Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Rain, rain, go away

With Rachel being so involved with YW camp this week, we were on the fence about whether to have the rest of the kids do a week of school without her (having all the children be on the same schedule is a big perk to homeschooling, right?) but also part of the reason I'm trying to front load the school year is because I'm nervous about having to juggle their education with my education. Rachel is much better at managing her studies on her own than, say, for example, Benjamin or Zoë, so in theory she could still complete her studies in the future if I'm having a particularly busy week, while Benjamin and Zoë definitely could not.

So we took Monday (Rachel's birthday) off and went ahead and schooled (mostly) without her today (though she was present for our morning reading and I might count her drawing classes this week as school time since the kids did some drawing lessons this afternoon as well, which we counted toward school time).

We did not get any playtime outside today because it was raining all day. And not just raining—we had a torrential downpour, with thunder and lightning and dropping tree branches. The whole nine yards. It was a terrific storm; it was dark and cloudy all day.

This was unfortunate for two reasons. First of all, as Benjamin explained to me around 10:30 this evening, it's easier for him to fall asleep if he's had a productive day.


"So if we could be a little more productive tomorrow, that might help me sleep better tonight."

Part of me was tempted to tell him that if he didn't feel he had been productive enough today that he was welcome to go clean up the Lego room (goodness knows that room could always use a good cleaning) but a larger part of me knew that if I sent him down there unsupervised he would just start playing and I didn't want him to play when he should be in bed (and nor did I want to supervise him that late at night) so instead I told him that if he didn't feel he had been productive enough today, that's kind of a him-problem. Perhaps he should be a little more productive tomorrow.

Really what he needed was a good, exhausting romp in the hot sunshine, but we there was none to be found today. Only sheets of rain, flashes of lightning and dropping tree branches.

The second reason this storm was unfortunate is that every so often our mailman is a little lazy. Instead of running packages to our door, he will leave them up by our mailbox. It's worried me in the past but it's never actually been a problem because some members of our family tend to get a little overexcited by the mail truck. It's not often the mail truck passes by our house unnoticed. Usually it's met with squeals of joy, while tiny, desperate hands claw at the doorknob that they can only barely open, followed by the pitter patter of little feet escaping up the driveway to catch a glimpse of that mystical, magical parcel-toting contraption as it disappears down the street.

So our mail is collected rather immediately after delivery. Usually.

Because someone always chases the baby out.

But not today. Today no one noticed the mail truck come and whether it was the weather or whether it wasn't, the mail carrier noticed we had a package too big for our mailbox but didn't feel like shlepping it down to our front door so he jammed it between the box and the back post of our mail box, a trick he's pulled a handful of times, a trick I've tried not to worry about because Andrew says I worry far too many things (and I do; I have the grey hairs to prove it (there's nothing in existence that I can't worry about (I'm, like, really good at worrying (I might have anxiety; it's fine))).

When there was a break in the storm—and by break in the storm I mean simply a break in the down-pouring; the thunder and lightning still raged in the swirling grey skies—Alexander and I made a trip to take the garbage out and while we were out I thought we would just check the mail.

I glanced at the mailbox and saw a sad, soggy envelope draped over the top.

"Oh, dear," I said. "What could this be?"

I opened the cardboard envelope, a generous phrased considering the envelope had basically melted open already, and found a hopelessly soggy book of organ music. I was confused because we already got the book; it had arrived in the mail a few days earlier. But pretty quickly I worked out that clearly Andrew and I had managed to both buy a copy of the book (almost entirely my fault because I had been comparing prices between the giant Amazon and a small business; I decided, in the end, to go with the small business but had also placed the book in my Amazon cart and Andrew mistakenly checked out with it still in the cart (even after asking me if we needed to buy it).

Even though I knew we had a perfectly good copy sitting inside at the organ right that very second, I was still a little upset that this book was ruined! First of all: it's a book—ruined! Second of all: now we couldn't use it or return it or anything—humph!

Alexander and I made our way inside with the soggy book (and the dry mail from inside the mailbox) and then Alexander ran headlong into the banister, so I put down the dry mail and carried the sobbing Alexander and the soggy book upstairs to console them (they both seemed a little sad). Alexander was fine after a few minutes of snuggling, but the book needed a little more attention.

I texted Patrick (it's always nice to have a book conservator as a brother in times like this) and asked him what I should do. He asked a few questions about the book (what was the binding, how large were the pages, and so forth) and then told me what to do: stick paper towels between each page, put a cookie sheet on top and lightly weigh it down so the pages dry flat. When the paper is dry enough (which...I'm still kind of waiting on because it's super humid right now...a few pages seem dry but the ones in the middle still don't seem to be quite dry enough), remove the paper towels, put the sheet pan back on top and really weigh it down.

We're in the middle of that process, as I've said, but it already seems to be quite a lot flatter than it was when I first brought it inside, and the pages aren't sticking together as they dry, so it seems to be working! Not that I doubted that it would since Patrick is good at what he does.

What remains to be seen is if I'll be able to pull of his instructions well. If not...we already have the book...so...it's no huge loss, right?

1 comment:

  1. Definitely need to report this to the PO. He has done this before? He needs to stop doing this.

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