Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Upcoming Coronation

I'm getting a crown in a few weeks.
Unfortunately I'm not getting a crown because I'm queen for a day; and I didn't win a beauty contest.
I'm getting a crown on my tooth. Ouch.
One of my molars has a fracture. When my femur was fractured in fourth grade, I didn't get a crown; I got a cast. The crown on my tooth is like a cast that stays on forever.
My dentist said she just went to a conference where they discussed the fact that more and more people are living to be 100 years old; so we need to be even more diligent in caring for our aging teeth. I'm only 46; and already one of my teeth is going into a permanent cast.
The dentist explained to me, while I was still lying on the examining chair with my head tilted too far back, that if I don't get the crown, I may have to get a root canal. That sounds like a punishment.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you can't have dessert."
"If you continue to sass your mother, you will be sent to your room."
"If you're not home by curfew, you will be grounded."
"If you don't get this crown, you will get a root canal!"
I decided to get the crown. I'm a rule follower; and with my dental anxiety, I don't think I can endure the root canal. It's bad enough that my mouth, which I assume has always been a democracy, will now be under the rule of a monarch. The unruly molar with the crown will definitely demand the lion's share of attention. The other teeth are going to have to adjust to the change.
I don't want to mess with the geography in there by digging a canal which might eventually lead to a bridge. No thanks...unless the newly crowned royal tooth decrees there must be a canal. In that case, I guess I won't have much of a choice. My mouth is not my own. Hopefully I'll live to 100 so my royal tooth can enjoy a long and successful reign.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Beach Bummed

My family knows I prefer indoor activities unless I am on vacation. For ten days a year, I live like a person on a Nike commercial. If not on the beach, I'd rather be on my couch. In fact, I sometimes blame my inactive lifestyle on the fact that we do not live ocean side. If we lived near the ocean, I would be a dog-walking, running, biking, paddle-boarding, bird-watching, zip-lining fool. I would slather myself with sunscreen and insist on eating a healthy, grilled, seafood dinner on the patio every single evening. 
Unfortunately for my waistline, we live 10 hours from the ocean. We do not have an enclosed patio, so we are forced to carry all the patio furniture cushions in and out whenever we decide to sit outside. We have so many cushions, that I am completely exhausted by the time I have the cushions in place. From the moment I sit down outside, I begin to dread putting all the cushions back in the garage. 
If we lived at the beach, we could leave the cushions in place. The intense sun would dry the damp cushions in record time, fashionably leaching them of their color, leaving them tastefully faded. Worn out things look classy at the beach. Worn out things look worn out in my backyard.
On muggy days, like today, I seriously consider sitting on the cushions inside the garage. It's cool in there. It's so humid outside that my hair stays in a frizzled cloud around my face. No matter how long I spend blow-drying and straightening it, it takes about five minutes for it to recoil from the hot, wet air. My hair recoils first; then I recoil and retreat back into my air-conditioned lair. If we were at the ocean, my hair would be sun-streaked and windblown.
At the beach, grit on the hardwood floors is expected...sand carried in on flip flops and bare feet. I'm not sure why I have grit on my hardwood floors here in central Kentucky; so I choose to ignore it and pretend I'm at the beach.
The freshest seafood we can get here comes from Kroger's seafood department. If it smells fishy, I steer my cart right on to the red meat section. The ocean is good for my cholesterol.
At the beach, I feel relaxed. At home, I feel harried. At the beach, I don't set cell phone alerts or check my calendar. At home, I misplace the dog groomer's reminder card and end up missing the dog's grooming appointment. At the beach, fresh strawberries seem like dessert. At home, fresh strawberries seem like dessert only if they are on top of chewy chocolate brownies and a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.
I need to move to the beach.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I Love a Parade

Our neighborhood parade was canceled yesterday because of rain. One little boy puttered down the street in his battery-operated jeep anyway. His dad walked behind, shoulders hunched against the drizzle. Someone had fastened white vinyl stars to the little red jeep. The pint-sized driver waved shyly as he soldiered on, grand master of the parade that wasn't.
* * *
The neighborhood parade is one of my favorite holiday traditions. Kids march by, carrying hand-lettered signs, "Happy 4th!," "Stars and Stripes Forever!" Red and blue paper streamers trail off bikes and big wheels. A couple kids skateboard around the edge of the crowd. They wear faded patriotic t-shirts, and their skateboard wheels whiz on the concrete. Dogs, with star-spangled bandannas tied 'round their collars, lope at the end of red leashes.
We drag our camping chairs out to the sidewalk along the parade route and clap and cheer as the kids wave and skate and pedal by. The route ends at the tennis court, where the neighborhood association president hands out freeze pops.
* * *
This year, I cheered for the lone little patriotic driver. I wondered if his dad did not get the cancellation email or if the little boy insisted on  driving the route anyway. Regardless, I am inspired. A red jeep, white stars, and a proud little rain-wet, smiling face...the brightest spot on a dark day, too stormy even for fireworks.