Aside

The Paint Me House: Out of it’s Misery

photo 3 This eye-sore was chock full of eye-soreyness since the day we moved in across the street in 2006. It didn’t have any graffiti on it yet, but it was in horrendous shape. My neighbors who have lived around this neighborhood longer than I could tell me more I’m sure, and I’ve heard bits and pieces as to why the house at 705 was in the shape it was in, but frankly such recent history is none of my business. Whatever the reason it can’t be a happy one.

We begged the city to tear it down in 2011 and 2012 – we had our house on the market and though values on all houses were down, this pile of wood and blocks was not helping. Scrawled on it in white spray paint for the last 7 years was “Paint Me” and “Mom” and “I <3 Ashley”. And so we all called it “The Paint Me House”. Sounded better than the Mom House or the I Heart Ashley House, I thought.

The family next door to it shared with me last fall it would be torn down in November. I guess things needed more time. And then last week flags started going up. Water line. Gas. Phone line. I was hopeful.

Yesterday the big excavating equipment was brought in. (Need an excavator? Call my sister’s boyfriend!) The kids loved seeing the show. They started away at the porch, then took a dinner break. We left for the evening and when we came back- gone! We missed it. I know I have a good picture of it from a few years ago, but I have to find it.

This morning we got a better look:photo 1 (1)

I’ve done a few posts about the history of my house, and as intriguing as that is for you readers (hardy har har) I decided to do a quick search about the beginning years of the heap of bones of a house across the street. In a way, it’s kind of bittersweet. It lost it’s dignity years ago and if I had grown up in that house and seen it meet it’s end like that, it would make me sad.


 A Brief History of 705 Eastern Avenue. Or affectionately known as The Paint Me House.

My 3 year old house on Banning watched as it was being built in 1923. Soon the Patrick McKay family bought and moved in from their house on Edgehill. Patrick immigrated to the US from Ireland at the turn of the century and made his way from New York to Akron to Ashland. He worked as a pump assembler at the FE Meyers Pump Factory. They lived right next to his wife Rosene Marie’s mother, Rosa Yeagle. They and their young family grew to have four (that I know of) children, Mary, Cecilia, Theresa and Patrick Jr.

I could find 3 of their graduation pictures from the ashlandohiogenealogy.org page.

Image Cecilia graduated in 1939 from Ashland High School.

 ImageTheresa graduated in 1945 from AHS.

ImageAnd Patrick Jr. in 1949.

The McKay’s made a home in that house for more than 3 decades, and watched as their son and youngest child went off to serve as a Corporal in the Korean War. Then in 1959, his father (now in his mid 70′s) died at Samaritan Hospital. Right up the street.  I can’t find much in City Directories online or info after that to see how long Marie stayed in the house.

Image

That was a chapter in someone’s life. It held memories of new babies, school days, war times and losses. No house will stand forever. Miles was worried that would happen to our house, but I assured him we’d never let it go that far down hill while we owned it.

Miles also consoled me when I shared my disappointment with not getting to see the actual demolition of the whole house. “Mommy, don’t worry- they can just build a new house, let it get old and then they’ll do it again! You’ll get to see that one!”

I hope not:) It would actually just be great to have green space there for a while.

See the video: https://vimeo.com/90895267

 (Sources from ancestry.com: Census records from 1930, 1940, Ashland City Directories from 1919-1959, the Ashland County Auditors website, and the Ashland County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society’s webpage.)

 

Feed the Birds

photo (3)

A week or so ago (when it was a warmer day) the little blond boy wanted to get the heck out of Dodge and go ride his bike in the driveway. Almost five, I can trust him enough to stick to that large slab of asphalt that is nestled in between our house and our neighbor’s (who are like family). I kept the window open and the side door cracked so I could yell out if I needed to but mostly so I could hear the sounds of a four year old boy racing his growing collection of outdoor toys up and down the way. The little red head was asleep upstairs and I needed to clean up some things in the house before dinner time.

