This new house of mine is trying to kill me, but I’m being stoic about it.
(Okay, maybe not I’m not being exactly stoic, as there were a few tears the day I almost got killed from the broken gas line and yes, maybe I did tell the contractor to get the @#!$ off my property, but the point is, I survived that part.)
But, the morning after my return from England, this new house tried, once again, to do me in.
I awoke early, put the teakettle on and stepped outside on the deck to let the dog out. Rubbing my arms in the cool air, I took a stroll down the stairs to check out the grass we’d planted before we left. It only took one step for my feet to fly up in front of me and then I’m doing a Winnie The Pooh down the stairs, bump, bump, bump, on the back of my head.
As I lay on the wet ground, my first thought was, “Uh oh. I hit my head.” My second thought was…well, I don’t think there was a second thought, just tears and sobbing — the big kind, where you can’t catch your breath and snot runs uncontrollably out of your nose and you don’t care. With my head resting on a patch of newly grown grass, I watched my un-Lassie-like dog wander happily around the backyard ignoring my pleas for help. I decided, at that very moment, I hated this new house – every unfinished inch of it.
When the damp ground began to seep through my sweater I thought it was time to assess the damage I’d done. I sat up, patted the back of my head and peaked at my fingers. I let out a sigh of relief when they came away free of blood. Not sure if I could, or should, stand up, I contemplated my next move. Rubbing at the ache in my posterior I discovered I had my cell phone in the back pocket of my jeans. I dialed our home number (yes, I still have a home phone.) When my husband, John, answered, I burst back into my hiccupping sobs.
“What? What is it? Where are you? What’s going on?”
“Fell,” I bawled.
“Outside,” I snuffled.
“Front or back?”
I’ve never been so happy to see his half-a-shaving-cream-covered face in my life. He helped me up and we worked our way back inside.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” he asked, stepping away from me to let our happy-go-lucky dog back into the house.
I ran into the guest bathroom and blubbered, “I’m fine,” before slamming the door.
I could go into great gushy details about how my husband coaxed me out and tucked me into bed with a nice hot cup of tea, but I won’t — because that’s not what happened. There is nothing more terrifying to my husband than a crying woman, so he returned to his sink to finish shaving.
A few minutes later, as I sat on the floor of the bathroom unrolling yards of toilet paper to keep up with my blubbering, I heard the whistle of the teakettle. Since I knew John would be protected from the kryptonite of my tears by the door, I continued with my mopping up efforts and the teapot screeched on.
Finally, Husband’s voice. “Teresa?”
Unable to answer, I blew my nose loudly.
A timid knock at the door and then he muttered, “Hey…ummmm…err…”
“Yes?” I asked, looking at the doorknob, willing it to turn.
“The teakettle is whistling.”
I will survive this new house, but right this moment, I’m not sure my husband will survive me.