Daily Life


Last night and this morning were stressful. There is a holiday around here where we celebrate our pioneer heritage and some celebrate with fireworks. I didn’t use fireworks and never saw any but we sure heard them. For over two hours. Boom! Boom! Boom! I am half deaf and didn’t know they were going on until later.

After prayer we sent the kids to bed and the dog wasn’t sleeping where she normally does. We’d left her out back to go do her thing. We looked all over inside the house. Called outside. Walked around the neighborhood. Drove around the neighborhood. She was nowhere to be found. I told the kids she’d probably be home by morning.

I was wrong.

I had gotten up several times in the night to check and see if she was outside the front door. She wasn’t. I prayed and worried myself sick. At just before six as the sun was about to peek over the horizon I got up and dressed and got Michael up and had him come with me to drive around and look for our dog. No sign of her. We figured the fireworks scared her away. We always put her in the house during fireworks. This year all the festivities were canceled due to covid so I didn’t think about it.

When we came home from the first drive of looking I put a notice out on Facebook about what happened and a picture. A friend suggested I call the police. I did. They didn’t have her but would let me know if she was brought in.

I was restless and teary the whole morning. I had done all I could. It was a waiting game now. I sat at the table making rolls and Benjamin came up behind me and gave me a hug. He said it would all be okay and that she would be home soon. It was so sweet of him and I really hoped for the kids’ sake that it was true.

A few hours later a friend commented on my post that a woman on another Facebook page had found my dog. Yes! My stomach had been clenched tight for hours and it finally relaxed. The woman called me and we confirmed that it was indeed Skylar, my dog. I kept crying but this time tears of gratitude and happiness. We went and picked up Skylar. The people who found her said they found her in the back corner of their yard just shaking. She had managed to get herself over a mile away through lots of fields to where she ended up. When we got to her and saw her we were so happy. She jumped in the van right away. The kids were petting her and talking to her. Lauren and I were crying. I think the dog was relieved, too. She doesn’t do well when we’re gone and to be lost probably put her over the edge. She stuck closer to me than usual the rest of the day.

The kids think that I don’t like the dog. I really do and I hope they realize it now. She is with me pretty much all day and though I sometimes need a break, I do care about her.

When we got home we said prayers of gratitude. Gratitude that she was returned to us so quickly. Gratitude that she was alive and unharmed. Gratitude for the help of others in finding her.

I really hope she never goes missing again. She will definitely be inside on all firework holidays and days surrounding them from now on.

Daily Life

How to Make Friends

We actually got out and did something yesterday. There is a park/playground about a half hour away that looked so fun. It is huge and the playground equipment was massive. I haven’t seen playground equipment that tall since the 80’s. These toys let the kids climb over two stories high. Possibly three. I stayed on the far side of the park in the shade talking with my sister-in-law and just let the kids play. I’m glad I did because thinking about it now I probably would have panicked the whole time if I had been paying attention. I just let them be the wild monkeys they always want to be.

Alex said he learned something from Elizabeth. Elizabeth got to the park and jumped right in and made a friend. She brought her over to introduce her to the family. Elizabeth told Alex, “You know how you make a friend? You just ask them ‘Are you a friend?’ and then you play.” It works, I guess.

Alex and I tried it last night. We went for a walk around the block and my cat, Piper, followed me. As usual. The next door/across the street neighbor mentioned it as we walked by. Now we have lived in our house almost 8.5 years. We have never talked to the man. Isn’t that awful?! I always felt bad about it but never did anything about it. So last night after our walk and since I’d just pulled a batch of cinnamon rolls out of the oven, we took a couple rolls over and introduced ourselves. He is a nice older guy and he and Alex talked. I didn’t say much and Alex, my sweet perceptive husband who knows me so well knew why. I am partially deaf and I couldn’t hear most of what the man said. It is so frustrating being deaf. It honestly is easier just to stay to myself. But, we followed Elizabeth’s example and made a new friend.

And if you are wondering, there is an update on the house situation: the appraisal is in two weeks. That gives me a timeline to work with but now I am dealing with a deadline. So much to do! And do I schedule the windows to be installed before the appraisal so the house value goes up but we have windows to trim out (more work) or after so we don’t have to do that extra work? Ridiculous choices.

Daily Life

Deaf in a Pandemic

I am frustrated and fed up with this whole virus thing but I guarantee it isn’t for the reason that you think.

This reaction to the virus is discriminatory. Let me tell you why. I am 30% deaf. That means I miss A Lot! I don’t fit in with the deaf community (I don’t know sign language and don’t know any deaf people anyways) but I can’t hear almost half of what is being said. 95% of the time I don’t complain, it’s been this way for almost forty years. It is all I know. But it is frustrating most days.

