Saturday, November 22, 2014

A healthy dose of perspective.


Today I found myself complaining about holiday-shopping traffic, poor customer service, this, that and the other thing and then remembered that my Up North pastor just lost his wife of several decades and what must he be going through?

One one hand it must be something of a relief (as guilty as that sounds) because she was in so much pain from cancer and a multitude of other ailments.  On the other hand, she was his wife, his help-meet, his one and only for most of their lives.  How must it feel to have that void?

I am so amazingly, abundantly blessed.  I must try and remember that.

Friday, November 21, 2014

My daughter is

almost two.  Apparently, she's already Terrible Two in her heart.  Also?  Having a toddler is like having a schizophrenic grandparent living with you.

Here's a conversation that occurred about five minutes before bedtime:
Me: Ok, get Anna (one of her "babies") so we can get ready for bed.
Katharine: NO! Don't want! *throws Anna*
Me: Ok then, let's go brush our teeth and get ready for bed.
...brushing teeth, saying prayers, tucking in...
Katharine: *with much weeping and wailing* Where's AAAANNNNNNNNAAAA!?!?!
Me: *le sigh*

Here's one that happened just this morning:
Me: Breakfast time, do you want milk or juice?
Katharine: NO!
Me: How bout some Cheerios?
Katharine: NO!
Me: *pours milk and Cheerios*
Katharine: NO!!!
Me: *puts milk and Cheerios on the edge of the counter, just within her reach*
...five minutes later...
Katharine: *devouring milk and Cheerios*

Repeat times infinity.

She's a mess but I love her.


Monday, November 17, 2014

For your perusal

Me and My Bitsy

Presented without further comment.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

It's easier

for me to go to work when Katharine is asleep.  I can sneak out the door and pretend she doesn't exist until I come back home.

If I have to see this before I go, I am oh-so-tempted to slam the door, throw my purse and keys and plan a play date just for she and I.  One sign of that little, curly head, one little voice saying, "Mom?" and I am a goner.

Love my little girl.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I had a

miscarriage in June.  Since then, I've been struggling with grief and guilt.  Grief because, though my child was only with me for three months, I felt like it's mother.  It feels like losing my daughter.

I had a dream that she died and I thought that was the worst pain I could feel.  I was wrong.

Part of me thinks it would have been easier to bear if this had happened before I had a living child.  Because then I wouldn't know what I was missing.  But another part of me knows that going through a miscarriage before having a living child would make me very reluctant to try again.

Guilt because I know there are families who have lost so much more than me.  I feel like I'm overreacting, or that I'm not entitled to grieve, or that I should just forget and move on.

I've had friends, acquaintances and strangers give me accounts of babies they have lost and most seem to treat it like it's no big deal...or maybe it's just that enough time has passed that the pain and shock isn't so sharp.

Is that what I can look forward to, that blunted pain?  Lack of feeling, loss of interest?  Is it possible to heal, to forget?

Do I really want that?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Really?!

I haven't eaten a hot dog in something like ten years. Suddenly, weirdly, I want a hot dog. And not just any hot dog: a Koegel. I can imagine the snap as I bite into it, the soft, white bun and a line of spicy mustard decorating the top.

Apparently my parasite is causing me to crave things that aren't good for me.

Also? I'm pregnant.
This can't be real, right? A person? How can there be a person in there?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Driver's Training

Years ago, I mean years and years and a really long time ago, when I was taking my driver’s training final exam, my instructor asked me a question.

Now. Up until this particular question, I had been proceeding through the training with ease, parallel parking and reverse zig-zagging my parent’s mini-van with ease. Nothing escaped my new driver knowledge. Until.

“What would you aim for if you had to run your vehicle off the road.”

“What would I aim for? How bout an empty field?”

“No, you have to hit something.”

What kind of question is this? My mind raced through the plethora of possible objects that may be found on the side of the road: garbage, flower beds, trees, Optimus Prime, people, lemonade stands, animals (once I even saw a headless horse on the side of the road! Of course, I instantly thought of The Godfather), 100-year old Sequoias, leaf piles, old sofas, mail boxes…

Leaf piles would probably be the obvious choice; I used to love driving through them, watching leaves fly up all around…until my mom reminded me of all the fun my siblings and I used to have playing in the leaves. A headless horse? You can’t do much damage to a headless horse, though your vehicle may suffer. Okay, how about flower beds? But all that work, love and care, destroyed by my uncaring tires…my mind settled on mail boxes, because they’d tend to give (unless they’re those giant brick mailbox monoliths waiting to leap out at unsuspecting passersby) and they’re easily replaceable. Yes, a small, innocent mail box is just what I’d aim for, If I had the choice.

