Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mother-daughter transmogrification

I felt like I was turning into my mom again yesterday morning. On the way to school, there were these intriguing-looking large binders on the sidewalk in front of one of the nearby houses, clearly up for grabs. They were too big to reasonably carry, so I tried to ignore them. I tried really hard. Alas, on the way home from dropping Nimue off, I succumbed to the urge to go investigate.

Investigation of such objects is the fatal first step down the slippery slope of sidewalk treasure acquisition.

It turns out, these particular objects were carpet sample books. Each one contained two attractive 18"x24" samples with bound edges suitable for use as doormats or the like, as well as several pages of smaller scraps just screaming to be used for projects. Maybe a cat scratching structure. Maybe a patchwork mat for Nimue's endless stuffed animal games. Maybe.... The heavy 18"x24" binder covers and pages are thick enough to have many construction uses as well.

Too many possibilities to leave behind. Clearly. Also too big to put in the bike bag, too heavy and unwieldy to strap onto the rack with the puny bungee cord I had in the bag, and too heavy to carry all three in one hand while wheeling the bike with the other hand. Still several blocks from home. What to do, what to do? My solution was to carefully balance the three large books across the top tube and seat of the bike and sort of lean on the whole mess to stabilize it while walking the bike the rest of the way home. As cargo transport, this method leaves a lot to be desired, both in terms of stability (the three wanted to slip in all directions off the skinny bike) and steering (they were big enough that I couldn't really turn the handlebars more than a couple of degrees before hitting the sliding pile of binders, thus increasing the aforementioned stability problem). I did, however, at least make it home without anything falling off.

I haven't yet degenerated/risen to my mom's level of prowess (not dragging mannequin legs home from garage sales yet), but she's a couple of decades further into the found treasure habit. I'm doomed...

As for the other part of the transformation, it turns out my mom has been walking around on a broken leg (fibula) for about a month. Sound familiar? It's the same bone I broke in my ankle a few years back, only further up the leg in my mom's case. She crashed her bike on some evil railroad tracks that angled across a curve in the road she was riding on. Unlike me, she went straight to the emergency room (that experience thing to her advantage again). Once there, the doctor diagnosed her sprained ankle, but failed to do an x-ray of her whole leg to catch the break further up. Fortunately, the whole thing appears to be aligned and healing up correctly even though it wasn't caught right off, and she probably just made the trade-off between some extra discomfort for the excessively itchy cast she would have gotten. And the mental oddness of thinking "What? I've been walking around for a month on a broken leg?" She's been riding her bike too. One tough mom :)

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