And then it was quiet. I wasn’t alarmed, he sometimes gets into things like the bubbles or his toy gardening tools. After a few minutes I peaked out and saw that his-sized shovel was out, dirt was strewn about and two of my terra cotta pots were now filled with soil. ‘Where did he find the dirt…‘ ah, from the flower bed of emerging daffodils, okay…’and where is my son…?‘ And there he was, with a medium sized bag of bird seed and an old broken plastic feeder I had placed by the trash can in the garage to be thrown out weeks earlier. He had taken both things out to the white rusty crook near our garden and I watched as he very carefully poured the bird seed into the top. He hardly spilled any. I watched silently. My four year old attached the top, and hung it on the crook, so very, very proud of how he helped mommy and daddy, yet more importantly that the birds now had some food to eat.

We had put that feeder out months earlier with bird seed and most of it ended up wet and packed in the tube from some bad weather. I hadn’t seen a bird on it in ages. We were too lazy to clean it out and try again. Lots of other things were on our list to get done and that was not one of them. But this time, within a half hour, I spied about four or five common house sparrows happily feasting on what Miles had set out for them.

It’s so, so, so ordinary. So simple, so uneventful. But for me, in my struggle with fighting wrong battles of parenthood, choosing to stand back and watch a little boy have a helpful and compassionate heart was a big step. Adults are always concerned with doing something. I didn’t want him to make a mess. I didn’t want him to waste bird food and therefore money if he spilled it. That feeder was broken- meant for the dump. I have no idea why I refrained from yelling at him out the window, rushing out and rescuing the bird seed from a pre-schooler’s clutches- avoiding certain disaster…but I’m glad I did nothing. Nothing but choosing to be silent and watch. And I think of it every day now. It makes me joyful and breaks my heart at the same time.

We are broken, yet seen as something worthy to be filled- just as we are. Able to give and nurture with what we’ve been given.

“Mommy- see what I did for you? I filled the pots so you can plant your flowers in them, and I fed the birdies so you and daddy didn’t have to.”

“Look, Miles, the birds are eating the food you gave them, look at them all!”

Aside

The Tornado Watch Leap Day Baby

Four years, eight months and six days ago I delivered a child that today would tell me “Mom, these pancakes are awful. Can you make good pancakes next time?” Which is weird because I make the same kind of pancake every time I decide I will offer my children something more than a banana and a fruit bar for breakfast. The honesty of children. I’ll accept it for now, but made sure to tell him his comments were rude. Normally I’m spoiled because even if it’s the simplest of meals, my thoughtful Miles will usually say, “MMM Mommy this is DELICIOUS! This is the best thing I ever had!” He especially likes the Spagettios I pry from an aluminum can.

Two years ago, somewhere in between today and tomorrow, a big little leap day baby came into our lives during a tornado watch and low 50s temps. “The Winter That Wasn’t” is what some called it- big contrast to this year’s winter! So, you see, fellow Ohioans, this winter is just making up for the past two very mild winters. I have a sneaking suspicion we will be even more appreciative of the spring that is just around the corner. Anyhow, that little tornado that was born was a little red-head named Clementine and we went from looking like this:420245_10100212133475218_1302917321_n 424877_10100232983187228_909202118_n

to this:sdc10596And then she wrapped her daddy around her little finger,

423224_10100242590359378_99649995_nand we fell in love with the little chunker.

405076_10100350382532998_1003645752_n

1017686_10100898244203818_114676218_n 62405_10100909434972428_1053733356_nHappy Birthday, Clementine LaRue! God gave us a wonderful gift in you!

