Wednesday, September 30, 2009

a tale of two journeys

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Camping with the extended family is always a rollicking good time. So is camping. Period. For that matter.

This time, it didn't go so well really, not for Dave. He suffered with the worst migraine of his four-year old, little life. Lots of pain and puking. Sorry. No nice way to put it.

That's all behind him now. I think. I hope. I pray.

He was a new man today. No more agony. Just lots of full-throttle silliness. That's my boy.

The camping trip was an odd mix. Check that. I'm not speaking of my relatives in this instance, although "odd mix" would not be a stretch. Ahem.

It rained often if not much. Enough to dampen the feet. Inwardly, I laughed at the rain. It was either laugh or cry. I'd much rather laugh.

I had my husband's baseball hat to protect my curly locks. Dry bangs = happy woman.

All told, dry ankles = happy woman too. Every morning I had clean, dry pants to don. No matter that within minutes I'd step out into sogginess that would eventually soak my ankles because, for the moment, my pants were clean and snug and unsaturated by rain slosh.

These, I found, were the essentials: my baseball hat, clean pants, and a pain-free Dave. Unfortunately I got the latter far less than I would have liked. C'est la vie.

Last year at this time, all was right with the world. I don't recall that it rained. Even more of the extended family was on hand to add to the aforementioned odd mix. I most certainly had a pain-free Dave then. Yet, he didn't quite make it through the canoe trip.

It was the best of times.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

my perfect storm

It was an exhilarating downpour. I was outside under a big fir tree. I heard the rain start, but it was subtle and moments before completely dry, so I thought the noise was the wind kicking up. I looked up, and this beautiful, not-too-hard, not-too-dense rain was all encompassing. I stepped out into it taken aback. It stopped shortly thereafter. Everything was gorgeous and bright. Glistening. Stunning. There I was in the midst of one of God's everyday miracles.

Monday, September 14, 2009

the way you sip your tea

I have a friend who shares the same personality type I do. It is quite amusing to see the male manifestation of myself. Apparently, I'm buff. I'm tough. I'm a big teddy bear. And I have a tattoo. Everybody wants to be me.

Now this guy's wife has the polar opposite personality type of her husband and I. You'd think the two of us would really gang up on her and want to claw her eyes out. But we don't. We find her rather fascinating. She's quite amusing. Then again, so are we. She's ubercool. We are too. She's smart. Yeah, us too. I could go on, but I don't want to embarrass myself. I do have to continue writing, you know.

My point, and I do have one, is this: Perhaps the reason her husband and I find her so riveting is that she's different. Well, she's different than he is for obvious reasons. Ahem. But she's also different than the both us for other reasons. And we find ourselves standing back, shaking our heads and smiling to ourselves in that knowing way. You know, "Oh, there she goes again."

This is where it gets particularly compelling to me. The personality is the thing. Well, at least for me, that's the attraction. I mean, he, no doubt, has these uncontrollable urges to kiss her, and I just don't. It'd be all wrong. For one thing, she's entirely too tall for me. (Oh, I amuse myself.)

At any rate, discounting all else, if you zone in on the personality gig, you start to wonder what exactly it is that makes different personalities want to come together in the first place. This is what I want to understand. How does all this work? What makes us tick? How are we different, and how are we the same?

Speaking of the same, my hubby and I have strikingly similar personalities 'cept he's more spontaneous than I. I guess that makes me the boring one. Shirley, you jest.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Cuz I got a surprise for you. You may be able to figure out what it is about you that makes you do what you do. And grab your peeps because they may want to do this too.

There's this thing called a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. There is also this other thing called a Jung Typology Test. Fancy names for a personality test. Don't worry. It can be fun. Just take it and see what you get. Then armed with your personality type, see what it means.

Now I won't be so bold as to tell you that what you read about yourself will be 100% accurate. It may feel like your personality profile fits you like yesterday's underwear. But it will raise your eyebrows a few times. I guarantee. And you'll probably laugh in spite of yourself if you know what's good for you.

Step One: Take this free online test. HumanMetrics
Step Two: Given your personality type, see what it means. Personality Type Portraits

Give it a whirl. Hopefully you'll be glad you did. Here, I'll show you mine, and you can show me yours if you like. I'm an ISTJ. See, that wasn't so hard, now was it?

link: ella and louis

Sunday, September 13, 2009

how firm a foundation

The day finally arrived. I went to my local IGA in my pajama pants, and my Janie was there. It is the little things in life that thrill me. The funniest little things.

