life lessons

The twists and turns of life are often unnerving. You can be going along on a euphoric high and then are taken to the depths of despair in a matter of moments…and then back up again. Notwithstanding depression and/or other inflictions, life is more than willing to give us the most terrifying and exhilarating rollercoaster ride that we could ever experience.

I’ve had a few weeks of that recently.

My job is one that I absolutely love. I get to work in the technical field but am also a part of human resources (I am their systems analyst) so I get to deal with the interesting side of people, as well. It can be, however, incredibly stressful. I deal, daily, with people who barely have a functioning knowledge of their computers or the system in which they work. They understand the few screens they use and only in the way they use them but fail to understand the grander scale in which every input they make will affect someone else down the line. They are also prone to giving deadlines that, in their minds, are totally justified and easily met but don’t understand that sometimes the testing behind the deadline can take weeks or months.

I’ve been given such a deadline. It has been stressful but it has also been incredibly enjoyable. I like finding problems and fixing them. I love to help others understand their systems and how to use them more effectively.

Thanksgiving was a week of love and joy. AmberWitch spent a week out here with us, telling us his tales of airport security horror and sharing a bit of New England with the Southwest. Toss in the entire family unit (siblings/spouses, parents, beloved niece) and add a few friends and extended family and it turned into a festive occasion. I don’t think I can ever remember a Thanksgiving that was so much fun. Maybe I’m in a better place in life. Maybe we all came together at the right time in the right place. I don’t know. I just know that it was a memorable one for me.

Sunday, we had a our first major snowstorm. I love snow. I’m like a child when the first snow starts coming down. I get so excited. This time, however, the winds came with it and my house is already cold enough without adding wind. It was absolutely freezing during the storm. I could not get warm enough.

That’s the renter’s life, I guess.

Later that day, my mom and sister came over. It was an unexpected visit and I was still in my pajamas when they knocked on the door. They had been crying…which is not common for them. They are a sturdy stock of women who do not cry like I do…at the drop of a hat. They said they needed to see me in person…to tell me in person. Of course, my heart dropped to my stomach. Every thought in the world went through my brain.

For those of you who have known me, you know that the dogs, the animals we all have, are very precious to us. We have always taken in animals who needed homes and have always loved every new fur-friend that has come our way. We had already lost one of our dogs this year…my 17-year-old left us this summer. While I had time to say goodbye to her, it was still a difficult situation.

On Sunday, though, it was more difficult. Two of our dogs had dug under the fence during the snowstorm. One was our alpha-female, the head of the pack. She had mothered 5 of the dogs we still had. She was our oldest and the one we had had the longest. The other was one of her daughters, my Trixie. A sweeter face you would not find on a beagle. She was a darling girl.

They had wandered out to the edge of my sister’s property, which is next to a road that converts to a highway. The traffic is fast out there. On this day, though, the snowplows were out…and one of them got both dogs as they were snooping around on the shoulder of the road.

My father tells me that he thinks it was a quick death. I hope so. I cannot imagine our babies suffering in any way.

It has been an emotional week. I vacillate between bursting into tears and laughing with my friends. I feel guilty and I feel incredible grief. Maybe if I had…what if…if only…

My heart hurts. Deeply.

On Monday, I got a call from the author, Rita Golden Gelman, whose book I received from AmberWitch. Her book, Tales of a Female Nomad is a rich journey of a woman braving the world to try something new. She called to tell me she was in town and asked me to lunch.

I needed the diversion. I had such an incredible time with her. She is witty and intelligent. She has tales to share. She listens and offers feedback. She was exactly what I needed to help get through the day.

She made me smile.

I needed that.

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