Just the Two of Us: The Tales of a Temporarily Single Mom

On Sunday Doc left us.

Okay. So that seems a bit dramatic. It’s only temporary, but still.
For the next 8 weeks, it will just be me and Rosebud attempting to navigate this crazy, busy world of being a working single parent.
Doc will be cutting people open somewhere in Cleveland for 4 weeks, and then somewhere in Missouri for 4 weeks after that.
55 days.
(Not that I’m counting or anything.)

SO. For 55 days, I will be responsible for shuffling Rosebud to and from school, getting her school supplies for her new big girl class, attending the parent meetings at school, laundry, dance class, dinner, bath time, 40+ hour/week job, grocery shopping.
Y’all, I’m tired just writing about it.

On top of that all, I hurt somewhere deep inside. Doc and I have never spent this much time apart and I don’t have anyone to put my cold feet on. Plus I have to sleep with the light on. Okay. Two lights on.

In the near future please plan to be regaled with hilarious stories about running out of gas (because I’m used to him taking care of that), and almost losing a hand to the weedeater, because hey–he does that, too.

Also plan to be regaled with stories of emotional breakdowns because I’m experiencing the reality that real single parents face on an everyday basis with no light at the end of the tunnel.

The truth is, sometimes you don’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone. Even if it’s only 5 hours away, has FaceTime and is eventually coming home.
This entire process has made me appreciate the man that I married so much. Whether it’s the looks that say: “Hunter. You need to chill and quit stressing,” or him making sure my coffee is made before he leaves for the hospital.

This season of life is hard and involves a lot of tears. But it’s also pretty amazing to see the way God prepared us for this weeks and months in advance. He got my brother-in-law a new job in Lexington, meaning that now I have my family right down the road if I need them, and Rosebud has plenty of cousins to take her mind off of missing dad. I have my best friend’s wedding to look forward to which makes the time go faster. I have a great job that keeps me excited and busy. Doc recently got a new car that will take him safely to and from these long trips. Steve Jobs created Apple which created FaceTime to make the separation easier…..all for the Whitakers.

Every morning, I have to look in the mirror and tell myself that I can do this.
Every night, Rosebud and I FaceTime Doc and she marks another day off on her Frozen calendar.
And though I know this is only temporary….right now it really just sucks.

If you wouldn’t mind, throw your extra thoughts, prayers, vibes and hugs our way.

Love and Other Drugs,
E. Hunter W.

 

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Look Out World–I’m Sinning Again

I make a lot of mistakes in life. Like–a lot.
I constantly am finding some new way to get in my own way, or losing my temper, or “letting my mouth write checks that my butt can’t cash” to put it in Hudge’s terms.
I sin. Sometimes a dozen times before I’ve had my morning coffee (more if it’s a Monday).

I judge.
I hate.
I judge again.
I covet.
I lose my patience.
I run from the Word.

And that’s just on a normal day–you should see me during basketball season.

The Ten Commandments are full of some pretty heavy, pretty lofty processes and goals.
Don’t lie. Don’t take stuff that isn’t your’s. For goodness sakes, don’t kill anybody.
Don’t covet. Keep Sunday holy. Be good and respectful to your momma and your papa.

These should be pretty easy standards to match.
(They aren’t.)

But by far my biggest struggle in this life lies in the two (arguably most important) commandments:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make idols.

Growing up in the Church from a young age, these two commandments always struck me as a bit archaic. Sure they applied back in BC whatever when the Israelites were over there worshipping gold cows and everyone was running around with Baal-Zebub (which I mean, what an awful name for a god–even a fake one).

But how many of us modern evangelics are going around praying to a piece of jewelry?
So as a child I went ahead and gave those two commandments a mental check.
Like, okay. I’m good with those. Never going to struggle with cow worship, so moving on. What’s next?
Failing to understand their importance and true meaning made me particularly vulnerable in failing to follow their calling.

But as I’ve grown and matured in my life, I’ve learned a thing or two. Okay, maybe just a thing, but still. God knew exactly what He was doing when He handed down those Commandments to His people so long ago. He made them uniquely applicable to the BC Christians, to the 17th Century Christians, and to the Starbucks drinking millennial Christians of today.

