I won’t bore you with all of the details of my 4 week absence but suffice it to say that we, in this house, are blessed! I’ll tell you why in a minute. Comin’ along?
Three weeks ago, on an ordinary Thursday morning, I was unable to get out of bed due to recurrent lower back pain. Off that Thursday and Friday from work. Went to see the doctor Monday! Had an MRI that Wednesday. (Have I mentioned before that I’m one of “them”? A certified claustrophobe?!? Well, now you know.) I lived through it, I’m here to say, but only by the what? Remember my last post? That’s right- the grace of God, in which I have found myself living recently. (I thought I lived in Iowa, but we all know Iowa is Heaven ;) (Lame “Field of Dreams” reference for those of you who didn’t get that.) Back to work after 10 more days of a nightly muscle relaxant and rest. (Can you say constipation?)
Fast forward to Monday, just passed. First day back to work, feeling pretty good. Found out the day before that our son and his beautiful new wife are expecting their first baby in the fall, so all is good, and as it should be. Right?
Woke up Tuesday morning, day before yesterday, at 0455 as usual. Out of bed at 0515. (Love that snooze and really don’t want to rush into getting out of our warm, soft, flannel sheeted bed too quickly. Might hurt something, right?). Out of the shower; applying requisite makeup to go to work. Turned around to see my husband laboring to get up the steps, and he asks me, in a quivering voice, “will you listen to my heart”?
I don’t think I can tell you all the myriad things that go through a womans/wifes mind, on a plain old Tuesday morning, at 0545, when their primary-reason-for-living-these-past-40 years asks such a thing, and is standing before you, shaking like a leaf! Not only did I fear the worst, I heard it. I saw it. My rock was shattering before my very eyes, and I couldn’t do anything for him but what he had asked. I physically put my ear to his chest, and indeed, I did listen- just like he asked. I heard,and felt, his heart beating so fast, and so hard, all I could do was stop applying said makeup, (duh), grab his wrist, (if I recall correctly- the next few minutes happened with such speed it is hard to remember the details) pull him down those steps he just climbed, got him into our vehicle and raced toward the hospital not 5 minutes from our house. Was that what I should have done? I can’t answer that any other way than to say I guarantee that he was at the ED faster than any ambulance, any day. Of the 3 stoplights along the way- the first one was red for 30 seconds (an eternity); the next was red- I ran it; the last was green- thank you Lord.
We are home now, after about 36 hours in the ICU. My husbands blood pressure is being controlled with 2 new medications designed for this. We haven’t slept more than 2 hours continuously since Monday night. We’re exhausted, but we’re alive.
I thank the Lord for allowing us this continued state of grace, (or Iowa) in which we are living. (So many long, dark, lonesome hours last night, for a mind to wander and wonder….. what if…?) We had our children with us after getting to ICU, and they know how much we appreciated that!!!!! Elisha, Joshua, and Molly- thank you, all. Steven, thank you for trying to keep the grandkids from being too afraid for their Abuelito; helping to ease their way through this. We love all of you; more than we can say. Thank you.
To anyone that reads this I really want you to come away with the understanding that we thank the Lord for all things; for the people that took care of my husband in the ED, in the ICU, and the new doctor who helped us through the whole ordeal. Also for the coworkers who have taken up the slack created in our absences. I also need to thank the cafeteria personnel at the hospital; they helped feed me when I was finally able to get to the cafe; helped me obtain juices for my husband at all hours; had a sympathetic ear, and charged a fair price. To any and all, thank you.
I don’t mean the girls name, though it is a favorite of mine. (I lobbied it for my granddaughters name but lost). No, I mean the state in which I have found myself again recently. Comin’ along?
