Thursday, September 27, 2007
Laura: "Don't you just love that basket!? All of the books and magazines are tidy under the coffee table now!"
Nick: "It's a basket."
Laura: "Yeah, but don't you think it looks really nice there?"
Nick: "I'm a guy. It's a basket."
Laura: "I got it on clearance! It was $37.99 marked down to $7.49!"
Nick: "I love the basket."
Sunday, September 23, 2007
After our week away, I fear our little kitty with never look at suitcases with the same innocent cordiality as she did a month ago when she saw her first. Indeed, she has been beating up the luggage that I borrowed from Debbie and Brenda, showering an array of karate chops and donkey kicks to the piece of devilry that stole her parents away for seven days straight. Mean, stupid suitcase.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Nick and I went to see Superbad last night. I had wanted to see it as more and more I am finding Jonah Hill ridiculously funny. Nick had good recommendations on it from a friend at work, a friend who said that if we enjoyed Knocked Up (we did), we would LOVE Superbad (we did).
The final credits began rolling and we stood up, Nick saying, "That might be good enough to own."
I agreed, adding, "I wanna get Knocked Up." The heads of the people in the rows ahead of us twitched in our direction.
Nick, sounding somewhere between a rooster and Gilbert Gottfried, screamed, "WHAT!? We need to talk about this!"
Monday, September 17, 2007
By that pouty little look she's giving me, been giving me since I started yesterday afternoon, you'd think my decision to complete my degree was a personal dig. Oh, the guilt! I find myself needing to close the door against her onslaught, the way she slams her body into mine, the almost electric purr that has her body trembling visibly, and the mournful meow that says all too clearly that she is always supposed to be number one.
So far, Nick is taking it much better, but then again, this is only the "official" first day. Needless to say, posts may become even fewer and farther in between while I figure out how to juggle my time. Meanwhile, be thinking of the fuzzy tailed mongrel who is, even now, pawing at my leg for me to throw her favorite orange jingly ball.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Nick thinks she looks like a question mark in this picture...which is a very accurate description of her personality. It was actually taken about a month ago, but I woke up this morning, realizing I hadn't yet written a Sophie Sunday post...which I typically do when she does something cute (or irritating) and then postdate the entry. Well, it has been a busy week, if not anxious. Then, we were gone all Friday night at the Brewers game, and all day Saturday at the Badgers game. Needless to say, our little kitty has been very naughty vying for attention.
You see her jump on the table and shout, "Sophie! No!" She jumps off. Thirty second later, she jumps back on and you shout again, "SOPHIE! GET DOWN!" and clap your hands for good measure. A third time she jumps up and you're so mad that you don't say anything at first, just look at her with your death stare and hope that it will sever her naughty streak. When that doesn't seem to work, you move to get up. It doesn't take much movement because she knows she's being bad and runs to the other room.
We fell asleep on the couch at 7:00 last night, and stayed in bed until almost 7:00 this morning, when our little fuzz ball let us know that it was time to get up and that she would take no more of this laziness. I groaned and flopped to my stomach. Nick pulled the blankets tighter around his face and pinched his eyes shut. Then she began her aerial assault, launching herself onto my back and pouncing down to chew on my toes. I withstood the attack for a long time, ignoring her completely, before admitting to myself that I was very much awake and that staying in bed was very much futile.
With time now elapsed and my frustration cooled, I can appreciate that she isn't trying to be a pest. She only wants to spend time with us...she only wants someone to cuddle with and to play with...and how wonderful that an animal known for their standoffishness could actually learn to love.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sarah was already at work. She had a morning shift that semester, and could usually be found at the Galley cutting raw chicken into bite-sized bits. You think you hate dealing with raw chicken. Try dicing pounds and pounds and pounds of it. Every day. Sarah wasn't always in the best of moods when she came back to our dorm room, but I understood.
Nevertheless, I quickly grew accustomed to my quiet mornings—the days before coffee, you know (yes, such a time did exist)—and had a drowsy routine. My earliest class on schedule was after noon, and I was fetching in my innate laziness. Every morning was the same. I'd climb down from the cedar loft that my father crafted with his own hands and yawn on a stretch upon reaching the bottom.
Then I would grab the cordless phone and call Mom at work. She was expecting my call that day, and when I heard her sunshiny voice, I settled myself on a plush bit of blankets eager for our conversation to begin. "Did you just wake up?" She demanded a little tersely. A bit mopey, I admitted that I had, and she rushed to say, "Turn on your TV."
"Wh—?" But the line was dead. My body radiated with a contagious urgency and I remember so crisply looking at the phone clenched in my hand. I reached for the remote with my other and watched in horror as the second plane crashed into the south tower. The curtains were still closed, and streaks of bright morning light were peaking at me from beneath the borders. I didn't want to open the curtains. I didn't feel much like considering the world beyond our little room just then.
Sarah came home at one point, rattling me as I heard her at the door. Everything seemed so fragile then, and nothing seemed safe. She was pale. Her eyes seemed vacant. Mechanically she sat next to me and we watched the unfolding story in silence. After awhile, she began rocking and murmured, "My mom is traveling today." We spent the day in front of that TV, afraid to wander very far.
