What Love Looks Like Here

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In my family, love doesn’t often come in the form of flowers or frilly cards. Here’s what it looks like:

It’s me, already tired, double masking and wading into the fray at the packed grocery store after I get off work on a Saturday so I can make sure we’re stocked up before the next day’s predicted (now occurring) snow.

It’s my husband dragging himself out of a warm bed earlier than he wanted to on Sunday morning and working his way into the weird, cold, uncomfortable corner in the basement to set up a space heater and wrap a heating pad around a frozen water pipe. (Water is running in our bathroom again. Yay!)

It’s my older son, born and bred in the Midwest but now a resident of the Pacific Northwest, going out in bad weather to rescue his stranded friends who don’t know how to drive in the snow. (Always keep a Midwesterner around.)

It’s my younger son spending time compiling a list of resources and advice for a young person he barely even knows because they’d expressed an interest in learning game development but didn’t know where to start.

However you celebrate and express love for those in your life, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Shingles Vaccines, How Romantic!

heart shape multicolored stand
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No matter that we’ve been married for decades now, my husband and I must still be romantics at heart. For an early Valentine’s Day date, we went out this afternoon and got matching his ‘n hers shingles vaccinations. Hubba hubba!

A few months back, I posted about my quest to find any place that had the vaccine in stock. A shortage at that time meant long waiting lists. It’s a two-shot deal, and I’m happy to report I acquired my first round in late September. As the second one is supposed to be given two to six months later, I decided this week I should get on the stick, so to speak.

Good news! No more waiting lists. I called the pharmacy and they said, come in any time we’re open. I had time today, so I skedaddled on down, to use an old timey expression befitting the experience. And I managed to bring the spousal unit (see — total romantic) along with me for his first dose. Bonded in sickness and in health, but we’ll take health if given the choice.


Anything But the Crafts Room




My youngest child is 15. Five years ago today, I volunteered at my last grade school class party. I remember the day with great fondness, recalling the dance of joy I did in the parking lot afterward as I said to myself, “I never have to do that ever again in my entire life!”

The way my kids’ grade school did parties was to have each class rotate through various rooms – the Crafts Room, the Snack Room, the Game Room. My first class party I eagerly asked what I should do and was assigned to the Crafts Room, where I was handed some colored paper and glue sticks, along with an instruction sheet containing unfathomable diagrams. Thirty seconds later I had kindergarteners lined up, waiting for me to show them how to make their whatever it was supposed to be. I’m not a crafty person and I work a lot better with linguistic instruction than pictures. The other parents in the room were breezing through their lines of kids, while I sat and wondered which way the paper was supposed to fold.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. Show up early and grab a spot in the Snack Room dipping ice cream, before someone else takes the position. The number of kids still seems overwhelming, but once you’ve filled them with sugar, you get to send them out of the room to go be someone else’s hyperactive problem.

Valentine’s Day always featured the added bonus of showing up with a case of PTSD from having assembled and addressed three dozen valentines the night before with a kid who insisted they fervently wanted to give out valentines, yet couldn’t seem to get through the task of even signing them. The first couple of years I insisted I wasn’t doing the work for their valentines. This progressed to, “Okay, I’ll make and address half and you address half, but you have to sign them all.” The final year I gave up all pretense. I bought a package of Iron Man perforated cards and forged my son’s name on them. It was easier and less stressful that way.

There are things I miss about having younger kids. I miss going to the park. I miss bedtime reading and snuggles on the couch. But there are compensations, with no more class parties being one of the biggies.