August 21, 2023

last minute overnights & college drop offs: drawers, droppings, grass is NOT always greener, and ribs

I'm typing this on my way to drop Mini off for her sophomore year at Notre Dame. Don't worry. Coach is driving the minivan, so I'm using my hotspot in the passenger seat. I'm a good multitasker, but not THAT good. 

Pic I sent Coach. Me eating
 breakfast on our patio. The lake was
 just beyond the pool. Delightful. 

Mini, Curly, and I snuck away for an overnight in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin on Thursday. It was a last minute thing. I don't think I've ever done anything so last minute that was so called for and that worked out so well. We balanced our 24 hours perfectly:  pool, hot tub, laughter, shopping, chatting, and ice cream. On the drive home, Curly asked me about how Coach proposed and I shared the whole funny story with them. 

Last Friday, I drove Tank to Creighton in Omaha. It's a 6.5 hour drive. I stayed in an Airbnb that was a little tricky to find. There was NO address on the building. The  description alerted me to the fact that the building (not the unit) was under construction. Still, would it be so hard to spray paint the number on plywood and lean it against the building? The building was not the same color as the description either. The apartment I stayed in was brand new and very comfortable. The full length mirror at the end of the hallway kept scaring me. Every time I rounded a corner my reflection scared the be-Jesus out of me. 

My scary reflection. 

It wasn't until we unloaded Tank's stuff that we realized he needed a dresser. While he was studying in Ireland, he arranged to buy all the bedroom furniture from the guy who lived in the house before him. It didn't dawn on him that he was lacking clothing storage until we moved everything in. 

Shortly after we unpacked his stuff, I was racing off to meet a friend from college for dinner. As college students, we didn't hang out much. Her older sister and my sister, Ann, were college roomies though, so she is more like a family friend. Sadly, her sister died of breast cancer almost 10 years ago now. Heart breaking. 

I texted FF, family friend, to let her know that I'd be in town when I drove Tank to school. She was available. We had a lovely time. She pointed out that as a divorced mom of two teen girls, she doesn't get invited to many social events. She asked about my daycare, explaining that she sometimes thinks of doing something similar, because the corporate world annoys her at times. 

Anyone else travel with a sippy cup full of
milk when bunking at an Airbnb in order
 to make oatmeal in the morning without
 the typical hotel breakfast
 buffet? I didn't think so. 

What is even happening? I was like OH, WELL, I SOMETIMES FEEL BAD THAT I'VE NEVER HAD A CAREER IN THE CORPORATE WORLD. She made me feel better about my choices and vice versa - I think. I pointed out that just because we are a married couple, ready and willing to meet other couples out for dinner or a drink, we rarely have plans. Switching the kids' school years ago, having more kids than most of our peers, enjoying attending all of their sports, and having crappy neighbors has all  interfered with our social life, by my estimation.

It felt very:  


Anyway ANYWAY, I was in a hurry to race off and meet her for our dinner, but Tank now needed drawers. I'd agreed to take him to breakfast before I left town the next morning, but I was afraid that purchasing drawers in the morning would delay my departure. I never know how I'm gonna sleep and I hated the thought of driving tired in the late afternoon for 6.5 hours solo.

I didn't see the dresser
 in his room, but he
sent me this pic and
 it does fit perfectly.

Walking out of his house, I pulled up Facebook marketplace on my phone and
 searched for dressers in Omaha. I showed a few to Tank, he shrugged. "Looks fine." I messaged someone and they said YEP, AVAILABLE. I asked if I could grab it after 9 pm following my dinner. YEP. 

Sometimes I don't make the best choices. Driving to a questionable area after 9 pm solo ranks pretty high in my list of WHAT WERE YOU THINING moments. I showed up at the address in the cover of darkness. I got the goods. I delivered it the next morning.

In the light of day, did Tank and I discover mouse droppings inside the dresser? Yes, we did. Should I probably have haggled a bit in the price or spent a bit more time looking at the options? Or bought it in broad daylight? Well, yes. Tank's buddies have been living in the house all summer. I noticed a few mouse traps. I'm fairly certain that mice will be making occasional visits to his residence. Eek. 

