Middle School

Jackson starts sixth grade tomorrow. Sixth fucking grade, y’all. I don’t even know what to say. I’m at a loss for words. Oh, nope, they’re back. I’m scared, y’all. Scared, and sad, and excited, and nervous. It’s literally like kindergarten all over again, and even though he was at FOUR elementary schools, this isn’t like changing schools, this is way bigger. I can’t really explain it, but my other middle school parents get it. I’m relying on y’all to get it, and to get me through the next few weeks.

Luckily I’ve already had some moms come through. I have this one friend with a seventh grader at the same middle school. Oh bless her! She’s also the PTA president so she’s in the know, and she’s been keeping me in the know and it has helped tremendously! Moms watching out for moms, does it get any better?!

I’ve been passing along my new-found knowledge from her to other moms. It’s been this middle school mom telephone tree and it’s been amazing. But tomorrow the actual school year starts and well, I’m feeling like I’m back to square one. It’s like, I’ve already survived middle school, why am I so nervous?!

Jackson is cool as a cucumber. Now part of his coolness is obliviousness. Again, I’ve been through middle school, I know how shitty it can be. Add virtual learning to the mix and daaaaamn. We currently, one day before school starts, are not able to log into any of his accounts. Infinite Campus is not working for us. Microsoft Teams is not working for us. We are not even sure who to contact to get the issues resolved, so yeah, it’s been interesting to say the least.

Meanwhile, last night we got a call from Jackson’s homeroom teacher. He was polite and nice. He explained what next week will look like, and got us some information we were supposed to have already received. It made us feel better. To actually talk to a person. A person who seemed to care, have it together, and be willing to find us answers. But he’s got hundreds of kids to do that for. Man, teachers deserve more money.

So here we are, on the brink of sixth grade. A new school. Seven new teachers. A Chromebook, a trapper keeper, and a little bit of faith, mixed in with a lot of patience. We think it’s all gonna work out fine.

Happy Back to School, parents and teachers. May your days be bright and your drinks be strong.



I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve been watching an abundance of television the last couple of weeks. I guess I’ve reached the point in quarantine where nothing satisfies me for too long. That coupled with the fact that I’ve been out with this back/muscle/joint pain and haven’t had a much energy, so television has been my friend. I started this new show called “Alone”. Have you watched this? It’s stupid. And bizarre. And addicting.

Okay, so I started with season six because it was the newest one that was “trending” so I had no idea what happened. Turns out they take like ten people, drop them in the wilderness with 10 “survival” items, a 60-pound pack of cameras and recording equipment, and a picture of their loved ones. The contestants then record themselves as they try to survive. Or get eaten by a Grizzly. I dunno, I haven’t watched all the seasons.

I was trying to explain this show to Jerimiah, in a way that sounded appealing, but he wasn’t having any of it. “I can’t do survivor shit” he said. Oh, okay. I didn’t realize you had reality television standards, you Tiger King lovin’ MFer.

Then I tried to explain it to Jackson, hoping I’d get him to sit down to one episode with me and get hooked, like Barry, contestant #7 who didn’t eat for nine days then snagged a Lake Trout. But he looked me directly in the eye and said, “Do they not have internet in the Arctic Circle?”

So it turns out my new favorite show “Alone” is something I’m forced to watch alone. But that’s okay, I don’t mind. I’m too busy shouting through the television at Lucinda who keeps cutting herself with her own arrow. Jesus, Lucinda.


Fucking Friday

I’ve been a fucking mess all week. That word. It’s polarizing huh? Fuck. I’ve been using it an awful lot the last few weeks. I’ve said things like, “My fucking back hurts!” Or “What the actual fuck is this email supposed to mean?” Or the classic, “Fuuuuuuuuck!” as I slam my fists onto my desk and cry. I get it. Some people don’t like that word, but those aren’t my people. Sometimes you just have to say it. It adds emphasis. Character. Plus, words are only powerful if we give them power. Y’all are adults, you know this. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I just screamed it while sitting in my car in the LabCorp parking lot, upon realizing that I am one hour early for my appointment because what the actual fuck did that email mean?! And also, numbers. Gah. They always trip me up.

