Sunday, June 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Ever been on a vacation and you're much more thankful that you're home? Yeah, that's my case. I'm not saying I had a bad time or anything. It was just long, sometimes stressful and trying. Picture this: 7 of us including my parents, my sister and her 3 children ages 14, 10 and 7 in a minivan, traveling over 600 miles in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi (mostly very small towns) to visit my father's family who we hardly see. Where we went was beautiful and the people were friendly. But, I have learned that I am a total city slicker. It was hard for me not to want to stomp the accelerator hard (Yes, I was the ONLY driver...mom hates driving, dad can't and my mom doesn't trust my sister and the rental car was in my name). People go at a slower pace. I wasn't able to check my e-mail, not that I brought my laptop anyway. There wasn't the places and the foods that I was used to. It was about balancing everybody's wants and needs including a very verbal, stubborn and sometimes pain in the behind 7 year old boy and a mouthy 14 year old teenager who thinks he knows everything. I butted heads with my mother who is very much bossy like me and my sister who I love dearly but is very ADD and flies by the seat of her pants a lot. My dad drove me nuts because this was his trip and he wanted to go back to all these places and see all these people from his childhood/teenage years. I think he was trying to put to rest the ghosts of his traumatic past. The problem was that so much time has passed and people have moved on. He says he's going to do something but he doesn't (like stay in contact with his family and others from his past). It's weird how he HAD to do it now. I loved visiting with my Aunt Lucille in Dermott. I hated dropping in on some complete strangers who lived down the road from where my dad lived briefly with his father and his stepmother and stepsiblings. I loved seeing the historic cotton district in Monroe where my dad lived in a boarding house with his father. I was glad to visit my grandmother's grave in Epps. I also loved seeing my cousin Angelique and her children and her husband. I hated finding out that my summer school position had been cut (as I got the phone call waiting for our hotel room to be3 ready) because they were closing down summer school at the two campuses and consolidating it into one (I have to believe there's a Godly reason but I'm bummed that I won't be getting a sweet bonus this year). But, I hope my father gained some peace and some closure in his life. I hope he can let go of the past and be okay with it. I hope he can realize his horrid growing up years were not his fault. I hope he'll be okay and that he didn't reopen any old battle wounds.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane

First of all, Happy Father's Day to all dads and dads to be. I got my dad a movies gift certificate. This morning, I started the day at Circuit City trying to get a Wii Fit. I was #12 in line. Guess how many Wii fits they had? Only 10! So, needless to say, I didn't get one. I am bound and determined to find one on our trip to visit my dad's family (Pa's Historic Tour as my nephew Brennan calls it). Our flight leaves 10ish but we have to be early at the airport. We'll arrive in Jackson, MS sometime in the afternoon. We come back on Saturday. I just had to drop Hope off at the Pawderosa, which is her doggy daycare place and they have sleepaway camp. I know, it's crazy but it's leash free and she runs around and isn't stuck in a kennel all day. Last time I left her for a week, she had a scratch on her nose, probably from sticking it where it didn't belong. Wish me luck that our family doesn't kill each other. There will be 7 of us including my 14 year old nephew, 10 year old niece and 7 year old nephew. The cool thing is that Rock Band which I have preordered for my Wii, will be in when we get home. I get to play that for a week before I go back to work. My sister will also be having a colonoscopy to see why she's have stomach issues, so I'll be taking her when we get back.

Well, it seems that it was another small batch of referrals. But you know what, it's getting closer to the Olympics. Maybe in October or November the batches will begin to get bigger. We can only hope, right? Being negative does nothing for us but suck the life out of us. This wait sucks but it's making us much more patient and stronger people.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

18 Ahead of Me

So, I was looking at the chart of log in dates that my agency sends to us. It looks that if the cutoff is indeed January 22nd, my agency will not be receiving any referrals (our next day is January 23rd). I feel horribly for those who are just right there. They are one day away and I know that they are next but still, waiting that next month has got to be torture. It's like kids (or teachers) in the last couple of weeks, waiting for school to end. It's totally agonizing. I still have 18 referral dates ahead of me (as far as my agency). I read somewhere, probably Rumor Queen, that someone has a jar filled with like hearts and they take out one heart for each day they are closer. I kind of like that. It might be a visual way of seeing that the wait is going forward and that we aren't stuck in neutral, just some very slow moving traffic. People keep asking me lately if the earthquake is going to affect my wait. I haven't a clue. It is very possible. Who knows? What I have learned in this journey that ANYTHING can happen and you just have to hang on. Sometimes I have had to close my eyes and separate myself from this wait to make it this long (like sticking your head in the sand). I think what I hope for now is that I won't have to pay to redo my paperwork again before it expires in July of 2009. My focus now is getting my patio cover painted and summer school. I only have 4 more days of work and then we leave the following Monday for my dad's historical tour (yeah, that is what we're calling our little trip to visit my dad's side of the family).

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Last Day of School

I would love to sing "School's Out for the Summer" but I have to go back in July for summer school. It ended yesterday with a food fight breaking out during 7th grade lunch and throwing marinara sauce at my principal. Because I have been injured (I sprained my ankle walking Hope) I stayed in the library and Shannon, myself and my student aides played American Idol Karoke Revolution on my Wii. We had so much fun singing off key except for one of my students who won Wrangler Idol the day before. She sang REALLY well. We then ended the day party hopping. I hadn't done that in a while. I realized when I started yawning at 9ish that I am getting, ummm, well, let's say more mature. My twenty-something colleagues were having a blast and not even worried about getting up early the next day. Yeah, I remember those days. Speaking of getting mature, I realized how much I have gotten "mature" when one of my friends left a message on my answering machine saying, "Hey B**CH! Where the F***k are you?" I was embarassed for this friend as well as offended. Needless to say, I didn't return the call and frankly I didn't care that this person was in town and I hadn't seen this person in a while. Is it really necessary to refer to me as that? Wouldn't, "Hey Jamie! Where are you? I'm in town and I would love for you to come out and meet me and my special friend?" I know it's a lot of words but you did just get your Master's degree? When I listened to the other version on my cell phone voice mail, I realized that my friend had been drinking and wasn't at all as crass in that message. But what this person also doesn't get is that I have grown up and am a responsible person who doesn't hang out at the same places I did when I was in my 20s or drinks until they drop or be in smoky places that makes me sick. Yeah, I guess that happens when you grow up. I love my friend, but I hope this friend can understand this.