Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thank You, Lord, For Not Making Me Peak In Highschool

Yesterday I got into a spat. Just a teeny, tiny little spat. It was a Facebook spat, and I was sure I was right. I mean, I'm almost always right. But this time I maybe wasn't. I'm still not convinced though.

The whole thing started over an old picture--one I didn't even know existed, but I'm rather glad it has surfaced:

Can you spot me?

The whole disagreement was over the girl in my lap. I had no idea who it was. Well, okay, I had ideas, but I couldn't decide who it was. And that's sad to me. I couldn't remember who this girl was--this girl who was obviously close enough to me to sit in my lap for a class picture.

Let me back up and let you in on an embarrassing but well-known fact. This photo represents my entire highschool in 1997. From 7th grade to 12th. Eleventh, actually, because there were no Seniors in 1997. Unless this was '98... If that were the case, there are four. I dunno... By the time I was a Senior, our numbers had dwindled to seven or eight kids between the ages of 12 and 18.

I'm not sure if highschool was really how I remember it. I don't think I really was how I thought I was, and I don't think people thought of me how I thought they thought of me. Follow? Aside from casual hellos, I don't talk to any of those people any more. Facebook provides the only connection I have to those with whom I was once so tight, and ya know? I'm not even tagged in the photo. What does that mean?

Last year I got a phone call from the one other girl that graduated with me. She was in town, and wanted to have coffee. I hadn't talked to her in nine years, so I thought, why not? "It'll be like our nine year highschool reunion!" I joked. An hour before we were to meet, she texted me that she wouldn't make it, and I'm 97% sure it's because I refused to listen to her Arbonne sales pitch. And I wasn't surprised. ...I don't think there will be a 20th reunion...

The point is, as students of such a tiny school, we had very few options in choosing our friends. When I think back over the friends I had, I can't help but wonder if we really wanted to be friends. Did we really like each other? Or were we just victims of convenience? I wish it wasn't the case. I wish I still had that one friend who never fell away despite time or distance. That one person with whom I could site a long history, with whom I could grow and mature, and truly be proud to have them in my life.

I hope I don't give the impression that highschool was a miserable time for me. It really wasn't! At the time, I was in my element. However, I'm truly pleased to say that I don't hang on to it one bit. Life moves forward and away, and I've gone with it.

Oh yeah--popular opinion says that the girl in my lap is Kristin. I'm still not so sure, but Kristin herself says she thinks it's her.

Camping Out

"I think it's time for bed," Nicholas announced. "I'm going to get in my 'jammas."

"Uh...it's only 7:30 Bub," I replied, squelching his early retirement plans. No way was I letting him go to bed at 7:30 on a Saturday.

"But we're going to sleep outside, right?"

Daddy had made the announcement earlier in the day. "Would you guys like to sleep on the deck tonight?" His inquiry was met with an excited  barrage of squeals and yaaaays, and the kids spent the rest of the day waiting for bedtime.

I spent the rest of the day worrying. I remember sleeping in the backyard as a kid, and I turned out just fine, but the thought of letting Paul's kids sleep outside brought visions of every doomsday occurance to my mind.

What about bears? There are bears here, right? We don't have bears on the island... Won't mosquitos get to them? What if a spider gets into their sleeping bag? What if the dew is too heavy tonight and they get wet? What if we have prowlers? What if they get cold? What if a raccoon wanders up onto the deck? Or a deer? (I know...since when am I nervous about deer?) What if they get scared? What if a tornado touches down and sucks them away ?(you didn't think I suddenly became rational, did you?)

Paul rolled his eyes at me and did his best to ease my nerves. "They'll be fine, Baby. They're only on the deck, and we'll be right inside."

The noise level in our little cabin reached a crescendo when bedtime finally came. Chloe and Nicholas dashed back and forth between their bedroom and the deck, dragging blankets and pillows and chattering excitedly. Even Lauren set aside her too cool teenage front and announced, "I'm as excited as a little kid!"

I distracted myself by nagging. "Chloe, put on your warm Tinkerbell pajamas. Nicholas, where's your sweatshirt? Go put on your sweatshirt! Lauren, do you need a sweatshirt, too? Are you going to be warm enough?" And finally, right before they crawled into their sleeping bags I doused each of them in enough bug repellent to cure Florida of its West Nile Virus. No bugs were going to sneak past my watchful eye on this night!

