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Kansas City MO 64131

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Filtering by Tag: cranky

SOUR GRAPES

Cindy Maddera

My alarm went off at 4:50 AM this morning and I made the choice to ignore it and not get up and do my yoga practice. In hindsight, the choice to skip my morning yoga practice was probably a poor one and set the tone for my day. I got my scooter out of the garage only to discover that it wouldn’t start. The battery was dead. It’s been cold here. It could also still be the same battery I’ve had since I bought the scooter ten years ago. Then I had to maneuver my not so light scooter back up the hill and into the garage, climbing over mine and Michael’s scooter to get out of the garage. I stepped into the stairwell at work to head out on my coffee walk only to realize that I had left my badge on my desk, trapping myself in the stairwell. I answered some asinine emails, struggling to refrain from just replying “you are stupid.” By the time I left for my chiropractor appointment, I was a festering ball of bitchiness.

When Chris and I still lived in Chickasha, there was a grimy little laundry mat around the corner from our apartment where we’d go wash our clothes. We were there one afternoon sitting with our books, doing school work while our clothes tumbled around in the washers. There was a young woman there with her two young children. The girl, just learning to read, was reading out loud from a children’s book she’d found in one of the chairs. The boy, just learning to talk, was walking around saying “Fuck this. Fuck that.” The young mother yelled over at her daughter '“Crystal-Lynn, shut up. No one wants to listen to you read.” She said nothing the boy. Sometimes I feel like that little boy lives inside me whispering “fuck this. fuck that”, goading me to say it in turn. Crystal-Lynn, I hope you’re still reading even if you have to say the words out loud to do so.

The sun is shining. The basement is clean. We’ve done preventative maintenance to keep rain out of the basement. The washer and dryer are paid for. I went to book club last night and didn’t feel like the odd girl out for not liking our chosen book. My life is pretty good. I have no reason to walk around shouting “Fuck this and fuck that.” Yet I am seriously considering doing just that. I am a prickly pear. A prickly pear with a creativity block. This is why I’m writing about grimy laundry mats and delinquent toddlers. I have nothing better for you. In fact, I’m banging my head on the keyboard right now trying to figure out a way to end this post.

Fuck this.

Fuck that.

A BOLT IN THE TIRE

Cindy Maddera

Last week, I hit a pretty awful pothole with my right front tire. It was so loud, that I was pretty sure I had broken my car. I was hesitant to mention any of this to Michael. Just last month I said something about never having the brakes looked at on my car that is now five years old. Five minutes after saying this, my brakes started to make a weird sound. I was pretty sure that if I said something about hitting that pothole, my whole tire would just fall off the car. I was riding in the passenger seat on Saturday, when I could hear a wub-wub-wub sound coming from the tire. So I asked Michael if he could also hear it. He said it sounded like it was coming from the driver's side front tire, but then I confessed to the pothole incident. He still thought it was coming from his side of the car. It sounded like I had flat tire, but the tire pressure light was not on. Finally Michael said "That's it! I'm pulling over right now." He got out of the car and had me slowely roll forwards and backwards while he inspected the tires. Turns out, there was a bolt with a washer lodged into the front driver side tire. The amazing thing is that the tire was not leaking air, nor had it blown out while we were driving it around. 

Yesterday, I told my therapist that I was finding it really difficult to not be a crankpot all the time. I told her I didn't know what was wrong with me, but I just felt out of sorts. Dr. Mary then had me read a passage from Buddhism Explained describing dukkha. Dukkha is suffering and this passage likened dukkha to a wonky wheel. For example, let's say you have a wooden cart with one wheel that sits crooked. The cart still rolls as you pull it; it just doesn't roll smoothly and makes the cart harder to pull and steer. Dukkha is a wonky wheel. You still experience joy, but there's always this underlying layer of suffering. You will always have this layer of suffering until you figure out what is causing the suffering and eliminate it from your life. I have a wonky wheel, a bolt in my tire. It always comes back to wheels.

