And so, another calendar page turned and we’re in March!
Let’s see- what’s new… probably high on the list is this:
You know that Jim Gaffigan quote where he was asked what having four kids is like and his reply was to imagine your’e drowning… and then someone hands you a baby? So it’s like that around here… but with a puppy. At times I go- what the hell were we thinking? And then others I’m like… it’s a dog. People get dogs. This is a normal thing.
We do add her to a fairly full household of pets already: four chickens, one dog, three cats, one rat, and a betta. And a house full of projects needing to be done. But… it’s been fine. I work from home, so I’ve just moved from my desk to the living room (we have her gated off from the bedrooms for now) for now so I can keep an eye on her and stay on top of potty training. And the other animals are at least putting up with her peacefully.
She’s cute and feisty, and we’re all pretty big fans and we’re thinking of her AKC registered name being “Student Load Repayment Plan.” That’s a joke- it’s actually Roberta De Los Nopales Jones, as we think that’s funny. But the student loan one was a close second.
Other news: I’m just back from almost a week away- 3 days for a conference in Minneapolis and 3 days with my aunt in St. Paul. I have the gear for cold weather- it’s novel enough to me that I really enjoy snow and cold temps, so a Minnesota visit in February was okay by me. Ice I could do without, and turns out my snow boots don’t have the world’s best tread, but I made it through without falling.
My aunt and I had a great time (hi, Aunt Val!) and went to a number of cool shops and nurseries (indoor only of course) while I was there. I was struck by the difference in quality of the shops up there vs. my hometown. I figure this is because the shops in my hometown, to varying degrees, are all pretty much geared to tourists.
I did find an absolutely awesome seed selection at one of the nurseries we went to- with varieties I was having a hard time tracking down, even online. One in particular I’ve looked for for YEARS!
Now… I’m not usually one for exclaiming out loud (or maybe I am? Now I wonder…) but when I saw it I said “HOT BISCUITS!” Out loud. Within earshot of other people. Like it’s some southern yokel expression? “Well I’ll be HOT BISCUITS!” These plants better be awesome, is all I’m saying, because the price was high in mortification.
We’re also moving ahead and getting estimates for an addition (hey renovation and a puppy seem like a good idea) but of course with the price of materials going up so drastically we may be out of our price range on it. I guess we’ll see? And do we need that… or a kitchen and bathroom renovation? Because we need those… and the floors done… but… maybe we just don’t spend the money at all right now? We’re waffling, as you can see.
So that’s all been good and fast paced and all… but then there is also some sadness I’m trying to process and work through.
A good friend of mine from high school passed away in August, and I just recently found out about it. We had drifted apart over the years as our timing on kids was different and that put us out of sync, and our lives moved in different directions. We’d been good about staying in touch until we weren’t. But I always thought “when things slow down a little, we’ll reconnect. There will be time.”
There isn’t always time.
There was not, in fact, time.
She was 43.
It makes me sad, and especially since I’ve just so recently figured how to be a better friend. I know at 42 that’s a little late to that particular skillset as most people figure it out in kindergarten.
My parents friendships have all been to make close friends that they do everything with… and then “poof” something happens and they never speak to those friends again. I saw it happen over and over again growing up. And so with many friends if there was a a patch where they don’t return calls or you lose track of someone, or if they don’t reach out to you… I always just thought: “Oh. Okay, I guess this is where that friendship ends.” That’s crazy, right? Because friendship isn’t a “thing” that just exists in the world, it’s an action- it’s the actions you take! This seems like a pretty easy concept to grasp, but I totally didn’t, well into adulthood. And I wasn’t very good at the “action” part back in the day. Looking back, how many times did I invite someone somewhere? Pick up the phone? I’m better at this stuff now and understand it all better, but I didn’t get a chance to pick it back up and be better with this one friend. And now I never will and that hurts.
It hits me at weird times. The weather is nice so I drove with the windows down at night this week to pick up my oldest from her driver’s ed classes. And the combination of a cool breeze, windows down in a car, driving through my hometown reminded me of all the times my friend and I knocked around this town in her old Chevel, at loose ends and trying to figure our way through the world. Or at Gruene Hall, where she used to take me to watch live music during high school, big sharpie X’s on our hands. I wouldn’t have gone there at all at the time if she hadn’t always insisted on taking me. And sure, I’m a TERRIBLE dancer, so I was always so awkward and felt out of place- but at least I have memories of the place when everyone used to drop their beer bottles where they stood and the floor would be thick with them at the end of the night.
