BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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9/11 Reflection

My exercise streak is still unbroken. I think I’m officially hooked. That time in the water jogging gives me a chance to do some thinking. Sometimes it’s about the dragonflies and hummingbirds that come to visit, sometimes it’s about what happened in school that day, and sometimes it’s just about K-pop or what I might like for dinner.

Yesterday, however, my head was full of 9/11. I couldn’t help but notice the planes overhead, and think about how it was just a normal day to go fly somewhere, just like it was on 9/11/01, until it wasn’t.

It seems that everyone over a certain age remembers where they were that day. I also remember the Oklahoma City bombing, and the snafu in Waco at the Branch Davidian complex. But of course 9/11 was in a class by itself. A horrific, difficult to grasp series of events that, until they happened, seemed impossible to most people. I saw what happened, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it.

Here we are, twenty years later, and the images are still gut-wrenching. The stories of the survivors, the stories of the heroes, and the stories of those they left behind stay with me. So many children lost a parent that day. So many parents lost a child.

I kept on jogging in place, taking in the quiet of my neighborhood, the sunny sky, and the planes that kept on flying, and I hoped for a peaceful future.


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A New Mission for My Old Wedding Dress

The set made from my wedding dress.

This morning when I checked my email I found a beautiful note from a lady named Mary Lou. Rather than try to explain, I’ll just post the body of her note:

Thank you for donating the beautiful wedding dress to Gowns of Love and giving us the opportunity to turn your memories into blessings for a family that suffers the loss of a baby. 

As you can see, the set we made from your dress contains a blanket, a keepsake satchel, two hearts, and two identical gowns (one for photos & burial and a second for the family to take home as a keepsake).  The keepsake satchel will be used for hand prints, pictures, etc. that the hospital provides.

The hospitals requested some boy sets so one of our talented seamstresses added a vest to your set.  I pray that this picture brings you joy and makes your heart sing as you think of the gift of love that you made possible.

I cried. I’m still crying. I can only imagine how devastating that loss is. I never had to suffer that pain, but I feel for anyone who has.

I didn’t set out to donate my dress to this group; I didn’t even know about it. I was cleaning out my storage locker and there was the giant eyesore containing my carefully preserved gown. It had been sealed up for over 2 decades, and it was in a box/coffin roughly the size of a Buick. The marriage was long over, I don’t have any daughters, and even if I did I wouldn’t saddle them with something that was my taste when I was in my 20s, a million years ago. It was time to cut it loose. The problem was, nobody would take it. Not the thrift store, not the second-hand shop, not even Goodwill.

It was a beautiful dress and I couldn’t just throw it away, so It sat in my trunk while I tried to come up with a solution.

During that time period I had a meeting at an office I’d never visited before. As I waited for my appointment I noticed a framed article on the wall with a photo of a wedding dress. I read the article and found my solution. It turned out that the woman who ran Gowns of Love was also a client at this office. I left my contact information and the kind people at the office who shared it with her. Within a day or two someone picked up the gown from my home (pre-Covid). They thanked me very much, and that was that.

I was so relieved to finally have that thing out of my life. The dress was beautiful. The wedding was beautiful. The memories are beautiful. But the giant, dusty box? Nope. I soon forgot all about it. Until this morning.

I’m so sorry to the family whose child will be buried in this gown. I’m so terribly terribly sorry. I hope this beautiful set that the talented volunteer seamstresses have created will provide at least a tiny crumb of comfort. I’m so glad my old gown will cradle an infant with its love.


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Somehow May Got Away

So many times I’ve wanted to sit down and write a quick blog post, but not done it. Either something else grabs my attention, or I think I don’t have enough time to do it correctly, or the idea of WordPress giving me more errors about not having permission to post keeps me from writing. That last one is truly irritating, as I haven’t had much help in getting this recurring problem resolved, but that’s not your issue, dear reader, it is mine and I’ve been avoiding it, because frankly, it’s no fun to deal with tech issues. At least not for me. I know there are people who love it, and make a career out of it, but for me? No fun.

