Swing Your Partner

So, what would YOU do if you saw this dog running toward your full sprint?  (This isn’t the actual dog, but it’s a picture that looks most like the perp.)  Lucy, my little lovely yippy doggie partner, was attempting to take care of her business in the front yard.  I looked up and this huge dog was running full speed toward us.  I yelled, “Stop” or “Back off!” to no avail.  In the two seconds I had to decide what to do, I didn’t have time to pick up my little Lucy before she was gobbled or mangled (mind you I knew nothing about the dog running full speed toward us).  I went into FULL PROTECTION MODE.  This is what it looks like:  Swing your partner round and round.  I couldn’t lift her fast enough, so I did what any normal person would do, I started swinging her by her leash in circles to keep her away from the perp.  (Big dog perp thoughts: Oh boy oh boy, I like this game! I like this game.  Swinging doggie.  Yum.)  As I’m swinging Lucy, she is screaming, and at 7 pm, her shrill scared bark screams proceed to bring out 7 of our neighbors. (Mind you, my whole family was home and they didn’t come out because they’re used to her murderous barking.)

You want to know what happens, right?

As I’m swinging her in slow motion, the neighbor across the street comes running.  Then the owner from 3 houses down across the street comes running to call her dog. I manage to grab Lucy from her swinging position and hold her.  Nervously shaking her head and body with terrified energy, she’s screaming from the rooftops that she felt totally violated and her owner should not have been swinging her like that.  How rude.  Neighbors come out to console Lucy.  The perp goes back home.  The neighbor comes to apologize.  I’m gracious and shaking.  Fortunately, the perp was a big ass teddy bear, but I didn’t know.

Moral of the story:  Be prepared to swing your partner round and round.  This is my public service announcement.

I would have loved to have video footage of this scene.  If you don’t know this about me, I have a terrible habit of laughing at inappropriate times. So once I got to the porch with Lucy, I started giggling, thinking, the neighbors just saw an amazing show, whilst playing the event over and over in my head.

Another observation:  I have really amazing neighbors.  They are caring, helpful, and compassionate.  Obviously, if I had an emergency, all I’d have to do is scream and the village would come to the rescue.  This is a test.  This is only a test of the emergency broadcast system.

Ladies and gentlemen, whatever situation life throws at you today, may you have the strength to swing your partner, round and round.  Square dancing is a thing.  It’s a pretty good metaphor for life.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–Gastric Bypass Update:

Still walking.

Still eating.

Still maintaining.




Courage, Computers, and that other C- word

It’s been a while…I miss you, friends.

Amidst Back-to-School nights, supply and clothes shopping, guitar lessons, laundry, cute kitty & puppers videos, attempting to make healthier dinners, reminding the kids to drink water, the deaths of McCain and Aretha, monitoring class assignments for Boy, Middle, and Little, intervening in arguments between those three, scheduling appointments, paying bills, and remembering to take my vitamins, life brings a dose of “here’s what’s most important” and you have to swallow whether you want to or not.

The 2017-18 school year was my first full-time working year since my Boy was born, 15 years ago.  (He’d like you all to know that he’s now 16 and we have scheduled THE appointment: driver’s license appointment.)  This new school year, 2018-19 has been wrought with opportunities to push my courage button in the face of hardship and inconvenience.

The Saturday before the school year, my dear colleagues and I attended the funeral of two students that died tragically over the summer.  Heartbreaking.  Incomprehensible.  The other three siblings are back at school and we are rallying to keep life as normal as possible for them. I want to say so much more about this, but to keep the privacy of this family intact, I cannot.

We hit the pavement of the 2018-19 school year ground running.  Fast-paced.  Problems as usual.  Technology problems. Questions, about the tech problems.  More questions about technology problems. Yes, I’m a teacher, but when you’re at a school with over 700 devices, and you are the one that knows just a smidgin’ more than the others, you tend to be the troubleshooter.  So the past weeks, we’ve been trying to get all our silly unresponsive bratty computers to do what they’re supposed to do…WORK!  If the computers were teenagers, it would make so much more sense.  They’ve been acting like teenagers— rebellious, talking back, diggin’ their heels in, wanting their own way.  I attempted to show them who the parent was. Most of our computers are now in working order.  Now we can finish the task of all our beginning-of-year assessments and hopefully, all those computers will submit to authority and continue to work properly.

This is the reason I woke up this morning with a-hankerin’ to write…the C-word. I don’t even want to say it. This week, I found out a dear friend has an aggressive form of breast cancer.  I want to cuss.  If you knew this person, you’d know she’s had her share of hardships, raising 8 boys, overcoming her own drug addiction, dealing with multiple tragedies in her family.  Why God? Why?  I’m still at the anger phase in the grieving process.  I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it.  She’s got the most positive attitude of just about anyone on Earth, and now this?   It really is unbelievable.

And then I get all… reflective, consumed with my own mortality, wondering what the point of all of this is.  There’s an ongoing theme in my life, and I’m sure you can relate.  There are many shit sandwiches.  I’m going to have courage in the face of this. I’m going to sit in the shit with the people I love.  It’s not fun or easy, but it’s necessary.

Love the ones you’re with.  Hold them up in prayer.  You may be all they’ve got.


Gastric Bypass Update:

I’m at 2 1/2 years post surgery. I’m maintaining.  I’d like to lose 10 more pounds, but most people do, right?