Because maybe your god or your idol isn’t as tangible as cow jewelry.
Maybe your god or idol is money, success, acceptance, adoration, your job, or shoes (guilty).
Or maybe of all things your god and your idol is a 3-year-old little girl with bright blue eyes and her handsome, bow-tie wearing dad.

PLOT TWIST.
What do we do when we create idols out of the very blessings God has given us?

I’ve never struggled in my belief. I’ve often struggled in my faith and reliance–but never in my belief.
I always said quite confidently that if anyone were to ever persecute me for my faith or to hold a gun to my head and ask me if I believe in God, I would be able to answer “yes”. Genuinely.

But then Rosebud was born. And the question became instead: What if someone were to hold a gun to HER head and ask me if I believed in God? Then what?

Wow. Hold the phone.

Thankfully I live in a time and place where my freedom to chose my faith is without persecution.
But what about Abraham? What about Isaac?
If I’m being completely honest, here, which I always try to be: if God commanded me to sacrifice my Rosebud as He did with Abraham and his beautiful baby boy, Isaac……Well–Boy oh boy would I fail that test.
Abraham believed. And God provided.
But could I take that chance? Do I have that strength? Nope. Nu-uh. No. Not even a little.

The Bible tells us to love one another. But that when compared to the love we have for God, those Earthly bonds should seem like hate.

What if eternal life didn’t include my Doc and sweet Rosebud? What then?
WHY IS THIS STUFF SO HARD?

But it’s love, right? How can the God of Love deem loving a sin? It all seems so bass-awkward.
But the thing of it is–I’m not called to love them less. But to love Him more.

God gave me Doc and Rosebud, and in them I get to experience joy and grace abounding .
But even what I feel for them pales in comparison to what God feels for them.
So I have to give up. Something I’ve never been good at.

I have to realize that all the goals and dreams and desires for good things that I have for Doc and Rosebud are absolute dirt compared to what God wants for them.
So I have to bow to His love and stop competing against it.

It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Ever.

What’s your god? Who’s your idol? And how do you deal with it?
In the (over-sung, over-played, super annoying) words of Elsa of Arrendale: LET IT GOOOOOO.

I’m going to fail at this today. And probably tomorrow, too.
But I’m really hoping God has a special place is in His heart for mommas that parked their car on Struggle Street.

Love and other drugs,
E. Hunter W.

 

This Is As Good As It Gets

I don’t have a very good memory. Things that go into my head get lost a lot.
I like to think that it’s because I’ve got so much knowledge from all my years of living that there just isn’t enough room, and so I have to filter out a lot of things.

But the reality is that it’s mainly just useless Disney trivia, a lot of facts about Abraham Lincoln, and the entire script to Forest Gump.

Either way, I don’t have a lot of moments that stick out in my mind, so the ones that do usually mean something.
I have this distinct memory of a field day in the fourth grade. Mom took off work for the day to volunteer at the parent booth, and the Italian ice truck came to the school just for us. I ran in the sack race and won a medal, and momma was there cheering, and I clearly remember thinking: “This is as good as life gets.”

I have a distinct memory of a Friday night my senior year of high school. About eight of my closest friends were all crowded onto a single trampoline with a bunch of comforters. We were staring at the stars and waxing poetic about the fear of graduation and the future and how much we loved one another, and I clearly remember thinking: “This is as good as life gets.”

I have a distinct memory of sitting in the front room of the house on Chestnut Street my junior year of college. I was surrounded by the greatest women in the world and we were all singing along to ‘Forever Young’ and with one another, thinking it could be true. We really could be forever young. I clearly remember thinking: “This is as good as life gets.”

I remember walking through the Colonnade after a Saturday afternoon tailgate and football game, holding hands and laughing with a cute boy with dimples and the bluest eyes I’d ever seen. We ran through the fountains and back to the Castle, and I clearly remember thinking: “This is as good as life gets.”

