Why

So…had some tests.  3 or 4 vials of blood.  Diagnostic at the hospital.  Blood-work came back just fine.  Waited for results of the other.  And waited.  Called nurse today.  Was told the results were “essentially normal.”  I of course inquire as to the difference between essentially normal and normal.  Does this mean there’s nothing new, nothing not already discussed?  I get, again, “the results were essentially normal” with no further exposition but noticeable snark.  Why?

I’m going to go on with life and ignore the whole affair.

An Actual Post - Number 1

It’s a long weekend.  All day on Friday people asked … “any big plans for the weekend?”

And I responded “laundry.”  And they looked sad for me.

Honestly, though, getting laundry done over the weekend is not a pitiable thing.  It is an accomplishment.  

People have come to believe there must be excitement in their lives or their lives are wasted.  

Here’s some excitement for you - I took the two nearly-empty shampoo bottles and emptied the last of one into the other AND cleaned up the sticky spot under the shampoo bottle, on the edge of the tub where shampoo drops and becomes a sticky mess.  

When I finish this post, I will sort laundry, pre-treat stains, put a load of laundry in, swap the clean dishes in the dishwasher for a new load of dirty dishes … and then start the dishwasher.

Those are tasks that need to get done.  And getting them done is, I posit, noble.  Even if not very exciting to most people.

If you are likewise engaged in noble tasks of life, be of good cheer.  You are not alone.

Does this happen to you?

I received a phone call last night from someone I very seldom hear from.  They offered me a photo they found and I said I’d love to have it, thank you.  The response I got was “I knew if I offered you a picture, you’d talk to me.”  I replied they need not do so; that I’d talk with them regardless.  They replied they call all the time and I don’t return the calls and/or I’m never home.  I denied it - in truth I have no idea what they are talking about - but they persisted.

I let it drop.  They clearly felt righteous about the whole thing. 

They then let me know about all the financial ills in their life as well as in the lives of their children.

What am I to do with all this?  Write checks? 

From the description, I know I already have the photo. 

Mercy and benevolence for another is not predicated on their attention to me or the “proper phrasing” of their request.  Yet, I feel chafed by the inelegantly dropped hints and implied judgment I’ve been inattentive.  I am bothered.

An Actual Post - Number 5

A good three minutes of panic upon realizing I had NO IDEA where the check was I’d printed for the church’s monthly payment to Synod…followed by relief.  Found it stapled to the August bank reconciliation.

Should sleep more.  

Miles to go…and promises to keep.  Promises to keep.

An Actual Post - Number 4

Club meeting tonight.  State President was there and … she was a snob.  She made snotty comments about hispanics.  She said other things too, but I ultimately started to feel sorry for her because she didn’t seem to know to behave better than that.  A pity.

Otherwise, it was a grand night.  Initiated a new member and we all remembered our parts well.  New member seemed touched by the ceremony, which made it worth it.

An Actual Post - Number 3

There are motion lights at either entrance to the carport as well as directly in the middle.  The middle light, when lit, allows me to see to get in the back door.  Otherwise, I’m doing that in the dark.

The middle light habitually will not work.  The wiring is fine.  If I go inside and flip the switch off and then back on, it will come on.  It is a new fixture which was installed this year and when it was first installed it worked fine.  I have not adjusted the settings.

And, once in a blue moon, it will work properly.

So, I come home, open the door in the dark, flip on the hall light, and as I come up the back stairs…there sits Giant Spider on the wall.  I run past - race to the bug spray and turn to attack.  The speedy thing retreated down the stairs and hid somewhere.  

Now, to get back to the car where the groceries are, I must run the Gauntlet of the Hidden Giant Spider.

Before doing so, I did make the carport light come on.  Not going back out into the dark.

Managed to make it out and back in without a confrontation. 

Groceries are put away.  Back stairway soaked in Giant Spider Killing Chemicals.

This is my life.

An Actual Post - Number 2

The time to tell me you did not latch the attic window was when the sun was shining and the day was young…

…not now, when darkness is falling and there are 5 severe weather alerts going off.

That window is in a dimly lit room full of spiders and spider webs, is 10 feet up, and the only way to get to it is to do terribly inelegant bodily contortions with one toe on a six inch ledge and the other on a half inch ledge.

I’m not going in there now.  

Milestone?

1,500 posts (exactly 1,500 - prior to this one anyway)

100 pages of posts

50 followers

It’s a bit creepy how round and even the numbers are, all aligned.  Like when you happen to notice the odometer just as it turns to the next thousand miles.  It’s just one more number though, isn’t it?  We assign significance to numbers to remind us of the passage of time, how finite things are. 

