Friday, October 31, 2014 nothing...

With everything that has been going on around here I feel like life is on the verge of tipping over.  It 's that feeling you get when you are going too fast...

I can tell we have some adjustments that need to be made but I haven't had the time to figure most of them out.  

A few I have already handled or they handled themselves. Like the kitchen table had to be moved [by zombies: sorry, that is a writing joke about 'being' passive] away from a drafty window if we were ever again going to eat dinner sitting down.  

And the issue of missing Thanksgiving. That would be our turkey, Thanksgiving, who was missing but later found over the fence, one leg sticking out of the neighbor's doghouse. I suppose if you were a turkey which side of the fence to fly down on is a hard choice; the side yard filled with soft grass or the kennel with the snarling dog. 

Strong argument no. 2 for not free ranging turkeys.    

Admittedly, I am not much smarted than that turkey. I ended up at work dehydrated with low K levels, probably a bad blood pH, which by the end of my shift was causing chest pains.  I can work through almost anything but not that.  For whatever reason I can't ignore or cover the discomfort. It takes me down fast. Having to call it quits because I screwed up only makes how I feel worse.  

Basically, I have 3 days to get my life back into something I recognize.
Ready, set, go! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

360 degrees

 It is one small corner of our farmstead on a perfectly normal fall morning that I am called outside to come see.  This is what I found.  
360 degrees of life playing itself out.  The whole act, new baby chicks, the cat, the mouse, the eggs, and the child all within 20 square feet.   
"Children learn through self-directed, hands-on, real-world experiences." 
I warned her the mouse might bite her. I warned her of the heavy and painful consequences if that was to happen. 
She weighed the risk and made her own decision. 
 As I did when I tried to pick up one of the hatch-lings 
I wasn't so lucky and got nipped by the hen.
 What to do about a little clutch of eggs this late in the season.
The craziest part about all this on-slot of animal life is the whole reason Beach was out in that corner of the yard to begin with... she was waiting for this guy to show up!
Beach has 'inherited' this sun conue from my cousin and her kids.
 This place is so crazy....


Do you know how long a pedicure and a manicure takes on a gymnast? Almost 2 hrs. It still only cost 8 bucks (not including tip).  I thought it had taken a really long time, sitting there chatting with the student stylist, a woman about my own age. Under all the make-up and overdone hair she was beautiful and kind. Yes, it had seemed like a lot of time but I nothing to compare it to. 
It was at the front counter that I understood it had been extravagantly long as I listened to the student stylist try to politely explain: big smile, "she's a gymnasts" dip of the head lower tone "a lot of calluses" the manager nodding while sizing up Beach. While I paid I sent Beach back into the maze of long counter tops, twirly chairs, and mirrors to hand deliver the tip to the poor woman. She never did find her forcing us to leave the money at the counter both of us praying it was in the right hands.
Causing trouble to those helping us seemed to be the theme for the day. At the eye doctors where you might have heard we discovered Beach's frames have been discontinued. Well, that was the least of the girl who was helping us troubles. Giving us the floor model as a replacement she tried to pop Beach's lenses out at the counter. The first one popped right out the second she nearly broke the frame then remarked, "Oh this one is sooooo thick." Turned red and began apologizing. We told her there was no need. 
She disappeared into the back to struggle with it in private. 10 minutes passed. She returned smiled sweetly at us as she walked by then without much thought to the way sound works announced to the girl helping the man at the next station, "I need you in the back this is a total disaster." 
Once the 2 of them got the lenses in the floor model Beach was presented with her glasses only to have to tell the girls that they had inadvertently put the lenses in wrong switching the right with the left. 
After she got it straighten out and schedule us a Sunday afternoon appointment with Beach's fabulous doctor she sweetly took the time to chat with Beach about gymnastics.
This weekend wasn't suppose to be about the kindness of strangers.  It was supposed to be about our little family soaking in the waters of Maple Grove Hot Springs. It was the first weekend were all free to go camping all *summer. The last and the first open weekend.
But instead BC felt he needed to put the trip aside so he could take the kid and a few other kids from the bike team at school to ride in a race down south in St. George. I understood. This is life with kids. Things come up. Plans change. Life goes on. I helped him plan. I helped him pack. We sent them on their way. 
He wasn't here when the little blue eyeglasses bit the dust. He wasn't here when we picked out pumpkins to carve. He wasn't here when I received one of the best gifts I have ever gotten: a single white piece of paper proving I had single-handedly paid for Beach's competitive season. He wasn't here when the little chick with the deformity on its beak finally died. He wasn't here when Beach and I dressed for a fire pit dinner draped in Hawaiian leis and roasted hot dogs, starbursts, and marshmallows

Not here, he had driven 302 miles in the big van. Ate all the cost for food and gas. Taken charge of a few extra kids and the care of their gear. Camped in the crowded race parking lot with his ex wife and her whole family near by- dreaming of Maple Grove. All for his kid. A kid who after everything his dad had done for him never even bothered to cross the finish line. Frustrated by a tire slightly rubbing against the frame "slowing" him down he pitched a fit and refused to go the last few yards to finish despite many attempts form the adults and teammates around him to rationalize the situation. 

