So, yesterday I’m writing and creating a post for this blog. As I’m sitting there typing away, all the electricity goes out in my in-home office. I walk out of my office and notice there’s electricity in the kitchen and living room, but no electricity in my bedroom. Okay, the problem isn’t an outage, I realize and has something more to do with my house. My hubby’s at work and I’m home alone with my eldest daughter and granddaughter, but how helpless we were because, yep, hubby usually handles these types of things for us girls in the house.
I spend so much time working in my office that I forget there’s an actual world outside. I’m in pajamas: bright teal pants sporting a Christmas theme (yep, you read that right-Christmas in February) and matching pullover shirt sort of deal, because what the heck? I work from home. No one sees me. Why not be comfortable? I have slippers on my feet and I walk out to find the control box thingy and there it is on the outer wall of the garage. I stare at the box like it’s a complex puzzle, because there are three pieces and one has a sticker warning of voltage and another has a sticker about pest control (both must have been placed there by the former residents). I’m thinking the big box has to be what I’m looking for, so I try and get it open, but the darn thing won’t budge. It’s only then that I notice the tiny little lock and seal. I guess only the electric company has access to this panel, so I’m standing there like what do I do now? The one with the pest control sticker couldn’t be opened either. Profanity is going through my mind because all I want to do is flip the switches and get my two rooms working again, but I had a sinister antagonist working secretly behind the scenes of this unexpected plot to keep me in the dark!
All of my children are grown, mind you. I hear a male voice yell, “Mama!” I turn around. My son has stopped for a visit with TWO of his friends and I’m standing outside with uncombed hair, wearing my husband’s slippers and pajamas with higher water pants because the darn things keeps shrinking after each wash. Oh, and let’s not mention that I’m not wearing a bra and my headlights are noticeable through the fabric and here are three young men (ages 21 and 22) walking closer wearing huge smiles and all I wanted to do is sink into the ground like in the movie “Get Out.” Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, my neighbor comes outside and very cheerfully says, ‘Hello! Oh, are you the wife? I met your husband, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen you.’
I have serious attitude by this point, because this sinister antagonist that’s working behind the scenes has just gone too far. Okay, let me describe my hair to you. I hate going to the shop, sitting for hours to have it styled, because I’m all about work and to me, four hours sitting inside a hair salon is a waste of time. I also don’t want to spend an hour at home each day styling my own hair, so three years ago I did something that’s considered radical for me. I had all of my hair cut off to the scalp with only a wide swath remaining that starts at the front and goes a little past the crown area. This hair has been dyed red and burgundy and is just getting back to my regular hue. Every time it gets too long I have it chopped back down to about six inches. On a good day, my hair looks fantastic. On this particular morning it is literally going up and out in different directions. I hadn’t tugged a comb through it or a brush. I did absolutely nothing to my hair because I woke up feeling elated and eager to write, and since I was going to be in my house alone, I left it wild. But now I have my neighbor smiling at me like she’s ready to talk my ears off and my son and his friends are curious as to why Mama is outside on the side of the garage looking like she’s ready to kill an intruder.
Do my son and his friends back off? Of course not. They want to help Mama solve the problem. I politely waved to my neighbor, then turned my back to her, not to be rude but didn’t want her to notice the headlights poking behind thin cloth. And not only her, but the boys, so I’m standing real close to the garage like I want to give it a hug.
My son is laughing hysterically, but I doubt he truly knew why, and then he asks, “Mama, what are you doing?” in a tone that suggests he is curious to hear the answer. This was the perfect question for that moment, because I needed to vent about my issue, so I tell him the electricity isn’t working in my office or bedroom. I’m still complaining when he reaches high above my head. Do you remember when I mentioned three boxes? The big one with the warning, the second one with the pest control sticker and at the top another panel with nothing on it. He flips it open and there are all the precious buttons I’ve been looking for. The other boys get closer because the last residents had written what each button is for. I slip out from between them like an inmate hoping the guards aren’t watching. Step around my big boys (I’ve known my son’s friends since they were small kids- I call them my boys and they call me Mom), and notice that my neighbor has been joined by her husband. He’s standing on the driver’s side of the car, which means he’s closer to me, and he’s smiling and gives a small wave, and in my mind I’m just like, ‘Okay, dude. Just get in the car.’ I keep walking to the safe haven of my sanctuary. Why did I look back? The husband is behind the steering wheel staring at me. His wife is beside him and leaning forward to see me better and they both look like their laughing.
Great! Fine! I’ll explain to my hubby later that I have embarrassed him with the neighbors. I get inside my in-home office. As I sit behind my desk, I can hear and can tell that my son has flipped the switch because appliances are powering off. I wait anxiously; I’m ready to start typing again, especially since I was on a roll when everything went black. I hear appliances start up again. My refrigerator clicks on. My overhead microwave beeps, but my office is still sitting black and my thoughts are, “Are you serious? No power?”
My son comes into the house and he and I can’t figure it out. My office and bedroom still have no power. We walk around the house and realize that my younger daughter (she’s in college), her bedroom also doesn’t have power. My son tells me he doesn’t know what else to do, because tripping the buttons and resetting them should have worked. I grab my laptop and go into the family room to work, but my son and his friends and my daughter and granddaughter are making so much noise, and because I’m out of my sanctuary, which is rare, they use the moment to pelt me with questions and tell me about things that’s happened to them. All the while, I’m smiling, but what I want to say is leave me alone. This goes on for hours and in the back of my head I just know that hubby will be able to figure it out and get things restored. Finally, I can’t take it anymore. I’m not getting anything done. I’m not being productive. Orders are coming in on my website. I have so much time left before I can call it a day. I tell my son to try again and question him about what he’d done the first time. Come to find out, he didn’t flip each individual switch and only hit the main reset button. I’m like, no, flip them all. Make everything black. Wait thirty seconds then flip them back on.
He and his friends go outside. I hurry to my bedroom, because it’s closer. I stand there waiting anxiously, my eyes on the clock, waiting for numbers to appear in red. And suddenly I’m standing in brightness. I get so excited, I hurry to the front door and yell outside, “Let there be light!” My office is close to the front door and just off of the living room. I sit behind my desk and turn on my desktop and second laptop, then swivel in my chair. My granddaughter is standing there with toys in her hand (she’s three). A huge smile is on her face. She wants grandma to give her a little attention like she had the bigger people. How can I say no? An hour later, I’m breathing hard and looking rougher than earlier, and I’m begging my daughter to take my granddaughter, because kids her age have far too much energy. Just as I settle down again, my hubby walks in and says, ‘The kids told me you were taking the day off from work. I thought we can go get Chinese,’ which is his way of saying let’s go to our favorite Chinese restaurant. And there you have it. Yep, I’m one of those women who can’t change a spare tire or adequately flip a switch. I don’t take out the trash either. Yep, I’m one of those antiquated minds that separate household chores into categories of male and female, and when something goes wrong, I’m that damsel in distress yelling with worry in her eyes, ‘Where is my Captain Save-a-ho!’
I know this is not what you expected on Day Three, but now you know the reason behind my delay in posting, but you might as well get used to it. I work from home. I’m an author currently working on two manuscripts, not including the one for this blog. I’m also the president of my own publishing imprint, which on the days I already have lots on my plate seems to be the days I get more orders for publishing services (like today!). I also have several clients I'm coaching through their first novels. And let’s not forget that I have daily marketing to do to sell more books. I’m saying all that to say that there won’t be a specific time each day that I will post on this blog, but I will post! Fair enough? Okay, let’s get to the good stuff, which you’ll find in Part Two.
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