Friday, July 31, 2009
Today, I was dipping in a catchbasin. This place is wild with plants, and I love it. I heard a cheerful voice hailing me from the fence. "Hey, Rusty, how's it going?" I greeted him right back. He marveled over the biodiversity. I said, "I know, isn't it excellent?" He can name plants, and began doing so. I listened. "That's pretty neat that you can do that. I'm ignorant. There's a lot to be said for ignorance though, because every day I'm learning something new and that is exciting." Rusty laughed, but agreed that learning something new every day was exciting stuff, and that he himself made a point of trying to learn something new every day.
As I was out and about collecting sample after sample of mosquito larva (dear heavens, let it stop raining...), I found myself really enjoying the quiet. I did not play the radio. I just drove, and I thought, and I dipped mosquito larva, and filled two solid pages of notebook documenting samples. It felt good to be still.
Today, I ran into a charactor who has imported five Texas Longhorns. He was chock full of stories, and I enjoyed listening to him. I was amazed to hear that number one, long horns grow slowly. I guess that I figured that cattle used to desert conditions, once imported to the lush and rich Pennsylvania hills, would develop just as quickly as any other cattle species. Not so. Also discovered that Texas Longhorns are, in the words of this garrulous charactor, 'dumb bastards'. He was burning brush in the pasture, and to his astonishment, one of them walked right through the fire. Burned itself so badly that it stressed its immune system, ultimately winding up with lysteria, circling in tight left hand circles, until he had to put it down. Listening, I said, "You can't use that meat, right? So you lost the whole cow?" And the farmer nodded his head and said, "Yeah. We even had to be careful not to splatter any of the blood on ourselves." Fascinating stories. It felt good to listen to someone else's stories.
The PET scan is scheduled on August 31st. We're giving the incision from the latest biopsy a chance to heal completely so that the doctors have no doubt about what it is that they are seeing. I think this makes perfect sense. This is an expensive scan, and you might as well make sure that the results are unequivocable, to the best of your ability anyway. I imagine that it will be a long and sobering month.
This is what I think. Sometimes, life just knocks you on your butt, and the shock is so great that it knocks the words clean out of you. I can't imagine that this will be a permanent situation. I'm an excitable ignorant person, learning something new every day. But I do think that it is a time for me to be still, and to listen to the stories of others. Your stories too. And when my own words come back to me, I'll start writing again.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I found the dog bones. I stuck 'em with the stack of paper plates. Completely logical, perfectly sensible. (I keep telling myself)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I walked in there knowing what I was going to hear. I mean the lumps were benign. What I did not expect to hear was the doctor saying that there was a mass deep in the muscle, that he could feel it, but it was too deep to remove under a local anaesthetic. He talked about the fact that he was concerned about this, and that it had been on his mind. He talked about what an odd place it was for a lump. It is not in a place where you would expect to see an injury. He just said that he had a feeling that it needed to be followed up on. He read from my PET scan done last October, which described an area of activity in the left axillary area. Right where the lump is. It was felt that it was probably some degeneration of the shoulder, arthritis, but it went on to say that metatastic breast cancer could not be ruled out. Based on that, the surgeon felt that we should get another PET scan done, to compare. 'If the spot is brighter, or larger, this is bad.'
You know, seven months ago, these words would have scared the bejeebers out of me. I guess as you deal with this stuff you just get a little more matter of fact about things. I don't know what I feel, exactly. It's not fear. It's just sort of a stunned amazement that this picture can change so quickly. There's no sense getting upset until we know what it is, but it was the first time that the specter of metatastic breast cancer has been raised.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I'm losing track of a lot of things lately. I bought some naproxin for the joint aches. I brought the bags home. I set the bottle (still in the box) on the counter. Lord knows where it went after that. I bought my poor dog a bone. A bag of them, actually. I opened the bag. I gave him one of them. I put the rest away. Where? Darned if I could tell you. After several days of hunting in vain for the naproxin, I bought another bottle. I couldn't find that one either. Tim located it. I'd left it in the car. ('Oh, yeah, that's right, I was reading the label...') During that recent trip to Lowes, when I found all the plants on sale? I lost my cart. Confused, I turned this way and that. "Where'd my cart go?" A helpful woman said, "Is that it over there?" It was. In a flash, I realized that I've become one of those 'poor dears', the befuddled elderly people who I used to feel sorry for. Scotty put a link on his website: Scientists are developing an artificial brain. It should be ready to go in ten years. I hope they hurry up, because I'm having grave doubts about how long the one I've got is going to last. I'd lose my butt if it were not attached. The truly amazing thing? I have not lost (nor broken) a pair of reading glasses in some time. Probably because I'm so busy losing everything else (except my butt, as previously mentioned).
