Monday, June 11, 2018

Joy Drowning

Yesterday was one of those days

Waking up before dawn, to see our son off to work, we realized how nice it was outside.  Like unheard-of-June-nice.  Normally, summer mornings in Kentucky hit your face the moment you open the door.  But yesterday, it was surprisingly pleasant and we wanted to soak it up fully.

Sundays are normally short for us, as that begins Tim's work week.  After church and a nap to prepare for the night shift, we only get a few hours together. 

Taking advantage of the extra time, we opted to load up the boat and enjoy the morning on the water.  The river is my happy place, provided the weather cooperates.  I love to fish but not to sweat!  After we got settled in our spot, I actually felt we'd under-dressed, as it was a tad cool in the shade.  Unlike most boat outings, we began searching for sunny areas to fish.

Calm water, cool breeze, blue skies...the picture-perfect backdrop for our day date. 

Until it wasn't.

I'm terrified of snakes.  Like, change the channel if one is on tv, make a U-turn if one is the road, goosebump shivering kind of fear.  Years and years ago when we were dating (our first fishing date), a snake snuck into the car while we were unpacking.  On the ride home, what I first thought was a rolling Moutain Dew bottle, began to slither up between my legs.  Tim, thinking it was a bee (to which is he allergic), stopped the car, got out and left me inside!  Yes, I still married him anyway...he did eventually come to my rescue.

So anyway, since that day snakes and I are not friends.  And the boat, though I love it, causes me to see more snakes than I prefer.  A few years ago, we were boating and Tim says, "Heather, don't move."  Well, this sends me into a state of panic and I wind up face-planted in the bottom of the boat.  Since then he's learned better ways of warning me and, as long as I see them first and can keep my distance, I am somewhat ok.  Honestly, the past couple years the boys have been surprised at my calm composure.  In fact, I'd gotten so comfortable I could now turn my back to the water while fishing.

Which was the case yesterday, when I had my back at the bow of the boat, fishing off to my left.  Noticing movement at the side, my mouth caught up with my brain in time to say, "Snake!" as I stood.

Tim paused for a moment, probably wondering how I would react.  I stayed relatively calm until it started inching its way in what appeared to be an attempt to enter our boat.  Whacking the water with my pole, in an effort to scare it away only made it mad....or more curious.  It went under and back out, circling our boat and taunting me.  And then Tim shot it. 

Chair now turned around to the water, pole down, I was a bit unsettled.  My eyes kept scanning the water, heart racing each time a tree limb floated by.  Try as I may to shake the fear, it had returned with a vengeance.  Between that and the impending weather, we opted to turn in early.

On our way back, I mentioned to Tim that he needed to hit a bank for a potty break before we reached the boat dock (which no bathhouse exists).  Whether it was my nerves or lack of balance from a weak left side, I was more unsteady than usual as I raised up to prepare for a rest stop.  Wobbling, I could quickly tell I was about to go head first into the river.

What happened next was in slow-motion, both for me and hubby witnessing the ordeal.  Trying to catch my balance, I grabbed everything I could find, including my chair, which collapsed in the commotion.  Somehow, that process shot my phone out of the chair, over our heads, and into the river.  Clinging onto the side I watched my pink wallet case plop and sink out of reach. 

Jesus may have walked on water but listening to the church podcast on my phone, didn't keep it from sinking!

At this point, I'm sobbing, more from the shock of everything but also because the pain of my fall now caught up with me.  Somehow in trying not to fall, I probably hurt myself more.  Something hit my shin, of course in the leg I already have damage to, and I'm bruised all over.  But at this point, the scare of the snake, injury, and the realization that not just my phone but every card and ID I own is in the bottom of the river, broke me.

The only good that came from the escapade is that we made it back to the bank and into the truck just before a torrential storm hit.  Well, and that we'll have a funny story to share all summer.

I would include some great photos of Tim and me, the beautiful river and landscapes, as well as some awesome up-close pics I captured of a dragonfly who rested on my leg but, you know, they are a little wet...and lost!  Instead, I'll drop one that I posted that morning before the dunking. 

Yes, I get the irony.
Oh, and if you had my number, could you text me your name?  
Losing my contacts from the past decade has been rough...
but, it coulda been worse and there's always JOY to be found!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Pomp and Circumstance

My baby flew the nest on Friday night.  Once an eagle, always an eagle, but no longer a high school student.

I sat with family and a few thousand friends in a packed gym watching my guy walk the line with one of his best pals.  And much to my surprise, I didn't cry.

Perhaps because that ugly cry came on Wednesday night.  Around 11pm, he headed to the senior campout, a tradition where the kids all gather at the high school, play a few pranks, and "sleep" on campus so they can pick their seat for graduation.  When the door shut, it dawned on me that morning was the last morning I would ever wake him up for class.  Cue the tears.

I'm not sure why that symbolism started the waterworks but for the next hour or so I sobbed into my pillow as the last 18 years flooded me with memories.

When you are knee-deep in diapers, everyone tells you how fast the years will go but you don't fully realize it until they are teens and you're willing time to slow down.  Yet, as much as I miss those baby days, I really enjoy the young man he's become.

The entire week has been filled with milestones.  From fretting over finals and getting texts of relief, celebratory lunches, Baccalaureate service, cap and gown pictures, Project Graduation, to hosting a house of excited boys all weekend, this momma is blessedly pooped.  And her son has to be too.  He has, after all, been up with very little sleep for four days in a row!

As such, Monday was most certainly a day of rest.  Noah and I stopped at the downtown Memorial day parade and snuck off for sushi, while hubby slept.  We were able to all gather for a quiet dinner before hitting the new week, watching the finale of "The Middle;" which was symbolically similar to what we were experiencing.  Babies leaving the nest...

It may be summer but our guy has a wonderful job and will be pulling lots of hours now that school is out.  This morning was his first day of reality.  Though I set an emergency backup alarm, this momma was proud to see that he was already up, showered, and eating cereal when I checked on him.  So, I went back to bed!

Looking back, the weekend wasn't anything like I expected but it was beautifully wonderful.  I'm so excited for what the future holds that I can't spend time being weepy or sad of him growing up on me.  He brings me such joy, no matter what stage of life we're in!

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