photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just An Ordinary Day- How Extraordinary

We got back into town a week ago yesterday, after over a month's forced interment in the Houston Medical District.

During that time, everything revolved around time spent at the hospital. Every minute, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, was ab-normal to our family. There were no daily farm chores, no big meals to be prepared- with just a kitchenette in the hotel room, there was no baking, roasting, broiling. The cleaning and linen laundry was done by the staff, our laundry was done in the hotel laundry room- no outside clothesline.

Most of our time was spent inside- the hospital, the hotel, the grocery store- and the times we made to spend outdoors were not fulfilling- there are no stars to be seen at night there, nor quiet to be had even surrounded by trees in a park.

The sounds, the smells, the oppressive closeness of millions of other people crammed into the cement jungle weighed heavily on us and we yearned for our little town of 756 people, the countless stars at night, open windows and the music of nature lulling us to sleep.

The first week we were home was devoted to catch-up, and acquainting ourselves with some new, although temporary realities.

"We'll have the home health people come give you a hand" seemed benign and helpful. What they don't tell you is that there is a nurse, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a nutritionist- all with their own schedules that we must fit in between doctors' appointments and lab work.

I had a bi-monthly board meeting to prepare for and attend, and there were some pretty hefty changes at work that I had to institute, along with all the stuff that got way-sided while I was gone.

So this morning I got up at 7am and did what I most longed to do.

Not sleep in. Not put my feet up to read a book or watch a movie. Not go shopping or take a long bubble bath.

I did the morning chores, and delighted in the easy routine and the simple yet genuine pleasure of the animals at breakfast time.

I made a big brunch for my boys- pork chops, gravy, scrambled cheesy eggs and biscuits with lots of fresh ground coffee (cocoa for Alec), and delighted in the easy routine and the simple yet genuine pleasure of the boys at breakfast time.

I cleaned the guinea pigs and shuffled some around- separating out weanling babies and pregnant mommas- reflecting on almost 30 years of raising these endearing little critters.

I baked up a storm- 2 batches of triple fudge kickass brownies- one for us and one for a friend of ours who just had surgery on Wednesday, and an apple pie for the friend who ratted out which hospital the first friend would be at so I could surprise him and keep him company all day.

Cleaning the house is something that's not normally on my Favorite Things To Do list, but after being gone so long it's cathartic- possibly a form of "marking my territory" to go through the house room by room- making sure those few things that really bother me when they're undone get done correctly- in a way only a Mom knows how to do.

For dinner I made spaghetti sauce with italian sausages and mushrooms, and homemade garlic bread- heavy on the parmesan cheese.

All the cooking took just about every pot and mixing bowl I own, and it was good- the fact that we don't own a dishwasher not a burden, since washing by hand lets me remember where I got each mixing bowl, and appreciate the heavy smoothness of my grandmother's rolling pin.

And all day long I tended to the new puppy we got Friday- taking her outside where she demonstrated her obvious brilliance by pottying like a good doggie each and every time. While a new puppy might seem outwardly like the very LAST thing our family needs at this particular juncture, Fizzgig is a welcome diversion for Alec, for Ward, and for me- she's as sweet as she is smart, and has snuggled her way into our hearts in less than three days.

So I sat down here at 10pm- fifteen hours after rising this morning- the only times I've sat down otherwise all day were to pee, and here I am.

I'm stiff, I'm exhausted, but after a week of being here, I finally feel like I'm home.