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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hallelujah, Hallelujah.


Below are the lyrics to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"


I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah


OK?  Did you read the lyrics?  If you'd never heard this song and did not recognize it to be one of the most intriguing, hauntingly beautiful works in modern times, would you recognize it for what it is?  What I'm getting from these lyrics is a story of a physical, kind of kinky sexual relationship. He was a peeper, watching her on the roof.  Then they had some good times, including some light-weight bondage and some hot whispers of "whats going on down below".  Eventually, she slayed him romantically and left him.  The rest is lust/love gone and lamented.  Poor guy.  

Why do I write about this today?  Well, a few years ago we attended a glorious church wedding.  Candles, white stuff draped around, priest.  You know, the whole pure works.  Durning the ceremony, this song was played and I blushed.  I leaned over and exclaimed to my kid that OMG, it's Jeff Buckly's sex song!  He said, no, it's really Leonard Cohen and it's very popular now because its been in a kid's movie, "Shrek".  Oh.  hmmm.  I see.  So, these lyrics are ok in kid's movies and in church now?  It appears that, in this case, the beauty of the melody and the fact that Hallelujah is repeated a hundred times makes it all ok.  

Today, I wake to find a viral vid of an Irish-Catholic priest singing this song to a wedding party.  He's rewritten the lyrics, no talk of hair-cutting or other abuses.  It is beautiful, but I'm wondering if, when he wrote it, Cohen was thinking that "Gee, this might be a very popular wedding song!".  What do you think?  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wecome to Overland

Dear 800+ employees of the Veteran's Administration,

Welcome to Overland!  (motto: It ain't so bad.)

Evidently, some smart person, somewhere along the line of that great bureaucracy that is the VA, made an unusually intelligent decision.  This decision looks wise for several reasons:
-You may now stop paying 1.2 MILLION in rent.  Per year.  Since 1993.  Man, I'd have loved to have been a player on that deal.  You will now be housed in the Prevedel building, owned by you and named for one of the most heroic St. Louis area service men.  Congratulations.
-You will all be on the same campus.  No more getting out of work early to drop something off at the Young building.  They'll be right there!  Sorry bout that.  
-You will no longer have to pay to park.  How happy does that make you?  
-Your location on Page Ave. is, by far, one of the easiest locations in the bistate area to get to.  40, 70, I170 and 270 are within 5 minutes of your building.  Horrah!  To make life even easier for you, the 94 Page bus is known to be ... well, as reliable as metro ever is.  Sorry bout that.
-Woofies.  Enough said. 

If, in fact, you decide not to commute and opt to purchase here in O-town, I applaud your sensible decision!  Plenty of space here.  In fact, I have 3 consecutive vacant homes right across the street from me.  All kidding aside, you'll get plenty of bang for your buck.  Brick bungalows, post-war craftsmans, World's Fair historicals and even a Frank Loyd Wright home are all available to you. 

 If you choose to relocate and have always had a yen to dabble in local politics, but your friends said you were just ... a bit ... too kookie, then thats ok too!  We adore kookie politicians.  

I understand that Lou Reed is terribly upset by this decision to move out of the city.  I can't imagine why he'd care, after all, someone has to take a walk on the wild side, no?  BTW, since the city is giving up local music to out of town Daddy Warbucks, your new home will put you just that much closer to Chesterphuck.  Horrah!

We open our city to you, dear government employees.  Our casa is ... well, you get the idea.  Please stop reading now.  

Dear Overland and Ritenour school district, 
Holy cow!  Can you BELIEVE this crazy-assed windfall???  Get off your butts right now.  Its time to serve these people, they have MONEY.   They have money that WE WANT.  
-Offer real estate incentives:  Give em a year of free trash, a couple of months of community center.  Offer a welcome kit, delivered in person by their ALDERPEOPLE.  This kit tells them when their trash days are, gives basic laws about pets and stuff.  Where is their voting place?  Come on, stupid, its marketing 101. \
-Get some damn services.  Eye glasses, dentists, restaurants, shopping, a walking track by the tennis courts.  Things they can do (and maybe spend their MONEY) before and after work and at lunch.  
-Get a decent, licensed, reliable daycare.  I can't stress how important this is for 800 new jobs.  People pay a lot of MONEY for decent day care close to work.  