I remember nearly every detail of that day from start to finish. Funny, really, when I remember none of the day just before or just after. Here we stand, six years later. Nick finds a documentary on Flight 93, and he is watching it when I get home from work. Helpless but to watch, hot tears bathe my face and drip from my chin. A loving parent refers to the passengers on that flight as the first army against this war on terror.
Sarah's mom was okay. Classes resumed. Images of Ground Zero lessened across the airways. Discussions stopped. We all did our best to forget. We liked life much better in our naivety, the days when evil couldn't touch us. But try as hard as we might, it is impossible to forget.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I was expecting that there would be some serious attitude with a sprinkling of the silent treatment when Nick and I got back from our vacation...but I couldn't have been more wrong. Sophie has been charming. She even spent several hours yesterday morning giving me presents.
First there was my Reach flosser, then the cap to Nick's hairspray, then Nick's diabetes bracelet, then a cotton swab [from the bathroom trash], a bobby pin, and a straw she stole from my glass of Crystal Light the other night. One by one she brought them, laying them upon the couch cushion next to mine, and then running off to retrieve something else.
Once she tired, she jumped up to sit behind the pile of rubble, and looked over the junk to my face as if to say, "See? You got pretty good stuff here. Don't leave again." And then she slept, paw over the gunky cotton swab and tail flopping the hairspray cap to the floor. So willing to please and love, what a precious animal she is.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
A week ago, I had a birthday...and even though I spent it in paradise and with an individual that I deeply care for, I found myself heavy-hearted with the weight of my time here. All of the news programs that night were re-playing images of Princess Diana...and you know how sometimes a picture or a sound bite can take you back in time? Well, the Queen of Hearts died on my sixteenth birthday.
I remember myself quite well at that age. I wasn't your typical teenager, choosing to stay at home with a good book over going out and partying...choosing to bum around with my mother instead of friends. I never really went through that "I hate life" teenage angst, and I wasn't dedicated to finding a way out of my small town. I was centered on my family. I had grandiose plans of success and wealth.
Things have become fuzzier as life has taken some unexpected turns. Maybe I was too sure of everything, or everything had been too easy up until a certain point, but I've been tested. For someone who always wanted a career before a husband, I married young. For someone who always felt that marriage was a life contract, I divorced quickly. For someone who always took a certain amount of pride in their intelligence, I left college before getting a degree. For someone someone who only ever saw black and white, I've learned to differentiate between the hues of gray.
I was so singularly focussed on my goals that I was glass, unable to bend and likely to break. I broke alright. It took a good breaking to get my head on straight...but that is not how I remembered it that night...I only remembered the shattering. I felt the failures weigh upon me.
I ran myself a hot bath and turned on the jets while I soaked, putting on my dusty philosopher's hat and talking myself down. What is failure? I told Mom once, while trying work through the enormity of her dying, of my marriage ending, "I wouldn't want God's job...why should I tell him how to do it?" One of the hardest and most rewarding things I've accomplished is to stop questioning. I no longer wonder why.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
The Serenity Prayer. Now, being that I'm all gray-sighted and everything now, I know that many of you do not have the same faith as myself. I have never been a strong disciple, one of the biggest reasons I did not continue on to Seminary. I do not set out to change your minds or to question your own beliefs. I am very strong in my faith, and all I can say is that I hope you are very strong in yours, whatever it may be. We all need something to believe in.
I embraced this plea more than any other. Over my desire to press rewind and go back to an easier time, I asked for the ability to accept my new reality. By grace, it was granted.
By grace, I am more okay with who I am than I have ever been. I acknowledge my strengths, and I can show my weaknesses. I am unafraid to test myself. I know that I have value. I have been untainted by heartbreak. I have grown independent in my mother's passing, but I no longer feel so alone. I realize now that the sanctity of a feeling trumps any rational thought and allow myself the "frailty" of wearing my heart on my sleeve. I am not a robot.
I no longer do things because I think somebody is watching. I no longer perform for others. I live for me. I live to love and to further myself, and I live to be unashamed. I fought the urge to go into hiding, I still fight. I still believe that my life is the fairy tale I grew up believing, but now I remember that every now and then we have a fire-breathing dragon to deal with. I forgive. I let go. I am happy with my life, even though I do not have a case of trophies to show for it.
Mom always said, "It is what it is."
And it is wonderful. I am moving forward.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Bags packed, sheets cleaned and bed remade, towels washed and refolded, storm shutters in place...it is a little sad that our vacation is already over.
We keep looking at the pictures Nick's mom took of Sophie while we've been gone, lonesome for her. Strange that a little non communicative sprite who keeps us up at night can steal our hearts...time to go home.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
It tested my nerve, especially with a guy just two feet away with blood oozing from his hand and Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea very fresh in my mind (blood in the water=sharks)...but I did it! Every time I watch this I have to moan, "I'm such a girl!"
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