1. It's funny. Nearly every single day this week, I've caught myself saying, "Sundays soothe my soul!" or "What a great Tuesday!" or "Man, I love Wednesdays!" or "Thursday! I can blog a list of mundanities! Whoop!" Nearly every day this week, I've celebrated the day that was just for being the day it was designed to be, with one noteworthy exception that I'm fairly certain you can all figure out for yourselves.
2. Poor Mondays. Given the fact that divorcing Mondays would yield the net effect of reducing my overall lifespan in rather significant terms, I really need to put some effort into working on our relationship. It's gotten to the point where I am receiving from the day the very expectations I'm putting into it, and that just will never do. It can't stand. It isn't sustainable. Or fair. To either of us.
3. Walk to End Alzheimer's season is for us at the office as the Christmas season is for retailers the nation over. It is our Significant Time of Year and stress abounds. For me, the stress is generally self-inflicted. By that I mean, the work itself is not difficult, nor is it complex. But it is voluminous. And by voluminous I mean...well, there is A GREAT BIG WHOLE LOT OF IT. There is a modicum of time sensitivity to it, also. So, anyway...not to whine and moan, because it is a beautiful thing, if a great giant beast of a thing. But can I at least vent to you that by 4:30 when the quarry horn sounds and I can ski down the dinosaur's back headed for home, my neck - right at that place where it connects itself to my head - feels like a walnut in a vise? Because it does. Every day.
4. This is the first and only night this week that I have absolutely nothing on the calendar. A sweet evening at home, cooking spaghetti for dinner, pestering my better half as he goes about his business (current business: building us a new patio area out back from scratch, all by himself!), and just...hanging out, doing whatever, whenever. I intend to enjoy it fully.
5. Can I share one of the things I love about living in the age we do? It's the DVR. Have you ever given proper consideration to the ways this little device has improved the quality of our lives? No more waiting with bated breath by the boob tube lest we suffer the horror of missing the season premiere of a beloved old show or the series premiere of a promising new one. No more having to choose between Grey's Anatomy or Parenthood on Thursday nights - and let's just put this out there: what EVIL lives in the hearts of the men (and you KNOW it was men) who decided THIS conflict was a good idea?! No more feeling chained to the TV night in and night out. Hit record, and the shows/movies/specials you want to see will be there when you decide you want to watch them. A rainy Sunday. A sleepless middle of the night. Whenever you damn well please. I love this.
6. New shows I'm looking forward to: Sleepy Hollow (missed the premiere. Oops! Hey, no worries! I DVR'd it!). About a Boy (if it ever makes an appearance. Ditto Growing Up Fisher.) The Blacklist (how great is James Spader as a creeptastic fellow?) That might be about it. Unless you count Breaking Bad, which I've never seen but have decided to watch from the beginning. Starting...soon-ish. Ish.
7. The horrific events that transpired at Navy Yard in Washington, DC, this week took place right in my daughter's now former neighborhood. At the time the news broke, I really wasn't sure where they were - in DC or at their new home in Virginia. When I saw the CVS that is basically in their apartment building's backyard on camera with a wounded person lying prone on the sidewalk in front, I freaked for a minute. Thankfully, the kids were fine, safely ensconced in their new place, unpacking and settling in.
8. The Navy Yard area has blossomed in the three short years they lived there. Even just a decade ago, the area was known primarily for drugs and gang activity. But changes were made and the city took a stand, building the Washington National's new stadium right in its heart. Now, that facility is sort of the centerpiece of an area that has seen countless new restaurants appear, an outdoor ice rink open, three brand new parks bloom from whole concrete, people move in by the thousands, and so much more. I heard a background stat during the 24/7 relentless news cycle that said it was the fastest growing neighborhood in the United States. I wouldn't be surprised.
9. I am very much looking forward to visiting the kids in their new place. We even have our own room there (well, it's the guest room. But I'm laying claim and first rights and all that. LOL). I can't imagine the varying sorts of shocks they are experiencing - from the chaos and bustle of big city DC to the slowness and peace of a Mayberry-esque small college town in near-rural Virginia; from a 600 SF (+/-) high rise apartment with a concrete public courtyard to a 4 bedroom home in the suburbs, with a river just over the hill in the backyard and a mountain view outside their bedroom window. Jessi sent me a picture of Henley's fully unpacked new playroom and the poor child needs TOYS!!! I had managed to teach myself restraint in the toy department specifically because they had - literally! - no place to put them! But now? Watch out, childrens. The chains are OFF and Grandma's got a credit card! HA!
10. My mother called last night and we unofficially launched the holiday season, discussing her travel plans, mulling Thanksgiving menu options, wondering whether Jessi would follow in her mother's footsteps and use her Henley-advantage to dictate that everyone come to her for Christmas. As much as I love hosting the holidays at my house and would miss doing so terribly, I wouldn't begrudge her that decision one bit. After all, I pioneered it. Once upon a time, we spent every holiday traveling to all branches of the family tree, dragging the kids hither and yon until they were exhausted and we were holiday-ed out. Eventually, not too long after we bought our first house and had our second baby, I put my foot down and said, "You want to see my kids at Christmas? Great. Come to them. They'll be parked under their own Christmas tree, thanking Santa for the visit to their house, and looking forward to seeing you." And so it was. :-)
11. Last night I was working the serving line with a very nice guy from church named Jim. While I had never met him personally before the third Wednesday in August, I have known of him and his wife for a couple of years now, primarily because of her valiant, defiant, hard fought battle against cancer. I met Kathy several times since returning to Charleston and, more specifically, returning to my home church. We were even in a class together. But I cannot say I knew her, and it's my loss. Kathy died on my birthday, August 5th.
12. I first worked Breaking Bread with Jim later in August, not knowing who he was until we were cleaning up for the evening. By that time, many mutual friends on Facebook had shared around his powerful blog post about his wife's death, and I mentioned to him that I had read it, and that it was beautiful, and that I wish I had known Kathy better. I didn't see Jim again until last night's Breaking Bread. He was dishing up a luscious homemade vegetable soup in dinky, flimsy bowls, and we laughed about the mess he was making most of the hour. It was a great evening of service and fellowship, and Jim was fun to work with, quick witted and easy going. Later, after I got home from class and logged onto Facebook, I began to see posts that let me know that it was, that very day, his wife's birthday. I was moved beyond words. I soon found myself seeking out Jim's blog to see if he had marked the day with a post.
I regret I didn't have a chance to be friends with Kathy while she was alive. But I'm finding I'm getting to know her in a whole different way, through the eyes of those who loved her. Her life - and the way she lived it - is still having significant impact on the lives of others. Myself included. Someday, I hope to have the courage to make sure Jim know this.
13. But for now, I am going to go pester my husband while he labors with love in the backyard. And I'm going to tell him how much I appreciate all those things about him that add so much richness and meaning to my life. I'm going to hug his sweaty neck and tell him that I love him.
I have a sneaking suspicion he won't mind so much.
*Today's title quote was uttered by Albert Einstein, chosen simply because it speaks truth.