The Dark Van.

Sometimes Dave and I like to run together early in the morning before he heads to work. We have a route we do that goes from our house, across a small highway, through a Home Depot parking lot, past a hotel that is under construction, through a park and then back home. If we run before the sun comes up, we often see a dark SUV with its lights on parked in the middle of a stretch of roadway between the Home Depot and the hotel. That vehicle has spooked us at times, as we normally would not see a person. Just a car. And that seemed odd in the early morning hours. We would move past it with a heightened awareness, concerned about what might be happening and confused that this car appeared at this spot numerous times with no apparent explanation. Well, today we learned why.

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Butter.

Saturday was a sad day at our house. We lost Butter. She had been losing weight, which we discovered was a kidney problem. We gave her fluids and she seemed to rally a bit, but she was not improving. And on Saturday, her little body showed us just how tired she was, so we released her. It was a hard, hard thing. I have moments when I wonder if maybe she might have been able to turn things around if we had given her another couple of days, but the reality was that we probably had already held on to her for too long. Our cats owe us nothing, but they give us everything. And Butter certainly gave us all she had.

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This Little Life.

I am on a three-week break from school. Classes start again Monday, and I cannot wait. Three weeks felt like a really long time, but now that it is almost over, I am realizing it went quickly. I was able to catch up with some dear friends, do some work, read some books, and do some stuff around the house. It’s been a sweet time, but I am ready to jump back into school. In fact, I started reading my text book today just to get a glimpse at what we’ll be doing. I think it is going to be fun.

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All I Can See.

I have been home since Thursday. When I’m home indefinitely, I tend not to wear my contacts because I really only need them to see at a distance – to drive or to watch a movie or something. But when I’m home studying, everything is immediately in front of me, and my eyes without contacts work just fine for that. So, when I’m home, I give my eyes a break and just use my glasses if I happen to need clarity on something more than a few feet away from me. Turns out, I sort of like living this way.

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A Check-In.

Somehow nearly half a year went by without my writing one word in this space. I know blogging is very 2008, but I still love this space despite my lack of engagement with it. Between all that has happened and not really knowing what to say about it, I found myself starting a post and not finishing a number of times. Here’s to hoping this one is different…

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Returning.

I’m torn about the world opening up. It’s lovely to be back in restaurants and movie theaters and even, to some extent, the office. But are we doing the right thing? I keep hearing of friends getting Covid and numbers rising, particularly among the unvaccinated. I carry a bit of anxiety with me about all of these things, particularly as so much of how we respond seems to be politically driven. I want normal, but I feel the need to pull back. And so I am.

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Back to the New.

The world is changing again. Things are really opening back up. Events are starting to happen again. I have been to two so far, one indoors and one outdoors, and it was lovely to see people in person that I had not seen for much of the last year except on a computer screen. We are getting somewhat back to normal. What I’m struggling with is whether normal is something I want to go back to.

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Texas Snow.

It’s been a snow day here in Texas. Those are simple words, but they carry enormous implications. We woke up to about five inches of snow and were giddy messing around outside. Then around 11:30 this morning, our power went out, and the giddiness I felt disappeared with it. As the house got colder, my anxiety level rose. How long would we be without power? Would it be into the night? What would happen to our house and the plumbing? How would the cats manage in a cold house? Would we all make it through okay?

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A Good Year.

Three days into the new year, and I’m seeing the holiday season coming to a close. No more holiday lights on our fence. No more long weekends and short work weeks. No more stretches of time for puzzles and Scrabble. It’s time to return to the regular work schedule and all that comes with that. Going to bed early. Meetings throughout the day. Deadlines. As is often the case this time of year, I’m trying to figure out how to carry the calm of this season into regular life.

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