I had a good day, no a GREAT day. It was busy and long but I hustled and flowed with my work peeps like a finely tuned machine.
I was tired but made the extra stop to grab things for dinner since kid #5 was still at play rehearsal, and kid #4 was with hubby out of town for a late central district rehearsal, not due home until 10pm.
Got home late from work to find that a pipe upstairs burst, part of the ceiling over the Christmas tree in the living room fallen in (yes, that’s still up because clearly I do not have my shit together), large totes placed to catch the dripping water and falling tiles, and the house cold AF because the oil ran out. Don’t know what “AF” stands for? Google it. It fits. And it doesn’t stand for awesomesauce.
Son number three and I stood with our coats on eating dinner in the kitchen like it was Passover, then I grabbed my keys, my phone, called for the dogs and patted son #3 on the shoulder and said “well I’m gonna go sit in a warm car with three dogs outside of the high school to wait for your sister. Have fun pouring diesel into the side of the house, Don’t forget to bleed the line,and feed the chickens. Later babe.”
An hour later kid #5 and I stared tired and cold at the mess. Kid #3 was plugged in to a video game and chatting remotely with kid #2 but took time to call over his shoulder “The plumber is coming “some time tomorrow”.
I could not think of a better motivation to turn around and go to the gym for a run. It certainly warmed me up and calmed me down.
*sigh…at this rate I’ll be trading hand jobs and hard labor to cover the repairs. At my age I don’t think my street value will make this a quick exchange of goods and I’m pretty sure it will knock me out of the running for sainthood. I’m also pretty sure that ship sailed years ago but still, it would have been nice to make it to the finals. Screw it. The degenerates always have the best stories to tell anyways.
Our sweet uni-horn goat, Gideon, wasn’t doing well so we brought him inside to nurse him in the hopes that he would pull through but it was just his time.
He was this beautiful, very fuzzy kitty size baby when Lucy, spotted him squeezing under the fences and following her happily around as she trailed bits of corn from her pockets. She was six years old at the time and running around wildly at a friend’s birthday party at Marshall Farm, adoring everything in sight.
It was instant love and she wouldn’t leave that critters side. I snapped a picture of the two of them and sent it to her daddy with a teasing caption “PLEEEEEEEASE can we bring him home?”
Less than an hour later, Dale rumbled up in his dad’s old truck, hopped out and headed for the barn. It turned out that the owner at the time was a guy he was friendly with, a regular where he worked, and within 20 minutes he strode over, kissed us and left.
I dragged a very reluctant and weepy Lucy home, goatless, and set about dinner. Dale left to “run a quick errand” and returned a short time later with not one, but TWO baby goats, Gideon and Gabriel. We baby-gated them in the kitchen until we could build a small enclosure for our newest additions.
Gideon broke the same horn so many times getting into hijinks with Gabriel that the vet couldn’t set it anymore and finally had to cut it off, leaving him with only one mighty and proud horn. Our very own magical uni-horn.
Like most of our life’s adventures, this one didn’t have a plan at the start, or even a vague notion of which way we were headed, but we were all in, all the way. The rest, as they say, is history.
Over a decade later, our tiny, chaotic, completely unplanned, lovely farm has grown to include many chickens, ducks, bunnies and dogs, each one an odd member of our own chaotic, completely unplanned, lovely family.
I’m curled up under blankets and puppies in a quiet, darkened room adjacent to the kitchen and no one has needed me for almost 37 minutes.
I read the transcript from the prime time address from the Oval Office last night so I know that Hell is truly freezing over and that we now live in a parallel universe where up is down, but to be left alone to rest at dinner time?
This has to be some kind of trick..probably there are illegal field mice crossing the basement border to deal drugs to the squirrels in our attic.
This alone time must be a distraction technique. Get me all up in my head over this alone time thing, while those furry bastards are just pouring through the chinks in the fieldstone walls. That means it’s a conspiracy and those liberal snowflake offspring of mine are complicit. I knew I should have built that wall across the house and deported my kids.
