Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"If you want me to"

Saturday evenings at Boordy Vineyard must be one of the most relaxing and romantic ways to spend an evening. The cares of the day were set aside. Worries for tomorrow were briefly forgotten. A live band played Salsa music in the background. Couples danced the night away. Friends surrounded our blankets. Picnic baskets were full of food. Little children giggled and ran around the grassy hill. Little children danced the night away, too. This evening was different from others. Children seemed to be the theme of the evening-on the dance floor. In their parents' arms. On their parents' shoulders. In a snuggly on their mother's chests. Yet to be born, still in their mothers' wombs. Children were everywhere last Saturday. Safe within their father's grip. Firmly secure in their mother's love. It made the evening that much more enjoyable.

After many wonderful (and silly) dances, Miguel and I drove home. I never expected the past to come rushing back to me as we traveled the familiar route home. A dearly loved song played over the radio; faces, friendships and emotions of the past quickly filled my mind, replacing the carefree feelings of the previous three hours. The following lyrics took me back to a time and place, not so long ago. My dear friend Charlotte had just learned that her battle with cancer was far from over, yet she embraced me as I cried over the daily trials I was walking through. She
stroked my hair and sung to me, as we listened to this song of truth and hope by Ginny Owens.

I warned Miguel that as the song continued to play, I would surely begin to cry. And cry I did. I cried for the loss of a dear friend. I cried for the fact the words of the song still ring so true. I cried because sometimes the road I walk is not the way I would've chosen. I cried because the ever present valleys in life are definitely not easy. I cried because of the goodness and mercy of my Savior to walk each step of this road with me.

The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise
You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials
Bring me closer to You
Then I will go through fire if You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
when You lead me through a world that's not my home
but You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

so when the whole world turns against me
and I'm all by myself
and I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley
If You want me to.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

"The Buck"

The love of my life turned 24 years old on Saturday. I was going to write a blog about our time away together. I thought a nice picture of the two of us would be the perfect way to detail our time together. However, as I was leafing through pictures looking for one to post, I stumbled across these pictures...I thought they would be much more entertaining than the details of our weekend at the beach!

Several summers ago, a bunch of rowdy (and bored) singles decided it would be great fun to take a trip up to the Buck. That particular evening happened to be their annual "Mud Run." First, the boys ran. Second, the girls ran. And last, but certainly not least, the couples raced. Joshua Ayers and I joined up. Miguel and Danielle believed they could beat us. Haha, it makes me laugh even now. As the announcer gave the count down, I jumped on Josh's back. Off we went. As we ran by Danielle and Miguel, we jumped on them. Down they went. Down we went. The fun had began. We tried our very best to finish the race as couples. However, next thing I knew, Miguel had tackled me in the middle of the mud pit( picture #1). The crowd began to chant, "get him, get him!" Revenge was the only thing on my mind. The sounds of the crowd were drowned out. I had to get him back. I had to hunt him down (picture #2) And once I realized the entire stadium was staring at US, there was no way I'd be the only one covered head to toe! And oh boy did I get him (picture #3)!

Enjoy. And remember, rednecks have fun too!

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Several weeks ago I was at the dentist and received the ever dreaded news: I had a cavity! Meaning, I'd have to return and get a filling. Not so much the filling that bothered me, but the shot. That terrible horrible SHOT to numb you. Last time I had a cavity filled, I was so afraid of the shot that I went without novocaine. Yup, that's right. I was dumb enough to think that the drilling would be LESS painful than the shot. I sucked it up and managed to survived the somewhat painful filling.

This time, I determined to get the shot. As August 11th, 2pm drew closer, I got more and more nervous. Last night, no sleep. Tossing and turning. Thinking about THAT shot. Got out of bed. Thinking about THAT shot. Did my school work. Thinking about THAT shot. Drove to the dentist office this afternoon and tried to tell myself it would all be over soon. As I sat in the waiting room, the 15 minute wait felt like eternity. I began to sweat and breathe heavily. I kept sighing. The girl next to me kept staring. What was wrong with me?! So I decided to pray. But as I did, I realized how honest my prayer was. I was scared to death of THAT shot! The pain, the shoving of the needle. Now sweat was pouring down my back and forehead, literally. As the nurse called my name I thought perhaps it wasn't really my turn. How many other Elizabeths would be sitting in the waiting room who could get THAT shot in my place?

I took the long walk back to my chair. As I sat down, I began to feel lightheaded. LIBBY, you have got to pull yourself together. I was too afraid to pray. I couldn't formulate what was bothering me without feeling like I would pass out. I had passed out once before in this dentist's office, don't make me do it again. I made it to the chair. Almost there. Now I was trembling. My hands were shaking, my fists were clenched. The doctor walked in and began numbing me for THAT shot. Ok, not so bad. Then the shoving and digging began. Still not too bad. I could do this. I could make it. Then he was finished. Or was he?! One more shot, he said. One more?! I was finished with that dreaded thing. Oh no, one more and here it came. More shoving and digging. When would the agony be through?

