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Concert, Hike, Acupuncture

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I had forgotten that the Dayton Philharmonic Brass Quintet was coming to perform at school today. So this morning was all art and music. The children painted the windows with winter scenes for art, then we had a concert. The music was delightful and it was a nice and relaxing morning for this tired teacher!





Monday, when we usually go hiking, was a total washout - flood warnings included - so we postponed our hike until today. In between, we had a historian come to the class to present a slide show to the children about the history of our nature preserves, which has a rich history indeed. It has morphed from farm land to a resort area, to a nature preserve over the past 100 years. In addition to getting to see photos of what the area looked like, dating back to the 1800's, the children were treated to an actual slide show. I don't think any of them had ever seen a slide projector before, LOL!

Today was a lovely day, cold with a light snow. By the time of our hike, the snow had disappeared, but there was that smell and feel of December in the air. We took to the trails in the nature preserve to seek out some of the historical locations and do some investigations. The hotel that was there in the early 1800s is long gone, but we looked for what would have been the old foundation and evidence of where it once stood.

In all, we hiked about 3 miles, and had a great time.



This was an interesting sight. It has absolutely nothing to with the old hotel; I have no idea why it was there, but it was fun to find.


If you have been following my blogs about our visits to the nature preserves, you can really see the transformation of the woods from the golden glow of early November to the harsher look of December. With the leaves down, it was easier to see the herds of deer.



I always love the river after a big rain when the water flows fast. It was really rushing today. Do any of you ever play 'Pooh Sticks," racing sticks over the waterfalls and down the river? It was a great day for "Pooh Sticks."

After I got home and had a chance to put my feet up, I got a call from my acupuncturist. I had forgotten I had an appointment. Funny, I had been wishing I had one because I am so far off kilter since losing my aunt. I had totally forgotten I had an appointment. My sweet acupuncturist let me be a half an hour late and have my appointment in spite of forgetting.

It would be great to be able to settle in and let everything get back into harmony, but I still have to attend the board meeting tonight.

7 more school days until a much needed vacation!

PS - I got in 14,800 steps today.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 12/12/2011 7:42PM

    Such a surprise event for the students and teachers. I enjoy reading of your hikes and seeing the pictures and can definitely tell that spring has passed. Still, it must be invigorating to get out there and see what nature offers. -- Lou

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FIFIFRIZZLE 12/10/2011 1:50PM

    I bet your students are glad to have you back, Pudle.

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MARY1313 12/9/2011 10:07AM

    Love your blogs with the pictures, it's almost like I'm there! almost 15,000 steps is AWESOME!!!

Mary

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CHALLENGER15 12/9/2011 5:29AM

    It sounds like a wonderful day, and how very nice about your acupuncturist!

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W82GOWHEE 12/8/2011 8:22PM

    It sounds like you had a wonderful day. I hope your evening was good too.

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OLDERDANDRT 12/8/2011 9:31AM

    emoticonWhew!!! I won't so long a vaca. Though I never work any where's near as much or as hard as you! I just try to keep up with my 2 yr old DGD! Can't imagine trying to hold down your job! It's definitely a job made for you!(and you do it so very well!) 14,800 steps! Don't think I've ever accomplished that in a day, either! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/8/2011 9:04AM

    Nice blog! I enjoyed it! I had to smile about the "Pooh Sticks"... On our 22 yr. old's (Jeff) 14th birthday, we had gone for a family bike ride at the park, and when we came to a small waterfall, he was doing the Pooh Stick thing. Just as I photographed him, his foot slipped on the black ice he was standing on, and he landed at the bottom of the waterfall with his leg badly broken! That was a day we'll always remember! emoticon emoticon

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TISHTOES 12/8/2011 12:54AM

    What a great day! I love brass quintets. Lucky you.

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Glad you got to have your accupuncture afterall. Isn't that funny how you wanted it and forgot you had an appointment? Glad you were able to go late.

