Sunday, March 25, 2018

Duck Derby

For the record that last post was written well over a month ago, and I either forgot to post it, or thought at the time that it was too depressing. But it doesn't really bother me now, plus that's a damn fine graphic of a butterfly.

So, life right now in a nutshell: Work, commuting, sleep deprivation...the usual. Monday through Friday sort of sucks. (Wow, I'm off to a chipper start here). I love my job the way I always have, but I'm drained like, all the time. The weekends, on the other hand...those are magical. Every weekend I feel like I'm on vacation. Clint makes us breakfast on Saturday mornings and we eat it outside on our patio, rain or shine (really 'snow or shine'  would be more accurate). We bought one of those patio heaters a few months ago:

You may have seen these in outdoor areas of restaurants. Anyway, this thing was the best hundred bucks we've ever spent. Even when the temperatures are freezing we keep nice and toasty. We end up outside for probably a good hour in the mornings, chatting, drinking coffee, enjoying our little neck of the woods. Literal woods too, which is even better.

Friday on our way home from work we swung by Goodwin's (local grocery store) and purchased our ducks for the mountain's annual Duck Derby next weekend. I've never been to one, but I've heard about it from Shan for years. Basically a bunch of rubber ducks are released down a waterslide down into the lake, where they proceed to bob along in the world's most pitiful "race" in which most stall into giant clumps and need help from firefighters with giant hoses to move them along. Everyone cheers for their duck, not really knowing which one(s) is theirs. The owner of the winning duck gets $1,000 (2nd place = $500, 3rd = $250, last place = $100). Proceeds for the duck derby pay for the town's fireworks for 4th of July.

So despite being super cheesy, the Duck Derby is a big deal around here. Over 3,000 people attended last year, and nearly $8,000 was raised. Isn't this the best thing ever? I am so, so excited for this stupid event. I love it that I live in a community that does corny stuff like this. It makes me feel like I've stepped back into the '50s.

Other reasons I love living here: Regular visits with my sis's family! It's amazing to be able to meet them spontaneously for lunch now, or to swing by their house for a beer and a game of shuffleboard. Trin and Elijah get to see their cousins all the time...those crazy kids get together with or without us. On Thursday night, Cassidi, Dylan and I went to a school board meeting to support Rim teachers (long story), and both Cass and I gave a speech. The whole thing was such a cool experience; being there with my niece and nephew, seeing the community rally together like that.

But mountain living is definitely not for the faint of heart. This is what we've dealt with this past month:

 Our driveway

Trin conquering Mount Crap-Ton-of-Snow

The snow is finally gone now, and we somehow made it through the season without losing a single day of work. Thank goodness we bought the Renegade. That little beast saved us.

Off-topic, but we caught the culprit who keeps eating my fern.


Butterfly Effect

I haven't been able to get this concept out of my head. The idea that the smallest action can trigger an unimaginable chain of events.

Like the fact that a water heater rupturing in a random house in Twin Peaks resulted in the death of a young woman from Los Angeles six months later.

I know this sounds insane, but I'm simply stating what happened.

In November 2016, after losing his wife, an elderly man named Richard put their beloved home on the market. After a few months, Richard accepted an offer on the house. It was officially in escrow.

A week before escrow was scheduled to close on the house, disaster struck. The upstairs water heater ruptured, flooding everything. Richard was forced to make repairs, spending months replacing cabinets and floors. The buyers of the house were not willing to wait, so they pulled out of the deal.

It wasn't until July 2017 that the house was re-listed. A family of four fell in love with the house and made an offer. Despite a hellacious escrow process, they received their keys on August 22, 2017, and now happily live there today.

But here's where the story goes dark. One day this family of four were on their way home from work and school, and they struck a female motorcyclist with their truck. The motorcyclist died. 

This family would have never been on that highway if they hadn't moved to the mountains. They would have never moved to the mountains if they hadn't stumbled upon their dream house. They would have never stumbled upon their dream house if an unfortunate incident involving a water heater hadn't forced the first buyers to back out. 

Thus, a ruptured water heater resulted in the death of Kaleena Porter.

And the wheels of the bus go round and round...

By the way, me getting blasted on social media by a horrible parent also led to Kaleena's death.

Me buying new curtains for my living room also led to her death.

Me pushing my family to leave work right after the bell rang also led to her death.

Clint turning left when he usually turns right also led to her death.

If we just took one of these things out of the equation, just ONE of these pathetic little things, we would not have struck Kaleena with our truck.

I can rationalize a dozen things that I did, that she did, that life did, that led to Kaleena dying on the street that day. I don't need anyone to console me, to tell me "You can't beat yourself up over this. You didn't do anything wrong." Because I already know that. I already know that I was being a normal human doing normal human things, living my normal human life. I also know that if we weren't there, someone else might have struck her. She was, after-all, in the wrong lane.

But knowing doesn't keep your brain from traveling through the "If only's."

If only I had listened to my family who said my living room curtains looked great and didn't need to be replaced. If only I had let the school clear out more before rushing my family out the door. If fucking only.

People often mistake regret for guilt. You can tell me all day long that I have no reason to feel guilty. But don't try to tell me not to feel regret.