Wrack & Ruin

I finished Don Lee’s novel, Wrack & Ruin, not long ago. It’s about a sculptor turned brussels-sprouts farmer whose life starts falling apart one weekend when his feckless brother comes to visit.

I enjoyed the book, though I’m no brussels-sprouts farmer, and I only sculpt using Play-Doh, and then usually destroy my creations in fits of artistic pique when my creations fail to live up to the genius of my artistic vision — or my son is done playing, whichever comes first.

But I never thought the book would serve as foreshadowing for the past week.

It all started the week before, when my wife was traveling for a conference, leaving me at home with our two little brussels-sprouts. For three days I hung in there with the cooking and the dishes and the laundry and the carpool and the work and the dog walking and dog feeding and vacuuming.

Then it started, though it took me a while to notice. See, the clothes weren’t dry. So on Sunday morning, I cranked it and started it again.

Then I went to open a blind — and the cord broke in my hand.

The chaos remained at bay for the rest of Sunday. My wife made it home safely, I walked the dog, and before dark, we tried to finish hanging our Christmas lights. That went fine, too, until I was up on a ladder and I went to tuck one of the extension cords behind a porch light.

And the porch light came off in my hand. With my left hand I held the light, which was kind of carriage lamp style, and noticed that none the four screws supposedly holding this lamp to the wide of the house were attached.

I then tried to reattach the screws, only to find the two holding the base to the wall wouldn’t thread. Since I couldn’t very well let the light dangle from its own wiring, I unwired the light, leaving me with a hole and exposed wires.

My smartass friend suggested putting in a nativity scene.

We dried a lot of clothes indoors (hanging them under a ceiling fan works remarkably well), paid a whack of money to get the dryer fixed, and now that the week is winding down, I’m finally heading to the hardware store to get parts to actually re-hang the light.

The cord, however, will have to wait for tomorrow. That’s also when I go looking for a book titled Prosperity & Reliable Household Products.