Do this now.  Thank you for listening. 



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Music problems. I think I need to take up a less stressful hobby

I consider myself a music fan, but certainly not an aficionado.  I like what I like,  I like it a lot.  This has caused me to become involved with some extremely bright and enthusiastic people.  I cherish their friendship, but cannot hold a candle to their passion or knowledge.



Recently, problems have developed:  While on vaca, with only one music device and no access to purchase, I found myself yearning for a few songs.  Those songs were home on other devices or home on vinyl or had not been purchased.  I was forced to sing those songs.  dammit.  Next, I've been challenged to reveal my "MOST INFLUENTIAL ALBUMS IN MY LIFE".  Thank you Facebook, for causing me weeks of worry.  The third issue is that I've been invited to a very exclusive and exciting group of "living room concert" people.  Intimidated does not begin to cover my thoughts on this group. 




Because writing causes me to process my thoughts, lets take these issues one at a time, shall we?




I spent this entire morning synching tunes on all my devices.  Why had I never thought of this before?  Genius!  Except, I have thought of this in the past and done it many times.  I run out of room on most portable device or get everything synched and lose the ipod for a couple months.  Or buy a standard or fantastic new and forget to put it on one or the other.  Now that I have an ipad, those purchases are not going to my PC.  So, next time I'm drunk on mimosas lost in the jungle somewhere and JUST HAVE to hear Audioslave, I'll be shitoutofluck again.  I'll be taking my little walk and be reminded of a favorite old song, not have it and forget how much I loved it by the time I get home.  So.  I guess that's hopeless and I'll never get this morning back. 




Next: MOST INFLUENTIAL ALBUMS IN MY WHOLE LIFE FOREVER AND EVER AMEN:  Here are thoughts for today:


Little Feat: Waiting for Columbus
Sonia Dada: Self Titled (Alligator Boy)
Doobie Brothers: Minute by Minute
Jackson 5: ABC
Olu Dara: In the World
Big Head Todd and the Monsters: Strategem
Robin Trower: Bridge of Sighs
Yes: The Yes Album
Bread: Best Of
AC/DC: Back in Black
Paul Simon: Graceland
Neil Diamond: Tap Root Manuscript


This is arbitrary, my passion will change tomorrow.  Or maybe after dinner.  Wait, let me grab a mimosa and change them again.


The biggest and most real concern is the Living Room Concert deal.  The hostess is a work peer of my husband: aka “Lord and Master”.  If and when this thing happens, there will limited cocktails.  I had been aware of this group for a couple of years.  Their efforts were documented in the local newspaper and L&M had hinted that I’d “probably get along well” with his co-worker.  At a recent department gathering and after not having seen this gal in years, I asked about the concerts.  She was very kind to me, but it was evident she’d heard it all before and EVERYONE wants in.  She matter-of-factly asked about my fav bands and genres.  This is a terribly impolite question.  I froze.  I’m certain that this is where I’ll be most critically judged.  Ask me anything: my weight, my salary, my religious or political affiliations.  I don’t care if you judge on those topics.  But music.  Don’t go there.


I was able to get a grip within a reasonable amount of time and mentioned that I’d been following a localish band for quite a while.  I’d seen them the week before and was happy to tell her what a stellar show I’d experienced.  She was quiet.  In my nervousness, I babbled on about some others.  Finally, she looked up at me.  “This is so very up your alley.  You are going to fit right in.”
We exchanged emails and I received the initial invite.  Again, I freeze.  The invite asks me to “suggest’ a performer.  I have been sitting on this letter, left it unrepiled for months now.  I can’t wrap my head around it.  If I suggest 5 artists, I’ll be certain to get an invite to that particular concert.  I’m scanning the above list.  Hummm.  Michael Jackson is out.  Maybe I’ll tweet Paul Simon.  My guess is that I’ll continue to chew my nails and lose this exquisite opportunity





















Friday, January 10, 2014

What's in a name. Also, my Dad is a Ford nut, always was.







