Saturday, June 30, 2007
Now, it happens rarely at best, but I felt like staying in bed longer this morning. Usually I'm up and about before the dawn of day, but I just didn't have the foot twitching obnoxiousness to bolt from the bed and sing, "Good mornin! Good mornin'! We've talked the whole night through! Good mornin'! Good mornin' to you!" today. (Come on! I know there have to be some Singin' in the Rain fans out there!)
But Sophie is used to our routine, and she couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to get up and play and give her morning treats. She couldn't quite get the concept of my very large vodka grapefruit the night before, or my waking to her gagging on a hairball at the end of the bed at 3:00 a.m and how I couldn't get back so sleep after I got up to clean the mess. She kept jumping to the bed—she can jump even without claws! (I really do say the most clever things with very little vodka.)—and pouncing on us, hunkering down for the surprise attack and moments later one of us would groan at the impact.
It went on for well over an hour, until Nick, who never gets out of bed before daybreak on a Saturday, purred in his husky morning voice (that I used to find attractive), "Dear? Why don't you get up. She likes it when you're downstairs."
In case you don't speak Nick, that's code for, "She won't stop until one of us gets up. I think it should be you...because I want to sleep."
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
It's nearly impossible to do unless you're one of the lucky chosen few to have an uneventful life. I read an email this morning that took me back to October 2005, right there like I never left—that cruelly sunny afternoon I spent with my dying mother and a "Dear John" note. A friend is going through something similar to what I was going through at the time, and they asked advice on how to go on, how to make breathing feel like less of a gasping effort.
What I wouldn't have given to have had the answer.
Nothing hit me as hard as my life crumbling to pieces at my feet. I was broken. I remember the feeling of being undesirable and unwanted all too well, and I spent too many nights praying that I wouldn't wake the next day. There was something very close to the stitching of my self worth about that particular cut, and I was a shell of a friend, of a daughter, of a person.
But, as Aunt Brenda predicted, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Once the haze of hurt thinned, all I could think was, "Hadn't I earned more respect than that?" I had. And, finally, I found the desire to look forward, closing the curtain on my vigil of the past.
My friend said they read from the archives of this site and surmised, "I see it was for the best for you, it really was." Take time to grieve. You are mourning the loss of something that was living not so very long ago. Open your eyes to the wealth of love and care around you, open them more quickly than I did...you are ending a chapter, not your story. You go on to be a great conqueror of that which will try to hold you back, and you will redefine happily ever after to a splendor you didn't know to dream. It will be best for you too. You will make it so.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
It came!—Oh, did I forget to mention? I bought a kayak! I've been putting off the purchase because, well, they're not cheap...but I decided that I was going to enjoy this Summer a whole lot more than I enjoyed last Summer—and also, that I was going to keep my butt out of the hospital this time around.
I poured over reviews, specs, and finally decided to buy with the problem-area in mind. I found a kayak that allows for several different leg positions with the bigger cockpit and side pads so that I can keep shifting, adjusting the pressure on the high maintenance (and costly) derrière. This is nothing new—I've never in my entire life found sitting for long periods comfortable...who knew it was to blame on a tumor and lacking coccyx!?
At twelve feet, it's not so short to be an absolute nightmare on choppier waters (but short enough that it's still pretty maneuverable for someone with a shorter arm span), and has excellent ratings on stability and tracking. It came last Friday, and I was well pleased to return from my father's to find it sitting sweetly atop Nick's SUV. I jumped from my car and cried loudly, embarrassingly, "I HAVE A KAYAK!" Nick came out, inquiring whether or not I was drunk.
The next day, both kayaks were loaded on the SUV and we headed to Mirror lake to paddle the waters there. After four or five hours, we bobbed just off from where we put-in and clutched onto each other's boat to stay close and not drift away. It was so lovely just then, feeling the fatigue in my muscles and the heat of the sun—I am very happy with my choice of kayaks.
At one point, however, I called up to Nick, "Yours is still faster!"
He called back, "It's called arm strength."
Oh, and Nick wants me to publish that last night, at his birthday dinner, I ate steak. And liked it.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Judging by my own expressions (and knowing full well that Sophie tends to mimic them), I can surmise that when this photo was taken, Nick had just told a joke.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
"Mommy! It's been a looooong time and I'M STILL BORED!"
"Put your dress down, Honey."