There have been certain times in my life when I have found myself in “the depths of despair”, as Anne of Green Gables said. These past few weeks were, as usual, of my own making, and plunging headlong into those depths went I. Why is of no concern to anyone but to me and my God. It is, however, during these times that I find, when I turn my life over to the Lord, without reservation, without all of the questions, I am tossed, gently, into a wonderfully serene, relaxed state of being. (This is juxtaposed, mind you, to the Hell I made for myself in the weeks prior).
So, why do I do this to myself, you ask? To say that I am human, and prone to mistakes, despair, depression, is too cliche for me. To say that I should concentrate only on the now and the future is all good, but how, then, will I know……? What if I……. ? If I don’t…..?
I have to stop myself! I have been given this state of grace by my God, with the understanding that I use it as it was intended; as it was implied. I have been forgiven, and I must accept this. I must be thankful. I must be silent.
With that thought in my mind, and heart, I realize that I am very thankful and I will learn to be silent.
I wish you a goodnight, and that God will bless you. I pray you, too, will find the grace of God.
I have spent the last week-and-some doing little or nothing concerning anything important. I have done the normal, everyday things I normally do. However, the weather is changing, the snow is almost gone, and the robins are back singing at our windows. My spirit is rejuvenating! Comin’ along?
I have a new adventure in store for our home. Our juicer/extractor came last week and we are finally going to get some whole, raw fruits and vegetables into our diet!!! Our lack of the aforementioned is mostly due to my severe allergy to any fruit with a pit: apricots, avocados, cherries, mangos, nectarines, peaches, plums, you get the idea. Once you have had a severe allergic reaction- hives, swelling of your face, tongue, body, with difficulty breathing- you scrutinize everything that passes into said body. It takes only seconds of relaxing your guard, (one trip to the ED, your life in your spouces hands, driving at break-neck speed), to change your whole outlook on life.
This awful thing happened to me in 1990. If it weren’t for my husbands quick thinking, his Mario Andretti driving skills, plus my fellow nurses and doctors in our local Emergency Department, I would not be typing this today. But he did, and they did, so I can. To all of them, (and they all know it), my heartfelt thanks.
My husband has never been a “Hallmark” valentine to me; I wouldn’t have him today if he was. We swore an oath to each other years before we were “married” that we would never love another; that we would always be there for the other; that we would die before we would be parted; that we would love each other eternally- no matter what life had in store for us. We never needed a priest or minister to join us; we made our covenant before God. We never needed a card company to confirm those beliefs once, or twice every year!! We had them from the beginning of time.
I have never needed Hallmark to tell my husband that he is the reason I get up every morning-he has always known it! Why? Because I tell him- to his face. He doesn’t need to give me flowers, or candy. He comes home to me every night; he sleeps in our bed; he shows me in an infinite number of ways that he loves me. I told him years ago, (our children too) that if they couldn’t show their love for me 365 days of the year, don’t bother coming around with “stuff” on a “special” day. I won’t have it, and they all know it. If you want to give me flowers, give me flowers, but do it because you want to, not because a card company says you should.
I ask only for what is easiest to give- a simple ”honey, I love you”- (even though you snore like a fat pig) ;)
Hope you enjoyed another day with the someone you love most.
Well, we ended up with 16”-24” of snow, depending on where you were; which city, that is. As we are the Quad Cities, obviously there are 4 of them. At our house, we ended up at knee to mid-thigh. Some of the drifts out back are up around my hip. Comin’ along?
This is significant only in that we haven’t had snow like this since 1979. (I have officially become one of “them”; one that remembers the ….. back in ……!!!!!) My husband and I put on our snow gear, went outside about 8:30pm, and “frolicked” in it at the beginning of it all. Not so much this morning when we finally dug our vehicles out from under!!! We did not leave the house this morning; heck, the snowplows didn’t even look to our street until well into the morning. That was fine with us. This was the safest place to be by far. We’ll go back to work tomorrow, though. The roads should be well cleaned by then. The sun has even come out, for now.
In three months this will be laughable.