Live for vacation! Enjoy your uke concert with the kids in the meantime...



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HIKETOHEIGHTS 12/7/2011 9:48PM

    Nice hike emoticon

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MOTIVATED@LAST 12/7/2011 8:25PM

    Great photos!

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WATERMELLEN 12/7/2011 8:16PM

    Your students have a remarkably rich environment, inside and out . . . and you are such a huge part of making that happen for them.

Yes indeed you deserve a holiday!!

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DDOORN 12/7/2011 6:27PM

    What wonderful sights & activities to share with your students! Hang in there...and prepare to savor your vacation! :-)

Don

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For The Dogs Lovers Amongst Us

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

POODLE RULES

• The Poodle is not allowed in the house.



• Okay, the poodle is allowed in the house but only in certain rooms.



• The poodles can get on the old furniture only.



• Fine, the poodle is allowed on all the furniture, but is not allowed to sleep on the bed.



• Okay, the poodle is allowed to sleep on the bed, but only by invitation.



• The poodle can sleep on the bed whenever she wants, but not under the covers.



• The poodle can sleep under the covers by invitation only.



• The poodle can sleep under the covers every night.

"Mind if I'm wet?"


• Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the poodle.



I've been getting my beauty sleep - now I'm taking over Mom's job.



Have a great day, Peoples!

~ Stella

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 12/12/2011 7:44PM

    A delightful picture story of one of our beloved doggie friends. How can you turn her down after seeing her beautiful face? -- Lou

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OVERWORKEDJANET 12/9/2011 5:06AM

    Smiling as I see Oscar. Snuggled under an afghan while on HIS corner of the couch. Do not try to sit there, you'll be cold-nosed away!

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MEDDYPEDDY 12/8/2011 4:10PM

    It seems as if your house is just my house was when a poodle lived here...charming!

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AQUAJANE 12/7/2011 8:14PM

    LOL! emoticon

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SHARJOPAUL 12/7/2011 9:56AM

    The poodle is not spoiled at all. LOL

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SHARJOPAUL 12/7/2011 9:56AM

    The poodle is not spoiled at all. LOL

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FIFIFRIZZLE 12/7/2011 3:42AM

    The pudle and the kiwi cats have obviously been skyping with each other. The cat must pee in the garden. OK the cat can have a litter box indoors. The cat must not sleep in the bedroom. OK, she can sleep in the bedroom if she gets there and pretends to be asleep before we get to bed. But she must not sleep on the bed. OK, she can sleep on the bed but she has to stay there all night long. OK, she can sleep on the bed and get someone to open the door for her so she can go to the indoor bathroom. But only after 4 am.OK she can get the door open before 4am if she is desperate, but she is not allowed to ask for fresh food at that hour...etc etc.
So funny, pudle, they are a joy to communicate with
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MARY1313 12/6/2011 4:25PM

    Oh that is funny and so true!!!

Mary

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/6/2011 2:03PM

    This blog is FANTASTIC!!! I'm in LOVE!!! Oh, how I love this blog! emoticon

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BADASSBLONDIE 12/6/2011 11:52AM

    ADORABLE!

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SCOTMAMA 12/6/2011 10:53AM

    Your blog caused me to laugh more than once! When I married my new husband I think his first idea was: she can't come into the house. Of course that didn't work out because we live in Phoenix and it's much too hot to be outside, besides Amber is a "house dog." Then it was that she couldn't get on any of the furniture.

New hubby is so sold on her now that he recently had a doggie door installed in our summer home! lol

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CHALLENGER15 12/6/2011 10:14AM

    Stella needs to meet my new grand-dog, Maxwell, who is already being allowed on DD's and SIL's bed...before becoming the huge dog...the breed has just escaped me, too much on my mind about my own black Lab....:-)

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OLDERDANDRT 12/6/2011 10:08AM

    Oh, Stella, You are, indeed, quite the Diva & have your mommy wrapped comfortably around your dew claw!! All of my dogs have, at one time or another, enjoyed all those privileges ! Yay, Stella! Only wish I could meet you & your mom face to face to walk, hike & romp together!! You're so cool!!! Woof! Woof! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SALSIFY 12/6/2011 9:38AM

    LOL! Before I go to bed each night I have to dig out 2 small dogs from inside my son's duvet cover. They all know that I'll never spot them hidden in there!

