Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | November 27, 2012

The final straw

So we had a hurricane and eleven days without power, with the house getting colder and colder, the lines waiting for gas for the generator, the wondering where we could take a shower today, BUT I remained calm (mostly) and reminding myself and the kids that while this was unpleasant and inconvenient we were fine. The house was fine. Nothing had been damaged or washed away. And then we also had my husband in California dealing with his crazy sister, grieving step-mother and dying father so I provided calm loving support from afar and then from near when the end had come and they all landed in my newly empowered house. I cooked. I cleaned. I made sure the kids had appropriate clothes. I broke up a fight between my husband and his sister. I attended visiting hours, a funeral mass, and two graveside services. I held hands. I hugged. I sympathized, even with my crazy sister-in-law.  (My step-mother-in-law’s sister died the same day my father-in-law did. We had an all-funeral, all the time week.)

But then this happened: Girl child is a fencer and fencing season started Monday. I called the school to make sure all her ninety-thousand required papers were in order. Why no, school replied. We have none of them. (I sent them in at the beginning of the school year.) I look for copies I hope I made. No copies. Deep breath. I go to computer to print out ninety-thousand forms and find the printer is out of ink. Another deep breath. Off to the store for a printer cartridge. Come home. Start to install cartridge and discover I got the color one by mistake. Several deep breaths. To late to go back to store. Next day go back to store. Get black ink cartridge. Install cartridge. Go through print cartridge alignment routine. Go back to computer to print ninety-thousand forms. Printer informs me that the newly installed cartridge, which it was perfectly fine with while doing the alignments, is either missing or not installed correctly. At which point I had a complete breakdown, screaming at the printer using almost all of my bad language and ending in tears on the floor.

I was rescued by girl child who was brave enough to see what was happening and all eventually became well.

And then we went to Boston for the weekend and had a lovely time.
However, the kids are still commenting on my command of bad language.



  1. With what you’d been through I think a little cussing was perfectly in order. In fact, required. It’s a great stress reducer. : )

    • Actually that’s what my kids told me after they’d recovered from the shock. 🙂

  2. I’m glad your children were impressed by your command of profane language. It’s good to impress them from time to time. And sometimes something everyday can be the final straw. It usually is because it’s safe. Now you will be back to yourself again and able to take on the world as usual.

    • I think you’re right that it was something “safe.” Thinking back on it, I’m really glad it was an inanimate object I vented all my spleen on.

  3. I’m impressed that girl child was aware enough to get what was happening. Sounds like you were long overdue for a break! I’m glad you had a weekend away, and a little envious, too- I love Boston! hugs, my friend– hope this week is smooth sailing, you deserve it.

    • Girl child can be pretty amazingly insightful sometimes. Of course there are other times she can be a totally self-absorbed teenager, but, ya know, overall pretty terrific.

  4. Wow. You staved off the breaking point a lonng time. Big hugs!

  5. As that wonderful sage, Rosanne Rosannadana (sp?), always said – “If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.”

    I am in admiration that you managed to hold it together through what sounds like weeks of tribulation. You deserve applause and a big attagirl.

    • I LOVED Rosanna Rosannadanna!! Thanks for the applause and attagirl. 🙂

  6. I would have broken much sooner, you are a hero, an absolute hero. And now, she can get back to fencing. Also, a weekend out of town, you’ve earned it.

    From the last post, that room is looking GREAT! Thanks for the wonderful slide show.

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