I’m at LabCorp an hour early this morning because I went to my doctor yesterday and she has some concerns about my back/joint/muscle pain, and I’m so today I’m giving the most blood I’ve ever given (and a urine sample) in hopes of ruling out some disorders and problems I don’t even want to say, lest I type them into existence. You know how I be.

So here I am. In pain—because I can’t take the pills I was given because you have to take them with food but I can’t eat because I have to fast—in some random LabCorp parking lot in Decatur, Georgia trying to finish my glass of water before I go in so I can actually go. For real.

Man, fuck this Friday. I’m over it.

Hope your day is better than mine.


Pain, Pain Go Away

I’ve been in pain for about two weeks now. Back pain. Ugh. It’s the worst. I used to have lower back pain pretty regularly when I worked in the restaurant business. That up on your feet running around everyday thing gets to you after a while. But since I work on my feet much less now, my back has been doing better. Then a few months ago I started running again, then a couple of weeks ago I added a HIIT workout to my routine that included free weights and BOOM! I have no idea if I pulled something, or moved something, or what happened, but I am down for the count. And it’s only getting worse, not better.

So I have an appointment with my doctor today, but something tells me I will be referred. I am having, I think more than the muscle pain, some pretty intense joint pain too. My hips, my knees. Sometimes in the morning I have to like wake up slowly and move my fingers for a while before they seem to work right. I sound like an old lady, I know. I feel like one right now. As I write this I am laying on the couch, Gatorade on the table next to me, a protein shake, and a bottle of ibuprofen. I am literally falling apart before your very eyes!

Listen, geez, okay, I’ve been trying to be optimistic these days. After all, Biden is running with Kamala Freaking Harris, how exciting! So let me start over. I’m going to the doctor today for some back pain, but it’s all gonna be fine. I’ll be cured!

Still, wish me luck please.


Taco Tuesday

Listen, I love me some tacos. In my baby book my mom wrote that my favorite thing was tacos when I was like six months old. There is a lot wrong with that, but let’s focus on the good, I was one cool baby. So the number one thing that I miss right now is getting down on some tacos at our favorite, local Mexican restaurant. I miss so much about it, that sometimes I wake up thinking that I can actually smell the sticky, vinyl seats. I’m sure I can’t. Or can I? I don’t know, it doesn’t matter, with Jackson’s help I took Jerimiah on a “Date Night” last night to our new favorite Mexican restaurant: Our back porch. And you know what? It wasn’t half bad.

Jackson took his role as our server very seriously, as he usually does pretend play. He never once broke character, even allowing us to take our masks off only after I convinced him we were the only patrons of the restaurant. This was the note taped to our front door when I loaded Jerimiah up in the car (with the dogs) and drove up the road and back while Jackson “prepared” (got into a suit and character).

When we got to “Saren Mexican Eatery” we were told that our table wasn’t ready and we were offered a spot at the bar, where we were lectured on the business of the restaurant business, and how it takes its toll on a person. Then we got drinks!

We ordered chips and queso, had to ask for the queso to be a little warmer since it was cold in the middle. We watched him “make” guacamole (dump it from a container into a bowl) and then we were told our table was ready. We took our drinks and appetizers to our sun porch, and well, hilarity ensued.

Eventually “Scott” came out (sans glasses) to take our order, and complained that “Dorian” wasn’t putting in the work and his section was slacking, but probably he’d be our server too. We did meet “Dorian” later, he really needed to get his shit together. Though his only real job was to come out onto the patio and announce parking problems every few minutes. Someone blocked the fire hydrant! Someone parked illegally! Someone needs to move their car! Things of that nature. Oh, Dorian. At least you’re cute.

Then there was the very loud, disruptive Spanish music blaring from Alexa while we ate. I’m sure it was very confusing to the neighbors, and the dogs didn’t seem to care for it so much. Eh, you can’t win ‘em all.

