Friday, October 5, 2012


I've always hated my laugh, so about once a year I change it. I usually try a few out for about a week before I settle on the laugh people will hear for the next 365 days, and then I go with it. By day 3 I usually hate the new one I've chosen, but a commitment is a commitment and I stick with it. Only rarely does my real laugh, the one that I've had forever, come out. It can be drawn out by reading the jokes in the Reader's Digest, by watching Youtube videos with my brothers, by being with people I love, and by having a remarkably terrible series of events happen at the absolute worst timing, ever.

As you know (because frankly I can't stop talking about it) we've had somewhat of a bummer summer. My dad passed away.   Our apartment caught fire.   Collin and I spent 1 month away from each other.   I wasn't able to be with my parents when I wanted to so badly.   We got hit by a semi-truck, and a bunch of other stuff.

It all stunk pretty bad, some of it even literally (the house fire), but at some point we learned that you just gotta laugh.

My dad passed away on a Tuesday and on the following Sunday all of my brothers and their families all had to go home. That left my little family of 3 here to keep my mom company. On Monday night, my aunt, my Grandpa, my mom, and I were sitting around the table playing cards when we heard the explosion of a life time. We thought the pantry shelves that hold my mom's years and years of food storage had collapsed. We ran to the pantry and instead saw a flood of water coming from what used to be a water heater. The water heater had literally exploded and water was flowing everywhere. Collin ran to help, my uncles were here in a matter of seconds, and we thought we had everything under control. The next morning a restoration company came out (I've seen way too many of those guys lately) and started pulling back the flooring only to find that the water damage was way worse than we thought and had spilled into 3 rooms. Awesome.

Then my mom called her insurance company and they told her they'd cancel her insurance if she claimed the flood. Double awesome.

A couple days later the toilet clogged (TMI but just go with it). I made a valiant effort to fix the problem, but no dice. When the plumber showed up to replace the exploded water heater, my mom asked if he'd look at the toilet. We all gathered around the toilet fully expecting to see the plumber pull out a toy that Nolan had flushed, but after a few minutes of hard work the plumber came up empty handed. He ended up crawling under the house to do some investigating and my mom and I headed to the kitchen to start dinner.

We were knee-deep in potato peels and sauteing chicken when we heard,
"Tonna, I really hate to have to tell you this but...."
That's when he broke the news to us that the pipe beneath the toilet hat split in 2 and sewer was piling up under the house. (Again, TMI but I'm proving a point here).

My mom and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. We laughed, and laughed, and then the plumber caught the bug and before we knew it we were all 3 lost in laughter. It's all we could do.

With a fire-place being replaced (my dad insisted on this before he died, he really wanted my mom to never, ever be cold), with flooring being replaced, and with a busted sewer pipe, my mom's house is a full-blown construction zone. I've been pelted in the head with a piece of base-board full of nails. I've stubbed my toes on rock-solid tile, and I've plunged with all my might til I was sore the next day. But my goodness life is good, and really, life is funny.

There are worse things than a house in shambles and death. And I think one of those worse things is being unhappy. Things stink, and life is hard, but I'm so happy. I'm so grateful for my good friends and my wonderful family. And I'm grateful for all of you. I get so much joy reading about you and what you're up to, and what makes you happy.

I hope you laughed a little reading about all our adventures, because you know we're laughing at them. :)