Thursday, November 26, 2009

And so it goes...

I follow a blog or two from time to time (I do nothing consistently, except inconsistency). I absolutely marvel at the way some people can post practically daily! Hats off to you, I am not that person! As soon as I hit a rough patch, I clam up, hunker down, and get through it and then can do a little writing. Maybe as time goes on I'll get better at writing in the midst of the bumpy places, but that may take a while and a lot of ALCOHOL! (kidding)

Through a gnarly few weeks I am and here I am to tell you about it! But to set the mood for today's saga let me properly introduce it with this fine title...


And now I can begin... Have you ever stepped on a pin? And not just a little one but a big honking huge church lady's hat pin? No? Okay, what about stuck your finger in an electrical outlet and it took a while to pull it out? No? Okay, then use your imagination and try to imagine going to bed each night and drifting off to sleep when all of a sudden it feels like someone has attached jumper cables to your foot and started the engine.

That's me. Hat pin, electrial outlet or jumper cables. In my foot. Every night for the last four weeks, almost every hour, sometimes every half hour. I jolt out of sleep, look at my foot and say, "Okay, I'm awake. Now what?" Sometimes I have to get up and walk around for a few minutes. Sometimes longer. I've never had my dishes clean and sink empty so consistently in almost twenty years of marriage! What else am I going to do after walking around my place two or three times a night? I also play musical beds. I've been known to kick one of my kids out of their bed just on the off chance that the magic sleeping foot fairy has alighted there and she'll sprinkled some of her damn dust on my foot.

Last week I celebrated 24 years that I've been alive since I was in a head on collision in November of '85. Long and amazing story that I'll tell another time maybe. Alive but broken up a bit. Two broken arms, whip lash, bashed out teeth, and an ankle broken in two places requiring surgery. Two screws put in. Had them taken out after a couple of years. And happily went on to live a rich and wonderful life which included a mobility that I've totally taken for granted...

And so after many nights of this ongoing drama between me and my foot these past weeks (which refused to respond to painkillers, stubborn thing!) I finally went to the health centre here to say, "HELP!" The nurse was wonderful, compassionate and thorough and took an x-ray of said appendage. Hmmm. Doesn't look good. You better go into Whitehorse and see a doctor and get xrays done there. Here's some T3's to help wth the pain. (They didn't).

Doc's apointment coming up on Wednesday. No problem, it doesn't hurt during the day and who really needs sleep anyway? And so it goes... until WHAM!

Tuesday morning I'm finally asleep (on the couch) when suddenly I'm awoken by the most awful CRACK! And the worst part is that the sound came from my foot! When I finally caught my breath (those pre-natal breathing exercises I took all those years ago came in handy!) I called Ken to come look (I was too afraid, I didn't want to see the bone sticking out!). No bone but lots of swelling and PAIN! No more walking for me! I looked at Ken and told him to call my step dad in Whitehorse (an hour and a half away) to come get me and take me to the hospital in Whitehorse NOW! Ken did and so did my step dad, bless his heart!

Long, depressing story made short: x-rays show that my dear old troubled foot is done, caput, finished. Plan the pedi-funeral. I guess I've been hobbling around with no cartilage for a while now and it's bone on bone in there. The nerves in there are putting up a fuss and let me know it at night. And the CRACK I heard was just the bones rubbing the wrong way against each other. The doc was great but didn't offer ANY hope. "Your foot's a mess." The best they can do is book an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon that I might be able to see in Feb. but probably Sept. What?! And the best an orthopedic surgeon can probably offer is that maybe they would fuse my ankle (no bendy, bendy) at some time and that would take care of the pain. (Also would take care of any activity that requires a flexed foot). In the meantime, here's stronger pain pills, stay off your foot, and that's all folks! Oh, and lose weight while your sitting around too!

