the real work
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
it all started the other morning.
charley got into the dumpster, and enjoyed a breakfast of garbage. dogs. she's got a sensitive belly (like her mama), and so i readied the 409 and paper towels for puke cleanup. doggy diarrhea also ensued, at 3 am, 5 am, and on through the following day. thankfully, charley is good about letting me know when she's got to go, so the latter has only happened outdoors.
so charley is not feeling very well, and lucy sees this as an opportunity to take alpha dog positioning.
they got into a brawl over treats on christmas eve, as i wrapped presents beside them. teeth and growls and a screaming helen and me grabbing charley by the collar and charley not letting go of lucy's scruff. then it was over. lucy bled on the neck. charley bled on the mouth. my hands shook. helen got out the peroxide.
later that night, i shook the kitty treats out on the patio, calling chloe in for the night. shake shake. but no chloe, which was odd. she is always nearby. and she loves treats.
i finally went to bed, resigned to letting her in when she scratched at the door in the middle of the night.
christmas came at 5:30 am, when helen woke me, ready for presents. she called gregg over, and he obeyed, showing up at our house sans glasses and with messy hair. helen put on the coffee, i put on the christmas tunes, and we dug in to the gifts. we giggled and hugged and i caught my breath hard when i opened the big box with a camera inside.
and then i remembered: chloe.
the three of us formed a kitten search team, spreading out to cover the complex. we each shook treats, called chloe in our pajamas, just as the sun was rising.
we gave up after about half an hour, agreeing that she would be home later that morning, when she was hungry. i said a prayer. but that sinking feeling was already settled in: i'd lost her.
early afternoon was a moodswing of christmas giddiness and mounting dread about my kitten. gregg went home to cook the turkey and mash the potatoes. he called, asking if we'd seen his glasses. he couldn't find them anywhere. helen and i searched under cushions to no avail.
i went outside awhile to play with my camera and call for chloe. though the photos were crap and the cat was still missing, i did nearly step on a very familiar pair of glasses lying in the grass...
after driving five miles per hour around our larger neighborhood, shaking kitty treats out the window (like that would entice a missing cat to show herself), i gave up on finding chloe. there were christmas dinner preparations to attend to. as helen made the stuffing, i feverishly cleaned the house, as gregg's parents were spending christmas dinner with us.
and then, helen in the bathroom squealed "chloe!" a very nervous calico had tiptoed out from under the bed, after hiding the whole day. she had never even gone outside. the dogs' christmas eve scrap had scared the shit out of her. relief of all relief. our christmas miracle we said.
the rest of the day burned brightly. we laughed and ate a fabulous dinner with gregg's parents, bruce and cheryl. i took lots of photos (you can see them over at flickr), and despite the flipflop weather, christmas felt right and real and cozy.
that is, until a sharp pain took over my left side and i got a fever.
i went to bed clutching my uterus and kidney, hoping it would just pass with aleve and sleep. but when charley woke me up at 3 am again with more dog-d, the nagging ache was still with me. she did her thing, and i went back to sleep.
cut to 9 am, when we repeated our 3 am jaunt outside. charley's ears were hot with pup fever, and my cheeks were still flushed. i called the vet: closed. i sat on the fence for a long while about whether or not i should go to work. i didn't want to leave charley alone--she and lucy are still pissy with each other, and i am afraid of nasty messes on the floor in my absence--and i wondered if i needed a doctor myself. i'm trying to hold out until january 1, when i will have insurance, or at least until wednesday, when i have a day off. but. in the end, i called off. i'm in no shape to be taking day-after-christmas calls all day. i can barely sit up for a long period of time. and charley has vomited twice. we are a sad pair.
i may have a lot of time on my hands in the coming days. i think i may be unemployed tomorrow. maybe i am irresponsible today. maybe i should have perservered. but here i am, sipping water and eating bread (the only thing i can keep down myself).
charley sits beside me with weary eyes. she'll be ok. she may need a trip to the vet and an antibiotic, but she'll be fine. and chloe is back to her normal food-loving self. she grooms herself now, after a bowl of kitten chow. christmas was beautiful, despite the setbacks. our little family is alright.
and i'm holding the hope of all things new and good for the imminent new year, despite what the temp agency tells me tomorrow.
this isn't the end.
thank you everyone for your valuable camera input. i've checked out all of your suggestions, and david, you win. your recommendation of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 turned me on to this inexpensive world of fabulous cameras. i've decided to upgrade a bit, to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20K, because of the manual focus option. amazon has it on sale for under $400, and helen--the real photographer of the family, is drooling over it already. so. here's to hoarding the christmas gifts of cash--mama, i'm gonna get me a kickass camera.
job safe for now. relief. i'm on FINAL (emphasis theirs) warning. my lips are pursed for asskissing, and i will return to work tomorrow.
thank you, everyone, for your kind words and lit candles, bruised knees, and shaking fists.
i am ridiculously grateful. and giddy with the thought of not having to look for work three weeks before christmas.
too sleepy to write much at all, but i need your prayers, your lit candles today.
kidney infection. dr says i may be passing a stone as well. vicodin helps. but not enough.
unable to go to work for two days. consequently, i may lose my job. temp agency is consulting with apple about the situation. will get back to me later today. meanwhile, everything hangs in the balance while i am flat on my back.