Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hallelujah Chorus with Nuns

My sister just sent me this for Easter. This is the funniest thing you will ever see. (Thanks to RMT for helping me imbed the YouTube. You rock!)

Easter was... well, pretty damn depressing. Don't get me wrong. Everything that has happened to me lately has been my choosing so I cannot be depressed because I am being forced to endure horrible things. My husband did not leave me. I am not without a job. My children love me. I'm the one who chose to leave my marriage and move away. So this is not the blame game. But for the first time in 20 years, I did not attend my home church with my family. Even as my daughters pulled away from church, they still came to Easter (and Christmas) with me. Last year my daughter (Mabel) and I were laughing so hard that we had to leave and go out into the Narthex. One Easter my underwire actually came out of my bra and started snaking its way out of my dress and up towards my neck... DURING COMMUNION. So as I looked down (in pensive silence), I see this metal protrusion and pull it out the rest of the way. You try keeping a straight face to receive "the body of Christ" while holding onto the underwire that has just escaped its stronghold. And you wouldn't think it would have a big impact, but you would be wrong. A bra (my size) without an underwire is just a tee-shirt. Luckily, the priest at the time was the father of 5 daughters and obviously knew his way around bras and never skipped a beat as he said, "Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie and Clyde." (For you unchurched, that's Body of Christ.)

Now where was I. So I had said I would try to go the church in town on Easter, but I did everything to sabotage it. I stayed up late IMing with Os and then went to bed after driving 5 hours to and from Wichita. And I didn't set an alarm. If God wanted me to go to Easter service, She would wake me up in time. And sure enough, my eyes popped open at 10 till 8. So I figured it was a message... from God. And got up, took a shower, got dressed, and headed out. The Episcopal church in this small town is downtown so it's street parking, and I told myself that if God wanted me to go, She would leave me a parking place. Sure enough, there was a perfect spot left opened, obviously, by someone from the previous service. I even parallel parked and got a great seat inside. I know no one. And I know that church shouldn't be about the people, but it is. I was fine in the beginning. Sang "Hail Thee Festival Day," and even though it's not one of my favorites, I belted it out (because I can sing it and it's not one of my favorites because it's very difficult for the average Episcopalian). Let me preface this by saying that I had been in a church choir for years where Easter is sort of the "biggie" of all church holidays. Anyway, I was fine. For the most part. Oldest daughter was back in St. Louis with her boyfriend but went to church with her father. Younger daughter would not take me up on my invitation when I asked her to come along.

By the peace, I was thoroughly depressed, through no one's fault, because as people turned to their significant other which ranged from spouses to children, I had no one. Yes, people are kind, were kind, and passed the peace, but it can get very lonely. By the time I left church, I was pretty low and lonely. Drove home. Roommate is visiting her daughter for the weekend. Just me and the dogs. I got on the internet with a friend and continued to be pretty low. It's just not the same. I am usually so busy this season. Once I quit choir, I had tons of chores to do at work, decorating, planning, welcoming. I even sewed matching outfits for me and the girls one Easter. And of course, as a parent to 2 little girls, there was the baskets and the dying of the eggs. Nothing occupied my time this year. Later in the afternoon, Mabel called to tell me she was back in town and I headed over to see her (to ask her advice on some clothing for this coming weekend's festivities), and I called a friend from back home. She went on and on about how lovely the church looked and how she thought of me and missed me terribly. I loved hearing that, but I just started sobbing on the phone because of my loneliness. I miss my friends at church so much. Of course, I knew it was time to leave my husband when I knew I would miss them more than him. And I do. It is supposed to be the most joyous of holidays and yet I was very low. I didn't see that coming. Or maybe I did which is why I tried to sabotage the day from the beginning.

I am glad I got up and forced myself to go to church. Don't get me wrong. I just didn't expect it to hurt this much. But now that it is late and Easter is over, I watched the nuns and the Turtle Creek Chorale sing The Hallelujah Chorus (see YouTube link above) and laughed my ass off. I think God would be laughing, too.

On a very bright note, my daughter was named OUTSTANDING FIRST YEAR TEACHER of the school district in which she teaches. Her school is only 3 blocks from my work, and her department head called me ahead of time so I could get over there for the presentation, but the school board got there before I could even drive the 3 blocks. So I was seen huffing and puffing up the stairs with the bouquet of roses. (Thank goodness I work out or I would have collapsed in the hall.) I am so proud. I could burst. My daughter is 5th generation teacher, and she was born to teach. And yes, I have told everyone. Must call the papers tomorrow. Must order the billboard, too.

Thanks for listening to my griping. I am feeling much better. And thanks for listening to me brag about my kid. I am feeling much better now.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

She drives the big rig...