To build up my self-importance, I've always told this story about my name:  Mary Katherine Ann (Baker) Lawson.  My very young parents couldn't agree on Mary Katherine or Katherine Ann.  My mom's family had about a hundred generations of Mary Margaret, Margaret Mary, etc.  Since she was abandoning the Margaret part, she wanted to at least, maintain the Mary.  My Father's mom was Mary Ann and I assumed he wanted a bit of name-sake for her.  They both liked Katherine and they settled on the triple name.  A little unusual for this culture, but I've always felt like it made me stand out.  My parents continued the tradition of calling their kids my their middle names:  Mary Katherine Ann became Kathy, Raymond Stephen became Steve, Alice Christine became Chris (she's most grateful).  Then there's Tim, he's a whole nother story.
 


Today comes the snail mail with a great hand written letter from my Dad.  It appears my name-sake is far more glamorous and interesting than I could have ever imagined.  Here is that letter, verbatim, copied with Dad's permission.  The question marks are things I don't understand.  There are notes at the bottom.


 








Hi Kid,
     Had a lovely time Christmas Eve!  Each year gets better.  I have one of those thoughts floating around in the back of my mind.  You know, one of those that would mean nothing to anyone else and therefore shouldn't be suffered upon others.
     The "real" drive-in was not the "Mel's" as shown in American Graffiti.  Rather, it was a place on the SW corner of Ocean Ave and Glenrossy Blvd.  It was called Tic-Toc.  Children and lesser people sullied the place during the day, but at night is when the REAL people came in droves.  Tic Toc's was a big place with enough room for maybe 60 to 75 cars and they all came!  Looking back, we were like peacocks displaying our feathers and not just the guys and their cars, but the girls too, in their poodle skirts complete with coordinated sweater ? puppies.  They were all too eager to place and secure our orders from the long row of service windows.  They tittered and cavorted with each other while the guys studiously ignored them for the most part and talked about the serious matter of wheels.  I would give anything to walk you through that parking lot. 
     Our crowd was a real mix.  Sonny Boca's dad's 50 Ford.  Frank Ferrio's 51 Merc.  My 56 Ford.  Larry McCarthy's 56 Victoria (a real ? benet) and Vince Millers 54 Victoria which had a big engine and was very fast.  It was this car that Larry was riding when he lost his life.  I was married to your mom by then.  George was Larry's step dad and had built and installed that engine in Vince's car. (*see side note). 
     Another car that frequented Tic-Toc's was a pink and white 55 Crown Victoria.  To my memory, I never saw a guy in or about that car, always one or two of the girls.  The car was always spotless and parked away from the crowd.  Once in a while a guy would gather his courage and approach, not often though, because everyone was watching and didn't have the guts to get shot down in front of their peers. 
     I remember the girl was a bit more disguised than the rest, maybe even aloof.  But in our eyes, she was the Grand Poobah-ette of all the good that represented girl hood. 
     Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention what was painted in a very delicate pink script, up on the center molding on that rear fender in a slight arch:  It was the name Kathy Ann. 
     Believe no other story about how I came up with your name, kid.  These are the facts. 
                                                                                                                        Love ya, Dad







I ask you ... how freakin cool is THAT????



Notes about this: 
Vince's Ford (the one Larry was killed in) Had a magic C3 test engine, secured from Shell Oil.  It was a 312 with headers and 4 barrel carb.  Larry's step dad, George, put that engine in Vince's 54 Vic and "it was a screamer, insanely fast".  Larry was shot gun and he and Vince were a couple of blocks away from the Tic Toc, on a residential street that had no parking in the road, perfect for drag racing.  Vince didn't make the curve at the end and hit a phone pole.  Dad talked about this for a while.  He felt very close to George, who never got past this event.


 


The TicToc



Tic-Toc Drive-In (SE corner of Ocean and Cayuga)—One of just a handful of SF drive-ins in pre-McDonald's days, and among the best in town when one of the few other choices was Burke's at the corner of Market & Church. Circa 1964, there was a fatal shooting of a high school student at Tic-Toc, and this location was immediately declared to be off-limits to most teens by their parents. The site later became a child-care facility. (text copied from http://www.outsidelands.org/streetwise-ocean-ave.php.



























Artwork from: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/tik-tok-drive-inn-mike-hill.html



Could this be the Kathy Ann?












