Cool, warmth

It has been a warm October. The jack ‘o lanterns that the kids carved at the harvest party earlier this month turned to squash. They rotted and melted like a witch getting doused in water. I am not complaining. It has allowed me to continue with my summer isn’t over delusion a little bit longer. My grandpa would have had his birthday earlier this month. Usually right around my grandpa’s birthday, my grandma would write flurries on her calendar when the first trace of snow swirled. Her calendar was completely empty except for the word flurries. Sometimes it’s the little things that I miss the most.

I haven’t had to change my running schedule at all due to the weather. I haven’t dusted off the treadmill yet either. Running this time of year does have its challenges though. Earlier this week I ran by a farmer harvesting his corn field. He spooked out a huge rabbit and it ran straight towards me. Difficult decisions ensued for that rabbit once he noticed me. There was nowhere for him to run.

Today I had my monthly 18 mile run. The last few miles were painful and hard to endure. Every muscle was screaming at me to stop. I made it though. It took me 2 months to recover from my knee pain from the marathon. I have been running the last 2 weeks relatively pain free. This gives me hope that next spring I can sign up for another marathon and beat the crap out of myself again. Whoo hoo!

Waiting….for bad news

Waiting…I sit here waiting. Worried. Waiting for bad news. I know it is going to be bad. I think of all the times that we didn’t get along. The guilt of feeling annoyed by you most of the time. You aren’t a bad person. You just talk before you think. My daughter called you rude the last time we saw each other. You commented that my hair looked terrible. Did I mean for it to look so bad? Did my finger get stuck into a light socket? I told you that I wasn’t offended, that your comments about my hair didn’t bother me. It didn’t bother me. What did bother me is all of the empty promises you made to my kids your only grandchildren, the times you said that you would show up and didn’t. 

Now I am thinking that you might not be here to see your granddaughter graduate next year. I feel terribly saddened by this. When I saw you last weekend, you did not look good. You were out of breath, wheezing, and coughing. The cough that lasted over a year. You have been continually sick for months at a time with head and chest colds. Your doctor thought that it might have been some of your medications, that once he took you off of the offending pill that you would get better. But you got worse. Now you are in the hospital, waiting. We worry and wait, wanting the distraction of work but have difficulty focusing. What do we tell the children? That the doctors think that you have lung cancer. So we sit here waiting, waiting for the bad news.

Dreaming…

Wow, what a busy day. Most of the work is done, now I just need to pack my bags. I got in a 12 mile run. You are probably just sitting on the edge of your seat wondering if I am one of those people that work out while I am traveling for business or on vacation. The answer is no, I don’t. Last time I didn’t even pack my athletic shoes, which was stupid because I ended up walking a lot in sandals. Seems like every time I travel now I have been know to add and check stuff off my bucket list. I am excited that I decided to meet up with an old friend that moved to Texas. She has horses. I never rode a horse. I am not the kind of person that says I know I haven’t seen you in almost 2 decades but can I ride your horse. So I am leaving my options open. Maybe it will be uneventful, but it never seems to go that way for me. 

The last couple of days have been stressful, okay the last couple of weeks. I have been flailing around trying to keep my head above water when yesterday a weed wrapped itself around my foot. I went to the pharmacy and my insurance refused to refill my antacid prescription. I was so upset that I started shaking and my stomach burned. “You’ve gotta be kidding me?!?” I pictured myself for a minute at a conference in a room full of people in a fetal position on the floor while vomiting. A little bit of steam escaped sssssssssssshhhhhhhhhit. Then I realized that I can buy it OTC for 10 times the cost. Yippee! After this, Paul and I were invited to lunch with an eccentric elderly couple that we befriended. I was so upset that I didn’t want to go, but when I got there I felt totally at peace. They are a very loving couple with a clean and nicely decorated old house. We ate lunch outside on their patio underneath the grape vines. Paul is going to harvest the grapes and make wine out of them. 

During lunch I mentioned my desire to learn how to shoot a gun. Even though our hostess is in her 80’s she is not a stereotypical woman of her age. She likes to hunt and fish. She showed me her study full of furs she sewed together and spoke of a woman’s survival class where she even learned how to dog sled. She told me that I was the perfect age to start new things. She also mentioned that I should think about joining an elite choir that she is in. I am thinking about doing that with my daughter. We both have a 3 octave range. My daughter is going off to college next year for music. I would love to do something with her before she leaves.  Besides singing in a few weddings, funerals, singing a bit in church, and being involved in community theatre I have not used this gift as much as I would have liked. She also inspired me to do other non traditional things like fix up an old car. 

