Of kidney stones and milestones

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Thanks to a kidney stone, I spent over a week in an Oxycodone fog. Yet, due to smart phone technology I was able to snap some photos, albeit semi-consciously, as we experienced several momentous, memorable milestones. Here’s a recap of our weekend, full of ‘stones’ – milestones and kidney stones.

So many things happen quickly over such a short time!

  • No news on the MRI yet.
  • New clients are coming in for my freelance and web work

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Fine wine and fine food

On Saturday Kara, Amy, Hannah, Jordan and I went wine tasting. Later, Jordan treated as us + as many sibs as could make it to fine dining at Zins, where we sampled more wines and edible delights. Kevin and I shared a smooth, dirty gin martini after dinner (only a few tablespoons for me), and sampled Zins’ James Bond martini.

Zins owner, Lee Belfield pulled up a chair once things slowed down a bit, and was kind enough to spend a few moments educating us on “legs” when it comes to determining favorite wines. As always the service and food were fabulous, and we met a new friend – fine dining waiter Blake, who just moved to Iowa’s tundra from the Kyle’s (the younger generation) hometown of Atlanta.

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An overdue wedding photo

This past Christmas I surprised Kevin with a long-promised wedding band. He never wore a ring before! Last night I asked him if we could take a quick photo while at the table at Zins. This is where we went for dinner after we were married, so it was very appropriate I thought.

As we sat in the corner of the table, no one knew, saw or noticed us, but we grabbed this little momentous, typical wedding book-like shot. It celebrated a milestone as quietly and privately as our marriage began.

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I have this unsightly wart on my hand, and Kevin said, “I’ll put my hand here on top, because I know you don’t want this to show.” Which is immensely touching, because if you know Kevin you know he’s very self-conscious about his hands. That one action shows what our relationship is about.

I tell him it’s crazy to hide his hands, since he creates such beautiful things with them. If only all of us could create such beauty with what we dislike most about ourselves, what kind of a world would this be? Most of us only work with the things we like about ourselves. To do something like this – to work with qualities I hate – I would have to become a yoga pants model or an accountant. I am doing the world a great service by doing neither of these. You’re welcome.

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In the restaurant I noticed the ease at which our family mingles around fine things. It made me very proud. Our conversation was at a comfortable hum and ripples of laughter came from our enviable group. In spite of this, we weren’t dressed well, and we looked somewhat battered. Like the rabble who cook in the basement of a ship and come up for air to speak with the captain, Kevin and I, and crew, looked rough. He was feeling tired and I hobbled in with an injured knee sporting an ace bandage. In spite of our gimpiness, we basked in Lee’s love of flavorful combinations and gentle ambience of his restaurant. He admires Kevin’s talents with the same enthusiasm we admire his. This is the noble thing about self-employment. You are your own king, and can freely admire and visit the kingdoms of others. We all offer different things, but we’re all the same too, and need each other’s services and inspiration. It’s how communities used to be, and should be today.

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New Friends and an Old Friend Gone

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Everyone loves my dogs. Neighbor kids flock to them, drive-thru workers dote on them. I remember dogs like this when I was little and am lucky to have them. My dogs are ones that make you laugh, and give love nonstop. They behave well (and maybe lick too much). I’m lucky they’re in my life. Some people’s dogs are assholes. Not mine.

This weekend was extremely fun for Joey and Josie, who also entertained a guest –  JP, who is Kara and Jordan’s dog. JP is the same lab/golden mix as Joey, and even sports the same white triangle on his chest as Joey! Their temperaments were nearly identical. Like Joey, JP is a dog you immediately like. It was great to have him here with the kids during their visit.

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Bye Josie, sniff sniff

Yet, on a very sad, tearful note, I had to give Josie away. While tiny, Josie and Joey played so well together. I’m certain tonight she is confused and feels betrayed. But the truth is, I simply could not housebreak her completely and Kevin hated this. She barks nonstop at the boys going up the stairs all weekend. With the confusion of so many things going on at once, I decided to give her to Mom’s best friend Kim and her husband Bruce. They already knew Josie, and will spend lots of time and attention on her. I fought tears all day. Josie would give me tiny little kisses and was the sweetest dog. But with so much work and organization coming up, Kevin’s probably right that I won’t have time to shampoo carpets every week. We are unsure about whether Kevin’s immune system will be compromised with a dog that takes indiscriminate potty breaks and thinks carpet is grass, so Josie has a new home, several hours away.

pp-wilson1People without a love of dogs or cats don’t understand the comfort they bring, and the hole in your heart they leave when they go. In quiet moments when humans are tired of you, or during times when there are no words, dogs nuzzle and comfort you. I wondered if this is simply a matter of projecting emotion to something which cannot understand you, like the volleyball in CastAway. I’m not sure – but I know my dog Joey helped me survive a terrible divorce. He was there when no one was, and was nice to people when they were there. I cannot get rid of him, and I plan to soon look for an older dog at a shelter who is house trained to fill Josie’s void.

Josie was so important that Bruce & Kim drove here in bad winter weather to pick her up. They bought a new carrier for her with a comfy fleece liner, and many toys. I left them with our humble dog harnesses and leash, with 2 little Christmas outfits Hannah bought (and dressed) Josie in, and her pink heart-shaped rabies tag that cost me a few bucks extra. I felt like an abusive mom who gives her baby away to doting, wealthy, more deserving parents. Joey seems okay. I wonder how he will do when it’s play time and Josie isn’t around. They are both sweet dogs and loved each other. He just sighed as I wrote this – my sentiments exactly. But, the future is what’s important – and I hope to soon rescue another dog as soon as possible.

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On a happy note, Kara and Jordan are engaged! I was at the grocery store, and when I got back Kevin said, “Look at Kara’s ring!”. So, characteristically, I looked and photographed, and made them pose! This weekend has been one of heart-wrenching emotions, but I’m so glad that engagement was one of them. Life pushes on, and we must push forward as well. Human beings are designed to create miracles by plodding forward when all hope is lost. This is often how we are at our best. We don’t know what the future holds for us, but as someone who is beginning to age I appreciate watching life happen, especially by those who make it happen. So congratulations to you both! You are a great couple, and we knew that from the start.

Good news comes in 3-4mm sizes!

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Imprisoned until its eventual home in the urologist’s garbage can, this cursed little thing can bring a grown man to his knees.

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 8.31.18 PMThis has been a weekend of stones: Engagement rings, delayed wedding ring photos, and now a kidney stone – which is now imprisoned in a cup.

Shaped like a sharpened stegosaurus, its cursed walkabout through my ureter is done, thanks to a nap, gallons of water and some Pepsi (probably what caused the stone in the first place). Aided only by oxycodone, this afternoon’s call of nature featured the most triumphant pee I’ve ever taken. Proving we’ll take good news, no matter how small, any time!

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Hannah wasn’t drinking this, but she took the selfie of she and Christopher. Once sworn enemies they are now caring friends. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Of kidney stones and milestones

  1. Your weekend was truly full! So happy for Kara as she starts a new journey and happy that you have both had some blessings come your way in the midst of all the yuck.


  2. You’re both so strong and will help each other through this. You have a friends and family who care about you both. Thanks to Tim for the passionate attorney, and hooray that the kidney stone is now just a rock in a jar!


  3. How one weekend can be such an amazing metaphor for life!! Such a beautiful chronicle of what is truly important and enriches…thanks for sharing it with us…


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