Friday, October 11, 2013

Insurance

I am not knowledgable enough to comment.  I don't want the entire story, please, Cliff's Notes only.

Is there an insurance carrier of any kind (auto, home, health) that is righteous?  A friend lived in a home with a 2 foot retaining wall next to the sidewalk.  A kid, who was walking with his dad, climbed the wall, fell off and broke his arm.  The homeowner's insurance had to pay and her insurance went up due to claim.  Why didn't the insurance company say, "No, asshole.  We don't pay because you are stupid"?  I understand that the insurance company finds it less expensive to just pay rather than go through the court system, but one would think that the general population would eventually stop thinking that an accident is a jackpot.

Is there an insurance plan that is easy to understand?  Because of misinformation from a human resources department, my daughter in law discovered that she was liable for a size-able hospital bill.  She's pissed, but she's paying the bill.  She wisely asked for an itemized bill and discovered that she was charged twice for an expensive procedure pack.  Her husband said that he remembers the incident well.  The doc was opening the prepared pack and dropped something out of it onto the floor.  He requested and received a new pack.  The family was billed twice.  Is the family responsible?  Of course the doc is not responsible, nor is the hospital.  It was an accident.  Do we need accident insurance for our health insurance?  In the end, she disputed the double charge and it was taken off the bill.  But it still cost someone something.  Had the insurance carrier been covering, it would have been paid, no questions asked.  Is there an Insurance company that checks things like this?  I know its labor-intensive and time consuming, but one would think that hospitals would eventually stop thinking that health care needs are a jackpot.

Dear Obama-care haters:  When Social Security plans were developed in 1935, the public outcry was enormous.  It seemed to fly in the face of the Constitution.  Even the title of the program suggested Socialism.  In the end, the social security program and Medicare have lifted millions of  elderly, hard-working Americans out of poverty.

Like the Great Depression of the 30s, America stands poised on the cliff of desperation.  Gone are the days of  blue collar union health coverage.  No longer will white collar firms offer golden umbrellas.  Families are changed, and health care needs to change too.  In my personal circle, I see very few nuclear families with 2.5 kids, dad well-employed and mom keeping the home fires burning, not worrying that a health emergency will destroy their lives.  The families in my circle mostly consist of two working parents (one often working ONLY for health insurance), single moms, and under-employed people, just trying to eek out a living.

When you say things like "why should I pay insurance to lazy medicare moms don't have to?", you are shooting your own foot off.  Instead of you footing the entire bill for medicare, those people will have to pay for their own insurance.  It might come out of their government assistance, but they'll still pay.  You can see the reasoning, even this early in the process.  The Obama care people are telling the 'something for nothing' people that their health insurance is more important than their cell phone.  They are going to take the premiums right out of their check.  There will be incentives for well-child appointments and follow ups.  This will cut down on expensive emergency room visits.  Or, that's the hope, at least.  I recently had a single mom tell me that there is no way she's getting a job.  Its just not worth it, she'd be dropped from Medicaid and her health insurance coverage would take a giant bite out of her wage.  Her kid has health coverage thru the dad's job, she gets Medicaid only because she is a single mom.  WTH?  When Obama care happens, this woman will have zero government support.

I admit that there is too much government in our lives.  We don't want to be over-governed.  But, I'm wondering if it really is all bad.  When I worked in the health care field, I observed a phenomenon called "medicaid bed".  These beds could only be filled with medicaid patients.  Why?  Medicaid set limits.  For instance, if a medicaid patient needed a procedure, medicaid would only pay X amount of dollars.  If the patient was a private pay or covered by health insurance, they'd pay Y amount of dollars.  Why?  Medicaid researched the procedure, decided that a fair cost is X and they refuse to pay the bloated Y amount.  I'm all for capitalism, yessir! but just try to find the salaries of the hospital board in your community.  You'll never find it.  Even "not-for-profit" hospitals are in the money making business.  Seriously.

