Category Archives: Friends

My hands are cold

Today I went to the YMCA and ran for a bit, lifted some weights, read the newspaper. It was nice. I’m trying to increase my running speed. I ran a 5k last weekend and set myself a new Personal Record – my total time was 38:34, which is an average time of 12:25 per mile. This was only slightly better than my last 5k, but it was a movement in the right direction, so I’m happy with it. I would like to cut my time down, see if I can get faster. At this point I’m not really interested in running longer races; I would just like to get those 3.1 miles done faster.

Today my daughter had a playdate at the park with a friend from the old school. They played and climbed while the moms talked. I was so glad they had that chance to see each other again, and I’m also happy that her mom and I can now say we are friends in real life (not just on Facebook). It was a lot of fun, but we’ve been home for over an hour now and my hands are still cold.

I have much to say about that race last weekend, but it’s too late in the day to collect all my thoughts properly and also, my fingers… ice cold. Seriously. Which makes typing kind of a challenge I would rather not suffer through. So I’ll leave you here and maybe revisit tomorrow or Sunday when my hands have had a chance to thaw out.

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Free lunch and learning

I just registered for a lunch seminar-event-type deal, and it’s way out of my comfort zone. The MS drug manufacturers sponsor these events all over the place, and I see my neurologist is often the keynote speaker. However, she is not the speaker at the event I signed up for (oh, well). The one I signed up for is truly just a topic I’m interested in, “healthy living with MS”, and I thought it couldn’t hurt to go. Several reasons: it gets me out of the house, I may learn something new and helpful, and it will be nice to be surrounded by others who can relate to the struggles we all face with MS. Also, it’s free!

It’s Friday, and this completes the second week the kids are back in school. I’m just now starting to settle back into my “normal” state. I did some outdoor running this week, as the weather is cooling off a bit (we’re coming into my favorite seasons, fall and winter). Also, I was able to spend a lot of quality time with friends this week, and I know that did my heart some good. I have some pretty incredible friends. All in all, it’s been a good week.

What is on my mind

 

1. I’m type A, lists help me function. I feel discombobulated sometimes and I get confused (especially later in the day when I’m fatigued), and making lists just really seems to sort things out in my brain and help calm me down.

2. I went to my high school reunion Saturday and it was even better than I had anticipated. Most of the girls I was close with in high school were there, and it was *refreshing* to sit and catch up with them. Ha! I’m so glad I found that word, refreshing. I think I’ve been subconsciously searching for it since Saturday. Anyhoo, yes, it was refreshing. I didn’t realize it at the time of course, but it was. It was refreshing because all of these people knew me when I was young and carefree (to an extent, I guess) and they treated me that way. They remembered the old Mindy, and seemed to remember her fondly, but were also overwhelmingly accepting of the new Mindy. Everyone was sharing different memories – just the good ones, of course – and it was interesting what some of us had remembered and others had forgotten. It was nice. No expectations, no judgments. Oh, and also my husband, who had been not-so-secretly dreading the event, enjoyed talking with people throughout the evening, and as a result I never felt rushed to leave. It was a great night, and I think we all left ready for the next one 🙂

Class of 1996_20th Reunion
Class of 1996, 20 years later

This picture only represents about a fourth of our class, which was small to begin with, but in this case the old adage “quality over quantity” definitely applies. What a great group of people. Oh, and if you’re having trouble finding me in this photo, I’m in the front, fourth from the right with the ginormous tattoo on my arm.

3. Life is short. Just days after our class reunion, while everyone was still sharing photos on the private Facebook event page and discussing ideas for the next one, we were informed that one of our classmates (who was unable to attend the reunion) had passed away. On the same night of our reunion, her family’s van was struck by a drunk driver. Her husband and two children were injured as well, but her injuries were much more serious. She passed away late Monday night. Her name was Lorri, and she was literally a friend to all of us. Seriously, I don’t think there was a mean bone in her body. She was kind and caring, and always ready to share a smile. She will be missed by so many in varying degrees, but our hearts break the most for her husband and children. To lose your wife, your mother, so tragically is unimaginable. And all because some bonehead (I had to put it mildly to keep this PG, but insert R-rated insults if you wish) decided to get loaded and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Senseless, reckless, stupid, stupid, stupid.

Ok, so I know that’s a major downer, and I promise I won’t leave it at that, but I want to say some things about all this. One – never ever drink and drive. Don’t put yourself in a position where you may be tempted to drink and drive. Hand the keys over, make arrangements, whatever you must do, while you’re still sober and thinking clearly. And two – it floors me how people have been rallying together to support Lorri’s family through this tragedy. Not only has her husband lost his wife, but he was injured as well. They are going to need a lot of help going forward, and thankfully they seem to be getting it. All the good that Lorri poured into people’s lives throughout her life is coming back to her family. A sick twist on paying it forward, I suppose, but it’s still comforting to see.

