Saturday, June 9, 2012

Damn You, Responsibility.


I’m so sorry. These words sound hollow…even to me. How can something I adore so much (this place…and by association, each and every one of you) be so difficult to lovingly maintain?

Anyone??

*crickets chirping…*

So here’s the poop, peeps. This is by no means an excuse for my absence…let’s just call it a defense, if we may.


Judge Judy: “Sure, Kathryn. I’m just so damned glad to see you. I will allow it.”

Kathryn: “Oh. Wow. Thanks, Jude…I mean, your honor. Do you have any peppermint candies in that secret pocket in your robe? My mouth’s a little dry.”

Judge Judy: “Sorry. They’re in the robe I use for real hearings. Proceed.”

Ouch.

Anyway. You know I’m a single mom with three sons. You know my eldest has autism and needs a stable environment to live and work, requiring a full-time advocate to figure out how to facilitate improvement in his less-than-ideal living conditions. Evidently, that “full-time advocate” is….well, me. Unless someone’s volunteering?

Anyone?

**More crickets chirping…**

That’s okay. My life, my issues. I know we’ve all got something. 

My middle son (Taylor) has just finished his 2nd year of college, is now officially home with all of his crap stuff and is just now learning to drive, got his license yesterday and plans to drive himself the 5 hours north to his new school in September to get his bachelors degree. Why he is so against the idea of my wrapping him in a little bubble wrap for added protection and accompanying him on the drive so he’ll have backup in case he sneezes and gets snot all over the steering wheel, I’ll never know. He knows I always have Kleenex tucked somewhere.


You’re dismissed, Judge. I hope that robe can double as a tissue ‘cause mine is now officially unavailable.

My youngest (the infamous Connor) is finishing up 9th grade and can tend to be more than a little crabby. He’s in the midst of finals and he keeps calling everyone a “nord”, which I’m thinking is a cross between a nerd and a Nordic person. The connection is lost on me...evidently making me even more of a nord.

I’m working full-time, toggling between our DCH auto group’s Toyota and now our Acura location. Double the Twitter, double the Facebook, double the compliance/website maintenance/feeds/reputation management/meetings, meetings and meetings about the meetings. When I finally arrive home, I hit the computer and split my evenings between one part-time job and two freelance gigs. It’s busy…it’s challenging…it’s downright intimidating. I feel blessed to have the work when I know so many don’t. I feel guilty that I’m not a better cook/housekeeper for the boys but according to them, the most important thing that I can give them is the internet.


Score!

I have 716 unopened emails presently in my inbox. Many are garbage…just as many are not. I know what needs to be done…but until then, my Band-Aid is to create sub-folders with the stuff that simply cannot be ignored, i.e.: Taylor’s college tuition paperwork or Connor’s required physical in order to enter 10th grade. I chip away at the rest…but as fast as I hit "delete"...well, you know. And, I don't want to miss anything.

Lest you think that I’m this disorganized, stressed-out hot mess every single freakin’ day (I secretly am), know this: Recently, (the beginning of April is still considered recent, right?) my two sisters persuaded me to take a 3-day weekend and head to the Cape for a mini getaway to celebrate my birthday, life and sisterhood. But mainly my birthday.


We stayed with our longtime and dear family friends, Mr. and Mrs. Copp, at their incredible oceanfront home. In my humble opinion, nothing restores the spirit better than the gentle roar of the surf and I am once again reminded why oceanfront real estate deserves that hefty price tag.

The only negative to staying with the Copps is the steep staircase that stands between you and digging your toes into the sand of that luscious beach.

Their staircase consists of 77 steps, I believe…and comes complete with three landings, to allow one to drop your beach stuff and take a moment to drink in the view.


And so it came to pass on our first night there that one of the three sisters decides to turn in early…as does our most gracious hosts. This leaves my sister Kerry and I to fend for ourselves. It is a moonless night and after several cocktails, we decide to go for a walk. Realizing we may not have the full capacity to walk down 77 stairs to the beach, we responsibly head out the door that leads to the street. After walking at a brisk pace for what felt like half a mile (in reality, it was more like 100 feet), we boldly announced, "Those stairs are totally doable!" and we gleefully stumble, stagger, tiptoed through the front door, up the stairs, across the living room and slipped through the French doors that lead to the back deck…finding our way to the gated landing at the very tippity top of those stairs. The illumination from the deck was extremely dim from this vantage point…and looking down, it was a big black hole. Kerry chose this moment to solemnly remind me that she’s deathly afraid of heights and that this staircase has been the cause of many a terrifying nightmare going back as far as her early childhood.

Really? Now you tell me this?

But she doesn’t want to turn back…and she’s holding my hand and my arm in a death grip as she takes a deep breath and tells me to open the gate and says, “let’s do this” which is already becoming a challenge because it’s difficult to open the clasp on the gate with only one hand and I’m thinking I’m losing the feeling in my arm from her vise-like grip.

Slowly…step by cautious step, we find our way to the first landing, where Kerry has taken on some breathing technique that reminds me of childbirth (“hee-hee-hee-hee”) and I’m wondering if I could leave her there and run back up for one more martini before we hit the beach.

By the time we hit the second landing, we were in the midst of a heated debate, with Kerry insisting there was a definitive sway to the stairs…and me spouting some bullshit about the psychologically-proven “sway factor” (as it’s known in the industry) whereas someone who’s consumed several shots of tequila, coupled with acrophobia, married with a pitch-black evening and 77 steps will produce the essence of swaying, whereby none actually exists. I’m not sure she could even hear my b.s. explanation over her “hee-hee-hee-hee” breathing…and by the time we hit the next (and final) landing area, it occurred to me that we were still going to have to climb back up these stairs, unless we slept on the beach…which was starting to look like a stellar option.

