Saturday, May 2, 2015

Day 697

May 2, 2015

Day 697


I have just enough time to start this before I have to leave again.  I optimistically made a list of all I planned to accomplish today.  Yes, well...


And, that's all she wrote for about four more hours!  It's just been one of those days.  I've been up at City Hall, working on stuff a couple of different times and then I had to run to the west side of Des Moines, which was fine - it was for fun stuff.  But my list still sits.


The sky is darkening up.  When I was in Des Moines today it was raining lightly.  They are saying it's supposed to rain a lot this week.  I'm sure the farmers will be happy, since we had such a gorgeous warm week in which they probably finished their planting.  I am hoping that it rains so much that the kids' first softball game Tues night is rained out.  They get so offended when I say stuff like that.  But someday they'll be parents and understand!


The hardest day this week was definitely Thursday.  But then it was followed by Friday, which was infinitely better, other than the nasty, horrible migraine I was awakened by.


Thursday I received a letter from my insurance company.  Apparently, they sent someone out to take pictures of my house and now they are refusing to insure my siding and roof anymore until they're completely replaced.  The siding is in progress so that's not a problem.  But I don't know what to do about the roof now.  It doesn't leak so I had not planned to address it until that became an issue.  But, if there's a bad summer storm and something happens, then the repair cost will be on me.  So, I don't know.  I just really hate to spend the money right now since it's not needed.  But that means I'm paying for insurance I can't ever use - until the roof is replaced.  Ugh.


The girls were kind of awful that same evening.  I had a big to-do with Ellie over her pork chops.  Every single time I've made pork chops she makes a big deal about how much she loves them and hopes I  "make them every day, Mommy!"  This time she flat-out refused to eat them.  Wouldn't even try them.  She did, eventually, but then moved on to her homemade mac and cheese.  It was all about control.  She wanted to be able to decide what she would and would not eat, which is fine - when you're 20.  Not 3.  She ended up going to bed early Thurs. night because she said she'd rather do that than eat the macaroni.  The dish appeared again at breakfast, which she refused, as she did at lunch.  She finally gave in and ate it at supper last night, which I was hoping she would because I couldn't keep reheating the stuff.  To the best of my knowledge, she'd had nothing to eat for about 24 hours, so intent was she on getting her own way.  How did I get so lucky as to get THREE children with wills of iron? 


After the girls were in bed, but far from asleep, David let me know the upstairs toilet was plugged.  I've become fairly good at unplugging these things with a plunger since Paul died.  But this would not budge.  Oh my goodness, I have never encountered such a plugged toilet before!  David was mopping up the floor and carrying out bucket after bucket of soiled water.  I was holding my nose and trying to work.  Eventually, I got on the internet and researched my options and squirted dish soap in the dirty water, followed by really hot water.




I began to think that perhaps something inorganic had been flushed and was now wedged in the pipes.  I don't know that in all my years of parenting that has ever happened, actually. 


As I was standing there, slippers wet, pants soiled, plunging a toilet that didn't want to budge, I found myself thinking, "I shouldn't have to do this!  This is Paul's job!"  But I was wrong.  It's my job by default now.


So yesterday I went to Menards and bought a snake.  But this was actually kind of a "God" thing.  I asked a clerk to help me because there were about 15 different options of things you could buy to unclog a drain.  Well, the clerk didn't know much of anything.  But as we were standing there, a gentleman next to me answered his phone and said something about "(name) Plumbing"  I waited until he was done asked him if he was a plumber.  He was and was more than willing to show me which snake to purchase.  He then gave me a business card and said if the snake didn't work, he'd be happy to come out and work on the toilet for me.


I went home and  had success with the snake.  Now it has its own hook in the garage.