4. We finally sold our house, the one we moved out of last August. The closing is scheduled for tomorrow, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. My husband grew up in that house and it was also the first home we had purchased, so there’s a twinge of bittersweet there, but our new house and neighborhood make it all okay. When we come home at the end of the day, we are among friends, and we are in the first home we chose for our family. And we have a garage, so who’s complaining? Tomorrow it will be official. No more second lawn to mow, driveway to shovel, utilities to pay. Such relief. Goodbye, South Holly Way. You were good to us, and we thank you.

Goodbye South Holly Way 2016

5. Summer. Friends. Children and their friends. We are making the most of it, for sure. Some days we play, some days we rest. Some days I clean. The screentime rules I usually set for vacations have been neglected repeatedly, but not entirely forgotten. I make the rules around here, and I say it’s okay. So there.

6. Feeding the children. That’s a thing that must be done. Now, in fact, so I’m outtie. Have a superb day, bloggy people. Embrace the moment and hug the ones you love!!!

 

Four miles and then some pie

So! This morning I decided to join the kids at the bus stop (I haven’t been, because it had been cold, and I can see the bus stop from our kitchen window). While there, I was chatting with some of the other moms and one of them mentioned that she gets up at 4:30 am. She was talking about something else, I can’t remember what, I was just stuck on that little piece of information. She gets up at 4:30 am, voluntarily, and says it with a smile on her face. It’s a choice she makes. It sounds like she does it in order to have time to exercise, run or whatever, before the rest of the family is awake. I so admire that, and I’ve always sort of fantasized – yes, fantasized – about becoming a super-duper early riser like that, but I’ve never managed to make it happen. And now I could, but why? I have ALL DAY now to exercise, meditate, relax and have alone time. No real sense in getting up early now. But maybe when summer comes I’ll try it out. To get my “Me Time” in before the kids are awake. Maybe, we’ll see. It’s just a thought.

I’m still running, even post 5k. It’s just been such a good thing for my body and spirit, so I want to keep going, race or no race. I went on two shorter runs earlier this week but then today was the big run. I do intervals between slow and steady, because that’s suppose to help you build stamina without overworking your muscles. I think. Something like that, I forget now. Today I ran/walked just under 4 miles, which is my farthest distance yet! It felt really great, but when I got home I was ravished with hunger. And while digging in the fridge for leftovers to reheat, I found there were still two pieces of Ema’s homemade rhubarb pie left from last Friday. Did you know leftovers should never be kept for more than a week? So you eat it or throw it out. And throwing out a delicious homemade rhubarb pie was not even an option to consider, so of course I had to eat it. And it was soooo yummy, I have no regrets.

I’m happy it’s Friday. It appears that warmer, spring weather has finally arrived in Michigan so everyone is emerging from their cocoons. We have a busy weekend coming up, full with kids’ activities. That’s the best way to spend a weekend if you ask me. As long as you get some napping done in between 🙂

Happy Friday, y’all!

One is silver and the other’s gold

There’s a song that my daughter sings in Girl Scouts that I remember singing when I was a Brownie Scout in elementary school.

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other’s gold.

I’m sure there’s more to it, but that’s all I remember. It’s ok though, that short bit holds all the meaning I need.

I have several dear friends who I’ve known for a long time. Decades even. These dear friends are women who I know I can always call when I need them, and even when I don’t. Sometimes it’s just fun to chat. These are the friends who came through for me and my family during our darkest days, and they helped shoulder the burden of our most challenging struggles. Every day I am thankful for these friends.

Then there are the newer friends, most whom I’ve met post disability and deafness. They only know the newer version, yet my disability is not an issue. It’s just a characteristic, and a minor one at that. These are friends from my support groups, from our new neighborhood, and from our new home town. These new friendships are both scary and exciting (I keep saying I feel like I’m the new kid in grade school all over again). These friends are people I’m really enjoying spending time with and getting to know better. Every day I am thankful for these friends.

Silver and gold, I’ve got em all. In abundance even! But most importantly, I am learning from all of them how to be a good friend. Learnin’ from the best 🙂

Painting

Oh my goodness. This past weekend was a whirlwind. Lots of fun activities going on. I can’t quite process it all. In fact, it has sort of left me in a State of Funk. (Also, I just finished reading The Giver, so I’m tempted to capitalize the Common Words. My apologies. Do you accept my apology, Giver Fans?)

