Monday, January 18, 2010

In Between

The season of Inbetween has arrived. For the month of January I have been in between Florida and Tennessee. I have been in between the Fall, J-term and Spring term. I kind of like in between. The motion of it suits me. Back and forth, up and down like I am being rocked in a cosmic rocking chair. OK, sounds good, but I am only trying to fool myself. I like a schedule, OK I like being entirely in control of my schedule and keeping it simple. Once school starts February 8th I will be on a schedule again. I love school. I even loved my intensive course on Law and Ethics. It was Law and Ethics for licensed mental health counselors. I wonder if loving a law and ethics class has a mental health diagnosis?

We are all in an in between time in a way. We are between life and death. No matter who you are the moment you are born the count down to heaven begins and you live between life and death. I find this so weird because we ignore this undeniable fact in the choices we make every moment of every day.

The moment David found out he had the worst cancer possible our lives changed. What had seemed huge became minucia and the menucia became huge. It is a different way to live.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I do not like the cold. I distinctly remember (almost impossible for an ADHD person like me so it must have been big) watching the weather from my childhood home in Tulsa Oklahoma. The weather man was going on and on about how the cold and ice would be around for several more days. I asked my mom or dad (can't remember which) "Why does the weather man always stand in front Florida (OK I really said to the far right of the map. I was terrible at geography) when he is doing his report?" My dad said, (the answer sounds like him now that I think about it) "Because if everyone realized how warm and sunny it is year round in Florida, everyone would move there." Even at the tender age of really young I remember thinking "That is where I want to live."

Growing up I hated "car coats (short heavy jackets with a cumbersome hood)", stirrup pants (required if you were wearing boots), rubber boots ( mine were the most disgusting shade of brown ever. My mom bought them 2 sizes too big so the humiliation would last more than one winter), knit hats, and my all time least favorite - idiot mittens. You know the kind; the mittens with a string connecting both mittens so you don't loose one. I had never heard them referred to as idiot mittens until I heard a Bill Cosby comedy album recording (geeze that dates me) entitled "Why is there air?" Cosby describes idiot mittens as the kind where if someone comes up and pulls your left mitten real hard, your forced to sock yourself in the face with the right. Anyway, you have to put the mittens on first to make the whole equation work. Starting with mittens does not work. Without fingers, you can't zip anything, you can't pull on your boots (they are made entirely of plastic and mittens slip on plastic and you can't latch the little loopy, tightening, button thingy with no fingers), pulling a knit hat on with mittens on your hands causes static electricity in your hair (poof, hair clinging to your face and reaching up towards the top of the hat), and of course there is the inevitable problem that the minute you get everything on you then need to pee. I won't go into the details of mittens and uuummm toilet paper issues. Oh my gosh! I just had a flash back to the most horrible and funny childhood memory! This may be TMI for some people. OK, at the home where I grew up we had an electric heater. It was built into the bathroom wall - really! On cold nights my mom would turn the heater on just before I got out of the bathtub. That thing could cook the entire bathroom in about 5 minutes, so timing was imperative. One cold night I jumped out of the tub, ran dripping wet to stand in front of the heater, lost my balance and backed up into it bare butt'ed. It had a metal grill-like front cover. It had been on at least five minutes. I "ended up" with a grill like pattern burned on my back end. I slept on my stomach for two weeks. Ouch, that was miserable. I hated that heater after that. Back to the mittens. Oh forget the mittens, the point is I hate everything related to winter or being cold. Now that I think about it, maybe the third degree burn stripe scares on my ... are at the root of my problem with winter. Ha, winter was literally a pain in the ...

So, fast forward 40 something years. I am triumphantly sitting in my room in Florida. A childhood dream come true. Except I have on three layers of clothes, long sock, house shoes and I am huddled under three blankets because it is 37 degrees with a predicted low of 27 tonight. I'm watching the weather tonight to see where the weather man is standing now!
PS: Don't worry about me. The hot flashes in the middle of the night are like a short vacation to something akin to a Tropical Rain forest with temperatures to rival the Sahara desert. Toasty and wet.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I spent New Years eve in a place I had never been before. Now that I type that I realize it has more than one meaning. I spent New Years eve in a suburb of Atlanta Georgia with Dale's girlfriend's family the Sisco's. I wanted to be someplace unfamiliar. Strange, when is the last time you wanted to be someplace unfamiliar? I was avoiding the memories, afraid of the memories actually. Memories are still so raw and painful despite my best efforts to either re frame them or just let them wash over me rather than fight or suppress them. As I already knew, you can't hide from grief, it is a companion. I do not remember anything about New Years eve last year, except that I knew it would be my last with David. My last New Years kiss with the one I thought I would spend forever with.

Instead, I watched my son have his first New Years kiss with the one I think he will spend the rest of his life with. I spent New Years knowing Penelope Drew Lipscomb was welcoming in her first new year. I spent New Years knowing DJ rang in a new year as a dad and Amanda as a mom. I was in a place I had never been before.

When I went to bed on New Years eve I thought about all the amazing blessings God had provided in 2009. I silently wondered if because I had, in my opinion, received more than my fair share of blessings in 2009 that his blessings would end as 2010 began. I am so thankful for all God did that I was content with the abundance I had already experienced.

I woke up on January 1 and welcomed in the first day of 2010 with a slice of spinach quiche. The evening before a friend of Sisco's had dropped off the quiche. I love spinach quiche, but never make it since I am the only one in my family that likes it (which of course now that I said that one of my sons will adamantly deny). I consider spinach quiche a personal treat! A blessing. Then I wondered, are there really more blessings or has something changed in me that just helps me recognize and claim blessings in a way that I did not before? Who cares! I got spinach quiche and I am counting it as the first blessing of the new year!