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LAURIE5658 12/6/2011 9:26AM

    This blog is so true!!! We have a 7 lb. chi/TFT dog that pretty much owns the house LOL. I know thats bad to allow them to become alpha BUT it just happens. Dogs are THE best friends ever!

Love this blog!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 12/6/2011 9:10AM

    I see who the boss is in your house, it's not the poodle, lol. Enjoyed your blog.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/6/2011 9:09AM

    Love it!

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JLITT62 12/6/2011 8:54AM

    That is hysterical!

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JOYINKY 12/6/2011 8:14AM

    Fun! My Sugar is half poodle; I think a healthy dose of sweetness came with that! Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing!

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TRULYVISIBLE 12/6/2011 7:44AM

  Loved it!

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LMB-ESQ 12/6/2011 7:36AM

    Awww!!! Yup... that looks like our house too! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/6/2011 7:26AM

    Pretty much Charlie's role in our family: love love love your pictures! Thanks for the day brightener!!

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FEATHERDUST 12/6/2011 6:50AM

    lol, that's adorable. ;) I house-sat for some people with a lovely standard poodle once - he had the sweetest personality, and so intelligent!


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AZMOMXTWO 12/6/2011 6:37AM

  ok you have a cute dog

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KIN59VARA 12/6/2011 6:28AM

    Love it!

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0309COOKIE 12/6/2011 6:27AM

    Aaawww, what a great way to start out my day. A blog about Stella! She is a darling!

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2WENDYDENE 12/6/2011 6:26AM

    That sums it up perfectly! Step by step. Our dogs allow us to live with them. I wouldn't have it any other way!

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Compassion ~ The Greatest Gift

Monday, December 05, 2011

"Even more important than the warmth and affection we receive, is the warmth and affection we give. It is by giving warmth and affection, by having a genuine sense of concern for others, in other words through compassion, that we gain the conditions for genuine happiness. More important than being loved, therefore, is to love."

~ The Dalai Lama

Have you ever volunteered to spend time in a nursing home? A children's hospital? A food kitchen? A school? A disaster area?

These are places where you can really see this truth.

But giving love and compassion is also so important in our day to day lives with our families, friends, coworkers, and people we encounter through happenstance. It is easy to take life for granted, to get too busy to take time out to express our love for others, to be so focused on the tasks that need to get done, we forget to take time to show concern and compassion for others.

Just like finding time in the day for exercise, for adequate sleep, and for good nutrition, it is important to take the time each day to give genuine warmth and love to others and to offer kindness to people in need.

Do your December goals include goals for your emotional well being, and the emotional well being of others?

This is a season of gift giving, but the greatest gift is true kindness and generosity of the soul.




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIFIFRIZZLE 12/7/2011 3:52AM

    I love the Dalai Lama, this reminded me that when I see him he makes me happy; actually when I think about him I become happy.
I must be picking up his good vibrations... emoticon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCeD_6Y3GQc

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MARY1313 12/6/2011 4:24PM

    This is so true. and my emotional well being is so uplifted when I do things for others. thanks for reminding me!
'
Mary

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WATERMELLEN 12/6/2011 7:30AM

    The older I get, the more I believe that kindness is the fundamental moral value: and the more I value it when I find it! And when I express it too.

Thanks.

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PENNYAN45 12/5/2011 5:39PM

    This was a beautiful blog - with ideas that should live in our hearts each and every day.

Thank you for reminding us.