We hugged. We laughed. We talked about our pajama pants. It was classic.

You have to know Janie. She's quite a lady. Lemme see if I can find you something. This says a lot.

See what I mean? She's some kinda gal. This was a billboard spread. It is only one little piece of her story.

She's amazing. Have I already said that? Well, she is. Talk about strength of character. Whew, doggie! She's a lot like her mama. Beautiful inside and out.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

goodwill hunting

The other day, I found the most wonderful things at Goodwill. My visit started and ended with a bang. Just inside the door on one of the sought-after gray carts was a three-dollar bowling ball and bag. Any fool knows that's a great deal. Even if you do have to change your name to Josh.

Nestled on another cart was this shapely corked bottle. Then as I was darting past the clothes racks, this billowy blouse practically jumped out at me and begged me to take it home. How could I resist?

But then, then the most amazing thing happened. On my way to the furniture section, what to my wondering eyes did appear but my beloved of all Hannahs along with her best pal Esther. A two-fer-one. Talk about your major bargains. Remember when I told you I had a week that ended with a fulfilling surprise? This was it.

You gotta know Hannah. She moved out of state. Finding her here anywhere is like finding a diamond in the rough. Then again, you gotta know Hannah. Of course, she'd be at the Goodwill. That's where all the great stuff is. Amen?

What a great time we had. Hannah and Esther, they're beautiful dames with a ready wit. We had the place rocking with laughter. All abuzz with excitement. You'd have thought it was 50% Off Day or something. I laughed until I ached and almost cried.

And do you know something else that is beguiling about those two little lovelies? Look closely, you won't want to miss this. They both have those eyes. Those breath-taking, promise-breaking eyes. And there they were. Two powerful sets of them. Both belonging to women I hold dear. I was powerless under their spell.

It is a good thing I went there alone because upon that sight, all responsibility just flew out the window. But wait. No, I wasn't there alone. My children were there with me only I barely have recollection of that now. Yes, that's right. I remember it distinctly. My youngest was pumped because he had just secured a three-dollar bowling ball. There, there, Josh. You have fun with that. Mama's just a little dimwitted now. Can you blame her? Have you seen those eyes?

link: the eyes have it

Friday, September 11, 2009

my baby has migraines

It is a life sentence but not deadly. He gets it honest. He is just like his daddy. (sigh) In most ways, that's a good thing. Not this time.

There'll be no MRI. And it's not a tumah. (Thank you, Ahnold.)

The doc was good. Articulate, definitive, thorough, kind. He told us what we expected and wanted to hear. Still, it is good to hear it from an edjumicated medical professional.

Glad that it is over, but it has only just begun. Sorry 'bout your life of hard knocks, kid. Something tells me you got the gumption it takes to carry it.

Hey, if you can't use this as a forum for gratuitous pictures of your kids, then what's a blog for anyway?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

incorrigible angst

Words are incredibly delicious, are they not? Here is a short list of words I find particularly appealing and why. Short because I'm sleepy. Appealing because I'm silly.

angst: Best enjoyed when watching somebody else say it as it starts with a brief snarl. GRRR!
bombastic: If that's not fun to say, what is?
ilk: Not much great about this word since it makes you feel like you need to hawk a loogie.
incorrigible: Makes stubborn sound classy.
melancholy: It doesn't sound at all like what it means. The word itself conjures thoughts of warm breezes o'er a blooming meadow. Nothing of this dreadful sorry kind of thing.
pithy: It'd be better if it didn't thound tho thithy.
quaff: Snoopy gets almost all the credit on this one.
serendipity: The faster you say it, the sillier it gets. Actually for the full effect, you have to draw out the first two syllables and quickstep the last three.

That's my short list. Whatcha got in yours?

Friday, September 4, 2009

this little light of mine

This was a week for the record books.

This one told me he loved me. That doesn't happen very often. I know well enough to pay attention.

This one told me he loved me. He does that every day. And he always gives a bear hug and a kiss as accompaniment.

This one told me he loved me. And he always tells it like it is. As a matter of fact, he and his little brother ran up to me and hugged me simultaneously. I could have died happy on the spot.