OK, I admit, Obama care will affect my life greatly.  Here is my story:  I'm one of the ladies mentioned above.  I enjoyed a carefree life, no worries that a health problem might destroy my standard of living.  My hard working husband had a good job with excellent health insurance.  Even with an active family, we've come no where near our health care premiums.  Kids safely grown, mostly healthy and off the payroll.  Now, as we near retirement, we find ourselves in two very expensive health situations.  Please, don't worry about our physical health, modern medicine keeps us in the working world and we love our lives.  But upon retirement, we lose our company health insurance.  Because of our expensive pre-existing conditions, private insurance is going to be very very expensive.  Our Obama care insurance will be pretty costly too, but I'm hoping for the best.  Ya, I'm hopeful for Obamacare.

















Sunday, August 11, 2013

The crowned prince of Texas

And the Prince of Texas returns to his castle.

Despite all the birthing drama, Momma and the Prince took to each other like a duck to water. I'd been a little worried about nursing, but on their first date, they both appeared to have be...en at this forever. No adjustment period, no complaints of nip pain or lack of latch. I remind you that Momma's upbringing has been a bit modest and sheltered, but to this family, boobs abound. No worries, mate. On the very first day, they casually entertained a room full of people with a receiving blanket carelessly tossed over the shoulder. Everybody is good. Abuela told us that every other country she's lived, nursing is as accepted as handing a child a cookie. With all our forward thinking, the US appears to remain as Puritanical as the day we blew into New England.

During this first appearance, a friend and her mom came to pay homage, as it should be. This adorable friend, quiet and innocent in the ways of the world, certainly one who was never given a hand mirror, was listening intently to the birth story. I feared that this dangerous, emotional birth might give her cause to abandon any hope of ever having a child. Au, contraire! The lovely youngster spoke to us, in graphic terminology of natural birthing, perineum, labia, cervical thinning, and the stages of descention. The entire room looked at her with wide-eyed wonder. Her mother, a little shocked but obviously proud, asked where she'd obtained all this information. "At birthing class", was the answer. What birthing class did this single, sheltered girl take? "Gramma Peg's birthing class". What a hoot. I wish Gramma Peg could live with every one I care about for the week before delivery. She is a fountain of information and reassurance. I have visions of this girl delivering someday. She'll be in charge, telling the medical staff that she expects the proceedings to evolve via Gramma Peg's instructions.

Time to go home. Lord Lucas had some moderate jaundice, an rH issue, and a circumcision, so his first couple of days were busy. He was the darling of the unit, of course. His dad stayed by his side, sleeping in a chair for the entire four days, despite my pleas that he come home and sleep a couple of hours in his own bed. I take this opportunity to say how proud I am of my son. Danny is not only a good man, he is (right this minute), my favorite son. His wife tells me that he is the most attentive and loving husband. Her mother tells me that that he can do no wrong ever (except perhaps drink too much beer) and that he has mad cabinet repair abilities. His friends think the sun rises and sets on him. He has become very close to Momma's sister, possibly because they are both snarky and quick-witted, maybe because they both love baby Momma so much. But I digress ....

The Prince returns to his castle. It was very important to me that the family return home and spend the first night alone as a new family unit. Peg saw that all was well and returned home. Rich and I went to visit with some favored family members. Reports were that the little family did well. Later in the week, I was eavesdropping on a phone call and heard Momma tell a friend that she was over-the-top emotional when she got home. She advised this pregnant friend to make sure her home was empty and to receive no visitors on the first day home. "I cried the whole day, I couldn't even say what was wrong." This post-partum emo flow ebbed as quickly as it surged. I'm not saying that all was calm and rosy, but the prevailing emotion for all of us was simple joy. Momma, who is a stickler for some things tried not to be too impatient with me. I'm here to report that she DID say, several times, "That's not how Gramma Peg does it." Guh. Evidently, I'll forever live in my mom's shadow.

We all tried to get in the groove of being a new family. In spite of our efforts, it became apparent that It Is Lucas' World And We Are Only Living In It. No schedule at all. Momma has become a human pacifier. Daddy is red-eyed and zombie-like, not a good look for him and certainly not an asset to the safety factor at his dangerous work-place. Occasional phone calls were placed to nursery hot lines, doctors offices, and all-knowing family members. Everyone had different advice. Everyone started with, "you know what you ought to do ....". In the end, it turns out that ... well, ya just have to ride it out. The best-laid plans go by the way-side. Parents were hell-bent on things like tight schedule, no sleeping with baby, house hold to return to normal function within one week. All you have to do is stick to your guns, put your mind to it. If you are a parent, this missive may remind you that YOU made those statements before birth. And perhaps, here you are, 30 years later, still - just riding it out.