 

 

 

Things I Tell My Kids

  • Put the baby Jesus down!
  • Um, mommies have those so they can feed their babies.
  • Get that shoe out of your mouth!! (Most likely it was after we had been in a public restroom. They do it just to spite me.)
  • Pull your pants down before you pee!
  • Stop licking your brother’s face!
  • No, gummi worms are not part of a balanced breakfast.
  • Do you want someone to come take mommy to the nut house? Because I am this close…
  • She doesn’t have a wiener, she’s a girl.
  • Stop running with scissors!
  • No, germs don’t have eyes and a mouth and sing and play guitar.
  • Ask your dad.
  • Where you born in a barn?
  • Because I said so.
  • Stop throwing crayons down the register!
  • We’ll see.
  • You can do it, you’re a big boy.
  • Stop throwing your food on the floor!
  • Go to your room.
  • No more questions!
  • Eat over your plate!
  • I need a hug.
  • Yes, I want to keep you forever.
  • You are my sweet girl.
  • You are my sweet boy.
  • I love watching you draw!
  • I am so proud of you!
  • You are so great at writing your letters!
  • What a wonderful smile!
  • That is a beautiful picture.
  • You are so smart.
  • I’m so glad to be your mommy.

Sometimes I don’t realize all that I say to my kids in a day. A lot of it didn’t make the list- a lot of it is probably not very nice. Hurtful. A reaction to an expectation set and missed by a child under the age of 5. I love when I’m the mom that says the things toward the end of the list more often. That is the goal. Everyday. Meaningful, lovely words for my kids. The things at the beginning just make me laugh and the things in the middle I swore “when I have kids” I’d never say. Wrong!

Moment of truth: What things do you tell your kids? Are there things you would like to or need to tell them? Things that you should stop telling them?

We make jokes about it but the line from The Help when Viola Davis’ character tells the little girl she is kind, she is smart, she is important- THAT was being a wonderful mother to that girl. THAT was being Jesus to that little girl. All kids deserve those words- heartfelt and meant for them. All you kids-at-heart deserve those words to. I hope you spend your Thursday knowing you are important.

A Collection of Hearts

It’s just another day, but the calendar says some numbers have changed.

No matter how great of a year it was for me, for whatever reason I end up feeling relieved there is a new start. But really it’s just a Wednesday this year. I think I’m going to wake up different or have a new outlook but I wake up the same way I always do in these young parenting days. Back hurting a bit and a few “shushes” from my mouth, waiting to see if Jason would be the first to cave to the smell of a pee-filled diaper or a plea for mommy and daddy to get up, “it’s morning time!”

But when I do take the time to think back on 2013, I think about growth. I think about changes- more emotional and spiritual changes than physical.

I think about moments I have experienced joy and pain this year.

At one point this year I looked around my church congregation and thought- if the rest of the world thinks the church has it all together- it couldn’t be more wrong. If they think the church thinks it has it all together, it’s wrong. No matter how strong the front, I saw a people who have seen all the joy and pain of many lifetimes. My mind saw all of their faces and the faces of those in my life- family and friends and acquaintances. They have lost a child, pregnancies, a parent. They have lost a job, a marriage, a friend, a brother, hope. They have made tough choices, struggled through a wounded past. I thought back to last year when I was at the end of my human control of what was next in my family’s life. I felt broken. I couldn’t sing a song with my church family without weeping. Brokenness doesn’t always mean without hope or trust. I knew God would be present with us, no matter what the new path of our lives would be. I was raw. Translucent. Fragile. But God spoke, and heard it loud in my heart.

I see you.

Restoration.

Hearts.

____

The other day, Baby Clemmie had a cold and she and Miles were in the living room playing together. I had told him she wasn’t feeling good, so not to get too close to her and to wash hands a lot. But from the kitchen, I could hear a little boy’s voice saying “Dear Jesus, please help Clemmie feel better cause she is sick…” On his own, he decided he should pray over his little sister. He saw her – as she was and saw her need. He showed he was there for her.

One particularly nervous-breakdown of a day (I seemed to have a lot of those this past year) had me instead stilled with the love Jesus has for me. My mommy-melt down was ever so apparent to my four year old son and when I told him it was time for a nap and to go upstairs, he had stopped his defiant-ness for once that day and paused at the bottom of the stairs. He looked at me and said, “Mommy, you are a good mommy. I’m going to put a heart on your bed- to tell you that I love you.”

Miles has been infatuated with tornados, Curious George and how hearts work over this year. Hearts have been speaking to me mostly. Not that a good Curious George episode doesn’t touch my soul, but you know.

