I have never been so happy to see a month end. May is usually one of my favourites, but not in '08. The weather was hyperkinetic, to say the least, bouncing from one extreme to another. While the calendar said May, Mother Nature determined it was actually November. We would get one decent day (and when I say decent, I actually mean above 10 degrees celsius!) and then 4 or 5 cold, windy and rainy ones. We look forward to spring all year up here in the north and when it doesn't come, it is kind of like getting socks for your birthday! Of course, so much of what we do is predicated on the weather. I have already fully voiced what it was like to sit under the stars at an outdoor concert when the temperature is hovering around zero. But, how about the stuff that we take for granted in the spring? The garden centres have been operational for almost 6 weeks now, but who the hell has felt like planting? Only in the last few days, have we been able to see the colour that usually accompanies May!! Who wants to spend crazy money only to have it frost away at night? And honestly, who (other than my next-door neighbour who is a gardening fanatic) wants to spend the time shlepping the flowers in and out every morning and evening in order to protect their fragile little petals? On the upside, the lawn looks great given all of the rain!
About a month ago, the husband diligently cleaned the furnace filters and prepared all of the vents in the house for the onset of air conditioning. What air conditioning? We didn't turn the heat off until yesterday!! June 2!!! On the upside, we have saved money on the pool because we haven't yet had an opportunity to turn it's heat on. (which made it much more attractive for Daffy and Daisy!)
The miserable winter and the ridiculous amounts of snow that we endured left us with an added bonus. It destroyed the brick facing on the front of our house. I would not be exaggerating when I tell you that several pieces of brick and mortar have crumbled as I typed this. After enduring several painfully high quotes from masons, we settled on a young company that seemed hungry for the business. (yes they came with references!) The work was originally contracted as a one day project to begin in the middle of May. Well, here we are in June and my house is beginning to look like a demolition site. I will spare you the excuses and the threats. They said Thursday, rain or shine!!! I have become quite skilled at deciphering contractorese! Thursday usually means "Thanks for calling, now f@#$ off!" On the upside, the crumbling brick chimney looks like it might last one more year and save us a few grand!
I still don't have chairs in my kitchen. They were ordered at the end of March with a delivery date set for six weeks later. Well, it is ten weeks and counting and we still cannot sit down in the kitchen. My dear friend the designer has been keeping on top of this for me, but she blew me away with an e-mail last week. She said that in her conversations with the company, they said that they would be ready on May 30th. (that was Friday for all of you keeping score!) But, she also told me that since May 30th was a Friday, this company's truck had a habit of "breaking down" on Fridays, so I shouldn't expect delivery until the following week!! On the upside, the company called yesterday and arranged delivery for this Thursday. Remember what I said about what Thursday usually means!!
Throughout the month of May, we were witness to ridiculously rising gas prices. it now costs me $70.00 to fill my tank with regular unleaded, and I drive a midsize. In the middle of all of this gas chaos, the airlines decided that they too needed to start feeding at the trough. They have imposed surcharges on gas, food, first baggage etc. I am waiting for the pay toilets! (I am not kidding about this one. I believe that it is absolutely possible given the nonsense that travelers have had to endure.) In the middle of all of this, older son was dithering about returning for one last summer to work at his idea of Mecca-summer camp! When he finally made his decision, the same airline flight as the one I had booked a month earlier for younger son, had risen in price by over 100 bucks. All of that increase could be found in airline surcharges. I am just loathing dropping younger son off tomorrow and have them tell us that they are going to charge us extra for the guitar. On the upside, they are both returning to a wonderful place that makes them feel productive, Jewish and exhausted, and we get the house to ourselves for 10 weeks.
But, this past week was the kicker. I had to shlep around the city from west to east and north to south, burning gasoline like it was, well, gasoline. I got a ticket that I still feel was wholly slimy. Younger son was suffering with a miserable cold and I was constantly yelling at him to wash his hands. I broke my shoe right before a Bar Mitzvah service and had to hobble around like Cinderella. Younger son's umbilical cord (i.e. his brand spanking new cell phone) just stopped dead and Bell Mobility refused to replace it without sending it out to be checked by Motorola. 4-6 weeks!! Not only that, they wanted to charge us for a rental! He is using an old one of mine. Way to stand up for your customers Bell!!! On the upside, I got to see ducks in the pool, learned how to use i-movie, saw older son safely off at the airport and got to read the entire Sunday New York Times without interruption!! Not only that, I figure June can only get better!
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