I read the news about Stephen Hawking passing away while eating breakfast. Tears splashed down onto my pancakes as I read "It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love." Then for some strange reason, Werewolf of London was playing on the radio. There was Chris sitting in the passenger seat howling through the lyrics and I said "you are not the bolt in my tire." I said it while really trying to believe that was true. This in between Winter and Spring season is the bolt. That first Spring after Chris died, the only thing I wanted to do was ride my scooter. I'd spent the winter unable to muster enough energy to do more than lay on the couch. I wanted something that I knew would be bring me joy. But then I couldn't find my scooter key. I got so desperate that I finally retrieved the spare key from the lock box, the key they told me to never use because if lost it would cost $2500 to replace. At the time, being on my scooter in the sun was worth so much more than $2500.

We are so close to being in scooter season. I went out to the garage to start my scooter and it would not turn over. Sad face. Then Michael hooked my battery up to a battery charger and two hours later, my scooter roared to life. Happy face! Then the temperatures dropped back down below thirty. Sad face. In the years since the lost scooter key, it has always been this season that has made me feel the most out of kilter. Tomorrow, I'm pulling that bolt free from my tire and I'm riding my scooter. 

LOVE THURSDAY

Cindy Maddera

A storm swept through on Tuesday. It rained most of the day and at some point during that evening the sky turned that odd yellow color that tends to precede something bad. Nothing bad happened. No tornadoes or hail or high winds. Just regular old thunder and lightening. By Wednesday morning all of that weather had cleared off and I was able to ride my bike to work. Except Wednesday morning was challenging. The cat knocked over his food bowl and the food had to be swept up before Josephine could eat it. Josephine has eaten the cat's food enough to throw it all back up in neat little piles on the floor. So sweeping up this mornings spill was important. I was indecisive about what shirt to wear and ended up changing clothes three times. Josephine had to be yelled at for jumping up on top of the chicken run and running back and forth, terrorizing the chickens. 

Finally, I was out the door and on my way. And it was awful. That first hill up 77th to Troost was the worst thing ever. I got to the top of that hill and thought it was probably going to take me an hour to get to work. It was excruciating, but I made it to work. I made it to work with my cranky pants tied on really tight and I just sort of sat at my desk stewing in it. I was not the only one. I could hear the grumbles from others. Someone spilled their coffee. This person was late. That person didn't do what they were supposed to have done. We had all been hit with the Wednesday cranks. When I went out for my morning loop with my cup of coffee in hand, my first instinct was to grumble about the chill in the air as the door shut behind me. I did not have a sweater and the wind had a definite bite to it. Then I thought "wait. the wind has a definite bite it." 

That storm that swept through left behind cool temperatures and a breeze that suggested of apple picking, bonfires and football games. I am not quite ready for summer to end, but a break from the summer heat is nice and I know that this all that this is. A break from the heat. Temperatures are supposed to warm back up over the weekend. It is a hint of things to come though. I've noticed something about seasons around here. They don't show up all of a sudden and declare that Winter is over or Fall is here. I guess some would say that Mother Nature is a bit of a tease. You've just endured months of freezing temps, so here's a day of Spring like temperatures to remind you that there is warmth and sunshine coming eventually. Then the next day it will snow and you will have to shovel your driveway. When you are a warm weather girl, this can be really annoying, but now I see it as less teasing and more slow adjustments. Mother Nature likes to ease you into the changes ahead. It's like she's reminding you that all those things that you like you to do in the next season are coming. 

Today's weather was a reminder that apple picking and bonfires are coming. Soon we will be breaking out sweaters and carving pumpkins. We will be oohing and awing over the beautiful leaves with their bright reds and yellows. I know I'm not ready for any of that, but I look forward to doing all of those things. When I thought of all of this, I got a little less cranky. My bike ride home that evening was not easy (uphill all the way), but I didn't care. I was in no hurry, no chance of being late for anything. I savored the ride home just like I plan on savoring these last few days of summer.

Happy Love Thursday!