As I walked along the beach of Edisto Island in October I wanted to walk along that sand forever if I didn’t have to pee. The crashing waves weren’t helping my situation. I tried to forget about my natural necessity and take in the breeze, the billions of grains of sand I stepped on and the imprints I made. The waves, only just warm on my tired feet. And the shells. Some perfect, some broken, some smoothed or shattered beyond all recognition. I found myself asking Jesus to join me- where I was. Not for help, not for guidance, just to be with me. That’s not something I normally ask. It’s always for something. It’s always urgent and usually about trying to change me or someone else. This time was different. The environment had calmed me enough that I was past the point of tears- it seemed like I couldn’t be alone with my own thoughts most of this past year without crying- and I just said “meet me here”. I looked down and spotted the first of three shells with holes in them. I looked closer and saw the shape of holes the ocean had carved into each shell was a heart.

I saved them all in my collection I brought back to Ashland.

__________

My other joy-filled moments of  2013 went something like this:

• Coming in to the living room to see the word “Poop” spelled out with alphabet game cards by my son. It was pure accident. But a funny one.

• Re-connecting and singing with old friends at the Ashland Symphonic Youth Chorus reunion.

• Seeing the ocean again.

• Watching Miles learn and spell out the word Kotex. A lot. An embarrassing amount of times. For the future Miles, not me.

• Finding my baby photos.

• Sending Miles to pre-school for the first year and enjoying his hunger for knowledge.

• Witnessing Clementine’s first steps and learning to play with her brother. Him being patient with her, helping her. Then not so much.

• Locating and securing a sentimental one-of-a-kind guitar for my dad with the help of so many friends and family members.

• Miles being so excited when opening his silver trumpet for Christmas.

• Jason taking me to the Titanic Exhibit

• Clemmie’s cuddles and kisses when she’s not bossing us all around with her hand motions and girly grunts.

• Started a painting.

• Dressing up like Wilma, Barney, Pebbles and Bamm Bamm as a blended family  for Halloween.

• Spending lots of quality time with my grandparents and watching them with my kids.

• Watching Miles “read” and build things from the “restructions”.

• Practicing with, then playing with members of my dad’s old band, CenterLine and making awesome rock n’ roll sounds. Loved every minute of it.

• Discovering some new-to-us genealogical information for my family

• Visiting Deal Island, MD where some of them were from.

• Realizing I reached my strength goal when brushing my teeth and my tootbrush busted in half. That’s strength, people.

2013

_____

I hope you have a list of things that have lifted your spirit, made you laugh and filled that hollow space in us that sometimes feels less than empty. I hope 2014 is a year that sees your heart being restored. And it starts with wherever you are, right now.

 

 

Superstitions and Transitions

Aw, a Mourning Dove on the walk in front of my house! When that bird is roaming my yard, I always smile.

This time, however, as soon as I looked at it, it decided to drop a Mourning Dove poop on that walk in front of my house. Gee, thanks Mourning Dove.

So how are you supposed to read into the personal symbol of God’s provision for you when that symbol takes a dump on your property? I don’t know. I think birds just need to get the waste out of their bodies like we do. :)

But then on our way someplace a black cat ran in front of us on the road.

And then the next day Jason and I were chatting in our bedroom when the full length mirror directly behind him decided to fall forward, crack him on the head and shatter at the bottom. What is that, 7 years? It’s interesting what humans consider bad luck over the course of our existence. Apparently Jason is married to an “unlucky” woman according to these:

  • In ancient Egypt, red hair was seen as so unlucky, red-haired girls were burned alive.
  • In medieval Europe, the infamous witch-hunting manual, Malleus Maleficarum, instructed that red hair and green eyes were marks of a witch, as were freckles, which redheads tend to have aplenty.
  • Also red headed women were historically seen as bad luck on ships and in mines.

Well, okay. Cancel my cruise and my mining tour.

BUT- in Denmark, it is a high honor to have a redheaded child. Check! It is said that while in Poland, if you pass three red-heads you’ll win the state lottery. So there you go.

