Summer End 2017

My summer ends early as teachers return to school tomorrow eight days ahead of the students.  I’m thrilled to be assigned to only two schools this year and look forward to having a much more focused and productive year. My summer was filled with more fun than recent summers and I’m grateful for that.

  • Traveled to Seattle with Henry and had a great time combining sightseeing with reconnecting with old friends of his from his time in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

  • Crossed into Vancouver for July 4th and toured around Granville Island.
  • Drove to Swanton, VT for a long weekend. Which meant nearly 24 hours of driving and talking and keep each other awake.
  • Flew to West Palm Beach, Florida for a five day mini-vacation with my long time bestie, Elise.  Walked her little dogs, cuddled with them and hung out at the pool.  Met Elise’s friends and enjoyed dinner and conversation with them for several meals.  Mmmmmmm yummy!
  • Went to the Newsuem in Washington DC.  The current CEO and Director is a long time friend from high school and debate team.  What a view from his 9th floor office!  And a fascinating museum all about the news and freedom of the press.  Toured with another friend from grade school-it takes a long time to grow an old friend.
  • Planted a garden at Henry’s house in Hagerstown, harvested tomatoes and peppers and immature carrots. Made him a delicious vegan pasta with our own produce.  Epic!
  • Saw several movies; An Inconvenient Truth, Part II and  Lucky Logan.  The first very thought provoking, the second a welcomed diversion.
  • Hosted Henry’s brother and nieces and explored a new restaurant in Hagerstown, Rik’s Cafe.
  • Read 8 books and hosted my Book Club in July-we’ve been meeting for over 23 years!
  • Visited with my mom in New York and ate great pizza and calzones.
  • Drove up to the Adirondacks and spent two nights at my sister’s new lake house.  I stayed in the moose bedroom!
  • Cleaned out my den and bought paint……soon to be painted and redecorated.
  • Volunteered for two days at my church’s BBQ chicken booth selling chicken, fries, burgers and pulled chicken sandwiches.
  • Completed a sleep study- fail!  Began using a PAP machine and have slept better than in years.
  • Met with an orthopedist and will start PT for shoulder impingement syndrome on the right side. Also now have thumb braces for the the arthritis!
  • Attended a SCA shire meeting.
  • Swam at my girlfriends gorgeous in-ground pool.
  • Had a wonderful birthday ambush luncheon from my girlfriend and her brother and sister! And Matchbox cars……..
  • Went to the dentist, the internist, the gynecologist and the financial planner although not in that order!
  • Went to the emergency room with Henry as he experienced kidney stone pain.
  • Went to follow up appointment at cardiologist with Henry for the June heart episode.
  • Enjoyed a wonderful summer breakfast with my daughter and son in law at the Silver Diner in Frederick.
  • Attended a bridal shower in Baltimore for my best friend’s daughter-wedding is in November!
  • Saw fireworks in Seattle after a Mariner’s baseball game.
  • Wine tour with sorority sisters throughout Virginia……
  • That’s all I can think of for now but it has been a wonderful, busy, delightful summer.

Heavy Lifting

Suddenly I feel like I am doing all the heavy lifting.  My SO moved in February out of an apartment and into a three bedroom/two bath house with a huge garage-the most important feature according to him, and a fairly small yard.  I was devastated when he announced the surprise decision as the house is a good forty minutes from his job and about an hour from my place.  The move has proven to be a sticking point that keeps on ticking.  I keep reminding myself it is not a deal breaker but a game changer but I’m the one doing all the changing.

  • Yard work and household chores are the excuse he can’t come and see me.

  • Can’t leave the bird (a cockatoo) alone too much.

  • Projects around the house need doing-installing an outlet so he can charge the stupid electric car faster.

I can’t even really write properly how much it hurts.  I’m back and forth all the time and feel rootless and anxious in my place because it just seems like I’m waiting around to go back to his place.  He obviously needs me much less in his life than I need him.  I have become dependent on him and hate myself for that.  I swore I wouldn’t do that again and so now I need to spend time disengaging from him and get back to my own life on my own terms.  He bought a house that I can’t live in.   Wrong house, wrong town, wrong distance.  Wrong man?

