Thursday, June 23, 2016

Waiting for a Call

Will and I are about to become really good friends with the mailman.

For the next few days, we will be eagerly anticipating his arrival, and waiting by the mailbox when we see his truck on our street.

Normally, I am not a fan of mail. Junk mail and bills are my usual fare. Ordinarily, there is really not much to look forward to in the mail, other than an occasional check or a card from Alisa.


Because Will is on the verge of receiving a mission call.

Take courage my soul, my baby boy will soon be flying the nest and off to serve the Lord for two years.

He has been working on all the necessary paper work and interviews for the past few months, and as of last Monday, his papers were officially submitted to the the church.  Last week at church, the bishop let us know that his official status was "awaiting assignment". Today, the bishop texted Will to let him know that his mission assignment has been made.

And suddenly, it became real. He is really going on a mission, and somebody somewhere knows where he is going and when he will be leaving. And within a week or so, we will know too.

It is all very exciting and nerve wracking and scary and fun. I'm so scared he will go to South America  AND I'm so scared that  he won't get out of the Intermountain West. I want him to go have an adventure and learn a language, AND I want him to be safe and warm and well fed. He wants to go to Japan. The bishop guessed Tallahassee, Florida, then said he has a 100% accuracy rate for guessing mission calls- he has been wrong 100% of the time. So we can probably safely rule out both Japan and Tallahassee. We just keep reminding ourselves that it's not where you serve that's important, it's who you serve.

Its all a done deal now. Now we just wait....

Saturday, June 11, 2016


 We just got back from a tasty barbecue at the neighbors.  The wind and pouring rain quickly turned it into an indoor affair, but it was still a good time. This is the second Saturday in a row that we have been invited to a barbecue, and I feel strongly that this is a trend that needs to continue throughout the summer. I'm eyeing all my neighbors to see who I might be able to finagle into an invitation for next week. Actually, my neighbors have spoiled me pretty good lately, what with being hit by a truck and all.  They have brought me dinners and candy and flowers and nice notes- I should be inviting all of them to party in my back yard. But then I'd have to cook and clean and stuff. And I got hit by a truck, so I really should be taking it easy. Which is why SOMEBODY should invite me to a barbecue next Saturday!

I really have been trying to take it easy, per my doctor's instructions. And it sucks. The less I do, the more tired  I get.  Then I look around at everything I planned to do that has been put on hold and I get so frustrated, angry, depressed and overwhelmed.  All this angst for a little old pulled hamstring that will be all better in another week or two. 

Makes me think about my friends and neighbors though, who have had some of the big stuff happening in their lives. How derailed  must they be feeling? When you are facing a long term illness, or getting divorced, or your child dies, when suddenly your whole life is never going to look the same again, where do you even start? And how does anybody help you with that?

I just have no idea. 

Some days you just don't do anything.

Is 8:14 too early for bed?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Irregular Borders

Olivia got a new bike helmet. She likes it so much she wears it around the house. While watching television even.

She also got a mole removed this week. She was in for her regular check up and on the way out the door, I remembered that I wanted the doc to look at this weird mole. It was a cute little star-shaped mole, and I kind of liked it, but the odd shape of it make me a little nervous.

 Her doctor looked at it for about 5 seconds and announced that it needed to come off now. Like NOW. I asked if I should make an appointment with the derm doc across the lobby, but she said no, let's get it off now. Olivia was not a fan of this plan. Olivia was of the opinion that we should wait a week or two, perhaps get a second and perhaps a third opinion before resorting to such drastic measures. Olivia was out-voted by her mother and her doctor. She was also not a fan of being out-voted and  protested very loudly (VERY loudly) throughout the entire procedure.  She was mad at me for subjecting her to such torture that she didn't even have time to prepare for.  She would much rather have stewed and worried about it for a week or so and then had the chance to fight me tooth and nail over being dragged back into the doctor where she still would have screamed and hollered through the whole thing.  I just took all the fun out of it for her.

Anyhow, we now await the results of the biopsy. I'm pretty sure pediatric melanoma is exceedingly rare. Right?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Four Down, Two to Go

He's handsome.

 He's smart


And talented

He's goofy                                                                                              

He's sly.

      And now, he's a high school graduate!

So we took a load of pictures,

And then we took him to Texas Roadhouse. 

                               Then we swapped out three grandparents for one Mitch and took him to In-n-Out.

                                         And pulled faces for Mom's camera.

And that was all she wrote. The End.

