S.A.D. In Paradise

ImageMy friend Cara was the first blogger I ever met, and I got so excited about the prospect that I started my own blog several years ago. Well, Cara works from home, and fairly quickly her time in front of the computer at home killed the lure for her to spend yet more time in front of her screen for leisure.

Well, guess what. I quit my job last September, focusing on my education (Ashford University…yay!), have unlimited uninterrupted time at the keyboard, and I haven’t written a single blog.

Also, I think my lack of attention to creative outlets has a lot to do with climate in which I live. I’ve mentioned before that I suffer (and I should clarify that it’s really my family that suffers the most) from a pretty hefty case of S.A.D. I figured out a few years ago that when I lived in the sunny Southwest, every time I’ve left a relationship, gotten dissatisfied with a job, moved houses….it’s been in the depths of Winter. The fact that I now live in a place that enjoys 9 months of slog per year may be having some influence on my lack of motivation. Maybe.

I’m so over the unending darkness of the Northwest, in fact I have many consecutive days that I wish I could crawl back under the covers and not have to face another day of rain…but right now it’s, like, sunny. It’s freaking gorgeous where I live…on the water, where the sun in the summer lasts 12 hours or more.

So I was kind of thinking I’d like to humiliate myself today. You know, because I just don’t do it often enough, it might keep my mind off of…well, off of my mind. I was thinking about our new house, and how I can’t wait for it to be done, and how it just seems like the process and planning have been going on forever, and forever, and forever……okay, you get it. To start with, it was nothing short of a miracle that we were able to buy the property that we bought on our little island, and we’ve been very thankful. Or at least, I try to be.

So last summer we bought these two great ocean view lots from our new friends Rod and Sharon Dykstra, who, wonder of wonders, had already designed and drafted a beautiful house to go on it, and were willing to give us the plans with the purchase of the lots. We were dancing on air those first few weeks, and giddy with excitement. (Yeah, I think that was like seven months ago now, kinda stopped dancing a little at this point, and it’s down to a sort of pained jig.). So one night, my husband Justin and I got home from work and job interviews respectively, had dinner with the kids, and did the routine. Justin said he had to run up to the Dykstra’s house to get another copy of the house plans (the first builder we took them to hadn’t returned them to us, and we had already determined he was too expensive.), and he wanted to know if I wanted to go for a little drive.

Sure! I’m like a golden retriever. Ride? Pant! Pant! I hadn’t changed from my interview clothes yet, but a drive up the mountain is always nice. So we got to Rod and Sharon’s who live WAY up the mountain perched on a hillside. I decided to wait in the car, because I noticed another couple was there and A) I didn’t want to barge in and B) if I did barge in, I know I have a habit of sucking all of the air out of the room and demanding full attention and yammering on and on. No one should have deal with that unless they have specifically asked to be annoyed.

So I waited in the car. And I waited. And I had to pee. Bad. I got out of the car on the dark mountain road and looked up at Sharon’s house which was across the street and up about 30 feet behind trees. I contemplated hiking the driveway in my straight skirt and heels and going in to use the restroom, and then looked around me to see that the only other house I could see was way down at the bottom of the ravine next to the car. So, hauling up my new status as an island girl, I decided to squat next to the car and do my business, knowing no one could see me in the dark and I was off the road communing with the deer and other animals that also pee in the woods. Also I knew Justin was probably going to be out any second and I would delay our errand by a factor of two if I went inside now.

So, I hiked up my skirt and wrestled briefly with my pantyhose and felt much better. Only, I failed to notice just how close to the ravine I was – you know, because it’s dark. As I stood up to do the pantyhose dance and wiggle back into my control tops, the bottom dropped out from beneath my feet. I went plunging down a gravel ravine on my bare backside, with my nylons around my knees and my skirt wadded up around my armpits. I slid about 50 feet before standing up, holding my tush and pulling my dignity (ha!) and clothing back together. My heart was pounding as I leaned on the hillside and said aloud “WHO — DOES THIS?????” I clawed my way back up the ravine with my gelled nails and high heels, cursing my stupidity the whole way up.

Once at the top, I adjusted my skirt, tucked in my blouse, shook my hair, crossed the street, and stalked up the driveway to get Justin. As soon as I opened the door in the bright house and saw the room full of people and happy kids I immediately lost the desire to drag Justin outside. Sharon’s middle child came up and said, “Do you want to see my room??” I said sure! So Ethan took me upstairs where his older brother and two of the neighbor girls were playing and admired the room which is like the perfect boy loft. I bent down to help Ethan whisk away a puppy indiscretion on the floor and noticed that my backside was starting to really sting. Downstairs I went, where Rod, Sharon, their friends, and Justin were chatting, and Sharon directed me to a garbage can for the plastic bag I held in my hand. I washed my hands in the sink thinking, man, my rump really stings – I wonder if I scraped it up. (I never said I was a genius.)

So, I was leaning against the counter, talking with Sharon who was holding her youngest, the cutest little two year old with curly blonde hair that you have ever seen. Anyway, I was thinking how much I love these kids, and I reached for Isaac just as he threw up all over his mom. I grabbed Isaac and said, “You go change, I’ll dunk Isaac, here.” And headed toward the bathroom with the baby who was not in least bit affected or bothered by the upchuck. Sharon changed and she and I ran the bath and bathed Isaac and Ethan together, enjoying their splashing and playing. Only, bending over the tub my butt was starting to sting in earnest at this point, and I could tell that my pantyhose were sticking to my backside – not a good sign.

I stood up and backed up to the mirror and told Sharon that I slipped down the hillside when I got out of the car – obviously omitting the part about me going ‘nature girl’ and peeing in the woods. I unzipped my skirt and hiked up my hip while I looked over my shoulder so I could see the damage in the mirror. Sharon stared…”Oh my god, what did you do??” My butt looked like I got busy in the backseat with Edward Scissor-hands. I was scraped, and bleeding, and already bruising. Then Sharon said, “You really have a great ass.” Only Sharon would make such a great comment when I’m feeling like such a bloody (pun intended) idiot.

So we toweled off the boys, got them into their jammies and wandered out into the living room where Justin had blueprints in one hand, a beer in the other, and was completely oblivious to any of the evening’s swashbuckling events. “Ready, honey?” I said. “Sure,” he said, pushing himself away from the couch he was leaning on. I hugged Sharon goodbye, and she said, “Wow, you are amazing, you fell down a ravine and walked in here like nothing happened and you didn’t even run your nylons!” I smiled and left, thinking “Yeah, I didn’t run my nylons because they were around my ankles.”

It sucks feeling down in paradise all the time, but there’s nothing like a little personal humiliation to shake things up.