During this adjustment period, Momma had very few complaints of post-partum, post-surgical issues. If it'd been me, I'd still be laying in the bed, 30 years later, trying to get someone to bring me orange juice. Not so with this Momma. On day 5, I observed this Pearl Buck heroine squat down and lift a 15 pound box from a closet floor. Right back to the rice paddy for this one. I tried to express concern, but was ignored. That evening, we were to hold court again, this time for family. As the lords, dukes and duchesses descended, I went in chambers to see what was holding up the appearance. Momma looked unfocused and was grabbing at air. She turned to me and I noticed that her eyes were rolling around in her head. "I don't feel right. I'm dizzy and sick. I can't walk!". She began tearing up. I went into action. I was certain she was having a post surgical stroke. Because this is where my mind goes. She's stroking out because I am inadequate. I picked up her phone to dial 911, preparing to explain to first responders. I asked what meds she'd taken: Two of these and One of these. I looked at the prescription bottles. Well. I'm no expert, but .... "Oh, lord. Christina. You are high, honey." Yep. In effort to avoid "breakthrough" pain, we are eating vicoden like party peanuts. I advised to save the rest of the script for important pain later in life (menstrual cramps) and stick to the advil.

As the days went by, our comfort level increased. Rich returned home, Dan back to work, Momma and baby to begin their own routine. I stayed "to help out" (read: I stayed because I couldn't bear to part with his Lordship). After one fitful night, I went into chambers to retrieve Lucas. He was fussing and exhausted Momma was snoring. I leaned over to pick baby out of Momma's arms and she protested, "we were having snuggle time, I never get to snuggle with him". Even in her state of deep sleep she had to chuckle at her complaint and allowed me to take him. I was grateful to give her this couple of hours of uninterrupted, deep sleep. When it was time to return, I took baby in and cooed at Momma, "it's time for lefty". "oh, ok", says she, still in deep slumber, "come on, come on .. ", she pats her hip as if calling the dogs. All I got to say is that this is one tired woman.

Lucas, who I'm sure learned everything he knows in utero from Stewie Griffin, was very successful in sabotaging BOTH of his parents birthdays. He plotted to stay unborn for his mother's, then completed his evil missive by being a demanding newborn for his dad's. On the night before his dad's birthday, he caused his parents to jump through hoops to calm him. Momma decided that he missed his womb time, so she brought to him a gift. This gift is a snuggly teddy bear that is programmed to sound like what some engineer thinks being unborn sounds like: sloshing, throbbing, windy body innards. Momma gave this unearthly thing to baby and tried to nap herself. The next day, she was preoccupied with not only the body functions of her and Lucas, she was hell-bent on cooking for her husband's birthday. As we sat down to a lovely meal, Momma became a little more focused. She admitted to dreaming for the first time in many months. She recalled these dreams to us: She was in a boat with the swamp people hunting alligators. Then she was swimming swimming swimming then drowning drowning drowning. She was punching and clawing at the sleeping Dan, trying for rescue. Dan admitted that he is so hungry for sleep, he'd have gladly held her head under water, just to get the rest. As Momma told us this story, she became so giggly and tickled, I was afraid she was going to fall off the chair. I told her she was punch-drunk. Try explaining that term to a native Spanish speaker. The evil and nightmare-inducing Teddy was, I think, banished to Lucas' closet. I'm sure it will appear to torture him in years to come, ala Chris Griffin.

