Larry the Tree

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Larry’s memorial. The sign reads,
“Here lies Larry the Tree X(“

We had a tree growing in our front yard right next to our driveway. Yes: had. The tree was dying for a long time and we had been getting rainstorms and windstorms. We didn’t want to take the chance of the tree falling on our house, or worse, falling down on a child.

We called a tree company to take care of the tree, who was suddenly “Larry” and a beloved member of our family according to The Oppressed. She vehemently protested the decision to, “murder Larry”. The execution was carried out on Earth Day of all days.

The oppressed protested. She was furious. Trees give us oxygen to breathe. We’re killing the Earth and its inhabitants if we take this tree down. I explain to her a tree is not giving oxygen if there are no leaves (needles) on it. The tree is already dead. All this is fruitless against a nine-year-old expert on trees and ecology. We don’t care about the environment. There is a mark on the cruel, heartless men who have killed Larry. Wife and I, who are paying these men, are just as culpable.

The deed was done. Larry was cut down, ground up, and taken away. The stump was all that was left of Larry. The tree workers were coming back to grind the stump. The Oppressed wasted no time in constructing a memorial for Larry to remind the neighborhood and the murderous tree workers of what had once occupied the spot on our front yard.

There is a positive to this story. The Boy asked the tree workers if they could put another tree in Larry’s place. When the workers returned to grind the stump. They left a Japanese Maple tree. The Miracles of Christ were overjoyed to see it.

Faith restored

Kitty

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My family owns a cat. She was a birthday present for The Boy, who loves cats and always wanted one. We’ve had Kitty for over a year.

Kitty leaves no stone unturned when she is searching the house for mice and other pests.

Kitty and I came to bond over time. It happens when you’re a stay-at-home parent and you stay at home. Kitty learned her way around the house. At feeding time, Kitty gets excited when she hears the silverware drawer open. If she doesn’t hear the silverware drawer open, I walk into whatever room she’s in and show her the fork. Kitty gets excited and follows me with a purr to her bowl.

Kitty is sometimes too friendly for the other people in the house. Kitty will fall asleep on Wife. If Wife tries to get out of bed, Kitty sometimes doesn’t want to get off her and sometimes will get in her way.

She can also be found with The Boy sometimes. The Boy will wake up and see Kitty at the foot of his bed. He will get up, grab Kitty and lay back down, handling her like a little teddy bear. Kitty’s eyes get big and her paws reach for something-anything- as she feels herself fall backwards onto the bed and The Boy.

Kitty likes to explore. Sometimes it’s hard to find her. Shake a jar of treats. You’ve never seen anything move so fast, although there was this one time I was working early in the morning. Kitty was trying to negotiate her way across my table. I was trying to write and drink coffee and keep a pile of books from toppling over. Kitty was doing well until she hit something and started to fall over. I stuck my hand out to catch her. I didn’t get her but, well… She peed. I ran to the bathroom and washed my hands three or four times. After some warm water, a little soap, a Brillo pad, some turpentine, and a blowtorch, I think I was alright.

Shopping and Fun

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We have a lot of people stuck in the house during Coronapalooza. Luckily, there are enough screens to go around for everyone. Luckily, the weather is improving and I get outside and do some work in the yard.

Sometimes an errand needs to be run and I will try to bring one or two of the children with me as wife is stuck at home working in the midst of all this.

One day, I had to go to the grocery store. There are a lot of people here eating three meals a day and the stores need to be replenished. This time, I had to go with two of the older children. I’ve been dealing with elementary school children most of the time. Now, I will have teenagers with me. What could possibly go wrong?

The three of us get into the car armed with a shopping list and the necessary gear for food shopping: facemasks, gloves, sanitizer. I never thought I’d be wearing a mask into a store, but here we are.

The two teenagers, a brother and sister, start arguing as soon as we leave the house. They’re arguing over something dumb and sophomoric. I’m starting to think it may have been easier to bring the elementary school children with me. They continue to argue all the way to the store. I pull into the parking lot and remind them we are about to go into the store and everyone needs to start acting normal (That’s the Number One rule the kids have when we go somewhere). The sister immediately rolls down her windows and yells, “‘Allo, dawlin’s. Do ya fancy a spot a’ toy?” She sits back and rolls her window back up. She’s proud of herself and her message to the masses. She can’t understand why I’m watching her the whole time from putting the car in “Park” to the time we get out of the car. She also can’t figure out why I lock the windows when she’s in the car.

We get into the store. I get a carriage. Both children (again, teenagers) argue about who will push the carriage. Once one gets a turn, they don’t want the turn and want the other to push. The other suddenly doesn’t want to push. I push the carriage. We go down the aisles that have what we need. They ask why we can’t go down this aisle.

“Because there’s nothing there we need,” I explain.

“But it’s fun.”

Of course it is. That’s exactly why I go to the grocery store. It’s fun. Sister can’t understand my judgmental look.

Someone in another aisle sneezes. Sister yells, “Corona!” I stop the carriage and offer another look. She turns to see her brother picking something. She doesn’t want that and tells him to pick something else. She is about to grab another kind when he sticks his hand out to prevent her from reaching for the item. She says, “C’mon! Stop it!” I ask them why the teenagers have to make a commotion in the store while there are four-and-five-year-olds setting a better example.

We go to another aisle. Sister picks something. Brother tells her its the wrong kind. Sister tells him to shut up. It’s what she wants. I try to wheel the carriage away from them but they see me and catch up.

We get to check-out. They continue to argue. I tell them to go ahead and wait for me while I get rung up and pay for the groceries. They’re still arguing. I still don’t know what they’re arguing over. Probably something most pressing, I’m sure. I’m finally done and we leave the store. They ask when they can go shopping with me again.

Soap Gets in Your Eyes

I sing this to myself from time to time. A lot of pain could be avoided if the children could learn what “Close your eyes” means.

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Sung to “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by The Platters

They asked me how I knew.

There’s no way it’s true.

I of course said, “Fine.”

At least close your eyes. Soap gets in your eyes.

They said, “I need to hide. You just hurt my eyes.”

When it’s not a lie,

You must realize soap gets in your eyes.

So, I dodged them and their many jabs.

To think they would heed my words.

And today their sight has gone away.

I have too much soap (Too much soap).

Now screaming kids will cry.

I cannot see why.

So, I sigh and say,

If you close your eyes, nothing in your eyes.

(Soap gets in your eyes, soap gets in your eyes)

Soap gets in your eyes

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