So, by 11 on Thursday night I had given up on the toilet.  I was thinking I might finally be able to get to bed when I saw that the interior lights in the van were on.  They stay on for a few minutes after the van is turned off.  My guess was that a door wasn't closed all the way.  I went outside in my robe and slippers and repeatedly shut the door.  The lights didn't dim and shut off, no matter how long I watched them.  Finally, I grabbed my phone, thinking I'd have to call Will, and got into the van to see if the "door ajar" light was on.  That would let me know if I had a defective door.  It didn't take me too long to realize that somebody short had messed with the lights when cleaning out the van earlier that day.  How many times have I told them to NOT TOUCH THE LIGHTS when in there?  Grr...makes me so mad.  But, at least I didn't have a broken door and a resulting dead battery in the morning.  And then, I hear someone saying, "Hello, hello?  Sarah, are you ok?" phone that I was still holding had decided to randomly call one of my friends at 11:30 at night.  How embarrassing!  I hate that phone.


Will and I actually visited US Cellular this week to find out what our options for upgrading are and so forth.  I'm not eligible for a new phone until Sept.  I'm torn on what to do, money-wise.  I guess I have all summer to think about it!


 I finally got to bed Thursday night, dreading Friday when I would go visit a residential facility with Ben and his teachers.  I woke up that morning with the mother of all migraines.  I had to take 4 prescription meds before I finally beat that thing into submission later that afternoon.


But, like I said, Friday was better.  Ben's Resource teachers had asked me a week or so ago if I'd be interested in touring Christian Opportunity Center in Pella.  I wasn't crazy about the idea because in my mind, Pella is quite a ways away (it's not really - only about a half hour from my house).  But mostly, I've just had it set, mentally, that Ben will be going to Genesis in Indianola at some point. 


Which he may be.


But, maybe not.


I have to say, I was really, really impressed with COC.  They have a sheltered workshop area where Ben would probably not work a whole lot because his skills are just higher (he'd more than likely be employed out in the community).  But they do things for Vermeer and Pella Corp, along with a host of other area companies.  It was bright and well-lit in there and all the workers seemed so happy.  We toured one of the houses and Ben was so excited about this.  There's a wide open floor plan with a really nice kitchen, a little office area for the supervisor in residence and then 4 good-sized bedrooms for the 4 residents.  By this point, Ben was jumping up and down in excitement.  I had lots of questions for the director and came away quite pleased with her answers.

It sounds like this would be all paid for with Ben's disability payments. and then any money he earns would be his spending money.  So, a lot of parental help is not needed or expected.  Whew!


It's a faith-based organization so they have devotions every single morning.  They have a chaplain available to the residents and they take them to the various churches there in Pella on Sunday (if they want - it's all voluntary).


The director told me she's very excited about the idea of Ben coming to live there. She said she can tell he'd be a "perfect fit."  It wouldn't be for about 3 years yet, but I'm excited that she's excited!


We're going to ease into this.  I still need to tour Genesis' residences, too.  This summer Ben is going to go one day a week to Genesis' Discovery program and one day to COC's "Lifeskills" program, which sounds a lot like Discovery.  And then next school year we're going to try to have him spend a couple days of the week at COC, working and getting familiar with the place.


Pella is such a pretty city.  I'm actually thinking of doing Ben's senior pictures there this summer.  They offer a lot and I can see Ben thriving in that environment. 


Decisions, decisions...



The other night Ellie told me she wanted "chocolate smudge" ice-cream (fudge).


Wednesday morning I had a phone call from Will, wanting to know what was for supper that evening.  I knew he was planning to come home after classes.  I told him, "leftovers." He said flatly, "oh."


Then he informed me that he had invited two friends to come down with him that afternoon and told them I would feed them!  I've always looked forward to doing this but after this long and no invites, I assumed Will just wasn't very sociable at college.  So, I ran to Fareway and spent most of the day cooking and cleaning.  It was fun.  Will's friends were very enthusiastic in their appreciation for my cooking, which is always rewarding.


The day before he had ridden with these two friends out to some town south of Lincoln, NE to pick up some tractor tires for one of the boys' family farm back in Illinois.  On the way home they stopped at the other boy's home north of Harlan and tonight Will was telling me about their house.  He said that when they added on and put in a basement for the addition, they dug the floor out deeper and installed an indoor basketball hoop and playing area.  Now that's thinking!  This family has five sons and no daughters, so I suppose that's why their thoughts were naturally so sports-oriented.

