Thursday, October 27, 2011

I swear I am not wishing you an unhappy birthday

October 17th was Corey's 39th birthday.   Here is a photo documenting our celebration.   It was a hoot, obviously.  I don't know what Moriarty put a curse upon this day. but I swear it wasn't me.  I openly confess to the leading role that I have played in the destruction of all possible glee for at least two of these October seventeenths,  but the other botched birthdays have been beyond my control.   Filled with stalwart determination, I challenged our unnamed nemesis, vowing that this year would be the year of OUR victory.  Our foe will cower while we bathe ourselves in the spoils of this war...... Corey falling asleep with a smile in his heart and the knowledge that he is loved.....that karma had finally rewarded his time living deliberately on this earth with an nod of approval.   The kids and I combined forces and tried to follow all the rules of a good birthday.

1.  Gifts thoughtfully purchased and even more thoughtfully designed and customized.  Check
2.  Pre-work morning acknowledgment and texts of endearment during the day.  Check
3.  Favorite meal prepared and waiting for him when he returns from his rough day at work.   Check
4.  Cake ready.  Check
5.  Table specially set with a surprising change of table runner and 4 ambient candles. Check
6.  Family seated together to radiate our love and appreciation.   Check
7.  Open gifts, enjoy an unforgettable meal, and take photos of him blowing out 39 candles on his cake while he wishes only for another birthday equal to this in greatness.   UPCHUCK.

I initially aligned myself with the dinner table, only to moments later become a defector and swear my allegiance to the toilet bowl for remainder of the evening, leaving Corey to feed the troops, clean up his own birthday dinner,  and wipe vomit from the tip of my nose.  The poor cake was abandoned.  After the expulsion of the entirety of my innards, when my mind would finally accept any material other than survival, this thought enrolled itself into my school of thought:

"I seem to be the common denominator in the demolitions of this day of Doady's deliverance."  (Doady is my nickname for Corey and I had to remain true to my alliteration.)

Next year will be better?  Next year will be better.  Next year will be Better!

There I go again, making his day all about me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cross it off the Bucket List

Years ago, when we first moved to Spokane, one of my first bike rides took me south of town on Hangman Valley Road.  I was enchanted by the deer grazing in the fields, the lack of traffic, the peaceful atmosphere, and "the house."  There is something about abandoned, crumbing houses that get my adrenaline going.  Seven years later, we moved only two miles away from "the house." and my running/walking/biking route has taken me within view of "the house" hundreds of times.    I would have ventured into the home years ago, if not for this darn creek and its scary, mysterious contents.  Judging from all the living and dead snakes, coyotes, and porcupine that I have seen on the outskirts of this creek, I am fairly certain of what lurks in the surrounding tall grasses.  There is also the small matter of my close to certainty that it is on private property and the wide open space around the house would leave me vulnerable to protective property owners/hunter and their shotguns( We are close to Idaho, after all).  But still, the house called to me every time I passed.  It was an itch left unscratched.....a final episode of a season series easter egg left unfound.   I knew that one day I would go.  It must have been the ghosts of the history of that home that whispered in my ear one late summer day when I was feeling that my life was a sad list of goals left unfinished.  If I couldn't get my kids to do one remotely productive thing all summer, I could at least do something that I have wanted to do.

 This is the creek.  It doesn't look all that daunting, but take my word for it when I say that it is scary.  I normally love water, but there is something about this creek that gives me the creeps.  It took me a while to get into the water and I immediately sunk into slimy, miasmic mud, moss creeping around my legs, and  fish nibbling at my unshaven knees.   I was panicked, but had to go on.  Once I was across, I clawed my way up the banks, hoping not to mistake a snake for a blade of grass, or even worse, see a dead body.   The grass was almost to my shoulders and this was a little exciting and terrifying at the same time.  My legs were itching, but I had a sense of accomplishment because I thought I had made it across.......only to find  another hidden arm of the creek, just as uninviting as the first.   I had no idea how deep it was going to be, mostly because the mud could sink me a feet or fathoms deeper than it appeared.  When it got to my chest, I became worried.  I was holding my cell phone above my head and hoped I could spare it from a swim.  I have the photos to prove that I did.

I made it!  Other than the fear that I would be shot any minute, I indulged in the comforting embrace of someone else's history.....someone who lived here and had stories to tell.  I did my best to listen.  Even though I didn't know details,  I could feel something.   Pain and happiness, life and death.

After I was full, I couldn't bring myself to cross back over the creek.  I decided to head west, knowing that somewhere along the way, I would reach the freeway and could walk back home that way.  In retrospect, I'm not sure which way was worse.   I had to climb over barbed wire fences, shove my way through daggered branches, shuffle through stinging nettle, run from a few barking dogs, and endure the stings of at least 8 wasps.

This picture doesn't adequately portray the damage to my legs.  


And this looks pretty, right?   It's the devil in disguise.  
These little things can be big for a mother of a teen-ager who unvociferously reminds her every day that she is failing as a mother.

Oh, and the next time I passed the house, it was GONE.  Weird, huh?
I do believe in ghosts.....sometimes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

September Spokefest 2011

 The throngs
 Before we join the throngs.

 Emmy was recovering from a vaccination gone wrong and so Savanna's friend, Emma, took her place.

Even though he really wanted to,  Ansel wasn't quite ready to do the mileage on his own.  He got to be a passenger on the "Big Dummy." the bike Corey built.   Quite a few people came up to Corey to ogle and praise the contraption.
 Can you believe I actually caught Savanna smiling before 9 am......on a bike?   Miracles do happen.
 Waiting to start....Savanna may be a little upset that we arrived way too early....extra minutes that could have been spent in bed on a weekend morning.
 Still waiting
 Corey and my shadow
 After the ride.   It got quite hot, but the kids all did great.  Shall we do the 42 miler next year?

 It helped having Ansel buddy Spencer ride along with us most of the way.
 Ansel wanted a chance to ride on his own....away from the throngs of wheels and spokes.