Needless to say I was a little devastated! But here I am on Thursday and I'm okay. The foot's still swollen but it let me sleep last night and I didn't even bring in the big guns (painkillers). Today I was able to hobble around with very little pain and I'm thinkin' it may have a few more miles in it than the docs think. Now don't get me wrong. I've had a huge slap upside the head. I know every day I'm on borrowed time with this old girl. I need to make some major changes if I'm going to preserve the little time I have left with her! That means I've got to lighten the load that I've required both my feet to carry around. It scares me to even write that down because this is such a vulnerable area in my life and I feel like such a failure. But vulnerability be damned - I gotta do it. I've done it before, with God's help I can do it again.

And so I joke about the "magic sleeping foot fairy" and I'd like to joke about the "lose a helluva lot of weight fairy" but ultimately I need God. Desperately, achingly. I need Him and I need you. All your prayers and if you don't pray, all your good thoughts (I think he listens in to those too). Thanks...

And so that's why I haven't been writing lately. Throw in there that all five of us had the pukin' poopin' flu two weekends ago (and it wasn't just 24 hours!) and I think you get the picture! I'll try to update more often...



I love you.

'til next time,

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Inspiration from Faro, Yukon!

I've been totally shocked, surprised and dumbfounded! But I jump ahead...

We have a bit of a routine forming here which makes life seem quite normal and lulls me into forgetting from time to time that we're "living an ADVENTURE!". I could write a whole post just about that, about how in the mundane of the everyday I trudge around like a robot and I forget that LIFE is a pretty flippin' miraculous thing. But I digress..

Our routine so far looks a little like this...

Monday - Friday everyone is in school except me (unless I sub). Ken stays at school til 5:30 most days, joins us for supper and then gets back to work for a couple of hours. Mondays Brenna and Jay go to Pioneer Club after school while Will and I hang out together. There's a few faithful saints here that do a great job running the club and Jay and Brenna really enjoy it! (Will's not a joiner and needs more "down" time than the other two). Wednesdays the kids and I go to Craft Time at the library which has been wonderful! Marty does a fantastic job coming up with activities for the kids and I must admit I'm always looking forward to seeing what she has planned.

Now this the challenge... Mondays & Wednesdays Brenna pays hockey from 6:30 - 7:30, Tuesdays & Thursdays Jay plays from 6:00 - 6:30 and Will plays from 6:30 - 7:30. The challenge is making sure we all sit down to a meal together, get homework done and leave enough time to get their hockey gear on. It's not as crazy as it sounds. Remember, we live around the corner from everything in this town. Commuting to anything is never an issue. The kids and I joke about how horrible the traffic is if we see another car! It seems we're doing more here than in Winnipeg with less effort.

Fridays are family movie night and Saturday mornings are hockey games for Will and Brenna (optional - at least that's how we see them). Every second Saturday we head into Whitehorse for visiting with Grandma, Grandpa, their dogs, the aunties, the uncle and the cousins and for getting our shopping done. While in Whitehorse we always visit the Canada Games Centre to either skate or swim. It is an amazing facility! We all love it!!! I must confess however, the highlight for me in Whitehorse is definitely seeing my family. After living away from them for twenty years I can't seem to get enough of them. I am very blessed to have these people in my life.

Sundays have so far been family days whether we're in the Junction or in Whitehorse. We haven't really figured out what we're doing for church yet which is another post completely. I'm trusting we'll get more clarity about that as I keep asking God, "Well?!?".

There, a little glimpse into our daily life. Now if only I could paint the picture with all it's colours! And add the smells and textures and sounds and tastes! It all seems rather ordinary until you add all that! I'd spray in the smell of the smoke in the air from woodstoves chugging away keeping so many families cozy, I'd paint in the mountains of course, but with the pinks that shine along them at sun up. I'd record the ravens calling, the snow crunching and the happy sounds of kids on skates. I'd add the feel off pulling so hard tying up hockey laces that you think your fingers are going to fall off or the feel of a friendly bernese mountain dog's fur that insists on being petted. I'd throw in the taste of bison and my mom's pork chops and mushroom sauce and then and only then would you begin to get a sense of what life is like here.