The main course came out quite late and not very hot, but I must say he was the only server/cook/manager on duty, and even though the food was precooked that day by the head chef (me) it could have used a tad more care. But we ate it without complaint, even when we were informed that the house was out of a few staples like tortilla chips and lettuce even the some of us knew we absolutely were not out of those items. Bizarre.

Dessert was not listed on the menu, it was a secret, and you kinda had to know how to ask for it. Also, the box of cheesecake bites was missing a couple when presented to us. Hmm…

All-in-all, we had a nice evening at Saren Restaurant and (Rebranded) Eatery, and even though our bill was absurdly wrong, the service lacked a certain, umm, finesse, and there were way too many dogs present, we still managed a hefty tip which was immediately pocketed by “Dorian” or maybe it was “Scott” while forgetting to actually clean up after us… Still I have it a 10 on Yelp.



I realize this is basically cheating, but I have a lot on my plate right now, and technically I *DID* write this today, so I am sharing a survey I took on Facebook. Listen, I partake in those cheesy, silly surveys on FB because my friends seem to like them, it makes them laugh and it gives me a chance to write crazy things, that I sometimes hope leads to actual things I can write about. Spurs a memory or gives me an idea for a piece of flash fiction. So let’s look at this as a moment of learning. Take the survey yourself. It’s dumb and cheesy, but it’s all I got. I had therapy today and it zaps me, for sure. Enjoy the silliness.


You guys! It’s been awhile since a survey crossed my newsfeed, and you know I take one every time I see one (well when I allow myself more FB time). This one popped up today (actually Jerimiah tagged me in it, so it’s like he wanted me to partake). So you know what that means, it’s SURVEY SAYS* time! And don’t worry, I’m not gonna say anything about how we should be doing silly surveys to avoid political or Covid stuff. Matter fact, let’s just take a moment to remember a few things: 1. Trump is an asshat and must be voted out. 2. Covid is real, y’all need to be wearing your masks, social distancing, and listening to the CDC. 3. Black Lives Matter, anything else you say about it is racist and for the love of all that is holy can we please ARREST THE MEN WHO KILLED BREONNA TAYLOR! #ShameOnYouKentucky

*Remember you can play along in my comments if you really want to, but you don’t want to seem silly to your other, very real, very serious Facebook friends. This is a no judgement zone. All I ask is for 100% honesty and $1 every time you use the letter “e’.

Survey Says…

Age backwards: 12

Favorite pie: That one in the freezer section that is supposed to be some form of Key Lime, but I have had real Key Lime and it is nothing like real Key Lime, but also did you know that Key Limes are a real thing? They are just like tiny, little tiny limes, and they are actually pretty good in a margarita, and also there is such a thing as a margarita pie. It’s that thing where you pour yourself your 8th margarita and cut yourself a piece of Key Lime Pie and accidentally cut your hand on account of it being your 8th margarita and you stand very still at your kitchen counter, unsure about whether to scream, or to call 911, until you remember that appendages just bleed way more than they should and you are fine and had you actually routinely taken better care of your kitchen knives (and not had 8 margaritas alone on a Sunday) you probably would not be in this situation in the first place.

Italian or Chinese: Carbs

Pepsi or Coke: Here’s the thing, I live in Atlanta so I feel compelled to say Coke, because this is the home of Coke. For real, there is a secret Coke formula in a vault somewhere, probably buried underground at the World of Coke, which is coincidently right next to the aquarium, which now makes me wonder if the sharks are actually tasked with protecting the secret formula? Most likely. I like Diet Coke.

Chocolate or vanilla: “You can have any flavor you want.”

“I like Chocolate.”

“Racism is dead, Stanley.”

How many tattoos: Two, but I have been floating this idea of a third one. Hear me out! I shave my head. I start on the forehead and I do a dragon breathing flames. The flames go down my cheek onto my throat. On the top of my head is the dragon body, and the tail travels all the way down my spine. I call it, “Dragon on My Mind.”

