Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Snow on Snow on Snow

Back in Boston now.

Went to temple this morning for the last session of the year. It was lovely, peaceful, hopeful.

Until I got outside.

When I drove to the temple there was the littlest bittiest layer of snow on the ground--powdery and kind.

When I came out after the session it was inches thick, blowing and angry. I cleaned off my car and by the time I was done, it was snowed and icy again. I drove home, saying prayers in my head, hunched over, trying not to spin. At one point I got cut off by a snow plow, and honked my wimpy little Corolla horn. At another point I cut off an ambulance (the lights/sirens weren't on or anything), which, yeah, is really smart. The ambulance horn is not wussy: it's a growling roar.

I'm still getting used to this driving in the snow thing. Before we left for Christmas, we hadn't had ANY, aside from a gentle fluttering one Sunday, and a nonthreatening slush the day we left. And now, this nonsense.

But I made it! Here I am, home and cozy on my couch. Or as cozy as I can be, when our house is a house of non-insulated coldness.

Sam just called to tell me he was coming home, but instead told me he got in an accident. I gasped and felt my heart burst into top speed. Then he said he was calling from beyond the grave, as in, like, a joke. Isn't that SOOOO funny?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Personal Ad

I've had this raging cold for several weeks now, and my mom suggested, as a joke, that I might be allergic to cats. We have three, you know.

So I asked Sam, "What would you do if it turned out I was allergic to kitties?"

The man said, "We'd just take out a personal ad: 'Well-behaved Mormon Female to good home. Friendly disposition. Toilet trained. Likes pillows and cupcakes.'"

He likes the cats.

Anyway, no more school. Big sigh.

We're under the Tucson sun, visiting Sam's family. Went shopping with his mama, had a fancy dinner with the whole crew. The first grandbaby is about to make its debut in the world. Any hour now. We watched Emily's belly at dinner, saw the little feet kick it out.

Back in Boston it's 16 degrees. My school campus is closed because of the millions of feet of snow on the ground. And we are here in shirtsleeves. The sky is very big.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Tiny Miracle.

I feel like I'm always writing on here when I'm sad, but whatever. I write when I'm happy, too. And today I feel happy. Sam is napping, so I've had the house to myself. I've made healthy-ish brownies, listened to the Speaking of Faith podcast, straightened the house. Maybe some will judge me for straightening my house on Sunday, but I feel like it's been a physical manifestion of a much-needed spiritual straightening. So at least my rationalization is fancy and metaphorical.

I've been thinking I need to write down my little miracles, my humble gratitudes, etc. So here I am.

Yesterday I was sad. More than sad. I've had my bummer teaching days, but this was more like the heavy, aching depression that I experienced last year, and have been fighting off for months. I don't know how to describe it if you haven't felt it. Nothing was wrong: Sam and I went to an incredible performance in Cambridge (see other blog), we had a ward Christmas brunch, the kitties were cute and our house is cozy and the semester is ending and we love each other. And yet, sad. It's like being tired, but through every bit of you--like every cell, every atom of you is lifeless, weighed down, slow. It's awful. Really really awful.

So I went to bed at 5:30pm. I woke up a few times, once to eat, a few times to sit quietly with Sam while he worked on his computer. But mostly I slept. And every time I woke up, I would think of having to go to church today, and feel incapable of going. Not like being there would be a problem, but getting there would be impossible. I couldn't imagine doing the simplest tasks: put on my shoes, brush my teeth, feed myself breakfast, drive there. I always go to church. It fills me up for the next week. I know I need it, even if I don't want to get there. But I really didn't think I was going to make it. Thinking if I'd ever been ill, I was ill yesterday, I had pretty much decided to stay home.

I woke up this morning with plenty of time to get ready, but I still felt rotten, so I went back to bed. And I prayed this little prayer, my head still on the pillow, that if He wanted me there, He would get me out of bed somehow. I'll be honest: I didn't think He could do it. But sure enough, at 8:06, at nearly the last moment I could wake up to make it on time for the sacrament, my phone rang. Half asleep, I was sure God himself was calling me. And He sort of was, because it was my miracle: my visiting teach-ee, who doesn't own a car, had overslept. It takes her an hour to get to church by train, and she wouldn't have made it unless I got up right then, threw my clothes on, and gave her a ride.

She's never called me before for a ride, although I've offered. She's this totally with-it sort of law student, so it's not like she's a chronic over-sleeper. Of all days, of all things, of all moments.

