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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


What Brings You Here?

Sometimes a comment sets off a cascade of thoughts and ideas, and that is true of a most recent comment.  It has set me off on a whole series of mental conversations.  I am done with school for the year, and so I'm inclined to pick up those threads and spin them out here over the next few posts... until my head stops chattering.

So, I know that my commenter reads here regularly, and has done so for a very long time.  I also know that she bears me some significant amount of personal animosity.  It makes me wonder why she continues to read.  That leads me to wonder, in a more general sense. what it is that attracts people.  Why do people read blogs in general, and more particularly, why do people read this blog?

I think that some read this blog (and others like it) because they want to connect.  They want to know and feel that they are not alone.  Especially for those of us who live in alternative relationships and who establish relationships that are other than what is defined as 'normal' in the more mainstream society, feeling like your way of life can be healthy and good and "normal" in some sense is really important.  Blogging has given me access to the wider world of people who live lives that are like mine in some ways (even as we recognize and compare the places where our lives are very different).  As I've come to know others like me, I've formed attachments and friendships...  Of course, not everyone is a friend, and not everyone likes me.

Some people who read blogs are just curious.  They wonder what it is that we do, and what it might be like to live like this.  They wonder what motivates us, and they wonder why we are the way we are.  I think that humans are inherently curious animals.  We want to know and we want to understand.  The quintessential two-year old questioning that asks continually, "why?" really never leaves us.  We want to know.  Sometimes that curiosity is just nosiness, and perhaps an inclination to being gossipy -- for spreading rumors and telling tales.  But most curiosity is healthy and normal.  Blogging, and the reading of blogs allows us to satisfy our interest in people; to come to "know" our fellow travelers on the paths we follow through our lives.  We are, simply, social creatures, and that drives us to look at each other and wonder and ask and contemplate -- how are we alike and how are we different and why?

For some people, blogs like this one are attractive because they feel close and intimate.  I have often compared this place to my living room, and the experience of entering the conversation here can be (in the best of circumstances) like sitting down together with a cup of tea for a nice friendly chat.  When readers feel that what they find written on a particular blog is authentic; when they feel that the writing has some degree of integrity and honesty, then they are more likely to engage in that blog experience.

Other people read blogs to learn, or to escape into realms of fantasy and imagination.  People new to the lifestyle, or who are trying to learn new skills may read blogs to acquire basic kinds of information.  Let's face it, blogs are a free source of information.  Of course, to quote the song lyric, "nothing ain't worth nothing, but it's free."  I have always struggled with the idea that this blog might be construed as any sort of "authoritative" source for lifestyle information.  It has felt important to me to be clear that I am no expert and no guru.  I don't generally give advice, and there is very little here of the typical "how to."  Still, I do think there are those who read here because they find bits of material that is "instructive" in some sense.

I think some people find "inspiration" as they read at some blogs.  Maybe inspiration for ways to do things, or inspiration for ways to change things, or just the inspiration to dream and hope and believe and risk going for the things that you want in your life.  Again, I am not convinced that this blog is particularly "inspirational," but then I suppose that inspiration is where you find it.

I'm not sure that any of that explains my most recent commenter's interest in this place.  Not wanting to ascribe negative motives, I still cannot deny that there are those who visit blogs with agendas that are driven by jealousy, bitterness, judgement, self-righteousness, and spite.

In the end, I guess I am left with my own curiosity:  why do you read here ... or on other blogs?  What brings you here?




Our hope and desire, in the writing of this blog, has always been to remain open to comments and conversation.  From the beginning, we intended this to be a vehicle to connect us to the wider community.  Unfortunately, the decision to leave this place freely accessible to comments means that we have to deal with the two biggest hassles of the blogging world:  comment spam and what my friend, Paladin, refers to as "Spite Trolls (those evil subhumans that seem to take delight in the drive by nasty comment)."

I've never figured out what to do about the Spite Troll phenomenon.  I have, at one time or another, ignore them, confronted them, and attempted to identify and out them.  None of those strategies is entirely effective, and for the most part, I have simply made up my mind to the fact that the occasional visit of the Spite Troll is a cost of doing this kind of writing.

