Archive | August, 2012

I Shouldn’t be Allowed Out Alone

30 Aug

I have not felt well for the last several days – dizzy spells, mental confusion (I love that term; is there any other kind?) and just a general case of what my Nana always called The Dwindles.

The Squire mentioned this morning that when I was taking the clothes off the washing line, I walked as if the ground was sloping away from whichever direction I was headed. After dinner (mid-day meal) we cleared the table, and I apparently went up to take a nap, which I do NOT remember doing.

I was awakened by the bedroom door slamming open, and Blazer putting his cold nose on my hand. The clock said 5:25, which is awfully early for The Squire to be up, but I suddenly realized his side of the bed had not been disturbed. Scared me to death! I leapt out of bed, had another dizzy spell, and staggered into the guest room. No sign of the man. Came downstairs, to find him lying in the recliner.

Dear heavens, he must have been reading a book and died right there in the chair. Well, before I call 911, I’d better go to the bathroom, and put on something a little less revealing that my night-clothes, because they’ll want me to stay on the line until the ambulance arrives. I put the dog out to make a puddle, did what I had to do, and then went back to the living room.

He’d moved his arm! Phew! Thank God!  I carefully closed the doors between the living room and the dining room, and did all the early morning stuff – gave the dog and cat their breakfasts, filled the bird feeders, took my meds – and fixed myself a cup of coffee, while I contemplated what my life might have been.

A few minutes later, The Squire wandered into the kitchen to ask if I had had a nice nap. Nap? I’d apparently slept three hours, and it was now 6:00 in the evening!

Yeesh!

Tragedy

29 Aug

Yesterday was the first day of school, and for the students at PerryHall High, it quite literally started off with a bang.

A fifteen year old student, Robert Gladden, brought a double barreled shot-gun, broken down, into the school in his back pack. During the first lunch period, he went into the boys lavatory, put the gun together, and then walked into the cafeteria, where he fired one shot – seemingly at random – before he was jumped and pinned against a vending machine by one of the teachers, who saw him begin to remove the gun from under his clothing. A second shot was fired into the ceiling in the melee.  A seventeen year old student, Daniel Borowy, was shot in the back, and is in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma.

Robert’s Facebook page apparently said “This is the first day of school and the last day of my life”, and he came armed with 21 rounds of ammunition and a bottle of vodka.

I can only imagine the anguish of both sets of parents. You don’t want to believe such a thing could happen to you child, and you don’t want to think you son is capable of doing this.

Good Lord, deliver us.

 

DIY Church

27 Aug

It has been a joke at our parish for as long as I can remember that if you don’t like organized religion, have we got a church for you!

Yesterday was especially disorganized,  even by our standards. The organist played the Sanctus instead of the Gloria, which prompted the rector to suggest we sing the Gloria later in  the service, which we did. The organist also forgot the Doxology, so we all just started if off without her. The poor woman was about to crawl under the organ bench.  At that point, the rector asked her just how late she had been up the night before, and organist admitted she’d had her grandkids all weekend. “Ah, that explains it! God will understand.”

As I turned to carry the chalice from the left side of the communion rail to the other side, I stepped on my alb, and nearly fell, and then as we were processing, my hip gave out and I staggered again, just grabbing the front pew in time to keep myself upright. (Someday I will tell you my “drunken hussy” story.)

We had two visiting families; fortunately both former members. As we were shaking hands on the way out, Jane, who had left in 2000, told me it was nice to know that some things just never change.

For better or for worse.

 

 

Depression

24 Aug

When we were visiting The Squire’s sister in North Carolina, I happened to read an article by Billy Graham that upset me considerably. A woman had written to him saying she suffered from depression, and his only advice was to pray about it. He did her a great disservice.

Depression is a physical illness, and prayer will help it about as much as it will help diabetes.

I have known I suffer from clinical depression for about fifteen years or so, but I recently read a book that described the symptoms of depression in children. Check, check, check.  Yup, that’s little Miss Preacher’s Kid, by gum. Now, living with my mother was no barrel of laughs, but I believe I have been clinically depressed since I was about three or four years old.

When The Squire and I were dating and newly married, my joy overwhelmed any feelings of sadness I may have felt, but there was always an under-current that this would not last, mostly what would I do if he died. (Never a question of us breaking up!)

Oddly enough, I almost never suffered from situational depression. My dad suffered from end-stage renal failure, my mom had dementia, my Nana had cancer, and my sister has Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). As each of them died, there was a general sigh of relief that they had been delivered from their distress. Although I was a bit miffed the God that my sister got to go home first, I wouldn’t have chosen her illness if I’d had a chance!

Shortly before our trip I had to visit my doctor about another problem entirely, and he mentioned that I looked sad. We discussed my feelings – I have no reason to be feeling blue; a wonderful marriage, no financial worries, two grandkids about to get married – and he suggested a mild anti-depressant. Didn’t even know there was such a thing, and I’m so used to feeling down that it was normal.