Anyways, I wandered off and forgot the point of this post. I was talking about hair. It's getting curly. It looks okay, I guess, and I'm darn glad to have it, but you know, the other night I dreamt that I had long hair. I dreamt about the normal things of my life, about working, and cleaning house, and visiting people, but I kept shaking this glorious head of hair. I woke up at some point, and laid there half asleep, smiling a little at the dream, wondering how long it would take until that dream was reality.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I cannot tell you what has triggered this, but I am glad for it.
Right now, I'm so busy. Company coming. Going to a retreat with Mary. Going to a concert with my husband this weekend. I found out today that I will not be losing my job, after all. (*Chagrined smile* I have applications out on other jobs...) Pondering a big project. Working in my garden. Cara's coming home, and then heading back to school in a week. So much going on. NONE of it involves cancer.
This is what I know for sure. For the time being, anyway, I am done with cancer. I've rejoined the real world, changed, wiser (I think so, but I suppose it depends on who you're asking...), joyous deep inside myself, a joy that has nothing to do with my circumstances. It's a remarkable feeling, and I cannot stop marveling at this. For the first time, I realize that I'm again looking forward, and there are no niggling worries about what lies down the road.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Our first stop was one of the houses downtown where I had dug out an entire truckload of hostas last month. It was so hugely overgrown that you couldn't even see the nice little evergreen hedge. Once I got the hostas dug out, the little evergreen hedge looked quite charming, set off like it was by the vast and empty expanse of dirt in front. Even though we had worked all day on an apartment, I reasonably explained to Tim that since it was going to rain (again! heavens, will it ever stop?), now was the perfect time to get the new plants in the ground. Being reasonable like he is, he flopped down on the porch to watch. I happily went to work with the spade.
When I was done, it looked very nice, if I do say so myself. Even Tim had to agree. That made me feel a lot less guilty about the plants left over. (I misjudged, okay?!!!) The ones that I had no choice but to bring on home. After all, it was the only reasonable thing to do.
Friday, July 24, 2009
And so Susan's talk will be about cancer, and learning to face one day at a time, not to look too far down the road, about the fact that cancer is life changing, life transforming even. We become wiser. We love better, we prioritize better, we live more consciously. It is faith-growing. It is a building block to a whole new life. Make no mistake about it, cancer is tough stuff, but the blessings are there, and they are abundant.
I'm so proud of Susan to use this opportunity so wisely. It's a terrifying thing to hear the initial cancer diagnosis. All the bad things come to mind immediately. The most comforting words anyone can hear are these: "You've got cancer. It is going to be hard, but you're going to learn some of the most amazing lessons of your life. Buckle yourself in, the ride is about to begin."
*hobbles off to make coffee*
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Our high school was very small, but very mean. And you know what, folks...high schools are still pretty mean.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Today, all these years later, I looked at Earl and remembered that day. He grinned cheerfully, although I'm sure he had no idea who I was. "I'm not getting rained on!" he said, waving his umbrella. "Well, Earl, I think that you're the wise one today. It looks like it's going to rain any minute." Happy to be called by name, he chattered on and shopped with me, muttering again and again, "I'm the wise one today, alright." It made me grin, big.
Driving home I wondered about those boys. The ring leader is still an idiot all these years later. I know that one died, a long while back, in a car crash. I wonder about the rest of them, where they are, what kind of people they turned out to be. I wonder if any of them think about that day, and I hope that Earl doesn't.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
It rained so hard at times that I was nervous about driving. Naturally, my traps were set at the most far flung points of the county. Flash flood alerts were coming regularly over the radio. Rushing water had carved deep ditches along the side of some roads. I picked up my last trap and headed back to the office, heater on high, teeth chattering. I had a choice between the low road (shorter, but remote, along side the river) or the high road (longer, but more houses and black top road). I decided to take Super Tramp's advice. I took the long way home. After stopping by the office to check e-mails and to pick up supplies, I came home and ditched the wet clothes immediately, climbed into a steamy hot shower. I thought that I would never feel warm again. I counted bugs in my pajamas, with a hot cup of tea. I feel much better. I love my job. Usually. Today was a rare exception.
