EXCEPT that's not what happened at all, and the above paragraph does not resemble my weekend in any way. That was the plan, naturally; it just never materialized. Instead, it went like every single weekend does. Let me demonstrate.
Instead of heading to her grandma's house during any part of Friday, Brigid finally headed to Grandma's house with me at 2:00 pm on Saturday afternoon. Michael did, indeed, leave to attend a weight-lifting competition in Portland, Oregon, at the crack of dawn Saturday morning, but due to budgetary constraints, he did not stay overnight at a hotel in Portland and go to church there Sunday morning, but rather, returned home at about 7:00 pm Saturday evening. All of this equates to me having 5 free hours in which to get something done on my house. I did the only obvious thing a harrassed Mommy, desperate to have her house restored to sanity, could do--I went shopping and had lunch out!
In this case, "shopping" included buying one magazine, because of the aforementioned budgetary constraints. But I had to buy this particular magazine; this situation was not optional. The Salem Depot Railroad Museum, the project on which my father spent many happy hours in the last years before he died, was featured in a national magazine called
This magazine featured VERY prominently throughout my childhood, as it was one of my father's favorite reading materials, and he kept countless back issues roaming about the house. Actually, he kept them in neat, orderly piles, and later, boxes or binders. The roaming part was really more my doing. I loved to flip through the glossy, full-color pages, enjoying the sketches of layout track plans and the eye-level photos of model buildings that made them look entirely real. When I heard that two of Dad's fellow volunteers at The Depot, Cecil Smith and (another) John Campbell (no relation) had written an article for the Railroad Model Craftsman, I had to pick up a copy at my local Barnes & Noble.
I then set off to fulfill one of the things on my VERY long List of Things I've Always Wanted to Do, that travels around in my portable memory device, i.e. my brain. Admittedly, this particular Thing on the list of Things was a very low priority Thing, but I was standing right beside the establishment in question, so what the hell? Yes, I screwed up all my courage and ate at the Azteca Mexican Restaurant in the mall. Eating Mexican is pretty much always the same experience, and I don't know why I thought this would be so different that I had to add it to The List of Things, but there it is. And it was the same as always. It was, indeed, authentic Mexican food, which means I was brought a delicious plate of mixed, mashed and mangled brown goop, enjoyed it quite a bit, and had heartburn and . . . other, even less pleasant after effects for the rest of the day. (This experience is NOT to be confused with that of eating totally Americanized "Mexican" food, which is completely different--except for the after effects, which are precisely the same, and usually ten times more dramatic.)
Then I went home, started some laundry, and watched Star Trek: Enterprise, and that's exactly where I was sitting when Michael came in. I did actually spend Sunday finishing the laundry and cleaning up Brigid's toy messes, just in time for her to come home Sunday evening and storm, tornado-like, through the recently organized toys, scream her head off while I cleaned up her explosive . . . um, unpleasant after effects of whatever Grandma fed her for dinner, and then go to bed, leaving a harrassed, exhausted, sweaty Mommy to drop into her chair, cry for a few minutes, and then go back to Enterprise. Happy Monday, everybody!