After pausing again, we stand up and prepare for the final leg of our mission and as I extend my hand toward the latch on the gate, Kerry asks me how much further I think it’ll be. I can hear the roar of the waves below us…but I can’t see much of anything. I imagine myself as a raccoon…or maybe a sloth?…in a vain attempt to create some kind of night vision as I slowly rotate my head first to the left, then to the right…back to the left and then to the right…trying to differentiate between light and shadow…or in this case, pitch-black from…not so much. I’m sensing a span of white from the beach below…but shouldn’t I be picking up on something dark as well? Something like maybe, I don’t know…the stairs directly below me, for instance? Kerry can just make out my head-cocking, head-swaying movement and she starts to laugh as she simultaneously swings open the gate and prepares to step down…into NOTHING. That’s the moment I realize that the stairs…literally…aren’t there. With a shriek, I lunge towards her, grab a handful of her jacket and jerk her backward, sending both of us toppling to the floor of the deck.

She’s like, “WTF?!”

I’m laughing this maniacal laugh and I gasp, “No stairs. There’s no freakin’ stairs. OhmyGod…they didn’t tell us they haven’t put in the #&*%@ stairs.”



Here’s the view the next morning from the beach. Every house on this strip pulls up the very bottom portion of their stairs for the winter; otherwise the ocean at high tide just sweeps it all away. Evidently, we would have known this had we thought to ask…our hosts also felt it would have been fairly obvious had we attempted our descent during (reasonable) daylight hours.

So, we survived…and took the longer, windy way down to the beach for the remainder of our stay. It was positively beautiful.



I hope everyone is well.

From my heart to yours, I wish you health, prosperity and love…and some much-needed time to appreciate it all- 

xo


Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

What cape? Where? Holy moly I'd give almost anything for a wiggling my toes experience on that beautiful beach... Glad you didn't fall down those rocks, though... ain't enough band-aids for that kind of a mishap.
Good to hear you're alive and kicking!

Lauren said...

Good job catching that thing about the stairs! I probably wouldn't have... Even inebriated you have cat-like reflexes. And good on your sisters for taking you away for a couple of days! It was nice hearing from you again!

Jerry said...

I'm just excited to see you again. Go -- go do your living stuff and life-accomplishing thing. All I need is a fix of you now and then, and I'm charged up and ready to go.

Be loving, be kind, be you. And watch those damn stairs.

Love ya'

Kimberly said...

Well, hello! I debated about leaving a comment and adding to your already overloaded email inbox, but, as you can see, I chose to go ahead. So glad you are still kicking! With your incredibly busy life, it is no wonder you haven't taken the time to blog. Who could blame you.

Also glad to hear you got away for some R&R. And that you didn't end up all over those rocks. :)

Gigi said...

Yay! So glad to see you and a (belated) happy birthday!

What a lucky girl you are to have sisters that recognized the fact that you needed a beach retreat for some R&R. Sounds as if life hasn't slowed down one bit and you desperately needed it.

Pop in when you can and let us know how you are - because although life is crazy busy you are missed.

sage said...

I am at my parents home... no internet and I ain't going to try to respond to blogs via my phone, so I am at the coffee shop that serves as my office when I'm here, after spending two hours in the early morning (ie, sunrise) walking on the beach. Eat your heart out Kathryn. Funny post!

Alan W. Davidson said...

Welcome back, Kathryn!

I, too, have fallen into the world of non-blogging. Not sure why. Perhaps I should find a sandy beach someplace as well (not an easy thing to find here on The Rock).

For future reference...drinks and dark stairways don't mix, my friend. Glad that you spotted the absence of stairs. Keep writing.

BlackLOG said...

Life is like a roller coaster full of good and bad...You just have to hang on through the bad times and wait for the good. Glad to see you back

wendy said...

Thank you for sharing the part about the steps being taken in for the winter. I wouldn't have known that. Not that I go to The Cape much(never)but good to have in the back of my mind for that just-in-case day I do get to go. Glad you and your sister weren't hurt but instead made a very funny family memory to cherish.

Jen said...

Whoa...I definitely would have taken a tumble! Glad you got to enjoy a little getaway from the craziness of everyday life!

Alicia said...

Oh my darling Kathryn!!! It's so nice to hear from you. It sounds like life is really busy for you, but it sounds also as though you are enjoying it!

Glad you were able to get away with the sisters for a great getaway...sometimes we just need one.

In this day and age we have to be grateful just to have a job, or in your case...jobs! I think about it all the time when I'm getting readdy to whine about it at work....I still whine, but at least I realize how lucky I am.

You go girl...live life!

justsoyouknow said...

Oceanfront houses has a huge impact in portfolio optimization. Maybe the inner peace and the serenity it brings has something to do with it.

Angelina said...

well girl, you got me in giggles again! It's good to laugh, and it's good you saved your sister. That will come in handy someday. lol

My recently trip to NYC with my sister was packed with many laughs and fortunately for us, no mishaps either. NOthing can keep our spirits high like sisterly time. :)

Entre Nous said...

Yup, I needed this, things were begining to seem a bit bleak. Canned laughter just wasn't doing it. Thank You.

Lynn said...

AW--I know I'm late on the commenting, but you deserved the break, Wonder Woman. :) I've been taking a blogging hiatus as well--too much time sucked away commenting--but I loooove commenting so much. Sigh. And I adore YOU. So. :) Sounds like you had a loverly time.

Jerry said...

Come back.

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