If I want to count blessings today, I'd have to be most grateful for a sister who doesn't mind me stopping by her place to bellow in the door "HEY! Can I use your bathroom?" She's not only hospitable about the bathroom part, she had a hot cuppa waiting for me before I left. Nothing like a hot drink to warm your insides on a miserable day. Is summer ever going to get here?
And BB, believe me, my dear, if there was a way to send this weather to you, I'd do it in a minute. The skies are getting dark again, and the thunder is a-rumbling. Looks like we're due some more rain.
*shivers, and hobbles back out to the kitchen to heat another cup of water*
Monday, July 20, 2009
The pathology report is in. There were two tumors, both benign.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
When I wrote my blog post 'Thanks', it was meant to be a testimony, and a praise for the blessings of the week. Those blessings make me conscious that God is at work. Knowing that God is at work in my life made it a lot easier to face the biopsy and the potential loss of my job due to budget cuts. In the words of my friend, Karen, 'After all of this, I don't imagine He's going to drop you on your head now.' I was really at peace with things. I wrote that blog post, and I was happy, really happy, in a quiet place in my soul. I was really pleased to hear that others found it an encouragement as well.
Unfortunately, it lit a fire under my family. "I can only see the bad, not the good."
I received an e-mail about 'my dirty windows':
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. "That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap." Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this." The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows." And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.
I guess that I am to realize that my window is not 'pure'.
I felt bad about all the uproar, because really, my intention was simply to share encouragement. Out of all of that, the one thing that the angry people saw is the part about not fitting in with my family. Of course, this brought an immediate outcry. After all, the not fitting in part is my fault, not theirs, and by God, they will make sure that I understand this.
After spending a weekend pondering these things, and really feeling very badly, I went to church this morning to hear a sermon based on 2 Corinthians 4: 1-10. Share our stories, use them to encourage others. I walked out of church thoughtfully. The Bible is a collection of stories of God at work. He is still at work. It is a big connected circle, and my stories join with other peoples' stories of His goodness to us. Our stories become part of the eternal narrative of the world. It is up to each one of us to tell our stories with integrity. With joy. In the end, our stories will be judged by God.
Mom. I am sorry that you are upset. Go back and re-read that post. There's plenty of encouraging stuff there. It brought me peace. It brought peace to others. I hope it encourages you, but Mom, if it does not, you need to find the stories that do encourage you. Go in peace.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Well I hit the rowdy road and many kinds I met there
Many stories told me on the way to get there
So on and on I go, the seconds tick the time out
There's so much left to know, and I'm on the road to find out
- Cat Stevens
A friend sent me an e-mail that began with this lyric from Cat Stevens. It discussed the importance of collecting the stories of others, that in listening to their stories, this is how we come to know them, this is how we come to love them.
I was so intrigued by the little e-mail that I looked up the video. I've been thinking of my own life on 'the rowdy road'. I learned lessons there, I met fascinating people there. Say what you will about me, but I am a person who listens to the stories of others. I have been blessed by them. I am a person with stories of her own. I am fortunate enough to hear that others feel blessed by them. I can't think of anything more satisfying than that.
I have marched to my own truths, and to my own conscience. I am not perfect, but I am good. I have picked my own path and found my own way. I am content in my life, content with my dreams.
