Here is Melanie's school picture from last fall. Before she cut her hair off. After all, this blog was originally all about her!
Today I was driving down to Melanie's school to pick her up for a doctor's appointment. She's usually starving by the time she gets home from school so I pulled into Jack-in-the-Box for a healthy (bah!) snack for her to eat on the way. As I'm pulling out into the very heavy traffic, I see a movement on the hood of my car. There, sitting on the hood looking me straight in the eye is a MOUSE. No, I'm not panicking at all, trying not to cause a major traffic accident over a stupid mouse. He took one look at me, with those sweet little black eyes, and ran back under the hood (you know, the gap between the windshield wipers and the actual hood). Of course I drove the rest of the way with one foot up on the seat. I ran into the school and asked for a "man" (I know, genderist again) to come and make sure there wasn't a colony of the darn things living under there. Well, dummy me in my agitated state couldn't figure out how to pop the hood. He saw the suspect, stuck a stick in there and saw it scamper away under the hood. So I was forced to drive the rest of the afternoon without knowing if it would pop out at me at any moment. I'm such a baby.
Back at home I finally figured out how to pop the hood (they HID the latch) and of course there was no sign of our Little Furry Friend. I just hope the stowaway wasn't running away from the family which may or may not be living in our garage.
Jeepers, the woodland creatures are taking over. Yesterday afternoon the kids and I were sitting on the porch after school, just chilling, enjoying the Carolina blue sky and warm weather (finally!) when Boudreaux, out in the yard, started barking and barking. The new neighbors have a cat that likes to sit on the other side of the fence and taunt him (I know what he's thinking: heh, dumb dog. I can jump over this fence right now and claw your eyes out, you can't, nyah nyah!) so I thought the cat was back. I didn't pay much attention, but eventually got up to yell at him. Well, 'tweren't no cat, Boudreaux had a SNAKE backed up against a tree! The snake was all coiled up, head up, and striking at Boud. Boudreaux would back up when he struck, so thank goodness I don't think he was bitten. From one angle it looked like the snake had a hood, and my brain registered "COBRA" even though intellectually I knew we weren't in India and cobras don't live in this area (do they?) I screamed at the dog to come, and finally he did. We stood on the deck watching the FOUR FOOT LONG (at least) black (and not dangerous) snake slither into the woods. <SHUDDER> They probably eat the vermin that hang around the woods, and I was glad to see him, but I was also glad to see him go.
But he must have missed a rodent yesterday, because this morning ... as we're all sleepily trying to get coffee and cereal and bookbags packed, I see out of the corner of my eye a brown blur go by on the floor. Quickly, and MOUSILY. Yep, a mouse was in the house. I've apparently been watching too many Tom & Jerry cartoons, because without thinking, I jumped up onto a chair, Lisa screamed, "EEEEEK!" and ran into the bedroom calling for David, who is at this time in the midst of a deep REM sleep. He comes stumbling out of the room, armed with a swiffer mop, ready for battle. The darn thing ran to & fro, scared out of its wits, and ended up running under the dishwasher. Ugh ... the kids were completely freaked out and wouldn't go into the kitchen to get their breakfast.
Okay, Mr. Snake, you're fired. Dereliction of duty.
...and the cobwebs are accumulating at warp speed. This school thing is kicking my butt, but now that it's over, well, I'm back!
My dad is not doing well. My dad, once an international businessman who made his living negotiating with foreign governments to allow the construction of oil terminals, who at one time had a passport that was so full it had an accordion insert that fell about 3 feet when opened; who opened corporate offices in Japan, the Philippines and Singapore; who in his retirement ran half-marathons, was studying to be a personal trainer, who was once a NCAA track & field official, is now bedridden and giving up. About 8 years ago he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins' Lymphoma, and went through a regimen of chemotherapy and radiation that took away everything that he loved. He lost his ability to taste, has no salivary glands, and developed osteoporosis. About a month ago, several ribs and a couple of vertebrae became fractured (no injury, just fractured spontaneously). Imagine the pain ... he couldn't eat for the pain medication made him sick, and getting out of bed was painful. He has developed a bedsore, and mom is talking about bringing in a hospital bed.
I can hardly blame him for giving up. Nothing of any quality remains for him. His athletic loves are no longer possible for him. He has lost much of his eyesight from cataracts (which were removed recently) and he can't move around. He is 80 years old, the same age as his own father when he died, 31 years ago. He believes he is done. For some reason I'm praying for the release for him. Strangely enough .. when someone you love is in so much pain, and there is no hope for recovery, you pray for something better for them. Is that wrong? To pray for someone to die?
My dad is a faithful Christian man. Even after my mother stopped going to church, he kept on. Losing my sister in a car accident was the last straw for Mom, and God had given up on her, so she gave up on Him. But Dad still had faith in a higher power.
The priest from our church has been coming to the house to give him communion. I know that Dad is confident about what lies ahead. That is a relief.
What an extraordinary life.