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news from the zoo
We're on maternity watch around here, with Princess Cali nearing delivery in a few days. I had forgotten how neat it is to live with a pregnant animal and be able to feel and see the movement of the babies. I suppose it's a prelude to becoming a grandparent, something that more and more of my friends and co-workers are turning into. They are an eclectic mixture of people with whom I have alternately cried, laughed and screamed just like with the blood kin. The few true friends that I claim came to me....some from childhood and others from my daily walk on the planet Earth. The common bond is that we have seen hard times together in various combinations of workmate and/or friend and advocate. We have learned how to be adults together through various peaks and valleys and have sometimes failed miserably at that goal. Scientists would call that "too bad." I'm not sure about the dung beetles.

During pivotal moments in my life Big Ernie has sent me a sign that whatever challenge is coming up will be 'jes fine because he's got my back. Not that it won't hurt or possibly suck a big one. Just that he'll be there to give me the strength. That's one of our favorite phrases here in the South, ya know. "Lawddd, gimme strength!" I watched some poor guy on HER show today who was sniveling about how he kept asking God to give him the strength and clarity to resist the temptation to cheat on his wife. The girlfriends jumped squarely in his face and told him that he should quit blaming the almighty for using his own free will. It was a gift, after all. The sign that usually comes to me is a well timed rainbow. I may not realize it at the time I'm gazing upward, but something is about to sneak up on my faith and there's that promise spread out across the sky saying "Keep the faith, Poops...it's gonna be okay." Occasionally there's a cool bird or drop-dead gorgeous sunset that reminds me of what's important outside of paying the bills and dragging through the days with no spirit of joy.
Whenever I see a snake, it's a warning that danger is ahead in some form. There have been several that I didn't recognize until I was already knee deep into the shit. Hey...it works for me, ummkay?

BabyGirl has chosen social work as a vocation after much trial and error. It is a well thought out choice by a woman who has all the potential to be as co-dependent as a wombat. Instead, her spirit has grown and rebelled against pain and suffering until she feels driven to make a difference in the world. I like that in a kid...especially mine :) It kinda of makes me think that at least pulled a B out of parenting 101. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said "Lauren WHO?" I wore myself out somewhere in my thirties trying to run the world and opted instead to let it happen, make a small difference where I can and let go of the rest. That's the part I always have trouble with. The lettin' go crap.

My forgettable online experiences after the D-I-V-O-R-C-E were mostly shallow and fleeting. A couple of them are still friends but for the most part it was about men looking for a quickie. Blogging has been something from the wayyyyyyyy other end of the spectrum. Is it real or is it ??? Well..the best I can figure when an ex-engineer turned hairdresser calls you from the U-Haul on the way from Texas to live in the mountains, it's real. Same for the time when you call a new widow in South Carolina just so she knows you care. When a real live person travels from Oregon to Tennessee and sleeps with your dog...umm. That's real too. So are the times that you receive a hand-carved puzzle or feathery flip flops in the mail. A Valentine card from Iowa or a handmade thank-you from North Carolina. Yep. The real thing, baby.

Ain't nothing like it.

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