For the other major annoyance in blogging, comment spam, the options are more problematic, and the possible solutions are less attractive.  It used to be that the most vulnerable blog posts were older ones, where there had been no comments for a long time.  That was pretty easy to handle as Blogger gives me the option to require any comment left on an older post to go straight to moderation.  In recent months however, it has seemed that even the most current posts are likely to be besieged by the no see 'em buzz of robot generated comment spam.  Many of these get caught by Blogger's spam filters, but not all.  It does seem that the spambots are getting better and better at impersonating a real human, and sneaking past the filters.  I know that many of my fellow bloggers have bowed to the inevitable and put Captcha boxes up to try and limit the attacks -- those nearly impossible text messes that have to be carefully and faithfully reproduced in order to leave a comment.  Captcha, I learned, is actually an acronym standing for:  Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.

The biggest issue with captcha options is that it discourages people from making comments.  I know that I have sometimes tried to leave a comment, and missed the fact that I also needed to complete the captcha puzzle.  Wondering where my comment has gone has become a commonplace occurrence as more and more blogging friends have resorted to this method of protecting their websites.  Too, I know there are times when I have to try two or three or more times to make the captcha thingy work.  On a day when I am not feeling very determined, I can just throw up my hands in frustration and give it up.  So, captcha, I know from personal experience, can discourage people from commenting.

It is a dilemma.  More and more spam means more and more time spent defending my blog from these nuisances.  I wish I didn't have to do it.  I wish Blogger's spam filters were more efficient/effective.  I wish there was some way to screen for comment spam that was friendlier to my human friends and neighbors.  I found one product from a company called Are You a Human, that looks like a viable option, but it does not seem to be compatible with Blogger.  So...  At least for now, I will continue to delete spam comments by hand and leave this place open and easy for humans to comment as they will.



The Garden

My patio is nice, and fairly spacious, but there is very little planting space, and the soil is poor -- in spite of my efforts over the last decade to enrich and improve it.  I have over the years, tried a variety of strategies to allow us to have fresh vegetables, grown here at home, but I haven't had much luck.  My best successes have come with the "Topsy Turvy" tomato planter (of late night television advertising fame).  I started off with two a few years back, and then added two more.  This year I have 10.  TEN!  I installed 8" eye bolts in the patio support pillars, ran some heavy duty chain, and suspended the planters with S-hooks.

I have four different varieties of tomato planted now.  I also have two different kinds of peppers, crooked neck squash, zucchini, and lemon cucumbers.  It is a veritable farm out there :-)



Stranger and Stranger

I have, over the last two weeks, been beset with uncomfortable and scary symptoms that have seemed to be related to my heart.  Beginning on the afternoon of May 10, I have had a variety of irregular heart beat rhythms, skipped beats, achy chest pain, shortness of breath, light-headedness, and sweaty and clammy spells.  I have been twice to the emergency room, and spent last weekend in the hospital undergoing a number of tests to try and determine what might be wrong.  Although no one has been able to detect any sort of heart problem; no damage; no blockage; and no structural defect, I have undeniably had persistent and troublesome symptoms.

In the hospital, I was prescribed a medication to try to regulate my heart rhythms.  Even though I tend to have pretty low blood pressure, I was told to take this blood pressure medication ... which, quite naturally, lowered my blood pressure and slowed my pulse.  Through much of the last week, my blood pressure was measuring in the neighborhood of 80/40, and my pulse was, typically, about 62.  I have spent the week feeling exhausted, droopy, as if someone had "drained my tank."  Then, starting about Wednesday, I began to feel seriously depressed -- angry, weepy, sad, and very fatalistic about my future.  A quick check, via an Internet search, showed that all of those symptoms were likely a response to the medication.  As for the irregular heart rhythms, they decreased for a few days, but then returned just as intensely by mid-week.

I finally got to see a cardiologist yesterday afternoon.  He is the same doctor that Tom has seen over the years, and he is very good.  Waiting in the examining room for him to come in, my cell phone rang, and I heard the tone indicating that someone had left a voice mail.  Do remember that.  It becomes significant in just a bit.  The doctor, when he came in to talk with us, was clearly baffled by my continuing symptoms.  I have never smoked (ANYTHING).  I have no issues with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.  There is very little of a family history of heart disease.  I exercise and am active in my work life.  My level of risk for heart disease is not zero, but it is certainly not very high.  Every test shows that there is nothing wrong with my heart.  We discussed the unpleasant side-effects of the medication, and he advised me to wean myself off of that.  Finally, without much sense of urgency or conviction, he suggested that we schedule an angiogram in a couple of weeks.  His thinking was that if the symptoms subside, we could cancel the test, but if they continue, it might be good to check things out.  And that was that.  We left the office and headed out to the car.