He loves me. I remember. And I need church. I remember.

Nothing amazing happened in my meetings. I was just there, where I needed to be. There was this moment during Sunday School, where I looked around and saw all of these lovely people bending over their scriptures, their hands raising with insights and thoughts and spirit. And I thought, that's all I'm here for, to participate, to take part. It was enough to renew me, at least for now. What a blessing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's the Alpaca Lips!


Sam just shouted, "Ahhh!! It's the apocalypse!"
I don't know why. He does stuff like this when we're out of cat food or when he addresses a submission wrong or when he can't find his keys. It keeps life interesting.

Anyway, I heard it was the alpacalips. So here's an alpaca. And it's lips. Take cover.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Happier Story.

Weird weather in Boston today: rainy/windy, but a balmy 60 degrees. Word is a bad storm is on its way, but I don't care. I'm happy to not be so bundled. I wore the skirt I wore when we took engagement photos, and didn't even bring my coat.

So, but, rain. I was making myself breakfast when Sam left, sans an umbrella. Feeling wifey, I ran out the front door to meet as he pulled out, carrying his umbrella like a torch. He called me an angel, kissed my forehead and drove off.

Then I locked myself out of the house. We have two doors--the outside one's always unlocked, the inside one's always locked. When I opened the outside one, it made the inside one slam shut, and lock. Whoops. There I was, outside, in a misty rain, without a cell phone or any means of entry. I spent several panicky moments on the porch, combing through a visual catalog of all of our windows and doors, to no avail. I was scheduled to teach in about an hour, and we live 45 minutes away, and I was stuck.

Crisis averted: I remembered the stoplight down the street takes 47,000 years to get through at that time of morning, so I took off running. I was in tall brown boots and my flowy engagement-picture skirt, running down our street as fast as I could go. Darn, that felt good. I used to run an hour a day, but it's been a long time since I felt up to doing that. But this morning, in the balmy rain, with the clock at my heels, and the light changing, I ran like wind. Spotting Sam's green car ahead, I darted across the street, weaved between a few cars, and knocked on his window. The man was surprised, but kind, and I perched on top of the mound of papers in the passenger seat while he made an illegal u-turn, and delivered me home safe.

I don't know if it was the brisk jog that spurred my endorphins, but I had a miraculous day today. No crying on the way home for me. My students were sweet, the teaching was fun and brilliant, and all felt right with the world. Thank goodness that sometimes, after slumps, we have good days.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Bad, Folks.

Driving home from work. Another really rough day. And yes, yes I was weeping.

I adjusted my rearview mirror, and thought, "Self, it seems like we adjust this mirror a lot."

I figured it out: I do adjust that mirror a lot. When I drive home from work, I'm so physically/emotionally drained that I slump in my seat. I slump so deep that I have to adjust the mirror down to see out the back window. In the morning I adjust it back up. Rinse and repeat.

That's bad, is it not?

But the husband made chili for me (nice meal when it's EIGHT degrees outside.) and patted my hand and held me while I wept in our kitchen, my feet feeling icy on our cold tile floor.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Doesn't Matter

Right now I'm sitting cross-legged on my bed, and the cat named Meatsock has all four paws balanced on my knee like a mountain goat. Good kitty.

It doesn't matter really, but this has been a rude week. I got a cold AGAIN, which doubles the fun of any given venture. I tried to have an event at school, and the dude that was presenting was forty-five minutes late, then the sound wouldn't work, then most of the students left, then I realized I forgot to arrange to PAY the man, and someone in charge of me clucked their tongue at my incompetence.

That evening, I was supposed to go to this Relief Society Wreath Making activity because I was sort of in charge, and I went and sang in the program, and when everyone else wept a little at the moving Christmas music, I sobbed. I couldn't stop crying. I snuck out before the wreath making or the real socializing. At this rate, I'm going to have so many friends.

I also listened to a book on CD about budgeting (Dave Ramsey) which caused me to figure out how much debt we have (remember how we both have Phds?--ouchie) and try to work out a budget for next semester (triple ouchie). This, budget-thinking, is not a thing I recommend when you're already having a rude week.

So now I'm trying to convince myself to grade twenty research papers, which may be possible because it reminds me that next week is the LAST WEEK of the semester. Sigh. I doubt I've ever been so happy to reach it.