A moment in Tim

Well first and foremost I have to say…. I’m back!  To those of you who used to swing by here on a regular basis, I will apologize for disappearing on you.  It was never planned to disappear for that long.  One day I was writing and posting on the regular.  The next day life and moming and jobing and adulting got in the way.  And the words stopped coming.  I hope you’ll forgive my absence and visit again.  For those of you new to my Chaos, welcome!  I hope you like it and come back too!  Now, since the words have returned…so will I!

In the last year and a half, I have become a little bit of a CrossFit junkie. I decided after 20+ years of running that I needed to shake things up.  Seven days and over 30 miles a week just wears on you.  My treadmill was bored with me and I had run out of Netflix shows to watch.  That’s when I met my new love… CrossFit.  (My apologies to my hubby, but there is just something about throwing up heavy weights and climbing a rope that makes me swoon.  But that’s a blog for another day.)

In my world, workouts get down before the sun comes up. I love my family, but the only time I can get anything done without interruptions is to crank it out while they are dead to the world, so I am a solid up at 4:30 am at the box for 5 am class type of girl.

If you know anything about CrossFit, we are in the depths of The Open right now, a series of five grueling workouts that test you both physically and mentally.  A few days after the latest WOD, I woke up at 2:45 with tremendous, shooting back pain.  No combination of pillows or body contortions would make it stop so I could return to dreamland.  After 30 minutes of trying, I gave up and got on my workout clothes.  (You know, that activewear many just wear to actively get coffee and have their nails done.  I make mine earn its name.)  I had planned to pick up some groceries after class, but decided, since I was already up, I may as well hit the store first.

You know what Wal-Mart is like at 3:30 am…glorious.  Sure, there are employees in the aisles stocking shelves and palettes to dodge, but you now what wasn’t there…other shoppers.  It was phenomenal! I was able to navigate the whole store, get all the household items and a week’s worth of grocery for four (I have a 14-year-old boy, so it was more like groceries for 6), and hit the checkout in under 30 minutes.

And that’s where I met him.

You know what happens when there are no shoppers at Wal-Mart?  There are no checkouts open, so me and my overflowing grocery cart saddled up to the self-check out station and got to work.  Before I had even scanned the first item, the security guard walked over to me with a second shopping cart.

“Hi!  Good Morning!  Here, this will make it easier to you.  You can just put the full ones in it.”  

After wheeling me over the cart, he leaned up against the wall next to me and started talking.  At first it was the usual, the gorgeous weather we just had, hopes it would stick around permanently, fear we would get still one more snow storm before spring really arrived.  Polite small talk.  Nice.  Friendly.  Then he started talking about a meal he had recently with his mom and brother.  He lives with his mom.  His washer recently broke.  He didn’t have the money to buy a new one, so his mom found a place that sells used appliances and helped him purchase one.  He said it had actually broken weeks before he told his mom, but he didn’t want to upset her with the news, so he’d been washing his clothes in the sink for a while now.  

He has an uncle who has a vacation house and a boat.  Boat upkeep is expensive!  He wished he had enough money to be able to have a boat.  But his uncle is a very nice man.  Invites them over and helps him out.  The kind of guy who would keep giving you the shirt off his back time after time, no questions asked. 

They struggle, but they get by.  Tim’s dad was supposed to leave him and his brother some land and inheritance in his will, but he changed it right before he died and left everything to his step mom.  He looked hurt.  His dad wasn’t a nice guy.  We was a jerk (not the words he used, but I cleaned it up for you.) Oh well, that’s how things go I guess.

He shared about a visit with his dad from a while back.  His dad was starting to say something derogatory towards a person of color that was nearby.  He stopped his dad, told him you can’t say that.  That’s not ok.  His dad attempted to belittle him for not ‘manning up.’  I’m not that type of person.  I don’t feel that way about others.  People are people.  We’re all here together.  

I finished up the last of my items and headed out.  I thanked him for the talk and wished him a good day.

“What’s your name?” 

“Kerry”

“Hey Kerry.  I’m Tim.  Have a great day!” 

Tim stopped time.  Tim slowed me down.  Tim was kind.  Tim was honest.  Tim was open.  We could all learn a lot from Tim.  I know I did.

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Girls Night Uh-oh

I am lucky enough to have been blessed with a group of gals who I have been friends with since high school.  In our 25+ years of friendships, there have been ups and downs, blessing and tragedies, joys and sorrows.  To help keep us sane, we venture out once a month of a Girls Night Out.   We like to keep things fun by trying new and different things each month.  Last night we ventured out into the frigid evening to get mani/pedis, have dinner, and then tune up our pipes with some karaoke.

After a cold, snowy, stress-filled week, I was super excited to go hang out with my gal pals, first to pamper ourselves, and then to embarrass ourselves.

I wrapped up the week at my office and headed out to make sure everything was copacetic on the homefront.  Kids home.  Homework done.  Errands fulfilled.  Now, time to make myself GNO ready to go.