As Tom drove us toward home, I checked the voice mail on my phone.  It was my son, calling to tell me that his father (my ex-husband) had just had a stress test and was, at that moment, undergoing heart bypass surgery.  I was stunned.  I don't have any contact with the man I once married, and I had no idea that he was having heart trouble.  Too, in that instant, I realized that my own heart rhythms had settled down -- no skippy beats, and no heavy sensation in my chest.  For the first time in two weeks, I was feeling good, normal, fine!

Later in the evening, I called my son back, and got a bit more of the story.  It seems that his dad first began having acute symptoms of heart trouble exactly two weeks ago... at precisely the same time when I started having the weird and unexplained symptoms that have so plagued me these last two weeks.  The same day.   The very same evening.  And, at the very moment that he was undergoing heart bypass surgery to clear the serious blockages in his heart, my symptoms vanished.

I have seriously reduced the amount of the nasty, blood pressure medication as of today.  I'll be off of it altogether after Tuesday.  My heart is notably inconspicuous as it seems to just be working away steadily in my chest.  There is not one single indication of any problem at all.  How very, very odd.  As Tom is prone to observe, "correlation is not causation, but it sure is correlation."  To me, this has a definitive shamanic tinge.  Somehow, in some way that I do not understand, I feel like my heart was mirroring the heart of my former spouse.  I find very little about the "spiritual" aspect of divorce, and surely for me in the event, it was a purely legal process.  Now, however, I wonder if there is some part of me that is still tangled up with him.  I really don't have any other explanation for this odd sequence of events...  Maybe time to hunt up the shaman lady again and get this taken care of.  I think.


** One other thing, and this is directed at my ex-husband specifically:  I know that you and your new wife read here and that is just fine.  I also know that sometimes (very rarely) both of the "kids" read here, and I am fine with that.  However, I would appreciate it if you would stop using what you learn here about me to attempt to upset them.  I do not discuss you with them.  I work hard to make sure that I am not negative about you with them.  I try to preserve your relationship with them.  After all, you are their father.  Is it too much to ask that you give me the same courtesy?  Build your own relationship with them.  Stop being a gossip.



I have been called many things... some of them lovely and sweet, some others not at all lovely or sweet.

I have been Suzanne, Suzie, sister, daughter, Beth, Sue, Zimmy, Wife, Mommy, Divorce', swan, slave, Arnold, sister-heart, spice, bitch, liar, manipulator, destroyer, strong, weak, stupid, smart, Sweetie, Honey...

But just recently, and completely without any sort of guile or plan or intent that I can see, He has begun to call me "Baby."

I cannot even begin to explain or understand how that simple thing thrills me down to my toes.  I have never been anyone's baby.  It is the most breathtaking and amazing thing...




Censorship is a bad thing.  The right to speak freely; to think freely; to write freely; and to read/watch/listen as we choose is an essential part of living lives as we would choose.

For me, being against censorship is like being pregnant:  there is no such thing as "a little bit pregnant," and there is no such thing as being a little bit against censorship.  It really does end up being an all or nothing sort of stance.  If I say that I am not in favor of censorship, then I have to be "not in favor of censorship" for anyone; for any cause; for any set of  beliefs or opinions that any person might espouse.  And, honestly, that can put me in some pretty uncomfortable spots.  Sometimes.  Last week, I ran up against one of those spots.

I was preparing for my school day; running around making copies and checking in with my colleagues, making sure that I was on top of things before the first bell rang.  Cruising through one classroom where students were gathering for the morning, I overheard one of the girls from the 8th grade class talking to a group of friends.  They are an interesting bunch, full of life and fun, sweet and funny, ornery (some of them), and shy (others).  They are good to one another.  They work hard.  It is clear that they have parents who love them, care for them, and work hard to guide them along the path to adulthood.  They are all 14 years old, and just a few days from leaving us to head on to high school, and the life beyond that I desperately hope will be good and full and exciting and wonderful in all the ways they dream...  But, I digress.  Walking by, I overheard one of them say to her friends, "I just finished reading Fifty Shades of Gray."  I was, I admit it, a little shocked, but kept on walking (the trick of an experienced teacher -- don't hear what you do not want/need to deal with).  I heard, behind me, a chorus of "ewwwwws," from the others, and I imagine there was quite the discussion in my wake.

