That Time That Butterflies Explained it All.

I was walking along, minding my own business, enjoying the sweltering humidity that is a June-Day-Between-Thunderstorms, when I all of a sudden found myself in a deeply philosophical place.

There was a flutter of activity, and I looked about. Butterflies. Blue butterflies. Green Butterflies. Orange Butterflies. Busily flapping about and clearly engaged in an important task.

Then I noticed that two landed on the ground near each other. I needed to get my camera ready!

Then a third!!

Oh, this was a regular butterfly convention happening. Thank goodness I was present to record the moment for posterity.

I got down on my knees and held the camera to my eye, which is when I realized what exactly they were all so excited about.

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They had all landed on a nice, fresh pile of dog poo and were busily sucking away at it.

This was more than I wanted to know about the dietary habits of butterflies. About the origins of their bold colors and their graceful flying abilities. About the tastiness of dog poo.

Yet, this moment seemed to offer so much wisdom. I found myself involuntarily creating new Southern Colloquialisms – an unavoidable past-time in Alabama, because we do love a memorable saying…

For when that annoying person is really getting on your last nerve…

“Three butterflies could land on that turd and he’d still stink.”

For when your kid has had an exceptionally whiny day…

“He’s three butterflies short of a turd party.”

When there’s that perfect Mom with the perfect hair and perfect nails and perfect outfit and perfect makeup and perfect kids and perfect house…

“She may look shiny and bright, but I guarantee you she’s sitting on a pile of dung somewhere in her life.”

When you’ve had a spectacularly pleasing day…

“I’m as happy as the first butterfly to a fresh dog log.”

For that person who always seems to make the worst choices…

“She could’ve had every flower in the forest but she chose to slurp on a turd.”

 For when you’re trying to look at the bright side of a bad situation…

“They say you can’t polish a turd, but you sure can land three pretty butterflies on it.”

To remind yourself that the fifteen dollars worth of Taco Bell you’re about to eat is totally normal….

“No matter how pretty and tiny you are, sometimes you just wanna eat like crap.”

When things are going too well…

“There’s dookie somewhere under all these butterflies.”

So go forth out into the world. Bolder and more confident. Having gained the wisdom of butterflies who make poor nutritional choices.

The Laundry Basket From Above.

I live near a lot of fancy suburbs. I do not live *in* any of them. In fitting with my renegade style of life, I live in the unincorporated county, where no one can tell me what to do and I am endlessly confused as to what should technically go on the third line of my mailing address.

But these fancy suburbs provide me endless entertainment.

One such fancy suburb is a rather hilly city, and they found the most glorious way to combine these two characteristics (fancy + hills) into the perfect official city slogan.

“A Life Above.”

That’s right. They actually went there. They want to make sure that I am completely aware that they are currently looking down their perfectly sculpted noses at me who is, clearly, living a life below.

If you can even call it a life. More like An Existence Below.

It goes without saying that when, perchance, I see something that doesn’t quite meet the qualifications of The Above Life going down in their perfect enclave of humanity, I notice.

(And point and laugh. But that’s beside the point.)

One such item was The Laundry Basket Above.

On a particularly rainy Saturday, we were passing through The Life Above to go to Ali’s basketball game. It was dreary. Muddy waterfalls were blighting their roads. The world was ugly no matter how above you lived.

At a busy intersection, the type that’s so busy it requires a triangular cement divider in the middle of the road, I first noticed it.

There was a laundry basket, full of clothes and soaked all the way below its nasty nasty core.

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Clothes were spilling out. There was a brown towel. A green pair of underwear. Very yanky looking sheets.

It was the most un-above thing I’d ever encountered in the wild.

So naturally I took a picture and sent it to all my friends who live The Life Above.

(Thankfully they all have good senses of humor. Or they wouldn’t be my friends.)

I also couldn’t help but wonder.

What would make someone abandon their laundry in the middle of the intersection? Were they on their way to the laundromat (which of course doesn’t exist in A Life Above) and just happen to see their favorite ex sitting at the traffic light? And they squealed, dropped the laundry, and jumped into his (or her) Trans-Am?

The next morning, we were headed to church. We have to go through this particular intersection to get there, so we eagerly craned our necks to check on the fate of The Most Above Laundry Basket That Ever Existed.

It was still there, but now a good deal more strewn, and still quite moist.

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Clearly someone or something had been rooting around in there.

Which is when we began to make up stories.

Perhaps An Opossum Above had taken up residence. Which, considering Opossum track records in busy intersections, was either the smartest or stupidest thing an Opossum had ever done.