Ever hit a deer: Not personally, I don’t condone human on deer violence, but one time I was very upset with a deer. He was eating my cantaloupe, and y’all know I had tried all the things the internet told me to try to keep the deer away. Then one morning, just as the dew was blanketing the fruit, the cool, crisp, summer morn rising above me, I walked into my garden and I saw that asshole deer. He froze. I froze. We stared at each other for what I thought was a moment of mutual understanding. I slowly said, “Mr. Deer, please stay away from my cantaloupe. I implore you. I need it to nourish my own family.” He gave me a sly smile, as deers often do, and said, “Bitch, this my cantaloupe now.” And I’ll be honest, it was the one and only time I wanted to hit a deer. Just slap him hard, one time, across the face. But I didn’t. I went back inside and shook my husband awake so violently that it helped soothe the rage I felt inside the depths of my soul.

Netflix or Hulu: Both and also HBO Max and Amazon Prime and Apple TV and occasionally a rented movie from Redbox, yeah, now you know how the 1% live

Favorite season: I want to say fall because I do love me all the fall stuff like sweaters (that Jerimiah calls my “Old lady sweaters”) and Pumpkin Spice anything especially candles (I’m a BB), but truth be told, honestly, for actual real, I like summer. I love being free with my kid to go and do whatever we want without the administration breathing down my neck all, “He’s already missed 11 days, and no Disney World is not an ‘educational trip’ even if you did make him read a collection of MAD magazine on the plane…” Bitches.
Last text from: “The Squad” Not T. Swift’s Squad, not “The Squad” from Congress (Y’all need to leave AOC and her girls ALONE!), but my “squad” which is actually way cooler than anyone in any of the aforementioned squads: Rachel, Jerimiah, Kasey, Melody

Broken bone: My wrist, in kindergarten. Then I cried silently in a corner for the rest of the day and my teacher repeatedly told me to buck up because there was nothing wrong with me, then when it was snack time and I refused a snack she knew something was up because ain’t no way Missy refusing a snack. So she called the nurse in and the nurse was all, “Her wrist is broken.” And I can only imagine my teacher felt like real, actual shit, and she had to call my mom and tell her that I had broken my wrist when I fell off the playground equipment three hours earlier and deal with the wrath of that moment. I had a cast on for eight weeks.

Surgeries: Hysterectomy a couple years back. Literally the best thing I ever did for myself and I highly recommend it to any and all women when the time is right. Ask me. I’ll tell you all you need to know, and then I will come check on you and bring you wine when it’s over.

Favorite color: Black like my husband’s supposed soul, I’m also fond of pink.

Favorite scent: See favorite season

Sunrise or Sunset: I feel like this is a trick question because the reality is we get to see both everyday of our lives if we are committed to it, and maybe this is like one of those tests the therapist gives you to see where you are emotionally and mentally at any given moment. Like if I say sunrises because it reminds me of a dragon and dragons make me think of death and we are all going to die one day and why am I spending so much time on FB surveys, just squandering all my precious minutes of this one life, this one damn sunset and sunrise, and maybe we should all be spending our time doing more meaningful things together like who wants to work on the world’s largest puzzle with me? And then my therapist, Patsy, as you guys have come to know her, would be, “Damn it, Missy, we have talked about this. No one wants to do puzzles with you.” What was the question?

Mountains or Beach: Mountainous beaches, because I really can’t pick. It is 100% however I feel at that particular time. Also, I think it is seasonal. I do not want to be at the beach in January (and trust I have) and I do not want to be in the mountains in spring (allergies). So, I like Malibu. Mountains and beaches. I like New England, mountains and beaches. I like Tijuana, tequila and shit you can’t unsee.

Dogs or cats: I don’t even know why this is a legitimate question. That’s like asking “Apples or Oranges?” I mean which one has to be picked at the height of the season, nourishes your body, protects itself from the harsh sun, and makes juice? I mean. Wait, okay that didn’t do a lot to further my point, but I hope you get the point. Oranges. Duh.

Early morning person: Sure, as long as I went to bed at 6:00 pm the night before.