It was over an hour before the little voices on the deck finally ceased to ring from the circle of trees that surrounds our cabin. Their excitement gave way to exhaustion, and as I crawled into bed myself, I let go of some of my apprehensions. Of course they'll be fine...I'm being ridiculous.

But I slept with my patio door open--just in case.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Years of Gold

I'll be the first to admit it--I've thrown Lady Looney under the bus a bit. Not to say she doesn't deserve it sometimes, but she really can be a sweet lady.

LL has been married to her husband for 'goin on 30 years.' He's a good 15 years older than she is, but she talks about him like he's a dapper young man, working around the house and taking good care of her. In reality, he's old and frail. Throat cancer has left him weak and unable to eat well, and I know she worries about him constantly.

She whines and complains about him and to hear her talk, you'd think that he never let her do anything and that she has no patience for him. "How do these two survive together?" I often wonder.

But her voice transforms when she calls him, high and soft and accommodating. "Hi honey," she coquettes. "Would you stop by the Safeway and get me a roast chicken? I love you!"

And he acquiesces. With the freedom of time that comes with retirement, he spends his days running her errands and taking care of their home. He worships her; he buys her presents and takes her on trips. He puts up with her tirades and handles her demanding personality with skill and grace.

I've never met the man, but I can't help but admire him.

Yesterday he called her at the office. I know it's him by the rare pleasant tone that creeps into her voice. He wonders if she'll go on a date with him tonight, out to dinner. They'll go for tacos, and he'll have his shredded on a plate and covered in enchilada sauce, just as he always does. He has something to talk to her about.

She is agitated for the rest of the day. She hates surprises, and although he assured her it was nothing bad, she is worried. His health is failing and he seldom relays doctors' reports to her. If he had something to tell her with such pomp and circumstance as tacos at Los Cabos, it could not be good news.

I completely forgot the conversation, and I had not consumed enough coffee quite yet to be coherent when she pranced in at 0650. Even had I remembered to ask, she would not have given me a chance.

"Guess what it was?" she demands in her gravely smoker's voice. "Guess what he wanted to talk to me about?"


"He said we can go on my Alaskan cruise!!" She's giddy with excitement, and I remember that she has been asking to go for years. She chatters on about passports and enhanced drivers licenses, and my heart melts a little bit.

He's taking his bride on a cruise.

Not actually LL and her hubby...but it probably could be!

Wordless Wednesday--Wordy Edition

I know this is supposed to be word free--a brief respite from a longwindedness that I have not shown lately. I know I am supposed to tell my story through a photograph.

But this photo just demands an explanation.

Remember the Cheeseburger and his sunflower seed-eating habits? Believe me, it's not something I can forget, and this is why:


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is It Really Island Time, or Am I Just Lackadaisical?

I know you're dying to know how many of the items on my list actually got accomplished. I didn't do half bad!
  • Make it through the rest of today. Oy.
  • Buy a rat. (meh...he hasn't eaten since April. Another five days won't kill him)
  • And kitty food.
  • And poguey bait.
  • Vacuum and sweep (don't ask why...it just seems like the thing to do) (yeah, right.)
  • Eat four bananas (or make banana bread on Sunday!)
  • De-rootify and re-blackify my hair.
  • Finish some homework. (or not)
  • Brave the basement to find some suitcases.
  • Psych myself up to get up early enough to finish packin and be ready to leave the house by 0540. (or sleep late, fly around the house, leave Paul instructions on what to bring for me and leave at 0547)
  • Talk Paul into scooping out the kitty box... (kinda...he did it all on his own!)
Added to the list were:
  • Marvel at the ridiculosity of Port Orchordians...especially those who clog the aisles of Wal Mart.
  • Enjoy lasagna and mixed berry crisp with Mom A, Bill, Tiffany and the girls.
  • Grin like an idiot at the most fantastic Freudian slip ever.
  • Pack a cooler and a bag of junk food.
  • Watch a few episodes of South Park and Tosh.0.
  • Chit chat with my mom.
  • Chit chat with Lilli.
  • Yell at the cats.
All in all, a fairly productive evening.


I came to a realization yesterday while traversing the intersection of Bethel and Sedgewick. When my light turned green, I gently applied my foot to the gas pedal and entered the intersection in no hurry, not wishing to jerk the Durango around on its unsteady chassis, not wishing to blow gas or tire tread on a useless peal-out. Right after I reached the midway point of the intersection, a truck, waiting to turn right at his red light, decided he wasn't going to wait for me any more. He pealed into his turn, forcing me to slam on my brakes and let him go ahead of me. I was annoyed!

