Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It's Alive!

Picture taken at 8 a.m. today! 
People! My peony survived the storm!

Remember yesterday when I was so happy that my peony (pronounced PEE-uh-knee, which is the correct way to pronounce it and I don't care what you pee-OH-knee mispronouncers think) was setting on buds but I was concerned because the weather forecasters were basically telling us to put our affairs in order because we were DOOOOOOMED and I was pretty sure there was no peony-zation in my future?

It survived!

We did not have the hail some had to the north of us (I'm so sorry, Wichita) or the winds some had to the south of us (I'm so sorry, Oklahoma City). What we had was torrential rain for just a few minutes and some tiny pitter-pats of hail.

Oh, and we had one monstrous thunderclap of a lightning strike that brought me straight up out of my chair and left me sniffing the air for the rest of the evening because I was convinced it had struck the House on the Corner and that the house was on fire.

This morning I messaged Boy#2, who studies lightning and who (even though he lives half a continent away) can pinpoint where lightning has struck pretty much anywhere. He checked the records for lightning in our area at that time, and sure enough, at 9:23 p.m. a four-stroke flash hit a house less than a block away from where I was just relaxing into an episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

"Wow! A four-stroke flash!" I wrote back. "That must be gigantic!"

Uh, no. Turns out a four-stroke flash of lightning is a fairly standard, run-of-the-mill lightning, not one that anyone will be writing a scientific journal article about. In fact, the mean number of strokes per flash according to a few small studies is 4.6 and 6.4 so our flash was actually below average. (That is copied verbatim from what Two messaged me. I do not know what it means, except for the final five words.)

But I'm giving that lightning bolt credit for the beautiful blossoms I found this morning. In my mind, the poor plant was giving up the ghost when BOOM! A four-stroke flash, a massive clap of thunder, and

Good job, puny little four-stroke lightning flash. You've made me very happy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Also On the List

Oh, my gosh, people. All of your comments (both here and Facebook) turned me into a soggy Kleenex of a human being yesterday. You are so lovely, and I bet you make really good coffee.

The lovely Swistle went so far as to start her own list of things that are more important in life than, well, than the other Thing that is happening to me now. That got me to thinking: How many days in a row could I think of something more important than that Thing?

I'm starting today with the peony plant that is just inside the back gate. It is so beautiful I have to take a moment to stare at it every time I go into the yard. Never has it been so large (it reaches higher than my waist and I'm a tall woman) or had so many buds.

Now in interest of full disclosure, I'm writing this post as quickly as my fingers can type because (woohoo, Kansas!) we are scheduled for some weather this afternoon. Odds are better than even that by the time I see this plant next it will have been beaten into tiny shreds by the wind and/or hail, and the promise of those beautiful buds will have to wait for next year.

But right now, in this actual moment, it makes me extremely happy.

How about you? What is making you happy today?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Life, Happening

For the past month, since three days after my last post, I have been making a list of things that really matter to me in life.

My faith.

My family.

My friends. 

My health. 

I started with these, the bedrock, and they would have been enough. Losing any of these would have been so much more painful. But the list kept growing itself.

The House on the Corner. 


The way the trees on Small Town's main thoroughfare reach their branches across the street during spring and lock fingers to make a leafy London-Bridge-Is-Falling-Down car canopy. 

The values of the Small College where I have worked for 27 years. 

Blogging, and the wonderful readers who support this self-indulgence.

And in spite of many, many tears during the past month, in spite of a sense of standing outside myself and watching life happening in a way that baffled me, the list insisted on being longer.

Four tiny tomato plants, two basil plants, and a banana pepper promising caprese salad in a few months. 

The Cynthia Heald study "Becoming A Woman For Whom God Is Enough" that was exactly, exactly what I needed and which my Wednesday night group had started weeks before. (How did God know?)

Husband's reminder that my final few months in the job will determine my legacy--"Be a pro," he told me, and those words have become my mantra. 

Today my boss sent a notice to campus, a notice I have known was coming since three days after my last post. It said that my job would be absorbed into a different job, and that he would be looking for someone else to fill that new position. He was very complimentary about my past work, and has encouraged my next steps.

It has helped me remember these things that truly matter to me in life. These, and dozens more that clamor to be on my list every day, are irreplaceable. A job, this or any other job, is not on that list.

I'll be fine.