December 18th was the last time I wrote a post. I did not intend to take such a long blogging break. In fact, I had great plans to develop a consistent blogging habit. But life had other ideas.
I finished the first semester by logging all grades into the system on the morning of December 19th. That afternoon I began grocery shopping for the Totoro annual Christmas Eve Vigil (which was going to be held on December 23rd due to other family conflicts). I like grocery shopping. I enjoy holiday traditions. Christmas is my favorite time of year. Life was good.
On the 22nd my son called to tell us that both he and his wife were terribly sick with the stomach flu. We offered to help by taking my 15-month-old grandson to our house for the day. We kept him from 8:30am – 6:30pm. A fun but exhausting day for this Mimi who is not accustomed to a toddler’s energy level.
My youngest daughter arrived that evening from Nashville. We had a quiet dinner and all went to bed fairly early. It had been a long day.
Due to the aforementioned flu, the Vigil dinner was postponed to Christmas Eve. I decided to use the 23rd to pre-bake a few items, organize china and serving dishes, and pre-set the table. By 6:30pm I was feeling a bit clammy. By 7:00pm I was a prisoner in my own bathroom. The flu struck with a vengeance.
Christmas Eve was a blur. The kids came over and enjoyed the crab and shrimp dinner. My youngest made the traditional spinach bread. I managed to come downstairs long enough to watch them open gifts.
I felt much better Christmas Day (fortunately the flu was short-lived, although potent). My youngest, however, was down and out. She remained in bed the entire day. And then she had to leave the next morning to make the nine-hour trip back to Nashville. I think we spent a total of thirty minutes together the entire time she was home.
By the weekend, all was well. I spent several hours in the nook reflecting on 2018 and planning for an optimistic 2019.
Mid-afternoon on New Year’s Eve, however, the basset climbed into my lap and remained still for thirty minutes: highly unusual. He likes to cuddle but only for five minutes at a time. When I tried to give him a hug, he yelped.
We soon discovered that somehow his collar caught on his neck rolls. Who knew how long he had suffered! We cut the collar off, thinking that might solve the issue.
As it turned out, this was the first of many basset troubles over the next ten days. After three vet visits, hundreds of dollars, and discovering he cannot tolerate any kind of medication … he finally seems to be on the mend.
At the same time we dealt with his health issues, my professional life took a downward turn. Over the course of 48-hours, seven students dropped my classes (a 30% decrease!). Since our private school pays teachers by the student rather than by the class, this severely impacted my monthly paycheck. A very unexpected blow to the family budget.
We are now two weeks into the new year, and I do think life is finally settling down. The basset is (almost) back to his old self. And I am learning to embrace my new semester schedule: I have more free time to write and fewer papers to grade (there’s always a silver lining…)
So I am officially declaring this week as 2019: take two.
January 15th is my new New Year’s Day.
I will not allow a few minor setbacks to rob me of joy.
Next week I will blog about all the plans I have for an exciting 2019. In the meantime: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!