And then I thought about it. After a year of living on the mainland, I realize that I'm still on Island Time. For the most part, I still live my life with the slow and steady cadance that is characteristic to islanders and a severe annoyance to those mainland dwellers who are in a rush to reach their destination.

I often look at my speedometer to discover that I'm cruising along at five miles under the speed limit. I'm slow to recover from a red light and quick to stop at a yellow one. I walk slowly. I talk slowly. I'm often late. I don't RSVP. I find no need to hurry through my day, and those that do hurry only succeed in making me feel annoyed, nervous, and unsteady.

I wonder if I should make an effort to acclimate?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Couple More...

Who Knew One Could Be THIS Excited About Southern Idaho?

A day and a half. One day and one half! One and a half days! Can you tell I'm a little excited for my long weekend? After work tomorrow, Paul and I, along with Dad A, Kathy, Chuck and Uncle Ray, are headed to Twin Falls, ID, for the (imagine a deep, booming announcer's voice) ABUNDIS FAMILY REUNION!

Ok, I'll admit that it's not exactly the reunion that I'm excited about. (Although I am curious, to say the least) This may sound a little crazy--maybe a little unbalanced, a little loony. I'm excited for a combined 22 hours in the car with Paul! And in between the car rides we will have hours and hours together, doing who cares what. We will be together. I need time with him, and thanks to the ABUNDIS FAMILY REUNION, I will get a whole bunch of it!

But first I need to...
  • Make it through the rest of today. Oy.
  • Buy a rat.
  • And kitty food.
  • And poguey bait.
  • Vacuum and sweep (don't ask why...it just seems like the thing to do)
  • Eat four bananas.
  • De-rootify and re-blackify my hair.
  • Finish some homework.
  • Brave the basement to find some suitcases.
  • Psych myself up to get up early enough to finish packing and be ready to leave the house by 0540.
  • Talk Paul into scooping the kitty box...
Who knows how much of that will actually happen... I tend to have lofty goals of leaving the house in a state of perfection before a trip, but in reality I leave behind me a wake of destruction and chaos.

But who cares!?!? I'm excited! It's been a long month or so, and Paul and I need to get away...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back In the Saddle...Kinda.

Twenty-plus years ago, a warm summer day would find me in our back pasture, sporting running shorts and snow boots, my fingers, maybe still chubby with baby fat, wrapped through the headstall of Red's halter. Red and her counterpart, Rocky, boarded in our field as would many other horses over the years. Even though my head barely reached her shoulder, she was gentle and patient, and allowed me to drag her around the field by the halter. She only stepped on me once, but I'm sure she didn't mean to.

Sixteen years ago, that same day would find me flying over jumps in my English saddle, reins drawn up short and legs tight to the horse's flanks, or racing around barrels in my Western saddle, lying low over the horse's neck with the reins loose at his ears, heels pounding against his sides as he took his head for the straight stretch. I exhilarated in the freedom of speed and the knowledge that I was young and invincible.

Last Saturday, for the first time in ten years I approached one of Dad A's horses, Ranger. I was nervous. What would I remember? How would I feel once I hauled my butt into that saddle? Comfortable? Foreign? Would my limbs remember what to do?

But I surprised myself. As I settled in and adjusted to the sensations that used to be so familiar, I felt my spine legthen and straighten. My heels pressed towards the sandy ground, and my hands settle somewhat quietly around the horn. I was by no means 'back in the saddle' so to speak. While the basic movements and reflexes are still there, I am sloppy and unconfidant. Ranger, acting as lazy as I have been, did not respond well to my haphazard commands. But this has only made me determined to whip us both back into shape. We can improve together--me on my consistancy and him on his desire to move when I ask him to.

And hopefully, with some work, I won't be in nearly as much pain next time...oy, I'm getting old.

Not too pretty...

Cowboy Nicholas

Chloe looks like a natural

Friday, July 2, 2010


Please don't give up on me...it's been a rough couple of weeks and I've had a hard time putting any thoughts together. But things are most definitely looking up and I'll be back soon.

In the meantime, ask me some questions or something to get me back on the 'write' track.

Haha. I made a pun.

Give me a break--it's Friday.