I remember walking down the aisle of a church with that same blue-eyed guy waiting at the end. I remember the part of the service that he leaned down and washed my feet to promise he’d always love me and serve me. And I clearly remember thinking: “This is as good as life gets.”

I have a distinct memory of walking on a park track, 9-months pregnant, holding the dog’s leash while the sun was setting, huffing and puffing attempting to encourage Rosebud to just be born already. We got in the car to drive home, and Doc said: “This might be the last day when it’s just the two of us.” And it was. And I clearly remember thinking: “This is as good as life gets.”

I remember having contractions and thinking: “This is absolutely as bad as life gets.”
Pause. Shudder.

I have a distinct memory of being in the hospital the night after Rosebud was born and looking over to see Doc holding her and staring at her for hours. And I clearly remember thinking: “This is as good as life gets.”

I have a distinct memory of a summer afternoon that we all three spent together, working in the garden, swimming, and the smell of Doc’s grill. We spread out a blanket in the back yard and had a picnic, and ended the day on the patio swing. It felt like nothing in the world could touch the three of us. And I clearly remember thinking: “This is as good as life gets.”

Now. Please don’t get me wrong. These perfect days–more like snapshots–were surrounded by moments and days where I just didn’t know if I would make it through. But memory often colors those bad days.

In every season of life, I keep thinking I’ve peaked. Nothing could be better. My heart it so nostalgic, and it  aches to see chapters close and these seasons end. I forget to look ahead toward what good could come, and instead I dread the unknown.
I fear the things I can’t see.

So if today you’re sitting on the cusp of the unknown–take heart in knowing that there are good days ahead. Even if you think that today is as good as life can get.
Rest in the peace of the One who knows exactly what tomorrow holds.
Rest in the peace of the One who is preparing you for your best day. When it really will be as good as life could get.

And take heart in the fact that somewhere out there, I’m just as scared sh*tless as you are.

Love and other drugs,
E. Hunter W.

My Metaphor for the Month

There are very few things that I love as much as I love playing in the dirt. Mowing, weedeating, mulching, getting my hands dirty planting flowers, pruning my roses–all of it.

My Grandma used to tell me to plant flowers by moonlight for good luck. They’ll withstand the heat the entire summer. So each year, by the moonlight, I turn on my iTunes, I get out my flower pots and my potting soil and I plant.

I do my best thinking with my hands in the dirt. And as long as there is soil and sunshine, I’ll never have to pay for therapy, no matter how crazy I get. Because while I’m out there, pruning and shaping, my soul rests and heals from the business of the day. Instead of whirring and spinning, my mind floats. It’s my mental version of a lazy river.

When John and I moved to this house, we got some rose bushes to plant. Whether it was the location, the soil, or just some old fashioned luck, they’ve thrived, and are now taller than Rosebud, herself. We prune them at the beginning and end of each season, but the thing is, they’re getting a bit unruly. And while I was clipping the branches yesterday, a lightbulb went off.

Parenting is a lot like gardening. It’s our job to prune and shape our little flowers. If we hover and control too much, they’ll never be able to get to the sun and really grow like they were intended. But if we never temper them, they’ll grow wild and uneven and their thorns will overtake them. Even though their blooms are still beautiful when they’re wild and overgrown, you won’t be able to see them until you cut back the foliage and trim down their sharp edges.

I’m not saying it’s easy. There are days it would be so much easier to let Rosebud grow wild, and there are days it would be so much easier to just clip back her branches and trample her spirit. Finding and striking that balance is one of the hardest things Doc and I have ever attempted.

But we do try. Every day. Because in the end will stand a beautiful Rosebud that will be able to withstand life’s stormy seasons and life’s sunny seasons because her roots will reach deep and hold strong.

Love and Other Drugs,
E. Hunter W.

Marry the Man….

WARNING: I get what could be considered an annoying level of sappy.

Everyday I read some new article giving love and relationship advice to the millions of single millennials out there wondering: “Why doesn’t anybody love me?”

Google “marry the man who….” and hits start coming at you like crazy.

“Marry the man who loves you more than you love him.”
“Marry the man who makes you feel single.”
(wait wut. What does that even mean?)
“Marry the man who wastes your lipstick, not your mascara.”
(Now this is just getting silly.)