I have wanted to fix up one of those old hippie vans, I am picturing a robin egg blue VW. It would be awesome taking that on Route 66 tour in vintage clothing. I have auto mechanics in my blood, but being a girl no one ever taught me. Girls didn’t belong in the garage. I love the smell of gasoline and tires, the comforting scents I associated with my family’s garage. My great grandparents started the business and passed it down to their kids. Out of those kids, my dad was the only offspring. He didn’t want to fix cars. He wanted to fix electronics. I want to fix cars, but never learned how. Last week when cleaning out my grandma’s house I found a book on how to fix antique cars. I had to chuckle because the book was older than me. My mom said that I could always take her old MG and fix it up. Maybe that would be a good project to do with my son. This seems like a couch potato to marathon goal for me, but the possibilities are endless. 

My parents sold my grandma’s house today. It makes me so sad to let go of that part of my life forever. It could be worse. I watched my mother’s childhood house burn down when I was 5. A gas station now stands where my husband’s childhood house was. His bedroom was pump number 9. At least a new loving family will have a chance to make memories in grandma’s house. 

I am going to try to relax. It will be nice to learn new things at the conference and visits friends. I am hoping to enjoy some time by the pool as it seems like fall in Texas is warmer than our summers are here. Then come home, do an 18 mile run, plus 18 loads of laundry, and head out for my brother’s wedding. I am excited about the adventures that await. 

Little to no provocation 

I can feel the gentle, slow downward descent of my mood. My heart in utter despair. I cry with little or no provocation. I haven’t slept for 3 days. It takes forever to fall asleep. I wake in the middle of the night, lying awake for hours. I awake again at the crack of dawn exhausted. I’m not hungry. I can’t eat without acid reflux. I worry about the things I can’t control. I pace the floor. Any attempts to rest or nap leave me frustratingly wide awake. I wouldn’t wish the hormonal fluctuations of a middle aged woman on anyone. 

It was harder this week cleaning out my grandma’s house. The memories some of the items brought back were almost too painful to bear. When I try to reach out to my grandma for comfort, she is not there. What I wouldn’t give to hear her voice again or to even smell the scent of her perfume on her clothes. All I smell is dust and decay. Emptiness. Nothingness. 

It is incredibly stupid to cry over the meaningless little items that I lost. I can mourn over the stupid little stove, but can’t cry over the friends and family that autism cost me and my family? The childhood family vacations with the whole family that never happened? I can’t even remember one time that we went out to eat together as a family. I have to continue to pray for strength to make it through this process of opening myself up to and dealing with unresolved issues. 

I will make it through. I will be ok. 

Windy days

I hear the wind whistling through every cracked or slightly open vessel. I feel it wind its way deep down into my soul stirring up memories that I long for but are long gone. The wind cries with an urgency that begs for immediate release but when searched for cannot be found. For me the wind cries “grandma.” It transports me back in time to my grandpa’s truck. I sit peacefully between my grandparents with the window behind my head open a crack forever whistling with the wind. Every time the wind blows, I feel a nostalgic longing for them. 

My grandma is the main reason why I survived my childhood.  She also gets a lot of credit for helping Mark through too. She is right up there with Mother Theresa in my blog. Mark and I would take turns staying with my grandparents every other weekend. She did all the little things to make me feel special. We worked on puzzles together, she cooked my favorite meals, she made cookies for me, and she always had time to listen. We always celebrated holidays at their house. One Christmas off to the side was something hidden under a large bag. It was for me. Inside was a dollhouse created partially by grandma using little pearl buttons as light fixtures. She also made doll clothes for me from patterns, struggling to get her big fingers into the little tiny clothes to sew them together. 

Last week while cleaning out my grandma’s house, I found my old dollhouse. Maybe someday I will set it up the way it used to be in its finery. After 6 years of being vacant, someone wants to buy my grandma’s house. My dad never put the house up for sale and it was left as a shrine to her memory. Despite all of his shortcomings, my dad provided loving care for his parents and aunt in their final years. Every time the wind blows, I will be thinking of them and be thankful for the difference they made in my life.