Thursday, September 11, was a beautiful day here just outside Chicago. It's that way every single year it seems since 2001, when it was one of those perfect late-summer days where there isn't a cloud in the sky, the air is warm but there is little humidity and you tell yourself that you could handle living in a place where it would be like that 365 days a year.
And yet I was grumpy as hell.
First, and I don't know how to say this without sounding like an arrogant jerk, but I am completely fed up with never being able to approach 9/11 without being bombarded with the command to "never forget." Really? Gee, I've lived by O'Hare airport pretty much my entire life. Every time I see the underside of a plane I think about watching the second plane hit the WTC. The only way I'll ever forget September 11 is when I die.
Here's the thing, though, I want to forget it. Well, in a way. If I had my druthers, I'd forget about September 11, 2002. See, every year, when the rest of the nation flashes back to 2001, I can't help but think about 2002. My father died that June and the first anniversary of the attacks three months later drove me crazy. I was encased with grief over my sudden loss, and I couldn't stand the collective grief of an entire nation. I wanted to stand up and scream, demanding that my father be remembered in the way that every one else was-read his name, toss a flower into a pond, ring a bell.
It wasn't the most rational of reactions, but then grief discriminates when someone you love dies; that person automatically goes to the head of the line.
I must be the only person in the world who thinks more about 9/11/02 than 2001. I can recall most of where I was all day in 2001. I guarantee that I can recall every single thing about 2002.
Second, I went to the doctor Thursday afternoon for a cortisone shot. My back is better but still iffy, and my doctor recommended a shot. Big deal. I was born with a kidney defect that didn't show up until I was nine and necessitated major surgery. I have had other medical issues since and I bet that I have had a needle jammed into me over one thousand times. I've never had any kind of reaction to one. Until this one, of course. Heck, I blanched just at the shot of Novocaine they gave me to numb my spine and had to wait thirty minutes before they could give me the cortisone shot. That one didn't hurt at all, yet within two minutes of getting it I was puking into a garbage can in the doctor's office.
What should have been a fifteen minute process took two hours. I was sleeping this morning when I felt a tug on my lower back. It was Desmond pulling at a band-aid that they must have applied after the shot. I had no idea it was there. Forty-eight hours later Desmond tried to take it off but couldn't. He did succeed in making me yelp. As did Kristen when she yanked it off.
Some days are dry, some days are leaky
Yesterday (Friday) we had a plumber come out to investigate a leak in a pipe running from the first floor toilet to the basement. The leak itself wasn't bad, but the growth accompanying it was, in a word, nasty. Sure enough, the seal beneath the toilet blew and there has been a trickle of "stuff" seeping steadily into the surrounding area for who knows how long. And what we can see growing on the outside of the pipe is but a smidgen of what is inside the Petry dish. A floor has to be ripped up; baseboards have to be replaced.
Some days come clean, other days are sneaky
Around the time that we found this out it started to rain, and it pretty much hasn't stopped. According to the news, the area where we live has had about eight inches of rain since Friday midnight. We have a basement. A nice full, finished basement that we barely use. Other people use it store stuff. Stuff like furniture that doesn't fit into smaller homes now. Stuff like boxes of crap that should have been dealt with a long time ago.
Some days take less, but most days take more
Well, it's been dealt with now. There's been water coming into the basement all day. The pump works, it just can't keep up with the volume. There is a lake behind our home that wasn't there yesterday. Many backyards are now part of this lake. Neighbors behind us have first-floor flooding. I know things for us could be a lot worse.
Some slip through your fingers and onto the floor
Still, there's carpeting that's been destroyed, and wood work that will need to be replaced. The water keeps coming in slowly and every time I think I have a handle on it I come back in fifteen minutes and feel my feet sink a little deeper into the water-logged rug. We got most of what needed to be salvaged up off the floor, but it is going to have to be moved upstairs eventually so that the carpeting can be ripped out.
Some days are sulky, some days have a grin
As I said, it could be worse. We could be in Galveston or Houston. Of course, I heard a forecast just an hour or so ago that gives the possibility of seven more inches of rain here in the next 24 hours, courtesy of what is left of Ike. It's not raining here right now, but it is supposed to start again in about two hours, and it looks like once it does that it won't stop for a while. I'm seriously concerned about waking up to two feet of water in the basement instead of two inches. I don't think I can do anything to stop it.
And some days have bouncers and won't let you in