Oh, except for the part during graduation where the choir sang"You'll Be in My Heart" from the movie Tarzan.  How did they know that Tarzan was the first movie we took Will to when he was 18 months old, and I held him in the movie theater and cried during that song and now every time I hear it I think of my Baby Will, so then that song would make me cry during the rest of graduation and wonder where the time went? The End. Part 2

Olivia's Eleventh

We had a birthday in May.

Miss Olivia turned 11 on May 17 and had a rollicking mine craft party. She even hand crafted the invitations:

She came up with this beauty all by herself, even the part about bringing your own plastic spoon.

Party pictures will have to wait. They are on the other computer and I got hit by a truck, so I'm not going to go get them right now. But here are a few other shots from her day:

Birthday breakfast in bed complete with flowers, pancakes, card and new underwear.

Birthday bedtime, at 11:10 pm, the time of her birth. We stayed up extra late so she could celebrate the actual moment.

 Her favorite gift. Now we can't wait to get to Aunt Carole's pool to give it a try

And her favorite cat who really likes Grandpa

This is not a birthday shot, but she is so hard at work on painting part of the fairy garden that she got for her birthday.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

What I Learned When I Got Hit By a Truck

You know when people say they feel like they got hit by a Mack truck?

Now I know what they mean.

Okay so technically,  I did not get hit by a Mack truck, but I did get hit by a big old Dodge with a trailer behind it. 

I really did. I got up early this morning and headed out on a nice long walk with Piper. I was crossing the street ( in a crosswalk, with the signal, just minding my own business and obeying all the traffic laws by the way), and a guy in a big white truck was turning left and didn't see me.  Lucky lucky lucky me, (and him) he was not going fast, and he slammed on his brakes just as he hit me. I reached out with my hands, because I guess I thought I was going to stop the truck with my brute strength or something, and the force of the truck hit my arms and knocked me backward on my butt, then on to my back and head. In the moments that I saw him coming, my exact thought process was: "Oh shit. This is going to hurt. And then I'm going to die" So when I found myself lying on my back in the road and feeling relatively unscathed, I was unbelievably relieved. I laid there for a moment, and I remember thinking, "I'm okay. Nothing hurts. I'm not dead." The driver jumped out and came running as I was getting up. He was making all kinds of excuses which was really annoying me, but I couldn't hear him very well. It took me a few moments to realize that I couldn't hear him because my head phones were in. So I pulled one out, but not the other one. I really just wanted to jump up and be fine and continue on with my walk. I was mad, because my plan was to start running as soon as I got across the cross walk, and now my leg was hurting and I was pretty sure that I was not going to be able to run anymore. And I really just wanted to finish my walk, because dang it, this was the first time in FOREVER that I had worked up the gumption to haul myself out of bed and go exercise. 

A few people stopped to see if they could help. Somebody handed me my hat which flew off when I fell. I really was feeling okay at this point. I now realize that I was dazed and confused, and the poor driver was dazed and confused as well. He asked if I wanted to call the police, but I really didn't see the point. I took his name and phone number, and he said he lived just a few doors down. Then I realized my stupid dog has slipped off her leash and was running down the road. I didn't want there to be another accident victim in the family, so I chased her down, sat at the side of the road for a moment and decided to continue to my walk.

Then I started to bawl. All the way down the road to the bird refuge, I fought back tears and thought about what had just happened.  All sorts of terrible outcomes flashed through my head. My leg was hurting a little, but I really thought I was going to be okay, and I kept trying to figure out how I wasn't more badly injured. How do you hit the pavement hard enough that your head bounces, but come up without a bruise, scratch or ache anywhere?  I hit on my rear end, my back, and I distinctly remember bracing myself for my head to hit the road and feeling it bounce off the pavement and hit twice. Yet I felt fine in all those areas. Adrenaline? Guardian angels?  Those recently acquired extra layers of fat on my body? Perhaps a combination of all three.

Anyhow, I finished my walk, and by the time I got home, my leg was hurting more, not less. I called the guy back and told him I was going to go to the Instacare and get checked out, just to be sure. Good old Dr. Scharf checked me over good, took a couple x rays and diagnosed me with a pulled hamstring, and maybe some other tendon damage. I'm gonna be sore for a few weeks, and I'm supposed to stay off of my leg as much as possible for the next couple days.

So now I'm hopping around on crutches to try and keep the weight off my foot. I'm also planning on milking this for all it's worth with my family over the next few days. " You know, I'd cook dinner, but I got hit by a truck, or "Oh, the toilet needs scrubbing, but I got hit by a truck." Olivia is a great little nurse and wants to do everything for me and get me things. The other members of my family require a little more cajoling/threatening, which I'm pretty good at and actually enjoy, so it should work out quite well for me.