Ultimately, is this not what we raise our children to do? To think and set their own courses? And maybe, if they speak about God working in their lives, about the peace that this has brought them to face difficult times, perhaps it should be enough simply to rejoice.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Now on to an altogether different topic:
I've got plans to travel, when things settle down. I plan to go out west and see Susan, and Mikey. Mikey's mom too. They've been great allies during this whole cancer thing. One thing that Mikey sent me that I view each and every day (it is on my door). "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." It's my motto. She sent me a book about wisdom, and about trusting yourself, and God. It was a dandy. There were other things. Her mother sent me a luxurious bath set, and you know, I saved it. All through the winter, I saved it, and occasionally, I'd uncap one of the bottles and breathe deep, but I wanted to save it, for when I had hair, for when I was on the other side of all of this, for a special treat to celebrate. And so I did, and the leisurely soak was gooooood. Susan sent a box too. I keep two things from that box on my bedside table. One is a Mr. Bean Pez Dispenser, which never fails to make me grin. The other thing is a wood carved bird. I saved the stones that she sent with the stones that I've collected, and all of these things just make me sure that, one day, I'm going to end up in Arizona to meet my friends in person. (Note to all of 'em: I don't want to play with rattlesnakes.)
Another bunch that I'm going to meet is the crew from Granite Glen. Bush Babe and her sister Jeanie have been on my blog roll for a long time, and it has been great fun following their journeys through their blog. Amazingly, one of the first e-mails I got when I was diagnosed with cancer was from their lovely mother who had her own bout with breast cancer. Furthermore, being a pharmacist, Barb was a wealth of information to me. I told them quite early on that someday, after this was all done, I planned raise a glass with the women of Granite Glen. I've already got the glasses. Here's the picture that I promised, ages and ages ago.
Aren't they exquisite? They are handblown glass. I've had them since the end of chemo. I saw them when I went to visit Dylan in Allentown. Being practical, I talked myself out of them. Cara had a fit when she heard, and the following weekend, when she went to visit her brother for spring break, she picked them up for me. I am glad for my impulsive daughter.
The best thing that you can do for yourself when you are in the middle of some damn thing like cancer is to begin to plan for your future. All winter, I looked at that bathset, and I planned for the future. All spring, I looked at those wine glasses, and I planned for the future. Now it's summer, and I'm planning to watch the robins. (This time I'll get pictures, BB.) Big plans, small plans, it doesn't matter. I have a future, and I've got plans.
I grieve about Brianna, and I grieve that I missed it.
I grieve about my family. I am not a part of it. They will tell you it is my fault. The fact is my mother's old. The fact is I don't know what my future holds. The fact is that when you have to fight that hard to fit in, well, you don't fit in. Accept it, move on. I have, but I never said that it did not bother me. Still. I will, as the saying goes, 'I will fight no more forever.'
Sometimes I also wonder about my life. Did I help where I could? Have I made a difference? What will God say when he meets me face to face? Have I lead a Godly life? I think the mark of that would be what I have done for His people, and really, I worry about that. I am self conscious, and sometimes that self-consciousness paralyzes me. I fear hearing 'Just who does she think she is...'
I spend long solitary days on my job thinking about these things, and praying about them.
It will sound like fiction but it is not, and I have the people in my life to prove it. These stories all take place within the time frame of when I first noticed the new lump to the weekend prior to my appointment with the surgeon, July 3rd to July 11th. A woman and I began talking through the internet. In the weeks that we have talked, our lives became more and more clear to each other, and there were a lot of 'hey, me too' moments (at least for me). In a stunning, stunning turn of events, we both learned that our daughters had been sexually abused by their fathers. We both sat at our computers crying. We had never met another mother before. And the words that came were healing, and strengthening and full of Godly wisdom. When someone else's most private pain is your own, you cannot help but be comforted when you try to comfort them. And when I went to bed that night, I do have to say that my prayers were praises for putting this person in my life. What a blessing!
And remember Mr. M? In an astounding twist, his wife is related to me, distantly. Her great grandma is my great grandma's sister. The property that my parents built their house on was originally Aunt 'Lizy's homestead. She sold it to my dad, so this woman had 'growing up' memories of the same place I did. She was also putting together a geneology, and brought out a huge fat looseleaf folder of pictures and newspaper stuff. It is a truly strange thing to see your family photos in someone else's family album. I was able to identify some people that she couldn't. I was able to fill in some blanks. Not a lot. I don't really know much about my family. Turns out she was her own misfit. She looked at me, and she said words to this effect: "Great-great Grandma R (who died in 1957, the year I was born at 100 years old) was sold into marriage at 14 by her father. The husband was 3 times her age and mean, mean, MEAN. At 14, she had no choice but to endure it, and she did. But for 7 years, she stashed away secret money, and when she was 21, in a breathtaking gesture, she marched herself to town and got herself a divorce. Paid for it in cash. The ex-husband dropped over dead two months later. She was really unhappy about that. I looked at the face of the woman before me, and she said, "Great Great Grandma taught her children to fear God, to be strong and to be mean, but she was never able to teach them how to love, and all these generations later, you still see the marks of this. As she told the stories of this person and that, people that I have only the vaguest recollection of, I can see that she is right. For the first time, the burden's of my family troubles are lifted from my shoulders. For the first time, I see this anger and fighting as something that began long before I darkened their world. I was really, really blessed in the meeting of this woman. God was at work that day too.
