Notes From a Week Away

It feels strange sitting here in front of my computer again. It’s been a solid week since I have sat here, my fingers on the keyboard. It’s good to take breaks sometimes – a needed pause to restore and a break in the routine.

But it also feels good to be back. After all, I like my routine:)

Between the cold that hijacked my body midweek and the cobwebs of vacation brain, I’m filled with snippets of the past week. They are not yet ripened into stand alone blog posts (although I’m sure some of them will after proper fermentation), so for now they are simply notes from a week away.

Endings

My last post was about the health and future of Ms Kitty. We found out last Sunday that she is indeed in early stage kidney failure. We are currently working on trying to get her to eat a special lower protein diet that will help to extend her life. It hard – she doesn’t want to eat and I see her getting sicker every day. She may have weeks or months, but the clock is winding down. Meanwhile, we try to enjoy every moment we can have with her.

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Maddy and daddy

That Reminds Me

Trying to tempt the cat to eat reminds me of the year I lived with my friend and her new baby. The little one was premature and had digestive problems. Our days that summer were spent trying to drip formula into her mouth one mL at a time. That sick baby is now a robust 4 1/2 year old. I spent last Saturday with them and the not-so-little one kept the laughter flowing and helped distract me from kitty.

I can SO embarrass her with this one when she starts dating!

I can SO embarrass her with this one when she starts dating!

Speaking of Distraction

I jumped on a plane Sunday morning to meet up with a childhood friend in New Orleans after 15 years without contact. I don’t think I’ve ever hugged anybody so hard:) We picked up right where we left off. We stayed at the Melrose Mansion, a renovated old house just east of the quarter. My friend even managed to score us a free room upgrade with a bathtub as large as my entire bathroom at home!

The early bird gets the tub!

The early bird gets the tub!

We were pretty tame as far as New Orleans is concerned (i.e. we only saw Bourbon St. at 8 in the morning!). Some of that was due to the weather (cold and raining) and some due to the fact that we’re old and lame:) Apart from long conversations and giggles in bed (I told you we picked up where we left off!), we also visited a cool choose-your-own-adventure wine bar and an adult arcade where we could feel like kids again!

Wine Institute of New Orleans - Where the coursework requires a wine glass:)

Wine Institute of New Orleans – Where the coursework requires a wine glass:)

I went for the the pinball games, which were always my best, while my friend went for Ms. Pacman and Frogger. Just like the old days!

I went for the pinball games, which were always my best, while my friend went for Ms. Pacman and Frogger. Just like the old days!

Rain, Rain Go Away

The weather in New Orleans was a bit of a bummer (the heated swimming pool had to go untested), but it really through a wrench in the plans once I returned home. Brock and I were supposed to leave Wednesday morning for a three night camping trip at Cheaha State Park in northeastern Alabama. Except the forecast called for snow, ice and wind, oh my. And no thanks. Basically, it was guaranteed to be a miserable trip with a decent chance of it becoming a live action version of some of our favorite survival shows. We reluctantly decided to axe the idea of camping and substitute two day hikes instead. Our first outing was Red Top Mountain State Park on Thanksgiving. The fresh air and warm sun felt so good.

Tiger protecting us from the infamous Red Top Monster. I'm happy to report that we all escaped unscathed.

Tiger protecting us from the infamous Red Top Monster. I’m happy to report that we all escaped unscathed.

Yesterday, we decided to go to Cheaha for the day. Brock used to rock climb here and he enjoyed showing me the cliffs he used to climb. Usually, we plan our hikes carefully. This time, we approached it like an adventure. The destination was unimportant (in fact, it was nonexistent). It was all about the journey.

A Black Friday that reminds you that what really matters cannot be bought or sold:)

A Black Friday that reminds you that what really matters cannot be bought or sold:)

I’ve never been to that part of the state and I was struck by how much the soil and vegetation reminded me of Texas – just MUCH more mountainous! We only hiked 6 miles or so but I think our elevation change was at least that much.

Tiger also enjoyed the views.

Tiger also enjoyed the views.

Uphill Climbs

We weren’t the only ones facing uphill climbs this week. We visited with two friends who are both in the early stages of starting over after divorce. One is living with her mom with her three kids. The other is in a rented space whose empty rooms speak to the life left behind. It was a stark reminder of where I was just a few short years ago. Of how thankful I was for the small guest bedroom that was my home for a year. At how empowering it was to rent my own space for the first time. At the possibilities┬ápresented when you start over.

The last step of every journey is the first step of a new adventure.

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving whatever your adventures:)

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3 responses to “Notes From a Week Away

  1. Thanks for the memory of paying Ms. PacMan in every arcade, bar, or pizza parlor I could find…unless there was a pinball machine, which always trumped the video games!

  2. What a week. I’m so sorry about Ms Kitty. It’s good you had some fun distractions while that news settled.

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