This morning BC home, tired and sullen drinking coffee listened to the sounds of Beach cleaning. By 8 am she had cleaned the entire main floor and was moving out into the yard... I have always felt down deep inside it is just Beach and I against the world. I'm liking our odds. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

walk on water

What made me turn in my seat was hearing her teammates calling me. The words they were collectively saying didn't fully sink in until they parted and Beach came into view standing on the vault runway holding her glasses in her outstretched hand. 

Her glasses- it was what they were saying, 'Beach broke her glasses'.  She crossed the floor of mats into the office space handing me the tiny blue frames one of the arms snapped clean off. 
I have thought about the possibility of this moment many times. I had long decided that if she was willing she should go ahead, wherever with whatever she was doing. This should not stop her. 

I had always pictured it would be a worse case; an out of state meet. In the style line of an overly dramatic after school special she would compete her final event without her glasses and win gold! I know it's completely laughable, all mother are slightly insane, become a gym mom and you go from renting in crazy town to leasing a timeshare. And the only reason you don't own property there is you can't afford it! 

But it's hard not to see these little giants as anything other than amazing. My story line of the underdog taking the meet is based on reality. Last season Beach took off her orthopedic boot and competed on her broken toe. At awards we all watched the kid wearing the boot (much to the dismay of her competitors) awkwardly climb to the steps to first place.

I suppose I somehow despite my constant warning to others of her altered abilities I myself saw her glasses as just a magic feather.     

I approached the head coach.  Holding her broken glasses in my hand he first asked me, "Did you see her Yurchanko Pike?" I said I hadn't. He smiled and nodded to himself; this means it was good, whatever it was, it was good. Which answered part of the question I had forgotten to ask- how exactly did Beach break her glasses? Well, not crashing and burning on 'her' chanko I suppose.  

"If you are alright with it I think she can continue without them." I offered.
"I know she can." He said. So the 2 of use agreed she would finish all of practice without her glasses.     
I would say it was the part of me that wants to ignore the reality of the condition of her sight that believed this was possible.  Despite the daily bombardment of accommodations, like too blind to see in the low light of the shower so she showers with the curtain half open and we place her shampoo and conditioner in the exact same spot for her to find. I wanted her to be able enough to... to do gymnastics almost completely blind. I wanted her to see.  

Luckily for us all the owner and one of her other beloved coaches (who has coached Beach from the very beginning of time) would have nothing to do with it. I was dispatched home for Beach's backup pair while the owner took my spot working the reception desk. 

Before leaving I walked out onto the floor (perk of the job) to tell Beach that glasses were on the way. She was in the process of moving from vault to floor, 2nd rotation of the day. 

At that point she had vaulted twice without glasses. She looked pale and waxy, very tired for so early. The marks where her glasses grip tight across her nose red and raw. She did something she does at home when she isn't wearing her glasses. Using only the vision in her right eye she orients herself off center to the person speaking to her. Then she talks to the side of you.  It always reminds me of a blind baby bird. And the talking part- she was talking too loud- because she wasn't seeing me. What vision she had managed to pull together was already fatiguing to the point of failure. 
Later she would tell me about the work it took to make a half way accurate picture of the vault table as she ran towards it. How small it was and how the scene shifted and bounced like a ride on a rickety roller coaster. 
It makes sense considering Beach sees only what she can construct out of the mismatched information coming in. Often she sees double and lately we have learned the 2 eyes don't see color or light the same way.  Sight for Beach is a second language and a lot gets lost in translation. 
She told me the one pass of her floor routine before I returned with her back up glasses was a crazy mix of light and muted color. She had no idea where she was but it wasn't scary it just "hurt" her stomach.

I think that must be true of me too, the having no idea where I was. I wanted to believe that the warnings I give other people about her vision are the lies of an overly protective mother. That the threat of her losing her sight altogether is simply a plot twist in her after school special. I want to believe what I know about her isn't true. Never witness her inability to read the grand E at the top of the eye chart. I want to be one of the spectators who doesn't believe that that kid down there can't see.

Her team of eye doctors insist with every visit what she does in the gym isn't possible. And they are right it isn't and yet she clearly IS. 

In the end it was I who was underestimating her. I wanted to see her walk on water when she was already out there running on it. 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

remains of the days

It isn't all picture perfect like straight garden rows. This life is messy, sometime bloody. What I like best is that it is real.
BC is once again planning for out of town work. He keeps telling me the things he needs to get done before he goes like, "I want to get all the extra cocks roaming around here gone before I go so you don't have to mess with them." Yeah so, not great with the words but he is a thoughtful guy.  
He has lists for things to be done in the greenhouse and turning over the garden beds.
Of course to finish putting up this deer.
I think he has forgotten about his bees...
but they seem fine even without him remembering them.
Then there is this little creature.  
This is a great place to raise her.
A good piece of land filled with real life and real death.
I'm sure he hasn't forgotten her. 
She's hard to ignore and easy to please.
I wonder, what else remains around here?