Posted in Writing Life

My Horrible, Rotten, No-Good Day

It started this morning when the sound of rain woke me up. First I thought, “It’s raining outside, not inside.” I listened. Then I thought, “Nope, it’s raining inside too,” and I went to get the pot.

Those of you who read my blog regularly may remember that the roof has leaked since we had a new roof put on 3 years ago. The roofer has alternated between ignoring my calls (the polite ones) and responding to them (the desperate I may have to sue ones). He’s been  here several times and had one of his guys add another layer of shingles. The roof still leaks. (And just by the way, it didn’t leak before the new roof.) Finally I’ve given up on him and another roofer has come to take a look. He has spotted a few gaps that he says he’s going to fix…when it stops raining.

In the meantime, we have a pot and the unpleasant sound of rain. I’ve come to hate the sound.

After I put the pot in place, my older d, who was going to an early morning hockey try-out for her school team, told me she couldn’t find her umbrella. The search for it led me to notice the huge pile of stuff where the umbrellas are supposed to go: hats, scarves (winter and summer ones), gloves, bags, books, and twigs. I don’t know why the twigs. I think there was a marble or two in the pile as well.

That was when my head exploded again. (I wrote about that on Sunday.) I’m glad none of you were here to see the bits of head scattered across the house as I started in on the piles of stuff, grumbling to the point of tears–not mine, but my younger d’s. She was home, not precisely sick, but since she’d had a fever for a couple of days, I kept her at home.

My list, my beautiful list, was shattered by the day, hundreds of things added to it, the page illegible. (Slight exaggeration on the number, none on the legibility.) Let me contrast today with yesterday.

I awoke, had breakfast, meditated, thought about my new novels. I came up with new ideas, made notes, completed everything on my reasonable (albeit added to) list. I went for a walk and took photos of Toronto murals and flowers still blooming near December. I felt at peace. I was on the right track and I could see the flower strewn path going on and on in this same peaceful way.

And then it rained inside. But at least the house is tidier. H had no fever and spent the day putting her scatterings of clothing, jewelery, toys and detritus away. I did the same and solved a computer mystery for A, which was sending his email to strange and far away places. I set M’s things aside for her to deal with. I`ve put notes on all the junk-magnetizing spots in the house that say “off limits–anything left here is garbage” or “umbrellas only, anything else is garbage”.

And tomorrow is another day even if the forecast is for rain again. I get to start with a fresh list and my head intact. Maybe I’ll keep some tape handy. Just in case.

h/t to Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, a favourite with my kids for good reason.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

11 thoughts on “My Horrible, Rotten, No-Good Day

  1. I have had so many days like that, and so, from the other side of here (where it is also raining and the roof is leaking and I did almost only and exclusively chores today, save for the very early morning and just now), this is what I extend to you—your mind was still working, even as you cleaned. It was. I promise you. You’ll be amazed by tomorrow.

  2. I’m in Texas, myself, and it didn’t rain here today. It did on Sunday, though, and I find that I have a roof leak, too! My roof is about 10 years old, so I guess i don’t have any recourse against the roofer. I read two other blogs from Toronto, and one of them mentioned today’s rain, too.

    1. I’m so glad to meet you Julia! We had a lot of rain yesterday, at least for here. We got a dump of around 22 mm (about an inch of water). It doesn’t sound like much but it dripped into that pot all day. Once you’re getting a new roof would you think of solar panels?

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your roof problems – that can be such a nightmare. Perhaps only a very good book can fix such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I loved that book as a child, so thank you for reminding me of it. (I am slowly crawling up out of my blogging break, and it is lovely to stop by and see how you’re doing!)

  4. Poor Lilian! That sound of raindrops falling was clearly a form of Chinese water torture, destined to tip you over the edge. I suggest you put a cloth in the bottom of the pot to deaden the noise and it might just help you ignore it. Otherwise you need emergency action – particularly nice food, lots of hugs from the nearest and dearest and very very comforting books. I will cross my fingers for clearer skies today, literal and metaphorical!

  5. Lilian, you have my sympathy. Sounds like the day from hell. Right now, it is snowing, and I was counting my blessings as I set off for work on the Newmarket to Toronto run, that I’d had the foresight to have my snow tires put on last week. Usually, I get caught in the first snowfall without them. I also had winters “sweep swipes” as my son used to call them installed, and they make a difference. Still, I hate winter driving. Now I am at work, and hearing all the latest bizarre “suggestions” from councillors et al. on how to cut spending in the libraries. Wish I was at home!

  6. Michelle–so good to see you! How is little verbivore? Somehow I missed your transition to the new site. I am adding it to my reader right now.

    Litlove I tried the towel before the pot but it was still too noisy–I think I’ve been sensitized to the sound. But we have sunshine today and the new roofers have made repairs. So I’m hoping this will work and focusing on the sun and blue sky!

    Sheila, oh I hate driving in winter too. I’m lucky to work at home. My total total total sympathies on the library situation. I’ve signed every petition going. My local branch is my home away from home.

    1. Thanks for signing those library petitions, Lilian. They really do help. We’re beginning to wish they would just make up their minds – one day it’s close branches, the next day it’s not; then it’s close branches again! Crazy.

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