Western education 2013

Monday, August 24, 2009

.... round two

.... the closer to my next surgery the less able I am to sleep, the anxiety is twisting my stomach up in knots and my head refuses to shut off. It is too close to surgery to take any medications and so I leave the sleeping pills and instead toss and turn. I have gotten up a few times in the night and suffered a bruised ankle on the rocking chair in the corner of our bedroom.... I knew it was there but shuffled into it anyway. Max reminded me of its presence as I made my way back from the bathroom. He is not sleeping well these days either and although we both know it, we do not mention it to each other - we both know the score.....

After my appointment Thursday, I made the usual round of phone calls and emails.... the responses are already coming in before I can get home. Sara wants to drop in - school is starting soon and she knows she will be busy with the new intake of students but it is quiet for now and would I like her to drop by later in the evening? I would love to see her and we make arrangements to get together. Soon after Sue calls and would like to drop in before she heads off on holidays but later calls to cancel - too much to do and she will swing by in the afternoon tomorrow. I enjoy my time with Sara and know I will miss her terribly when school starts.... I know September will bring quiet days with no children at home to distract me, no work and no students to teach this semester. Thank you for coming out to sit with me... we will keep in touch. I have let her know that if any of my past semester students should pop in looking for me that she is to answer their questions.... it is not something to be ashamed of ... it is now my reality for however long and I would be there if I could. Hugs in the driveway and I stand and wave as she disappears around the corner in her now functioning vehicle.... shame she still gets lost on her way here - I smirk at this thought and head in for bed.

Friday is the day to take Mitch and Lydia school shopping at the local mall. We find a number of bargains and Lydia is tickled that she has a more grown up shoulder bag. It has purple stars on it and is large enough to carry a number of books and the new lunch pail which looks amazingly like a purse. The new umbrella matches the book bag and she just had to have it... sheesh, she is only seven but you would think that we had a third teen in the household!! Mitch is our discerning shopper - picky as heck by most standards and shopping with him can be.... well, exasperating!! He wants to go to the high-end trendy shops at White Oaks and at some point we will take him there but we have a budget right now and he will have to be satisfied with some downsizing in the label department - not that I am a label girl... it's fine if they are on sale, but right now things are tight and he understands. He is good today and finds himself two pairs of running shoes at Payless - they are a good price and he is smiling - he is happy with his purchases and quite pleased with himself. Lydia gets a new pair of school runners but tries on slip on shoes - her feet are way too narrow and they easily slip off when she walks - sorry baby, you got your mother's feet. She usually requires shoes from specialty shoe stores but the pair we found are just perfect. We move off to Bonnie Toggs and complete her shopping with a few little extras. I get a text message and its Lydia's new friend Jessica who would like to come swimming.... the weather is hot but the weather predictors are calling for a cold weekend so I text back and say sure to a swim date. We end our shopping and head home for lunch. Lydia is feeling much better and is looking forward to her pal dropping in. We run into Sue on our way home 'check your Gazebo girl and I will pop in later just to say Hi and pick up some movies for our trip'. Sue is off to lunch with her son and Trevor. Lydia tears off after we say bye to see what Sue has left for mommy. What a lovely bunch of orange Chrysanthemums. Thank you Sue, how sweet of you!! Sandra comes to visit and has brought a little treat for us!! I have missed her so much - so used to dropping by her desk and chatting for a few minutes during the hectic work day. We have become friends over the years and I adore her - she is sweet and funny and always thoughtful... she lights up a room with her smile!! Her hubby Joel is just as wonderful. Was it just a year ago that we were singing up a storm in between shooters and visits in the pool? That was so much fun... maybe we can do it again next year? Sending you both love and hugs. Heather shows up a few minutes after Sandra and we all head out to the pool to chat and laugh... it doesn't last long, Sandra has to head back to work now that her lunch break is over. Hugs and kisses - she is off. Heather and Jessica stay until the late afternoon and promise to return before school begins.... she lives in our old neighborhood and recognizes Mitch's friend Bailey who has come to visit. Sue pops in for a few minutes after Sandra leaves and before Heather heads out.... lots of hugs and kisses later she heads off for a much needed short vacation and promises to text me when she can to see how my day goes in surgery. Love you girl!! We have a quiet end to a busy day. Max is tired and you can see it etched in his face these days.... tomorrow he will finish the Pond.