I insisted that he get antibacterial wipes and clean the furniture out before he haul it up the stairs from his yard, which is where we parked it. Seven girls, who are good friends with Tank's group of friends, are renting the house directly next door. These girls coughed up some antibacterial wipes before I'd even left to drive home. 

Tank's red house. Front yard has a slope.
My son's feet went out from under him.
 Was he keeping his fans
entertained? Most likely. 
This weekend, they also coughed up a bottle of Advil, which I will be replacing via an Amazon delivery, this week. 

Tank fell down a steep hill in his yard in the wee hours Friday night and broke his ribs. People. Don't get me started. Was alcohol involved in his fall? Well, when you know you know, or when you can deduce you can deduce. Ugh. 

I intended to share a story of Mini's bed sheets with you, but that will have to wait. Any guesses? 


mbmom11 said...

Poor Tank- hope he feels better soon. Did Mini's sheet deteriorate in the storage container and fall apart when removed?
However, given the state of my college daughter's pillowcase before I washed it, no casting stone here. (I did get it clean though.)

Nicole said...

HE BROKE HIS RIBS! Poor guy, hope he's okay.
Yikes, mice! Mice in the house freak me out, but I'm sure with traps and everything they have it under control (I HOPE).
I'm so glad you had a nice getaway with the girls! What a lovely thing to do with your lovely daughters.
OMG I am glad that story worked out but ERNIE THAT IS HOW PEOPLE GET KILLED! Going to a place by yourself! Ahhhhhhh I'm second-hand worried!

Bijoux said...

Are broken ribs something that doctors don’t do anything for? That’s what I seem to recall from other people’s experience. Ugh on the mouse poop. And I’m surprised someone agreed to have a stranger come to their house after 9 pm! LOL, that Facebook marketplace can be a scary place. Glad you survived all of it.

Pat Birnie said...

So nice that you and your girls had a little getaway-you deserve it I’m sure. Mice don’t even make me blink twice - I had an old house years ago that the mice loved; we now own a cottage that they find nice and warm in the winter. I know their routes and we set traps (peanut butter is the best bait). Ouch on the ribs. One of my boys fractured his patella when he was about 18- I only heard the true story a couple of years ago, 12 years later. Yes of course alcohol was involved. My husband always used to tell them as they headed out the door “remember, you don’t drink it to be smart!”

Jenny in WV said...

Your getaway sounds lovely! The perfect thing!

Icky, icky on the mouse droppings! It's a cute looking house, tho I wouldn't want to have to mow the slope in the front!

Is there a story to all the looks-like-diriver's-licences on the desk?

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - Yes, poor Tank. He was pretty miserable over the weekend. He participates in a big lip synch competition and he is the sort of master of nonsense, so he was bummed that he had to adjust his performance.

Mini's sheets did NOT deteriorate in a bin. Believe it or not.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Mice - eek. I felt so dumb for buying furniture with mice droppings inside of it. I will use more caution in my next FB marketplace purchase. I promise. I do need to occasionally slow down and accept that there will be a delay in my original plan. I decided that I'd keep driving if the house looked too scary. There were (a young couple, possibly siblings and an elderly couple) family members out and about on the driveway and I firmly believed they just wanted my $60. They opened the bottom drawer and there were all kinds of baby items, blankets, booties, burpers. It looked like items someone intended to save. Well, that's where the mice droppings were spotted the next morning. I think the people were living in undesirable housing and weren't really planning to off me. Nevertheless, I vow not to operate like that again, time crunch be damned.

Time with my girls was magical. We had so much fun. We love a good sale, and we found some gems.

Ernie said...

Bijoux - Yes, there is nothing that can be done for broken ribs. We have had some recent experience with broken ribs. More on who and why later. Poor guy. He is lucky that he didn't break a leg and require surgery or something even more serious. We have had so many talks about being careful. I think this time he gets it. I hope so.

I think the family really needed the money, and my 9 pm suggestion worked just fine for them. Still, it was dumb. I'll be more careful next time.

Ernie said...

Pat - The girls weekend was delightful from start to finish. I wish we'd had more time, but we came home in order to get Curly to volleyball practice. I hope to make this a new annual outing.

I grew up with mice dead in traps in our Iowa home. They aren't my favorite, but I wanted to be sure Tank would clean it out well before he used it. Gross.

