Up until lately I've been busy building my new blog, www.earlsblogazine.blogspot.com. It's been a lot of fun, diving into new subject matter and thought processes...thinking of material that I would actually read about and enjoy. You know, barbecue, cold drinks, fishing, fantastic music, outdoor action, beautiful pop art and culture, and people who do damn interesting things. Can't wait to get it more streamlined and branded, and branch out to more people and learn new things.
But for the past month or more, I've been MIA, and I miss my exploring and writing.
There's a reason behind my lagging. If you by chance read my Blogazine entry entitled "up the poudre." about my camping/fishing trip in the Poudre Canyon with Cliff-dog, then you know that I took a slight spill in the high, run-off waters while trying to navigate the waist-deep currents with a 120lb retriever lashed to my belt. I self-medicated the remainder of that evening by way of drinking feverishly. It helped, but unfortunately not for the long term.
The fall wasn't severe at all--just a bruised hip, a scraped palm, and loud, angry words that frightened birds and squirrels from miles around. I've actually had much worse spills on the same river that could have been incredibly severe if it weren't for some divine intervention (ie: God stopped that motherf&*%# boulder from falling on me!). Anyway, this latest slip has caused by spine to go awry more so than normal, prompting two surgeries (for now).
Needless to say, I've had other things on my mind. This is where this blog comes into play.
In this blog, I can write whatever the hell I want to write. I don't restrict myself to stay within a certain mind frame or brand or style or whatnot. It's my journal, and sometimes I let everyone read it.
Today has not been particularly pleasant, pain-wise, and I get to get my spine sliced open again for the second time this week on Wednesday. Hopefully that's the end of the unpleasantries. Boo-hoo. But if you've read this blog, then you probably know where my mind might go. It goes to mushy shit like wanting to hold my daughter, but I can't because I'm not supposed to lift over 15lbs and she's in the 94th percentile in weight. Height too, so she's proportionate. My mind goes to extra-deep shit like being nervous about not waking up from the anesthesia. If I don't, then what? That's the deep stuff. Stuff that maybe most people might think about, but try to push it to the backs of their minds. That's probably what I'll do.
I'm new to surgeries. I don't care for them, especially when they are in my spinal cord. And maybe I'm different, or maybe I just admit to thinking about it and expose my sissy-ness, but being in the middle of this process has made me appreciate so many things so much more. I'm not trying to make this routine surgery seem like more than it is. It's a two-hour outpatient deal. I'll be celebrating with a cold beer by noon on Wednesday. But still, in a way I'm glad it's made me re-realize what's important.
My three most favorite women in the universe are currently living with me, putting up with me, taking care of me, and it's humbling.
My daughter, Ruby, who just turned one, is keeping me grounded, happy, appreciative, laughing, awestruck, proud, and other words that describe feelings that I cannot think of. Feelings that make me smile every minute that she's in the room, or singing from her crib upstairs, or chasing Cliff, or saying "Kay Kay", which is a multi-use word that means Cliff, Cat in the Hat, and Aunt Katie, who happens to be my forth most favorite woman in the universe. And up until last week, Ruby was keeping me exhausted. In my poor, sad, decrepit, weak, woe-is-me condition, I cannot take care of a "healthy sized" baby properly without crippling myself even more...and then subsequently writing to you all about how horrible I feel in hopes of sympathy, but not coming right out and asking for it. That would be tacky.
Last week is when reinforcements came. Reinforcements means that I texted my mother from the doctor's office the day I found out I had to have surgery, asking, "Do you have plans for the next month or so? We might need you.", and a day later she had driven 784 miles from Springfield, Missouri to Broomfield, Colorado without a hint of hesitation. Mina Beth Todd is a saint. That's funny to say, because it was on an Anchor Man movie and Vince Vaughan said it, but with "Dorothy Mantooth" being the subject instead of "Mina Beth Todd"...but by God it's true. Also to be noted, my family and I were planning a road trip to Springfield just a couple days after my doctor's visit. Festivities were planned such as pool swimming, boating around the lake, a magnificent game of wiffleball, days of meat grilling, and so many other wonderful activities planned that you would crap your pants. My mom dropped all plans immediately, packed a suitcase, and drove her Mini Cooper Clubman (Jack Clubman...) to my house to take care of my daughter while I writhe in pain and my wife works a full time job to pay for our lives.
My mom is a damn angel.
Then there's the love of my life. April Reins-Todd, who dedicates her every moment to taking care of her family in every way possible. She's like a smart, beautiful, scary lioness who will kill you without thinking twice if you mess with her loved ones. She works very hard at her job, is very good at her job, and makes it possible for us to live in a nice house, have nice cars, and eat Chinese delivery from time to time. It's none of your business, but shortly after Ruby was born, we rearranged our financial situations to allow me to be a stay-home-dad instead shipping Ruby off to daycare every morning. It hasn't been particularly easy, but neither of us would have it any other way. So you can now appreciate April's hard work even more...as well as her impeccable damage control skills when her stay-at-home nanny/dashing man of her dreams falters.
Although April is from the school of "Rub some dirt on it--suck it up.", she makes it her life's mission to ensure that Ruby and I are taken care of when shit happens. That's exactly how it should be, friends.
Keep rooting for these three. They've got their work cut out for them the next week or two. I'm not an easy patient and I tend to become grumpy from time to time when I don't feel all that great. And when I get hungry. I love and appreciate them more than anyone can imagine.
Man, I've got amazing broads in my life.