My immediate and visceral response was that 14-year-olds ought not be reading the notorious BDSM potboiler that so captivated adults during the last year.  My grandmotherly self came roaring to the front to insist that it just isn't right, and really, what could their parents be thinking.  Of course, to be fair, I have, over the years, been uncertain that popular series like the Twilight saga, and The Hunger Games, were necessarily good for kids either, although they were fanatic and voracious about them in their seasons.  I listed for myself, all sort of reasons why Fifty Shades of Gray ought to be on the banned books list for our young people below a certain age:  too explicit, too intense, too confusing, too pointed in its perspective, too...  Young people ought to be, no -- DESERVE to be, protected from the darker, seemier, more adult things of this world until they are grown and "ready" to handle all of that

Yeah.  That's the gist of the internal monologue I ran through, before I started asking the grandmother inside some tough questions:

  • How young is too young for "such things," and who decides?
  • What sorts of things ought children and adolescents be "protected from," and who decides?
  • Who is going to do that protecting?
  • Do I trust the ones who would set themselves up as "the protectors?"  Do you?
  • At what age, exactly, would we consider that someone is "ready?"
  • What, really, is the harm in knowing and understanding that there is something called "sex," and that people engage in all manner of sexual practices, and that there is nothing inherently bad about any of those practices when everyone is able to make judgments for themselves and consent to whatever activities they choose?
  • What about violence?  
  • What about "anything?"
  • Is literature that deals with difficult or challenging themes, necessarily a bad thing for young teens?

Eventually, I settled in and owned up to the FACT that censorship is a bad thing for everybody, and that everybody deserves the right to choose what they will read, see, listen to, believe, write, sing, say, ... regardless of their age or any other factor we might point to as some kind of artificial barrier.  No censorship ought to mean just that -- NO Censorship.  As for my sweet 14-year-old students, they have all got parents who love them and care for them.  I am content to leave the decision making about what those young people should and should no be reading in the capable hands of their parents.  I don't envy them the job they have to do, but I trust them to make reasonable decisions for their own kids.  It isn't a decision that belongs to me, or to anyone else outside those households.  For us, these young people have the same right to freedom of speech as any one of us.

NO Censorship.  For anyone.  By anyone.



I Know You Were Wondering

I spent all of last week, fussing about my heart.  I saw a cardiologist on Wednesday afternoon.  He was the only one we could find with an appointment available, and we had to travel to the other side of town -- something which he seemed to resent, frankly.

As reported in the last post, he recommended a nuclear stress test, and a 48-hour Holter monitor, but neither test could be scheduled before the 21st, and then no one could see me to interpret those test results before June 4.  It all just seemed crazy, but what could I do?

By Thursday, things seemed to have calmed down, and I had some occasional sense of tightening in my chest, but none of the fluttery, skipped beats that I'd had earlier in the week.  I dared to hope that maybe, things would just settle down on their own.  Friday morning, however, it all started up again.  By mid-morning, I was experiencing continual fluttering in my chest, and lots and lots of skipped beats.  There was a tight, achy feeling just behind my breast bone, spreading across the tops of my boobs, and then under my arms on either side.  I was starting to feel a bit light-headed and sweaty.

I kept thinking, "If I can just make it to lunch, I can sit down and have a bite to eat, and maybe it will settle down again..."  But as I worked along through the morning, it just got worse and worse... and I got more and more anxious and worried.  Finally, I sent a note to the office with one of my kids, asking if someone could cover me so I could go to the emergency room.  It was only a few minutes before the school secretary was in my room, saying that she would drive me to the hospital, and of course, someone would watch my classes.

I grabbed a few things, and some papers that needed to be graded.  Threw everything in the back of my car, and she drove me off to the local ER.  Tom met us there.  After about four hours in the ER, I was admitted to the hospital for further tests and observation.  After 24 hours of monitoring, lots and lots of blood work, more chest x-rays, an echo-stress test, and a standard echo-cardiogram, the official word is that I have not had a heart attack.  There is no damage to my heart, and there do not appear to be any blockages or structural issues.  Whatever is causing all this irregularity in my heart rhythms, it does not seem to be a "heart-problem," per se.  Eventually, the hospitalist prescribed a blood pressure medicine that is sometimes used to treat irregular heart beats.  I am worried about taking it, because my blood pressure is already pretty low, and I have tried blood pressure meds before as migraine preventatives.  Usually, they just drop my pressures so low that I pass out, but this is the only medication that anyone can come up with to help manage this problem.  So, I guess we'll see how I tolerate this one.