This one told me she loved me. And I melted. Like buttah.

This one told me he loved me. And I hang on every word he says.

This one ran up to me and hugged my leg. I know what he meant.

It's good to be me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

who needs a beauty spa?

I think I just got a free spa treatment. For two hours this morning, Dave under slight sedation wallered in my lap waiting to get sleepy enough to succumb to the MRI. I feel like I've just undergone a complete body dermabrasion. And I didn't have to pay a thing for it. Lucky me.

It didn't happen. The MRI, that is. But you gotta understand Dave to know the gig. The guy has two modes: sleep and full throttle. There is no in between. So even though the doc attempted to sedate Dave with some liquid loopiness, the guy was just not going to be able to be perfectly still for a noisy, irritating, futuristic-looking medical test. He's four and fast. What's a guy to do?

So the next thing we'll try at some yet to be determined date and time is an MRI with what will no doubt be a general anesthetic. Whoa, Nellie. Here we go. I don't think I signed on for that one. No, wait. I'm his mama. Yes, I did. Never mind.

In light of this morning's events, in case you are wondering, Dave is very funny stoned. And you thought he was funny before. Add to that mix, random stumbling, slurred speech and even more goofy faces than he normally renders, and you have a recipe for comedic genius.

Don't get me wrong, the morning wasn't without its stress. We did our best to keep our wit and wits about us, but it wasn't easy. There were times I laughed and other times when I wanted to alternately scream and cry, but I knew that would do no good so I forewent it. (Or is that foregoed?)

At one point what looked like the entire hospital OB/GYN nursing staff came out of a conference room while Dave and I were in the hall. Dave was protesting madly, and I was holding him calmly and trying to ride out the storm.

My smile toward the nurses was true but waning, and I figured that it was the least I owed them since they've seen more of me than anybody has a right to. Yet without their nimble skill, I may have not been able to bring my children into this world. Let alone cradle one of them as he screamed for relief from an unknown demon.

Let me just say the prayers y'all sent were timely and well received. The morning wouldn't have gone so well without them. Just in case you need to know, even though I know the harrowing experience we'll have before us, the calm still remains.

I am not looking forward to this firewalk however. Not by any stretch of the imagination. So I'll thank you kindly to pray again whenever we know the appointed time 'cause I think I would like to be sedated for that one. Maybe I'll just down a brewski in the parking lot on the way in. That should do the trick.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

it is well

"Your son needs an MRI stat." I can assure you this is not particularly something you want to hear. But hear it today I did.

I was stunned but calm. I was perplexed but calm. I was thankful to the medical community for their quick action, but yet again calm.

Whereas I have no assured certainty that what it is we are searching for is, in fact, not there, above all, remarkably enough, I have calm.

Frankly, I can't give myself credit for this. I know every good and perfect thing comes from God. Here, right now, my good and perfect thing is calm. And it ain't comin' from me, baby. So I'm the last one to be taking credit for it.

My apologies for being so vague. What we're dealing with here is my guy Dave and his recurring headaches. As it so happens, Dave had what I'm calling a migraine last Thursday. It was so bad he puked. He instantly felt better, crumpled in my arms and fell asleep for the night.

I can count on one hand the number of times I think he's had a migraine. This, by far, was the worst. He in his ashen, o'erwrought state. Yet in his four years, he's been plagued with scads of other headaches I've attributed to allergies or sinus pressure. His daddy has the same vexing plague, so I find myself not too terribly alarmed.

Although his daddy never pukes from the pain. Or maybe to relieve it. My baby. My four year-old baby did and has. Something about this doesn't seem right.

This whole headache and puking thing, although it has only happened thrice, is assuredly what the doctors simply do not want to see. I feel their pain. So tomorrow, what the radiologists are looking for is a tumor. I pray they search feverishly for naught.

Honestly though, I think they will. Find nothing, that is. There goes that calm again. Although I have some reason to believe I may be wrong, I'm chalking this up to heredity. Bad genes, you know. Happens to the best of us. Apparently.

I could be wrong. I pray I am not. And there goes that calm again.

Call it denial if you want. I really don't think that's it. And I don't presume to be some faithful giant. But I do know Whose I am. And Who sees me through. And Who despite my sobbing fear, brings me encompassing, controlling calm.

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
- Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
link: james 1:17, philippians 4:7