Finally, it was time to return home. I had worn out my welcome and I had important things to do back in the Lou (concert tickets). My journey was uneventful, but during travel I realized that I missed, of all things, my DOGs!?!? I waked in the door, picked up and snuggled my cute little dog. As I was walking round the house, checking mail and newspapers, as one does when returning home, I found myself .... you guessed it ... trying to burp the dog.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lucas, an introduction


 My Grandson Arrives!
    In anticipation of the big event, my mom, aka "Gramma Peg", took a couple of days off to go coach the impending labor and birth.  She was able to stay for ten days and took advantage of the teaching time.  Peg is a hands-on labor and delivery nurse.  I have to admit that I was worried when she left that she might drive the Momma and Dad a little cray cray, but they assured me that she was, if not a blessing, then at least an interesting diversion.  She's an over-the-top teacher.  I admitted to a friend that I was afraid she'd ask Momma if she could do a plevic there at the house.  Thankfully, this did not happen. 
    What did happen was this:  Peg told stories and used grapic terminology.  As it happens, Momma's birthday fell in this waiting time, and Peg got to hold court.  Please forgive me for attaching stereortypes, but it seems to me that Momma's friends mostly fall into one category: young, single, sheltered, Latino girls.  Nobody ever gave them a hand mirror and told them to get familliar with their vag-JJs.  Never happened.  So, during this birthday celebration, Peg told em everything they might ever want to know.  No parental permission slips were signed. 
    Lucas' induction was scheduled for Monday morning.  Parents went in on Sunday night to start a mild labor-inducing drug whose purpose was only to get things started.  When we left the hospital on Sunday night, things were calm, pleasant.  The room was dim and Momma and Daddy were snuggling and giggling.  Overjoyed in anticipation.  There was even some talk of giving Momma a sleeping pill so she might rest to be ready for the long labor tomorrow.  In the end, this was a bad idea.  It turns out Momma is more suseptable to chemical actions than most others.  In her case, chemicals are super effective. 
    Peg, Rich and I went back to the house to bed.  At oh-dark-thirty, Peg throws open the door and says, "Its time, she's dilated to two and the epidural is going in, HURRY!".  it didn't make sense to my sleeping brain.  only 2? Epidural already?  I didn't get it. 
    When we got tot he near-by reigonal hospital, reality set in.  The mild drug had caused rapid labor onset, with much stress on Lucas.  Momma was only dilated to 3 or 4 and Lucas was presenting.  The mild labor-inducing drug did not work as planned and Lucas was in danger.  Her room was noisy and bright.  Daddy, Peg and hospital staff made every attempt to appear calm and reassuring, but there was an underlying sense of urgency.  Momma appeared calm, but later admitted that she'd never been so terrified in her life.  A staff member said that we are preparing for emergency C-sect and family was sent to waiting room.  Seven minutes later, a tall man with rain-wet squeaky shoes jogged by us.  Seven minutes after that, Lucas was born. 
    Those were the longest 14 minutes of my life.  I turned in the hall to see Momma's Momma.  Her big brown eyes were full of tears.  i was smacked with harsh realizations:  *my grandson was in real danger.  *my treasured son is going throught the most terror he's ever known. *Momma is having emergency surgery.  *This woman in front of me is terrified for her own child's life.  *We are in a small, regional hospital, are we going to need more help?  I tried to be comforting, but I'm pretty sure I was keaning like a fishwife. 
    We paced the hall and very soon, Daddy and nursery staff brought out our bloody, pointy headded Lucas.  He was messy and mewling so they ran him to the nursery to tend to him.  Daddy never left his side, but later admitted that he'd wanted to go comfort his wife.  He was fearful for her, but she'd instructed him to stay stay stay with Lucas.  We watched through the nursery window while they measured and weighed, 7lb/3oz.  19 inches.  I was surprised at the low birthweight since both parents were 9 pounders, but Peg and the nurse assured me that this is optimum healthy weight and verifies that Momma lived on fruits and veggies.  Momma confessed that she is crazy with cravings of deli meat, tuna, pizza and fatty cheeses.  Poor girl.  Anyway, Lucas perked right up.  He raised hell with all the goings on.  His dad stood by and handled him and took pictures.  All of us grammas and Aunties sobbed at the window.  What a blessing, what a blessing. 
    Meanwhile, Momma was being tended to.  No complications that I ever heard, but it took them a LONG time to get baby and daddy back to her.  More murmmers of worry in the waiting room. 
    And then Daddy and Lucas went to be with Momma.  Daddy texted that all is well.  Then we went out to lunch like it was any other day.  Weird. 
 
Part II to follow.