Writer’s dreams include spring, un-dimpled van and clear path to coffee shop

Categorized as Grounds for Insanity column, Rhonda's Posts

Just as things began to lighten up, it hit. You crawled into bed on a Saturday night. After flipping and flopping to find just the right spot, your flannel-clad posterior settled at last, and you breathed a sigh of relief. Until, that is, you remembered that it was time to follow the conventional wisdom chirped by the far-too-perky to “spring forward.”

Well, rats. And grr. It’s daylight savings time.

I was grumpy when the folks in Indy passed it. And I was a little out of sorts when Mr. Schrock passed up his chance. There he was, attending a news conference where the legislator who’d pushed the bill was speaking.

“Listen,” I said. “All you have to do is say, ‘Hey! There’s a Democrat.’ And when he turns his head to look, that’s when you get ‘im.”

“If I go to prison,” he said, peering at me meaningfully, “you’re on your own with the boys.”

“Oh. Uh, good choice, hon. Way to resist. Now, can you put those guys to bed?”

It’s true. Losing an hour puts a hitch in my giddy-up. Meanwhile, we’re either driving through snow flurries or swimming through mud puddles. And dreaming, always, of spring.

As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “I have a dream.” Well, me, too. And I’m starting with spring.

I’m dreaming of a day when I don’t have to bundle up like Sir Edmund Hillary on Mt. Everest’s peak to get the mail. With my dreamer’s eye, I see green, green grass; hear songbirds trilling cheerful tunes, notes all falling like petals to the ground. I hear the roar of a great, orange mower—hey, wait. Wrong dream.

Anyway, visions of flowers and birds and sunshine are nice, but so is the one in which the roads are finally clear. This whole thing about having to creep everywhere has worn a little thin. It means that it takes twice as long to get to certain places of commerce (you know, like local coffee shops). Which further means that certain people aren’t caffeinated as quickly and could (I said ‘could’) turn cranky. This can put a wrinkle in a Cranky One’s unmentionables until he or she becomes caffeinated. Then the sun returns, and the birds start singing again.

This is all theory, mind you, based on my observations of local color, so don’t take it as gospel truth. However, when I floated my Theory of Relativity Concerning Delayed Caffeination past The Mister, he nodded.

“And that’s a fact!!” he said, more forcefully than I felt was strictly necessary. I bristled at the exclamation marks he’d used until I remembered that he wasn’t caffeinated, either. Which proved my point right there.

So, yes. I have dreams. Dreams of spring, of roads that are clear, and dreams of a different sort. For I dream of a day when vehicles on The Three can maintain a pristine condition. When truck doors, for instance, aren’t scratched up by handlebars, and blue vans don’t sport bumper dimples.

Kids are hard on “cars and trucks and things that go (thank you, Richard Scarry).” The guy who wrote the fluffy, little song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” could not possibly have had a teenage driver. No way are you whistling this when you put your keys in the hands of a kid whose pedal foot is twitching. No way.

Apparently, this phenomenon is not limited to the Schrocks, either. The Bombeck kids had some issues, too, because their mom, whose name was Erma, put it like this, “Never loan your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.” That’s what I mean.

Mr. Schrock, I’m sure, has dreams of his own, like fountains of chocolate and a real close friendship with the Hershey development team. And he, I know, dreams of a day when furniture stays put and lamps don’t get broken.

He probably dreams of being able to settle his own flannel-clad posterior into bed without a couple of heat-seeking missiles (read, “feet”) attaching to his leg. If he dreams of having a spouse who communicates with grunts and short words, he’s far too kind to mention it. Thanks, hon. And good thinking.

As for his children, their secret wish is that their dad had picked someone a little slower. Someone a bit more naïve who didn’t come with bionic ears and all those eyes on the back of the—well, shoot. Everywhere.

They are, of course, too canny to say this. They’re quick like that, and hungry, so they’re not eager to irk the cook. Clearly, self-preservation ranks high.

Spring will come. I know we’re weary of winter and polar vortices that wander south, but it will come. Never mind the pessimist I overhead at the coffee shop once I’d managed to get there one day.

“We’re going to have about one month of summer,” he said, staring glumly outside at the falling snow.

He needs to dream a little. If he’s running low on ideas, he can borrow Mr. Schrock’s visions of chocolate fountains and a spouse with a few less words.

Rhonda Schrock, mother of 4 sons, is the author and creator of Grounds for Insanity, a weekly column so named for her love of coffee and “all those boys.”  You can find this one, small, caffeinated American mom on her website at www.rhondaschrock.com.    

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