Monday, August 1, 2011


(Because this is such a text laden post, I'll be posting random, meaningless photos to break up the monotony.)

Yesterday afternoon, after my volunteer electricians left, a friend spontaneously invited me to drop by and have a cuppa tea and a spotta conversation. I zipped over there in a blink.

Seeing I have no voice, I assumed I'd ask a question or two, and she'd do the lion's share of the talking. But I had assumed wrong. We both contributed to our two hour long sip n chat. (I coughed most of my answers out, which is annoying for both the listener and the talker, but alas. Friends are awesome for knowing a woman just needs to say so many words per day or the insane factor kicks in.)

The conversation meandered all over the place as we sat outside on her patio furniture casually watching her husband scurry around doing yard work. And at one point she asked, "So what do you do at your job, exactly? I mean, anyone could do your job, right?" We talked about the various ways I occupy my work hours and concluded I was easily replaceable because I'm not that special. I'm just adaptable. I somehow get projects done, usually by rounding up help from others far more skilled than I. And then I bake them a cake. And send them a thank you note. Expressing gratitude goes a long way in the working world. Probably in any world.

(By the way, I've just taken 2 Advil Cold and Sinus, 2 Tablespoons of cough syrup, 2 Cold fx's, some ibuprofen, and an assortment of vitamins. If I had bought Apricot Brandy yesterday, like I thought I would, I woulda drunk a swig o that too. [I have a facebook friend, who also happens to be a real life friend from my past {thought I should clarify our "real" relationship, because some people are still 'facebook friends aren't real friends', blah blah} who has been strongly encouraging me to guzzle brandy regarding my cough.] [The last time I was in a liquorish store, though {and I really have only been in them once every 5 years to buy Amoretto for this fabulous cream cheese frosting I make for chocolate cakes} was to buy wine for a ladies event I was having in my home and some of those gals like a glass of wine to make the conversation flow, so I went to the local specialty wine store in my neighbourhood. "Hi, could you recommend a good white and a good red wine for me? I'm serving cheese, and smoked salmon, and fruit, and chocolate... I'm not a drinker, so I have no opinion. I'm going to trust your suggestions." "You don't drink ANYTHING?" she asked, incredulously. "Nope. Not a fan." So she went through the store, considering their inventory for a few minutes, before she finally had her 2 recommendations. I nodded and passed her my Visa. She rang it up, then looked at my signature on the back before getting me to sign the receipt. "You're an O and you don't drink!? You must be related to the other O's in town, no? They love their wine..." So I explain quickly that I used to be married to one of them, a lifetime ago. "Which one? I think I know them all." "The second one." Etc and so on. {A few days later I was at Shopper's, picking up a prescription and the pharmacist says, "Which O are you married to? I went to school with one of them..." "I was married to the second one." "Oh right, I heard about that...."} Seriously, some days I want to move to Phoenix. I don't know where I am with all the parentheses. I think this is the right one.}

So, I'm a little bit drugged up right now. Lucky you. My equivalent of drunken blogging.)

After we had dissected my job, she shared something she'd heard about my son. My oldest one. "Jon said he was smart. Like wicked smart. Brilliant. Or genius or something. He really admires him - and couldn't say enough nice things about him. About his brains and his videography skills.... Is he really smart? Did you know?"

"Yeah. He's bright. All of my kids are. Their grades at school were not indicators of their capacity to learn. They are quick, inquisitive, and they love to read. The trick is to match them up with topics they care about."

"Like what?"

"Anything. Everything. I think they spend more time on Wikipedia than any other site. They want to know MORE."

"Where do they get that from? Are you smart? Is their dad?"

I pause.

"It's OK. You can tell me if you're smart. I won't mind. Do you have a really high IQ? Does Mark? Which of you got better grades in school?"

"It's not about IQ. I don't know what mine is, nor what Mark's is. I'm not convinced it's a good measure of intelligence. I know I was a good student. Way better than Mark. My report cards, from high school, to Bible School, to BCIT, were mostly A's. All that meant was I knew how to learn. It's not an indication that I knew how to apply any of my knowledge. I was book smart. Mark was life smart - grades weren't as important to him."

We continued to talk, about her kids, about our yards, about this abysmal summer. Eventually we rounded back to talking about school. And how both of us should go back to school to upgrade our skills. And how scary that would be.

When my raspy voice conked out, I knew it was time to go. I stopped in at IGA to pick up milk (bowl of cereal for supper) and just then Stairway to Heaven came on the radio. OF COURSE IT DID. Does any other song (well, besides a bunch of Supertramp, and Heart, and Fleetwood Mac songs) transport me back to my teenaged years as quickly this one? Seriously. Girls? Boys? That first kiss lasts in your memory FOREVER so choose wisely.