“Well, if I had the choice, I’d rather aim for nothing, but since I have to hit something, I choose a mailbox,” I said triumphantly, proud of my logical, well-thought out answer.

“WRONG! FAIL! The correct answer is BRUSH PILE! You are the WEAKEST LINK!” she gleefully exclaimed.

A brush pile?! Who keeps a brush pile on the side of the road? Far be it from me to argue, though I did shoot her an incredulous look and my mom glared daggers at her from the back seat in solidarity. I fleetingly imagined plowing the car into a mailbox just to prove I was right.

Though now, thinking back, if I had a choice, I think I’d say Optimus Prime. No one can argue with that answer.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Moving Day

So, Moving Day went off without a hitch.

BWAAHAHAHAHAHA! Did you believe me???

I awoke at 7:45. We had plans to get up at 8 to finish some last minute preparation before our help arrived at 10. As it turned out, Steven had been up until 3:45 am being Steven and so he slept in. At 8 something, our main helper, Trey, called to say his wife was in the ER and his buddy would bring the moving truck and Steven could pick it up at 10. Steven ended up sleeping til 9:50 and then (after I hurled some breakfast at him) raced out the door to bring back the truck. At 10, Reese, a faithful member of our church and all around fabulous guy (who’s in his 70s) arrived with his trailer to help begin the move. Reese and I managed to haul several loads down the SEVENTEEN steps and maneuver them into the trailer while we waited for Steven to arrive. We only lost one.*

Steven arrived with the truck.**

So we began loading the truck. Steven’s obscenely huge desk made its merry way down the steps and into the truck without incident.

Benny, yet another awesome church member, arrived with his van.

Couch, loveseat, bed and dressers to truck.

Gallons of water were consumed, rests were taken, pounds were sweated off.

The caravan commenced.

It’s about 40 minutes drive from the apartment to the house.

Caravan arrived at the house, my car was hastily unloaded and I left to procure nourishment in the form of delicious pizza.

When I returned, Troyce, Betty, Richard, Benny’s son Andrew and Andrew’s wife, Faith (all church folks) had arrived to continue the unloading.

It was awesome.

Faith and I may have ridden the lift on the truck like a carnival ride.

Pizza was devoured, water was drunk and huge sighs of relief were heaved.

Everybody but Benny, Andrew and Faith went home. Those of us remaining made one final trip to the apartment for one more tiny load and we were done.

And I broke the key off in the door.

What better way to say, “Poo on you, apartment” than breaking off the stinking key in the lock?

On the way back to the house, Trey called to say he was in our driveway (we have a driveway, guys!!!).

He left his finally stable, sleeping wife at the hospital*** to come and help us finish. These people are amazing!

Everyone left, we took showers, I threw a sheet over our bed and we collapsed (and were awoken at 4:45 am by a mystery noise, which turned out to be an alarm clock that somehow managed to get switched on in all the chaos).

We dragged ourselves out of bed in time for church (and woot! All the helpers were at church too, exhausted though we all surely were.)

I am still in love with this house. It has a lovely huge screened in patio. Like a Michigan room, I think. Also? A whirlpool tub. And so. Much. Space. Pictures will prove this once I find my camera. Two big, round gardens in the front yard and assorted trees (which someone will hopefully help me to identify). An added bonus? It’s on a dead end street. Dead end=no traffic.

As one of the helpers said last night, “Welcome to the country.”

*Reese was carefully guiding a load of boxes down with the dolly when he lost his grip and it went sailing down the steps. I was behind him (he wouldn’t let me walk in front, lest something like this happens, and praise God for it, otherwise I’d have been lying in a heap at the bottom of the steps, too) and reached out grabbing for him, thinking he was falling, too. Thankfully, all is well and it was nothing breakable.