I do have an appointment with the cardio guy that Tom has seen on Friday this week.  Not sure what will come from that appointment, but if this is going to be some sort of continuing reality, I probably need to have a good cardio doc on the team.

Anyway, I am home, feeling relieved, if still puzzled.  I am hoping to be able to just finish the school year, and then maybe a summer to rest will help get me back on track.  That's all the news I have for the present.




I saw the cardiologist this afternoon.  He says I am having PVCs (premature ventricular contractions).  They might not be anything much, but also might indicate some underlying issue.  So, I need to do an exercise nuclear stress test and a 48-hour holter monitor.  Those tests are scheduled for next Tuesday, because it takes 3 days to get the necessary pre-certification from the insurance company.  After that?  I cannot get an appointment to have a doctor follow up with an interpretation of the testing until June 4.




Hurt Feelings

I live, if you were to ask my children, in the "hinterlands."  From their perspective, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, of any sort of value or interest about the place where I live.  Never mind that I am closer to most of everything (except California and the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico) than they are, they seem to believe that they live in the heart of everything great and perfect, and that my town is the armpit of the universe.

OK.  I exaggerate.  I know.  It is really just that my feelings are hurt.  Some.

Here's the thing.  I (and WE) have made the effort to get out to visit them at least twice each year since the birth of my grandson.  We have driven, 1200 miles each way, across the barren, desolate, dusty, hot middle of the country at least six or seven times.  And I flew out once at Christmas on top of that.  Figure gas, hotels, meals, and various entertainment expenses, and each one of those trips ends up costing us somewhere in the neighborhood of $1700.  Multiply by six, and we've made a pretty significant investment.  AND, those trips are brutal; grueling.  We love seeing them all, but we come home exhausted.  We are not getting younger.

Last summer, my son and daughter in law took the grandkid, and traveled 900 miles to visit her grandfather. I didn't say anything, although I did notice that HER grandfather got the nod ahead of me.  I'm an adult.  I can take turns and play nice.  My son assured me that THIS year, they would travel to see us.  That was last summer.

Since then, they have embarked on a major house remodel (largely driven by HER mother) with the intent to sell the house when the update is finished.  It is a tiny, little house in a not very nice neighborhood, and they are very motivated to move out of there so that they can put the little guy in school in a better district.  OK.  Got it.  They've spent a lot of money, and my son has worked like a fiend to make it happen.  It has been a tough year, during which daughter-in-law and grandson have lived with HER mother.  The other grandmother gets her share -- but then she is right there, calling the shots, and swaying the vote with infusions of cash.  That is a game I cannot play; don't feel that I ought to have to play...

Now, my son tells me they are "tapped out."  They can't afford to travel this summer.  And I believe him.  He works, and daughter-in-law stays home.  He is working furiously to try and make a life for them all, and without much help.  Maybe that is the choice he would have made -- but I'm not sure of that.  Whatever, there is no money for a visit to us.

I planned for the promised visit.  Counted on it.  Did not budget for the trip myself this year.  And we have the likelihood that T will have a major surgery this summer as well.  So.  I haven't got anyway to travel to them.  Not this year.  The earliest opportunity for me to get out that way will be next spring.  By then, the boy will be almost 5.  He'll be big.  He will surely not really remember me.  I will be the far away, sometimes talked about "Gramma" that sends presents now and then.  That makes me sad... and a little bit angry.

It isn't anyone's fault really.  I know.  I made the choice to move away.  I could have stayed close.  I chose the life that is here.  I cannot be there, so I cannot expect anything other than what is happening.  Even if I were able to continue to make the twice yearly trip back and forth, it would still come to be that the boy will grow up without me.  He will do that.  No amount of yelling and crying and kicking things is going to change one darned thing -- I just need to suck it up and act the grown up here.  But, oh...  it hurts.



Chest Pain

I went off to the emergency room yesterday afternoon.  I'd been feeling "off" in some undefinable way; a little disoriented and emotional; and then some pretty intense pain and tightness in the middle of my chest.  Tom was scheduled to be at the Reds game with His son (a birthday present), and so I waited until He was on His way, and then found T and told her that I needed to go get checked out.

