Strike up the band and break out the champagne because Mercury retrograde is officially over. The planet Mercury is now “direct.” Say hallelujah with me, as I take you on a random walk through our Mercury fraught October.
Our mysterious water issues are still ongoing. I have our inflatable sandbags on a rotation schedule. We are working on a solution, but first, the problem has to be diagnosed. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the rain turning to snow and the ground freezing. Sure, snow melts, but fiddle-de-dee, I’ll worry about that when it happens.
Our gas was shut off. The gas company was as baffled as we were. One would think that this meant further research would ensue. Not so. If a shut-off is not in the system, it’s a non-problem—for the gas company. On the second day of living without a shower, I googled how the connect a propane gas tank to a hot water heater. My concern was the cautionary footnote included in the instructions, which suggested keeping a carbon monoxide monitor by your side at all times. Plan B. The gas company will always show up if you smell gas. Imaginary gas fumes overwhelmed me as I spoke to customer service. Despite the fact that I had spent the previous two days reporting that I did not have gas, no one questioned my claim. The gasman cometh quickly and surmised that I couldn’t possibly be smelling gas because my gas had been shut off. What a relief! After some research, it appeared that the gas crew working on our street had turned my gas off without reporting it to customer service and then forgot to turn it back on. He was surprised that I wasn’t notified. Me too. The gas was quickly turned back on, and soon, I was saying grace over a hot shower and plotting my revenge.
My teen? Cole used my hairbrush to pull the burrs out of a pup’s coat, explaining that he had used his hairbrush the week before. When I call a pond a lake or fail to notice the three clouds dotting a blue sky, I feel fortunate to have a teen that stays on top of such mistakes. My teen director of Day Camp let me drive twenty minutes in city traffic before he noticed that he had forgotten to put the camper we were taking home in the car. Cole and I are spending a lot of time together.
Did I mention that I gave up Starbucks for the month of October? Not a sip has passed my lips. I’m not making that mistake again for November. I thought I would be rich, because, you know, Starbucks is (dare I say it) a leak in every drinkers pocketbook. However, the month is almost over, and my no-latte commitment has not made me rich. It was disappointing to be confronted with the realization that my lavish latte habit is almost entirely free due to the generous Starbucks cards that we are often gifted. Unfortunately, the Dunkin’ Donuts hot chocolate I replaced my latte with is not free. My teen wonders if I am the best person to help him hone his business skills.
I would be remiss if our random walk through October didn’t include counting our blessings. Mercury is not all bad, after all. Despite the media’s dire Ebola predictions, along with our family and friends, we are Ebola free. And we ensured our healthy streak by nabbing two flu shots; our Alderman is up for reelection in November, so his office offered free flu shots for everyone in his district. It’s just how they do things in Chicago. We won $325 in a football raffle, which almost covered the deductible on Cole’s car repairs (accident in September) that the other insurance company didn’t pay. Don’t ask. I am letting the insurance companies fight it out. GO GEiCO LIZARD! Chicago weather has been beautiful and treated us to a fabulous fall. My teen and I share the same sense of humor, which means that we laugh at life’s absurdities, along with our own, hard and often. Speaking of absurdities, Cole’s VW Bug is for sale, and we believe that soon the June Bug will be a happy memory, and part of our past. It was fun, but all good things must come to an end. Really. They do.
Cole asked if I really believed that when Mercury is in retrograde, it influences our lives. I knew that if I answered yes, he would pull out the self-fulfilling prophecy card. It was a trick question. I told him I’d ask you.
Odd Loves Company,