So I decided to add my own little relationship column out into the world wide web.
Because I really think I landed the winner, and so why not share my *love secrets with the world.
And also, because half of the articles/blogs that I read are just feel good, tell you what you want to hear bull, and the other half are boring.
*Reality: We have no love secrets.

Today, Doc worked a labor and delivery shift for 12 straight hours. He woke up at 5 am, when Rosebud and I hadn’t even turned over twice yet. He got ready, made the coffee (mine, too), and headed to the hospital. All of this after staying up past mid-night on Saturday.
Unusual as it was for a Sunday, L&D was wild. He had 6 back-to-back C-sections, and 2 vaginal deliveries. (On a side note, I never thought I’d write ‘vaginal’ in a post.)

He got home and made Rosebud supper because she loves his omelets like nothing in the world. Then we ran to Target to pick up a site-to-store order for a pair of Rosebud’s shoes. Then he got Annie Oakley (her new requested name) ready for bed, so I could work on paperwork for Grandma.

While he was applying for study away rotations, I interrupted to ask him to run to the ATM for Grandma. At 11:00 p.m. He did so. Not only willingly, but happily.
Then we tracked my textbooks for my block that starts tomorrow and found out they won’t be here until Friday. So Doc got on the internet, searching for a solution. He found the book at Willy T. So at 12:18 am, my sweet, exhausted husband drove to campus to check me out a book.

YALL.

Marry the man who will get up with the baby/toddler/kids on Saturday morning and shut the bedroom door while you hear him whisper: “Shhh. Let’s go play and make breakfast and let mommy sleep.”

Marry the man who gets you and your best friend wine and ice cream for Netflix marathons.

Marry the man who drags you out of bed for church on Sunday mornings…even the early service.

Marry the man who will drive 30 minutes one way to take your Grandma clean laundry and some potato soup and sit in the nursing home and hold her hand because you couldn’t get off work that day, and it’s finals week.

Marry the man who walks in with a smile on his face after standing through 9 hour surgeries and would much rather collapse on the couch than chase a 2-year old while growling like a bear.

Marry the man who knows nothing about stockings or hairbows, but tries really hard on a busy Sunday morning, anyways.

Marry the man who will clean up your vomit, and give you a bath to break your 104 degree temperature when you’re 6 months pregnant and get the flu.

Marry the man who puts the dishes away at 4 am before early morning rounds.

Marry the man who teaches your little girl how to pray. And when she says “Dear Lord. Please be wif my lips because they are chapp-ed and Daddy hada put medicine on them,” he doesn’t even laugh, but gives a very serious ‘amen.’

Marry the man who will fold your 88-year old grandmother’s panties on laundry day.

Marry the man who will drive to the library at midnight, after a 12-hour day, on 4 hours of sleep to get you a textbook. >Betcha won’t find that one on a Pinterest meme.

And who while on the search for said book at the library texts you to say: “I feel like Nick Cage.” Followed up by “The eagle has landed.”

Here’s a hope on a wing and a prayer that all you ladies find men like my Doc.
Here’s a hope on a wing and a prayer that Rosebud does, too.

Don’t settle for anything less. Because I have proof sitting on the couch next to me (still a little depressed that his March got too mad) that magic exists. He makes me laugh when I really want to punch him in the face, holds my hand during tornado watches, and wakes up six times a night to make sure the doors are locked when I hear a weird noise.

Keep on keepin’ on, and ignore all the articles that tell you what love is as they try to define Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now and whatever else.
[Except for mine. Definitely read mine.]

Love and other drugs,
E. Hunter W.

Spring Break As a Mom: Heavy on the Spring, Light on the Break

Along with real housewife, mom, landscaper, maid, nurse, and official backyard pooper scooper I also wear the student hat. That’s one I just can’t seem to take off. 20 years and counting. And last week was Finals Week: where everything that can go wrong will.

