Russ and I had a funny experience yesterday that I think will go down in our family lore. We had a remarkably easier day with the cattle which was good because our new truck was booked for a repair and we needed to get it to Carlyle, about 50 minutes from here. We headed up in two vehicles and dropped it off and then decided a visit to the Dairy Queen drive thru was in order before heading back to the ranch. As we pulled up to the payment window I totally forgot about my mask, again. The lady at the window was a bit off which is when I, within a millisecond of asking myself “what’s wrong?”, realized that I was without my mask. I quickly grabbed it off the signal light lever and in something straight out of “that will never happen in a million years” managed to not apply it to my face but turn it into a slingshot, that I lost grip of. In .5 seconds I went from being the person not wearing a mask, to being the person who shoots masks at fast food servers. It landed right on the hand of the attendant as she extended the payment machine out to us. I felt like a complete and total jerk. I was unbelievably flustered. The attendant went from being “off” to being “offended” to being “angry” and then she softened, as I apologized all over myself. I was so embarrassed. Russ came to this situation as a guy who has been completely absorbed with a tricky situation for days, he had been living within an uphill battle and his brain was shaped by this. Therefore his reaction to this situation was to burst out into that Russell laugh that somehow sounds like a large animal, maybe a hyena, gasping for air. His laughter was well received by the server and the one who brought our Blizzards and everything seemed forgiven. In the midst of the worst of it I said to the attendant, “I am so sorry, it was the wind,” but when we pulled into the lot to enjoy our ice cream I pointed out to Russ that the flags in Carlyle were sitting absolutely still. It wasn’t the wind. He laughed again. Lying in bed last night he said, “can I just laugh about that mask thing one more time?” Then he explained to me that it was such a relief to not be the one getting themselves in hot water, but to watch me, who usually is so composed, make such a huge gaff in such incredibly tricky times, and feel so flustered. I get it. I love seeing Russell get flustered for the exact same reason. Maybe it really really reminds us of how human we are. I looked up the definition of flustered afterwards and looked for any interesting quotes about it, there were none to see. The definition said “to feel irritated or confused.” That is not how I see it at all. Flustered, defined by Kathy Kyle, “how one feels when understandable things happen by surprise and responding appropriately feels almost impossible for the human involved.” It was my most embarrassing moment for a long long time.
A couple things happened yesterday that heightened my appreciation for technology. One is that we got to watch Gina perform in a “Festival of New Works” at her school. In a normal year I would have likely travelled to Victoria and been in the audience, with that not being possible a good quality version was available for us to watch on our computer at home. The four us huddled there and watched Gina open the whole show as she emerged on stage in a raincoat and umbrella tapping away to “Singing in the Rain”. It was part of a song medley created by a 2nd year student, she was using it to explore how tap might be more fully integrated into modern musical theatre, so the number ended with a segment from Hamilton the Musical. It was cool. I took a pic of the screen. Thats Gina with the red hair. We really enjoyed it but as the proud Mama I could have watched Gina tap a lot more than this!
The other thing that happened yesterday is that Russell noticed that our cow “Antonio” was looking good. That cow was named after a friend of mine who lives in Mexico City. Recently Russ and Antonio became Facebook friends so Russ took a picture of the cow and sent it to Antonio. There was dialogue back and forth that happened right away. That made me so happy. With the help of technology two humans were allowed to connect from the heart of the 2nd largest city in the world to a snowy pasture almost exactly 40 hours drive directly north. Celebrating the good stuff friends!