That little girl is going to be a lot of fun in college.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I was getting an upgrade to my car shortly after I bought it last Fall—an auto-dim compass mirror—when the mechanic says to me conversationally, "You know, everybody says that the police target people in little red cars..." and I nodded curtly. "...but really, it's that people that buy little red cars are very Type A."
I didn't appreciate that.
But I had a moment of dawning today on the highway, my irritation peaking as I switched from lane to lane, trying to find a flow of traffic with a pair of balls big enough to go respectably over the speed limit. Um. It's called RUSH hour.
Finally, accepting that 63 in a 55 zone was the best I was going to do, my head fell forward in disappointment, and I saw my disappointment mirrored by the driver in the car ahead of me...his head nearly banging against the steering wheel of his little red car.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
She walks around with golf tees hanging out of her mouth and reminds me of a drunken has-been with a ciggie wobbling from her lips. Sophie has a sort of gangling wobble to her form (not that I am any sort of a judge on grace), and I can't help but grin that Nick and I are the adoptive parents of such quality, backwoods pedigree.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Dad asked me to go this year—I hadn't been planning to do so as last year's reduced me to a sniveling mess. It was a cold rainy night and Brenda and I hightailed it out of there partway through the opening ceremony. There was a woman speaking about how we have to be proactive in our own health, how she felt sick and the doctors couldn't find what was wrong...but she still felt sick so she kept going back and kept going back...and Brenda and I had enough of that going on in our immediate lives just then—the feeling not right and nobody being able to figure out why. We were not of the mentality to hear a similar story that ended with "You have Cancer."
But my excuses ran dry when the sunny 90° day dawned, a good 40°-50° warmer than last year, and I had received an answer to my health woes that didn't involve the "c" word anywhere by the end.
I got all the way through the opening ceremony this time, and nearly lost it when it was announced that my mother's old company had dedicated a lane in her name again this year. It warms me that she was so well loved, and that her memory is kept alive by those that she cherished so deeply: her friends. I remember the 2005 Relay for Life...I spent it with her at the house. Dad went off to the event, leaving us to hide. There is and honor in fighting a disease and publicly proclaiming that you WILL overcome, and I don't mean to insinuate otherwise...but for Mom, she was handed a death sentence from the get-go.
"You will never be Cancer free."
"Good news is, at the rate of growth, you have about fifteen years."
"At this rate of growth, you have about two years."
"This is growing much more rapidly than we had expected. You have about three months."
She found it difficult to face her killer when she really was in no mood to die.
So, this was really the first opening ceremony that I have ever attended, and I didn't know about the survivor lap. I didn't know how tight my chest would feel as I imagined her down there in a purple shirt. I didn't know that tears would blur my vision and show her image to me down there on the track, only to lose her all over again when I blinked. I didn't know how much it still hurt. They released their balloons into the air and I tilted my face toward the sky to watch, looking through firmaments that I don't know to actually exist to see her face...and, there, I know where I can find her.
It was a beautiful night.
[Photography Courtesy of Nick]
Thursday, June 14, 2007
"I bought stamps at work today," I began conversationally with Nick.
"Thank God." We were on our last. "You can buy stamps at work!?"
"Well, from the ATM machine."
"You have an ATM machine at work!?"
"How many did you get? I usually buy 100 when I buy stamps."
I know all too well, as he bought a roll of 37¢ stamps in 2005 that we're just now finishing up. In case you're not aware, the cost of U.S. post has seen two increases since the 37¢ days, and I find the addition of those two 2¢ stamps quite telling of people that should never buy stamps in mass quantity.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I do, but I don't. Climate-wise, I don't. I'm thrilled with the "strange" weather pattern, high 80's and humid enough to make your ear hairs curl—I love it...LOVE it. I remember all at once why I lived in that humid city by the ocean for so long...because most of the year was this stuff. I learned a lot about hygiene living there, and kept it all when I moved back and I'm sure most would be shocked to know that I keep restrooms and my purses stocked with baby wipes. Of course, bringing that trend back from the South (and I didn't even live in the DEEP South) to my OCD-ridden Midwestern mother had a wildfire effect. A new way to be über clean: rock on.
And I feel distinctly dejected when everyone begins complaining about this nasty humid weather...I love heat, most of all, I love smothering heat...and I always have, even though it gives my hair a bride of Frankenstein coif. I speak wistfully of the time I lived in that warmer place, the place without Winter and the air wet enough to feel like a mist against your skin. I know I'll never live away from my family again, but man! I wish Wisconsin could take the initiative to migrate closer to the Equator!
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