Monday, January 18, 2016


It's an insidious beast.
I realized this morning that it's crept back into my life, hiding just beneath my awareness.
I've known that I'm restless, unable to really settle into my new job, but haven't been aware of why - or really tried to figure it out.

Facebook (of all things!) woke up my awareness - showing me my memories and a picture of the cat I rescued just before I had my cancer surgery. (I wrote about Dexter back then. (Free To A Good Home) I couldn't keep him because I didn't know what was coming up, but I found him a good home. Dexter recovered completely from his trials and lived a life of luxury for four years - but died of cancer just before Christmas last month.  sadness.)

As I looked at the picture of the kitten, I was transported back to the uncertain days just before surgery, when fears loomed large and there was no quieting them. Days when I moved ahead only because the noises of motion helped to drown out the voices of doom.

And I realized my resistance to settling in to this job stems from those sames roots of fear.  Because whether I'm aware of it or no, my body responds to the seasons.  Between my cancer diagnosis and Kate's, January is now my season for fear.

Why try?  Why dream?  Why plan?

The future is not certain, the year after next is not guaranteed.  So why not throw caution to the winds and live for today and only today?

Because the voice of fear is often wrong, that's why.

No, nothing is guaranteed. not the year after next, not tomorrow. But it's been four years since I first heard the word cancer attached to my body, and I'm still here. It's been a year since I heard the word cancer attached to my daughter's body, and she is still here. Neither of us show any sign the disease is returning, and we are doing all we know how to do to keep it that way.

One of the ways to keep it that way is to celebrate the life I have today, and the life I hope to have tomorrow. Which means I need to keep working for a while longer. There is another camper van out there, waiting. The time to travel again is not yet. But my heart has begun, almost in spite of myself, to plan. To remember days of freedom, of seeing Good in sunsets and sunrises and beautiful places.

Those days will come around again.

So, take *that*, fear.
You do not win.
You do not get to run or to ruin my life.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Patches of Ice

As is typical in Kansas City, last week's snow is largely melted, leaving behind only patches, especially on the north side of the trees.

With the short days, I find it ever-so-helpful to get out for a walk at lunchtime - especially if I'm working from home as I have been this past week. (I decided not to go into the office to share my cold. Giving season is over!)

As I turned the corner from my block to the park, I came upon a large patch of ice on the sidewalk. Being a grownup and sensible and all, I skirted the patch by walking on the grass.  I did the same with the next two stretches of ice.

But the next stretch was wide and long and suddenly I was tired of being sensible and going around the patches of ice. So I stayed right on my track, walking carefully; the surface was made slick by right-around-freezing temp combined with the warmth of the sun.  I'd almost made it to the end when I got careless and, Whump!  Down I went. Except for my pride, I was unharmed, and popped back up to continue my walk.

Far from discouraging me, my fall only made me more determined to walk on the ice. The next patch, I was going to make it! But it was uphill, and all my best efforts were for naught. The thin sheen of water on the surface and the not-designed-for-ice-traction tread on my shoes combined to defeat me, and I slid back to the beginning of the patch twice before giving up in defeat and walking around on the grass.

The next patch had promise.  (See how the world was giving me lots of chances here?!) I stepped gingerly onto the ice and started walking. See, there it is again, my left foot slipping out to the side. Perhaps I'm not stepping evenly.  Hmmm...  Sure enough, if I make sure to step my weight evenly onto my foot, I don't slide!  I made it safely to the end!  Score, one!

The next patch had a bit of a downhill slope. More confident, I stepped onto the ice, and even managed to glide for a bit. Now, I was having fun! I finished my circuit of the park half-skating, half-walking, half-slipping as I conquered the challenge!

See, I don't always have to be grownup just yet!

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Christmas is over, the lights are down. There's snow on the ground; the car has a layer of salt-grime on it that is an exercise in futility to wash off because it'll just be covered again within a few blocks of leaving the car wash.

In other words, welcome to winter. This is the time of year I just hunker down and endure; grateful for my furnace and electric lights.

I welcomed the quiet pace of this past weekend - no people, no events, just me and my dirty house. Laundry and cleaning got top billing for the weekend's activities - there was something nice about the return to routine.

My new counter tops got here in mid-December, just in time for us to have a decent surface for our annual cookie baking marathon. They're a welcome change from the temporary one I'd been making do with for the past eighteen months.

For one, they actually cover the cabinets below. While it was handy to reach down into the top drawer of the island without opening it to grab silverware, the convenience was outweighed by the crumbs that found it a convenient landing spot. (The cabinet doors will have to wait either until spring or until I get heat out in my workshop - it'll be a close race.)

And, I'm back to battling with the cats. Yes, I'm still allowing them in the BOXWITHWATER. (It's back, it's back!)  But. They can't easily jump directly to the sink like they used to, and have decided, since they have to cross the counter top to get to the BOXWITHWATER anyways, it is a good place to linger. They also like to check the contents of any dishes on there along the way. I don't like them to linger on the counters, and I don't like them to check out my food. You see the problem here.

I've spent a lot of time these last three weeks chasing them off the counters. They think it's a game, and try to make it to the BOX before I can dump them onto the floor. I've made a little headway - sometimes, when I walk in, they start to leisurely walk to the edge of the counter before I can yell at them to get off.  sometimes.

Ah, well. Chasing them off will give me a place to vent my impatience with these dark days of winter.

Happy New Year!