After the shot, the rest was cake. No pain, though there was fear of another shot constantly in my mind. Three hours later, the pain of the shot is gone, but the memory is forever in my mind. Perhaps that's the novocaine that has yet to wear off????

Favorite Memories

Last night, Miguel and I had dinner with my dad, my sister, and two of my dad's coworkers. We decided to meet in Annapolis for Sushi. I love Annapolis and was overly excited to spend the evening in our state's capital. The drive down was silly and relaxing. We all drove together and discussed everything from Kristin's poem on her blog, to Amanda's job adventures, to silly little kid knock-knock jokes (thank you Sacha). The frequent comment of the evening was "Is this a game?" as Sacha tried to ask questions that were in no real need of answers. I love my family.

My dad treated us to a wonderful meal of various types of sushi. It turns out that Miguel enjoyed the sushi as much as I did. Last time we had sushi, he painstakingly ate a few pieces and refused to continue. The textures were too much for him. However, last night, he found a new love--shrimp in any form--rolls, sashimi, rolls, rolls. After dinner we walked down to Ben and Jerry's, my favorite ice cream in the world. To my delight and surprise, the Ben and Jerry's store has a plethora of choices, never before seen by my eyes. What to choose? Caramel Chunk Crunch? Straw Berry Grahm? Oatmeal Cookie dough? Ohmygoodness. Since my ice cream tastes are much broader than any other food tastes, I decided to go with a waffle cone and two different flavors. No problem, I handled it like a pro.

We parted ways with our dinner dates. They went home to take care of their Great Dane. We all decided that the beautiful evening called for a leisurely walk around the Annapolis Harbor. There were people everywhere. Young families with little kids screaming. Newlyweds on their honeymoon (at least that's what I overheard). Pregnant ladies enjoying a relaxing evening with their husbands on their boat. Tourists feeding the numerous ducks as they waddled by. And us. Miguel and I arm in arm. Sacha and Dad walking sometimes behind us, sometimes in front. It didn't matter. Last night, all I knew was that the love of my life was right next to me. He drew me closer and closer as we walked through the crowded streets. He placed his arm around me and squeezed. As the sun set in radiant reds, oranges and purples, I stopped and realized that through the clamor and happenings of the city, the wonderful man next to me was mine, all mine.

Monday, August 08, 2005

A lost love rekindled

Perhaps you are thinking "aw, Miguel and Libby did something romantic that made them fall deeper in love"...well, maybe you could say that, but not in the most "romantic" of senses!

Miguel has a new hobby, or perhaps a rekindled love of fishing. Whenever he has the chance, he takes a few spare moments on a sunny day to head to the nearest stream. He loves going alone, I think it's the tranquility of the stream (or maybe it's the ability to escape my lack of tranquility for a few brief hours?!). He always returns, boasting of his latest catch or his newest lore lost. He enjoys losing the bait because he gets to go to Wal Mart to buy new ones.

A few weeks ago, Miguel decided to invite me fishing with him. I wasn't exactly thrilled about the idea (read my previous post), but I decided to brave the wilderness also known as Winter's Run. Miguel and I trapsed through the muddy water. All the while, I kept thinking of Jordan and his hook, Jordan and his hook. We found a wonderful fishing spot and the games began. I was the first to catch a fish--a nice large trout to be exact, probably 10 or so inches. Maybe I like fishing?! Then Miguel caught a baby trout. Nothing to brag about, trust me. Then me, then him. The bet was on! Who would catch the most fish?! I knew I'd win, I just had to. We decided that whoever caught the least number of fish had to plan a romantic evening for the other. I won the bet, but well...we're still waiting for the pay offs!

I was hoping that the fishing adventure would be my last. Sure it was tranquil, and sure I had a little bit of fun. BUT, it's fishing?! This past Saturday, we decided to make it a lazy Saturday--no chores, no shopping, nothing. Then it happened. These words came out of my mouth, "Why don't' we go fishing?" I am not sure what possessed me? Was I overcoming my fear of fishing hooks? Was I actually learning to like it again??

Like it indeed, overcome my fears, I think not! Every time Miguel cast his rod, I screamed. "Watch it, you're way too close!" "Miguel, move over, don't hit me!" "BABE!!!!!!!!!" The old fear lingered! Miguel was slightly confused about my paranoia. Half the time he was a quarter mile down stream from me, and there was no way his casts would get me! Then I explained the fishing hook incident. It all became clear to him...the paranoia was real.

