A Kerfuffle of Epic Proportions

Tara and Audrey were having a conversation the other evening, and you would have thought my wife was speaking a foreign language, so alien was her speech to my daughter.

She was recounting her day, and talking about how she got into a kerfuffle with one of her coworkers. When Audrey heard that, her brow furrowed.

“You got into a what?!” she asked.
“A kerfuffle. It’s like a spat.”
“What’s a spat?”
“A dust-up,” I added helpfully. This was no help.
“It’s okay,” Tara continued. “Everything is hunky-dory now.”

At this point she looked at both of us with an expression that belied a mixture of amusement and confusion. “You sure do talk funny,” she declared.

“Hey!” I replied, immediately on the defensive. “don’t talk funny. Tara, on the other hand…”

But I’ve gone into her funny speech before, so I won’t dredge that up again.

“Some of the kids at school said you’re a redneck!” Audrey went on. Tara had taken her to an after school function last week, and had apparently made an impression with some of the students. “Don’t worry, I told them you’re…wait a second…are you a redneck?!”

“Yup,” my redneck wife said. “Or at least, I used to be.”

‘Tis true. I’ve talked about how Tara and I met through blogging. We first started reading each other way back in 2002. At the time, she was a total redneck. A huntin’, wood choppin’, stock car drivin’ woman who called a creek a crick. She got married the first time wearing a cowboy hat, for crying out loud. While the “crick” thing hasn’t changed, everything else has. Which is probably for the better. I don’t know if we’d have gotten along so well back then. Besides, where would we have stored all the moonshine with such limited pantry space?

Audrey seemed stunned by this revelation, but quickly regained her composure. I explained that Tara now has episodes of Project Runway filling up space on the DVR and enjoys raw oysters, so those redneck days are long past. My daughter looked relieved.

After a full week of moving, hauling, unpacking, hanging, sorting, and storing, we are getting close to being fully moved in. Thank goodness. It feels like we’ve been surrounded by clutter for months. To a couple of organizational freaks like us, that’s akin to nails on a chalkboard. In other words, well nigh unbearable. (Good thing Audrey isn’t around to hear that expression). All this week I’ve spent my lunch hour working on both the apartment and the townhouse, motivated by the dinner invitation I extended to my parents for Saturday. It seemed foolish at the time – would we really be able to sort through mounds of stuff by then?! – but sure enough, we came. We saw. And we conquered. I’m so looking forward to a relaxing weekend for a change!

And now, by request, here are a few pics of the new apartment. Please excuse the mess. We’re not quite done yet. You’re welcome, Momma Tracy!

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Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

17 thoughts on “A Kerfuffle of Epic Proportions

  1. How funny. I had NO idea Tara was a redneck. But the expressions are priceless. I used to feel the same way when I listened to my students talk. What?–I thought. Love the apartment photos, as well. I’d love more shots of the living room and that amazing fireplace.

    Hugs from Ecuador,


    1. Thanks, Kathy. I had a couple more, but there were too many items not put away in the living room photo. Tara wanted me to wait until it’s all straightened up and pictures are hung. We should have that done by tomorrow, so next post I’ll share more. Hope you guys have a great weekend!


  2. ” “Everything is hunky-dory now.”

    Mark, I love that expression because it’s one that my mother would always use!

    ” I explained that Tara now has episodes of Project Runway filling up space on the DVR.”

    And please tell Tara that I LOVE Project Runway too! Faaabulous show!

    Great photos of your new place! And I’m so envious of the size of your kitchen because it’s actually a kitchen, not a ‘kitchenette’ like mine. Also, I love the light fixture hanging over your dinning room table. Very nice!

    Have a super weekend, buddy!


    1. Our kitchen is about the same size as the one in the townhouse, just a little longer instead of square. At least it’s better than a hot plate and a cooler! I’d call that hunky-dory.


  3. I tell my kids to go read a book when they wonder about my speech.

    Nice pad! Your kitchen cabinets are a lot like ours. Apparently, that’s called white washed oak. I like how you got all the magnets up already!


      1. I agree, “pickled oak” is weird. At least it really does look white washed. And the magnets were one of the first things we put up. It gave us something to do while the movers were doing all the really hard work.


  4. I can’t believe I missed this post. I never miss your posts. How did this one escape from me? Dang it!!

    I knew Tara regarded herself as a redneck and I never really believed her. Until I read this and the word kerfuffle. I never heard that word before until now. Yowzers!! I love how she says crick and jockey box and other unmentionables…but kerfuffle? LOL No wonder Audrey did a double take…I would have too!!

    Thanks, Son, for posting the pictures. You know how much I appreciate them and I can’t wait to see more! Yay!!


    1. Ironic, you’d miss one where I specifically gave you a shout-out. And I just thought you were being modest. 😉

      Kerfuffle notwithstanding, your daughter was much more of a redneck back in her Island Park days. And from what I understand, her ex-husband still is, to this day.


    1. There’s a deck, L. It’s the picture on the bottom left. Granted, it’s not covered, so when it rains we either don’t go out there…or we get wet! (It’s actually rained just about every day since we moved in).


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