** Trey is an appliance salesman/repair guy and has this fabulous truck with a nifty lift on the back and an awesome stairstepper dolly and all the bells and whistles. Which someone drove into a bridge. Apparently the driver misjudged the height of the bridge and plowed into it, shearing off a nice chunk of the roof. It may have looked funny, but it did the job.

***Prayer request for Trey’s wife, Tamera, who is recovering in the hospital.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A re-post...

I wrote this 45 bajillion years ago and am now re-posting it as an attempt to get back into fiction...maybe someday I'll even finish Marcus' Story...

Let me know what you think...

No, really. Criticism is welcome.

--------------------

"Why don’t you tell me again how it happened. From the top.”

Opal glanced around worriedly. Her eyes swept past the police, the paramedics. Thoughts of Paul and his inevitable lectures about how a woman her age shouldn’t be driving filled her head. Ever since that little fender bender last year he’d been just unbearable. She hadn’t even been hurt! Just a few little bruises. Paul certainly had a temper.

The flashing blue lights of the police car snapped Opal back to the present. “He came out of nowhere!” She blinked back tears. It was true. Maybe she had been going a little too fast, and of course that curve was the site of many an accident, but the young man on the motorbike must have been invisible until the moment of impact.

Officer James sighed. Miss Opal was going to be in a world of trouble if that boy in the ditch didn’t pull through.

They both looked up as the paramedics loaded the man into the ambulance. One of them caught Officer James’ eye and shook his head slightly. It didn’t look good.

"Come along with me to the station, ma'am, and we'll talk more. And we'll call your son, too."

As he helped her into the patrol car, Quentin James thought back on his eight years in the Highway Patrol. Never had he seen an accident like this one. The motorcycle was actually embedded into the front of Opal's Cadillac. They hadn't been able to identify the boy on the bike yet but he hadn't been wearing a helmet. If he hadn't been thrown to the water-filled ditch, he would have surely died already.

Officer James looked up warily as a black BMW screeched to a stop in front of his patrol car. Must be the old lady's son.

"Mother!" The kid was out of the car and scuttling towards them, engine running and door open, barely stopping to put the car in park. He looked more angry than worried. "Mother! What were you thinking?"

Opal cringed, shrinking into the back of the car. "Paul, please..."

Officer James tried to keep the peace. "Son, your mother's had quite a scare. This isn't the time to be berating her."

"Officer, is my mother under arrest?"

Quentin didn't like the man's tone, but he was used to dealing with all sorts in his line of work. "No, sir, she's not under arrest. I do need to talk to her, though, and get this mess straightened out. How did you even know about the accident?"

"It's a small town, Officer." Paul looked at Quentin disdainfully. "Good news sure travels fast."

"Son, you can either come along to the station with me and help get this taken care of or you'll have to go."

Paul shot his mother an evil glare.

What kind of relationship must they have? Officer James was baffled at the malevolence in Paul's face. He really seems to despise her.

"She just doesn't listen!" Paul spat the words out, giving each one it's own sentence.

"Now just calm down." Officer James tried to diffuse an increasingly explosive situation.

Paul took several deep breaths and appeared to gather himself up.

Officer James' radio squawked to life. After a hushed conversation with the disembodied voice on the other end, Quentin turned back the Opal and Paul. "He died en route. Ma'am, you have the right to remain silent."

"Oh, no you don't!" Paul darted to his car, ruffled around in the glove compartment and turned back, triumphant, with a gun in his hand. "Leave her alone," he said. "I'll deal with her later."

Instantly, Quentin's own gun was in his hand. "Boy, you don't want to do this. Just think about what you're doing."

"I am thinking. You're going to arrest my mother! I can't let you do that." A wild look had come into Paul's eyes. The look of a man on the brink of losing control.

A light rain started, darkening the street around them and whispering through the trees.

"Put the gun down." Quentin spoke firmly, yet calmly.

Paul sighed enormously and rushed him, closing the space between them in five giant bounds, gun in hand.

A deafening roar.

Opal looked at Officer James, his gun still smoking. Paul lay in a heap at her feet, a pool of blood slowly spreading beneath him as the rain began falling in earnest. Silently, she began to cry.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

*Insert Fanfare Here*

We got a house! And not just any house. The most beautiful, gorgeous, perfect house of all time.

God loves us.

We move in on the 30th. I think it needs a name...any suggestions?