Saturday, December 31, 2022

The Saddest Days...

The saddest days are when the sunshine disappears. Amanda was the sunshine. Always smiling, always encouraging, always loving. I don't understand why the brightest stars are so often snuffed out early.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Jen's Choice

Goodwill wasn't part of my plan this morning but a small voice in the back of my mind urged me inside. I wandered aisles of castoff possessions wondering what treasure I might stumble upon. I don’t need more coffee mugs but I always look anyway, just in case, you know?
I scanned the shelf of mass produced mugs and picked up one with Disney character. It felt cheap and misshapen. My eyes fell upon a an obviously handmade cup, but it was clunky and uncomfortable. Then I saw her and knew right away that she was different. She is signed by the artist and even has a name. How sweet is that?
In November I signed up for an advanced wheel pottery class. It doesn’t start until mid January, but I’m just not there yet even though I’ve had my hands in the mud for years. I called and canceled last Friday. What I need is an intermediate wheel thrown class instead, and maybe that will happen in the next year, but the cup I bought today isn’t wheel thrown. 
On Friday nights my cousins and I do pottery together. Julie's husband has affectionately dubbed us "The Man Haters." We recently acquired a second hand electric slab roller from a retiring potter. Perhaps Jen's Choice, the cup I rescued from Goodwill, will be my inspiration to once again build some slab pottery. She’s so very beautiful. I really did find a treasure today.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

The Merry-Go-Round Goes Round and Round

I arrived home from my Florida vacation on an emotional high. I'd reconnected with my family, loved on my grandkids, soaked in the sunshine and warm weather, and allowed my mind and body to rest. I had the privilege of catching up with a friend who the twelve year old me never got to bid goodbye. I didn't have any trouble getting through security on my way home this time (I steered clear of oils and lotions just in case...)  and felt ready to return to work.

By Sunday evening I was not quite as ready to resume my duties in the Infant Room as I had been a few day prior (ha ha). In spite of myself, I arrived at the daycare bright and early Monday morning (although it was still dark). The morning did not go well and on Facebook I posted "It was a little bit like the morning from hell but, hey, thanks for asking." It's not trying to keep up with 7 or 8 little ones until 9 am that is the difficulty (Yes, I do have a second person when we get over four babies) but listening to the angry cry when I am already doing everything I can to take care of their needs. I was entirely relieved when the other four went to their own room and I was able to get my four down for a nap. One small child, who is extremely big, was very unhappy. Our other baby teacher, in desperation, tossed a blanket from his car seat into my room and he magically turned happier. By Tuesday afternoon he came down with a fever and it was discovered he had a double ear infection. (Always remember they're trying to communicate something.) 

I probably don't need to tell you that I crashed before the week was half over. The Christmas season is an emotional roller coaster for so many reasons and I had a few moments early in the week where I was once again overcome. One of my own kids was having an emotional struggle as well and shared a vulnerable moment in a Facebook post. I could relate and replied,  

"If I am totally honest, I feel a lot of the same, and this time of year brings it out like no other. I feel like I’m going nowhere and there’s nowhere to go. A piece of me knows it’s a temporary feeling because I’ve ridden this merry-go-round long enough to know that the high I felt last week will eventually return, and the low of this week won’t last forever. Each one, the highs and the lows, give me insight and a slightly different perspective than I might have had previous. Although my understanding of God has changed (may He reel me back in too) I know He hasn’t abandoned me."

Somewhere along the way the despair I'd felt earlier in the week dissipated and a semblance of normalcy returned. In between I took a vicarious journey with my friend Marty down the Intracoastal Waterway from somewhere in Maryland on Wednesday to Little River, South Carolina on Friday. There was some rough weather on Thursday when the storm blew through, some good looking food (I had to eat vicariously too), a beautiful sunrise and a safe end to the trip. I told Marty thanks for taking me along (on Facebook) as he moved someone's boat down the coast to warmer waters. Vicarious is good for me. I get seasick. Ha ha! Although I'm still looking forward to an actual boat ride someday.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

The Last Night

It's my last night here in Florida. We've had a good week and I've soaked up all the warm weather and sunshine I possibly could. Today Jim and I took a ride to Blue Springs where we did not find any manatees (no surprise) and then met my old friend Marty and his wife at the Swamp House Restaurant by the St John's River. It had been 46 years since Marty and I last saw each other. It was a nice reunion and I will return home smiling.

Monday, December 05, 2022

Florida Take 2

This is my second trip to Florida. It's not the second time I've been here, but the second trip to visit my Florida family here. We did some traveling yesterday.

We went to the "beach" by way of a little park called Castaway in Palm Bay. It's on the ocean, but with a barrier island in between. We had a picnic, took some pictures, and played a little bit. I put my foot in the water and found it surprisingly cold. This was not a swimming beach, maybe more like a great place to fish. Palm Beach was the destination for more than the little park by the water. Our friend Dan has a sister who lives there. We stopped to visit Kate and Josh for a little while before heading back. 

After it got dark out we went to the zoo where there is a fabulous Chinese lantern display. So cool!

Thursday, December 01, 2022

The Time Has Come

Actually, the time is tomorrow, which means I more than likely won't be sitting down to write anything, and that is why the time has come. It all makes sense. Really. It does. Tomorrow evening I'm flying to Florida to visit my former "Minnesota Family." They've been in Florida for a little over a year now, so I guess it's safe to call them my "Florida Family" now. 

I've worked a few extra hours this week. It will be nice to see a bigger paycheck at the end of next week, unless I get sent home early tomorrow afternoon, which is entirely possible. Did I mention how I have a love/hate relationship with my job? I love the babies and they are hard work. I am attached again and dreading the day when I have to let this bunch go. I'm still tossing alternative job possibilities about in my mind... Ugh. Why does it have to be so hard? I can't do this job without putting my whole heart into it...

I made a simple phone call today and changed my primary care doctor. I was booted from the last one because I hadn't been therein three years. The office was not convenient to my home or work. I visited Urgent Care once or twice for a test this past year but have otherwise not been in need of a physician. So anyway, I called the office close to home and asked to be added as a patient there. If my shoulder is still hurting when I come home from Florida, perhaps I will pay them a visit.

I signed up for another pottery class. I should probably have my head examined!