So yesterday wasn't the best of days. And by 6:00, as an emergency measure against sticking my head in the oven, I suggested -- no, more like insisted -- the boys take a walk up the street with me. We might have been gone ten minutes. Probably more like seven or eight.
When we returned to the house, I noticed something odd. The kitchen was still a mess, thanks to Alec, but on the counter, amidst all the various things I had tried unsuccessfully to feed him for dinner, was an unfamiliar plastic cup filled with a pale liquid. I definitely hadn't put it there.
Puzzled, I smelled it.
I was understandably perplexed. And a little bit spooked.
I wondered if I had had some bizarre memory lapse where I had poured it for myself and just didn't recall. I asked my four year old if he knew anything about it, even though it was obvious he couldn't have done it.
There was a bottle of wine in plain view on the opposite counter. Had an intruder come in and helped himself? (We live in a neighborhood where some weirdo likes to hide out in alleys, stick himself in trash cans and ask unsuspecting passersby to help pull him out, so don't knock it.)
But my bag was right there on the kitchen floor. Cash still in it. Credit cards still all there. Was somebody lurking in my basement, waiting for one of us to go down there? My stomach felt uneasy.
I knew there had to be a logical explanation, but couldn't quite put my finger on one. I was left with that slightly unsettling feeling that something was just not quite right.
Was someone trying to send us a bizarre message about our need for ... alcohol?
And then I started to laugh.
Because right before we left on the walk, I saw our wonderful next door neighbor over the fence. The woman who made enough casseroles when Alec was born to feed our family well through 2011. I told her it had been one of "those" days. And laughed and said I needed a drink.
So how great is my next door neighbor?