I LOVE that saying YOU DON'T DRINK IT BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU SMART. I will be using that at nauseum.

Ernie said...

Jenny - Or should I say, detective Jenny? I didn't even NOTICE the licenses. I will have to inquire what that is all about. I know he has a fake ID. My kids laugh at the fact that I didn't have a fake when I was their age. But why so many?

The 24 hours away was so much fun. I'm not looking forward to my credit card statement, but I started babysitting today, so I think we will be OK.

Honestly the house is very cute and it is so much nicer and cheaper than what Ed lived in last year. There is this slope in the front and another in the back. I think Tank plans to mow it, but they paid someone since the clowns that lived there all summer didn't bother and it was out of control. Now he knows he is going to have to be so careful with that slope.

Nance said...

Yikes. Broken ribs are super painful and take a long time to heal. That's rough. Way worse than mouse poop.

Glad you had a nice getaway with your girls.

Beth Cotell said...

I can only imagine the many different creatures living in Peter's house right now. I also left him with a whole giant container of anti-bacterial wipes that will be unopened when I move him next year. But it made me feel better knowing that at least he had some there.

Poor Tank! Broken ribs????? I hope they aren't too painful.

I am going to guess that Mini's sheets were missing.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Girl. You.Get.Around! I'm glad you were able to reconnect with a college friend. Isn't it funny that sometimes other people's lives look like they might be more fun? Or easier?
I'm glad the trip with the girls was delightful; girl time is the best.
Poor Tank; I do hope this is a lesson learned. Kids drinking in college makes me nervous..their brains are not fully developed, and the alcohol doesn't help. (says the girl who DID drink before 21! 😳)

I could never make a good guess about Mini and her sheets! There is NO telling with her.

Bibliomama said...

The ribs thing SUCKS. The mouse droppings? Meh - you got what you needed and it's not like the actual mouse was in there. My student house was positively riddled with mice and my landlord did zip. One mouse showed up in Eve's house and the exterminator was there the next day - times have changed.
Good work delivering all your kids to their respective destinations.

Ernie said...

Nance- Yes the ribs are painful. Oddly enough we had some experience with that over the summer with a different family member. Long story to follow.

We were in the Lake Geneva area last summer and the girls and I stayed one more night to shop and relax. It was seamless. This took a bit more Arranging but I'm so glad we did it.

Ernie said...

Beth - I'm laughing at the unopened antibacterial wipes. Yes, broken ribs are very painful. Another family member experienced that this summer and there has been a lot of chat about how to roll to get out of bed. It takes weeks to recover. Very frustrating. Mini's sheets were missing, sort of.

Ernie said...

Suz - I do get around. I'm living my best life just zig zagging around the Midwest. I missed my 30th reunion this summer, but these two college friend meetups were fun.

I worry so much with the party scene at college. Can't people just have a drink socially without going overboard? We hope he has learned his lesson.

Mini is not exactly to blame for the bed sheets issue. Our life is a circus. There's no pretending otherwise.

Ernie said...

Ali - You aren't wrong - the broken ribs is rotten, but at least he didn't break something like his neck or a femur that required surgery or something. Me hopes he has heard me say BE CAREFUL and REIGN IT IN at long last. The mice thing was gross and I wish I'd been there to check to be sure he'd cleaned out the dresser sufficiently. Lad's apartment was infested with mice. It was New York, so I wasn't that surprised. He also had a front door that didn't lock, like to his actual apartment. It being New York, I was a bit horrified by that. His landlord did nothing.

I miss having Tank and Mini home. Ed is living here at least, but he is only using us for the roof over his head and he is out more than he is in - which is as it should be. I do enjoy the glimpses that I get though.

Anne said...

Rib fractures are no joke. None. Glad he got some meds from the prepared neighbors (no surprise there) and that they also provided the antibacterial wipes. I suspect you may be using Amazon Delivery to them more in the future. ;)

Also so glad that you had a get-together with your friend. Those meet ups always - always - go better than I anticipate, and I'm glad that it was enjoyable for both of you. And yay, for reinforcing the "highlight reel is not real life" idea. So hard to see others' lives from the outside and assume they're all sorts of perfect, when maybe they are not.