Ok! Well, that didn’t take long. The snow started in earnest about 3 hours ago, and WOW- it isn’t kidding! It has covered up every track made out in the street in front of our house, any footstep leading up to the house, and any trace of humankind anywhere near us! Comin’ along?
I won’t stay with this weather bulletin but a moment more. I have a round trip ticket to the planet “Denial” and my flight is leaving in a few minutes. Am I going? You bet! (I can only take so much stress on a daily basis!) Will I be returning soon? All too soon! I am one of the few that will be at work in the morning- snow or no! I am, however, going to work at the hospital only 2 miles from our house, AND on this side of the river!!! (We live on the Mississippi River, in the only area that runs East and West!) This is significant only because 1) I HATE driving over the bridge when the plows haven’t gotten down to the cement, 2) It is usually black as night ‘cuz it IS night! and 3) Our sister hospital is, as I said, only 2 miles from my house!!! If I have to leave my house, it’s best that I have only a short way to go! ‘Nuff said. Gotta go take more pictures for posterity. (Whoever that is;)
The forecast for the next 24-48 hours, here in Eastern Iowa, is rather precarious, at best. We are supposed to get somewhere between 2”-12” of snow starting around noon tomorrow. I can’t speak for the rest of the Quad Cities, (as we are known around here), but for me, I’m not the least bit interested in 12” snow!!! Not now, not ever!!! Comin’ along?
No? Well, I can’t blame you there. I’m not really keen on it either, and I have a huge Toyota Sequoia, for that very reason. Does that make me feel any better? Well,… ok, ….a little,… sure! Am I exstatic that I don’t have the little Camry any more? Yah, sure, ya betcha!!!! Don’t know how I’m gonna think about all of this come 5:30am Weds. morning, that’s for dang sure.
I am an Operating Room nurse, and have been for 20+ years, and this much I can tell you for certain: none of our elderly patients will cancel their surgery “because of a little snow”!!!!! They will drive 40 miles or more, some of them, leaving their house at 4:30 am, just to fulfill this obligation they have undertaken. “This is nothing!” they say. “You should have seen all the snow we had back in ……”; fill in the year! (It was probably before my time, so how would I know? Heck, I can’t remember how much snow we had last month!!) As for our younger patients?! They can just get a day off work next week if they need to. Besides, who in their right minds would be out in this &^*$ anyway?!
As I sit here, I can hear the snowplows go across the Interstate overpass 50 yards from our house. Back, and forth; 3 times now, in the last 30 minutes. And we’re only getting a “dusting” of snow at the moment.
Actually, I prefer to think of it as a dress rehearsal of sorts.
What will the total snowfall bring? That, my friends, is for another day. Who will go out in this &^*$, do you ask?
Me. And my coworkers. And probably you, too. It’s what we do.
I didn’t say that- my husband and oldest grandson, Isaac, did. How cool was that?! I had 3/4 lbs. of ground venison thawed in the fridge and didn’t really have an idea what I wanted to do with it. When I mentioned spaghetti, you would have thought I had never, ever, cooked them a meal before!!! What was I to think? Comin’ along?
Not only did I make the best spaghetti sauce (with the venison) that I have ever made, but we put it on angel hair pasta, next to garlic toast, (or plain white bread with butter, as the case may be). I used the Italian bread I made the other day for the garlic toast, and a few slices of the white sandwich loaf I made this morning for the bread with butter. (I used a new/old white sandwich bread recipe that I haven’t used for over a year, and had forgotten how really soft and yeasty this bread was. Mmmm. Won’t make that mistake again.)