I wonder - don’t you? - if this isn’t all just self-absorption to no good end.  If someone is encouraged out there it might make it worth it.  If not, this is a distraction best put away. 

Thoughts when I’m tired. 

Not Feeling it and Glad of It

That ache in your stomach when you hear the song from the radio when you drove to the place and stole glances and dreams piled up like blankets, wrapping you in the warmth of every brittle leaf of his attention that blew your way….

One day, like the surprise of a lark on the path, there will be no divot, crevasse, gaping expanse, to be filled by the treacle of his memory.  

From sedge to summit, we are our own once more.  And glad of it.

Apparently My Hair Makes People Cry

Walking from the cafeteria back to my desk, I run into a girl from IT who I know.  She is young, small, trim, pretty, has an MBA - one of those annoying people who has everything going for them. 

The first thing she says to me is “What have you done to your hair?!”

She’s a prankster.  I just shake my head bewildered and wonder what’s coming next. 

"You cut all your hair!  When did you cut your hair?!"

Other people are now in the hall, attempting to pass between us.  They are guys and they do not care about my hair.

I try to tell her I switched to a new place, etc. 

Tears are welling up in her eyes.  Actual tears.

She seems to be rendered speechless, but then gets out “You look so … so ….”

And I wait with a bit of dread to hear what horrid adjective is to come.

"…so … sassy!"

"I’ll take sassy.  Thanks!" I say and move on down the hall.

She cried.  It’s been months.  But today … the shock of it all overwhelmed her.

Be careful with your haircuts out there.  The emotional stability of the world depends upon it.

Six Days of Vacation

Anyone who actually HAS vacation days knows how precious they are, how carefully we hoard them, how miserly we are as we spend them.  And so, it is with good reason you might ask how I recently spent six days of vacation.

Full disclosure, I have 20 days of vacation to spend each “year” (hire date anniversary to hire date anniversary).   Usually, I spend them on stay-cations, doing chores and errands or being home when my son visits.

At church on Sunday, Jason our Director of Christian Education (DCE) asked if I would be interested in going to Connecticut with the church’s Comfort Dogs to help out for a week.  There have been Comfort Dogs there since it happened in December, but they needed “fresh” dogs to come help out.  Our dogs, new to us after the tornado in Joplin, had never made such a trip before.  But it seemed right to respond to the call for help.

This is a busy time of year at work, but the boss OK’d it and four days later we left on Friday to give the dogs a day of rest after two days of travel.

The area is wooded, rolling hills, with “towns” bunched close, indistinguishable one from another.  There are about 27,000 people living there.  It seemed very much like home, in that respect.  Small town, close knit.

We “worked” the dogs at a church, at a mall, at a surprise party at Town Hall, at a call center, a dance studio, the middle school, the “new” Sandy Hook at Chalk Hill, at the senior center and at a preschool.   The dogs love to work and be petted.  People young and old love to pet dogs.  In some small way it was perhaps therapeutic.  We were thanked again and again.

We took pictures, but always only with permission.  The town is weary of the media spotlight.  Understandably wary of prying eyes.

We became better handlers and grew to admire the strength and discipline of the dogs.  Their work is draining.  To be still, to be of comfort, when all around are smells and noises and, sometimes, poking fingers, takes great concentration on their part.  

The five of us on the trip learned much about one another, too.  I still feel new, having only returned to this particular congregation two years ago.  Barely knowing everyone’s names, my introversion had me quiet for a few days.  But working the dogs requires a certain level of engagement that spilled over to the group, and ultimately I learned a bit more about everyone.

This was a new type of vacation for me, but it was good.  I’ll be shopping for more such vacations.   If you’ve never taken vacation to help out, consider it. 

There will be no sleep tonight…and perhaps that is alright.

The metal aftertaste of exertion and exhaustion mixed with the certain knowledge THERE IS NO MORE TIME…it’s very much like the feeling before a Calculus exam.  Except there is no test.  Not a written one.

I imagined adventure, for this must surely be an adventure, activity of choice not compulsion, to be more exciting and thrilling and less like futile cramming for math exams. 

Perhaps in the morning, once the journey begins….

Now…now I must stop putting off the selection of a suitcase, clothes, shoes, must tick off the list of essentials, run last errands…

…and begin.

Blessed Christmas

Praying for peace, comfort, and wisdom for all of you as we step into a day meant for closeness and celebration of God’s precious gift, a day which too often reminds us how truly distant we can be, one from another.