Sunday, October 28, 2007

How cute...what are you?

I hate Halloween. I need to get over it and learn to enjoy the holiday, but I don’t think I’ve been able to overcome the traumatic experience as a child that makes me despise the day. I’m so excited this year that I won’t be working on Halloween and don’t have any reason to fret about dressing up.

I don’t remember how old I was; probably nine or ten. Halloween always seemed to sneak up on me and catch me unprepared. I would certainly dream about an extravagant costume in early October, and then forget about it. By the time October 31st rolled around I always had to settle by picking out a costume from the recycled costume box my mom kept downstairs. Most of them were plastic blow-up extra-terrestrial Martian heads that were worn with a little face paint. Inevitably, if you wore it, you would be answering the most disappointing question for the rest of the night. “Oh how cute. What are you?”

For some reason that particular Halloween I was exceptionally distraught. My younger sisters and brother were all getting ready to go trick-or-treating. There was certainly excitement in the air as the pillowcases were emptied of their usual content and bets were being made on who could collect the most lucre. I still had no idea what I wanted to be. It was stressful. Mom would just encourage me by saying, “Go downstairs and pick out a costume from the Halloween box...and hurry. We are leaving in a half-hour.”

I looked through the box thee times. It was similar to when I open the refrigerator and hope that something looks more appealing than from the last time I opened it five minutes earlier. The martin heads lay there deflated. There was no way I was going to wear that again this year. I finally gave up and went to my room to lie on my bed. I defiantly decided I wasn’t going this year. My mom came in the room. “We are leaving.”

“I’m not going.” I cried. I then fell asleep in my tears.

You would think that I would be able to get over it. I’m convinced the experience makes me cringe every time Halloween approaches. Every year I prepare myself to make it a better experience, but history seems to repeat itself. I dream of extravagant costumes in early October, get busy, and before I know it the day has snuck up on me. This year is no different. I usually am driving around the night before Halloween looking at costume shops that have already been pilfered and cleansed of anything worth buying. So I’m left looking at the proverbial blow-up Martian head as my option.

So this year I’m just not going to worry about it. I’m going to forgo any Halloween parties that require a costume, curl-up by the fireplace, read a book, and give out candy to little kids. And you will never hear me say the phrase that will traumatize a child for life. “Oh how cute. What are you?”

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The power of past tense

I know you’ve asked the same question before so don’t give me any grief. The untimely, “when is your baby due?” I’ve decided I will never ask the question again. (Although I think I had already decided I would never ask the question. So much for commitment) Of course, in my mind, all the facts seemed to have added up to a legitimate inquiry...until the words left my mouth, and at that moment, I realized my analysis was miscalculated.

I was doing an exam today after the hygienist had just finished cleaning a woman’s teeth. She was sitting in the dental chair and her newborn baby was sitting in a baby carrier next to her on the floor. As I have not spent a lot of time with newborns, I didn’t accurately judge the child’s age. It looked older than nine months to me. As I was doing the exam, the hygienist was going over the woman’s health history with me. “She is pregnant...bla, bla, bla...and we took new x-rays today.”

As we rarely take radiographs on a pregnant female I was curious as to why the hygienist took the films, but did not comment on it since I didn’t want to raise any concerns. Instead, I was trying to figure out if she was in her 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trimester because it affects treatment decisions. I finished the exam and sat her up. “When are you due?” I asked. The hygienist looked at me and only spoke with her eyes. She then tried to help smooth the situation. “She just had her baby Dr. Kelson; see, right there on the floor.” I tried apologizing. “I’m sorry, I misunderstood. I thought I heard you say she was pregnant.” She clarified, “I said she WAS pregnant; not she IS pregnant.”

I sheepishly said a few other words that I cannot recall to try and redeem myself and slowly backed out of the room with my tail between my legs. “It was nice meeting you.”

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Home away from home

I received three packages today from mom. She sent the last few things that I was storing at the house. I guess the flood in her basement initiated my request for her to send them. After more than ten years since I graduated from high school I am finally and officially moved out. I opened the boxes and pulled out mission journals, yearbooks, scouting paraphernalia, an old biology research project, newspaper articles, was a stroll through memory lane. Oh life was simple then.

As I was going through all of the stuff, I couldn’t help think of all the people that have influenced my life. I had great teachers and people that believed in me...what a blessing. I have been so far from home for so long...a mission, college, and dental school. They were all temporary dwellings and I knew I wouldn’t be planting roots. Now I am within a month of closing on a dental practice purchase deal and am staring at my future with hopeful, yet unsure eyes. I think looking back to the memories of my past have given me a bit more confidence to move forward with faith. Thanks mom.

My neighbors have become my new local surrogate family. Ann and Charlie are in their late 70’s and early 80’s. It has been fun to sit down with them and watch them interact. They certainly do love each other. Charlie is probably the most laid back man I’ve ever met. I think that is why he has lived so long. Perhaps he is my lesson to chill out and relax. Ann is the social butterfly and closet poem writer. I think she knows what everyone is doing in our apartment complex. (I am exaggerating of course.) We’ve celebrated each other’s birthdays, gone out to dinner, bet each other to see who could gain more weight, gone to church activities together, and just sat on the porch chatting. Ann wrote one of the nicest poems for me on a birthday card that I think will keep someplace safe.

My dryer broke about two months ago and I haven’t had the time to really go replace it. I’ve been using the coin-operated dryer in our apartment complex, or just laying them out on the couch to air dry. (that just screams bachelor) Ann offered to let me borrow theirs. I took my wet clothes downstairs to dry and when I returned to pick them up, she had folded all of them. I didn’t know if I should scold her or just say thank you so I did both. Thank goodness it was a colored load. (I don’t think I need to explain) I guess even after more than ten years of being away from home, I’m still being taken care of.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Waterski beauty

I decided to try this blogger thing out. A friend of mine has a blog that is kind of fun to read, so I thought I would give it a try. The goal is to help me publish (keep track of) the funny, the good, and the blessings in my life and share them with others.

Over the Labor Day weekend, I drove to Glennwood Springs, CO and went for a bike ride. Glennwood Springs is nestled in the Rocky Mountains about half way between Denver and Grand Junction...near Aspen. There is a bike trail along the freeway that has some spectacular views. I got up early Monday morning from my hotel and rode for a few hours. I caught this picture of the wild daisy (I think that is a wild daisy) in the forefront with the mountains and a branch of the Colorado River. The sun was spectacular. I think the picture really captures one of the reasons I moved to Colorado...the sun, the mountains, the clean air. Can you believe it? I actually stopped to smell the flowers.

I found a water skiing buddy...or beauddy. Rhonda is 50+ years old so no potential romance, but I have fallen in love with her boat. One of the hygienists I work with overheard me saying that water skiing was a passion of mine. She told me she had a friend that was big into water skiing and later introduced me to her. We have been water skiing the last few weekends which has been a great stress relief after a long week. I even bought a water ski off of eBay. Josh drove into town a few weeks ago and we went water skiing with her and had a great time. He brought his guitar and played for us around the campfire. I think she fell in love with him. If you read Josh's blog, I think he fell in love with her too.