For the spaghetti sauce, I slowly browned 3/4 lbs. venison on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. I added about 1/4 cup leeks that had been diced small and washed. When that was browned, and the leeks softended, I added a 24 oz. bottle of Bertolli Vineyard Collection portobello mushroom sauce with Merlot, and heated that until bubbling. When simmered 5 minutes, I added 2 Tbs. Pristi’s Spaghetti seasoning, covered the pan, and let that simmer for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I put a large pot of water, salt, and granulated garlic on to boil. When it was at a rolling boil, I added an entire package of Barillo Angel Hair pasta to the water, brought it back to the boil for 5 minutes, drained same, then added 1 Tbs. butter and 1 tsp. ground oregano to the pasta, mixing well. (Mind you, these were all things I had in the cupboard and the freezer; nothing was purchased specially for this dinner. You do the same, ok?)
Place the pasta in a nicely decorated serving dish, if you have one, (presentation is key), spoon the spaghetti sauce over the pasta, then sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese, salt to taste, over the whole thing. Serve with some garlic toast, or plain bread with butter, and enjoy.
I could not have asked for the reaction I received but I sure enjoyed it all the same. My husband finally found the sandwich bread recipe he likes; Isaac found the spaghetti sauce and pasta combination, not to mention the white bread, too, that he liked and I enjoyed being a large part of the whole thing. What a wonderful night was had by all.
I’m not just married, not in the biblical sense, anyway. No, my honey and I will be married 35 years this coming May. It was our son, Joshua, that finally married his Molly girl two weeks ago yesterday!!!! We had been waiting, I don’t know, maybe 3 years for that day. Anyway, the deal is done, they shook hands on it. They even kissed each other, on the lips, in front of both sets of parents!! How cool was that? Comin’ along?
The wedding was private, in their home, short, beautiful, and, yes, I cried through the whole dang thing. Quietly, for the most part, but a watering pot to be sure. (I cry during Superbowl commercials, when people tell me things that have happened to them, etc. I cry because I have compassion for my fellow humans. Doubt I’ll ever change; don’t want to actually). I digress.
Molly is a wonderful young lady; the best addition to our family since our son-in-law Steven. We have waited for her since our son was born, and that was a few years ago. We had faith that the Lord would find Josh a soulmate, just as He did for me, and then Elisha.
Are our lives perfect? Far from it! My husband and I talked about the “Big D” (divorce) bi-monthly for years. So what!?! We had promised ourselves to each other, and no other, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death parts us. Isn’t that what you, too, swore before God? Don’t forget that. Please. It is in the remembering of those vows of fidelity, love, faithfulness, forgiveness, and understanding, that we have strengthened what could have so easily, and quickly been destroyed. We have stood together, united, for 35 years. God willing, we will stand together another 35 years. (I wouldn’t mind 40 years more! I snore- he tries to sleep through it ;)
I pray that our children and their spouses know joy, happiness, and the profound sense of being “one” with the other that their dad and I do. This is my wish for them.
Addendum to the boiled eggs: Boil them exactly as I wrote in the blog the other day. They are perfectly creamy, yellow, soft, delicious. I have made a dozen since: no greeny meanies. ;)
Our granddaughter just finished a dance competition about 2 hours ago, so we had only the “boys” (grandsons) here this weekend. (My daughter will surely write all about it on her blog- elishaa5.tumblr. She has lots of really good things to say, and she does it so very well. We women of this family seem to have had very little oppotunity to express ourselves. We were either born into, married into, or were just lucky enough to live with, some very vocal people, which may be why we both have chosen to start blogs where we have the creative corners to ourselves. Just sayin’) Comin’ along?
Since we only had the boys, as I said, I had the chance to make a batch of fresh salsa this morning, plus, I just finished 2 loaves of Italian bread. Mmmmm, does it smell great in here. How much better could it get?
So here I am, sitting at our kitchen island, looking out the front window to see it just starting to flurry- nothing heavy, just a very pretty light snow fall. It’s quiet, (the kids have gone home), it’s starting to get dark, and I am almost ready to dive in to one of the loaves of bread cooling on the counter next to me. Oh my golly, golly, golly!!! It sure smells good- even if I say so myself. No, I’m going to wait- for a little while longer at least. Really. I am.