That didn’t take long. For all the optimism about the new year, things are starting out rough.
For starters, our Christmas tree is still up. We are next level lazy because we are still plugging it in at night. Full on denial. Today isn’t looking much better than the rest as far as inspiration is concerned.
Second point of 2018 suck is the cold snap that has settled over the eastern half of the US. Freezing pipes and sheets hanging over misaligned doors is bad but the worst part is my newsfeed being consumed with amateur meteorologists giving me the play-by-play on what the exact temperature is at the moment. I have three ranges of cold; 40-60 = chilly, 25-40 = cold, 25 and below = f*%king freezing (FF). It has been FF for two days and will continue to be FF for about four more. As much as it bites for us normal folks who have to endure a car heating up and windows defrosting, I can’t help but think about a guy I met a few weeks ago on some railroad tracks in the woods. I’ll get back to the list of complaints in a moment but let’s have a side story.
While inspecting an old railroad crossing a man came walking up the tracks. We had an interesting conversation. He was dressed in multilayered Carhart jackets, worn work boots, and carrying a large pick axe. Our talk went like this:
Man: I don’t want no trouble.
UD: That makes two of us. How are you today?
Man: I’m good. People say I ain’t got no home but I got a good home. Right over there. Been there about five years.
UD: Sounds good to me.
Man: You guys saved my life.
UD: … your welcome?
Man: And Jesus. Jesus saved my life too. You might remember me. I got hit by a car two years ago over on Airways Blvd.
UD: Seems like I remember that. Uh… how, how are you?
Man: I got better.
UD: Good. Good.
Man: My name’s Rufus. I watch the front here. Ol’ Caveman he watches the back.
UD: Good to meet you Rufus. I’ll be sure to say hi to Caveman as well. I notice you have a large pick axe…
Rufus: Oh this. There was some city types coming into my tent and stealing food. Ain’t nothing worse than a damn thief. We are good people over here. No stealing. There is a woman living out here.
UD: Sounds like a good community.
Rufus: She got two kids too.
UD: It sounds like a rough life for children.
Rufus: We are just houseless. That over there is our home.
UD: No argument from me.
Rufus: Lots of snakes though. I bet I killed sixty cottonmouths.
UD: This is their habitat. I’d say you have seen a few.
Rufus: Let me ask you something…
Rufus: You believe in Jesus?
UD: Doesn’t everyone?
Rufus: Not everyone. (Twirls his weapon)
UD: He’s kind of everywhere, I don’t see how you get past that.
Rufus: EXACTLY. Let me ask you something else.
Rufus: What do you think about the Old Testament?
UD: Several books. Lots of weird names. God creates the world and incites a lot of war. What do you think of the Old Testament?
Rufus: My deacon says we can’t listen to it anymore. He says it ain’t no good. Can you believe that?
UD: I can’t.
Rufus: I mean the Old Testament is half of the Bible! How can you ignore it.
UD: I feel exactly the same. We are on the same page. By the way. You can set that pick axe down if it is getting heavy. I don’t mind.
Rufus: Nah, I gotta get going. Hey, thanks for being so nice. People aren’t usually nice.
UD: I guarantee Rufus, if I see you out here I’m going to say hi.
Rufus: Be sure you do!
And with that he walked down the tracks and back into the forest. Now I think about the homeless people living in the outskirts of town. I hope they are warm and the children fed.
The third part of the New Year suck was coming home at ten minutes until midnight on New Years Eve to the distinct smell of soured milk. Most would say it is a sweet vomitty odor. It had been eluding us for a day. Supermom said she smelled something the day before but I couldn’t quite make it out. Now I smelled it for sure. We searched all around the chest of drawers. Nothing made sense and the smell was everywhere. Then I spotted an overturned travel shampoo bottle with oozing liquid seeping from the top. There was a brown and white chunky liquid inside the bottle. After further investigation we solved the mystery.
Our Elf-On-The-Shelf, Elsie, fell from her perch on the ceiling fan one night a few weeks ago. She needed to rest in a make-shift bed on our chest of drawers.
Jane decided that fluids would help her heal faster so she made a magic concoction of milk chocolate and water. She sealed it in a travel shampoo bottle and left it hidden for two weeks. The perfect recipe for a room to smell like vomit. So at midnight, in the first few moments of the new year, I had a hand full of Clorox wipes trying to knock back the smell enough that we could sleep. Pro tip: Using a diffuser to try and overpower the smell with Eucalyptus oil does not work. It just opens your sinuses to the vomit smell.
So here we are. Day two and hoping for a turnaround.
If you like finding rotten objects or random encounters with homeless people, this post is for you. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.
Ugh. Sour milk is bad, but sour chocolate milk is horrid. Loved your sideline story – next time I meet a homeless guy with a pickaxe, I’ll be sure to be very, very polite. But I do hope it’s warm enough wherever he and his colleagues are staying. We have a blizzard coming in here today, and I would not want to be out there with nowhere to go.
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Oddly enough I felt safe. I do worry about their warmth. Good luck with the blizzard!
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I have been thinking of the homeless, too. I hope they manage. I always speak. It would be awful not to be considered a person. I saw a homeless man sitting quietly in a restaurant one freezing day. I got the waitress to take him a large coffee and big breakfast. As I left, I went by and spoke. I didn’t want to embarass him, just reach out. Homeless put are not lazy. They are probably just desperate, mentally ill, or addicted to alcohol or drugs. At this moment, I have two relatives who are living hand to mouth, not just paycheck to paycheck.
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