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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hard to find the words

Sometimes I fall off the blogging wagon and struggle to get back on.

There have been a lot of things going on lately, and yet... not much to write about. Or, not much I can adequately put to words. Maybe a good way to do it is go through the recent cell phone photos and tell you the stories behind them?

Lets start with this one: of my mom's birthday dinner at my grandparents house.
It's a blurry cell phone picture. If I could set up this picture again, I'd have a nice DSLR camera, with a timer on it. I'd put the camera on a shelf facing the dinner table, set the shutter on continuous mode, and the camera would capture images of the lit candles, the smile on my mom's face, and my grandparents singing "Happy Birthday" to her as she blew the candles out. Somehow the camera would capture the sound of my Grandma's light (alto? soprano?) and my Grandpa's deep baritone.

The camera would not remember the shit storm of an argument Gretchen and I walked in to that Sunday afternoon, as we came over to make a Sunday birthday dinner for my mom. I think all families have this argument at some point; failing health, elderly grandparents, working adult children, lack of in-home care in rural America, the difficult decisions that must be made. What we don't talk about is the fear of losing the ones we love, losing the traditions and memories and institutional family knowledge that comes with their impending death.

It is hard.

I was in eastern Washington that weekend, over Veteran's Day, to visit my sister for "Dad's weekend" at Washington State. Since dad was a little busy playing at Sacramento, I was the stand-in. We ended up down on the field before the game, due to Gretch's participation in a student booster group. My mom was in the area too, so we were able to snag tickets from a friend on the WSU coaching staff and all sit together for the game. In a snowstorm that looked like this:
Pretty epic. The best part was the come-from-behind victory.

And... less than a month later, 'Cougar football has reminded me why sometimes college football can be cruel. You see, the 'Cougs head coach used to work for my dad. He stayed on at Eastern Washington University when my dad left for MSU. After his first wife died of a brain tumor, he remarried and now has a son and a stepdaughter. In 2007 WSU fired their football coach (whose wife, ironically, had died of ovarian cancer the year before) and our friend was hired at his alma mater and where he played, WSU. Four years later, and about 3.5 weeks after this picture, Paul was fired from WSU.

I think I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when it comes to people we know being fired. Seriously, all last week I was weepy and had a chest ache every time I think about it. It makes me sick.

And so, it seems the only thing to do is come home and cuddle this furball, who never fails to make me laugh:

(Don't fear, she punished me for this indignity by eating one of the glass ball ornaments the next day). 

At least the doggie knows how to hang out and roll with the punches.

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