Summer or Winter: Is this a little repetitive? SUMMER. My old bones can’t take winter anymore. But if it’s Chicago or NYC in the winter, we can talk…
Favorite Holiday: It 100% used to be the Fourth of July, until I started following all these “Decolonizing” pages on instagram and now, well, I can’t un-know shit you know? It’s like unseeing shit you saw in Mexico. That’s not a thing. But to be fair, I only liked the Fourth of July because it brought back good memories of my childhood, and playing softball in the summer, and I always think of that scene in “The Sandlot” where they are playing ball and the fireworks are exploding over them and my childhood summers were a lot like that and I miss it. But I can see fireworks at Disney now, and once you see those the rest can’t even be compared, so Imma go with Christmas.

Beer or wine: Wine. You do not want to know what beer does to my intestines. Unless you do, then DM me. I have pictures.

Mild or hot salsa: I’m feeling HOT! HOT! HOT! (I think it is early onset menopause…)

Smooth or crunchy peanut butter: Crunchy used to make me want to gag a little bit in my mouth, and I would walk around my house on my high horse all, “Crunchy is gross and if you support it, I can’t support you.” Then when I got pregnant the second time I had this hankering for Crunchy (Lydia must have loved her some crunchy like her daddy) and now I like it. Prefer it actually. It might be, I dunno, psychosomatic, a lingering symptom of PTSD, but I’m rolling with it.

Waffle or pancakes: Chicken and waffles, pancakes no syrup just butter, or nothankyou.

Our Kids

It’s 4:45 am, I’m wide awake and I just read this grim-ass statistic: 97,000 kids tested positive for Covid-19 last week. 97,000 kids. Meanwhile, we’ve got a president who’s going around saying that kids are “basically immune.” Listen, it might not impact kids the same as adults, but it’s getting to them. And every parent knows when your kid is sick, it sucks. And you wish you could be the one sick. You wish you could trade places with them, take their pain away. And this is all on top of the fact that our kids have been watching us panic, stress, or argue about Coronavirus for six months now. It’s a stressful time for kids, knowing that school is looming and they may have to battle this sickness or not go to school when they just want their normal lives back.


I have no real answers this morning, I’m just sad. I’m sad and scare for our kids. Keep your head up parents, and remember who is watching.

Stay safe and sane, y’all.


That’s the Truth

As of late, I’ve been in a constant struggle with the word “truth”. What it means to me. What it means to those around me. My family. My friends. Our collective truth. I wonder about the price of it, the cost of it, the casualty of it. One minute I think it is the only thing that has gotten me this far in my life, my ability to lie so close to it, to my own truth. Then some days I think it will unravel me. It will haunt me until I die. It will destroy my compassion, my empathy, my good-natured ways. I wonder if I have good-natured ways. I doubt I always have good-natured ways.

Today I am considering sharing a story that has followed me around for years now, but I’m hesitant because I think the other person in the story will not have the same recollections that I do. I think the other person will remember it a different way. Will feel a truth that is foreign to me. Will wish the outcome had been different, so instead of writing about the moment in time when our realities diverge or collide, I instead sit alone in my office and continue to think about whose truth I’d actually be telling. And what is the intent of the truth besides. Intent. What is the intent?

I used to think, naively, that truth WAS the intent. But I don’t anymore. More often than not these days I’m leaning toward truth being merely a byproduct of compassion, empathy, those good-natured ways. If we have been raised well enough, loved enough as children, then certainly we’ve been taught that truth hurts, and sometimes that pain is not worth whatever the intent is on the other side. I’m rambling now. I’m a rambler, that’s one of my truths.

I guess I’m writing today to say that I’m not writing today. I can’t. Not just yet. Because some truths don’t feel like mine, even when they are.

Take care of your truths. I think it is the best way.


