multi-hyphenated-me

the hyphens that define my life

Rough Life November 10, 2013

Yesterday our youngest went to a friend’s house for the first time for a play date.  He came home after four peaceful hours and announced his friend’s family live a rough life.  Huh.  The dad is a cardiologist and the mom is a nurse.  I had to ask, “What’s so rough?”  I should have guessed his reply.  “They have a Wii but they are only allowed to play sometimes, so really no video game time.  They are barely allowed to watch TV, even cartoons! And, when we had hot chocolate, they don’t have marshmallows or whipped cream.”  “Oh my gosh!” I exclaimed in mock horror.  “What did you do for four hours?” “Oh,” he shrugged and said “we played outside, played in his room, teased his sister, helped rake leaves and just played.”  “It sounds like you had a good time.”  “Yes, but I couldn’t live like that every day.”

This was his first play date since we moved and I am so thankful he’s making friends and experiencing new perspectives on life.  Isn’t that what friends are for?

While he was away, my husband and I were painting the dining room.  I love my dining room.  First, its oval which is just awesome.  Built in china cabinets and valances above the huge window at one end and another over the buffet cabinet. The problem with this room since the second I saw the house, is the color.  The room was painted a glaring caution sign yellow-gold with the window trim, baseboards, valances and outer cabinets painted white.  The inside of the cabinets painted blue.  Every day since June I have asked if we could paint the dining room since every meal in that room (every day) makes me want to scream.  Color has huge impact on me.  I’m color sensitive apparently because the boys and my husband didn’t mind the combination. Eek.

The first step is, of course, to agree on paint colors.  Even though he is not, I’m certain my husband is color blind.  It took us a solid month to pull paint samples, test colors and finally (FINALLY) agree on colors.  With that accomplished, we scheduled this 3-day weekend to paint.  I just want to point out my husband and kids have Monday off, I had to take a vacation day to paint.  Not an ideal vacation, but I am willing since the yellow-gold paint needs to go.

While painting, we listen to music.  My husband is a metal head but appreciates a good dance track (aka, he loves Justin Timberlake).  We’re listening to the playlist I created and labeled “Housecleaning.”  It doubles as my “Dance Party” playlist.  I hate cleaning so if I have to clean, I might as well dance while scrubbing.  There are a few timeless ballads included so I can sing in full voice occasionally too.  This playlist is a good time.  My husband is tolerant, even dancing along from time to time, but he’s a serious worker and focused on task.

The playlist contains everyone.  Eminem, Michael Jackson, Lady Antebellum, JT, Jay-Z and Beyoncé and everyone in between.  At one point, Enrique Iglesias came on with “I Like It.”  My husband asked if this was Bull Dog.  You mean, Pit Bull?  No, it’s Enrique, I love Enrique. “You know he has a new album out,” he said.  “What?  How do you know?  You didn’t even know this was Enrique.”  He said, “I saw him interviewed on Ellen DeGeneres. Enrique lives with his partner in Puerto Rico, has two boys and parasails.”  “WHAT?!?!?” I asked, “When did you watch Ellen DeGeneres?”  Remember we don’t watch TV, we Netflix.  Ellen also airs in the afternoon when he is working.  We don’t TiVo anything, ever, either. While I’m thinking he has too much free time, he told me he watched the episode while waiting for the doctor the other day.  Ah yes, that explains it.  Shocking, but explained.

We’re still painting today, photos will post when we’re done.  So far it’s awesome and I love it.  The kids are raking and bagging leaves, living the rough life (minus the crepes for breakfast and the hot chocolate fortification during break time).

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T-18 Perspective June 1, 2013

Filed under: Life,Quotes — multihyphenatedme @ 7:54 am
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Do you know where you were and what you were doing 6 years ago today?  I do.

My husband was working in Los Angeles. Our two older kids were at school in Kindergarten and 7th grade. The younger two ages 3 and 2 were left with a babysitter as I drove 20 miles from Parks into Flagstaff AZ to to work with a fast wifi connection before runnng errands.  My favorite stop was Late for the Train coffee shop on Milton Road for their many tables, fast wifi and good coffee.  My car was on fumes when I rolled into the parking lot.  I added “get gas” to my list of errands to run later.

After an hour of so, I received a call from the school superintendent to tell me, the school board president, that there was a fatal accident involving three sisters (two of our students and an 18-year-old) of a local Parks family travelling to California around midnight the previous night.  The two small classes (10-15 students in each) involved, 5th and 7th grade, were extremely upset and crisis counselors had been contacted. Inside the coffee shop, I yelled into the phone for information and details.  As I grabbed my computer and stuff, my phone rang again.  This time it was someone (I can’t remember who) explaining that my daughter, as well as the rest of the 7th grade class, was hysterically upset over the tragic loss of their friend and I needed to get on campus as soon as possible.  I explained I was in town and would arrive in 20 minutes.

Everyone in the coffee shop, strangers and those who knew me as a regular alike, stared silently as they witnessed my distress and sensed the urgency to get out of there as quickly as possible.

I ran to my car.  Leaving the parking lot I realized (DAMN) no gas.  I banged on the steering wheel screaming expletives.  I quickly drove to the nearest gas station.  In my haste and stress and delirium, I couldn’t remember what side the gas tank was on, even though I had owned the car many years. I drove around and around the pumps, unable to get the car positioned with the tank next to the pump.  Frustrated and crazed I got out of the car and stretched the pump until it reached around my car to pump gas. Shaking, I only pumped what I needed to get me to the school.

Eighteen miles. Blindly driving.  Crying.  Screaming.  Disbelieving.

Six years later, my friend grieves the loss of her babies. Each year, this is the hardest week of her life, May 31 the hardest day and summer is tough with each girl’s birthday one right after the other in June, July and August.

Yet it was this week that this friend beautifully posted: “someone somewhere is struggling more than you can imagine. be grateful for what you have, how very insufficient it may seem at times. be thankful for those around you. make sure your kids know, WITHOUT A DOUBT that they are loved. that is the greatest legacy we leave our children”.

That’s perspective.

Alohna, Bryanna, Charless, you are remembered,  you are loved.

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