We run on a full time block schedule. So we take courses for 8 weeks, have finals, then begin our next 8 week block. It took some adjusting to because my body was stuck in semester and you can’t teach an old sorority girl new tricks. It’s super fast-paced, and pretty intense and that’s the way I like life, so I get by. Also. If you have a really terrible professor, you’re only stuck with them for half the time. Heyyyyyyy.

I always have the best intentions to begin preparing for my finals far in advance. But after working 20 hours, cooking enchiladas, and trying to fit in some solid time with Doc and Rosebud, the time gets whittled away and I’m left scrambling.

Then, and here’s the kicker, I scheduled an interview, a conference call, and a dentist appointment all in one week. Guess which week. Go ahead, guess. Yup. Finals week. Because apparently I’m an unconfirmed sadist.

But I wasn’t panicked. No. I can get this all done. Where’s my cape? Hand me my cape! Watch me work(fail) mere humans!!! I was feeling cocky. And pride always goeth before the fall. And before the emotional breakdown.

Rosebud turned on me. The Benedict Arnold spiked a fever Sunday night and the days dedicated to studying started to look less hopeful. I should’ve known. It’s the curse of finals’ week. So everyday that week I spent at home with my snotty, grumpy, feverish 2-year-old, all the while making calls and doing policy reports for work and attempting to study and complete final exams and 15 page reviews over education finance laws. Gag me with a peanut butter covered spoon.

But there was a light at the end of this tunnel: Spring. Break. I knew that if I could only make it to Friday at midnight, the week from H.E.double L would end, and I would immediately slip into the cuddly comfort of sleeping late and relaxing on my very last Spring Break.

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Yeah. Right.

The weekend leading up to Spring Break was spent in bed alright, sick as a dog. Rosebud breathed on me just one too many times. Started off with a real bang.

Monday: I spent an hour on the phone with Best Buy trying to figure out where my Grandmother’s t.v. that I ordered her was. For the record, nobody knew. And then the next six hours catching up on the mending/hemming I’d been putting off for 6-months. I hemmed 10 pairs of John’s dress pants, 2 of Rosebud’s dresses, and fixed a few loose buttons. Then I went……….grocery shopping. DUH DUH DUNnnnnnnnn. We needed to hit up the whole shebang-Sam’s Club, Kroger, even Wal-Mart (where Rosebud found a pack of clearance big girl panties for $4.50 and wouldn’t put them down because apparently every 2 year old needs panties with birds on them, and “Mommy, I not has any bird panties at home.”) Home. Dinner. Got Rosebud ready for bed. Worked on policy reports for work. Went. to. bed.

Tuesday: I went to work. Got home and saw that Grandma’s new chair had been delivered, so I put the chair together. Made some homemade salsa, so the cilantro wouldn’t wilt like Rick Pitino’s career, then started dinner. Doc and Rosebud got home, we loaded up the glider and ottoman into the car and headed to Richmond to see Grandma. Got her laundry to wash and a list of things she needed. On the way home she calls to tell me that this chair just “doesn’t suit” and I’ll have to come back and pick it up. Tonight. I said no, because I’m trying to stay out of jail and I didn’t want to be the focus of an episode of Snapped. Got home. Ate the dinner I’d cooked at 4:30 (reheated chicken is yum) gave Rosebud a bath, helped her fill out her bracket for our family tournament, and put the babe to bed. Time change is a real friend to mom’s everywhere, and so Rosebud was up every 10 minutes for the next hour and a half. “I need to pee-pee.” “I need to go poo.” “I need some water. I sirstee.” Finally, bed. Also, Marco Rubio dropped out of the primary race so I spent a good hour mourning the loss of the Republican Party to Donald Trump. RIP.

Wednesday: I went to get a hair cut. Which every busy woman knows is basically a vacation. I spent 2 1/2 hours getting pampered, and walked out feeling like a new woman. Sigh. I wish everyday was haircut day. But then reality put its foot back up my butt and I started working a thesis assignment, and doing work for my real, out of the house job. The day hit a  high note with a trip to McAlister’s for dinner with a best friend. Then we went to Best Buy, picked up Grandma’s t.v. and headed home. Rosebud went down fairly easily, and I helped Doc edit a personal statement for a rotation application and took his picture so he’d have one to attach. (Note to self: Add Professional Photographer with focus on portraiture and headshots to resume.)

