On the day that nothing happened

Each time I think my life is a direct download of nothingness made famous by the “Seinfeld” TV show, the forces of nature step in and stir up my neck of the woods just enough to give me a solid word count for my newspaper column.
The rainy morning pre-empted my plans for gardening and set me to keyboard plunking.
My collaborative colleague—iTunes—contributes songs from Neko Case, Maino, Shiny Toy Guns, Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, Kings of Leon, and whomever else happens to be in line to inspire me as I write about the day nothing happened.
In an emergency on a nothing day, I could just open my fridge and write a story about what I see inside—wilted old lettuce, a partly-devoured tub of sour cream with a green, crusty topping and a best before date of Feb. 10, and an unopened bottle of Marguerita mix from New Year’s Eve.
The grim scenario would not qualify for an episode of “MTV Cribs,” but then neither would this ordinary, little old farmhouse—and that’s just fine with me.
On this nothing day, it is not even noon yet and I’m not sure what rates first in the excitement category: the trailer full of black dirt delivered by Cohort #1 or the black bear that was headed to my back door on a Sunday morning.
Truth be told (gardeners and landscapers preserve me), I really was as elated to get the dirt as I am to find a roll of duct tape in my Christmas stocking. It’s mine and you can’t have any. Oh, the endless possibilities.
I dream bigger dreams for myself than I think God does for me sometimes, and that includes the host of one-woman dirt projects I think I can master.
And as Cohort #1 and his reluctant kin now realize, “Mrs. Incredible” can make short work of a trailer-load of dirt long before they decide to get up at noon on a Saturday and come over and help me.
(Wink, chuckle, thanks anyway).
Mr. Bear, who in hindsight appeared rather dejected and lost on his trek through my yard, was not nearly as excited to see me as I was to see him. I was edging ever closer to get a picture of him with my camera, and jumping up and down like a two-year-old who’d just spotted Santa in Safeway.
The bear stopped, turned, and flat-stared me as I stood there in my housecoat, gum rubbers, and braided Pippi Longstocking coif before shaking his head in disbelief at the country hick paparazzi and sauntering off.
I shrugged off the snubbing and headed in to quiet the dogs that’d got a whiff of the intruder on the outside breeze that blows through the receptacles in this old house.
It was only 9:30 a.m. and too early to allow the canine capers to clock in under their SAEWS collar (Security Assistance Early Warning System) due to the current “Quantum of Silence” proclamation made by cohorts and pundits that restricts all outside noise until noon on Sunday, and includes moaning lawnmowers and barking dogs.
Despite this, I rewarded “Dot” and “Cash” for their awareness and handed out treats—most recently found to be old gingerbread man cookies left over from Christmas that I discovered in a container on top of my fridge.
The cookies were so hard that on the way to the dog’s mouths, they bounce off the floor, hit and chipped the newly-painted wall in my kitchen, ricochet off a chair and still not break, leaving the duo occupied with protracted chewings.
Now, here’s the kicker in this entire melee over the day that nothing happened. If you are not already aware, my husband is over in Afghanistan and at the moment, he is in the central part of the country in an isolated area of the mountains helping to build facilities at a military forward operating base.
His environment is dusty, dirty, and very, very hot—not to mention there’s a war going on.
I thank God for the military troops who do their job so well to protect him and the countless others. Keep safe all of you.
So when I think my day is a nothing, I will remember my trepidation and uncertainty that crept in during the online chat with my husband at the same moment when there was gunfire in the background of the world he’s in.
He assures me the barriers that protect the base are taller than he is. Yet I worry for my electrician.
I cannot imagine the worry of a soldier’s wife.
However, Pete was more concerned about the big, hairy spider that was in his tent—one he called the “daddy” of the camel spider encased in acrylic that he had sent home to me to give to the J.W. Walker students.
Peter had left his luggage open and full of clothes on the floor of his tent (which sounds remarkably like his side of the bed when he’s here at home), and said he was too freaked out to get anything out of it.
Beware the man with aerosol foot deodorant.
“I’m gonna spray inside the suitcase with ‘Tough-Actin Tinactin’ and see what happens,” he wrote.
God help the spider.

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