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TRULYVISIBLE 12/5/2011 3:51PM

  I like when you said to include goals for your emotional well being. That is so important. We can also be a part in another persons emotional well being. One of my favorite sayings is, "One person can make a difference and everyone should try." I think this is so true. Just a kind word to someone feeling bad one day can change their day. We all need this reminder so thanks for your blog.



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HIKETOHEIGHTS 12/5/2011 3:19PM

    December is also one of those months filled with opportunities to give. I signed up for two toy sorting events, both were full. I also tried to sign up for a soup kitchen for the homeless, only shifts available were 12 am - 6 am everything else was filled. Plenty of people out there giving their time makes for a better place for us all.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/5/2011 2:58PM

    What a lovely, beautiful blog! How I got disconnected from your blogs is beyond me, but I'm glad I caught on and got back on board! emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 12/5/2011 11:11AM

    emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 12/5/2011 10:52AM

    LOVE YOUR blog, Chris!!! And I bow to and concur with the words of HH the Dalai Lama.

"Serve, Love, Meditate." Swami Sivananda said that. He is the teacher of my teacher and this is the "mission" of the spiritual tradition that I follow. Notice that "serve" is first. All three signposts are a challenge in this culture that does not recognize compassion as a tenet to live by, and reminders like yours along the way are so important!

I am constantly amazed at the "return on my investment" in my volunteer work at two women's prisons -- a maximum and a medium security prison, gathering in Circle with inmate friends to look at the common problems and dliemmas that confront us and work together at finding solutions, while recognizing the mystery that underlies it all. I receive so much love and appreciation from these friends...it would almost be embarrassing, if I didn't recognize the deep-seated need for community and acceptance these women have that we are touching upon.

This, along with notice of your blog, was in my Inbox this morning:
http://www.dailygood.org/view.p
hp?sid=121

"We are not growing fruits and veggies. We are facilitating the growth of soil and community. The food is a byproduct. We’re mostly giving back to Mother Earth, and in the process, enjoying the co-creation of the Belovedhood."

Tree, the man who founded the Free Farm in San Francisco said that. It is 100% staffed by volunteers and gave 20,000 lbs. of organic fruit and veggies last year. Yes! Compassion in action. I just wrote note of support and gratitude to "Tree" of the Free Farm for starting this amazing community project.
Here's the link to do that if you'd like:
http://www.dailygood.org/?
pg=contact&mid=74200

Thanks Chris for tossing out the snowball of compassion...may it continue to grow among us and become a giant force of love as we end 2011!
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Maha




Comment edited on: 12/6/2011 8:09:44 AM

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/5/2011 9:38AM

    Nice reminder.

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DDOORN 12/5/2011 9:36AM

    Important thoughts for the season...have wanted to join in with food kitchens in helping to prepare / serve meals...might finally DO it this year!

Don

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JLITT62 12/5/2011 9:15AM

    So very true! Great blog.

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IUHRYTR 12/5/2011 7:28AM

    We do feel better about ourselves when we have helped others. What better month to do this than that of Christmas? -- Lou

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SUNRIZING 12/5/2011 6:40AM

    emoticon

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On a Lighter Note

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Life is good when you're a diva!



I took today as an 'off' day, letting Miss Stella, the diva, enlighten me about how to let life just take care of itself and totally relax.

This morning's yoga offering was restorative yoga, just exactly what I needed. The instructor was a sub today, and led a great session adding a nice touch of a gentle adjustment while I was in savasana.

I've been working on writing an obituary for my aunt, but plan to 'sleep on it' tonight so I have a little relaxed process time.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 12/5/2011 11:23PM

    It's funny, that's how I get her to bed. I ask her if she is ready for her beauty rest and she jumps into bed.

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 12/5/2011 9:50PM

    She needs her beauty rest!

