Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

So, I am driving down to Columbia today with Christian to go see his endocrinologist. We are having a great chat in the car, talking about lots of things. At one point, he asked me if it was bothering me that he was asking me so many questions.

"No, Christian. I'm your mother. You can ask me anything."

"Have you ever slept with a woman?"

"Yes."

"Wut."

"Next question."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Such is life without a wife or kids to do the dishes.

I think I don't know how to blog anymore. I once went from being a fairly open book as far as my life was concerned on these pages. Now, I am struggling to find things to talk about that are as interesting as what I don't want to talk about here.

The title of this post is something my grand, stately, elderly, frail, High School teacher Betty Hoyt Fuller used to say. That should jar a few of you :-).

Today, I had to get my car insured; my dad's insurance on it finally expired, so I got insurance, and will get it inspected on Friday and get new tags.

I have a cold that I can't shake because I stay up too late.

I had a birthday. I am older now.

Actually, here's one thing: Last week, I finally burned the 934-page grant that I worked on from roughly 2006 to 2008. I was telling my friend Chris that I was sitting there burning it in my fire pit in my back yard thinking, "No good came out of this grant. None. It exhausted me and broke my brain. I am still paying back taxes on it. I got a roof with it that needs to be re-done-- complete waste of money."

Chris looked at me for a second and said, "You got me."

And that is true. Chris noticed the desperation in my Facebook posts when I was struggling with the grant (even before Karl died), and would come over with a six-pack of cider and his motorcycle. He would hold out the drinks in one hand and the helmet in the other, and I would point to the helmet and say, "That first." Then point to the drinks: "Those after."

We had already known each other for six or seven years at that point, but we had slowly grown in different directions over the years, with hanging out turning into conversations in the Hy-Vee parking lot or the Dukum occasionally. That summer, we re-connected as friends, and we've been going strong ever since. So, it was nice to know that one of the best things in my life actually resulted from that horrid grant.

It still needed to be burned.

I am very much looking forward to summer. For me, summer begins Memorial Weekend when the lake opens for swimming. This indicates that the other lake (the one I actually go to) will also be warm enough to swim in. We will start heading out there for barbecues and swimming and letting our dogs run and swim.

Goldie is getting old. Her fur in her back and tail is hideous-- she seems to have eczema or some other, doggy form of psoriasis. She is ten now. Chris predicts she may pass during Sam's freshman year of college, which seems to happen with a lot of pets and college Frosh. Though, I think this past year with his grandfather dying will still have had a more significant impact. Tommy is the one who still enjoys and interacts most with the pets, though Goldie is definitely a large part of our family and household.

This time of year is marking some endings and some beginnings: Truman is out now. Sam is graduating from High School on May 27. Right before Memorial Day. Thomas is going to his first school dance with a girl on Friday night; he is wearing his father's suit jacket and needs a corsage. Christian is enrolled in Joseph Baldwin Academy, and will attend in July. Summer classes begin the first week of June, and I am teaching one of them. The one-year-anniversary of my father's death will be here in June, as will my court case for my divorce. It seems fitting that they will be within four days of each other. I am closing a chapter-- and have already been living in the new one.

Today, when I was looking for the car title, I had to wade through all of the letters and emails that people had sent to my dad when he was dying. I didn't linger, but it was jarring seeing his name so many times. Sometimes, it's easy to pretend that he's still out there somewhere. It's really odd not to have talked to him in   SO long. But I can still remember his voice and face and laugh like he is still here.

In the same title search, I ended up going through the folder of personal documents that D and I had shared in a filing cabinet his father made for him. I removed from the folder what was mine and the children's, and looked at a few pictures and cards there. Then I put them back in the folder, and taped up some boxes and started filling them with books.

This time of year is always more of my New Year's than anything in January. Out with the old, in with the new. Time marches on, and I'm still here. So it goes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Chance Gardner kind of week

So, today was interesting. Actually, there have been a few interesting things this week. I know that Kathy Howe is a big fan of when I use bullet points, so Kathy? This is for you.

1. Twice in the past ten days or so, I have gotten to sit in the co-pilot's seat of the little eight-seater Cessna that flies between Kirksville and St. Louis. Actually, I lie. I am not sure it's a Cessna.

It was a pretty fun experience. The first time I realized the seat was open and went scrambling into it, I said, breathlessly excited, to the very bored young pilot next to me, "I mean, how often do you get to do this?" (The answer, of course, being: Six times every day. Erego: bored).

I took some pictures. (You are hereby forewarned that this post is the result of insomnia. Therefore, there are massive amounts of pictures* here. But not a lot of words! Enjoy.)

*The pics were supposed to be larger. But I spent too much time inserting the pics into the code that organizes them a little bit neatly [read: When I first wrote this post, the amount of bandwidth it chewed up rivaled Finnegan's Wake in length.] to change that for this post. Fear not! If you suspect that any might strike your fancy, pop me a message and I will be happy to send you a larger one.


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I have come to realize that my favorite thing to photograph is the sky. That is what most of my pictures end up being of:









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But I don't want you to go thinking I'm a one-trick pony or anything. And I have completely neglected to tell you what was interesting about today. I had just gone running (4 miles) and showered and dressed when Christian sprung on me told me that he had an art open house he had to attend for school. 

"When?" Said I.

"Right now."

So, being the good sport I am (and having mostly jimbalaya in the dinner plans), without further ado, we hopped into the car and drove up to the local arts center

It was amazing. It will be up for two weeks. You should go check it out. Christian and I already want to go back. 





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Portrait of a Young Artist
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Himself's. He has inherited his mother's abilities in the visual arts. You may draw your own conclusions about that.
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Finally (and, yes, I realize that I have abandoned all pretense of bullet points. Deal.), I had the surreal experience of walking past ayoung woman with no makeup and ponytail, very pretty, in Lambert airport Sunday. I thought, "Wow, that looks a lot like Elizabeth Smart." Turns out there was a good reason for that.




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Me being me, I couldn't help approach her and say hello. I remembered at that moment that she was actually coming to Kirksville to speak at the Catholic student Newman Center. I did not realize that I needed to buy tickets ahead of time (because I am a moron), so I didn't get to hear her speak. But I know her story.

After meeting her, I sort of nodded to myself, because for all of the tragedy she has undergone, she strikes me as a very typical Utah, LDS young woman. I do not know if I can really explain what that means, except that even if I hadn't known her exact identity, if I had met and spoken with her, I could have told you that she was a Mormon girl from Salt Lake City. Something about  her accent, her clothes, the hair color (blonde on top, brown underneath), the clothes (casual, but very nice). She reminded me of some of my cousins. 

I never imagined, when I was walking into the grocery store near my parents' house about ten years ago, and saw signs about a missing teenager, that she would ever be safely recovered... let alone that I would meet her a decade later and speak with her.

Life? Is funny.

What, dear Reader, is funny with you?