Settling In

It’s a snowy Minnesota weekend – it’s long in coming. A weekend that’s good for cups of hot tea or chocolate, sledding and knitting. I’ll take the latter, thank you very much…

November is usually a much snowier month (according to the records and the locals; we have nothing to judge it by personally.) There’s a lot of catch-up to do in order to get the snowfall/rainfall levels back up to a decent place. No one likes a drought.

The kitchen is a cheery place today – cookies to bake, a crock pot of oatmeal cooking in the crock pot (with raisins!) and an ipod full of holiday songs that we’re listening to.

How odd – and wonderful – to be in THE Charlie Brown Christmas town – St. Paul. Kind of cool, since it’s so much a part of my earliest holiday memories. I remember waiting for A Charlie Brown Christmas to air every year – it doesn’t have the same cache now that it’s available 24/7, all year long.

If you want to see a group of college freshmen reduced to weepy kids, play the Charlie Brown Christmas Album in a dorm.

So here the kids and I sit, watching the snow and waiting for the cookie dough we made this morning after their Saturday activities (Hannah; Fencing. Max; Footsall) to chill thoroughly. We should just take it outside.

And we’re waiting for Gerry to return from his
MM Support Group.

This is Gerry’s first MM Meeting, a long time in coming, and he was pretty jazzed for it. He just called to say that there were about 22 people at the group, and the consensus was that he looks REALLY good for someone who is about to have his 100 day appointment.

This was really good for him to hear – good to hear it from other folks who are going this same route.

My only worry is that the streets are getting mightly slick out there and I wish he were home NOW.

A few weeks ago he came home from grocery shopping – always a good time, with the carts he can scoot by without using his walker – and said that he was standing in an aisle and it suddenly occurred to him that he was depressed. It just came to him like an idea.

Which makes perfect sense, and in a way I’m sort of glad that he came to that realization in such a simple way (and in such a friendly environment as the grocery store…)

He IS getting better – every day he’s moving more easily and seems to have more clarity in his thoughts.

I see it, although it may be hard for him to judge. He can do just about anything he needs to, which can make him feel that he should be doing more than he can. And THAT can lead to him feeling less worthwhile than we know he is.

Most of all, though, I can tell that he just feels so damned alone in this. And still has such terrible back pain – which affects everything. In a weird way, we’re back where we were last Christmas – Gerry with a bad backache – but we’ve come so far. What a year.

I’m thinking that attending this group may be the first step in dealing with all of the stuff he may be pushing away. We’ve been so busy just getting THROUGH the whole MM ride, the doctor visits, the transplant, the medications.

Since returning from Mayo, we’ve spent most of our time coming to grips with life with a traveling-mom and a stay-at-home-dad who isn’t functioning at the level he’d hoped. We haven’t taken the time – we haven’t HAD the time – to really
sort out our feelings about this year. One thing about going through hell, there’s not a lot of time for introspection.

But now it’s time. I feel so pushed and pulled in 14 directions, but this is vital – we have to find a way to maintain the stability we’ve been fortunate to retain.

And, of course, along with all of these deep thoughts, the most important is considering where to go for sledding. Gerry’s been the family snow outing guy up until last year, but this year the mantle will pass to me. I hope I am up to the challenge.

It started snowing in earnest when I dropped of Hannah. Then I drove over to the Jr. High school to drop Max off at Footsall. The parents exiting the building seemed almost more excited than their kids at the prospect of a foot of snow. SNOW!!

Everyone has a glow on their face (this is unfathomable to many of you who prefer the warmer climates, but for those of us winter folk, it makes perfect sense!)

We’ve heard that Highland Park Golf Course is the best around here, so that may be where we spend our post-cookie-baking afternoon.

Of course I’m dealing with some kind of galloping crud flu-like thing – which is why I haven’t posted for a few days. I’ve been sleeping a lot – letting work pile up then dealing with it at 3 in the morning. Schedule of champions.

My constant, low-grade fever is ironic since I was bragging last year about how not-sick I’d been. This year it’s different – I seem to be sniffling or coughing or nursing a sore throat and slight fever whenever I’m home from a trip. And this was the year I got the flu shot!

I taught at the textile center on Thursday night – a great double-knitting class – but by the end I was so stuffy I had to come home and steam myself pretty well.

So I’ll direct the kids while they make the cookies, and when Gerry gets home we’ll see how he’s doing, and whether the kids are okay to wait until tomorrow for sledding. I could use a good night’s sleep.

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