Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Raining Elephants

At some work-related seminar in my not-so-recent past, the teacher used the phrase “raining elephants” to describe obstacles that prevent you from reaching your goals.

I seem to be thinking a lot about that lately.

For example, as I consider retirement and the income I’ll need then to ward off starvation, Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder has decided to tax my meager 401K. That became the law this past week. Like I said, aining elephants.

Ironically, to make it easier for those baby boomers already close to retirement, the law only affects those born 1953 and after. My birth year? 1953. Uh, raining elephants, like I said.

Well then, maybe I could be more entrepreneurial and come up with some cash to make up for what the governor took away. My ‘found on the ground’ has been lagging lately, because all the real rain we’ve been getting prevents me from bicycling to my usual spots (might as well call it raining elephants too), so Wendy and I dug through our excess household baggage and joined my sister-in-law in a garage sale this past Saturday.

Our take? One quarter for a pair of safety glasses. Didn’t help that it again was raining (elephants?) much of the day. Since I had to make a couple trips with our Grand “gas-slurping” Caravan, I figure we’re about $40 in the hole.

But Wendy and I could take some solace in the fact that we got to bring our grandson Grant home, as well as his Boston Terrier brother Simon, to entertain while his parents enjoyed a night out for their anniversary.

That didn’t go so well either. He gradually grew fussy as the night wore on so we decided to feed him a bottle. Elephant showers anyone? Whether we fed him too quickly, not enough, or something else, Grant was the antithesis of a happy baby afterwards. Cried and cried, very loudly. Could not be consoled.

For better than an hour we tried rocking him, singing to him, even giving him a bath. He just wailed and wailed. While we dressed him for bed, I took a look over at Simon who was unusually placid lying there in a chair, his head resting between his front paws. I thought he would be antsy and nervous seeing his brother in such distress, but he just looked at me with this “welcome to my world, folks” expression.

Eventually, after another bottle and more rocking, Grant finally settled down and went to sleep in grandma Wendy’s arms. But even as he nodded off, his shoulders shook as he choked up occasionally, leftovers from his marathon cryathon. Made Wendy feel terrible.

You have to believe that the skies are going to clear up some time. Not tonight though. I've been up and down our stairs here a dozen times re-booting my modem since I keep losing my internet connection. I see it's happened again. Right now I think if I encountered an elephant in our front room here, I'd give it a good whuppin'.


Anonymous betty said...

Your description of your evening with Grant reminded me of an unforgettable night I had once with my own son when he was a baby. For no known reason, he bawled nonstop for hours and hours, all night long. Nothing helped. That's the only lucid memory I have from his first year.

I'm sorry to hear of all the elephants raining in your life right now. I guess the only good thing is that since your 401k is meager, the tax will be meager as well.


9:01 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

As Betty says, I can remember nights like that with my own son, and it is miserable trying to figure out what is wrong and how to make the world right again for the little one. Poor things. The baby AND his grandparents!

Raining elephants, eh? I never heard that term. I once heard some say something about having the bad luck to always be standing behind the elephant. Seems to be the same effect!

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave! I remember when you got to crying one time,it was a hot night and no matter what we did you kept on crying, I said to cover him with a light blanket,he always had a blanket on,it worked, sometimes you have to think like a baby.

6:09 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

BETTY--Believe me, I'm going to try to be as meager as possible paying taxes in my golden years.

LYNILU--I guess the difference between standing behind an elephant and having them rain on you is that when you stand behind an elephant, you know what to expect. It's different when one just suddenly drops on you from out of nowhere. That's close to what I've been feeling lately. BOOM! Where did that come from?

ANONYMOUS--You need to tell Wendy that story. She can't understand why she's hot and I'm cold sleeping in the same bed.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

Our Adam was severely collicky for the first 6 months. at one point the pediatrician asked us if we didn't have someone who could watch him for just one night so we could get some rest. Our reply, "who would we do this to? he's ours and we love him and we'll tough it out as long as he does."

1:05 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ We all have raining elephants days - I have had quite a few lately, but all good now. I want to thank you very much for all your comments on Peter's updates. Your 99 yr old grandmother puts me to shame.
Thak you so much for your well wishes and prayers. I am sure they helped. hanks for the comments on Home at Last also. To go in to hospital on 2 feet, reasonably fit and have to spend 4 weeks in hospital & Rehab. It is so great to be home and I feel better each day. Thanks for comment on my last post - I had to look up what those initials stood for.LVGLGSW so many thanks for the compliment. You are a good kind man Dave and I am so grateful to have you for a blogging friend. When Grant gets a bit older he will share more smiles with you. He is a cutie.
Take care, my friend, Merle.

1:15 AM  
Blogger TechnoBabe said...

Getting ready for the life of retirement is a bit nerve racking. When I retired my hubby was the one who showed me on paper we could do it. And I am so glad he did.

We got plenty of rain yesterday and all through the night with more rain predicted for another day. I like the rain but the lightening and thunder kept my awake some of the night. At least spring seems to be in residence now, flowers starting to bloom and buds on all the trees.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CARINE--One of my wife's favorite lines used to be, "He's the baby. Gotta love him."

MERLE--Thanks for your own kind comments, Merle. Hope you can stay out of the hospital now for a while.

TECHNOBABE--"Spring seems to be in residence"--I like how you phrased that. Here in Michigan it just seems to jump from winter to summer. We had 40 degrees last week and today it's 80.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could have shown Grant the recap of the championship game in the Detroit Rock City FFL. He would have gotten a chuckle out of that.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

ANONYMOUS--No, he'd probably cry some more. Even at four months, he understands fair versus unfair.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ I hope you had a good day for your birthday. I did and just being home and getting better was
quite enough for me. I smiled at you getting dressed up for Halloween - you wouldn't have got any candy that day. I must admit, one Sunday when Peter and Warren were visiting and we wet down to see my daughter and I didn't want the paper in the front yard all day so I asked Peter to go in to get my paper, forgetting that I don't get Sunday papers. We still had a good trip. Take care my friend, Regards and Best Wishes, merle.

1:20 AM  

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