So while Miguel had helped to rekindle my old love of fishing, he has not been able to diminish my old fear. I am sure that every fishing outing we take, I will run far behind him or duck as he casts his line.

Gone Fishin'

As a child, my grandparents had a summerhouse (well a double wide trailer) on a lake. Every summer the entire family would gather for a long weekend of food, laughter and more food. One particular summer, all of the cousins were at the lake fishing. My oldest cousin, Jordan, was probably six at the time. That would've made me 5. We are almost exactly a year apart. The adults decided that visual supervision was enough; we were mature enough to fish by ourselves. Every so often we would turn around from our fishing spot to wave hello to mom and dad. Yup, they were still there--eating crabs, talking loudly, and enjoying their brothers and sisters.

Jordan and I continued fishing. Casting, watching the bobbers just sit there untouched, reeling in, and re-casting. Not a bite, not one single one! I decided to move to a new spot farther away from my cousin. I walked far behind him, or so I thought. At the exact moment I was behind him, he cast his rod. The few seconds in between are a blur, I think I blocked them from the sheer horror of the memory. As I opened my eyes, I felt a sharp sensation in my cheek. Then a burning, then a tear of pain. Jordan's hook was STUCK in my cheek. He believed my cheek to be a bush, and he continued pulling his rod to free his hook. I quickly grabbed the line and began yelling for him to stop. Yelling. I mean the loudest yelling I could muster. I remember looking up at the house to see if anyone could hear me. Surely enough, my dad dropped the red balloon he was fidgeting with, and came running. I can still see him throwing that red balloon and running as fast as he could towards his baby!

Jordan dropped the fishing rod and began crying. Shouldn't I be the one crying?! Jordan's mom came running as well, not to see how I was, but to scream at Jordan. And oh boy did she scream! I think that boy got a beating like none other in his life! Ok, back to me and my hook!

As my dad rushed to my side, he surveyed the damage. Yup, Jordan had caught me, right in the cheek. The hook was deeply implanted. It was a nice, old rusty hook at that AND it had to come out. Since there are barbs on hooks, it had to be shoved all the way through my cheek. I remember the feeling of metal sliding through my skin. That is not a feeling I'd ever like to have again. As my dad pulled it out, I remember sobbing, not because it hurt so much, but because I was in shock. What had Jordan done to me?!! Would I have a scar? And forefront in my mind, would I have to get a tetanus shot?!

My dad quickly picked me up, and ran me up to the house for all to see. Through cries of "What happened??" "Jordan, how could you?!" and "Will she be ok?" my dad cleaned me up. It was then decided that I did not need a tetanus, but I did need to stay away from Jordan and his fishing expeditions. We quickly mended our cousin-ly friendship and went back to our fishing. Only this time, we stood on opposite sides of the lake.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A day in the life of...

Despite what many think, teachers have a VERY hard and tiresome job. We need the summers off, we really do. However, I am in my last week of teaching summer school (thank the Lord Almighty!). Today, I managed to receive a grand total of six new scratches. Through the trials and frustrations of the day, my staff and I had an enlightening moment--almost Adam Sandler or Dumb and Dumber-esque. Before I share the story, let me give some background. Mikel, the famed vicious scratcher, is also Apraxic. This means the words she thinks in her head do not come out sounding the way they should. For instance, the phrase, "Hi, Mr. Nathan!" comes out sounding like "Gi, Gigger, Gafan" at best. Unless you are in the moment and understand contextually what is happening, you will be quite lost! It can be quite comical and gives us many moments of laughing at...I mean WITH Mikel.

At the end of the day, we were all sitting around playing a great round of "Memory." (One of my students, believe it or not, was kicking our tails!) Mikel was having an unusually rough afternoon. She spent much time watching the timer tick down, other students get rewarded with candy, and the seat of the time out chair. After an intense struggle in which I came quite close to actually spanking her little rear, Mikel FINALLY came to sit down with her class.

As we were sitting around, this dialogue occured (keep in mind Mikel and her odd speech).

Mikel: Ga, Git in gour.

Amanda (my teaching assistant, with a serious tone of voice): Libby, you know in movies when you hear other languages? Like Chinese or something?
Me: Yeah?
Amanda: Well, what to us is the word McDonalds, may take them four paragraphs to say.
Amanda (with just as straight a face as tone of voice): Mikel, what language DO you speak?!

We all cracked up laughing. Obviously, Mikel speaks English, yet at times we certainly do need subtitles to understand her. Oh the joys of special ed--behavior specialist, teacher, mentor, snot wiper, knee bandager, encourager, speech pathologist and now an interpreter! I wonder how many of those I could use on my next resume??