I think I've figured out why on earth I've been so uptight this summer: I've got cabin fever. Yes, you know that confined, claustrophobic feeling you get at the end of a long winter, when you've spent too many hours indoors with your family in what seems to be a never-shrinking house? Well, I've got it...in the summer.
It's been too hot this summer to go much of anyplace that's not air-conditioned. Prohibitive gas prices don't allow for the traditional Sunday drives we used to take into nearby rural communities. We've had major expenditures this summer: an online math course, driver's ed., Norm's company rearranging the pay schedule resulting in a week's "lost" pay, rebuilding the porch and painting the house, and putting aside savings for vacation.
The kids aren't little anymore. You can't entertain them with free movies at the Garland Theatre, free-swim time at the city parks, or story hour at the library. They're too cool for the Boys and Girls Club, too young (Matt) or too busy (Missy) for jobs, and the budget's too tight to set them loose in the mall. We all want to use the computer to "escape"; trouble is, we're down to one computer, and that one is being used several hours a day for math. The digital camera gave up the ghost. If one more thing breaks or dies, I'm going to scream! The kids are on each other's nerves, on my nerves, on Norm's nerves, and I'm on theirs and his, I'm sure!
Summertime cabin fever: now that I understand it, I can deal with it. It's the not understanding why I'm so cranky and crabby all the time that makes it worse.
And some "good" news: Norm got someone to test the wireless card from our laptop. The card is bad. It's good news, because I've been tearing my hair out wondering if we simply had the network set up wrong on the laptop after it had been re-configured. See, the wireless card works enough to get a good signal for 10 or 15 minutes, then the connection gets very sporadic. Now that we know it's bad, we can easily--and fairly inexpensively--replace it.
Sometimes you gotta look--and be grateful--for the silver linings in all the storm clouds above. I have to remind myself of that a lot these days. :-)