The month of May seemed to fly by, maybe because our school year was extended, so I worked until the last week of the month. I know, it still sounds very early to those teachers who are still teaching, but we start really early, so there’s that. It took me a while to get used to it, being from New York originally, where kids go back to school after Labor Day, like nature intended. I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that there is no time off in August. None. On the flip side, though, here I sit in June, happily on summer break.

I’m not being a slacker, though. Far from it. I’m in the home stretch of completing one of the 4 components to become a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). I finished one part last year, just before the testing center shut down, and I’ve got two more parts to do next year, which I postponed due to the pandemic. The board’s term for it is deferred. I like the sound of that much better. Of course just completing the components isn’t all it takes. No, they have to be scored, and then the scores go into a formula that considers all four parts to see whether you have earned the certification or not. The good news is that you can redo parts that fell short. The bad news is, it’s a ton of work. I compare it to earning another university degree. Everyone hopes to score well the first time, of course, so there’s a ton of scrutiny and revision, revision, revision. I really am almost ready to submit this part, which is good, because the deadline is looming.

In other positive news, I’ve been using my pool every day since school let out. I got in for the first time this season after school on the last day (May 27). It was a little chilly at first, but not awful. I’ve been in and exercising every day since then. I’m kind of impressed with myself. I challenged myself to see how many days in a row I could do it, which is silly, since I love being in the pool. Still, some seasons I use it a lot, and some seasons I don’t use it much at all. I find that if I wait until late afternoon the water is warmer from soaking up the heat all day, and the pool is in the shade, so it’s easier on my eyes and skin. I jog in the water for about 30 minutes, and I use that time to just enjoy my surroundings. Yesterday there were incredible cloud formations, and every afternoon I’m joined by doves, sparrows, finches, dragonflies, and the occasional hummingbird. Wasps like to stop by for drinks too, but I try to steer clear of them. I also have my beautiful dog in the yard with me, who enjoys laying in a shady spot on the lawn and sniffing the air while I exercise. Frequently the neighbors put something on the grill for dinner, and it smells delicious.

I’ve also gotten some visits from my son. He’s working at a new job, and it’s not too far from my house. He has strange hours, so sometimes he stops over in the afternoon on his way to work. It makes my momma heart happy to see him, especially after spending so much time apart due to the pandemic. I mean, yes, we did drive cross country and back together, and that was great, but I still don’t see enough of him. I mean does any mom? I suppose if your kid lives with you, but even then they have their own lives and things to do. I’m just happy he makes time for me, and not just on Mother’s Day.

The Kiss

Speaking of Mother’s Day… brunch was out this year. In fact we never go on Mother’s Day because it’s always too busy. So what my kid did instead was spend the day with me before he had to go to work. He brought over a puzzle of Gustav Klimt’s painting The Kiss and we worked on it. 1000 pieces. All brown and gold. Well, almost all brown and gold. Oh, and every piece has basically the same shape. Oh. My. Gawd. This was the hardest puzzle either of us had ever attempted. It took several sessions working on it together, and a few hours of me working on it alone, for it all to come together. In the end, though, it did. After we took it apart, I did a quick 500 piece puzzle with a pretty simple design as a “palate cleanser” to take the taste of that monstrous puzzle out of my mind.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an online book study guide I have to download, then some more national board work to do. This is what I do every summer: independent professional development, pleasure reading, puzzles, and pool time. Oh, and I finally saw Disney’s Moana. What was I waiting for?? I will definitely be watching that one again soon. The songs keep going through my head, which is remarkable because with all the k pop girl groups that currently reside there, I didn’t think there would be room for more music. Yes, k pop. Aespa, Itzy, Everglow, Momoland, Blackpink… they all have sections of my brain at their disposal. I’m on the next level…yeah.