coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Growing Down, Not Up

Oh Man! (said in the voice of Swiper from Dora the Explorer) - is my hair ever crazy from the humidity!  It is so damn hot in Florida, like fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk kind of hot.  I kid you not.  I am letting my hair grow long enough to pull back in a ponytail so I can cool off.  Then I can wear a baseball cap or a bike helmet without looking like Bozo the Clown.  It is almost long enough now.  If that doesn't work out (i.e., I look ridiculous) I will cut it all off.   I have just been promising myself for so long that when I retired I would let my hair go gray, grow it long and become an eccentric old lady.  I hate to give up on a dream.

I have been babysitting our two and a half year old grandson, N, a lot this summer.  We play well together.  We do a lot of running around the house.  Literally.  He likes to chase me making monster sounds and I scream and run and pretend to be afraid of him.  We play hide and seek, although I am always the one who has to hide.  We pull the cushions off the sofa and make a fort.   I am unable to fit into it, but he insists that I at least get down on my stomach and push my head into the entrance.   Then we stand up inside the fort to break it all up.  Pillows fly, cushions crash.   Great fun.   He has one of those little trampolines where kids hold on to a bar and jump like crazy.   He “encourages” Grandpa and me to give him balls to throw at us with one hand while he jumps, holding on to the bar with the other hand.  When we swim in the pool he likes it when he and I gang up on Grandpa, squirting poor T without mercy using squirty bath toys we have turned into weapons.  It is Grandpa’s own fault because he is the one who first showed N how to turn bath and pool toys into weapons of mass destruction.  It is fun being a little boy.  I quite enjoy it.  The other day I babysat for him.  When his father came home from work at the end of the day, he asked N if he had seen Grandma that day (conversation starter, I guess).   N replied with great enthusiasm, “I saw Big Gwamma.  She’s a PARTY!”   I love that.  When you are a grandma, you have no pride.   You just want to be a party.

My granddaughter E, on the other hand, came in the house the other day after spending the night with her other Grandmother (Granny).  Wielding a wicked smile she threw her arms around me, gave me a heartfelt hug and announced “Sorry Grandma, but Granny is way more fun that you.”   I could not help but laugh out loud at her outrageousness.  E was thrilled that I let her get away with that.  Apparently my skills at entertainment do not extend to 10 year olds, but not for lack of trying.   I must hone my skills.  Perhaps Granny can give me some tips.   Granny, by the way, is my dear friend and she reads this blog.   She really is fun.  In fact, I wish she were MY Granny.  I can hear her laughing in my head right now.  She also thinks the things N and E do and say are funny.   In fact, so do Grandpa and Poppa and Granddaddy.   Come to think of it, I will soon call my mother to tell her about the “Big Gwamma, she’s a party” statement and she will laugh out loud from her nursing home bed.  It will make her day. 

Why do we think these things are so hilarious and precious?   Apparently it is genetically programmed into grandparents.  I remember my own sweet Grandma laughing hard at every precocious little thing any of her grandkids said or did.   Our antics gave her joy.  It was fun to make her laugh, and I took it quite seriously.  I had her in my life until 2000, and right up to the end I could make her laugh like a Gwamma should, and I still tried every time I saw her.  I would look her in the eye, flash a big smile and say something outrageous.  She loved me unconditionally and deeply.  I felt it.  I still feel it.  I really, really, really wish she were still around to see me being a Grandma.   She would then know how much of my Gwamma shtick is patterned after her.  Love is not something that diminishes with use; it only grows and extends itself through the generations.  Practice makes perfect.   


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Proximity Poisoning

The house is less chaotic now and we are working hard trying to turn it into a comfortable home.  We both love this place.  Eventually it will look presentable.  In the meantime I am drinking lots of coffee attempting to generate the false energy required to overcome my lingering inertia.  T is a self-propelled man machine, doing things all the time. He is constantly putting together shelves, fixing this and that, shelving books, moving boxes, driving hither and yonder buying things.  He mows the lawn an awful lot!  I am not even sure it needs to be mowed, but if it makes him happy to start up the mower and move it around the yard, who am I to judge?  I only know he is one happy man to have a home again. And if T is happy, I am happy.  Thank God for testosterone. I have a couple of work friends who have transitioned from female to male in recent years and they both said how energetic and happy they became once they started getting testosterone in their system. Not fair!!!!