Things happen in a whirl when you walk into an emergency room and say, "I'm having chest pain."  In no time at all I was hooked up to an EKG machine, they'd drawn the necessary blood, and then it was off to x-ray.  Based on everything they could find, there was no immediate issue, and they sent me home at about 6:30 PM.  A very long, tiring afternoon, and no answers at the end of it.  It was a relief to know that there seemed no sign of heart attack, but now I have to go have a stress test done, to eliminate the possibility that there might be a blockage.  So...  another challenge added to the already full plate I've got in this next couple of weeks.  :-P

I tend to go along figuring I'm pretty healthy.  This sort of thing reminds me that we are fragile, finite creatures.  Another present reminder to cherish the days.



May the Circle be Unbroken...

I am the oldest child of an oldest child (actually, both my parents were oldest children, but today, I want to talk about my Father's family).  My father, Henry, was the oldest of seven; brothers E, C, J, F, and G, and their one sister, D.  Except for my parents (who moved west to Colorado when I was an infant), the whole crowd of them were born, raised, and lived their entire lives in a working class, blue-collar suburb of Akron, Ohio.

Every summer, until I was 14 or 15 years old, my family traveled "back to Ohio" to visit with the family that still lived in the town that my parents remembered as "home."  We would leave on a Friday evening, when my father got off work, and drive straight through, arriving at my grandparents' house about 3 PM on Saturday afternoon.  The adults would wrap up around each other and party for the entire week we were there.  As kids, we would fall into which ever age-range gang of cousins (there were 46 altogether) was closest to us, and then run like wild children for the entire week -- living on root beer floats and donuts and hot dogs; unencumbered by the usual constraints of parental supervision.  It was a wild, joyful, magical summer passage ... and I believed that it was the most magical of places; filled with wondrous and wonderful people who were all related to each other and to me.

My Dad died almost 22 years ago.  Since that time, one by one, the others of his generation have died as well.  On May 6, the last of my Dad's brothers died after a long illness.  While their sister, D, remains, the uncles are all gone now.  Somewhere out there, the brothers are all reunited, and if there is fishing in the great beyond, then the fish better watch out!

Tom and I traveled up to the northern part of the state on Thursday night to attend the funeral.  It has been decades since I spent time with my extended family.  There in that place, I found myself surrounded by dozens and dozens of my, now adult, cousins -- each of them with a face I recognize as "family," though I don't think I'd know any of them if I fell over them on the street.  How very, very odd... to be confronted at every turn with eyes and mouths and noses; with shoulders and hands and chins that cause me to imagine that I have seen that face somewhere before.

At the end of the day, we drove back home (well, Tom drove), exhausted and a little dazzled at the size of the clan to which I belong.  And I cannot help but marvel at what my grandparents, two first generation children of German immigrants forged -- this remarkable, swirling, far-flung, boisterous, open, loving family.

In my mind, I keep humming that old song, "May the circle be unbroken...," and I do feel as if the circle of brothers is, once again, complete.  On the other hand, the circle is so much wider... so very very much wider than the uncles, the aunts.  I am part of the bigger circle; the circle of cousins and cousins children and grandchildren:  forty-six become eighty plus become probably a couple of hundred.  No, the circle is not broken at all.  The circle has circled round and round and come back again...  Far and wide, the circle encircles us all.



Getting to the End

I worked a number of hours this weekend to figure out the calendar of events from here to the end of the school year... and then plan the lessons and activities for my classes for the rest of the school year.  There are 18 days left, and bits of those days will be taken up with things that are not directly class time.

When we get this close to the end, it is easier for me to lay it all out so that I can see it clearly.  I am not really to the point of counting days yet, but I do know that I have a very limited number of days left in which to accomplish as much as I possibly can for these kids in this year.

It won't all get done.  I've taught long enough to know that, for me, the fact of the matter is that I will run out of time before I run out of things to talk about and teach.  So many choices have to be made over the course of the school year... there are lots and lots and lots of great options for making the subjects that I teach come alive and take on meaning for my students -- but there isn't enough time for everything.  I have to decide; and when I get to the end, like this, I know that I simply have to let it go.  Teach as much as I can, without making all of us crazy, and let the rest of it remain for the next teacher to pick up.

I am tired.  TIRED.  Down to my bones.   Down to my soul.  I will make it to the end, but I will be glad for the break.  I am ready to rest.  They are ready, too.  We will get through these last weeks together, studying rocks and light and sound and geometry...  And then we will hug and wave, and take our leave of one another.

The end is coming.