I mean hell, I just don’t know, you know? I have guilt about not making things right and being a better friend as well as the normal sadness, and it just reiterates the fact- that has now thoroughly been hammered home too much in the last 2 years- that we’re not all going to get 89 years on the planet. Some of us get much less than that.
I’ve gone through all my photo albums and made copies of all the pictures I had with my friend to give to her Mom. Perhaps that will be nice for her to have, pictures of her daughter she’d never seen before. Most of them are before or during my wedding though. I’m just recently come to be someone who takes pictures, though I’m still not the best at it… so I don’t have any recent pictures with my friend. This also makes me sad.
And I’ve also been getting increasingly anxious about the whole giving the pictures to her Mom and paying respect thing. I cannot track down her mom’s email or phone number. So that means I’m going to just have to show up at her house. I hate when people show up at my house unannounced, and this will be a pop in for a heavy reason. What if she has people over? What if I’m interrupting? What if I just dissolve into tears as soon as I see her because that could be the thing that makes me realize this whole damn thing is for real real and she, mother who lost her daughter, ends up having to comfort me? What if she’s mad at me for not being there for my friend? (Doubtful, but you know how the brain works.)
(Quick break to squeeze a Corgi puppy.)
Okay I’m back.
So yeah- that sucks. And it’s just on my mind pretty constantly lately.
Like we were out at Gruene Hall with some friends for a show last night, and it was good to be with friends, and good to be out and having a good time and all… but I’d get a really heavy feeling in my chest in flashes too, because this was a place I went to so many times with my friend. Those flashes of sadness while having a good time are weird, you know?
Oh god- and in the midst of that I totally caused some drama too. UGH! Did not need that added in and its my own damn fault!
So my husband and I moved closer towards the end of the night so we could see the band better, and moved next to some ladies… that looked to be getting into it. One drunk/belligerent lady was really leaning in this other one’s face and kinda snapping at her. Heard the words “Bitch” dropped a few times… and I’m like: is shit going to throw down right next to me? A couple (four) beers in me decides that saying: “Hey, y’all okay? Is she bothering you?” would be a good idea. Turns out no, no it was NOT a good idea. So turns out the they’re sisters? And the belligerent one got all pissed at me asking that? And so I’m like, okay okay, let me back-peddle I totally regret saying ANYTHING let me OUT of this situation, so we move forward so we’re not right next to them anymore. Also doesn’t go well? As then the belligerent one follows me to berate me more and accuses me of bothering them for the sole purpose of cutting in front of them (though there was like… plenty of room?) Oh lord. Then our friends come up to see what’s going on, and my husband gets into it with the belligerent one… DEAR. LORD. ABOVE. This is all on me, sorry! Sorry everyone! I had to open my big mouth!
So husband and I remove from the situation and head to the bar, and he gives some spot on advice about “this is why you mind your own business” and then we go off to the side of the crowd to finish the show, and I’m trying not to be all self-recrimination about the whole thing.
Anyway. We did have a good time and when we’re gathered together again outside after the show of course our friends ask what the hell happened. So I’m giving them the whole “road to hell is paved with good intentions” details and the belligerent sister comes out of the gate. Am I about to get punched? Remind me to not start shit in flip flops next time, I swear. Anyway, she just walked past us, so bullet dodged there.
And then her sister- the one she was getting in the face of- actually came up to me and thanked me for looking out for her and that her sister was just always like that. OKAY! Maybe it wasn’t ENTIRELY just me being uppity and terrible and sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong; or more likely it still was but it wasn’t entirely for no reason!
It was so embarrassing though, y’all. And yet in the scheme of things, maybe I would rather be someone who says something instead of someone who doesn’t… but also that means if I do, just like last night, I’m gonna be wrong sometimes. And what is the line on when, and when not, to say something? Is it worth it? Is it even ever really helpful? I honest to god don’t know. Because I helped no one with that shit last night… though maybe that adrenaline dump into my system burned some calories and some fucking good will come of it. Sheesh. Shit was not Hot Biscuits.
Anyway! The world spins and we try to hang on and do the best we can, even if imperfectly, is all, I guess.