I love what I do. In one capacity or another I found myself doing it. As a mother, as an education coordinator, as a community development outreach liaison I’ve worked with kids. Through surprising twists I came to work in a hospital on the pediatric unit.
I work with some of the most beautiful kids in one of the toughest places to be in their lives, in one of the most challenging environments to work with them. Daily in the most humbling moments these children walk through fires together, cheering each other on, picking each other up.
The human spirit never ceases to amaze and inspire me. So much that even at the end of a very long day during a busy holiday, I feel contented and peaceful in my heart. I get to walk with them, to love them when they can’t see their own worth, to nurture them and to guide them and to keep them safe for a brief space of time in a storm between storms.
I get to see them leave, and when they do, my heart both constricts and expands with the love I have for them, hoping they won’t need to come back. I watch them go with the hope and worry of my mother’s heart. I watch them smile and hug and wave goodbyes.
Michael Himes, a philosopher I am such a big fan of, said that there are three questions a person should answer when considering the direction of their life in order to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
Ask yourself what do I love to do? Am I any good at it? Will someone pay me to do it?
It took time and interesting turns before I found myself where I am today. It’s hard work. It takes every ounce of emotional strength every single day. It pushes me constantly to be stronger, softer, better as a person. I get home exhausted and happy. Sometimes I’m exhausted and weeping. But what I have, It’s rare. I know what I love to do. I am good at it. I am fortunate to be paid to do what I love with all my heart. Three questions.A contented heart. A life with meaning.
I’m supposed to keep my head in a neutral position, pull my core tight, lengthen my spine, and focus on the breath in my body. my shoulders feel tired. My legs are shaking. Sweat is trickling down from my bunched up hair and itching on its slow path along my nose and neck. Everyone around me is in some version of this pose.
I have yet to emulate the strength and grace of our instructor and I don’t care that the 86 year old woman to my left manages to gracefully and perspirationlessly hold this position perfectly, any more than the woman struggling to keep steady on her knees to my right cares about my toes managing to hold me up. That’s the beauty of this class. It’s so mindfully based, each person flows along where their own body takes them. I can (and do) modify the hell out of each track based on what my body is able and willing to do in that moment.
I love this practice as much as I feel frustration at my limits. It’s good for me. It encourages me to look for a way forward. Any way forward. As long as I can move, I will move forward and breathe.
I am beyond thankful that neither God nor the devil seems to want me just yet. I still have so much to do and I’d like to leave things better than I found them before torturing souls with my wit for all eternity. I could certainly use more time to work on my bit.
This morning’s commute took a sharp turn from the expected when the car began to shake a little. I held tightly to steady what felt like the car being buffeted by a strong wind but the steering wheel stopped working with my wheels and the car began to violently swerve from left to right with a mind of its own, across lanes of fast moving early morning traffic.
The car swerved so violently that I found myself and the car spinning crazily in circles, around and around through swerving cars all the way from the right lane to the left lane and back to the right lane with three blown apart tires, finally coming to a stop at the top of an on ramp.
More terrifying cars at high speeds coming at me, desperately careening around my car. I felt panic wrapping my chest, my entire body contracted in anticipation of an impact that miraculously didn’t come. The power cut out entirely and I sat crying and trying to breathe.
Police arrived almost on top of me and set up a safe barrier from other cars until an emergency tow truck could get to us. My husband doubled back from his own commute to tuck me safely into his truck and bring me home where after being deposited into bed and piled with dogs and warm blankets I slept for the rest of the day.
I have no idea what happened. What could have caused so much to go so wrong and to be able to walk away from that scene. For everyone on the road this morning to have been able to pass by unhurt. I only know that I am grateful. Shaken and weary but deeply grateful. I’m doubling down and rolling up my sleeves to pay it forward and make sure that when it is my time to drive the afterlife closertocrazy, I will have left this one better somehow, some way.