I can’t hear a lot of the things my kids say. All their little stories- I don’t know what they are saying. I ask them to speak up and kids really just don’t get that concept. They have two volumes- practically whispering and yelling. I say talk louder, I want to hear what you are saying and they turn down their volume. Same thing if I get closer to hear them. They take it as a cue to get quieter.

One can only say “what?” so many times before the other person get frustrated and says “nevermind”.

This virus reaction has made it worse because I can read lips to some extent and that fills in some of the gaps. People are wearing masks now. This takes away the opportunity for me to read lips and it also muffles any sound I might have understood. I ask people to repeat themselves and it is to no avail. At the bank the other day I explained the situation and the girl kindly took off her mask so I could understand. I was so grateful for that one small act.

I’m just ready to throw in the towel sometimes. I mean really, when my neighbor came over to talk the other day I wanted to hear him but if I leaned in a little to hear better he would back off. Stupid social distancing. I can’t hear you folks and it is hard pretending I know what you are saying. “I smile and nod because I have no idea what you are saying.” That is pretty much a deaf person’s motto. We try but it is difficult. If everyone came with captions it would be so much easier. One of my sisters is in the same boat as me so I know I am not alone in my thinking.

Enough of my rant today. The consequences of not hearing what was said got to me yesterday and it was upsetting so I just had to get it out. Hopefully we can get back to normal soon because this virus is effecting so many people in so many ways- big and small. It really just needs to end.


Week’s End, Month’s Beginning

This morning we got up earlier than usual. Alex was asked to go pick up some people from the next town over who needed a ride to church. I noticed the lighting was pink so I went to the front room, opened the blinds and sat and watched the sunrise. I rarely watch the sunrise, I am busy or sleeping. I used to watch them all the time. When I was a teenager I would see them every morning when going to school or work. I can’t decide whether I am a night person or a morning person. I like them both equally. I also like sleep. Hmm.

This morning after Alex and Lauren left I went to get all the other kids ready for church. Michael had a fever over 100 degrees. Noah was acting weird and tired as he has for the past few days– I think he has what Michael has. Benjamin wasn’t ready on time so I just left him because we were late and he was sobbing in the bathroom. I told him I would deal with him later. Then Lauren asked to be taken home from church because she was feeling sick. She now has a fever of 101.7. And Benjamin also has a fever. So much fun. They were all home all week and now they all catch it. I was supposed to be taking a couple of them to the dentist tomorrow morning. That is not going to happen. I really hope there is no penalty for canceling appointments last minute. I would have called today but they are closed on the weekend. I think it will all work for the best because it is supposed to be bad weather, snow and all that tomorrow. The dentist is 45 minutes away and I can’t take sick kids with me and leave sick kids home alone.

For dinner I tried a new recipe, Coconut Curry . It was pretty good. I would make it again. The kids wouldn’t try it but what else is new. If I make it again maybe they will.

Tonight we watched a new movie. I had heard of the book that the movie was based on The Christmas Jars book by Jason F. Wright, but never got around to reading it. The movie was a good one to watch as a family and I want to do something like that with the kids next year. People have been so good to us and we have had help so many times I think that we should be in a better position next year to do more to help others like we’ve been helped.  Tonight we also watched some of the Secret Santa videos. I watched the linked one this morning. I love watching them. I always start crying, I love them all so much. I think it would be so awesome to be able to help people like that.

So yesterday there was a man in our group that got me thinking. He was an older, smaller man who seemed to be quite persistent. I say that because he was deaf and blind. He carried a stick to walk with and said what a lot and leaned in to hear. He asked several people to describe the paintings on the wall and asked everyone their name several times and the people had to get louder and louder until he heard them. He was very polite. He insisted on being the one to open and hold the door open for anyone that went through. I say persistent because I am deaf and honestly I would have given up a long time ago. He just kept asking. Maybe I’ll get that way eventually.

Every once in awhile I realize how many sounds I miss. Last night after we told Edgar we caught another mouse he said he’d noticed that he hadn’t heard the mouse running around the night before. They make noise? And people can hear it? How!? I struggle to hear about half of what people say. Usually I end up smiling and nodding and hoping I didn’t miss anything important. My kids talk and it is just sounds a lot of the times unless they are loud or I am really paying attention. I try and get them to repeat themselves, explaining that I want to know what they are saying so they have to speak up. I married a loud man. His voice carries. So far. But even sometimes I have to tell him to look at me when he talks. I used to be able to read lips and I still can sometimes. It’s a curse and a blessing. It is nice to have it quieter sometimes.

Right now we are trying to get the kids to bed. My favorite is when the kids come and tell me they can’t sleep. “Well,” I always reply, “it is really hard to sleep when you are standing in the kitchen (or the hall, or the family room).”

So, wish me luck, send prayers, etc., for tonight and tomorrow we will be dealing with sick kids. Luckily there is no puke (knock on wood). That is the hardest. Sick, sleeping kids is one thing, they just sleep and watch tv and complain. Throw up is a whole other deal.