Limping to the end

Another school year is about to end and I am going to make it but just barely.  I’ve a bad case of compassion fatigue and JDGAF anymore.  I sat in three hours of training this afternoon and the entire time my brain kept saying “I don’t want to learn a new system, I don’t want to learn anything new, I’m tired and want to go lay down”.  It made staying awake a bit difficult and I had to bite my tongue from an urge to lash out at the stupidity of training us on a new system 5 days before the end of the school year so I can forget all about it over the summer.  And it still doesn’t have a pull down menu for goals.  Not better, just different. Sighhhhhhhhhh

Today is also my son’s birthday.  He is 26 years old today and wants nothing to do with me and doesn’t.  So it  is heartache and bittersweet memories of a sweet child that turned into an angry adolescent and now is a depressed disaffected young adult with no job, no prospects that spends his days gaming and writing some ‘novel’.  I feel like so empty when I think of him.  His healthcare will stop at the end of this month as well and the last vestige of connection.  Yes, I carried him on my healthcare for seven years- seven years of estrangement and hostility.

Blah…….I feel so blah.

Memorial Day

To people that have served in the military today is not just a three day holiday and it is certainly not a joyful one for them or a day to say “Happy Memorial Day”; it is instead to think of comrades lost and friends that gave the ultimate sacrifice in preserving the freedoms too many of us take for granted.  I have been blessed to know many members of the armed forces as daughter, as friend, and now lover.  I am forever grateful.

The Eve of What Used to Be

Tomorrow would have been my 33rd wedding anniversary.  It is of course, not.  And that is a very good thing.  I am miles and years away from the young woman that walked down the aisle and into a marriage based on love and not much else.  Love is amazing but alas it is not the only ingredient necessary for a successful long term marriage.

Although I do sometimes take umbrage that 27 years of marriage was a failure simply because it ended in divorce.  If a company had been operating for 27 years many would consider it successful.  The myth  of ’til death do we part’ as a measure of a marriage’s success is faulty reasoning.  Longevity does not mean success or happiness or anything it just proves longevity.  Not all long term marriages are successful or should even be continued but inertia is hard to over come.  Many people just stay together because separating is so much work.  And costly and  emotionally draining. Sadly many people opt for the monotony of day to day existence rather than contemplate the possibility of  genuine authentic living and happiness and the need to take action.  I know far too many couples that would rather complain and moan about their relationship than take ownership for it and take action.  Complacency is convenient.  Divorce is ugly.  And being single at 50 wasn’t easy.

But I’m not really single anymore.  I have my boyfriend that makes my world seem just a little brighter and allays my fears of being a lonely old woman knocking over cans in a store for attention a little less likely.  And I have hope again for the future….on my terms.  My life, I have just this one and I will live it to the fullest!

Signs

The Sunday before my mom’s surgery we went to church together and the flowers on the altar were in memory of my father.  Although he has been gone nearly 22 years he is very much still a part of our lives.  In a good way.  In an easy and familiar way.  We talk about him in the present tense and the signs that he is just beyond the thinnest of curtains are always evident.  The signs began the moment I started driving home last week.  The traffic was moving slowly and I was keeping pace with a white truck.  I pulled alongside just as the traffic came to a standstill and looked at the side of the truck.  And there was the sign that I was supposed to be going north to spend the week with my mom.

Noel’s Fire Protection.  How random yet how not.  My father’s name was Noel.  Not a common name by any means. Unusual enough to always catch me off guard when I see it or find it on the side of a truck.  A sign.  Four days later came another.  My mom was in the hospital, several hours post-op and finally settled into a room.  The day nurse was lovely and when she came in to introduce the night nurse both my mother and I paused.  Mom asked her to come closer so she could read her badge.  And there was the sign.  Her name was Noeline.  Noeline???? I have never, ever heard that name before and I just looked at my mom and said “I guess daddy will be with you through the night”.

No coincidence…….the quiet hand of God remaining anonymous in our lives.  Noeline.  Of course the night nurse would be Noeline.  Daddy is with us, always.

Twice Swept

I love my mom.  And for that reason I swept the kitchen floor-twice.  The first time I removed all the visible dirt and emptied the dustpan.  Not five minutes later she comes into the kitchen and asks me to sweep the floor.  I said I just did and she snorted saying it was ‘filthy’.   Nothing in my mother’s house is ever allowed to be slightly dirty let alone filthy so over-exaggeration is a family trait.  I argued briefly and then I simply swept the damn floor again; this time removing the invisible dirt.  She was trying to hold off taking a pain pill and so was given a free pass but it is typical for our interactions.  We love each other to death!

After a week with her, pre-surgery, surgery day and post surgery I was ready to go home.  I needed the quiet that I have become accustomed to and the ability to do my life my way.  By yesterday she was feeling much better, could move with less pain and I felt comfortable leaving.  My sister will be in and out as well as several of her friends so the worst is over.  No use of the arm for six weeks and no driving will probably make her nuts but rehab can’t start until six weeks post-op and she is a compliant if whiny patient.  Retired nurses make lousy patients!