Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.
                                                                Barbara Kingsolver

I first read this quote several months ago. Philosophically speaking, I lean more heavily toward idealism (existentialism) than realism, but every now and then those realists give me pause.

Memories fascinate me. I can remember some events as if they are playing in front of my eyes, while others are fleeting passersby…others still are nearly tangible but polished with the license of time. As for the rest, I can’t remember what I can’t remember.

I have found comfort, growth, and healing within my memories—even those that have strayed from the original script. What we choose to remember and how we choose to remember it are not conscious decisions. Cataloging a memory is not a logical conclusion at the end of the day, and we cannot will ourselves to forget. It’s a je ne sais quoi that I cannot control or define. How can that not be real?

I think it’s the other way around: the memory isn’t the relative…it’s the truth itself.

Sophie Sunday

When we brought Sophie home, Nick and I made an agreement to divide her care between the two of us. To make the division simple, he essentially took the back half of her and I took the front. I thought this was mostly a good agreement because her front half was marginally (but only MARGINALLY) cuter than her back half.

I soon learned that her back half didn’t mind if Nick waited a few days to empty the litter, but her front half had plenty to say if I wasn’t out of bed by 4:30 at the latest to feed her prissy self.

It’s that time of year when she’s all fluffed out and constantly regurgitating hairballs. We stumble upon messes randomly but often. There has been some debate over who is responsible for the cleanup.

Nick argues that if I have the front half, the front technically created the monstrosity…thus, I am responsible.

I argue that it must surely be written into the bylaws that it isn’t a front and back thing so much as an inputs and outputs thing.

I think we need an arbitrator to come in and figure this out…preferably someone on my side. Any takers? I’m not above bribery.

I’m going to make this place your home

So, I have a marketing degree and I work for American Family Insurance. I am incredibly loyal to the company, and I think that the marketing department is positioning us in a positive way.

We were listening to Phillip Phillips’ “Home” in the car last night—the song is used in our latest marketing campaign.

I started asking questions of my husband (I MAY have consumed a margarita beforehand; sources cannot be corroborated)…sort of doing my own market research, you know. “So Nick, does this song inspire you to go get your dream then find an insurance company to protect it?” He didn’t respond…verbally.

I let it go considering that I have us insured to the hilt and also the [alleged] tequila in my bloodstream.

Fast forward to today, a few minutes ago. One of the commercials that uses the song came on TV. I was not paying attention, so Nick snapped me out of my reverie to let me know [smirking], “Yeah, I do feel like insuring sh*t all of a sudden.”

Way to go AmFam…the message is getting through. We’ve penetrated the miser-market!

Aunt Debbie

Yesterday was a very big day for one of the best people I know: after 42 years with the same company, my aunt Debbie retired. I know that she was probably nervous to be the center of attention (us first borns always are…we’ve been coexisting with the younger attention-robbers most of our lives, after all), but her smile was contagious as she sat in front of the room full of friends, coworkers, laughter, and fond memories.

Beautiful people, beautiful day, beautiful time of year.
(2012; L-R: Brenda, me, Debbie)

I often stop and revel in the fortune I have been granted with the people in my life; they have been a wealth beyond all comprehension. There was my mother of course—it’s no secret, particularly here, that I had a very dear relationship with the woman who gave me life. I wasn’t always the greatest daughter, and I gave my share of sass, but I knew early in life that she was a gift that I probably didn’t deserve.

Mom was quite close to her sisters, and I was blessed to have two extraordinary women play a prominent role in my life as a result.

Olbrich Gardens, '04
(2004; L-R: Debbie, Liela—aka Mom, Brenda, me)

Debbie has worked tirelessly all her life, possessing a work ethic that is becoming rarer every day. I respect the way that she pushes through pain to get the job done…I appreciate the mental toughness that it takes to keep on going, even when it hurts. Really, I just appreciate her. Debbie, you’ve spent decades rushing around to make everyone else comfortable. This is your time to sit back, catch your breath, and enjoy life.

Owen Park - Caledonia
(2012; L-R: Nick, me, Brenda, Debbie)

I am excited for you to write the next chapter! Congratulations…we love you very much.

Sophie Sunday – Still Going Strong!

The first Sophie Sunday was May 20, 2007. It’s not easy adopting a rescue animal. There are a lot of learned behaviors that have to be unlearned. We were in it for the long haul—even if she never came around, we were her family and we were going to give her love.

That first Sophie Sunday was about six weeks after Sophie came to live with us, and I wanted to do something that would make me focus on the good things about her instead of everything that was so difficult about the transition.

I find that I don’t have to try so hard to see the good things anymore.

Me and my Shadow