Some things in life aren’t easy. Like the other day, when I had to tell tough tattooed teen, aka, my nephew, that our sheepdog Peaches had died…in the 1990s. My sister hadn’t wanted to break the news to him, so when he came over and asked, “Where’s Peaches?” my grocery cashier brother said the first thing that came to his mind: “She went to the store.” Which was a problem, because whenever my nephew went to a store he would ask, “Is Peaches here?” So I morphed the story over the years, to the point in which we were sitting around a waiting room and I mentioned missing having a dog and he responded by saying, “Then you really shouldn’t have sent Peaches away to live on a sheep farm.” As all the adults in the room gave me that knowing look I said, “Oh, yeah. That farm…up north…”
Way up north…
Where she enjoys chasing sheep to this day…
Other things in life are easy. Like when the supervisor asked everyone if they wanted to bring in pies for Pi Day. Americans have never needed an excuse to eat dessert, though we will grab latch onto one if possible. There was apple pie, cherry pie, banana cream pie, peanut butter pie, unidentifiable-yet-good-looking pie, and I brought cookies. I figured we’d get sick of pie, but no one gets sick of cookies. This is how I ended up at home groaning from with the trifecta of allergies, an overly full stomach, and forcing myself to exercise when all I wanted to do was lie on the couch rubbing my eyes while my family yelled, “Stop touching your face!” But this is okay, because the next day someone brought in a vegan veggie pie, which, like hitting Ctrl Alt Delete and clicking restart, is the equivalent of a new beginning.
Another easy thing is tile crafts. I did this a few years ago. Back before I realized the only people who should attempt renovations themselves are either HGTV hosts or married to them, I would wander home improvement stores for ideas, until I came up with the best one yet---buying a brand new home. During one of these trips I came across 4x4 tiles marked 75% off and thought, “Wouldn’t it be cute to let the kids decorate them with Sharpies?” Normally I would clear a store out of good deals, but those puppies are heavy! When an employee offered to load them into the cart I was tempted to ask, “Can you take them all the way to work for me?” Thus I settled for a reasonable amount I could lift without a back brace.
1. Cover the tables with tablecloths.
2. Give sharpies and tiles to children. Unlike teens, you can give pens to children without too much worry. It’s the parents that will be totally freaking out at the thought of their child getting permanent markers on their clothes. Like the time we used tempura paints, this is one craft program you won’t hear any parents asking, “Is it okay if I leave my child here?”
3. Try not to laugh out loud as you see parents trying to pry pens out of their 6 year olds' hands because they look like they might be aiming for skin.
4. Clean up the tables with rubbing alcohol and paper towels.
I woke up this morning in the mood for ABBA. Maybe I needed a pick me up from the rainy weather. Maybe it’s the allergy medication traveling through my system. Whatever it is, I’m most likely going to go home, break out my ABBA sheet music and give it a try…after I take a long nap and eat takeout…