We all make choices everyday, some with little thought or consequence and others that require more consideration and carry heavier costs. I made a choice on Friday. I had the opportunity to join some wonderful women in Indy for a reunion of sorts. These are my Gaggle, those bright, caring, incredibly busy young women who allow me to share a tiny place in their lives. From the first few weeks of grad school, we bonded into a close knit group of serious students, high achievers and fun spirits. I was in my late 50s, Anna and Kirstie were barely 25, the others were scattered around 30. As unlikely as it was, we became the Gaggle. And all through the ups and downs of grad school, we supported, listened to, cried and celebrated with each other. We lost family, had babies, had health issues, but we all stood by, strong and ready. I love each of these ladies as if she were my own child. I've attempted to be there for all the gagglefests, all the weddings and the babies. This weekend, however, I had a bigger issue. Our mom has Alzheimers and my sister provides 99% of her care since my brothers and I have outside jobs. This weekend she was going to Chicago to visit her youngest son and his family which includes her youngest grandchild. She can count the number of times she has been with them since his birth and looks forward to spending precious hours there. Mom is at the point where she needs monitoring regularly throughout the day to ensure meds and meals are taken. I had to choose to go to Indianapolis or stay with my mother. No contest. I love the time I spend with Mom but it is emotionally exhausting. I seriously do not know how my sister does it, day after day. She isn't the same person who raised me, but she is sweet and loving still and just wants the attention of her kids. Our parents never had close friends, the family was all they wanted. We knew our parents loved us without a doubt. They spoiled each of us with attention and love, now we get to repay that love.
Besides...I had had Spring Break in the most amazing house on the beach! My room faced the Gulf and had a sweet balcony with a sweet wicker couch and a down throw where I spent my most of my time. This was the best weather we have had for Spring Break ever. Each day was better than the one before. And the evenings were beautiful, the moon was full and the moonlight reflected on the waves like silver. I went out on the balcony at midnight and watched this display, not believing my luck. How blessed we are to get to experience such a wonder. I came back to my real life revived.
We are down to the last grading period, the end of school is fast approaching and we are busy! The dullness that is February and March is gone and the hurry of spring is here. Scheduling is almost finished, ISTEPs are coming again, case conferences are almost daily, 4 today!, and I'm counting down the days till retirement.
Besides spending time with Mom and my kids, I want to work on our house and yard. Each room needs some fluffing, but the bath and kitchen have to go. Even Stephen King realizes that it is way past cosmetic repair. The tub, sink and flooring are shot. I want a stand alone shower, no tub, an antique chest for the vanity and tile flooring and walls. The only thing salvageble is the schoolhouse ceiling light. I'm thinking black and white. No surprise there! The kitchen is a different story. Some folks see no problem with fake cutting board counters and 1980s gold vinyl floors, but I do. Plus my kitchen sink faces a wall, not a window. In all my houses, the kitchen has been my room. Now I share with Stephen King, he cooks some, does most of the dishes and most of his own laundry in that ugly kitchen. He can take it, I cannot. I want warm, cosy, efficient, clean. None of which can be used to describe our kitchen. The cupboards are original from 1924, but strong and sturdy. I'm willing to repaint and get countertops, the ceiling is nearly 10 feet high and I love that. The rest of the room must go, 3 rooms actually. A tiny mudroom/laundry and nice big pantry open onto the kitchen. I'd like to open them all up into one big room. One would think with a carpenter husband and two carpenter sons, I would be living in a castle. One would be wrong. Like the cobbler's children and their lack of shoes, I am often the one needing a new roof, floor, door, etc. I'm thinking since I will have 24 hours a day to nag Stephen King about the kitchen when I retire, we might get it done! But I won't hold my breath, he can usually outlast me and seems to have a deaf ear to nagging.
I invite all of you to visit Summer Nail Photography on FaceBook to see the redhaired vision that is our Mackenzie in her Prom Dress! This child lives in sweats, is entirely low-maintanence yet her buddy captured her Teen Idol Self in these snapshots. They were playing with hairstyles and dresses and I must say captured a side of Mack never seen!. Summer is a professional photographer locally who should be taking shots for the gossip mags, I think. Check it out.
Gotta go, we may are taking the kiddos to see HOP this week and I have to check if tonight is it. Grandkids are so busy, we have to schedule outings now. Talk later. Love