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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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1:08 p.m. - 2013-10-08
Words Are Still Hard

Everything I have to say sounds so inane inside my head but I want to get something posted here before I completely lose my ability to blog. ("No great loss there, you blatting fool," says my malign peanut gallery.) Things have picked up again. They always do. Friday night the bad dreams just shut off and I conked out for 12 hours straight. Sleep is mostly my friend again. Got my back adjusted a few times and it's amazing how easy it is to smile when I'm not whacked out of my gourd with pain. Despite the tornado warnings I had a terrific day yesterday.

Oy, speaking of tornado warnings Mick called his mom yesterday when the storm was at its peak to make sure she was okay. What Mick got was a semi-coherent hysterical earful from MIL. Compulsive Weather Channel watchers anyhow, MIL had whipped herself into a fine frenzy as the predicted storm area moved up from NJ and came north. Seems she'd mistaken 'tornado watch' for "We're watching a tornado and it's heading straight for you!" MIL was convinced a lethal funnel cloud was making its way directly to her front door because there was a 'tornado watch' for the area. Mick tried to explain but MIL was too upset. When faced with his mother's increasing confusion and panic as age takes its toll he gets kind of hysterical himself and there's apt to be shouting. Yesterday for example. Mick's roaring, MIL's gabbling, they're both on cell phones with spotty reception. Big fun. There's been a couple other doozies recently. Like the other day MIL had a tick on her and despite being told a dozen times that regular woods and dog ticks DO NOT carry Lyme disease she went charging off to the urgent care positive she had 'the Lymes' again. (That's another thing, we can't break her of calling it 'Lymes' plural. Drives Mick bonkers.) Her case was bolstered by the fact they'd given her an antibiotic. Of course they had, she'd excavated a crater in her skin trying to get the tick out. Looked like she'd shot herself with a .22. She didn't have Lyme but she was on her way to a wicked case of sepsis.

If it weren't so aggravating I'd find the irony here pretty amusing. In the years before Gram died MIL was nearly at war with her mother over Gram's misconceptions. Any evidence of Gram's senility made MIL shriek with frustrated rage. It was mostly harmless stuff like how Gram was convinced Charles Barkley could jump like that because he had big springs in his shoes. Now honestly, who cares if a 93 year old woman thinks a basketball player has spring-loaded sneakers? MIL did. "MOM! THERE'S NO SUCH THING!" Gram was going deaf but MIL would have shouted anyhow. I know MIL was mostly scared. She loved her mom and any sign that Gram was getting old (thus going to die) made her batshit with fear and grief. So she shouted. She shouted at Gram when Gram insisted the rattling noise in the stove hood vent was woodpeckers and that Ronald Reagan was still the president. When we were around to see this comic-drama Mick would roll his eyes at me and try to calm his mother down. In the car afterward Mick would be upset that his mother made such a big deal over Gram's flubs and fears. He'd insist it was wrong, wrong, wrong to shout at an old lady. Uh huh. Gram is dead and the torch is passed. Now it's MIL who's confused and panicky and Mick is the one who's shouting. Afraid and grieved because his mom is getting old (thus going to die) and lo, the batshit shouting goes on for another generation.

On the other end of the timeline, Wolf got his first professional ding in the kitchen. Sliced his middle finger a good one. Came home sporting a big wad of taped gauze around his war wound fiendishly delighted as any 16 year old would be to have a legitimate reason to be flipping the bird. "See my injury?" Holds up extended middle finger.

At dinner I congratulated him. "Mom! You're GLAD I'm hurt???" Of course not, foolish child. I explained he'd been blooded now and had joined the ranks of those who've sacrificed self in the service of feeding others. He was a by-God real cook now. And that was a hella good thing. I held out my own scarred mitts and toured him through the various cuts and burns and gouges. Cooking is both a skill and an art and to be good his hands were going to get tough and they'd take a beating. Like guitar players, I said, they have callused fingertips all crisscrossed with scars. Guitar strings hurt and they chew up your fingers, especially at first, but it's worth it. So it is with cooking. For sure he'd want to be careful but he couldn't be fearful. Being a scaredy-cat was the surest way of hurting himself far worse than the occasional grease pop or knife nick. And now he'd gotten that first big slice out of the way, found out it wasn't lethal, and he can get on with things.

And that's what I'm doing. Getting on with things.


If it's Tuesday it must be Errand Day, ~LA



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