But back to the "I've been totally shocked, surprised and dumbfounded!" that I started this post with!

Today was one of those days we were at the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse. My sister and nephew and my kids and I were hanging out at the play structure and making a little conversation with the parents around us (I do LOVE meeting people!), when a lady walked in with two little bitty ones, a baby and and toddler. Having only recently survived having little bitty ones and the delight and trauma that it is, I find myself drawn to them like a moth to a flame. As we were leaving I couldn't resist stopping to coo over these little poppets (I LOVE that word!) and a surprising conversation ensued...

Me: They are gorgeous/amazing/beautiful/edible! How old?
Her: Thanks! 6 months and this one is two(?) We've just come in from Faro (small town in the Yukon).
Me: Oh, we're in from Haines Junction.
Jay: We're from Winnipeg!
Her: Do you have a blog? Sym's City?

No kidding! I about fell over! Can you speak! Turns out she likes to follow northern blogs and was familiar with ours. What are the chances is this great big world, in this great big territory that we would meet? What are the chances that anyone other than those who know and love us (and who feel obligated to read this out of fear that I'll ask if they've been reading it) would read it?! I was flabbergasted. We went on to chat for a little bit and of course we will now be connecting on line and no doubt we'll end up in Faro sometime to visit because now we know someone there! I LOVE surprises!

And so I guess in a way this has ended up being that post about "how in the mundane of the everyday I trudge around like a robot and I forget that LIFE is a pretty flippin' miraculous thing." Because today, in the midst of my routine, as I met someone "by accident", I was reminded again that life is pretty miraculous.


You love to surprise me don't you?! I think you got a kick out of watching Kara and I meet today! Thanks for that. Bless them as they live their adventure. I love you.

'til next time,


Monday, November 2, 2009

Something to brag about...

Can I brag for a moment? Thanks. I knew you wouldn't mind. It's about Ken. You know, the man I married almost twenty years ago? I just have to say a few words about him. I have to get it off my chest. I will warn you though that this could get downright shmaltzy. Reader beware.

He's a marvel. I don't know how I won the marriage lottery but I won big time! It's overwhelming somedays when I think about how rich I am because I have him in my life. Of course there have been times we've both gone through when we were tempted to trade each other in for the price of a good cup of coffee or bottle of coke. But, overall, when I look at this man I get to be with for the rest of my life...I'm VERY pleased.

What brings on all this mushy, gushy stuff you ask? Well, because he is working his ass off here in Haines Junction! And all for us. So we could have this most excellent adventure. After 16 years of teaching, of establishing courses, getting into a fairly comfortable groove, he was willing to shake it all up and work like a first year teacher again, starting from scratch, in a strange place, in a difficult situation, with a number of challenging students. He's waded into fist fights, been told to "F#$@ off" and has worked an amazing number of hours. There's a ton of stress and a ton of work but he still looks at me very consistently and says, "It's worth it. I'm glad we're here." He often takes a few moments to gaze out at the mountains and it seems to restore him.

And then there's the fact that he willingly lives with me day in, day out. I'm not the easiest to live with. I know that's a shock for those who know and love me...but I can be YUCKY. I can be a self absorbed, spoiled baby some days and he comes along and instead of getting pissy back at me...he rubs my feet. Or helps out with this and that even tho' his "to do" list rivals some of the mountains here. He is gracious and warm and loving and just a really nice guy. Some people don't like the word "nice". They consider it a blah word. But when you've lived side by side with one person for such a long time and you still think they are "nice" I think it actually says a lot! And another thing...he makes me laugh EVERY day. Somedays it's a chuckle, somedays I almost pass out I'm laughing so hard (which usually means Ken has hurt himself).

He's not perfect (close, but I know too much) but I am so impressed. He's a gift I never deserved but I greedily accept. Today I am thankful, oh so thankful, for this man who I get to be with through it all.


Thanks again for the gift you gave me in Ken. Help him to know how much you love him and how much I love him. He's wonderful.

'til next time,