Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hard News in a Respectable Hodgepodge

After a much-needed break from posting the Hodgepodge questions (which leads to answering her own questions, also time-consuming) our hostess Joyce has come back with a throught-provoking-as-usual collection of questions. If you're new here, 
why not give this meme a whirl. There are no wrong answers. Gotta love that!

1. Since you weren't Hodgepodging last Wednesday, how did you pass the time?

I was waiting and praying for one of my three closest friends while she and her husband were at the doctor's office. 

Thursday her suspicions were confirmed: she has breast cancer.   I can't explain the shock and sadness in my heart.  I'd rather like to believe it's just a bad dream, or that it's not another one of my friends with this diagnosis. (I lost a friend, Diane, last September to this wicked disease.) 

But I have a peace that God is right here for with all of us as we walk this difficult journey together. 

My waiting was done with a heavy heart on Wednesday, then with busy hands Thursday as I helped my daughter pack up her classroom for good.  As in not coming  back because she resigned from teaching after just two years. 

She had gone into teaching believing she could make a difference in kids' lives; I truly think she did. But she was in a very difficult school (think inner city but in the county) with a toxic environment of distrust among staff, parents who (70 percent) showed no involvement in school life. Reporting child abuse, dealing with Common Core, having no social life to speak of because she was always planning lessons, collecting data, grading papers, or reeling from a harsh evaluation from superiors.  Crying herself to sleep after work for weeks on end.  Stomach issues and stress migraines most days after school. She couldn't take it any more.  

Cancer in a friend and heartbreak in a daughter. That's how I spent the first days of summer vacation.

2. What's the first word that comes to mind when I say marriage? Yes, one word. 


3. Summer officially arrives in the Northern hemisphere later this week. Does it feel like summer where you live? Describe your idea of the perfect summer day.

Yes, it absolutely does.  87 degrees, humidity, frizzy curls, a chronically panting dog, air conditioning, zero desire to cook...yup, feels like summer!  

My idea of the perfect summer day: 86 degrees, sunshine, on a speedboat, with family, without a schedule, getting tanned but not burned, and then having a crab feast with Maryland steamed crabs and 
corn on the cob.

4"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."(Sam Keen) Is laziness ever respectable? Do you have a lazy summer planned, or something semi-ambitious?

Gotta tell my age here: when I hear the word "respectable" I am immediately transported in my mind back to the year I turned 16 when the word "respectable" was the slang term for "awesome" or "really cool."   Example:  A souped-up Camaro was so respectable. Here comes the most respectable wave! Having a day off work --respectable. A sexy boyfriend is crazy respectable.  

So I'm gonna couch my answer in that sense of the word: laziness, once in a while, is uber respectable.  Ha!

As for my summer plans, funny you should ask. Yesterday I wrote a list of 50 things I want to accomplish this summer.  Most can't be done from the porch swing or on a speedboat, but I do like a relaxed summer routine.

5. Past or present, who's your favorite television dad? Why is he a favorite? Is he anything like your own dad?

Charles Ingalls.  Very much like my dad--handsome, smart, musically inclined, God-fearing, adored his wife, exalted his children, took good care of animals, loved to work the ground, sense of humor.  
6. June 18th is International Picnic Day...share a favorite picnic memory.

My most memorable picnic was the one to celebrate our engagement. It wasn't officially an engagement party, because no one had those back then in my circle  of peers.  But Paul had popped the question in January, and this was July, my grandmother from California was visiting and meeting him for the first time.  Paul and I had a romantic kiss on a footbridge at the local park where we were all picnicking.   

I have a picture of that somewhere but I am being lazy not to go find it. 
Am I still respectable?

7. The travel site Trip Advisor lists the top five islands in the world for 2014 as-Ambergris Caye in Belize CayesProvidenciales in Turks and CaicosBora Bora in French PolynesiaMarco Island Florida, and Lewis and Harris in The Outer Hebrides (Scotland). Have you been to any of these? Of those listed (and if price were not a factor) which would you most like to book for a holiday?

I've not been to any of those.  I would choose Bora Bora today if price were not a factor.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

The good news for my daughter is that she feels a huge weight has been lifted off her shoulders. And she landed a full-time nanny job, has already met the 3 and 1 year old who live on the water. Not too shabby. Mama will be visiting them, you can bet!

The good news for my friend is that her cancer is "the normal kind," which I think means treatable and survivable. 

Oh, and one more sad thing we heard last week: the youth pastor is leaving.  Seems if you can count on something, it's change. Just as you're getting settled in...


Vee said...

This post made me tear up and laugh out loud. Now it doesn't get any better than that for a post!

(Just lost a dear one to cancer over the weekend and have been carrying a lot of concern for a heartbroken daughter.)

Glad to know the good news in both of the situations you mentioned. I taught for 17 years before I left earlier than I hoped. It can certainly be a mine field out there!

Thank you for popping by my place, too. Much appreciated!

Joyce said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. Modern medicine is a marvel though, and I pray she makes a good recovery. I'm sorry too your daughter has burned out on teaching. I'm sure it's a loss for the school too.

Maryland crabs and boating with friends are in my weekend plans : )

Terri D said...

Good news for your daughter and your friend. Sorry your youth pastor is leaving. They have such an impact on the kids, and it can be a tough adjustment. I enjoyed your Hodgepodge!!

Denise said...

Bless your dear heart, saying prayers for you.

Lea said...

It seems I hear of of another woman with breast cancer every week. It is rampant. So scary!

I'm so, so sorry about your daughter's teaching experience. My daughter has been teaching for 12 years and has been in 4 different schools and absolutely loves it. She is like a poster child for the profession. I'm sure your daughter made a most positive difference in the children she taught.

Happy rest of the week!

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Unknown said...

Hi friend! Well, I've got my bags packed for our trip to Bora Bora - how about you? Seriously - vacation NOW please! I'm so sorry to hear about your friend - but oh, praise God that it will be treatable - and so sad to hear about your daughter... I have other friends who have had similar experiences in the schools they teach in, and it really can suck the soul out of you. So glad she has a new adventure starting...

AND - update - praise God, my Little C's biopsy was benign! :-)