It is taking me forever to tell this story.
(Have you ever bought a box of kleenex that matches your decor so perfectly that you wish you could go back and buy 70 of the exact same boxes so that you'd always have it on hand. There's really nothing as pleasing as having a perfectly perfect box of kleenex fit into one's decorating scheme. I just took a break to blow my nose and thought of that. It has nothing to do with my story. Which, truth be told, is actually pretty boring. Feel free to abort reading this post. You will not get these 5 minutes back again. )

I decided against cereal and went for leftover tuna casserole for supper instead. I spent an hour or six on pinterest, watered some plants, facebook chatted with friends and planned every single spare moment next week. At midnight I went to bed and read another Sue Grafton novel ("S" this time) for a few, possibly alot of minutes. I fell asleep around 2 and woke up coughing at 8.

8 is not my get-up time on weekends. So I forced myself to cough it out and go back to sleep. By 9 I realized I had to get up. Nine hours had passed since I was last on facebook and pinterest... something good might have happened. I needed to get plugged in again.

But today is Sunday. And it's the one day I feel most guilty about not reading my Bible more regularly. So I started there. And as always I'm amazed at how relevant it is. Sometimes I just love the Psalms. Then I prayed for like, an hour and wrote it all out in my prayer journal. I don't know why I don't do this everyday. I am totally gobsmacked each time I do - He really does hear us. And He answers way more than we stop to acknowledge.

I took a quick peak at facebook - not much going on there. And challenged myself not to click over to pinterest. Which wasn't hard, as I was tired again. So I rolled over on the couch and fell asleep. (Don't you love sleeping on a couch? With you back pressed up against the back of the couch, supporting it lovingly? And a pillow between your knees, relaxing your hips just so? And your head resting on the arm rest at the end, just the perfect height of elevation to keep the post nasal drip dripping?) It was bright in the room, especially since my head was directly under the lamp, which was on, and the blinds in the room were open, so I could read my Bible earlier. So I placed one hand across my eyes to make everything black. I was asleep in less than 2 minutes. (Probably. This is an estimate. I didn't time myself.)

And now?
Now we get to the "Dreamin" part of this post.

Which will be of no interest to anyone but me. Sorry I've taken all of you along for the ride.

OK. So. I'm in a lecture hall at a post secondary institution, surrounded by people I know. I have no idea how old I am, what class I'm taking or what year it is. The prof announces that it's "Presentation Day" and he hopes everyone has brought their A game because "Jane is the one to beat." I'm kinda thrilled to know that I've done well in this class, and that my teacher thinks highly of my work, but seriously. I have no clue what's going on. I have no presentation prepared and this makes me slightly tense.

As each classmate stands behind the podium to introduce their presentation, they start with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Professors and Fellow Students, and Jane (!) ..." and then describe what we're going to see. Each  presentation is a multi media extravaganza that wow the senses and the audience. My class mates include people from my toddler years, my teenage years, my adult years. We are all the same indistinguishable age and it's not weird. Near the end of the class, my seat somehow becomes less of a lecture hall seat and more of a recliner. And during the last presentation, (a 3D movie with balloons floating out amongst the audience) a cute, super talented guy (in real life he's someone I know who is in his mid-30's) snuggles in the recliner with me, telling me he's looking forward to working on my project. The class ends and the prof announces that I will be doing my presentation during our next class. My overriding thought? "Thank goodness I have Clint, Max and Drew here to help me. They are going to come up with something mindblowing..." In the dream I knew they were my sons, but we were all the same age.  Taking the same class.

And then I woke up, snuggling a pillow, thinking about heaven. And how we'll all be the same age. And all working together brilliantly on creative projects. And I will feel confident. And maybe there will be snuggling. There will definitely be no coughing.


I barked out this dream story to Drew earlier this evening.
"You call that a happy dream? You think heaven is going to be like SCHOOL? ARE YOU NUTS? What is wrong with you?"


Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Safeway is open til midnight and sells cough syrup.
2. Impromptu Spaghetti Factory dinner with dad, mom, Drew, Dani and Mandi.
3. One hour of sunshine this afternoon.
4. Another day off tomorrow.



Tricia said...

I have learned the art of refilling a Kleenex box so when the store discontinues it, I am covered until the cardboard box gets shabby.

valerie said...

The second last picture will always be one of my favourite "flower" places. I usually buy at least 4 of my favourite kleenex box patterns. So how are the peppercorns looking?

Anonymous said...

I have never met you. We have a mutual friend whose blog you follow - except that I haven't seen or talked to her in over 20 years. I just cyberstalk her when she occasionally posts on her blog. Anyways, that's how I found your blog over 2 years ago. I love the way you write! Your blog is the only one I follow where I've never met the person.

So - you should go back to school for creative writing. Your writing is entertaining, prolific and honest. God has spoken to me many times through your writing in ways that would amaze you and make you giggle.

You don't need multi-media - your gift is simply in crafting words about the common nuances of life that we all share. I would love to read your blog about really going back to school one course at a time and chaos that might ensue!

janicenikkel said...

I concur with the last anonymous commenter. I smile, sigh, and keep reading your regular blog entries. You are a gift that keeps on giving.

Andrew said...

Mrs O the couch is good. Ottoman better!