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Not too bad for a soon to be ol’ lady.  (Full disclosure, the glasses are not mine.  They belong to my mini-me.  I think I do them justice.  Can’t see for crap out of them, but I look cute! 😉 Plus, it annoys her when I take her things and take selfies.  Score one for mom! )

On the way to meet everyone at the salon, I made a quick stop at Target to pick up a few things.  Since it was GNO, I traded in my daily ‘student chasing’ tennis shoes, for a cute little pair of black heels.  A girl’s gotta look good after all!  Click-click…  Click-click…  Click-click… I cruised myself into and around Target, grabbing what I needed, but, as I clomped around, something just didn’t feel right.  Click-click… Is it my zipper?  Nope, that’s up.  Click-click… Did I remember to turn off my straightener?  Yes, I know I did.  Click-click… Do I have my phone?  Yup, it’s right here.  Click-click… So what could it be?  Click-click…   Click-click…  Click-wait…am I limping?  It’s at that moment I realize what I wrong.  A quick look down confirms my suspicions.

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I’m wearing two different shoes.

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Not only are they different shoes.

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But they are also different heights.

I’m an idiot.

In my rush to get out for a night of relaxation and laughter with the girls, I didn’t even realize what I had put on my feet.  I can maybe excuse myself because they are the same color with similar toe shapes, but I have no words for the fact I made my left leg an inch shorter than my right.

I’m a girl who believes in signs.  These shoes are a sign of two things.  1)  I desperately need a night out.  2)  The universe wants me to buy new boots.

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I’m nothing if not a rule follower…

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At least I know I’m loved

My kids go to Catholic School.  Every year they have a volunteer mass where they honor all the parents, neighbors, parishioner, and others who have volunteered during the school year.  Since I’m always at work during their weekly masses, I usually try to make it the volunteer mass each year.  A few weeks ago, I put in my sheet for the time off to attend today’s event.

As it just so happens, today is also my mom’s birthday.  Today she’s (29×2) + 3.  (My mom insists on staying 29, so the rest of us comply with her wishes….sort of.)

As we were all running around this morning getting ready, Paige called my mom to wish her a happy birthday, then we jetted off to school.  Just as mass was starting, my phone began vibrating.  I looked at it and noticed it was work.  Someone must have seen my office was empty, but didn’t talk to the main office to see that I was coming in late.  Oh well, I’ll return the call after mass.

Then a few minutes later, it goes off again.

Then another call.  This time from a different co-worker.

I know I turned in my paperwork, I hope there’s not an emergency at work.

Then IP‘s phone starts ringing.

A few more minutes later, I get a call from my mom.

Then another on my phone from work.

Then one from my mom’s cell phone.

Oh crap, there’s an emergency all right, but it’s not at work, its me.

Our father, hallelujah, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight!   Please say Mass has ended, so I can go in peace to love and serve the Lord and calm the nerves of my loved ones.

When I step outside to start returning calls, luckily, I’m greeted with endless laughter as I find out the extent to which the Finding Kerry saga reached.

When I didn’t arrive at work, they were worried.  I’m always on time, heck usually early, but no panic yet.  When I wasn’t there after 30 minutes, the calls started.  After not reaching me on my cell or at home, then not reaching IP, they called my mom.

“We don’t want to alarm you, but Kerry didn’t arrive at work today.  She didn’t call.  It’s not like her.”

“Well, I talked to Paige this morning and heard Kerry in the background.  Let me make a few calls.”

Mom decided her best first move was to call the kid’s school.  If they had been dropped off, she could start her search between there and my work.  If they weren’t at school, then she would make a B-line to my house.  Quick to action and ready to roll.  I think mom may have missed her calling by not becoming a detective.

She called the school.  “Um, this is going to sound like a weird question, but, I’m Paige and Trystan‘s grandma.  We can’t find their mom.  Were the kids dropped off at school?”

“Yep, they’re here.  Let me get the Principal for you.”

The Principal, in her infinite wisdom, scanned the pews at Mass before coming to the phone.

“Hi.  She’ in church.”

Praise the Lord!  I had been found.

Aw shucks….I might have looked good on a milk carton.

Meanwhile, back at the bat cave, um, I mean my work, they were feverishly digging through the paperwork, hoping to find proof that I wasn’t supposed to be there.  Eureka!  I’ve found it!  Kerry, 4/25, out 8-10 am at kid’s Mass.  Then my director asked the key question….”Did I sign the sheet?”  “Yes, yes you did.”

When mom called my work back to give them the good news, they relayed to her the mix-up with the paperwork and apologized for the near heart-attack they offered her as a birthday present.

I arrived at work to cheers, applause, and hugs.  The prodigal co-worker that was once lost, had been found.

Some times you walk through life not knowing if others around you really care, if you’re actually seen, if you’d really be missed.  Today I learned how kind, loving, and caring my friends at work truly are.  I’m proud to say that you have given me my Sally Field moment…

You like me, you really like me!

And I love you all!