Originally, I’d intended to tout the benefits of a college savings plan 529, explain how it differs from a Coverdell Plan (thanks to a friend’s explanation) and just plain go on about my plans for my children’s futures for this blog entry.
But that was before we drove through Tropical Storm Hannah, knocked a hole in their mother’s stairwell wall (okay – I did. It was an accident when I was tossing down a mattress for the basement party) and had my face felt at Wal-Mart by a curious lady.
This is what happens when you complain to God that your life has gotten boring and predictable, I’m supposing.
But first – the news.
My landlords – my sister and brother-in-law – both work for Freddie Mac and are wondering what will become of their jobs. My sister said restructuring could mean two-thirds of employees might lose their jobs. My hope had been they’d become government employees with government benefits. Mom was a government employee and had a frustrating career but happy retirement.
My sister said the restructuring might mean restructuring the household. I was planning to move out of her basement anyway not long after my bankruptcy gets settled.
Any newshounds out there following this restructuring feel free to send me stories addressing what rank and file Freddie Mac employees will be dealing with. I haven’t found too much yet other than fearful speculation.
Meanwhile, before that news broke I’d been watching the children as Tropical Storm Hannah approached. I’d planned to play with them in the front yard out in the wind and rain to let them see what such a storm felt like.
But my estranged wife called to let me know I hadn’t returned her credit card to her and now had no way to buy food at the Gaylord Hotel at the National Harbor or pay her parking to leave. I’d already let her borrow my jeep due to its high ground clearance and four-wheel drive in hopes of keeping her safe during the Saturday-morning drive through the storm to the “Travelganza” her company was a part of.
So at the storm’s height I drove my wife’s Mitsubishi coupe through the torrential rain and wind, taught my son about hydroplaning and what happened to those who sped by (we counted seven wrecks) and generally had a miserable time while my daughter calmly sat in the back seat, occasionally singing. I reminded both to pray without ceasing. We made it there and back despite barricaded roads and flash flooding.
So we returned and that night decided to have a basement party again and bring down another mattress to sleep on. It slipped in the stairwell and knocked a hole slightly smaller than a business card in the wall. We got past that too as the children’s mother stayed overnight at the Gaylord. I wasn’t held accountable until Sunday.
And Sunday we missed church once again because I was so tired from watching the kids play “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
“Look dad! that guy drowns when he falls in the barrel and his legs jerk. It’s funny. Oh wait, I guess it’s not really that funny” my son said when he saw my face. A night of that and eating popcorn and psychedelic popsicles did me in.
After an afternoon featuring replacement of patio furniture (brought in for the storm) and patching the hole in the wall, my daughter and I went to Wal-Mart to get hot dogs.
That’s when a 20-something woman approached me and without a word reached out her hands and started feeling my face.
My 7-year-old daughter stood at the end of the aisle with her jaw dropping.
I let the lady feel my face – clean shaven only an hour before – and sort of enjoyed it. Other people stopped and watched. Her smooth hands gently caressed my cheeks.
I felt the freak here – how do I break off what seemed a curious, kind gesture by someone meaning no harm? At first I thought her blind but then realized she wasn’t.
“Excuse me, I need to go get my daughter” I said gently while almost reluctantly removing the lady’s hands.
An older woman turned to me, frowned, and asked “do you know her?” and then turned to the woman and with an accusatory tone asked the woman “where do you know him from?”
I beat feet, caught my daughter’s hand and went over a few aisles to figure this one out.
“Dad, that was weird” my daughter said.
“Yes, it certainly was out of the ordinary,” I replied while wondering how many people get a face massage in the middle of a Wal-Mart.