Billy Zane, Titanic.

Billy Zane, Titanic.

During a time of year when people have fun with superstitions and folklore, there’s also a lot of transition happening it seems like, that has nothing to do with luck. Or bad luck. Our government can’t compromise well with each other, so we’re in shutdown mode. Our town is on the brink of an important mayoral election. Our church is in transition. Our home is in constant transition. And through it all I can’t help but think some really great things are ahead for each of those worlds. There is a freedom that comes with letting go of the world’s superstitions and seeing yourself in a story that is bigger and more powerful than you could imagine. Taking those setbacks, those “unlucky” situations and being stronger than the world expects you to be. I have found that in my life, when I’ve been the most broken, is when I’ve been the most reliant on Christ. And He is far more dependable than any person- or any rabbit’s foot for that matter.

Rainy Days and Thursdays

Is that thunder I hear? No. Just my daughter rocking her crib against the wall in such a manner that I think the second floor is going to come crashing down on my head. She’s almost ready for a big girl bed, so we are waiting out the “unsafe” old wooden crib that was new in 1984, and I slept in it, both my sisters, the kids my mom baby sat for, Miles, the little girl I babysat for, now Clementine. So, it’s been through the ringer. But the price was right so it is ours!

I have to share a controversial story with you and of all days it happened on the anniversary of 9/11.

Yesterday morning I rounded the kids up plus one (Clem’s birthday twin happened to be with us for the morning) to get Miles off to preschool. Always the slow-poke, I said I was getting the babies in the car, so to get his shoes on and grab his backpack and come on out when he was done.

Babies all strapped in: check! Miles comes running out, velcro straps almost tightly in place and hops in the van (yes, we traded our Edge for a van) with is backpack. I had checked it the night before and took out his papers and confirmed there were still extra socks, underwear and a somewhat matching outfit inside.
I dropped him off and in he went, saying very little like most days I drop him off and pick him up! It’s always, “MOM. I can’t tell you about school, it’s a secret.” or “MOM. I’m tired of talking, I need a break from talking. You ask me a million questions!” To which I say, “Ah, how the tables have turned.” or “MOM, I will tell you about it 4 weeks. It hasn’t been 4 weeks yet.” Okay.

I get home and the babies, who aren’t so much babies anymore, play, snack, poop, learn the art of sharing and soon enough it’s time to pick up the big kid. No problems, he gets in, backpack and all, we drive off. I may or may not have driven slower than usual because, let’s face it, having three kids who are strapped in and can’t move are kids that I don’t have to chase.

We make our way inside the house and shoes come off, and I zip open my son’s back pack. Eyes widen. “MILES!” “What?” “You CAN NOT pack your toy gun and take it to school with you!” I was mortified. His cowboy gun sling was empty and the plastic toy had made it’s way into his backpack while he was “putting his shoes” on and I was buckling in the little ones. He had also decided to show and tell his mini Etch-a-sketch, a toy tractor and a lint roller, but I was mainly concerned about the gun.

Now, it is sad that we have to worry about things like this now. But it’s the age we live in! I was surprised no teacher said something to me when I picked him up. Thank you, teachers, for giving me the benefit of the doubt! I did write a note for today explaining that I did NOT let him take the toys to school and that we had a talk about what’s appropriate to take to show and tell. He’s 4. He’s a sweet, innocent kid who sometimes likes to play with the toy gun that was a gift from someone to “shoot the aliens”. It just makes me sick that as parents we have to think about so much danger that is out there and what could be perceived as a threat. In some schools, Miles may have gotten kicked out for that. What a shame. Thank you, Miles’  preschool for being a good judge of what is danger, and what is not. Oy vey. MILES!!!!

Protecting his sister from the "awee-ins".

Protecting his sister from the “awee-ins”.

