Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Carnival of the Animals

The water gremlins were taunting me yesterday. Yes, gremlins. You know, those mischievous little spirits of machinery mishaps. According to legend, gremlins used to be cute little elfin sprites and were kind to us, helping humans to invent tools and mechanical objects. Unfortunately, as we humans failed to give them credit for their tireless work and claimed all the glory for these inventions for ourselves, they felt insulted and turned to their mischievous ways.

Since I've never invented anything more complicated than an April Fool's Day prank, I have no idea why they were out to bedevil me yesterday. But they were. The garbage disposal had stopped working that morning, jammed most likely by a clear plastic spoon that was snuck down the drain unnoticed. A toilet tank in the bathroom next to the laundry room continued to run, despite my best efforts to adjust the lever insde, an indication that the inner workings needed to be completely replaced.  "What  next?" I thought.

My thoughts were interupted by my son, CrossFit-Strength-and-Conditioning-Coach-burly-man-Tony, who wondered if we had a spare duffle bag around the house that he could use. I guess he was tired of carting his belongings to the gym in his big black milk crate. Hmm.

Sure, I said. Check the storage room.

Thirty seconds later I was met by the word every mother dreads, "MOHHHHHHHHM," followed by the equally dreaded phrase, "You'd better come see this."

Before I started downstairs, I wrote a status update on facebook, expressing fear at what I might find at the door to the storage room down there. A while later, I returned to facebook to find responses from friends, all of whom knew just what to say to lighten my mood. I read stories of cats floating in laundry baskets in flooded basements, suitcases wet from cat pee (glad now that I'm a dog owner), power outages, backed up sewers, finches flying around, and other tales of misadventure, all set to the "spooky music" cued by another friend.

I laughed at the comic thread they had woven, and laughed at myself for being so caught up by my little water gremlins. Just yesterday I learned of flash flooding in Brazil, landslides, a major earthquake in Pakistan, and other major weather woes around the world...and I'm going to complain about a few soggy suitcases?

love my friends. They are the most creative, funny, and loving people in the world. They know how to lift me up when I'm feeling down, and bring me back down to earth when I need that, too. I'm the type person who sees the silver lining in the dark cloud...nearly always. If I ever have a day, though, when I forget to look for the silver lining, you can bet my friends will be there to point it out for me. Thank you to each and every one of you who posted on that thread yesterday. It will remain in my smiling heart for a very long time.

The silver lining from my water gremlins? A nice new wax ring for the toilet upstairs, and a couple of updated new suitcases.

Today my wish for you is...a day free from gremlins!

As I read the facebook thread from my friends yesterday, I couldn't help but hear this music, "The Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Saëns. This section is called "Aquarium" and could easily have accompanied the vision of floating animals in the aquarium that was my basement yesterday. Ballet friends from Alexandra Ballet, you may recognize the music as that from "Origami"...ah, the memories...Enjoy!


  1. letting go of old baggage is always a good thing ... sorry it was forced on you by the gremlins.

  2. Yes, you're so right, Reya. It's good to let go of old worn out baggage. The gremlins just nudged me at the right time, eh?

    Thanks for the great perspective, as always.

  3. When my siblings and I were all still living at home in Glens Falls, we feared the dreaded words "water in the basement". This meant two things: 1. Try to hide from Dad. 2. If you couldn't hide - don't speak - and do what ever he says! Since we had a finished basement and my brothers' room was down there, it was truly a big mess. Glad yours wasn't as dramatic! Enjoyed your post! Kathy Goddard

  4. What a day I had too but when you put it in perspective how bad can it really be? Thanks for a chuckle! Much love...

  5. How funny, Kathy! Thanks for that scattering everywhere, trying to escape Dad's wrath. As if water in the basement were your fault. (It wasn't, was it?) ;-)

    Thanks for the comments, Kathy!

  6. Back at you, Vicki! As you know, as some point, you just have to laugh. What else can you do (besides get angry and cause children to scatter and hide)?

    It's a new day...have a great one!

  7. One of the reasons we scattered is that we didn't want to help clean it up! Most of us were teenagers at that point. My dad was pretty even tempered but one thing that would put him in a really bad mood was....water in the basement - actually flooding!

  8. Thanks for your wishes of a Gremlin free passage of time. I just thought of the Troll from Monty Python's Holy Grail. Not exactly the same kind of sprite you were talking about. But maybe the smiles you'll get from this will provide some relief...

  9. Thanks, Dubby! I have one question for you...WHAT is your quest? ;-)


  11. ooh. Good luck with that. Let me know if you find one.


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