Thursday, January 3, 2008

Not Exactly According to Plan...

For several reasons, I look forward to the week of Christmas and New Year's. I usually have a week to ten days off from work (yes, it's wonderful to work for a college!) and it's the one time of the year that I'm off work, at home, and things are fairly slow. I stack up books to read and choose movies to see. I clean out closets and get the house in order. I pray about the upcoming year and make a game plan, goals, even a few resolutions. All that was in the plan for this year.

Uh...things didn't exactly go according to plan.
Early on I had to make a few adjustments. My family intended to make a trip to Florida for the weekend before Christmas to celebrate with cousins. Two friends from out of town arranged to visit after Christmas, so the days started to fill up. But this was all good stuff, so no worries. I was excited and ready to get started.

Dave and I headed to Jacksonville on Friday night, the 21st. On Saturday my niece called, saying the rest of the family couldn't join us because my sister's dog was so sick--literally at the point of death. Ferbie's a member of the family. We all love him, so that was pretty nerve-wracking while it was touch and go. Fortunately, by Christmas he seemed to be out of the woods--and my niece got sick. Walking pneumonia. Whoa!

She had stayed at my house on Christmas Eve, and the doctor warned her she was quite contagious. She advised me to wash all the bedding she had used. No problem. I actually received two new coverlets for Christmas. I stripped two beds and put on my wonderful new bedspreads.

Next morning, Wendy threw up on one. She apparently never felt nauseous on the old one, but the brand new, spotless, non-picked-by-cat-claws matelasse' coverlet did her in. So I stripped another bed.

After three sets of company and all that stripping of beds, I figured I had about eight loads of laundry. No problem. I use my vacation to get my house in order, after all. I envisioned starting the new year with spotless beds and stacks of fluffy towels. Unfortunately, those coverlets had the same effect on the washing machine that they had on Wendy. That's right. It threw up suds and water all over the basement. Guess what we did New Year's Eve?

My washing machine is 17 years old and has taken a dislike to anything larger than a pair of my fat pants or heavier than two hand towels, so I decided I'd had enough. New Year's Day found me buying a new large capacity washer--plus a shop vac to soak up water, just in case.

New Year's evening we arrived home after spending the day with my family to find water running out the doors, down the stairs to the basement, dripping through the ceiling. This time a part in the toilet tank had broken and caused it to overflow. The shop vac was still in the car in the box. You should have seen me trying to drag that thing out, put it together, and read the instructions while water swirled around my feet. I think there's a piece missing from the vac, but it's too late to worry about returning it now. It is officially used.

So here I am, vacation over and back at work. Did I get my house in order? Ha! Things are pulled out of the watery rooms into dry spots and stacked ceiling high. Towels are all over the floors. I actually did make a few resolutions, and I set a record for breaking them. I resolved not to use my credit card this year. At 10 a.m. on January 1, I bought a washing machine--on my credit card. I planned to start reading the one-year chronological Bible again on January 1, but in the excitement of seeing my basement turned into a swimming pool forgot all about it.

But my biggest resolution of all was to get in better control of my time, to make plans and stick to them. I don't even want to talk about that one. Or about the iPod I gave my husband which worked for approximately 15 minutes and then died.

I think I'll go lie down now.