Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

mission: day off

I absolutely love having a day off.  From the moment I was awakened by my wonderful husband (who was afraid I was going to oversleep because I was still in bed at seven thirty) all the way to the moment I climbed back into bed at nine-thirty—completely exhausted—to write my blog…it was a wonderful day.

A wonderful day with a plan. Or better yet…a mission!

My mission for today was to clean my bathroom, color my hair (a task that is several weeks overdue), write another chapter of my book, take my blouses to the dry cleaners, wash the thick layer of pollen off my car, and cook a wonderful dinner for my wonderful husband. 

Barely an hour after my husband left for work I was awakened yet again by my daughter, who reminded me that I had promised to help her write her essay on Napoleon Bonaparte.  Being the writer in the family, I get a lot of requests to help with papers, essays, dissertations, resumes, and the like.  I never say no.  I usually just grumble my way through the project muttering to myself about how I can’t even take credit for the A I’m about to get. 

As it turns out, after “helping” her bang out a very good essay about the petit general, I was informed that her Titanic project was also due today. 

Off to the internet I went, searching for pictures for her poster while she worked on the presentation.  And then I had to print them all so she could attach them to the poster board.  And I had to help find markers, and glue, and did I mention that this is my sixteen year old daughter?  Why are we still doing posters for history in the eleventh grade?  I have no idea. 

Once I’d gotten “my” homework done, we ate lunch and I dropped her off at school.

Finally, I was free! 

I had a tiny window of time to squeeze in some writing.  I didn’t have time to write a whole chapter, but I did spend a nice quiet hour writing.  I still had a laundry list of things to do, but I was out of time. 

My teenager had her own list of plans for my day off, and at the top of her list was bleaching a streak of her hair to turn it blue.  We bleached, but ran out of time, so blue will have to wait. 

Finally I could start on that wonderful dinner I had planned. 

I filled a stock pot with water using the pot filler.  I did not flood the oven this time—a success—and the pasta was cooked to perfection.  I just had to turn it out of the pot into a strainer to drain the water.  As skill goes, this task required very little.  But one thing I am quite skilled at is finding ways to injure myself.  I have no idea how, but as I was pouring out the pasta, I managed to rest my entire forearm against the bottom of the stockpot—the part of the pot that had just been resting in the fire.  I don’t think I need to mention how much that hurt.  I really shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen. 

Dinner was started, my arm was scalded, the kids were busy doing whatever teenagers do when they aren’t asking me to do something for them, and I still had errands to run—I needed something from the grocery store, and I still had dry cleaning to drop off.

I was backing out of the driveway before I realized that I hadn’t been to the bathroom all day long, and I had to pee. But I’d waited this long…I could wait until I got back from the store. 

There is no such thing as running into the grocery store for one item.  Inevitably I ended up with a cart filled with things I didn’t even know I needed.  All things that were vital to my existence in their own little way.    

I don’t even know what I bought.  I just know I had to have everything I picked out.  But I forgot to get the one thing I actually went to the store for. 

When I got home, my bladder was beginning to revolt.  As I unloaded the last of the bags onto the kitchen island, I had to stop cold and concentrate to keep from wetting myself and my hardwood floors.  Once the first wave passed and I was able to move again, I set off in a full out run to the powder room at the end of the hall.  I couldn’t get my pants undone fast enough, well…I did get them undone fast enough, but it was close.  It reminded me of the time my zipper was jammed and I had to use the bathroom at work.  I had to run to the back to have someone unzip me in the vault.  Of course, I’d forgotten about the cameras until it was too late.  At least there were no cameras at home.  Then again, it might have been entertaining to watch me jump up and down trying to unzip my jeans and wriggle out of them without breaking my concentration.  I suppose the simple solution would be to follow my mother’s advice and go before you leave home.  You can never go wrong with that advice. 

I didn’t do anything on my day off list other than dinner.  It wasn’t the wonderful dinner I had originally planned, but no one complained.  My blouses are still dirty…so is my car and my bathroom…my hair is still in desperate need of color and my book is still not finished.  Not that I expected to finish the whole thing on one day off, but it would have been fabulous if I had. 

It’s back to work tomorrow.  I won’t wake up with the same excitement I did this morning, and I won’t be able to sleep through the alarm, but I’ll get up and get dressed and get out there like I do every other day.  Because life is really wonderful even if you have to go to work everyday.

Until the next time…I’ll be counting the days until my next day off!

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