Saturday, January 29, 2011

It Will Stop Snowing at Some Point, Won't It?

At least I packed with this kind of weather in mind.

But, what I didn't expect was the swing in weather that I've experienced since arriving in Alberta, Canada on Wednesday. After landing in Calgary, I threw on the heavy, Antarctica-style coat only to shed it the moment I stepped out the door. The air was crisp but not chilly making it feel like an early Spring day back home in Nashville rather than a wintry Canada day. For the next couple days, I delighted in this unexpected blast of "warmth" and stowed my winter gear in the closet.

That was then. As of today, it is 12 degrees outside and we got a foot of snow overnight and it is still pouring down. It is oh-so-beautiful but COLD OH MY GOODNESS IS IT COLD.

Tomorrow I head back to Nashville where I hear people are at the park in short sleeves and such. I am green with envy. Winter 2011 has allowed me to see more snow than some folks see in a lifetime.

Bring on the buttercups, Momma Nature. I couldn't be more ready.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If We Don't Answer Does it Count?

Her voice is always chipper
And Birdsong is her name
If her name was Carol Williams
It just wouldn't be the same

She's Mother Nature's Helper
Every school child's dream
But her name showing up on caller I.D.
Makes parents want to scream

The yard is now snow covered
As the flakes do softly fall
I sit in dread
Cause I know what's coming...
The Carol Birdsong call!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Have Kleenex, Will Grieve....

I dreaded it like the plague. And, before I tell my story I will preface it by saying that this would only happen to me. Trust me.

My flight had just landed in Albuquerque, New Mexico and I was hopping in a rental car to race to the hotel to change before going to the funeral home for the viewing. My insides were all twisted as I realized the finality of seeing my friend/ client/ coworker for the very last time.

I had booked my hotel room off an online site because of its proximity to Daniels Family Funeral Home where Debbie's services were being held. As I exited the interstate to head to the hotel, I drove past a sign for Daniels Family Funeral Home and saw a blue gazillion people milling about outside.

Ugggg. Was I prepared for this? I would only know a handful of people but was I ready for all the sadness and the grieving? That sure was a lot of people.

After making it to the hotel and changing clothes, I retraced my route back to the funeral home and parked the car. I then took a deep breath and made my way to the front door where a nice gentleman named Mr. Louis pointed me to the guest book. All around me were people in huddled circles quietly whispering or crying and I instantly felt a lump in my throat as I realized the reason we were all there. Young and old, I surveyed the throngs of people that had come to pay their respects as I eased my way into the parlor.

The music was playing and a slideshow was flashing above and my heart sunk as I eyed the casket for the first time. There were flowers everywhere and several people gathered around her so I slipped in a back pew and began to cry. I cried for the senselessness of it...losing someone with whom I had such close daily contact at age 48. It just didn't make sense. I occasionally glanced up at the slideshow and saw pics of her boys apparently fishing or four wheeling and it made me cry a little harder as the enormity of their loss sunk in.

Just then, it occurred to me that I had not seen a single photo of Debbie during the entire slideshow....and then the thought crossed my mind that I didn't know that Debbie actually knew so many Hispanic people.................and, just then, the crowd moved away from the casket revealing to me my greatest fear at that moment. I was plopped down on a back pew grieving for..........a 17 year old named Pedro.

I was mortified.

As the only blonde in the room, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I had noticed glances cast my way since I arrived but then it sunk in. They were all wondering who I was and why Pedro's death had hit me so hard. She must have been the teacher "that cared"...I bet some of them thought. I prayed they didn't see me doing my little side step scamper as I exited the room.

Upon cross examination of Mr. Louis, I learned that Daniels Family Funeral Home has six locations in Albuquerque and that Debbie's services were being held 15 minutes away. As I got into the car, I know onlookers thought I was sobbing in heavy grief. I was actually giggling so hard I could barely breathe. Only I would make it into full-on grief mode at the funeral of someone I do not know. I mean, crashing a wedding is one get good food and maybe some dancing or a champagne toast. But crashing a funeral is a different story.

I will say that, although it was a highly embarrassing situation to be in and I am saddened at the loss of a teenager's life cut short, my mishap served as much-needed comic relief before I did have to face the real service for which I had traveled so far.

Just wish I could have heard those first folks as they were reading the guestbook.....

"Quien es Katie?"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yeah, Well...You Gotta Start Sometime

It was there. Right at the top of my list of things to do in the new year:


Even if it is a favorite quote or how I watched one leaf as it fell from the tree and followed it all the way to the ground (I know you can't wait for that post)...but blog SOMETHING every day. And what is today? January the what? The 14th. Have I blogged even one time since the beginning of 2011? Nope. Do I have good reason? Yep.

But that's beside the point. I am here. And I am typing and I resolve to begin return to this little home of mine and open the curtains, remove the dustcovers from all the furniture, and let the sunlight pour in. And even if no one comes for a visit because they think this house has been long boarded up, that's ok, too. I need to be here.

Hello old friend. I've missed you.