16 Things I’ve Learned

Do you ever find yourself still doing things you learned as a kid? Habits you can’t break or memories of first lessons learned? I don’t know why but some of these I think about every now and then- especially if it’s some routine thing that I do every day. And probably weirdest of all is that I remember exactly where I was and who taught these things to me. Here are some special ones:

  1. I learned to add ice to my milk In elementary school from Tabitha Ravine.
  2. I learned to put an extra or partially used tissue up my sleeve if I didn’t have a pocket from my mom.
  3. I learned that other people can hear you when you hum. Here, I thought I was the only one enjoying that humming of a tune in the circle I sat in during Mrs. Zimmerman’s kindergarten class.
  4. I learned to brush my tongue when brushing my teeth from the Rosie O’Donnell show.
  5. I learned to gently pull the loose hairs from my eyebrows to – I forget what word she used- thin them out from my Government teacher :)
  6. I learned to clean my contacts on the back of my hand at Camp Bethany from Carly Cronin.
  7. I learned that my fingers are doubled jointed from doing weird finger tricks with my childhood babysitter Angie.
  8. I think I taught myself to make 5 waves in my tongue.  I don’t think anyone else was a part of that nonsense.
  9. I learned how to wiggle my nostrils from my dad.
  10. I learned how to cross my eyes in weird ways from my dad.
  11. I learned how to wiggle my ears from my Uncle Frank. That’s cause I couldn’t jiggle my eyeballs like he could his. Ears were easier.
  12. I tried to learn how to wiggle my nose like Samantha from Bewitched, but nostril flexing was the best I could do.
  13. I learned to take bites from this and that on my plate and not to eat one thing at time so I can enjoy all of it while it’s still warm from my Great Grandma Bowers.
  14. I learned to cup my hand to my mouth and say “Girl girl girl girl” really fast over and over to have a really strange noise be made from Katie Frey.
  15. I learned the “f” word from my childhood neighbor Tasha across the street and asked my mom what it meant. I was promptly sent to my room, Tasha’s mom was promptly called, and the Tasha didn’t speak to me for a month.
  16. I learned that stomping on a boy’s foot for cutting in line will send you and that boy (Kyle Krisco) right to the chalkboard for recess in Mrs.Halterman’s first grade class. With violence, nobody’s a winner.

Back to School For the Boys

When ever I hear the phrase “Back to School” I think of two things.

1.) Adam Sandler singing “Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I’m not a fool, back…to…schooooollll….” and 2.) School supplies: Wonderfully blank notebooks, Lisa Frank folders, the smell of a new box of crayons and concerningly sharp No. 2 pencils.

This fall I get to send two boys off to school. One to get his pre-school degree and one for his doctorate. Yes, my babies are growing up. We got Jason some new shoes, new corduroys for when the weather turns chilly and some safety scissors. I reminded him to share the healthy food in his packed lunches, and not to sniff the Elmer’s glue or chew on the erasers I got him to put in his Jurassic Park back pack and matching plastic pencil box. Sigh. They grow up so fast.

Oh, but Miles, yes, the four year old- he will be going three days a week for a few hours in the morning each week to pre-school. I think Kindergarten will be tough for me, but I’m okay with pre-school. He needs another outlet besides me to ask questions to, get lots of attention and burn some energy. I’m excited for him!

Jason is, in fact, starting school again this fall. In Ashland. At the Seminary. Decided to still pursue the Doctorate, it will just be the DMin-kind. What’s great about it? Everything. Well, with Jason’s new job it is the best fit to aid him in what he’s doing there and it’s mostly reading/writing/research from home. He has a full ride scholarship. We don’t have to move. We get to defer his under-grad loans. I think it’s safe to say this fall marks the start of a new phase in Barnhart-land. The two year waiting period has strengthened us on many levels and the timing for much of what is going on in our lives now is perfect. Praise the Lord! On top of that we were finally able to refinance our house after almost two years of asking about it. I have had some solid design work come my way. Since we aren’t moving, we worked early and hard on our yard and porch this spring. It has made a huge difference because we have already enjoyed the fruit of that labor countless times and being outside more has been spirit-lifting. Again, we praise the Lord!

