The van is working again. The mechanic slipped the drive belt on in no time at all and charged me nothing for his trouble. "Don't worry about it," he said - what an excellent little sentence.
We appreciate your prayers.
. . . . .
Last night, after the kids had gone to bed, my wife and I were watching American Idol. A commercial advertising the soon release of King Kong came on TV, and I leapt off the couch and walked like a gorilla over to the toy basket. I reached down and grabbed the naked Barbie doll and began quiet, ape-like gruntings as I ran and leapt back toward the couch.
Remember how Lucy continually tormented Charlie Brown with his inability to kick the football? She would convince him to try one more time through her most persuasive rhetoric. Charlie Brown would start running and, of course, Lucy would pull the football away just as he kicked at the ball. Chuck would fly into the air, reaching exceptional heights, and then fall hard onto his back. Remember?
That's what I looked like last night as I moved with Kong-esque rapidity. In my simian agility, I slipped on something. Then, like Chuck, my whole body came out from under me, and I flew into the air. After several moments, I came down like a ton of bricks onto my elbow and side and the wind was knocked out of me. I had started laughing while I was still in the air and continued to do so once I was able to uncrumple myself and catch my breath. Laura was sure I had broken something, but I did not. I didn't even wake the children with my great house-shaking. Barbie, played by Naomi Watts, was unharmed.
No more King Kong for the next day or two.
. . . . .
This morning when I went walking, I noticed that the porch was somewhat slippery from some frost that had accumulated there. I warned Laura about it before she left for school. I warned Sophie about it as well. They slowly made their way out of the house and cautiously made it down the steps and to the van. Laura set her coffee mug on top of the van and opened the door for Sophie. She then turned toward me and tried to communicate something to me with some gesturing. I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head. She quickly set her things in the van and came back up to the house. She was about half-way across the porch when one leg went one way and the other another. She fell on her hinterparts.
I admit that I laughed.
She managed to get up without too much trouble and when she reached the door, she asked for Sophie's coat. I told her it was in the van.
(Yes, she remembered to retrieve her coffee from the top of the van.)