Or maybe someone simply needed a fresh pair of green underpants. Although fresh is definitely the wrong adjective…

The next Saturday, we began the Day Count.

The Laundry Basket Above was now on Day Eight.

Whose responsibility is it to clean up discarded laundry baskets? Is it the same guy who has to clean up roadkill? Why hasn’t he been around yet? There aren’t THAT many raccoons lying about…

The Laundry Basket Above made it to Day Ten.

Maybe the Laundry Opossum is an endangered species. I bet they have to build a picket fence around The Laundry Basket Above and leave it there forever. There will definitely be a plaque. He will become The Official Mascot of A Life Above. Everyone will bless the ground that is walked on by whoever discarded their full load of laundry. THEY ARE A POSSUM LIFESAVER.

THE LAUNDRY BASKET ABOVE ON DAY THIRTEEN.

Is mold growing in that laundry basket yet? Will it hurt the Laundry Opossum? I bet flies are laying their maggot babies in it. That thing is going to be An Ecosystem Above of its very own.

And then, it was gone.

Either The Roadkill Scraping Guy finally got around to the bottom of his checklist (right underneath “Small decapitated chipmunk on Altavista” was listed “Burgeoning laundry basket on Columbiana.”), or someone said “SCORE!! FREE TOWELS AND UNDERWEAR!” And happily scooped up the laundry basket and its Opossum home.

But whatever happened, it was no longer there, and I mourned its loss.

That laundry basket and I had become close. I looked forward to our bi-weekly visits. I pined to know its secrets. All of its stories of past, happier days.

Whose back did you dry, brown towel? Whose butt did you cover, green underpants?

But now I would never know.

A week later, as we passed through the intersection and I braced myself for my period of mourning, we saw it.

Right where the laundry basket had been, there was a dead animal.

“Is that a raccoon??”

”It looks like a small fox!!”

“Go around again! We need to know!!”

“It’s a bobcat!?!”

“OH MY GOSH THAT’S A GIANT HOUSE CAT.”

Apparently it was never an Opossum Home. It was a Cat House. And when that cat returned from a chasing unincorporated mice, to cozy up into its comfortable bed of browns and greens, it discovered that its home had been stolen RIGHT OFF THE FOUNDATION, and it immediately died of shock and sadness.

A true Shakespearean tale of tragic woe and fitted sheets.

Why Me.

Dear Instagram, I know you listen to my conversations and feed me ads accordingly. I can even tell that you’re having Google read my emails and feed me ads that fit into that.

But whatever you read or heard that made you think I am the type of person to buy leggings based on how they look when I sit on the toilet – that was bad information. Very bad.

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And also – I’ve never – not once – emailed or discussed boiling my family for a delicious Spring Stew.

IMG_4EF9BDB3AF33-1The wine glasses are a nice touch. Stew is always better when steeped in wine. But why are there two wine glasses and a beer bottle for one mother and two small children? If in fact this isn’t just a slow cooker advertisement?

I don’t know which is more offensive – the fact that Barnes and Noble wants my baby to get to coding, or that Amazon thinks I care about my Cat’s IQ. And also I’m pretty sure all cat’s IQs are high enough to fake the test altogether so good luck getting the accurate number you so desire.

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And there’s nothing quite like looking up a recipe and getting an ad for toe mushrooms underneath it.

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But let’s move onto other sightings.

I spotted this reusable bag the other day, if someone forgot to bring one.

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Noah’s school books are constantly testing my ability to keep my serious teacher face on and not laugh like a Junior High boy. I’m pretty sure it’s planned that way to test my holiness.

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In a related section…

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And then there’s Fran and her impressively sized..wishes.

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Can we please leave the bear fat-shaming out of the first grade?

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Noah never catches the same things I do.

But this time, he had his own conclusions of what they were going for. He added a tiny protrusion to the drawing, then informed me that the page was wrong because “pooping” doesn’t begin or end with the ch blend.

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I get it, Noah. I get it. What kid would assume that bear was supposed to represent crouch.

And finally, we have an issue of local politics we need to discuss.

I don’t know why I follow the city council on Instagram, but I do.

And because of this, I now do indeed know.

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Yelling loudly in public.

Is illegal.

Now. I’m as much against loud noises as the next guy. Probs way more. But what happened to living in a free country?

And if  I see that you’re about to get run over by a car, can I get a one-time permit to be able to yell loudly at you?

And where would I obtain said permit?

Because if it’s at the DMV, you’re definitely dead.

But I will say that this revelation definitely brightened up our family downtown walk on Saturday.

“And this, kids, is the County Jail. It’s where we’ll come visit you if you ever yell loudly in public again.”