Saturday, October 17, 2009

Home Show. Home Show! Oh, I was trying to be enthusiastic, there, but what's the use? Ditchman Aluminum, and all associated bank accounts, are approaching desperate levels, and that right before the holidays. It happens sometimes. Questions arise: if I put that extra coat of paint on the display, will it attract that one necessary customer who will provide work for the family for another week? If we invest in new hanging flowers, will it bring in the labours needed to resupply the Barbie accoutrements for the Christmas season? Will all that effort I put into the new slideshow compel wealthy San Diegans stuck in the sun to swarm like bees around Booth Space #265, all of them willing to shell out cash for shade?

No one can say, but we press on all the same. It slows this time of year, but it seems to be slowing sooner and faster this year, which frustrates. Mrs. Ditchman has a nasty cold which, I imagine, doesn't drive strangers toward our display and away from the other, lesser, aluminum patio covers in opposing booths. FREE VIRUS WITH EVERY ESTIMATE! is not a seasonal offer with selling power, unfortunately.

I am home chillin' with the chillun, which is great, though, demanding. I always forget that one cardinal rule, which is: WHEN ONE WILL BE HOME WITH THE CHILDREN, ONE MUST DITCH EVERY OTHER THING THEY WERE PLANNING ON GETTING DONE THAT DAY. If I don't keep this in mind early on, then the day is flooded with the frustration of a thousand distractions. If (on the rare occasion that I am thoughtful and wise) I give myself over to them the second Mommy leaves, and I remind myself that this day with them is a precious one, then the day usually moves swiftly and perfectly. I resolve to do that today. It's beautiful out, and dammit, I am going to enjoy it.

Or, I could just leave the tv running Playhouse Disney all day.

Got a call from my sister yesterday who said, "Go online and get SKYPE!" So I did, and minutes later, we were video chatting -she in my living room, I in hers in Hawaii! It's an odd experience, the video chat, as you sit and stare, thinking, Hmmm. Gee, your hair looks great. But it is a wonder, and a laugh. She got the kids and they waved. I took the laptop outside and showed her the garden watermelons. The Little Ditchman didn't get it at first, thinking it was just a bad quality video of her aunt, but when the screen started asking her questions and waving back, that cocked-head Golden Retriever look gave way to grand understanding. Then, when her cousin got home from school, we just left the computers running while the girls played dress-up and Duck, Duck, Goose. Now, I'm not sure how you actually play Duck, Duck, Goose on Skype, but the 3-year-olds figured it out. Then they played Hide and Seek, which is fun since the seeker just gets to point at the screen. So Skype is the babysitter-nouveau! Only problem is the time difference, as bath time comes 3 hours earlier here, at which point there is all manner of wailing and gnashing of baby teeth. Anyway, my sister said she'd make a virtual appearance at the Little Digger's party next weekend. We'll just leave the laptop at the door and she can greet people with cyber-aloha as they enter.

My neighbor, who is currently stationed in Guantanamo, has video Skype, too. They just leave it on all the time, I hear, and it's like he's home with the family, just doing business in his office while the kids do homework and mom folds laundry. It sounds nice, actually, and I'm sure it's the safest and most pleasant way to have your family join you at a military-guarded terrorist prison camp on the last communist outpost in the Western Hemisphere, at the far end of some desert island in the Caribbean.

Don't worry about me, today, though. I'll be fine. I'm enjoying almost every moment on this perfect fall day. Almost. Wish we could Skype that Hawaiian beach sand.