I was getting my hair cut for my nephew's wedding, so I did not look all tufty. After a bunch of misunderstandings and a very long wait, I was ready to leave without my haircut. But a beautician walked in and I was her first haircut of the day. We talked about cancer, and she talked about her ex-boyfriend, the stress of cancer, etc. She mentioned that she was taking a drug which was prescribed for stress, and that she was beginning to have some strange symptoms from it. I knew. I knew right away. I lifted my head and said, 'Are you taking --------?' She stared and said yes. People, she was taking the same medicine that made me so violently ill after I stopped taking it. The exact same dosage. I was taking it for hot flashes, she for depression. She said, "I don't know how to explain the situation, but it's like, well," and her hands began to move about her head, her fingers opening and closing. "Those are what others are referring to as 'brain zaps'. They are very common." We talked a long time. Tim said, "Well, you know why you had to wait for your haircut, don't you?" Yes. I do. God was at work.
Finally, I met a woman, a stranger to me. She was quite emotional about meeting me. Turns out her husband has bought a book for me.They had just received it in the mail the previous day, and were wondering the best way to approach me. It was in God's hands. He stuck us in the same place at the same time. It was such a hectic time. I had found the lump, and there were all these swirling question marks in my mind, but again, I was reminded that God was at work.
I am about to lose my job due to budget cuts. I was dealing with the uncertainty of another lump. I might have been a little worried, but these 'coincidences' allowed me to go into the uncertainties of this week with a calmness. I knew that where ever God was at work, I need not trouble my head. And so I took a deep breath and stepped out in faith. Thanks, God, for granting that peace.
Cara says, "I will never, ever judge a book by its cover again.
Mom bows her head and says, "Dear God, thank you for men who drive trucks."
Thursday, July 16, 2009
How I do love you. Just a note though. Never leave a message on a parent's answering machine that says, in a high pitched voice, "Help, help, help, oh my God, please call me back, call me back." And if you do leave a message like that on a parent's answering machine, NEVER leave a second one. By the time your half awake mother manages to find the phone, her heart might have stopped. Glad you're okay, and tell your brother thanks.
For every parent out there who has nearly had their hearts stop simply reading this, by the time I located the phone and called her back, it was all under control. "Hey, Mom, how are you feeling? Are you in pain? Oh. My wheel fell off while I was driving down the highway. Dylan's on his way, right now. I'm okay. I had to fork out for a tow truck. Are you taking it easy and following the doctor's instructions?"
The babbling sounds heard next were mine.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
This cat led the couple safely through the bubbles. Don't know whose cat he was, but he seemed to know what he was doing, alright. It's hard not to follow a cat when he carries himself with such authority. Aren't they purty? And happy? And...oh. Crap. Let me get some tissues.
I tried to tell them how glad I was for them and...well...I cried. Carrie said, "Oh, don't...we both made it through without crying..."
Our very best wishes, Tommy and Carrie. Obligatory photo of darling flower girl (my greatniece). I can't help myself. It's what I do. I got to hold my other niece, little Abby Joy. Her parents and grandparents were out on the floor shaking their booty. Abby Joy and I boogied on the sideline. Sorry, I did not get a picture of her. It was pretty dark, and our camera does not do dark. Well. Probably it does, but I suck at pictures. Sorry about your luck, because I am telling you people, it was beautiful.
Huh. Deja vu all over again.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I'm glad for that.
