Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Weeks in Review

Last week had been a doosey. Buck was on the long road home from Uncle Earl's funeral when I came to the conclusion one of our milk goats just might have rabies, because she'd suddenly become aggressive. I called goat experts, my vet, UT Veterinary Hospital for advice. UT asked me to bring the goat in immediately. Buck had the van, the farm van wouldn't start, and I had a child I couldn't leave at home alone. The fleeting thought of taking a biting goat in a little old Honda did not appeal. I decided to wait till the next morning to take her and had Peace put the nanny in seclusion for the night. Of course, she cried out like a baby. I considered the fact that we drink the raw milk (no conclusive research has been done, so the route of caution would be taken), and our entire family would have to go through the rabies series at no less than $400 a shot. That's $14,400 and pain for the lot of us. The medical conclusion? After three excruciating days of waiting and observation, UT vets told us we had a goat with new behavior problems brought on because she missed Buck, the one who usually milked her.

She's home now happily munching her hay, and has discontinued her aggression now that her (and my) favorite man is home on the farm. Insert an annoyed smile from me here.

In the very good news department, last Sunday we got an air card to replace our dinosaur dial-up service. It works like a charm, but I can't figure out the technological parts of document sending- essential to the course I'm teaching. The update in technology will probably allow me to put my own pictures back on my blog again. Blogger paired with dial-up became downright contrary about loading photos a few years ago, so I stopped trying.

Monday started this week with difficult news. The school we hoped our oldest son would attend decided against providing high school next year. Parents, including myself, were visibly shaken by the announcement. There are no schools like it in the area, and I have a very late start in finding an alternative for next year. My son, who is not scholarly by nature, needs academic minded folks around him to inspire his best work. Other choices offer godless arrogance, good hearts and intentions which graduate high schoolers to junior college, cut-throat culture, Christian Lite. Nothing fits the bill. I'm grieving the loss of an excellent choice as I wrestle through a new plan for Peace's high school years.

Mid-week I attended a college reunion dinner. I knew my two favorite friends from those years wouldn't be in attendance, so I went with a bit of self conscious awkwardness. What if no one would talk to me, and I had to sit in secluded silence? "I could enjoy people watching", I told myself. What if people I liked pretended not to know me? "I'll move on", I reassured myself. Still reunions are tricky personal business for me. The first person I saw when I stepped out of my van was a friend from my church studying counseling at the college now. She put my heart at ease immediately. After we chatted, I walked over to the cafeteria where dinner was to take place. I scanned the crowd and glanced at a vaguely familiar face and read his name tag. Joyfully, it was someone who had been very good to me at time I really needed a friend in college.

I walked up to him with anticipation and announced my name. I expected a hug, but got more of a look which read, "I don't really know you. I'd like it if you wouldn't talk to me." I tried my charismatic approach of questions to help him let his guard down but was unsuccessful altogether. Not a great start.

My natural confidence waned.

I spoke cordially in line with a few friendly people I recognized but didn't know well. I walked into the assigned reunion room and saw only one table with open seats. At that table, I spotted three faces of people who had never been my friends, and it was likely they were not especially interested in getting to know me now. I forced myself to sit down with them next to someone at that available table I couldn't quite place. Until he warmly spoke. I breathed in a sigh of relief, because I'd be able share my dinner with at least one kind and genuine gentleman, Drake, I'd connected with in college classes. The other folks at the table turned out to be interesting and funny. I discovered Drake and I share common interests in things ecumenical and contemplative, unheard of from this crowd.

Everyone from our class was asked to share from their life now. I tried to fade to the background but was discovered at last. I kept my words few- an accomplishment, I know.

I enjoyed a few more conversations with sundry people and even an invitation, and drove the hour back to common life as I know it.

Friday and Saturday I've studied for my upcoming teaching weekend away.

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