...And in the air, the fireflies, our only light in paradise. We'll show the world that they were wrong, and teach them all to sing along; singing Amen I, I'm alive. Amen I, I'm alive...

- Nickelback, If Everyone Cared

For All The Right Reasons Album

And I'm singing Aaa-ayyy-men, I'm alive!

William Leonidas November 12th, 2009
My only regret is that I cried so many tears while I waited for you.

"...I'll try ~ but it's so hard to believe. I'll try ~ but I can't see what you see. I'll try and try to understand the distance between the love I feel ~ the thing I fear ~ and every single dream. I can finally see it. Now I have to believe all those precious stories. All the world is made of faith ~ and trust ~ and pixie dust. So I'll try ~ because I finally believe. I'll try ~ because I can see what you see. I'll try, I'll try ~ to fly..."

Jonatha Brooke "I'll try"

Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Jeremiah 1:4-5

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

Monday March 5th, 2010

So Why Stinkerie?

It's simple, really. It's the first thing I whispered against my newborn little Dumpling's temple as I held him alone for that very first time. "There's my Little Stinkerie." And all was right with the world as I brushed my lips across his delicate dewy soft newborn-pink skin and sniffed at his sparse smattering of downy soft hair. Corny and sappy, huh? I can't help it when describing my new Little Puppy. But don't get used to it - I have been told I am "irreverent."

Anyway, it just came out and he's been Stinkerie ever since. As well as Stink Pie, Stink Pot, Stinkey Pete, Little Stinks, Stinks, Puppy, Ducky, Baby, Baby Head, Baby Head Jenkins, Jack, Jack-Jack, Jackie Boy, Jax, Snork, Snorkis, Snorkle, Billy Boy, Billy Bob, Bobby Sue, Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob, Will, Willie, Willister, and the name given by my mentor turned friend Beth - Snake. When I write to her I call him either The Snakester or Slither! And of course, Dumpling, because he is my Little Dumpling - warm and soft and comforting. It's alright to combine comfort food with baby names, right? Have you ever watched the movie Where the Heart Is? If you have, you'll know why I mention this in my defense!

Long story short, you're likely to encounter any one or more of these names in a single post. Because I can. It's my blog!

Something to Consider

Bad decisions make good stories.

Something to Think About

With any pregnancy, there are concerns. With any child, there are worries. When you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome, you know what to worry about. You know what to look for. You have a plan of action. With your typical child, there is no limit to the things that can 'go wrong' or 'happen.' There's no place to focus your worry and concerns. 'IT' will always be out there, waiting. You'll always be on guard. Even when the child is 55 and has grandchildren. With Down syndrome we have a battle plan. With Down syndrome, there is a finite number of things that can go awry. With a typical child, there's isn't. It's a crap shoot. I'm sticking with the Ds and taking the other two back to the hospital for a refund.

Head Above Water

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Can't Drive 55

Remember those bumper stickers that were popular when some idiot decided that reducing freeway speeds to 55 would save lives? It was a huge fail. Huge. But that's where I'll be during orientation next week. Only our freeways are 65 mph. And I won't even be doing that because I'll be in the morning commute. And the luxury of driving in the car pool lane while I work nights? Won't happen. I have to be to work by the time I am legally allowed to drive in the car pool lane with no one else in the car. Dang!

The new job is promising. I start Monday, full time. The position of Clinical Nurse Supervisor will pay well enough on it's own. I'll also be doing case management and home visits, for even higher per-visit pay. The thing is, I hate traffic.

I mean I really hate traffic. I don't drive the speed limit unless there's a cop on my butt or the kids are in the car. Even then I push it just a little bit. I know every curve in my route and I know where new lanes are coming up. I know where traffic typically slows and I know how to watch all lanes to see who's moving and who's lallygagging. I keep an acute eye on the motorcycles and I know who's coming up fast behind me. The Beloved would beg to differ, but I am a safe driver. Case in point: At the high point in elevation here there is an overpass where CHP's can hide unseen and then swoop down on unsuspecting drivers. And two miles past this point one day, I saw the pretty flashing blue and red lights in my rear view, coming up fast. Behind me. Crap. So I pull over.