Yesterday though, I realized (again) that even if I do fall, I have a wonderful safety net to catch me. I received a hand stamped card, a work of art really, a whimsical picture of two mice frolicking beneath a downspout of pouring water. "Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain". Yes. I am reminded again that some of the biggest blessings of my life have come during this very difficult winter. "A friend loveth at all times" was the proverb inside. I don't know what happens next, but I have many friends. If I lose my balance, there will always be someone to catch me, and help me stand back up. No matter what, I know that I am blessed by my friends who loveth at all times.
It is another weekend of celebration at our house. My nephew's wedding is today. Dylan is home from Fleetwood for the festivities. Family picnic tomorrow. Dylan went out to inspect my pond with a flashlight last night...and Bawly and Ghostly came to the surface. My $14.00 worth of fish live still. My cute little frog is still there. Three chance meetings left me gasping in shock this week, but incredibly, incredibly grateful. I will tell you about them another time, but I have to tell you, in addition to my friends, I am blessed by a God who loveth at all times as well.
How do people endure hard times without faith, without friends?
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Well, for the first time, I was reaching into the brush and I heard a raspy, buzzy sort of sound. I froze. We do have rattlesnakes here. I tend to avoid places where they might be. At home, we have copperheads from time to time, but I've never seen a rattlesnake. Very cautiously, I pulled my hands back and waited. The noise continued. I realized that the gusty wind bringing in (more) rain was blowing large thorny branches against the side of a tree, making that strange scrapey sound. I have never had that happen before. I am proud to say that even though I was startled, and jumped just a little, I did not wet myself, not even a little. Fear can be controlled, and that is a good thing to know.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I don't think that it is sensible to try to protect your child from all the bad things in the world. I mean, no matter how good you are at that, there will come a time when those kids are dealing with crap. It's part of living. Life is a pain sometimes, but our children take their cues from us. They learn to cope by watching us cope. Am I perfect? No. Shoot, no. But I am sensible, and life might knock me on my behind for a period of time, but I'd like to think that I always get back up and continue on. I'd like to believe that when my kids deal with the tough stuff, they will follow the example of their mother.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Cara said, "Are you worried?" I said, "Ya know, I've been thinking. Whenever I worry about something, it almost always turns out to be nothing. The stuff that really turns my life upside down are the things that I don't worry about, the things that I never even saw coming."
Fully expect that the comical Dr. K will be right. It won't be anything serious. I hope.
I was surprised to see that people in Oz call white faced cattle 'bawly'. I wondered why. I mean Herefords bawl alot, but really, I wasn't aware that they 'bawled' any more than any other breed of cattle. I began to wonder. Are Brangus cattle stoic, the 'Clint Eastwood' of cattle? Are Herefords the emotionally overwrought of the cattle kingdom? I asked. Bush Babe, in betwixt her cattle midwifery and visits from emotionally overwrought sisters with child, Great Dane puppies and two children of her own, did not answer my question. I understand that. She had her hands full.
I bought two fish for my ornamental pond. One was white. One was orange with a white face. See picture of Hereford (above). I named the white one 'Ghostly' right off, but staring at the white faced one, I decided to call him 'Bawly'. I dumped them both in the pond and have not seen fin nor scale of them since. (I have also not seen them floating at the top of the water...surely that is a good sign?)
Come to find out, BB's lovely mother, Anonymous, explained it to me. In Oz, white faced cattle are referred to as 'Bawldy', not 'Bawly'. Well, dammit. I have already christened this fish 'Bawly'. Changing the name now will only confuse him. Bawly he will remain, despite the fact that I haven't heard any sobbing from the pond. (although that would be some assurance that I still have something living out there....)
I will post pictures, Kelly. When I finish the waterfall. When I get the rest of the plants planted. Really I will. As for the fish posing? Yeah. I spent $14. on two fish that I've not seen since. 'Bawly' realizing that he is misnamed refuses to show his face. Just see what you've done, BB!