Thursday: Doc insisted that I sleep in today and relax. It’s so cute when he’s oblivious. I slept in until 8:00. When my phone started ringing off the hook. It’s currently 12:15 and I’ve had 5…wait. now 6. calls from Grandma/the nursing home. In between answering the phone, I cleaned out and organized the storage building, started my billion loads of laundry for Grandma and us, and got our spring/summer clothes out of storage and put our winter things away. Took a break to blog and eat a turkey sam. I will follow that up with an exciting afternoon of preparing our tax documents because we will be going to get our taxes filed this evening at 6. After that we’ll drive to Richmond, and I’ll hang up/put up Grandma’s laundry, pick up that chair and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine return it to Target, and get home just in time to put Rosebud to bed and watch Doc chew off his fingernails during the Cats’ first game.

Friday: Tomorrow I’ll be spending what I’m sure will be a lovely day at the office of community based services where I will spend hours fills out Grandma’s long-term stay Medicaid application. Whenever that is complete, I’ll finish my spring cleaning.

Saturday: We’ll be taking Rosebud to an Easter egg hunt and to meet the great bunny himself at Grandma’s nursing home, so that Grandma will be able to argue with all of the other old women there about whose grandkid/great-grand-kid is the cutest and the smartest.

Sunday: Church. And then I will be spending my day of rest on the couch, watching House of Cards. (If this actually happens, it will be a miracle.)

So here’s to all you women out there experiencing the joys of spring “break”. Shoot. I’ve worked harder this week than the rest of the year combined. Head up–summer is just around the corner. Oh wait. No summer break? I’ll graduate and have a real job instead?

Well. Dang.
C’est la vie, my friends. C’est la vie.

Love and Other Drugs,
E. Hunter W.

 

 

 

When You’re a 20-Something Feeling More Like a 60-Something

Yesterday I was driving down the road. There was a cute white jeep in front of me with a monogram plastered in the back window, a “Life is Good” bumper sticker, and a dream catcher hanging from the rear view mirror (DOESN’T SHE KNOW THAT’S DANGEROUS?!) A perky girl with a messy bun bigger that my toddler’s head was driving along, bouncing–why do they all bounce?! and singing along to some really loud pop music. She was texting at the red light and so sat there when it turned to green, when she finally noticed, she squealed tires and went 0 to 60 in 4 seconds.

I sat back in my champagne colored, family friendly SUV while John Mellencamp crooned to me and assessed the situation. She could be in college, I thought to myself. But possibly graduated. Ugh. She’s probably one of those “20-somethings”.
Hmph. Kids these days.

It legitimately took me 6 minutes, 2 more miles, and three sips of coffee to realize THAT I’M ONE OF THOSE 20-SOMETHINGS.
#gross.

But let’s face the facts people, pay the piper, lay it on the line, put up or shut up: Hello, my name is Hunter, and I’m a crotchety old woman.

I submit Exhibit A to the court for identification: I say or think some version of “kids these days/young people these days/young punks/this generation” while rolling my eyes and sneering at least twice a week….a day.

Exhibit B: If I drink a soda after 6:00 p.m., I’ll be up all night.

Exhibit C: I say “soda.”

Exhibit D: I yell at the people shooting off fireworks after 10:00 when the Fourth of July WAS FOUR FREAKING DAYS AGO, because “DON’T WAKE UP MY BABY, TRICK.”

Exhibit E: I have to Google search hip words and phrases like “on fleek” and “basic”. I’m just still trying to make fetch happen, okay?

Exhibit F: I once called someone a “hooligan” and everybody knows you can’t say hooligan until you’re at least 40.

Exhibit G: My “squad” is a 2 1/2 year old, a nerdy doctor-to-be, and an overweight dog with uncontrollable flatulence that refuses to exercise.

Exhibit H: I wear a bathrobe while I sip my coffee and curl my hair. Not a silky, sexy bathrobe–like a thick, fleece, anything could be under here bathrobe.

