Saturday, January 11, 2014

When It Snows, It Blows

On occasion, I've been known to refer to it as a "Murphy's Law life," this one I lead. I suppose it's a form of complaining -- or, at least, lamenting -- and I always feel a tad guilty when I do it because it makes me seem ungrateful for the many blessings I've been given. That, and it's kind of whiny.

Still, there are days when I think: "What else?!"  (And then I stop myself, because I'm afraid there will be an answer!) Thursday was another one of those days for me. I started off late for my 7:30 radiation appointment -- only 7 or 8 minutes, compliments of some sketchy roads and traffic (and, truthfully, my own not getting out the door quite as soon as I should have), but I hate the thought of holding things up for the techs or patients who follow me. I got there and changed into my robe and gown at warp speed....and then sat for another ten minutes. Apparently, they weren't ready for me anyway. Which wouldn't have been a big deal, except that I'd naively scheduled an oil change at Dobbs for 8:00.  (Which I'd actually rescheduled from Monday, because there wasn't any way on God's green earth I was going to try and brave the roads that early Monday morning between Snowmygosh & the Polar Vortex*.) Normally, that would have worked just fine, because I'm in the "boost phase" of radiation, which makes my treatments even briefer. But no....not Thursday.  I didn't even get away from the hospital until 8:00. But fine, I figured - I'd make it to Dobbs by 8:15 and if they could no longer get me in, try again another day.

Actually, it was closer to 8:25 by the time I got there - the roads still weren't all that good. But Bart, the friendly manager, said it shouldn't be a problem - they had one car ahead of me which should be done shortly, and then they'd get to me. So, I wandered into the waiting room, sat down and began looking at my phone - e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, texting David.  The owner of the car ahead of mine was already in there so I didn't even attempt to grab the remote and see what was on TV - I figured he was already watching whatever it was.  Turned out it was a History Channel special about satan or hell - the focus was on devil worshippers when my ears finally tuned into it. I should have taken that as a sign.

Sure enough, when the mechanic came over to talk to me, he had bad news: my front brakes were just about shot.  Not that this should have come as a surprise to me - the car has 198,000 miles on it.  What really stung, though, is that I just had the rear brakes done a couple months ago, along with two new tires and some other repairs that added up to around $800.  And here was another $400 to shell out.

Have I mentioned that I timed my cancer diagnosis just right, so that my treatment spans two deductible/calendar years, rather than one?  So I get the joy of meeting a $2,500 deductible twice in the span of four months? Whee!  (I won't mention the fact that Riley's about to get her braces on later this month.....Oops - I just did.)

So, two hours later, and $375 poorer (I found a coupon in my e-mail - yay!) I trudged into my office. In the kitchen, I encountered my co-workers, Maureen and Hopey.  One of them may have asked how things were going. I believe my initial response was a growl.  I then relayed my morning, to which Maureen responded she guessed they were right - when it rains, it pours. Then she added there needed to be a corollary for when it snows, in light of our recent weather.  I first said, "dumps."  Then it came to me, "When it snows, it blows." 

Yeah, it does.  But we bundle up and dust off our (road-worn) vehicles, and keep plowing through it.  On the bright side, Hopey mocked up a cool t-shirt to capture the moment: 

*Saw "Snowmygosh & the Polar Vortex" open for "Right Said Fred" in 1995.  Weird show. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's 2014, Isn't It?

I don't know about the rest of you, but the past few weeks just raced past me in a blur. A mostly good and happy blur, but a blur, nonetheless. And it occurs to me I've written about exactly zero of it, which isn't such a good thing for one who aspires to be a blogger worthy of the title.  

It's late, and I'm somewhat tired, and therefore not going to even attempt profundity. I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on it all and memorialize it here. So, to that end: 

Football: I'm watching the BCS Championship game at present, and FSU is threatening to break Auburn's heart. What a roller coaster college football has been of late. While Auburn surprised the heck out of Alabama and the rest of the country in that amazing missed-field-goal-run-back, I can't claim their win over Mizzou in the SEC Championship game shocked me or broke my heart. Oh sure, it disappointed me -- I was really hoping to see a Tiger (of the Mizzou variety) win. And I'm proud of Mizzou for hanging in there as long as they did. More importantly, I'm proud of their win the other night in the Cotton Bowl. That was a looooooongg game, but what a fantastic outcome! Pro football has left quite a bit to be desired for me this year, but I can't recall a set of late season and college bowl games I've enjoyed watching more. In other news, only 37 days 'til Cardinals pitchers and catchers report....

Breast Cancer: I'll write more on this in a separate piece, but am realizing I'm truly in the home stretch -- only 6 more treatments to go. The first week or two seemed to drag, but these last couple have flown by -- probably with an assist from the holidays.  Whatever the reason, I'm thankful for it -- and for all those who've said a prayer for and/or reached out to me to encourage me. That has meant so much to me through these past couple months. Honestly, I'm feeling pretty good for the most part. My skin is somewhat irritated in the area that gets zapped -- it's quite similar to a sunburn -- and I do get tired a lot more easily.  But I'm doing okay, and feel lucky that this is all I'm having to endure. 

Q with a View: I'm excited to start a new chapter in my radio "career." Though I'll truly miss having Josh Gillespie at the helm on Tuesday nights, I'm looking forward to trying my own hand at it -- and extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to do so. My friends at FTR Radio have been so good to me -- I hope I'll prove their trust in me well-placed!

Holidays: This year, they were nigh on perfect. I enjoyed the time I spent with friends and family so much.  I had decorations up and presents purchased and wrapped way ahead of time -- which is unheard of for me, but was hugely satisfying. It honestly helped me relax and enjoy the holidays more fully.  I ate too much, received some wonderful gifts, had lots of fun and found time to kick back and be lazy. And sharing it all with David this year made it extra sweet. 

Resolutions: There are so many I could have made, and plenty from years past that I hope to carry forward. But I decided to keep it very simple this year and just make one very tangible resolution: No more texting/emailing/social mediaing while driving. I'm bad about that. I know it and I know it needs to change.  I have a hands free device, so I can talk on the phone with minimal distraction. And both reading and responding are permitted while/if the car is stopped -- e.g., at a light. But no more of it while the car is in motion. So far, I've only caught myself twice -- and both times, I immediately set the phone back down and mentally smacked my hand. I can do this!

As I look back on 2013, I have to acknowledge that, despite a number of hiccups, it was a pretty darn good year. I'm looking forward to 2014 being an even better one!