I always watch channel 13 news.  Well, this week they announced that the evening's lead female anchor is pregnant.  It's neat because she's 40 and a few months ago she shared with her tv audience the fertility struggles she and her husband had been experiencing.  Apparently, a year ago they were going through an adoption that ended up falling through.  But when they were anticipating the arrival of this infant, she learned that Iowa does not have any maternity leave laws in place for adoptive parents, only for ones that give birth.  So, she did a story about this on the news and ultimately ended up spearheading a movement that got this changed in the legislature this spring.  While sharing her story on the news, she also shared that, as a teenager, she had given birth  and given the baby up for adoption (who is grown now and with whom she has been reunited) so now she's been on both ends of the adoption spectrum.


So this week they announce on the news that she is 3 months pregnant!  The other anchorpeople mentioned how shocked they were when they found out and then the weather lady laughed and says, on tv, "Well, I thought her boobs were looking bigger!" 


I'm probably a prude and I've got my own history of speaking without thinking...but really?


Yesterday afternoon I had a few errands to run and was in a store when I got a phone call.  It was from the founder of Single Parent Provision, which is the group that has been sponsoring these "moms night out"s that I've been attending (there's another in 2 weeks!).  Well, I knew they were having this fundraiser this weekend for SPP called, "Pedis with a Purpose."  I didn't examine it too closely, because as grateful as I am to this organization, paying $50 to participate in the fundraiser (getting a pedi at a local beauty school) was a bit steep for my budget.  Actually, paying anything for a pedicure is.  I can paint my own toes on the cheap.

But the head of it called me (her name is "Teahl" - such a unique name) and said that they wanted to gift me a pedicure today.  The way she said it, along with some other things made me think that she probably knows I'm widowed.  Although, I haven't shared that with anyone at the group.  But somehow, they must have found out.  It was such a kind phone call and coming on the heels of the rotten day I'd had the day before, I was just so moved and gratefully accepted.


So I went and had my toes done today.  Now they're a pretty cherry color.  The last time I had a pedi it lasted for a month, but I'm not so sure this one will last as long because they didn't dip my feet in wax like they did the first time I had one, a year ago.


I was thinking about that later yesterday.  Pre-widowhood, I never had a single professional manicure or  pedicure.  But in the last 12 months, I've been given 2 pedicures and 2 manicures.  Apparently, getting widowed is the key to having others pay to have your nails done.  Who knew?


Actually, it's a very gracious gesture.  When you're walking through grief, particularly widow-grief, you sometimes don't want to take the effort to look nice because you no longer have a husband to appreciate it.  And it takes effort.  Widowhood and single parenting is burdensome and extra things often have to slip off to the wayside.


I got to the salon today and Teahl met me with a big hug.  We barely know eachother, but I appreciated it.  You miss that human contact.  Kid hugs just aren't quite the same.


I ended up seated next to a very chatty single mom.  I have noticed that other single moms naturally assume that all single moms are divorced or never married like they are.  Widowhood doesn't occur to them.  So she's chatting away about her louse of an ex-husband.  That's something else I've noticed.  A lot of single moms are ticked off.  Anyway, she abruptly asked me how dating was going.  I told her it wasn't, wondering just when the right time to let her know my husband had died would be.  From there, she launched into a spiel about the losers she's gone out with since her divorce.  She finally commented that her husband had probably "ruined" her for other men.  I then said well, my concern with dating again would be that I would always compare a new man to my husband, who was quite wonderful.


All was quiet.  She looked at me sideways and then asked, "Did your husband die?"  Kind of a conversation-killer, really...


Although it didn't last for long.  Soon she was up and running again with tales about her two kids and the vacation she is planning on taking with them this summer.  After awhile I leaned back in my chair and let her words run over the top of me while I enjoyed the sensation of lotion being rubbed into my calves and feet.


I also told this gal that I was convinced that this time in my life was by God's design.  I don't believe it is His will that I look for another mate yet and I am quite convinced that there are things he wants me to learn about Him, myself, parenting, and contentment while I handle things solo.  I could tell she didn't really understand what I was saying, but that's ok.


 It's good to remind myself of these things, too.









































No comments:

Post a Comment