Before Perú


December 10, 2014

One of Bear’s family members passed away this week. He has traveled to the southwest to be with them, and I am here holding down the cave: 2400 sq. ft. of house, two dogs, one cat, five chickens and myself.

It seems like a lot, but it’s not typically that bad. The dogs and cat gets their portion of food for the day every morning and work on it throughout the day. They usually get fresh water two to three times a day, so once before we leave for work and at least once after. The chickens are fed and watered basically every day, but sometimes their food carries over for a second day. In the winter, their water still has to be check to make sure it hasn’t frozen over, but the coop is only cleaned out bi-weekly or so when it’s cold. The house is big, but Mama Bear and Papa Bear take care of the basement (except for the laundry room), so that subtracts 500 sq. ft. from what we need to take care of. My sister lives in one of the bedrooms on the upstairs floor which subtracts another 144 sq. ft or so. The second spare room is the nursery, and the door is always shut because I’ll typically cry if I see anything inside of it, so that’s another 144 sq. ft. we don’t have to take care of right now. So, what is that… 2400 minus 500 is 1900, minus 144 is 1756, minus 144 is 1614. So for the next week I’m looking at 1614 sq. ft. of house to take care of by myself.

Taking care of all of these things is typically so easy… because, as I will soon realize, I’m not the one who takes care of these things. Bear does.

. . . . .

This morning I woke up with my own alarm (I’d barely call it waking up as I hadn’t fallen back into a sound sleep since he left for the airport at 2am this morning.) I hesitatingly rolled out of bed and began the process. See, when you work for an upscale salon, you can’t just roll out of bed, splash some water on your face, have a cup of coffee and head out the door. No. No, that is far from how unsimple it is. My typical mornings go something like this:

Alarm goes off.

I hit snooze for fifteen minutes.

Alarm goes off again.

Fifteen minutes wasn’t long enough. I reset it for ten.

Alarm goes off again.

I’m too cold to get out of bed, so I wait (hoping I don’t fall back asleep in the process) until I muster the courage to run to my closet for pants, a sweater and slippers.

Get up and hurry for warmer clothing.

Step into the bathroom. Pee. Consult the mirror about the destruction that is my face.

Muster the courage to undress and get into the shower.

Tell myself I’m going to take a short shower since I slept in.

Stay in the shower for much longer than I thought because I can’t muster the strength to step out into the cold.

Step into the cold, wrap a towel around me and want to sit on the bath rug curled into a little ball of desert-warmth until I feel warm enough to stand back up. Instead I tell myself not to be a child and begin the getting ready process.

Open the bathroom door to let the steam out so I can see into the mirror and begin to address the blank slate of my face and hair.

Do a little jiggle dance after the door is open to dance away the coldness.

Man up, grow a pair and sit on the sink counter deciding on how I’d like to look for the day.

Check the time to realize that I only have fifteen minutes or so and decide to just put on moisturizer, mascara and blush. Complete the look by twirling different sections of my damp hair so it dries with a fun texture (i.e. make it look like I did something to it.)

Decide not to brush my teeth until I get to work to spare a couple of minutes.

Pick out an outfit, put it on, consult with mirror, change outfit.

Pick out a different and better outfit, put it on, consult with mirror, change outfit.

Just put something on because I have 5-7 minutes before I have to be out the door and headed for the bus stop.

Take a moment to be disappointed in myself for thinking I have no clothing when I actually have an entire closet full of clothing.

Glance at my gym bag with I-appreciate-you-but-I-really-cant-stand-you eyes because I know if I pack it I will have even less time which is when I take another moment to be disappointed that I didn’t just make time to pack it the night before.

Pack gym bag which usually involves me grabbing socks from the dirty laundry pile because I abhor doing laundry.

Go downstairs. Check time. Realize I have three minutes or so. Grab jacket to put it on.

–This is usually the part where I put my jacket on, grab my already made lunch and head out.–

But, oh wait, Bear is gone, and I have to take care of the animals! And make my own lunch. (Because, yes, my husband is a saint and typically has a warm beverage and a lunch waiting for me on my way out.)


Set jacket down. Run into fireside room and fill dog bowl with food. Feed Kitty. Dump old water and fill water bowls with fresh, cold water. Run into the backyard. Thank God that they still have food from yesterday and fresh water! Run back inside. Grab a can of soup and a piece of fruit for lunch. Throw it in a lunch sack. Think about if I have everything I need for the day: lunch, phone, phone charger (to check bus times in case phone dies), scarf, hat, gloves, book light, book — BOOK! Dash up the stairs to my nightstand. Grab The Locust Effect.

Check time. I’m negative three minutes.

Run down stairs. Put jacket on. Shove book, lunch, etc. into my book bag. Swing gym bag over my neck as well.

I have six minutes to make it a half of a mile to the bus stop, and I’m technically not out of the door yet.

Think about giving up and calling the salon to tell them I’m going to be late.

Think again and decide to freaking sprint.

Sprint down my street, turn onto the next street, run over the hill, and from there I can see the bus stop from afar. The bus is sitting there. I’m running toward it; my book bag and gym bag are bouncing everywhere, and my little shoes are not meant to support running at all. I have four  minutes left, and I’m still too far away. I pick up the pace even though my lungs already feel like they might come out of my chest.

Sprinting and hoping that I make it, that the effort is worth it, annoyed at myself for sucking at mornings and at life.

I make it to the stop light and it’s got a do not cross symbol. Crap, crap, crap. I’m not going to make it. Staring at the bus across the street and down one block, I imagine it as a little race car revving it’s engine at the start line of the race. Vroom-vroom! There is no way I’m going to make it if I wait on this stop light, I’m thinking. I’ve got less than 60 seconds on the clock, but I’m not even sure when the minute changed, so I could only have 15 seconds.

Look both ways. ‘No cars too close to where I couldn’t dart across the street. So I make a run for it! Across the street and down the block hoping that he doesn’t decide to drive away while I’m this close.

And, then I find myself standing in front of the doors of the bus. He opens them, and greets me with a “‘Morning.”


I try to catch my breath as I’m reaching for my bus pass to scan on the scanner-doodle thing.

“Morning,” I finish the phrase.

And that was that. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes; even if you think the chances are slim, you get out there and try anyway. Ya never know what might happen!

…And the good news is, maybe I can skip the gym because I’ve already worked out for the day! Haha… or not.

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