Sunday, December 27, 2009

??? daze ???

Aside from a couple of near death experiences over the past few days, things are moving along smoothly.  A couple of days ago, the kids and I were out running errands in the Suburban when at some point the hand held propane torch that also happened to be in the truck got stuck in the on position.  The kids were being noisy, the baby was crying and the radio was on so we only noticed the hissing sound once I parked the truck and turned it off.  After I got the kids and our groceries in the house, I went back to investigate the noise and noticed a strong foul odor.  Once I found out it was the torch, I quickly thanked God that none of the kids nor I were smokers.  We might all be wandering around with singed eyebrows, or worse.  (No lectures on the propane torch, please.) 

Then the next day, I talked to Jeff on the phone for a little while around 3:30 pm and a few minutes after our conversation, I called him back to tell him something I'd just read on the Internet about metal and condensation but he didn't answer the phone.  I tried a few more times over the next twenty minutes or so with no luck and just assumed he was on the phone with one of his parents or something and would call me when he was finished.  About two hours later, I realized he had still not called me back so I tried him again.  Still, no answer.  I started calling every couple of minutes thinking he's probably sawing and nail gunning a lot so he probably just didn't hear his phone.  After about twenty minutes of that, it dawned on me that he may have had an accident.  I realized that he had probably fallen twenty feet off a ladder after sawing off his hand and passing out from the blood loss.  Then I realized this probably happened a couple of hours ago when I couldn't reach him the first time, so more than likely, he's dead by now.  That's when I began to have a serious panic attack.  I told the kids, "Get your coats on and get in the car!  We've got to go get your father, RIGHT NOW!"  The kids naturally wanted to know why and what the hurry was and not wanting to scare them with the story of their fathers accident, I told them, "He forgot his wallet and might need to get gas."  Which was true.  Then I thought, maybe that's the problem.  He ran out of gas on our little country road and no one has passed by to give him a lift to the gas station.  Then I remembered he hasn't answered any of my phone calls over the last 2 1/2 hours so my mind went right back to the vision of him all broken to bits at the bottom of the ladder he was working on.  So I grabbed his wallet and the kids and I rushed out to the Suburban to find that the only door we could get open was mine.  All of the other doors where frozen shut.  I started the truck to thaw out the other doors and contemplated calling 911 to ask them to send an ambulance out to my husband.  I decided to call my parents instead.  I managed to choke out a few words to my mom about how Jeff hadn't been answering  his phone, that he's alone, and most likely dead so the kids and I were going to get him just as soon as the truck thaws.  To all of that, my mom calmly said, "Okay, we're on our way to Branson so call me when you find out what's going on."

The kids were all in the driveway crying about things like the subzero temperatures and 700 mile per hour wind gusts so I decided they should wait in the house for the truck to thaw.  I also decided to give Jeff another call and run back outside to try the truck doors again and noticed what a mess my house was and that everyone from Oklahoma was going to want to stay here for the funeral.  Once I got outside I opened my cell phone and pressed 3.  He's number 3 on my speed dial.  I don't know why or how that happened.  He's also the only person I EVER speed dial.  "Hello?" he whispered.  I gasped, then I yelled, "JEFFREY MICHAEL DIXON!!!!  WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?????  ARE YOU ALRIGHT?  I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!!!!"  He continued talking softly and acted like he had no idea what I was talking about and told me he was outside tracking the biggest rat he'd ever seen.  "EXCUSE ME?  I'VE BEEN CALLING YOU FOR HOURS AND YOU HAVEN'T BEEN ANSWERING SO I ASSUMED YOU WERE DEAD AND YOU'RE DOING WHAT????  I'M GONNA KILL YOU WHEN YOU GET HOME!!!"  Then I cried.  He chuckled sympathetically then said, "Hang on, your parents are calling me."

It turns out that when your phone is stuffed in your pocket under seven layers of clothes, the extremely loud propane heater is on, the radio is blaring, the air compressor is running and you're using no less than four power tools, you really can't hear a phone when it rings.  Now Jeff is no longer allowed to leave the house in the morning until I have inspected the duct tape that holds his cell phone over one ear.

My imagination occasionally gets the best of me but for good reason in this instance.  Jeff always answers my calls and even complains on a regular basis that I don't call him enough.  So naturally I assumed there was a very good reason, i.e. death, for him to not answer my calls.  I'm never calling him again.


Jeff's been hard at work trying to get the house ready for us to move into it.  Over the last few days, he's been nailing up wood planks on the walls.  I haven't been out to the house in a while, but from the pictures, the wood walls have really changed the look of the house. 

My dad keeps telling Jeff we need to stain or seal the wood.  I guess he likes the rusticness of wood.  I don't really care for that look myself.  I'm one of those people that loves wood, PAINTED.  Stained, sealed or raw wood is yucko to me.  We'll be painting it all white in the spring.

It looks like Jeff's been missing me.

I've been missing him too.  It's starting to feel like this has been going on forever. What's today? I'm not sure. We, meaning Jeff, has been working so hard for such a long time now that I'm having a hard time keeping track of the days. BUT, our projected date of moving in is set for January 2nd and 3rd. Will you all come help us please? We're old and frail and could use all the help we can get. We're so old, we've been mistaken for senior citizens. I'm not kidding. Last night, the kids and I ran to Lowe's to meet Jeff there about 45 minutes before closing time so we could get a few light fixtures for Jeff to install today and as we were going through the checkout line, the little, red headed, twentysomething, checkout lady looked at our two year old, Evelyn, and said, "Awww. Have you been shopping with grandma and grandpa today?" I was standing back a bit, holding fussy little Sophie, and thought maybe I misunderstood her and I gave Jeff a confused look. He turned to the lady and politely said, "What?" Then she said, "Have you guys got the grandkids tonight?" Mind you, Madison is only a few inches shorter than I am which gives testament to her age and there were FIVE children altogether. That means we didn't even look like fresh, first time grandparents to this lady. She repeated her question so confidently that she must have genuinely assumed we were the kids grandparents!!! Jeff let out a big, "Nooooo! These are our KIDS!" and I laughed so hard I thought I was going to blow a gasket! Her face immediately turned as red as her hair and she began apologizing profusely and saying something about how her dad has a beard. Once I finished my Tom Hanks, Money Pit, laugh, I said, "We're only thirty!" Jeff corrected me and told her, "Actually, we're 34." Like that was really necessary. My point in saying thirty was that's the general category you could put us in compared to the 70 something category she had us in.

Do you know the laugh I'm talking about? Have you seen that movie? I love it. Tom Hanks character, Walter, had just been through one ordeal after another with their money pit of a house and then this happens...which is exactly how I reacted to the grandparents comment.

1 comment:

  1. Celeste,

    A very humorous post! Thanks for the smile. I especially like the part of concerning yourself with the disarray of your home since relatives would no doubt be staying there when attending Jeff's funeral! You should have done what I do. When that cashier assumed you were grandparents -- tell her you were the great grand parents -- she'd be so complimentary at the great shape you are both in!

    I wish you and Jeff a happy, healthy, prosperous new year. It's been a pleasure 'meeting' you this year, Celeste.

    - Deborah