We spent so much time trying to maintain our sanity and keep ourselves sedate (if not sedated) while we were in the trailer.  Now that we are in the house I think the dam has broken because emotions abound.  I know I have been a raving maniac for at least part of the past three weeks.  Anyway, the worst is over and we are doing well. AND we are still married. Amazing. We are both so happy to have our own spaces once again.  It makes me wonder how pioneer couples could stand each other living in one room, dirt floor log cabins with a bunch of kids.  I am quite sure they were all driven mad by proximity poisoning.

We finally got the pool fixed and operational yesterday.  Yay!!!  Today our new washer and dryer will be delivered.  Yay!!! 

T just got done mowing the lawn (!) and then left to drive to a hardware store to get some “stuff.”  I will confess that I forgot what he said he was going there for.  Not that I wasn’t listening.  Anyway, I really should get off the computer and start unpacking a box or two. As all you ladies know, in the absence of testosterone GUILT becomes the great motivator.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy Dance

Well, we kind of closed last Friday. We just could not take possession or legally get the keys until the title company received the signed contracts via FedEx on Monday

Point of information: no lawyers are involved in house sales/purchases in Florida. Instead, an Unholy Trinity of realtors, lenders, and title companies process all house sales/purchases.  I hate to admit it, but I think the absence of lawyers is why house purchases are so complicated down here.  Duh… There are no overpriced legal superheroes to move things along or intimidate lesser beings with their legal expertise and authority. Consequently, you end up putting your hopes and dreams in the hands of entrepreneurs, egomaniacs and bean counters. It is kind of a crap shoot. I am finding that quite a bit is different in Florida. 

There was no advance warning that we would not get the damn keys on Friday. The notary who was doing the remote closing for the title company (located hours away in Fort Lauderdale) did not even know. But one of the last documents was a form for our realtor to sign stating she would not release the damn keys to us until the title company received the “wet signatures” of the signed documents.  In realtor world “wet signature” means the original signature.  Very descriptive, I think.  I use that term all the time now because I think it is cool. Wet signatures.  “Excuse me, I need a Wet Signature over here.”

Anyway, our lovely realtor had never heard of such a thing in all the closings she had done.  We had already wire transferred our down payment to them the day before so it was not a matter of seeing the money.  The signed closing forms were scanned and emailed immediately after closing.  They had what they needed to release the damn keys. The closing took place on Friday afternoon.  The FedEx package could not arrive until Monday.  The whole weekend would be lost. No one at that table could believe that we could not have the damn keys. We thought it must be a mistake.

Our lovely realtor called to clarify and get their approval to give us the damn keys so we could get in to the house over the weekend and start cleaning. The movers were to arrive on Monday.  Unfortunately, the lady at the title company was adamant that we could not be given the damn keys until the FedEx package arrived on Monday with the Wet Signatures.  Our lovely realtor asked to talk to the manager.

Then a heartless bitch with an attitude like you would NOT believe got on the line to read us the riot act. She said she was the owner AND the president of the company, ha! She acted more like the Queen of Sheba. She was horrible. I simply cannot believe someone that rude could own a successful company. I think she was lying about being The President and must just have been the clerk sitting next to the one who answered the phone. They probably play good cop/bad cop all day long and then laugh about it afterwards. Had we been in the same room with her (a room with an exposed light bulb hanging from the ceiling), I have no doubt whatsoever that she would have sucker punched our lovely realtor and kicked me to the floor. 

Our lovely realtor got in a huge and nasty argument on the phone with Ms. Monster Mouth (aka The President) over the damn keys.  Our lovely realtor was kind enough to put the phone call on speakerphone so we could hear both sides.  You should have seen the look on the notary’s face.  So what can I say?  I quite enjoyed it. Most fun I have had in months. I even managed to stay out of it. Really. I am not kidding. Well, I did yell something out at one point, but only one time. I am pretty sure that one “shout out” does not really count.

We moved in on Monday, right after getting the okay from The President. The movers met Tom at the storage unit at 3:00 pm and loaded up while I took the damn keys to the new house and cleaned furiously. The movers brought all our earthly belongings around 6:00 and were gone by 8:00. They did a great job.  

The past few days we have been nesting, buying odds and ends we need, opening boxes and putting things away. There are so many boxes. I am quite sure it will takes months, if not years, to empty them all. We have cable TV and internet – real fast internet, not like in the travel trailer. The long wait is over. We have a home.  Life is good. And it will be even better when the pool is functional.  I could cry I am so happy. But of course I don’t cry, so that’s not gonna happen.