gift a million years and three lifetimes ago, but the blue marble makes me happy.

I turn and stare vacantly out the window, tuning out the kids and noticing the lacy edges of gold on the Maple in the yard. That’s new- in the last few days its gone from deep green to frosted with autumn. By next week, it will be entirely yellow and the yard will be filling with leaves. The kettle bubbles and hums quietly behind me. Into my mind springs the scripture from Ruth 1:16, like a bright shiny flame. It matches the blue marble in intensity. Where did that come from? It’s preferable to the platitudes, I think. I should have paid more attention. A watched pot never boils…

My tea is steeping now, tendrils of curling steam rise in the still sunlight and leaving a ring on the old round oak table. The kids stampede upstairs in search of food, and I imagine a clipped British narrator giving the voiceover to my morning “And then the young, in search of food, find their mother, who has been stalking zebra down by the watering hole, but was stymied when a crocodile took her wildebeest…” The tendrils of steam from my tea are now scattered and wild from the flury of kids’ hungry mouths. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush…

The phone rings.

My friend’s voice in my ear, and from the hello alone, I know all is not well and plans for the weekend have been derailed. Hot tears spring to my eyes. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just life, and school and responsibilities- but I had been looking forward to getting out, getting prettied-up and having some non-Serengeti time. Sometimes its nice not to be mom for a little bit. I wipe tears with the back of my sleeve, sniffing, and spread peanut butter on the first of six English Muffins Bean will consume today. Sadness washes over me. All dressed up and no place to go…

The baby birds are fed, clothed and evicted from the nest for the day, and I lean against the door and shoot the deadbolt. Quiet. Opening my laptop, the familiar Apple chimes ding, and the new software and OS I had installed this week brighten the screen. Pulling up my paper for a feminist theory class- oh the irony- the little rainbow of hell starts to spin. Oh no. Don’t panic. It keeps spinning. And spinning. No no no no no.

The the application quits. Oh no. Do I want to sent it to Apple? I never know- and this time I play it safe and do. I relaunch. Nothing. I force-quit, and reboot. Happy chimes, for a brief shining moment, it seemed all was well, but no… the spinning rainbow of hell. And on and on and on. It’s always darkest before the dawn…

I call my friend whose son had installed the new software for me on Sunday. She offers to drop it off at Apple downtown since she is headed that direction. I weep with gratitude. Oh, yes, please- let the Geniuses have it- make the spinning rainbow of hell go away…

Turns out my hard-drive was in the middle of taking a flying leap off a a high bridge onto a hard surface. The ever-so-slightly snotty boy at Apple informs me the drive is a total loss, and surely I had used Time Machine and backed up recently, right? Yeah, um… No. The irony? There is a backup drive was already ordered and on it’s way via UPS; I was about to get all responsible. By days… If it can go wrong, it will…

It wasn’t even 9 a.m. I want a do over. Got up on the wrong side of the bed…

11 thoughts on “Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like This

  1. I dislike snotty computer-Apple-Store people. I’m sorry, I just do. Hello, if I knew what I was doing with this computer, I WOULDN’T BE HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    I hope your day gets better.

  2. A rose by anyother name is still a rose- I guess you could say the same about a pile of crap- at the end of the day it’s still a pile of crap! Sorry for the computer problems- really hate computer problems! We’ve had a couple of hard drives go down, and a motherboard…. Makes me want to rip my hair out! And I know how much you rely on yours.

  3. Nice thoughts on the blue marble.. I have the same tea kettle which was also a wedding present many moons ago. Just forgot it hnon the burner and wrecked it. I want to find another one. Do you know what it is called. I have been trying to do an Internet search and came up with your blog. Thanks, Jane

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