Well, let me tell you! He says it’s mild and I’ll take his word for it, but wowzer!  This is really the answer to a prayer!

The Visitor

23 Aug

I had the general gist of the story correct, but I got the details wrong.

Helene lives in California, but started her walk from the “family homestead” in Maine, and after she visits the White House, she plans on continuing her walk clear to Florida for the GOP convention, which should be interesting, in view of recent comments by Todd Akin.  Her walk is to support the Equal Rights Amendment, which – after lo! these many years – has still not been ratified. Although we have made tremendous strides without it, these rights can by infringed upon at will because they are not law. (Voter ID, in spite of no evidence of fraud, Baltimore City not accepting nursing an infant as a legitimate excuse for avoiding jury duty, and making NO effort to provide privacy for pumping, etc.) Most of the states which have not ratified the Amendment are in the South, with the exception of Utah. The hurricane may be the least of the convention’s worries!

So – The Squire picked up Helene at our church around 4:30 to bring her here and, bless her, when she got out of the car, she held out her hand and curtsied to me! First time anybody’s ever done that, and I’ve been Lady Anne for years! I had dinner just about ready to go, so while she took a shower and changed out of her “Road Grunge”, we got the table set, and drinks poured.  Lots of interesting conversation about her family and why she is doing this, etc.

We live in a house that was, to quote The Squire, not built, but accumulated.  All of the little steps up and down in weird places and other quirks seemed to fascinate her – light switches in odd spots, the fact that my husband set up one sink in the bathroom with the spigots “backwards”, because I am left-handed. But the one thing that really got her attention was a poster my folks had brought back from England. The V&A had an exhibit in 1982 on bathrooms at the turn of the century, called “Royal Flush: Seats of Majesty”. (We had one visitor question whether such an exhibit had actually taken place. He thought it was a spoof.) The poster is very, very funny. I’d have loved to have seen the exhibit.

Helene went to bed immediately after dinner, as she likes to be on the road well before daylight, while it is still cool and traffic is not so bad, so she announced that she would probably get up around 3AM and be on her way by 4. Blazer always sleeps in the hallway, but we decided to have him on our room last night, just in case he and Helene startled each other, with disastrous results.

I had to lug him bodily into the bedroom – all seventy-odd pounds of him – and The Squire said that when he got up at 3:30, the dog bolted into the hallway and flopped down. “I belong out here, you dumb human.”

As so Helene hit the road a little after 4AM, fortified with coffee, scones, and a bit of conversation with The Squire. If you wish, visit her website: www.KatrinasDream.org for more information about her trip and her intentions.

 

Panic City!

21 Aug

About two months ago, our church received a phone call about a lady who is walking from Washington State to the White House, staying at various parishes along the way. She had asked if she could spend tomorrow night – Tuesday – at Resurrection, and after some discussion it was agreed that we would allow this.

What nobody took into consideration is that while we have a rest room, there is no place to wash up, and unless she can fit into the nursery crib, there’s no where to lay her weary head. Also, Tuesday night is when AA uses our hall.

And so, The Squire called her husband and asked if she would like to spend the night here.  All well and good, but our guest room also doubles as my sewing room, and resembles a 12 x 12 mending basket.  We have put things into boxes, stuffed bags full of fabric, and actually taken down the ironing board. I really wasn’t sure I remembered how to do it.

The job took me a bit longer than it should have because after I had gathered all of the sewing pins from the ironing board and the dresser top, I dropped the plastic box and spilled ALL of them on the carpet. I finally got them picked up (I hope) and when I put the box in the cabinet I knocked over a jar of buttons.

I was about to put clean sheets on our bed and let her sleep in there, and we’d take the guest room!

Nowhere To Go But Up

14 Aug

OK, so it’s Monday. That’s bad enough. I’m working this week and laid out all of my clothing last night on the guest room bed. I went in this morning to discover the cat had slept on my skirt (no surprise there) and the air conditioner was leaking like an igloo in a heat wave.

I am doing a switchboard for a large company. I’ve been their “regular temp” for several years, and really enjoy the work and the people. This morning, I couldn’t sign on to the computer. I tried, and a lady from HR came out and had a go, and we finally managed to get ourselves locked out of the system completely. I called IT to have somebody fix it. This is a company with about 2,000 employees in this location alone, and an on-site IT department of about two dozen people.

The call center is in India.

Now, truly, I have a lot of respect for folks who can speak more than one language, but gentleman who answered my call was nearly incomprehensible. To make it worse, because I am not a “real” employee, I don’t have a Universal Access Number, so he was not able to help me.  I know he has rules to follow, but I had nearly snatched myself bald by this time.

Fortunately, we do have an old paper telephone directory, so I was able to connect most callers.  I just ran my finger down the listing until I found somebody with IT next to his name, called, and left a message. An hour later, I found another name and called again. Finally, about two hours after we opened, someone came out, reset the password, and got me back in business.

And when I got home from work, The Squire told me Dr. J has sold her condo, and will be leaving us in two months.

Life, she is not fair.