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Monday, May 22, 2006

A Glimpse Into My Life

Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy. ~ Nora Ephron

If you ever wonder where I get "it", perhaps here is some insight. "It" of course being that crazy way of scaring my wife with my ability to develop what I call a vision and she calls a stupid idea. (in truth we balance each other well) The following is an exerpt of a recent email I got from my mother that explains a lot about my family and myself.

Dear Matt,
Want to talk about a painful experience? Dad & I spent four hours choosing light fixtures and ceiling fans. Of the lights we chose, I'm only sure that I like the can lights and one set of pendant lights. Of the ceiling fans, I'm sure I don't like any of them because ceiling fans are inherently UGLY and only belong on porches or in a bedroom decorated for Ernest Hemingway or elephants. Ernest is dead and Dad
can not have an elephant for a pet.

Speaking of pets, let me tell you a story about your father and how, as he nears retirement, I'm losing any control that I ever thought I had over him. He convinced me that we needed a little golf cart to "ferry" elderly people from the driveway down to the dock. (I wondered, "What elderlypeople?" but didn't ask because I was afraid he might identify me!) Then the little transporting golf cart grew to be a little "golf cart truck" for use in ferrying landscaping materials from the driveway down to the lowerlevel of the lot. Of course, if we are going to be moving andscaping materials, we need something to carry them home from the store. Come
to find out, he's always wanted a trailer to pull behind his SUV. So he's spent several months pointing out "neat" trailers that might be just what he wants. But I really realized I was in this trouble when he informed me he "needed" a little Bobcat. I informed him I had no intention of starting over with pets at this point in my life (at least not until my husband died I would consider a pet, it certainly would not be a wild animal!

"No, no, not that kind of bobcat," he says. "I want one of those little tractors that are called Bobcats."
Being stupid, I asked, "What would you possibly do with one of those?"
To which he happily replied, "Dig holes!"
Now understand, this conversation started while we were running to and fro making selections in various categories for the Lake house so I assumed he knew something I wasn't aware of and asked, "For landscaping?"
"I don't know. Maybe."
"So you don't have any specific holes you need to dig?"
"Then why do we need this tractor thing?"
"To dig holes."
"You just want to dig holes?"
"Yeah, I've always just wanted to dig holes with a Bobcat. I could just digholes anywhere I wanted to."
It was at this point I thought we needed to clarify a few points. "You cannot go around digging holes just anyplace."

Then I saw it. That look. I've seen it before! Remember the famous "tree to put Christmas lights on" incident? The look was there then. Remember the plan to knock out thewindow in Elizabeth's bedroom and add a greenhouse as a surprise for me? (I foiled that by walking in on him as he was assembling his tools!) It was there then! And, while I can't personally testify to it, I just know it was there when, as a child, he plugged the drains and flooded the basement to make an indoor swimming pool! I may be in real trouble! (Please, don't bring the movie "Holes" with you when you come to the Lake in August!)

Love you,

P.S. Elizabeth, thought I'd send this to you so that you can also be a witness to the beginning of your father's mental illness!"
Honestly, I dont' think I ever knew about the green house, but it would have been a great idea. And, honey, I'm coming home with some old towels for the basement drain... get your swim suit ready... "I've got a plan" & "I can make it work"!