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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When Ladies Lunch

         We’re on spring break this week, and my fellow lunch ladies and I thought it would be fun if we went to lunch together.  Sort of a bus-man’s holiday, but we rarely get to chat uninterrupted by students who need change to use a vending machine or need to buy a bottle of water.  There were to be 11 of us, but 3 couldn’t make it so 8 of us took over a section of our local Panera Bread.  I’m not sure the gentleman who was having himself a nice quiet lunch in the corner prior to our arrival was happy about it, as it seemed that he began to eat a bit faster once more of us arrived.  It was nice, I got to know two of the ladies a little bit better, and being at the “head” of the table I was able to observe everyone.  It’s not an easy thing for that many women to work in a kitchen every day under time limitations and still manage to get along.  For the most part, though, we do quite nicely.  That’s not to say that there aren’t times when for one reason or another feelings are hurt, or there are small power struggles, but for the most part we are a harmonious eclectic group.  Various ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds keep things interesting when we do get to visit uninterrupted.  We are unified by motherhood, and as I sat there enjoying our time together I thought how very lucky we all are to be able to put aside any differences we may have during the work day and simply be ladies out for lunch.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Week of Monderdays

         This has been some week!  Every day felt like Monday, or “Monderday” as I generally refer to it.  Not that anything cataclysmic has happened, because it’s been a pretty run of the mill week for the most part.  Maybe that’s the problem, nothing to really get my adrenalin going, no crisis to work through; just life.  I’ve been having trouble with my right shoulder—tendonitis, knots in my rotator cuff (?!), and a spasm in the trapezius.  Last week I sought treatment, and it has been slowly feeling better.  But not better enough, and probably that’s because life doesn’t stop because something is hurting.  Hillary still needs me to change and dress her, put her in her wheelchair, pack her breakfast and lunch, and put her on the bus in the morning.  I still need to go to work, and take care of at least the bare minimum around the house. That would have been quite enough challenge for me, but Mother Nature decided to throw in a snow/ice storm which didn’t really mess the roads up too badly but collected about 3 heavy wet inches on the van, deck and driveway.  I didn’t really need to add clearing snow off the van to my list of things that hurt to do with my bum shoulder. All of that aside, what bothered me most about the storm is that it points out to me just how much my life is arranged around Hillary’s needs.  Delayed school opening means delayed going to work for me.  Luckily my employer understands as do my coworkers.  But it still makes me sad that I have to wait for the bus before I can leave.  I’ve allowed those feelings to cloud my whole week—hey sometimes it happens.  It’s part of the grieving cycle, realizing once again how “abnormal” my life is, and grieving that “normal” life I thought I had when my family was completed by a second daughter.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Music of My Sunday

          The Sunday that I envisioned began with sleeping late, followed by a large cup of tea and some blog writing and exploring.  Next I was to shower, take care of Hillary’s needs, and return to relaxing pursuits such as writing, reading, playing games and chatting with my husband as he read the Sunday papers, all while the local radio played in the background.  Following lunch my day would include a walk in the crisp March air in the strengthening sunshine, then perhaps a nap…….  I interrupt this dreamy day to inject a dose of reality! I did indeed sleep in, which was nice, but Miss Hillary decided not to sleep late so her shower, etc. took over my morning.  The radio was playing, and my husband was reading the Sunday papers, at least until we went food shopping, picking up an early dinner on the way home.  The TV was then turned on, the washer and dryer and dishwasher were all doing their jobs adding to the music of my Sunday.  Next daughter number one returned from a weekend with friends and decided to cook herself something.  As we live in a small one story ranch, all the sounds mixed together as I took care of things.  The radio in my bedroom to which I was listening as I folded clean laundry added a lyrical touch to the swish, gurgle, whirl, hum, clack of the washer and dryer. As I made my way through the kitchen, Anna had Celtic music playing as onions sizzled in a pan on the stove, in Hillary’s room I could hear voices from the TV show in the living room behind the sound of her vocalizations and clicking of her bead toy she was playing with. It may not have been the Sunday I had envisioned, but it was a pretty nice day anyway.  The sounds of my house and family created the soundtrack of my Sunday.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What's Thirty Years?

As my husband and I celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary, I reflect upon our life together.

What’s 30 Years?      
  It’s weddings and funerals, births and milestones, it’s weekends away, Thanksgivings, birthdays, and parties.
 30 years together is Friday nights ordering in, sleepy Saturday mornings and yard work.
  It’s vacations and staycations, friends and family gathered around the table.
 New cars, unemployment, new jobs and moving a child into college.
 30 years is disagreements, tears, fears, and eating Twizzlers at twilight on the front porch in the summer.
  It’s shoveling snow well before dawn, holding hands, road trips and picnics.
  It’s jaunts to the supermarket, hardware store, plumbing projects and planting flowers.
  It’s painting, parades, bowling tournaments, kids’ concerts, back to school night and graduation.
  It’s pizza for dinner, steaks on the grill, cereal at bedtime, and peanut butter sandwiches in the lunch bag.
 30 years is handmade Christmas decorations, Halloween candy, hidden Easter eggs, and fireworks.
 It’s a fair, a show, Jeopardy, and listening to the radio.
  It’s rodents in the attic, bees under the eaves, bird’s nests, and poison ivy in the yard.
  It’s random socks, too much in the closets, clothes to be folded, and tattered towels.
  30 years is a chain of every day events and moments, unbroken, which binds two people together in a partnership.
 30 years together is love.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Filling Out Forms

            If there’s one thing I can’t stand doing it’s filling out forms.  For the past 20 plus years I’ve been answering the same questions on school, doctor and service application forms. They’re hard to see as they’re typed in a small font with short lines for the answers or tiny little check boxes to be filled in and I’m losing patience for this activity! One universal form which is filled out once and updated yearly would be so much easier.  I wouldn’t mind reviewing information and initialing before moving on to updates.  This would be less stressful to do, and easier to read.
            When my daughter was diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome, which includes seizures, scoliosis, and severe developmental delay, we went from specialist to specialist in order to address each of her medical issues. By the time she was 6 months old it was apparent that therapeutic intervention would be necessary.  This is when I became aware of the repetitiveness of forms as each one I filled out asked for the same information.  As she aged, I filled out more forms than I can count, all asking for the same old information along with questions about more current concerns. As she gets older, we have more forms to fill out for assistance programs, new doctors, and special activities.  They all ask for the same information I’ve been writing down for the past 20 plus years. It bothers me to repeatedly write down the history of all my daughter’s obvious challenges.  Some questions about her birth I fill in with a scribbled “I don’t remember, it was over 20 years ago!” I feel at this point that information isn’t relevant.
            If I could write all the smart alecky answers that I’m usually thinking when I’m faced with a form at least it would be amusing, but I’m fairly sure it wouldn’t be appreciated.  So I’ll continue putting the information on those short little lines and filling in the little check boxes until I either can’t hold a pen or someone comes out with that universal form of my dreams.