Monday, July 15, 2013


I really don't. I've never felt so old in my life. I used to be "hip" and "with it." Even if I wasn't right on top of it, I could pick it up without too much trouble, but this hashtag thing just confuses me.

What is the point? Didn't the statement made before the hashtag make clear my thoughts? Is the hashtag just a brief reconfirmation of my previous comment? When did I stop being cool?

The thing with the hashtag is, I can't be sure if I'm using it correctly, though I suspect there aren't any rules anyway. It's a "make it up as you go along" type activity.


Last weekend my children and I went camping at Caddo Lake state park. It was...wet. Really, really wet. I can't remember the last time it rained, but we experienced a gully washer on Thursday evening.

Thankfully, we were able to get our tents (we went with another family) up before the downpour began. Also we managed to score a site with an enormous pad that fit both of our rather large tents thereby saving them from washing away in the resulting flood. That is only a small exaggeration.

However, the rain ruined our chances of dinner by campfire, so we ended up in town at Wendy's in front of a faux fire. It had to do.

We also discovered our tent is not waterproof, a knowledge we came to after the rain had passed. Upon entering our canvas abode we found several puddles had formed on top of every single sleeping bag. That's okay, it was too hot for sleeping bags that night anyway.

The Wendy's was right next to a Wal-Mart so we were able to get a couple of light blankets to cover ourselves for the night. The next morning we hung our sleeping bags out to get less wet. It was all we could hope for in the swampy air.

Everything works out.

We were under the understanding that there were canoes and swimming at this park, but when we got there we were informed that, in fact, there were no canoes. As for swimming, there was no designated swimming area, so we were cautioned to take care when swimming as we could encounter glass, fishing hooks, or...alligators. That's right, alligators.

We opted not to swim there.

Instead we went to Atlanta state park to swim at the "sandy beach." We were underwhelmed by the minitude of "sandy beach." It was perhaps six feet wide and three feet from the water.

But it was sandy.

The children were excited to swim out to the buoys until they realized they could still touch the bottom. Oh well, less of a chance for drowning. As we were so close to Louisiana, we decided to cross the border for some ice cream so that was fun.

It was a lot of fun, mostly because we were with another family. Which brings me to the last in a long line of comical experience. We were told the campsite we had chosen was near the highway so there "might be some traffic noise."

Wow. That was an incredible understatement.

We could not hear ourselves speak anytime a truck roared by, and they roared by a lot. Also, there was a train.

My grampa would send us VHS copies of old cartoons when I was a kid. One time he sent us a tape of Huckleberry Hound, a blue dog in a straw hat who is slow of speech, and perpetual positivity. In one episode he was tending to a set of pranking twins. They locked him out of a room that he used a battering ram to get through. They opened the door as he came barreling through then opened a second door that led outside. He was on the second floor and as he fell he said, "lucky for me, there's a swimming pool."

As he reached the pool, one of the boys pulled the plug to the pool and as only happens in cartoons, the pool was empty by the time Huckleberry hit the ground. At which point he says, "lucky for me the pool is empty. I might have drowned."

I try to emulate ol' Huckleberry hound. This weekend gave me a lot of practice.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

How To Avoid An Unfortunate Accident...

I don't mow lawns. Not since I was about fourteen years old. See what had happened...

My mom married this wackadoo, but that's beside the point.

Anyway, he moved us to the outskirts of civilization, a tiny town in east Texas called Yantis. Go find yourselves a map, see if you can find it. I'll wait.

That was fun, right?

Anyway, I was mowing the vast lawn one afternoon when I looked waaay across the other side of the yard to see my new uncle helping my step dad to his feet. He had blood pouring down his face from a lovely gash on his forehead. I stopped the mowed, and ran over. When I asked what happened, my new uncle said, "you did this."

What the...

Well, there was a loose bolt on the underside of the mower. It fell off, hit the blade and shot across the yard where it hit that guy in the melon. I haven't touch a lawn mower since. Just recently Mr. D. has recruited the two older girls to lawn mowing.

Just recently to my knowledge. Apparently they've been doing it for a while.

At any rate, my middle daughter was tasked with mowing the lawn last Saturday. I was nervous about the whole thing, but Mr. D. had no concerns (obviously). However, half an hour later my oldest saunters into my room and announced "Meenie ran over a stump with the lawn mower."


So, Mr. D. had to purchase another blade. Bear in mind this is the first blade change on our ten year old mower. Which means he doesn't know how to remove or reinstall said blade. Thankfully, we live in the age of YouTube so there is a video for anything right at one's fingers.

After replacing the blade, Mr. D. tells me that he needs to review the video once more just to be sure he installed it correctly. "I followed the video instructions to take it off then used the reverse to put it back on," he tells me, "but I want to review the video anyway so we can avoid any unfortunate accidents." And that's how this post came to be. I truly, truly hope there is nothing more to add to this story.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Most Horrifying Night of My Life....

I had no intention of documenting this...ever, anywhere, but I realized the only way I can get past it is to acknowledge that it happened. So here goes.

I have been taking piano for nine months. I will never be a concert pianist, but I've always wanted to learn. As my oldest daughter has the longest fingers ever (not super relevant, but worth mentioning), she has already been taking piano, so I figured why not?

I've got nothing else to do.

Anyway, this particular piano teacher is stellar, but she also has this nauseating practice called "recitals." I have known from the first day that a recital was in my future, but I refused to think about it. I mean, it was practically forever away, and why borrow tomorrows troubles today, you know what I mean?

Unfortunately, time passes as it is wont to do, and the recital fast approached until it was here, but I was ready! I knew my pieces, I knew my posture, I knew everyone in the cultural hall where the recital was being held, but I could not avoid the nervous twitch that suddenly overcame me.

Let me be clear. I do not get embarrassed. I can think of a handful of times wherein my cheeks grew warm at some foolishness I had committed, but for the most part I cannot afford to be embarrassed. I've fallen, tripped, word vomited, been in the wrong place at the wrong time, spilled and dropped too many things, too many times to entertain embarrassment. Or so I thought.

My piano teacher set each of us up with a plan should we mess up or get lost while playing our pieces. Plan A, in the event of a missed note, was to continue without pausing. Plan B, in the event that we lost our place, was to continue playing but go back to the beginning of the piece. The idea being that if we keep playing no one else will know that a note was missed or that we lost our place.

Armed with these tools I still was a nervous ball of worry, but even though I begged to be excused from the recital (and I did, I'm not ashamed) she wouldn't cut me loose. So I steeled myself for my task. I marched myself up to that piano like I knew what I was doing, and I sat down.

The rest is a blur. Though I can tell you that I lost my place halfway through my first piece so I went back to the beginning. Then I lost my place again!

Well at that point my three minute song was on it's way to eight minutes which I wasn't interested in because I was sure that I would lose my place a third time, at which point it would be the "D.P. Davidson's recital" because I'd been playing for so long, so I decided just to end it. Which I did. I just ended it. Right where I was. Just stopped. Right there.

Unfortunately I had another piece to play which, thankfully, I got through with the shred of dignity I had left. I smiled, curtsied, and then left the hall in a hurry.

I wanted to throw up. I have never been so embarrassed in my life. Please people, hear me. I wanted to hide in the trash can. I would have taken six faceplants on the concrete to that recital. The horror! But, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Or succeeds the second time.

I get to do it again next year. Yay!