And after mulling this whole thing over in my head for a day, here is what I have learned. Get ready. This is going to be brilliant:

#1 When you see an accident, STOP! Go see what you can do to help, and hang around even if everything seems fine. A few people pulled over and got out to help, but when they saw me up and moving, I think they figured everything was okay. And everything was okay, except that I was pretty shaken up and not thinking clearly. And I didn't even realize that I wasn't thinking clearly.  I really could have used a neutral third party there to say, "hey, we really should call the cops". I was lucky. The driver that hit me was a good guy, and he came through later when I decided I needed some medical attention, but what if I hadn't been that lucky?

I am the worst at getting involved in things like this and hanging around in these situations.  I always feel like I am making a nuisance of myself and sticking my nose in other people's business. And anything that looks like it might involve blood, guts or loss of consciousness sends me running.  But even minor accidents can be traumatic for the people involved, and you never know what you will be able to do. And after today, you can bet  I am going to try a little harder to be a little more helpful.

#2 In the words of the great Mad Eye Moody, CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!! I saw the truck before the light turned green. I didn't realize he was turning left. And I didn't realize he did not see me until he was knocking me down. So pay attention to where the cars around you are headed. And for heaven's sake, this goes triple for drivers.  It's easy to be ticked off at the driver for hitting me, but in all reality, I can understand exactly how this happened. How often have I been on auto pilot in the driver's seat and not really seeing what was around me?  How many close calls have we all narrowly avoided? Pay attention out there people!

#3 Life changes in an instant. I got lucky today, but I know there was someone else who wasn't so lucky. When I walked back in the door this morning right after all this had happened, Olivia came running up to me and gave me a hug, the way she normally does when I get home. She didn't know anything had happened yet, but for me, that hug lasted a little longer and was a little sweeter because I realized how close I came to not being there to hug her back. We don't get to know what the next moment holds, so we better appreciate the one we have right now.

The doctor said I'll probably feel worse tomorrow than I do today, so that's great. But, I did get hit by a truck. I think I've earned a day off.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorable Memorial Day Meanderings

Due to circumstances beyond our control, plus we really just wanted to, we made our Memorial Day run to the cemetery on Sunday this year.  Dan was working, but the five of us packed up  our barely running car and headed out after church to grab grandma and go do our thing with the mums. I was kind of worried the car was going to quit on us, but oh well, you only live once, right?

We left calm blue skies in Syracuse and drove straight into threatening black clouds, wind, and rain drops. By the time we got to Grandma's, ( the car was doing great!) it was pretty much pouring. The kids were grumpy and hungry and didn't want to go visit dead people. It was cold and gray and wet outside. We almost bagged the whole thing. We almost waited until later. Then, we figured we would just head out and make the best of it, and see what happened.

After getting lost on the way to cemetery that we have only been going to for the past 50 years, by the time we finally got there, the storm had vanished. We pulled off our jackets and stepped out into beautiful warm blue skies again.  We got the flowers placed and trimmed the grass from around the headstones and spent a few precious moments telling the kids stories about their Uncle Blake and their great grandparents. It was really a lovely time, and the kids were involved, and interested. I am so glad I made them all come.

Then we hopped back into the car and hit the freeway for the cemetery where my Featherstone grandparents are buried. We had more work to do on their headstone. The grass had really grown around it and it was all muddy and dusty. Fortunately, Olivia had brought along her water bottle and a paint brush ( go figure- only Olivia would be carrying around a paintbrush at a cemetery) so we were able to clean it off pretty well and get the flowers put down.
It looked much better by the time we were done.

By this time we were all really starving, so we climbed back into our miraculous little car that was still chugging along, and went in search of slurpees and Chinese food. Dan met up with us at Grandmas, and just about the time we got back to the house, the black clouds came back and the downpour started. 

It could not have been more perfect timing. It was like the sun came out just long enough for us to go cemetery hopping. Our car got us back home with zero issues, and the rain kept coming down the rest of the night. It was a lovely start to our long weekend that really wasn't since most of had to work Monday anyway.

Today we did yard work and cooked hot dogs and took Piper to the dog park.

Olivia's boots! I love that girl. I love both those girls actually. And even Piper

And now, I'm thinking that hot dog didn't quit cut it tonight. I'm thinking about that leftover Chinese food in the fridge. It is calling to me. I must answer.