Yep, that's me, driving a 16-foot truck. Can you tell how scared spitless I am or that there are tears in my eyes at the prospect of driving 2 hours down the highway in this vehicle packed with my life in the back? To the brim?

I have decided that driving this truck was a lot like going to the dentist. Scared, nervous, anxious, petrified at the prospect (ok, already, I have a dental phobia that I forgot to mention in my earlier post). But once in the driver's seat (or dentist's chair), it's not that bad. I did ok. I actually am the one who backed the truck into the driveway. Now I have to admit when I got into the cab, the first thing I noticed was NO REARVIEW MIRROR. I almost got out to report the damaged part until I realized there was no need for one since behind me was a wall of yellow. There was no need for a rearview mirror. That's why there were mirrors the size of Albuquerque on the sides of my big yellow truck.

So it was a gray day in St. Louis, but the rain held off as we packed the truck with my bedroom furniture and just a few boxes. My life. Well, there were a little more than a "few" boxes, embarrassingly so. I was the second youngest person helping, and the youngest was only a year younger. So that means, 48, 49, and then my sister who is 55, my other sister 60, a friend who is in his mid-60s (whose wife bragged he could fit a 3-room house in a Volkswagon and I believe her after seeing the miracle he performed that day) and neighbors who are 67. Do the math. I think that means the average age on the St. Louis end was 60 something. But damn, were they incredible workers. Even the STBX did an incredible amount of work while he watched me pack up my life in the back of the truck. He took the picture shown while I tried to hold back the tears.

I took the train to St. Louis the night before and it was 2 hours late so instead of getting in around 9:30, I did not get in until midnight. Then with the nerves and anxiety, I did not fall asleep until 3 and up at 8 to get the truck. I was pulled this way and that with people asking me tons of questions. Apparently, they thought I was running the show. My brain was pulled in every direction. My favorite memory was 4 of us, my friend, my neighbor, my sister, and myself pulling (or pushing?) a mattress up the basement steps. Nothing like hearing your sister yell, "Push" as if you're delivering a baby. We were laughing so hard, and given our collective ages, that did not bode well on the bladder. Glad to say, there were no accidents but several close calls. So the "I can pack a house into a Volkswagon" friend did his thing, and I was off to Columbia. The rains held off, and there was no wind. I was truckin'. You would have been proud of me.

I hit Columbia in record time with no incident. (I even passed cars twice on the highway using those huge side mirrors.) Got to my daughter's apartment and, again, backed into the necessary space like a pro. We got about a quarter moved when the rains came. Deluge. I have never been so soaked to the bone in such a short time because we were literally in the middle of moving something with no time to run for cover. Luckily, I had lost enough weight that I actually borrowed something of my daughter's to wear. Minor victory. I could not have done what I did that day had I not been working out the past 3 months, so word up, work out before you move. On this end, we had 2 daughters, 2 boyfriends, and this old lady so the average was much lower. And now we had to get all this stuff, minus the few pieces of my daughter's furniture, into a 6 x 12 storage unit. (I continue to be homeless until we sell the house. That definitely accounted for some of the anxiety.) By 6 we were done, and I had been on my feet for 10 hours with 5 hours of sleep. The kids were bitching that was turning walking slower into an artform until I reminded them that I had been moving crap all day on both ends. Fed the youngins pizza (NO BEER) and headed back to my sweet room at my friend's house. (God love her.) I was in a bath of hot hot water by 10 and asleep by 10:30. Now I know why everyone on Little House on the Prairie had no depression or anxiety issues. They were too exhausted.

Woke up this morning immobilized. I have never ever been in so much pain in my life, but then again, I had never move at this age. Took 3 Advil and sat in the hot hot tub (again). Had to get the truck back. When I dropped it off, this gruff but sweet man said, "You didn't park the truck, did you? That's our job." He then asked which truck was mine, and I told him, "Second one there," and he said, "Damn, girl, you did an excellent job. Do we have your number in case we need you to come work for us? You do better than some of my guys." I beamed with pride but refused further employment with Penske. One time in the symbolic dentist's chair was enough for me. You won't find me driving the big rigs any time soon, bit it's nice to know I have a future in truckin' if I want. My entire life, with a few exceptions, is now in a storage bin.

Pray the house sells soon so I can make the next move. And pray the divorce is over soon. The STBX and I are talking again and things are going smoother (in case you were wondering). Thank you for understanding why I haven't been blogging a lot lately. Can't blog about work (although I have some great stories for my book when I quit), can't blog about my personal life (oh, I bet you're dying of curiosity now), and I won't blog about the divorce (taking the high road and scared of what could happen if I do). So I may have to do a meme stolen from Os. Oh, and I signed up for private swimming lessons. That should be fun to blog about if I don't drown first. My next post? DOES FAT FLOAT???