Anyhoo, Saturday we went to Luke’s soccer game, and Grandpa took us out for lunch after. Natalie was wanting to do something special with me, so we went to this local “paint your own pottery” place called Playing Picasso. We had so much fun! Natalie was ecstatic, and had so much fun that she has decided she would like to have her 7th birthday party there (because her 6th is already planned). Of course she only gets one birthday per year, so she has the next three all planned out. This year is laser tag, next year pottery painting, and the year after that roller skating. Well, at least we have time to plan lol. Anyway, I really liked this place, and I’m already thinking I would like to come back on my own and paint some stuff. Maybe I’ll  even throw myself a party one of these times.

On a normal day, the pottery painting was A LOT of art for this girl here, but I didn’t stop there. No sirree, I had plans to go to Painting With a Twist with a friend that evening. This was a completely new experience for me, but I had heard from other people that it’s a lot of fun. They get 20 or so people set up at tables, with brushes and paint, and then an instructor guides everyone through painting a masterpiece. After 2 hours, you have 20 matching paintings (in theory) and they take a group photo while everyone stands proudly holding their finished paintings.

I was a little hesitant to do this, knowing I would have trouble seeing and hearing the instructor, but we had them place us right up front. This way we had a better chance at reading lips, and could readily ask questions as needed. I ended up asking a lot of questions, mostly relating to which color was which on my palette. My vision is bad, but not in the way most would think. I have a much smaller field of vision, but within that field I am able to see 20/20 with my left eye (20/40 with the right). Colors on the other hand, are hard to distinguish. So most of my questions were relating to the colors: which one is blue? Is this one green? Can you show me where I just painted the white circle? White on white is impossible for me to see, and that happened to be the first thing we did. Oh, I could have freaked out right there, but I decided not to. I was determined to have fun, no matter what, and that is exactly what I did. Even when I lost my balance trying to reach the top of my canvas and almost knocked over the entire effing table. Yes, I lost it. Fell right over onto the table. But I quickly recovered, exclaimed “oops, I forgot I have poor balance”, laughed at myself, and moved on.

At the end of the day, I went home with some fun memories and a painting that turned out to look pretty darn cool!

Painting With A Twist
Painting With A Twist

It may not seem like a big deal for most, but it was to me. I am still, two years later, adjusting to life with hearing and vision loss. I am almost daily faced with tasks that are new to me. New to the NEW Me, not the Old Me. And that can sometimes be a smidge frightening, but I am also daily making the decision to ignore that fear and just keep moving forward. Because today is a gift, and I refuse to waste it being afraid. Do you hear that? Life is a gift! Open that bad boy up!!

Every Day Is Yours To Win

2015-08-18 09.11.40

The photo above is the view from my back porch. Do you see how the sun casts sort of a glow over the deck? Or is that just me? I took the photo this morning. Our house faces east, so the back porch is still cool from the night air as the sun is rising on the other side, and under the gazebo there is a nice breeze. So this is where I have come to love sitting in the morning (granted, it’s only Day Two), with my coffee and Bible, while Piper runs around the yard or rolls in the grass. When she’s done with that nonsense, she comes and lies down at my feet. It’s lovely. Just lovely. We are so blessed with this new home.

And if that wasn’t enough, we have some really awesome neighbors. All of them. Really. They even have a private Facebook page they use to keep in touch with each other. So while we’ve done some chatting with them leading up to the day we moved in, today we actually got to meet several of them. In fact, when people started getting home from their respective jobs, they seemed  anxious to meet us and say hello. The woman from across the street walked over to say hi, and we discovered we both have sons named Luke. A lady from the end of the street stopped at our driveway as she was leaving the neighborhood, and I was able to meet her and her son (whom I found had already met Luke yesterday). Then after Mike came home we met the man who lives next door to us, as well as his wife and two kids. It’s amazing how friendly these people are. We had heard this was a great neighborhood, but now we’re experiencing it and finding it to be absolutely true.

Oh, and get this – there are at least three other couples on the block whose first names start with the same letter, just as mine and Mike’s do (Mike and Mindy). There are the S’s next door, the D’s across the street, and another set of M’s further down. I love alliteration, I really do. What can I say? I’m a geek, all the way.

The unpacking is moving along. Throughout each day there is a constant feeling that I’m about to hit a wall, but I haven’t actually done it yet. I figure if I just go slow, then even if I do hit that wall, I won’t break anything. Just in theory, of course. I am developing some killer calf muscles, going up and down the stairs. But overall, life is good here and we feel pretty well settled. We have internet now, toilet paper, milk. You know, the necessities.

And here is where my brain is shutting down for the night, whether I like it or not. Good night!