Last week I spent too much time waiting for the storms.
Every morning when I woke up it was foggy (or froggy as Maddy says) and when I checked the ever-frustrating and rarely accurate Doppler map it told me emphatically that the rains were coming. They were coming at 9:43 a.m. and again at 1:15 p.m. with varying showers in between.
After several days of green, yellow and red speckled Doppler maps, we stared out through the windows into cloudy skies and waited. We played inside games—puzzles and coloring books and once or twice a few wet drops touched the ground. We heard the distant rumble of storms brewing, but they rarely hit. At the end of each day I found myself feeling silly for planning so much of our day around Doppler predictions when we could have been running through the sprinkler under overcast skies.
Sometimes I am over-zealous in my mommy preparedness, which can be a good thing when someone completely soils an outfit (I have extra) or when I need that additional packet of secret snacks. But sometimes, as over-zealous as I am, crazy things still happen. We run out of toilet paper or hand soap or lunch meat or I manage to burn brownies (yes, brownies!) to a complete crisp. Or even worse.
Last Wednesday I began smelling something funky in the kitchen. It was driving me crazy. Every time I opened the refrigerator door I dove in face-first like a hound dog removing item by item and throwing away anything questionable. I deep-cleaned the fridge recently, so I couldn't figure out what in the world smelled so raunchy. I checked every dairy item, I took out shelves and washed them, I threw out potatoes that were probably fine. I convinced myself something had crawled behind the fridge and died. Something like a gigantic possum with rabies. It was horrible.
Finally, later that night, with help from my hound-dog husband, I pulled out the one and only meat item in the fridge (again) and we both almost fell over. It was a packet of ribs that was well within the labeled expiration date and had looked and seemingly smelled completely fine earlier in the day when I checked it. However when I pulled it out that night it was half green and completely rancid. I immediately ran outside and hurled it into the trash can. As I opened a fresh box of baking soda and cleaned everything (again) we realized that the meat had gone bad several days earlier while said husband had thawed the fridge for a few hours to correct a frozen water line in the freezer. Duh.
How do these things happen? I am reminded once again that I am a mommy, not a Boy Scout. It's impossible for me to be prepared for every single thing, and even when I attempt to plan my day by scouting weather maps or packing perfect lunches or keeping everything in the fridge from ever spoiling, it will still happen occasionally.
At any rate, last week we learned that it's OK to plan a pool day or a park day even when the Doppler is showing inevitable rains. The Doppler might be wrong (gasp!), and even if the showers hit us in the middle of our trip, a nice summer soak in refreshing rain is good for the soul every now and then.
As for spoiled, stinky meat in the fridge, I learned that if you suspect the meat is stinky, if nothing else in the fridge looks stinky, and even if you have put the meat to your face and inhaled deeply and have convinced yourself the meat is not stinky in any way, it is still the meat. Even if the expiration date is fine and the color is fine, you may end up going back several hours later to discover green meat and the smell of a dead possum that has burrowed deep into the bottom drawer of your fridge.
I will leave you with a thought from William Feather--I know nothing of his credentials, but I appreciate this sentiment and I think the name William Feather is incredibly fun and poetic. He said, "Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren't enjoying today's sunshine." Enjoy your fleeting summer days, whether it's rainy outside, or stinky inside!