ASYCcollage copyThe summer has been busy with reunions for the children’s chorus I was in for 8 years, the Ashland Symphonic Youth Chorus and a reunion for my dad’s 1980′s cover band, CenterLine in which I got to play the keyboards with them for the performance and benefit at Mitchell’s Orchard for the Wounded Warriors Project. Two very different genres of music, but both so much fun and reminded me of my great love for music. I am so thankful that I was exposed to so much different music growing up. Both reunions seriously filled me with so much joy; I loved every minute of those events. centerlinecollage2 centerlinecollage

As summer comes to a close, I hope everyone had an enjoyable one and I hope you are getting ready for our long Ohio hibernation. I’m one of those weird people that actually don’t mind Ohio winters. Makes me appreciate the 2 week spring we have, summer and you know that 2 week period of colorful leaves we get called “Fall” so much more!

Waiting With Kandinsky, cont.

Continued from here.

“It’s Melissa at the Cleveland Clinic. It’s working! How far are you, can you turn around and come back?!”

“Um, ” I look at Jason who seems to know what’s going on and nods “Yes- I’ll be there. Thank you.”

So turning around we went. This time Mr.Freeman just dropped Miss Ali off at the door and told me to text him when I was done. I pushed my way through the revolving door and up the elevator to the 3rd floor and into the Dermatology/Plastic Surgery area like I owned the place. The ladies up front let the nurses know I was back and I walked over to the wall of windows that framed a really nasty looking sky. A TV nearby showed what we were in for. “Allison?” I was back in the sterile Kandisky room, my plastic water cup still there and still empty where I left it.

“I called the machine service company and talked to someone, hung up and tried the machine again- and it all turned on!” God must have heard my cry. and wanted me to un-invite myself to the pity party I was throwing. They even gave me a fake boob to hold. They have those there. It worked better than digging my nails into my palms/ The laser wasn’t bad. Little pin pricks- stinging but the injection was so much worse. I guess it was slightly less painful because the medicine had lidocaine in it and had numbed the area slightly. Then it was over. Now, a successful treatment had finished up. It had been an emotionally draining time but now I could look forward to the coffee that was still hot in the car waiting for me. People were staring out the wall o’ windows- signs were bending and trees were in distress.

I rushed to the elevators, not wanting to get stuck in the building with my husband out in our car if a tornado were to form. Of course it slows down for the 2nd floor, a lady gets on. Door takes forever to shut. Down we go again. I let her go first, then rush around the congregation of elderly people basically blocking the exit. I hop in the revolving door with a man and suddenly comes to a halt. Leaving about a foot and a half of space to the outside only. I didn’t want to be stuck in there that’s for sure so I’m thankful for that gap! We both got out quickly and I ran to the car, wind whipping my hair around my face and still blowing metal signs till they creaked and scraped.

We drove through all the wind and the rain, hearing the updates on the radio and seeing the Facebook updates on my phone. Then I had to go to the bathroom. I mean I downed my coffee and had drank water in the clinic- and rivers a plenty were flowing all around me. Waterfalls. Rain. Drip drop showers. All the things you try to avoid hearing and seeing when you have to pee. Then we get stuck behind traffic waiting on a train to pass. Great. So now my bladder is going to burst during a huge thunderstorm, and there is a train making train noises in a tornado watch area. How am I supposed to know if that sound is just the train or not!? Back to my conundrum. It was too awful outside to stop anywhere, so I got an idea. I spy an empty coffee cup.

Nooo.

Yup.

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Feeling much relief, I was just thankful we made it back to the kids in one piece who were also in one piece. Just asking a lot more questions about tornados than usual. And the small rivers flowing in our basement didn’t bother me as much after seeing the whole moats surrounding houses and fields of blown over and drowned crops as we made our way through southern Medina County. What better way to end the day than packing everyone up and eating at Pizza Hut. Then going to bed at 8- everyone. Then I couldn’t sleep so I came down here, ate an ice cream cone, watched The Wonder Years and typed up this little gem. I hope you enjoyed the all-too-detailed, not-that-exciting account of the first day of what I hope to be a journey of healing this scar that’s caused me a lot of grief.

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