Stuck in the Mud, or Who Needs a Dinner and a Movie for a Date Night, or No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

OK then. Larry’s knee was bugging him, so when I got home for our date night, he suggested I take Eric’s dog for a run up the canyon. Which I did and had a great time! Beautiful snow, beautiful, quiet canyon.
When I was finished with the 4 mile run/hike/snow experience, I drove to Iceberg, thinking that would be a nice treat for Larry and I—after all, I worked off all those calories, why not put them back in? I picked up shakes, onion rings, fries, and a chicken sandwich for Larry. (drool) One of my students waited on me, and did a great job. (sort of)
When I got home, Larry’s shake was chocolate marshmallow instead of caramel and he had onion rings instead of fries. I thought I could just trade him, but he can’t have chocolate, so I offered to run back down and buy new stuff. (He told me not to worry about it, but I said, "I don't mind", really meaning it. (This is where the ‘No good deed goes unpunished’ comes into play)
So…I’m driving on 13400 South in the dark, with some guy driving up my rear pretty close, and I see Kneaders, where I will turn in to go to Iceberg. I flipped my blinker and turned into what looked like the road at first. I found out quickly that I had turned too early, and ended up in an empty, very muddy lot. There were tracks from another vehicle, so I thought I could follow them and go out the other way. It didn’t quite work out that way in my little Honda Accord. I made a pretty good effort and ended up 7/8 of the way, probably from momentium until I stopped dead. I tried to rock, but it didn’t work.
I realized I left my phone home (because this was going to take 10 easy minutes-tops, right?), so I had no way to call home for my knight-in-shining armor to come rescue me.
I got out of the car and walked to iceberg, one inch taller than normal with the mud on the bottom of my shoes. The patrons of Iceberg were impressed with my muddy Nikes, I’m sure, with the odd looks I was getting.
My student let me use his phone to call Larry, then he made me an order of fries and the right shake and didn’t charge me—so I gave him a tip instead. I stomped back (kind of hard to walk with mud stuck to my shoes) to my sunken Honda and waited. And waited…and waited…until I thought Larry must have problems, and he couldn't call me, not realizing I had used another phone to call him.
Boy, did I recognize how dependant I am on my phone.
Did I mention I took the dog, who I left in the car while I made the phone call and who ate my onion rings. WITH the fry sauce... :-(
Just when I was ready to go back and borrow the phone again, Larry showed up (yes!). He wasn’t happy—who would be? He had to go buy a new tow rope because a certain child borrowed ours, that's what took so long.
But he kneeled down on his poor new fake knee and hooked me up. (Isn't love grand) He pulled with the truck, but my car was too steeped in mud for my engine to turn over. (sigh).
He got out of the truck and said, "Your wheels aren't even moving!", in that tone of voice that meant he believed I must be an idiot. He then pulled me backwards a ways, and the car started. It probably was good for the engine to be out of the gooey mire. Larry moved his truck around the car (thank goodness for 4-wheel drive) hooked up the rope, pulled a few feet, and the rope flipped off. I'm thinking 'there goes the bumper'. (Can you picture the fun we are having?) But it was ok. He did it again and towed me forward to the road, unhooked the car, and I pulled out, leaving a track of mud all the way home.
I lost my appetite, so the calories I burned up the canyon stayed burned, which is always nice.
Twas a date night to remember. Why do the same boring movie night, when you can do a bit of mud wrestling?
Posted by Picasa

How Do I Love Thee...

...Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. I memorized that poem when I first fell in love in March of 1972. Looking back on almost 37 years of being together, I realize I only touched the surface back then. I thought I could feel love to the depth and breath and height--but I had only scratched the surface.
The beginning was lingering phone calls, flowers, heartbeats pounding, and sighs when he walked into the room.
After 36 years of holding hands, paying bills, sometimes being selfish and sometimes giving, 5 nauseating pregnancies, 5 labors, dirty diapers (yes--I sewed and cleaned cloth diapers--gag), 12 different houses and moves--with another one coming up in a couple of years, lots of dinners and movies, saved and wasted money, scrimping with one income, admiration, embarrassment, laughter, and disappointment, hospital visits, laughs and tears, relatives, raising kids who sometimes listened...and sometimes didn't, Friday night date nights, dejunking then seeing it build up again, finishing school, getting a teaching job, then back to the books with a Masters'--and all of the support through all of that, not getting home until 6:00 at night, all of the callings we both have had, appreciating the Gospel in our lives to know divine help is just a prayer or blessing away, knowing I'm far far from the person I want to be. I will never be organized enough, witty enough, thin enough, smart enough, rich enough, or pretty enough, but I'm loved because--and in spite of it all...thank you Larry.
I really do love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach...and my soul will keep reaching as our lives continue and I learn more about what this life is really about. No easy answers...but I gave up on the 'perfect' life, and settled for the life I was meant to live.

Autism in Woodworking

When the new semester started, I gained 4 new classes of beginning classes. In the first new class, the twin of a previous student sat in the second row. He was outspoken, kept getting up and walking around, and read a book when he should have been working. He brought a tracker to me so I signed it, mentioning his actions of the day. He said "You can't say that! My Mom will kill me", but I left it as I wrote it.

Two days later in class again, he was reading a book while students wrote from the board. I gently touched his book, and said, "Please put it away and write the question". He angrily looked up and loudly said, "You could have at least said my name!" In his tracker, I later wrote that he was rude, and he said, "What does that say? What do you mean?" (This is in front of the whole class, who were all eagerly listening). I motioned for him to come into my office and explained I didn't want to embarrass him. He calmed down and left for his next class.

Later, his Mom called my office and left a message for me to call her to talk about him, mentioning he is autistic. Knowing nothing, really, about autism and wondering if he really should be in Woods, I was afraid to call, even though I know her and have enjoyed her other children in class. I did try unsuccessfully, but the next day, he was super in class.

I finally got in touch with his Mom and she explained why he behaved so well that third day. She told him; "You should be respectful to all of your teachers, but especially this one, because she was a friend of your mother." His eyes opened wide as she explained how. I knew his real Mom, Annette, about 15 years ago. She did my hair and I helped her as she desperately put together scrapbooks before she passed away from cancer. She wanted so badly to leave a legacy for her family. The twins are especially sensitive to anything having to do with their real mother, since they were so young when she died.

Sheri married into the family and is now doing a great job raising Annette's children, along with her own.

I feel his angel Mom is near him and wants me to help him, but I worry about him in a class of 34 other kids who also need help. I can tell he is a smart kid, I just feel the pressure. I know so little about autism, but I pray the Lord will help me, in spite of my own weakness.