Exhibit I: I fix tech issues by blowing in or hitting the broken article.

Exhibit J: I know how to make gravy.

Exhibit K: I see teenagers running around with shorts or sandals on and yell: “PUT ON SOME CLOTHES, YOU’RE GOING TO CATCH PNEUMONIA!!!”

Exhibit L: On Friday nights in high school, I’d hang out with my grandparents and their friends while they drank gin-and-tonics instead of with the rest of the 17-year olds in a field somewhere. I can mix a mean gin-and-tonic for any of you thirsty 70-year-olds out there.

Exhibit M: One time in college, I was in a car with friends, and they swerved on purpose to mess with me and I yelled “THIS IS HOW YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE WRECKS.” They all looked at me like the ghost of Great Aunt Sally had entered the vehicle.

Exhibit N: I yell at the tv. A lot.

OKAY. You get the picture.
I’m an 80-year-old white man that yells at the kids to get off his lawn and tells the Democrats they’re running the country into the ground.
We could go at this all day, but we’re eventually going to run out of letters.
I’m old.
AF. (<<—Googled it.)

Growing up it was cute to be considered an “old soul”, I was just mature beyond my years. Now I’m just a boring has been that likes bras with wide straps and hot tea, that falls asleep with her heating pad on her feet. So I see these viral articles targeting “20-somethings” and yelling that the time is now and blah blah blah, and I read them and nothing applies to me and I’m just like: um. okay, I must not be a “20-something”.
But I’m not really into playing Bingo every Thursday night, either.

So where does that leave me?
Well… I’ve decided that acceptance is key, here. No need fighting a losing battle.
Da nile isn’t just a river in Egypt, honey child. (wut.)
And honestly, I’m probably too old and crotchety to give a rat’s……

Shout out to my fellow oldies, but goodies. May we always be in bed by 10 and thank God for control tops.

Love and Other Drugs,
E. Hunter W.

 

As We Sat in a Hospital Cafeteria Sharing a Romantic $3.00 Quesadilla and a Cherry Coke

On January 26, 2013, I stood in a foyer holding a bouquet of ivory roses. I was shaking so hard that the petals started to fall off. I tried to peek a glance over the shoulders of the attendants, but height isn’t really a thing in our family, so even if I’d been tall enough to see over them, Doc wouldn’t have been tall enough to be seen.
I was so nervous my teeth were chattering.

The rest of that day is kind of a blur. I remember locking eyes with Doc on my way down the aisle and well…that’s about it.
Three years is a blink. Close your eyes and open them and there..there were three years right there.

Today we celebrated by fitting in a lunch date at the hospital cafeteria in between his pediatric rotation and my dentist appointment for TMD. We held hands over a $3.00 chicken quesadilla made by a man in a hairnet, that Doc assured me would “change my life”, and a Cherry Coke (my favorite). We talked about health insurance and medical billing and he reminded me to call the doctor’s office when I got home. We discussed Rosebud’s school enrollment and when we’d have time to take Grandma to the mall.

And after 20 minutes, we stood up, threw away the trash, kissed goodbye and that was that.

No grand gestures or giant stuffed animals, and not one heart shaped box of chocolates was to be found. But I walked out of that hospital cafeteria floating on the same cloud I was floating on in 2012, after our first date to Puerto’s in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (Shout out to the Is Special). Wait–what is it with us and Mexican food? When Doc found me, we were just a boy and girl, make believing grown up in a college town. Today there are a few more years, a little more responsibility, and a lot less thirsty Thursday. And a little Rosebud.

Doc likes to tease me about it, but the truth is, I knew 2 weeks after we started dating that I was going to marry him. Not in a creepy, stalker way….but yeah, totally in a creepy, stalker way. It was mainly because every time I was around him, I calmed down. That’s weird. That sounds weird. I know that’s weird.

See–I live my life at 115 mph. I run around half-wild in a high-maintenance, panicked craze. I fight to control every little detail of the world around me and when I discover (as I inevitably do) that this is an impossible task, I crash. When Doc came around I settled down. My hands stopped jittering and my mind stopped swirling and I was finally able to relax. He quieted my soul.