First thing the Chippy says is "That's some fancy driving. Where'd you learn to drive like that?" Ummmm...my mom? No, I didn't say that, nor did I tell him the truth. I said that I was on call at so-and-so hospital, flashed my badge at him, and said that there was a trauma waiting in the ER, that's why I was in such a hurry, I'm sorry, I'll slow down. I'll never forget what came next. He said, verbatim, "You sure were in a hurry. I clocked you at 92 and by the time I caught you, you were going 98!" and then "I won't keep you though. You obviously know how to drive. Just get there safely." What the heck? He didn't even ask for my license. And he also didn't ask for my license the next 6 times he pulled me over. Typically, cops don't ticket nurses. They just don't. It's some unwritten rule and I routinely abuse it to the point of obscenity. The next six times he pulled me over it was to chat. Where was I headed that night? Did I know what kind of patients I was getting? Were the 12 hour shifts difficult? Blah, blah blah. He never kept me long, but neither did he ticket me. The last time he pulled me over he'd said that he'd seen me the previous night, but didn't pull me over because I'd been driving the speed limit and he thought that maybe I didn't have time to chat that night. He seemed sad. And I never saw him again after that. I've seen the new guy who sticks out so far on the over pass that the oncoming traffic lights make his light bar glow for all to see for a mile in either direction. I'm glad he's not pulling me over anymore. It was kinda creepy. He could have hauled me in for reckless driving at any one of those stops and impounded my vehicle to boot. Where ever he is, I wish him well, and I eat a doughnut in his honor every time I eat doughnuts.

So where did I learn to drive? From a bank robber. True story. I was 15 and his name was Billy. Ironic, huh? Billy the kid?! At the ripe old age of 34, Billy had already served four terms in the federal penitentiaries of various states for armed bank robbery. Yeah, apparently, federal crimes don't carry the sentences they used to. And that was in 1980! Anyway, Billy took me under his wing when he caught me driving my Youngest Older Brother's bright yellow cop-magnet Ford Bronco, and doing a very poor job of it. He found me at a gas station with utterly zero knowledge of just how to get the gas from the nozzle into the truck. So I had three times a week driving lessons from Billy the bank robber. Wonder if he ever gave up armed robbery for a living? I don't know...haven't seen him in years.

My first education about cars and driving started when I was just 3 years old. My youngest oldest brother was 11. This is where I learned to duck and weave, how to spot an opening and how to "trend" drivers. Skills I use today. Why my Mother let him drive at 11 is beyond me. Likely she didn't know he was driving, or that he owned several cars. It's also more likely that she knew about it and was just too tired to fight him over it. My three older brothers were hellions. Well, maybe not the Middle One, but the Youngest and Oldest to be sure. The Youngest dreamed up crap to pull and the Oldest went along with it. Ironically, he's the one who always got caught, whined that it was the Youngest's idea, got his punishment and then more punishment for going along with the Youngest's stupidity, punishment for not knowing better, punishment for going along with it yet again, etc. The Youngest simply denied having any knowledge of the kerfuffle. Only the Oldest never stopped getting caught, and never stopped going along with the Youngest's shenanigans. He never stopped whining about it either. Back in the day, getting caught driving under aged and without a license earned you a trip to the police station and a call home. As long as he didn't get caught, she didn't have to know about it. And he very seldom got caught, because he had me riding shot gun. He taught me how to spot cops and paid me a dollar for each one I saw. The bonus was five dollars if I saw the cop before he did. By the time I was five, he was paying me so much that he had to modify his reward policy. I got five bucks regardless of my performance for every time we arrived home without having been pulled over. By then he had a license and a long ugly reputation for out running cops. Remember this was back in the day. They didn't have helicopters and if you could pull into your driveway before you were pulled over you were home free. That law has changed.

Another true story, involving The Youngest and The Middle Older Bothers. Yes, I said bothers! They were walking home from school way back in the 60's when RTD buses still rumbled and spewed horrid toxic black fumes. There was one such bus pulled over at a curb while the driver used a pay-phone. They were 12 and 14 at the time ~ certainly old enough to know better, but still young and foolish enough to do it anyway. They hopped on the bus full of afternoon commuters and drove it several miles until they found a spot big enough to park it. Then they put it in park, turned off the key and hopped off. They also should have known better than to congratulate each other while my Mom watched the evening news. I'm just sayin'...

So my driving skills were honed by two criminals. One a fairly successful bank robber, if you knew his ratio of get-aways to getting-caughts. The other my beloved Youngest Older Brother, who was in his own echelon, a terribly successful career criminal. Who is now dead.

Dang, I hope my kids grow up having zero interesting stories to tell about their own childhoods.

Tomorrow we can drive around this town
and let the cops chase us around...
If you don't expect too much from me
you might not be let down...
~The Gin Blossoms
~New Miserable Experience

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