I have a doctor's appointment at 11. I am procrastinating. Why in the world, after dealing with breast cancer, am I still worried about looking stupid and overanxious? Any prudent person would have the lump checked out. I don't 'get' me sometimes. Maybe I should name myself 'Bawly'.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Grandma Violet died last month, a woman in her late 90s. I am a short person, but Grandma Violet stood a full head shorter than me. She was a person of immense energy, a worker, a farm woman. She was pleased with me from the very beginning of my relationship with her grandson, and she never missed an opportunity to praise. She was pleased with my garden. She loved that I canned. She loved that I could cook up a storm, and she loved that I took such good care of her grandson and of her great grandchildren. The things that she loved best about me were, ironically, the very things that my husband hated about me the most. The other corporate wives were not like me at all. Those differences made him ashamed to take me to corporate functions. For her part, Grandma never stopped writing me, even after the marriage fell apart, but by the time that her grandson remarried, her memory was getting shakey. She had the unfortunate tendency to call his new wife 'Debby', and this upset the new wife something awful. Grandma could not help it, and I began to feel as if my letters to her were complicating matters. She got rheumatoid arthritis and could no longer write. Finally our contact just sort of dwindled off. The only news I received about her was through the kids.
I heard that she had passed about a week after she was gone. Cara told me. "It's hard to believe that Grandma Violet is gone," she remarked. "Well, it happens to all of us." Cara said, "Somehow, she had lived so long that you just got the idea that maybe she might have been forgotten. Like maybe she would live forever." I laughed. "No," I said. "It does not matter how good you are, nobody on this earth will live forever.
I walked down to my woods last month and dug up some violets, some purple ones and some yellow ones. It is my intention to ask Mr. M if I can dig a clump of his white violets to add to the planter. The violets always remind me of Grandma. When Cara was last home, she saw them and said, "I'd like to have a planter like that." I thought that she was missing her greatgrandma, and I thought of a bowl that I have that would be perfect for a planter. I said nothing, so as to surprise her later. As we were scouring the second hand stores, she mentioned that she would like a ceramic teapot, one with violets on it. She also mentioned that she thought that it would be cool, what with her name and all.
I couldn't help but stare. I guess that some names have to be 'grown into'.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Wouldn't you know? Jen and Steve wanted her back...
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Yesterday, I dug hostas in the rain. One of the houses downtown is overgrown with them. I had a truckload of five gallon hostas. Seriously. A truck load. Unable to let a plant go to waste, I brought them home, and planted them along the northside of the house, around the ornamental pond. Yes, Doris, one day I will show you a picture, and tell you how I did it, but now it is not 'ready'. I planted cattails in it, and it has a lily pad, and it has a water hyancinth. It also has two fish, 'Ghost' and 'Bawly' (it has a white face, like a Hereford, and in Oz, they call white faced cows 'bawly', though I've yet to figure why, but it did make a nice name) While I don't see Ghost and Bawly regularly, I do have the cutest little frog that hopped over and decided to stay, and I see him every single day. Anyways, so I planted these huge hostas, again, in the rain. (will it ever stop?)
I took a shower, and then Tim and I went downtown to get some pictures. I found some garden finials, about 3 feet tall, marked down from $40 to $10. I bought two. I also bought the makings for a huge fruit salad. This is the day of the reunion, when Tim's family gathers at the brick oven once again to bake all manner of bread, and in happy carbed out bliss, we will sit and socialize. Probably in the rain.
Tonight, I am making the ultimate sacrifice. I am going to the races with my husband. I hate the races. We're going to Erie to see the big races, and although I've never been, I don't expect that they will excite me any more than the races I've been to already. However, Tim really loves the races, and there will be a huge fireworks display. Tonight will be his night. I will sit at my husband's side, and I will watch the races. Probably in the rain.
So, no. I'm not sitting around obsessing. The lump is a disconcerting discovery, and I am acutely aware of it. It immediately crossed my mind 'I cannot do this again' followed by the immediate knowledge that I could, which was followed by the instantaneous internal snarl of 'Okay, I can, but I do not want to. Not at all. Not even a little'. I'd rather eat pickled pigs feet than do that again. I'd rather pick up a snake than do that again. I'd rather go to the flipping car races every blessed Saturday night than to 'do' cancer again.
But. In the end, it is what it is. It either is, or it isn't, and there's not much I can do to influence the outcome. So this weekend, I'm celebrating. Happy Fourth of July, America!
Friday, July 3, 2009
I'm trying to think of a word big enough for my shock. Unaccountably, I come up with 'gobsmacked'.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Days like this are good for the soul.