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DDOORN 12/4/2011 10:05PM

    Our cats always remind me of the high value of sleeping soundly...! :-)

Don

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OLDERDANDRT 12/4/2011 8:11PM

    Ah, sweet Miss Stella! She really knows how to live!! emoticon

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IDLETYME 12/4/2011 6:48PM

    Love your Stella. She has the right idea about relaxing!!!
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TISHTOES 12/4/2011 6:28PM

    Love your diva poodle pictures. We need to enjoy life more like our dogs do! They know how when we forget.

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MARY1313 12/4/2011 2:00PM

    April is like Stella, she found out about pillows early on and now seeks one out!!! Have a relaxing day my friend, you have earned it!

Mary

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PUDLECRAZY 12/4/2011 1:25PM

    emoticon Poodles always need their creature comforts. Stella needs a pillow, and the softer it is, the happier she is.

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AQUAJANE 12/4/2011 9:09AM

    Now that's a poodle nap!

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W82GOWHEE 12/3/2011 10:17PM

    I'm glad you've had a relaxing day and I'm sure you will find the best words for the memory of your aunt.

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JLITT62 12/3/2011 9:29PM

    Now THAT'S relaxed!

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WATERMELLEN 12/3/2011 8:48PM

    Oh that Stella is a star: no doubt about it!!

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IUHRYTR 12/3/2011 8:23PM

    It is relaxing simply looking at these pictures. Hugs, Stella. -- Lou

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VALERIEMAHA 12/3/2011 5:55PM

    Stella is a natural yogini...you do well to let her be your guide!
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Maha

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The Weirdest Thing and Last Minute Grace

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I was so sad to lose my aunt, who has always been a special, special person in my life.

I cried Friday, Saturday, and Sunday... feeling so blue that I was not able to be with her as she needed me on her transition from living to the next realm.

Then I got a phone call from one of my aunts telling me that the aunt who called the family and told them that she had died had gotten her information wrong and that she was still alive and in the hospital.

I called the hospital to verify. 'Yes, she is still alive,' they told me, 'Do you want to be connected to her room?'

When we were connected I asked her if she wanted me to be there with her, and she was able to tell me that she really wanted me to be there.

Five minutes later I had a reservation for a fight to Philadelphia that evening at 6:30. This was a miracle I wouldn't have even imagined. I belonged with her at the end of her life and hadn't been able to do that, now suddenly I had a chance to be with her when she needed me. I threw three days worth of clothes in a suitcase, called the school manager to tell her I was leaving and needed a sub for 3 days, sorry, no lesson plans.

I got to the airport early, the plane was two hours late. Then, once it arrived, the mechanical problem that had grounded it at the previous airport was still an issue and the flight got cancelled. I had been holding up, but was sobbing by the time I got to the desk to try to change my flight out. All flights were filled - the next available one would get me there at 2:00 pm on Monday. I felt like the rug was being pulled out from under me. They were able to overbook the next flight and get me on the 6:30 am flight to Philly. So I arrived here 12 hours later than planned, but still in time to be with my aunt.

The hard thing is that her condition deteriorated drastically, so the conversation I had with her on Sunday was the last two sided conversation I was able to have with her. Now I talk to her, call her sisters so they can talk to her, tell her stories, and visit with her many friends. She is never alone, her loved ones are with her 24/7. Two friends brought their violins in yesterday, and we all sang songs to her. She is mostly heavily medicated with morphine, and she is moving from this world to where she needs to gather herself for her transition out. But we can see on her face, the comfort she gets from friends, family, and music.

I have been in her room most of the time, afraid to leave her. But after her medication this morning I went to one of her friend's house for a nap, a little yoga (much needed after attempting sleeping in a plastic recliner last night), and a shower. I haven't really slept since Saturday night. Hopefully I can sleep tonight no matter how uncomfortable that chair.

