My Family

The Family That…

One by one, we all fell this weekend.  Well, Alex had already had his moment on Friday.  I also had a sore throat that day, but it wasn't as important to me as Alex's breathing, so I tried to ignore it.  By Saturday, I was the more miserable one, and then on Sunday – the day we had a yard sale, of course, Bill woke up sick.  Setting up and manning a yard sale when you're both congested and achy and miserable isn't the most enjoyable way to spend a weekend day, but it had to be done.

Fortunately Alex was greatly improved and mostly back to his normal cheery energetic self.  The kids wanted to have a lemonade stand, so we got that set up once the sun was a bit higher in the sky and the air was warm enough for people to actually want a cold refreshing glass of something.  They charged a quarter a glass (though Julia tried to sell it for three dollars at one point) and made $2.75.  I think they would have made more than that, but there were lulls that lasted a bit too long for the attention span of a 6-year-old entrepreneur and eventually Alex lost interest and went across the street, with Julia, to play with their friends. 

It was a beautiful day – perfect for a yard sale, or anything else outdoors – except that as the sun crept higher in the sky, my shady sitting area on the west side of the house grew smaller and smaller, and eventually I had moved the chair way back beside one of the recycle bins.  I was hot and my own entrepreneurial enthusiasm had disappeared along with the lemonade crew.  The last straw walked up the street in the form of two very-limited-english-speaking maids from the hotel way at the other end of our neighborhood.  They had apparently wandered all the way down my street on a break just to pick over my remaining junk and talk to each other in Spanish. 

I wish I was fluent in another language, but if it's not something said frequently on Dora the Explorer, then I don't know it.  Unfortunately neither of these ladies was saying goodnight to the frogs ("Buenas noches, ranas!") so I was definitely in the dark about whatever they were saying.  One of them spoke about as much English as I speak Spanish, so she occasionally would ask me a price or some other question and then translate to her friend.  Actually, she wasn't really asking – it felt more like I was being interrogated.  But I figured maybe she was just in a hurry. 

And then she pointed at the lemonade stand and demanded to know something, so I said "a quarter…twenty five cents," thinking they were thirsty after their hike from one end of the street to the other.  it was mid-day, and the sun was beating down.  It seemed a logical question.  She said something to the other woman and then looked back at me, pointed at the lemonade stand again and said "one."  So I obediently poured one glass of lemonade and brought it back.  She looked up from my table of kitcheny stuff and glared at me, shaking her head.  She didn't want it.  Her friend didn't want it.  I have no idea what she wanted, and my head was starting to hurt more and my shady spot was gone and I didn't like being ordered to do things that I couldn't understand.  So I stalked away with the plastic cup of lemonade and resisted the urge to throw it up the driveway.  That would have attracted yellow jackets, and I've had enough of them this year.

I'd also, clearly, had enough of the yard sale.  I don't enjoy yard sales.  It's probably why I don't have them all that often, and probably why I started dragging my heels as time drew me closer to the actual yard sale date.  I don't like haggling, I get annoyed when people try to talk me down on the price of something – it's ALREADY cheaper than dirt! – and smiling politely for any great length of time makes my face hurt.  Combine that with the feeling that someone was inflating a balloon inside my skull, and it really wasn't the best possible scenario.  But I tried.  I had remembered all morning to say "Hello!" in a friendly manner to the people who stopped by to pick things up and put them back.  I was gracious and grateful when someone actually bought something.  And a few people were genuinely nice to talk to.  But still.  As the day wore on, the yard sale got old.

At long last, the women settled on some stuff to buy, and the bossy one glared at me again and said "Bag!  Bag!"  I scurried inside the house to see if we had any kind of a bag big enough for her to tote her stuff with, and brought out the largest paper bag we had.  Was I supposed to provide bags?  No one else had demanded them.  Oh I hate it when my head hurts – I get stupider and stupider.  And it was when she ordered "Bag!  Bag!" again, so her uncommunicative friend could carry HER measly purchases that I realized I needed to close the store.  I stomped inside, grabbed one of the paper bags from where I'd tossed them earlier in my frenzy of obedience.  I stomped back outside and handed the bag to Bossy Lady.  And then I stood there and scowled until they disappeared up the street. 

And then I went inside (Bill was lying down) and suggested we leave some of the stuff at the foot of the driveway with a big "FREE!" sign and bring the rest of it inside.  I was pretty much done.

So that was Sunday.  Bill got up and helped me pack up the store, and then we both went inside and did little else.  I don't remember what we made for dinner.  I think the whole thing was a la carte, with whatever looked edible in the fridge. 

And Monday morning, early, it was Julia's turn.  She woke up crying around two, and when I went in to check on her, she felt pretty hot.  Lovely.  I brought her downstairs, gave her some Tylenol, and we sat on the couch and watched two hours of tv.  I brought her back to bed at 4 and kept her home for the day.  Bill stayed home.  I was – of course – home.  Alex went back to school.

Today both kids are at school – Julia, in fact, has become an adult somehow and miraculously dressed herself without asking for help, brushed her own hair to the best of her ability, and marched herself into daycare without a goodbye kiss.  I had to grab her head and kiss it just to prove I was still boss.

Bill's home for one more day.  And I'm on the mend.

So weird for all of us to get sick together like that.

I choose to blame the yard sale.  Yeah, I know, the timing doesn't line up.  I don't care.  I still blame the yard sale.


P.S.  My Tuesdays with Dorie post and pictures will be up later today.  Some time after I've baked and photographed this week's recipe.

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