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Published July 27, 2011 at http://www.carolsnotes.net
As I sit here on a Wednesday night feeling like nothing ever happens on my street, I am thinking about the week so far, trying to figure out how I actually spend my time. I once read a silly article about the Brady Bunch that asked the question, “What did Carol Brady do?” Because she didn’t seem to have a job, plus she had a maid. I don’t remember a single episode in which she cooked. Did we ever see her working a jigsaw puzzle or arranging flowers? I can’t remember. She seemed to be a pretty good Mom – cheerful at least – and maybe being a Mom is enough. For some people. There was a time when my kids demanded every bit of my time and attention – in fact my older son used to need me to always be within his range of vision. But these days they prefer that I not focus every bit of my attention on them.
Sunday morning I taught my teen Sunday school class. The lesson was about how it is important to make plans for our lives but how God might have different plans. The two kids who showed up seemed to enjoy our discussion. After class I went to the choir room to get ready to sing Just Over in the Glory Land for service. I think there were eight of us choir members this week. Last week there were six. I sing garden-variety soprano.
After lunch I tweaked my “Sundays with Pascal” article and since I was expecting a friend for coffee, did some whirlwind housecleaning. Tamra and I had a good chat over Trader Joe’s coffee cake and about a gallon of coffee. Looking out my front door and straight up the cul-de-sac I can see her house facing mine, but we hardly ever get together because of our crazy schedules. Our kids are teens to young adults now, and in the nine years we’ve known each other we've been through plenty of school and neighborhood drama together.
Monday I dropped off my son AJ for his ride to Mission Connection, a mission camp in Lynchburg where he goes to every year with youth group. But first we had to stop at the grocery store for last minute essentials like Axe shampoo and snacks which ended up costing 65 bucks. After AJ was safely packed into a minivan I headed to work and noticed a slight throbbing in my jaw. Monday night I wrote a book review and then wandered around the house most of the night worrying and thinking because my jaw was aching.
Tuesday I called the dentist. The X-ray showed that I had fractured a root in a back tooth and had the beginnings of a massive infection, the kind that will kill you if you don’t do something about it. I took my prescription for Amoxicillin and made an appointment for dental surgery the following day. Which brings me to today. This morning I said good-bye to husband who was leaving for AJ’s mission camp to tag-team chaperone. Armed with a bag of drugs I went to work and edited technical documents most of the day before heading to the dentist. As I went out the door I bequeathed my office supplies to my co-workers in case I didn’t make it because there’s always that risk. As I headed to the dentist, generally hating life, I could feel the jaw pain steadily increasing in intensity and imagined the infection as a black cloud inside my face beginning to seep up my head and spread down my neck.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my dentist. Dr. G is gentle and skillful, and unfailingly cheerful, even when a tornado destroyed his office a couple years ago. Mostly I’m grateful to him. I’d probably be dead or at least less attractive if it weren’t for him. I HATE going there but I always love the feeling afterwards of having faced and survived the traumatic and possibly life-threatening event.
This time I accepted the offer of nitrous oxide and thoroughly enjoyed the tingly floaty lala land cushion I floated on throughout the whole experience. And it was delicious to be so acutely aware that if I were not breathing the gas I would be a tense bundle of nerves and in a lot more pain. But I AM breathing the gas, I thought happily as I heard something in the distance that sounded like bone cracking. Ah, bones, I thought. Let them crack because I am cushioned in the gas, floating, floating. Drugs work for me. I think hypnosis would work too. Music and books definitely work. I have survived many a dental procedure by plugging my iPod into my ears and concentrating on an audio book instead of the sound of drilling. Sometimes it’s a great thing to be easily distractible.
I start each week with a loose list in my head of things I want to accomplish, but rarely do I get the bottom of it. Sure I don’t always have emergency dental surgery, but I can pretty much rely on something unexpected happening at least on a weekly basis. Last week it was the air conditioning conking out on the hottest day of the summer; the week before that it was my husband’s car breaking down and needing a $1000 repair; the week before that it was my 18-year-old getting really sick with a serious case of Strep. How close to the plan does your week usually stay? Do you have a plan?