Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer 2009 Part 1

It’s been a while since I’ve graced my blog and its worshippers with my presence. It’s summer and I’ve been doing the very best I can to keep myself occupied, working hard to maintain the peace and happiness I’ve been feeling. I’m strangely optimistic and light hearted. I laugh easily again. I believe some of this to be a direct result of jump starting my summer vacation with a road trip to Disneyland with some coworker friends. You know how I feel about Disneyland. It’s the happiest place on earth. Obviously.

Counting down to the trip helped keep me sane as I wrapped up a twisted first year at my new school. Not only did I have two dozen IEPs to finish but I also had to pack up my whole classroom for the move to our temporary location. Packing up an LRC classroom is a dirty work. If it wasn’t for my awesome para-educators and a few coworker friends willing to work for pizza and the likelihood of seeing me freak out at every spider that popped up behind abookshelf I’d probably still be there with a tape gun and tears. But they were there and they’re good humans so I got out of there, all checked out and in the car on my way to Disneyland by 4pm on the last day of school.

Knowing that chemotherapy is mean, I understood that much of my summer would be spent with my dad. So I did all I could to live it up on my Disney trip with my friends. All four of us crammed into my little Toyota Yaris and made our way down the coast. We laughed and played and spoke of nothing serious or of great consequence. I turned into the little kid I always do at Disneyland, skipping through the park, throwing my hands up on Space Mountain and The Tower of Terror and eating and drinking whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. I used my Disney magic to persuade my friends to pose for silly pictures and ride rides they swore they wouldn’t. It was for their own good. On the way home we stopped at an historical site, got lost in the desert and continued our play as we got nearer and nearer to reality.

Once I got home I got right to work. I tried to catch up on my sleep between taking my dad to his appointments, watching B and playing with my puppies before repacking my bags for my next adventure.

On the 2nd, my brother and I drove up to Lopez Island with Sarah and Ben for their annual 4th of July family get together. This one was a little different because we were celebrating the end of season one of our own version of the Biggest Loser. My brother is down 40 pounds since January. I’m down 25. The whole gang looked great for our 4th of July getaway. The 4th of July is awesome on Lopez. The island is inhabited by an unique population mostly made up of tree hugging hippies. Which I love.

The island has a parade each year and anybody (and I mean anybody) can join the parade doing anything they want. You’ve got random people just riding their bikes or driving their common cars. There was a group of young teenage boys driving a variety of riding lawnmowers. One kid doused another with water. That kid jumped off his riding lawnmower to get his buddy back but the lawnmower kept going without him. I didn’t notice it at all until I heard the screams. I looked ahead to see little Daniel (6) disappear under the mower. In a state of panic and, with the machine still rolling, I put my body in front of the mower somehow thinking that was the helpful thing to do. But it was bigger and heavier than me so the machine won the match, taking a bit of my flesh with it. Although, I didn’t notice it at the time. I, like everybody else, was just worried about Daniel who was now being carefully cradled in his father’s arms. An ambulance was called. Daniel was put on a stretcher and hoisted up into the back while other family members gathered Daniels siblings. They convinced me to get in as well when somebody noticed my foot. So there we were. In an ambulance. On an island. In a parade. Even with the lights and sirens going, of course we were mistaken as part of the event. We were on a parade route. Kids waved from the sidelines and I feebly waved in return while making several anxious looks back to check on Daniel. I couldn’t hear much over the roar of the engine and the blare of the sirens but I heard snippets of plans to call a helicopter to take him to Anacortes. I kept glancing back and sighed a deep sigh of relief as I saw him move his legs and arms. We made our way to the clinic which was pretty much just one room with two hospital beds. The doctor who was originally thought to be away from the island was still on Lopez and made his way through the crowds to the clinic.

After many basic tests (there’s no MRI or CT scanner or anything on the island) it turned out that Daniel was fine. No broken bones. No brain injury. No internal bleeding. Not even really a cut. Seriously. He was fine. Kids are awesome! His t-shirt has a fat tire tread mark across the back and yet… he was fine. The helicopter was cancelled and Daniel was released back into the wild. What a blessing!

My toes were cut up a bit but nothing at all serious. I’ve damaged myself more severely by tripping on my own feet. But since the beast was rusty and because I couldn’t remember the last time I had a tetanus shot I was given one. Those things hurt!

So out of my first 14 days of summer, a little more than 10 of them were spent away from home, (for the most part) delightfully distracted.

There has also been a Mariners game, a trip to the zoo and a drive out to the tip of the peninsula for the Lavender Festival and a few movies. This Friday we’re going to the zoo again (my family all bought memberships). Saturday some friends are going to the Torchlight Parade. Next week we’re going camping at Ocean Shores for a few days.

I’m confident it's these mini trips that are keeping me so content despite the stuff in between which have included new “masses” discovered on my dad’s eye, lots of doctor visits for him, a trip to the ER for my sister and my hot water heater exploding forcing me to fork over the money I had saved for new flooring. But new flooring doesn’t really matter. I have a place to live. At least I have a floor. My dad’s going to be okay. My sister is okay. And I'm happy. The rest doesn’t really matter.

7 comments:

Johnson-n-Johnson said...

welcome back EM! we have missed you! You are looking fantastic!

Tyler Pulsipher said...

My 3 yr old nephew and I loved your Whinnie the Pooh picture-he is a big fan and is really jelous.

Laura said...

I'm glad to see you are enjoying your summer! And you are always one of the happiest people I know, no matter what's happening in your life. You have such a gift to see the positive!

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مها said...


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