Saturday, December 01, 2007

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.


cmtigger said...

Ugh, Hope you feel better. I've been in bed most of the last two days with something icky. I miss snow. I haven't seen it falling since I lived in Kansas.

December 01, 2007 2:22 PM  
Carina said...

If your fever's gone on for more than three days, please get checked. It might be something else, and you really don't want to get that sick.

We're supposed to get the snow late tonight (along with sleet and freezing rain--ugh). I wish it were going to be a proper snowstorm. Maybe it's time to move further north.

December 01, 2007 3:06 PM  
Leslie said...

Annie, I know you saw a specialist for your asthma at the Mayo but you really need a good generalist so you can easily get checked out for this sort of low-grade crud stuff. You cannot afford to be sick, but just like Gerry you've been dealing with major stress this past year, depression and running around not taking care of yourself. Please call around Monday and have somebody check you out? Please?

December 01, 2007 3:57 PM  
Mary Lou said...

Try Town and Country golf course, too. Nice hill, not too steep.

December 01, 2007 5:13 PM  
Jood said...

Glad you are looking forward to the snow. It snowed this a.m. in Rochester, but now we're getting sleet/freezing rain pellets. Blech. The roads are starting to get treacherous and DH and I just got in from a little holiday shopping. Brr...time to burrow in and spend the rest of the weekend indoors.

Don't you just love the way Diana Krall turns a musical phrase? I love her music and treated myself to her Christmas "album" in iTunes last year.

Hope the MM group works out well for Gerry. This time of year can bring on the blues for anyone with the low light levels and gray skies, holiday stresses, etc. With the added burden of what he's been going through...yuck. Dunno where he/you stand on it, but if he can't seem to pull out of it, better living through chemistry may be the ideal thing!

Mmmm...cookies. I'd love to be baking them. I love the smell of baked goods...but they make me round so I'll just think of them instead.

Take care of yourself,'ve been burning the candle at both ends for quite a while now. You're strong but even a rock crumbles under too much pressure.


December 01, 2007 5:24 PM  
Ellen said...

I heard your class went well - that double knitting seems like a time saver! Try Como Park golf course - there is x-c skiing there and a sledding hill.

December 01, 2007 11:35 PM  
brendacknits said...

I hope you feel better soon, Annie. I am glad that Gerry has a group he can go to where there are people who have experienced what he's been through this year. It has to help to hear from them.
Going to the doctor yourself sounds like the best idea.
Brenda in San Mateo

December 02, 2007 3:05 AM  
trainlady said...

I am coming out of lurking to encourage you to take care of your health. It's easy to say that because of the stress and travel, you're overly susceptible to every tom, dick, and harry bug that walks by, but please make sure that's what it is.

December 02, 2007 8:28 AM  
Anonymous said...

I agree with the medical comments. Do take care of yourself, and it will make sledding more fun.

December 02, 2007 9:51 PM  
mwknitter said...

Uh - I understand the snow excitement - all we've had so far is sleet & that icy snow that doesn't count 'cause it's just hard little pellets. Years ago my younger daughter & I went to San Antonio over winter break (she was a junior in college & wanted to go on a camping trip with her friends over spring break so we decided to take a vacation then). She wanted to go somewhere warm & I had always wanted to see the place of my birth so we took the train to San Antonio. Coming back, we ran into a huge snow storm in Missouri. I was sitting in the observation car to get a better look at it & saw a little boy about 5. He had never seen snow before & he just had the most ecstatic look on his face. So I told him that, even tho I've spent my life in snowy climes, I still feel like that - I knew just how he felt. I could just tell he was a snow person, too!

December 03, 2007 12:32 AM  
Molly said...

Just wanted to say that I bought Christmas with the Tallis Scholars from itunes based on your visual recommendation. My husband and I love it! Thanks! I wish you the happiest of holidays here in our snowy hometown!

December 04, 2007 10:33 AM  

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