BALANCING ACT:   No such thing as normal

Staff writer

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if I am really here. After the week my family just survived, I have to wonder how it is we are still living, breathing, eating, walking around, going to work, acting as if all is normal. Maybe it is because there is no such thing as normal anymore.

Last week my son totaled his truck, we hosted a reception for my daughter who graduated from 8th grade, our horse sprained her ankle the day someone came to purchase her, the cat went to the animal clinic almost at death’s door, my husband turned a 300-pound crazy pig into pork burgers after an over-night roast, and my oldest son graduated from college.

In between all those out-of-the-ordinary events we still had groceries to buy, meals to fix and eat, bills to pay, laundry, dishes, two sons moving home from college, morning and evening milking chores on the farm, and I had deadlines, deadlines, deadlines for magazine and newspaper writing.

Right now, I am pinching myself to see if I am still human. It doesn’t hurt much so I must still be a little numb from the craziness we just survived.

Some might consider the week we just had a horror movie, but for us, there were wonderful, momentous events embedded in all the chaos.

The fact that my son’s doctor appointment earlier in the week, which included x-rays and lab work, revealed a bruised spleen, ribs out of place, and a concussion from the truck wreck was good news. I am so thankful he walked away from what could have been complete disaster.

It is not every day that a teenager loses a front wheel on his jacked-up four-wheel drive pickup, tears out the undercarriage, drive shaft, and transfer case, and lives to tell about it.

Sure, this means we now have to get a family of six to all different places necessary with only two working vehicles, but at least we are all still present and accounted for.

My daughter’s 8th-grade graduation was squeezed in between truck wreck attention and college graduate reception plans, but I am happy to say the chocolate fountain we got for her party was a hit.

It seemed like getting her out of junior high and on to the next level took endurance needed for running a marathon, with a blur of algebra tests and assignments, five track meets in a 10-day span, finding the right graduation dress, and creating and sending out graduation announcements. It is no wonder she slept until noon the three days following her graduation activities.

Of course, the rest of us still had a myriad of events to contend with after her graduation on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday we took some potential horse buyers out to the pasture only to discover our five-year-old filly Star hobbling about on three legs.

So much for that sale — did not happen. What did happened was that we had to get her up into the barn, set up a hospital pen, and irrigate her leg injury with cold water, none of which she wanted to have any part.

I was so glad my teenage son was not hurt worse by the truck incident as he did put his horse-whispering skills to work and got Star taken care of.

He also was the one who made sure our special cat, Frodo, took his medicine properly, after I took him to the vet and found he had a urinary tract infection, stomach allergies to cat food we bought that was outdated, and ear mites.

Poor fella, he was miserable for a while, but much better now.

The rest of the week went into warp speed as my husband turned a 300-pound pig into the best smoked-pork burgers ever — and almost lost a thumb in the process.

We served the pork at my oldest son’s college graduation reception, during which tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms put a fitting cap on the week we had prior.

I am still digging out from deadline dementia, and it is difficult to find a path through our house between all the stuff that came home from school and college and what was needed for two graduation receptions.

There is still laundry to fold, dishes to wash, and food to find, fix, and eat.

We still worry about how to pay the electric bill, what it will take to get the vehicles back on the road, and who knows what the future of the horse that could not be sold will be.

However, as far as normal goes, I am convinced there is no such thing, never has been such a thing as normal, and who needs it anyway.

I am just glad to still be human and have my family members all back home.

 

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