The world wants to tell you that the best high is the rush, the danger. But that’s just the thing. Maybe we need to stop looking for our speed and find our stability instead.

I found mine in a patient boy with an Eastern Kentucky drawl that has an affinity for bowties, and has an old soul, a gentle spirit, and sunshine in his smile.

Thanks Doc for being my calm in the middle of the storm and for setting my soul at peace.
And even when life is so crazy that we only have time for a drive-by quesadilla, I’d pick Doc out of a room full of Fijis and ask him to formal all over again.

Love and other drugs,
E. Hunter W.

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My Coffee is Always Cold: Memoirs of a Woman

Doc always makes fun of me because I have to microwave my coffee an average of 11 times before I drink it. I’m always indignant that it’s not my fault. Because here’s how my morning goes:

My coffee is nice and hot and toasty. Take a few drinks. Enjoy it. Savor it.
“Mommy. WHERE ARE YOU.”
Rosebud is awake. Take Rosebud to potty. Get Rosebud dressed. Fix Rosebud breakfast.
The coffee is neglected. The coffee is getting cold.
Microwave (#1) the coffee to warm it again.

Take Rosebud to school, sipping my lava coffee. By the time I get back out from running her in to her classroom, lava coffee is ice coffee.
Get home, microwave coffee (#2) to warm it.

While the coffee is in the microwave, I see the cilantro sitting out and remember that it will wilt if I don’t go ahead and make the homemade salsa. So I drag out the food processor, start chopping peppers and squeezing limes and forget about the poor tervis with the pink ‘W’ sitting lonely on the counter.
Finish the salsa, microwave coffee (#3) to warm it.

Open the refrigerator to put the salsa in and see the roast. Remember that we’re having roast, potato, and carrots for supper and I need to start that. So I get my pots and pans, start peeling and chopping and my poor coffee never even makes it out of the microwave this time.

Finish the supper preparations, and add two minutes to reheat my coffee (#4), but the sink is full of salsa/roast dishes. I get in the cabinet under the sink to get the dish soap and it’s in disarray thanks to my unorganized really handsome husband, so I take a minute and clean it out.

While I’m doing the dishes, I remember an email I needed to send out about a Thursday meeting. So I finish up the dishes and get my laptop and send the email. While I’m emailing, I remember a cover letter I need to type. Type the cover letter. While I’m typing the cover letter, I hear the Christmas garland around the door knocking in the wind. Finish the cover letter, get a hammer and go outside to nail it down.

Where’s my coffee?
Oh yeah. In the microwave. As cold as Shonda Rhimes’ heart.
But two minutes (#5) is a long time, and I could totally sort the laundry and get a load started during that time.
So I do.
But Doc’s white coat has a stain whose origin I really don’t want to even consider, and so it takes some special Shout and elbow grease, and by that time my coffee is cold again, and that’s okay, because I just remembered that it’s trash day and we forgot to take the trash out the night before.
So I do that.

And then I remember that my Amazon rented text books are due soon, so I get my laptop to print the return shipping labels and prepare those.
And the chances of me drinking that precious elixir are getting slimmer and slimmer.

I press start on the microwave for the sixth time (for those keeping count) and run out to the mailbox.
I come back in just as the microwave is beeping, take it to the living room, plop down on the couch and before I take the first drink, my phone rings.
It’s the nursing and rehab center calling to talk about Grandma.
By the time I get off the phone, the coffee is cold, and I’m considering trading it in for something a little stronger.
Is it really only noon?

I pop my coffee back into the microwave (#7), and the washer beeps, ready for the laundry to be switched to the dryer. I do that.

But in the time it takes me to walk from the dryer to the microwave, the doorbell rings and it’s the mailman dropping off a package. I sign for it and realize it’s lunch time, so I fix myself a pepper salad and I sit down to enjoy my long awaited, and very cold tumbler of coffee.

Here’s to the neglected tumblers and mugs on countertops around the world, and to my ladies drinking cold coffee at noon.
But ya know something, the cold never bothered me anyway.

Love and other drugs,
E. Hunter W.