Sunday, May 09, 2010

Another Mixed Bag

Here's a look at sunrise at Arches one of the last times we were there. I really cannot wait to get back in October. It's one of the things that keeps me going right now. I know I have probably said it before, but Arches is one of those rare places where I go to rejuvenate my spirit, if you will. It is as close to my center as any place I can think of, and I have missed being there. It will be two years since my last visit when we return, and I feel the need of the peacefulness of that place more with each passing day. I cannot wait for the quiet just before dawn, to see the stars in a night sky uncluttered with so much stray light, and to listen to the wind as it blows across the sandstone fins out by Dark Angel. I look forward to the warmth coming off the rock in the cool autumn air, the crisp bite of that first morning breath outside the tent, and beauty of all that red rock against a blue sky. I long so much to be there, which makes the reality that much sweeter when it finally comes.

This evening we actually got our garden started. We had to wait a bit with Merilee being sick and it turns out that it was a good thing we did. Our landlords live above us, and they told us at one point that they wanted to use part of the garden area, but then told us that we could do whatever we wanted. Well, we just found out today that they still plan to use half the garden area. Fortunately, they decided to use the half that we had not gotten around to totally weeding last year. The area we had weeded (at least twice) is still fairly free of weeds compared to the rest of the area, so that was thoughtful of them. I'm just a little frustrated because I waged war on the unruly grapevines and brought under control thinking that the garden was ours to do as we saw fit. Oh well, we still have the 'emergency replacement' refrigerator they 'temporarily' put in more than a year and a half ago, so I am not too surprised at the last minute about face. That and they have five kids that seem to drive them nuts, from the sound of it.

Grumbling aside, we had a few strawberry plants in the ground already (Merilee planted them before getting sick), but this evening we spent some time working in our 'half'. I was able to start getting the ground ready for some tomato plants (heirlooms hybrids for us), and I prepared beds for and we planted radishes and peas in hopes that the cool nights and cooler weather being predicted for next week will allow them to sprout and flourish. We figure we have enough room for some spaghetti squash, green beans, watermelon, peppers, cukes, and maybe some zucchini and potatoes. We had a lot of success with the beans and tomatoes last year; not so much with the potatoes. Hopefully we will be able to stay on top of things and get everything in the ground by the end of next week. It feels pretty good to have things started, at least.

This last week was a rather difficult one for me. The job I do can be rather stressful and extremely emotionally draining at times. Usually I will have one, maybe two days a week where I feel like I have been beat up mentally, but this last week was five days of mental stress that really weighed me down. I try to remind myself that this is important work and that I am helping people, but sometimes I get calls that make me want to throw my hands in the air and walk away from my computer. I get so tired of the people who want to verbally beat me up because they are having a tough time doing whatever. I get especially tired of the people who say they know it is not my fault while treating me as if I was the only person responsible for their problems. Also, I have had to deal with enough pushy, entitled mental health providers (not to mention other people) from a certain state back east that I have lost any desire whatsoever of visiting there EVER. Anyway, by the time 5PM hit on Friday, I was ready to crawl under the covers and lie there in the fetal position for a good long time.

Today I was provided with a fairly strong reminder that someone is looking out for me, even though I sometimes question that. We had gone to WinCo to get some of the things they had on sale for their grand opening, and when we got back to the car, I noticed that my PDA was missing. Now, this thing is not my-life-in-a-portable-computer that they are for some people, but I have it in a nice case that I also keep other things in, much like a wallet. I started doing this because I have program on it that is like Quicken that has helped me immeasurably in keeping from the occasional overdraft charges that I used to experience while trying to keep track of everything in what I know is an already overcrowded cranium. Anyway, my PDA was missing and I pretty much freaked. I uttered a few choice expletives that I will have to repent of (nothing too terrible, but still), tried not to have a massive coronary right there in the parking lot, and immediately started heading back into the store to see if anyone had turned it in, all the way looking at the ground to see if it had fallen out. I kept thinking that this, on top of everything that had happened this week (I could write several thousand words in addition to what I have already written about this oh so wonderful week), was just more than I could take. I went in the store and checked at the customer service desk, and just as the lady there was checking to see if it had been turned in, this older gentleman walks up with it in his hand. I was flooded with relief (all those phone calls I was thinking I would have to make were now not needed, for one thing) and thanked him profusely for finding it and bringing it in. He said that he had found it on the sidewalk outside the store and thought I might have dropped it, but he wasn't sure. I said a prayer of thanks as I walked back out to the car, so grateful that someone honest had found it. It was almost as if someone was saying, "See, someone is mindful of you and looking out for you." I have to remember that the next time I start feeling like the guy at the gathering that no one seems to see.

I have found myself praying for a miracle, or sorts, this week. It is almost time for my kids to come out for the summer. Graeme turns 18 in two weeks, and I am fairly certain this will be the last summer he has free to spend time with his old man. The problem lies in finding the money to pay for the plane tickets. The closer it gets, the more I fear that they will not be able to come out because I do not have the means to get the tickets. I missed going to see them last summer because I lost my job and did not have the money to go, and I took a huge pay cut when I started my current job, so it is not like I have much to work with. Merilee and I are getting by, but not much more than that. If ever a miracle would be welcome in my life, this would be the time. I just don't know if I can face the thought of not seeing them again this year. And Kayleigh, if you are reading this, when I told you I had not given up hope and would not give up hope until there was none left to give up, I meant it. I have not given up and won't yet. There is still time. It has just been on my mind a lot of late.

With tomorrow being Mother's Day, I want to wish my mom and my dear wife a very happy day indeed; my mom for putting up with me and raising me with so much love and respect, and my wife for putting up with as well. Seriously, though, they are both amazing women that I am extremely fortunate to have in my life. I love them both. I also want to send out a very special Happy Mother's Day to a dear friend who is looking to adopt (you know who you are). You will make a wonderful mother and some child out there will be incredibly lucky to have you two as parents. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Well, it is now pushing midnight and I guess I better go. I have a lot more on my mind, but it will keep for now. I just want to end by saying that somewhere deep inside of me, I know that I am a very fortunate man in many ways. There are so many things that conspire to keep me from feeling that most of the time, but right now I feel it pretty strongly. I have a great family and a wife that loves me for who I am, not for who she thinks she can turn me in to. I have friends, though very few and I need to be a better friend to them. I have a job, a place to live, and my kids think I am OK, even though we are thousands of miles apart and I have not been able to be there for them anywhere near as much as I would have liked. I am very grateful that tonight, at least, I can see and feel this. Just thought I would share that. Goodnight.