Saturday starts off with household chores and I make sure that the house is vacuumed well from top to bottom.... with a dog like Thelma... it doesn't last long. I am in a 'nesting' mode... I have two days to get my house in order. I sort through all the bills and paperwork around the desk and tidy up all my school textbooks and the brief that has been sitting there in prep for a semester that I will not be teaching. I put them down on my workbench in a nice neat arrangement and head up the stairs - Max sees the look on my face and understands that I just want to get back to my life... He is distracting himself with getting the pond completed. We have 5 wonderful goldfish that we purchased last week end at the Blooming Bog just outside of Ilderton. We also purchased a number of pond plants... most of which are annual plants which we got for a bargain because of the late seasonal purchase. Pond lettuce is fascinating because the plant, much like the soldier plant, grows its babies in the middle then sends them out on an umbilical line. In just the short time we have had them, one has managed to produce 5 such satellite juveniles and sent them outwards enlarging the plant mass considerably. A nice touch to the pond and a note to purchase them again next year but earlier. The fish give us such joy as we watch them come to the surface to feed.... they are comfortable in their new home and hang nearer to the surface. Shelly has let us know that larger birds of prey such as the Heron might see them and come fishing - we really should put a decoy heron next to the pond to deter any possibility of unwanted guests. We spend another quiet evening together.

Sunday - Max finishes the stone placement around the pond and will install the filter sometime this week in the evening. I am doing some gardening and cleaning up the yard from crabapples and leaves. The tree really has not produced enough good fruit to make jelly this year and it is just as well. I will not be canning for the first time in about 5 years and I am going to miss it. Brenda A and I get together every year to can produce for the winter months and have managed to come up with some very good recipes together. Perhaps we can still do our Christmas baking....

Max has informed me this afternoon that we are going out to the Mystic Grill this evening for our Anniversary dinner. We have always celebrated on the date of our wedding every year but this one - we will be at the hospital on our special day. I get all dressed up in a two piece - a camisole and skirt/pant suit. I am not wearing a bra because of the spaghetti straps and make a mental note that when all this is done I will buy a special one for such an occasion but for now.... I am almost 5 weeks after the last surgery and an obvious dent has begun to present itself .... one of these things is not like the other.... and soon to be even less so. I feel pretty good and excited to be going out on a date with my wonderful husband. We find parking across the street and find ourselves in a quaint Greek restaurant where the food is excellent and our waitress personable and experienced. She knows when to approach and of course how to make our stay warm and welcome. We manage to drink a bottle of Greek red wine which is wonderfully dry with a full bouquet and aroma.... mmmmm.... I am just a bit tipsy as we get through a decadent desert followed by an equally decadent coffee. The evening air is cool but wonderful on my warm skin... we love to walk and from where we are, I can see the bell tower of St. Paul's Cathedral and we meander towards it while window shopping. I want to go over and take a picture... it is where we got married 8 years ago. The evening sun is shining a warm glow across the bricks and highlighting the stonework. I take my BlackBerry out and take a picture of the two of us standing next to the oak double doors that welcomed us in all those years ago. No sooner did I take the picture, then the bells began to toll and tears instantly welled up and rolled down my face. I am overwhelmed by emotion and make my way over to the bench close by... he is holding my hand. We had those bells toll the moment we became man and wife and it was a way to announce that we had made a commitment to each other and now here was a stark reminder of those vows and it seemed as if it was announcing once again to the world that we are one. I love you so much. We decide that we would re-enact the candid photo that our wedding photographer had taken... Max and I were joking around while waiting outside the great hall in the gardens to the side of the Cathedral... the photographer needed to change the film roll and had just snapped the camera back together when she saw Max sticking out his tongue out and me trying to bite it... she wasted no time in capturing the moment which now adorns our dinning room wall in an 8x10. We giggled and held hands as we continued our walk up Richmond. We stopped for one more coffee along the way and then headed off on the side roads to look at houses - a favorite past time of ours. I love architecture and gardens and when someone gets it right, it is magical. A lot of these homes are old but have become rentals over the years and have fallen into disrepair. We note a few 3 story walk-ups that are nestled in between and find them out of place and without character. Parking meters dot the front lawns making it feel even less like a residential area. Although my new house has a much more modern and less architectural appeal, the neighborhood is beautiful with trees and gardens which are well cared for and loved... no student rentals here. I do love the large mature trees and the wonderful touches of stained glass in the bungalows we meander past. I notice the front door open on a two story and am in awe of the original wooden staircase and door trim.... they really don't make them like they used to. Our walk is coming to an end and the night is still young but we are tired these days and it is time to go home. I love you Max, thank you for such a wonderful evening.... we are now ready for round two......

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