My flight back out is tomorrow. I think my aunt still needs me. Somehow I need to get lesson plans for my sub and get my flight changed. I don't know if I can make this happen, but I will try.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJ0621 12/1/2011 10:41AM

    How incredible - you were obviously meant to be with your aunt to ease her transition. I know how difficult this time is (having lost a child at the age of 4), but you will have the comfort later of knowing your presence made this an easier passage for her.
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VALERIEMAHA 12/1/2011 8:44AM

    I'm just blown away by these circumstances, Chris. All of the communion with her from you, other family, and friends is deeply and profoundly welcomed by her spirit and soul.

May Yve be safe.
May she have physical ease.
May she have mental ease.
May she have emotional well being.
May she have the healing she took birth for.
May she be free.
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LMB-ESQ 12/1/2011 7:05AM

    Chris, I'm so sorry you're going through this. You always write such wonderful stories about your family and these last two about your aunt are no exception. I'm glad you got to spend these last few days with her. emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 12/1/2011 5:10AM

    What price is love?
I also whish I knew where you were since I work in the city of brotherly love and could help you. If you are still around here, send me an email with contact info!

Comment edited on: 12/1/2011 5:11:24 AM

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W82GOWHEE 11/30/2011 9:30PM

    I'm glad you're able to be with your aunt. You are easing her transition.

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MARY1313 11/30/2011 12:22PM

    Oh hugs to you my friend! I'm so glad that you are able to be with your Aunt. I know that she feels you there and the comfort and love you send. I'm praying that you get to be with her at the very end.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mary

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OLDERDANDRT 11/30/2011 10:41AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 11/30/2011 5:32AM

    Your aunt sounds like a wonderful person. May you & she find peace at this sad time. My thoughts & prayers are with you.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 11/30/2011 2:14AM

    How marvelous.

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AQUAJANE 11/29/2011 11:31PM

    So glad you were able to get there. I hope you can email or fax your lesson plans back to school. emoticon emoticon

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DOR2BFIT 11/29/2011 9:27PM

    That's an incredible story- so glad you can be with your aunt after all. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 11/29/2011 9:14PM

    Very heart warming. I agree with Lou.

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PUDLECRAZY 11/29/2011 8:53PM

    I cancelled my flight for tomorrow morning. They will credit the the cost of the flight to the first available flight once I know when it is time to leave Philly. I still have to pay a penalty, but such is life.

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IUHRYTR 11/29/2011 8:42PM

    I know you are a responsible person and care about your classes but one thing I've learned is that our work will continue, whether we're there or not. This may be the last time you have to spend with your aunt so I hope you will be able to arrange to be there with her a while longer. -- Lou

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WATERMELLEN 11/29/2011 8:22PM

    I am sure that the airline will help you, and the sub can take that burden off you. It's a miracle that you've been able to do what you've done . . . and something you will always be glad that you did. Such a comfort for her and for you too.

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MAWRTIAN 11/29/2011 5:01PM

    Oh my dear! I have already started praying for you and the family. Stay safe and well!!

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BADASSBLONDIE 11/29/2011 4:33PM

    *husghard* I am so thankful that you were able to get more time with her. That is absolutely wonderful. You both are in my thoughts and I'm sure your presence there is so soothing for her. *hugs*

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TISHTOES 11/29/2011 4:11PM

    Wow, what a story! I am so glad you were able to get to your aunt. Keep playing the music, it's comforting to her and to all of you too. What a blessing. May she transition in peace and comfort.



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JPONCIN 11/29/2011 4:10PM

    Wow, what a miracle that you were able to be there! I'm so glad you're able to be right where you need to be the most. :)


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GUITARWOMAN 11/29/2011 3:09PM

    You have all my hopes that you can work this out!

People are good in situations like this, I cannot imagine that your school would give you a hard time. And, the airline can assist as well, and charge you differentially given the family emergency.

My very best wishes.

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KASEYCOFF 11/29/2011 2:11PM

    When I had to do something similar, I called the airline and let them handle it - they were great. Don't wait.

I can't tell you how glad I am this has worked out...
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