Maybe It was the Tequila

A weird thing happened last weekend. Well, a couple of weird things happened. On Friday I had to take a Covid-19 test because I woke up with body aches, chills, and a fever. No doctor would see me, so I had to do a Telehealth visit with Atlanta Urgent Care at Emory, then visit a drive-thru testing site. The doctor treated me with antibiotics and steroids starting Friday, because I am susceptible to sinus infections, which I also had symptoms of, and the steroids were because they have found that starting Prednisone at the first symptoms of Covid-19 helps you stay out of the hospital, so it was a preventative measure. After my drive-thru testing on Friday afternoon, I was instructed to self-isolate until my test came back in three to six days. So I did, except for Saturday afternoon.

I was still feeling achy on Saturday so I suggested the hot tub to see if it would help. It did! But while we were out there Jerimiah drank a pitcher of margaritas. Which would be fine, if we didn’t have a Kroger order to pick up that evening. I mean, one of us had to drive to pick up the birthday cake I had planned on getting the day before, but ended up sick in bed instead. The best laid plans, or something like that… So I said no big deal, I’d just drive us both up there. It’s a simple process. You just open your trunk, they stick the bags inside, then it closes. It’s a contact-less pick-up so I felt okay about being in the car, with my mask on, even though I was self-isolating. And it would have been fine, had we not witnessed a hit-and-walk-away accident on the way.

Ten minutes later we were at the busy intersection of Lavista and I-285, which is the perimeter that runs around Atlanta. We live about a mile from The Perimeter and were headed into Atlanta, which is where our Kroger store is, when we were stopped at the stoplight while the traffic coming from the interstate was merging onto Lavista. A sudden noise caught our attention and we looked over to see an SUV smoking, its fender barely hanging on, the driver sort of sitting, while the cars bottlenecked behind him. There was some honking, everyone was kind of wondering what was happening. Then just as our light turned green and we started to go, the SUV also went (he had a red light). He realized his error, I suppose, but instead of stopping he turned into oncoming traffic. Everyone stopped their cars and watched the next few moments unfold.

The SUV was headed straight toward the oncoming traffic, while on the overpass above the interstate. The northbound traffic had no idea he was there, as they were now merging onto Lavista from the interstate, so he quickly tried to get back onto the correct side of the road, where he slammed into another SUV who was merging from the interstate as well. It was a mess. By this time we had slowly but surely made our way up through the next light and were the second car behind the accident, so we saw everything. Jerimiah immediately called the police, which several other people were doing. I instinctively jumped out of the car and ran to check the woman who had been hit. As I approached she gave me a thumbs up. She was already on her phone, presumably to the police or her partner. While I was walking up I noticed that the man who was driving the SUV got out of his car, he seemed fine, and started to walk to the woman he had hit, then stopped for a moment, and turned and walked the other way. Like, he just walked away from the scene.

Fortunately several other people were out of their cars at this point, and someone who was on the phone with the police actually followed the man as he walked away. He never ran, he never even hastened his footsteps. It was a bizarre thing to see.

At this point I heard yelling and a man was crossing the highway running toward me (I was directing traffic at this point) telling me to chase the guy. The man approached me quickly and I didn’t have to time to respond or ask him to back up. He was very close to my face. Too close. I could smell the tequila on his breath. Ironic, as I could smell Jerimiah’s too. This man, however, wasn’t talking quite right and he was making wild gestures with his hands. I caught a glimpse of his teardrop tattoo below his eye and I asked where he came from. “The Interstate,” he said. I didn’t know what to make of that, but he seemed like he was trying to be helpful, at first. Then a few minutes of following me around while I was pointing at cars, and informing people of what was happening, the man with the tear drop tattoo started talking about, “The Black man” who was “getting away…” and how he was tired of “Black men getting away.” Luckily Jerimiah came up to us at that point and the “Interstate Man” walked away.

The police were there rather quickly, I had time to move our car, and make my way back to see Jerimiah giving a statement along with the woman who was in the car in front of us. Everyone else had left. The woman in the car was okay, I took pictures of the accident for her. Her car would not turn on so the window would not roll down so she could talk to me, but we talked through the window. It was all very odd, a little scary, and unexpected for many reasons. When Jerimiah was giving his statement he learned the car was stolen, and that the police were able to find and apprehend the suspect, as he had just continued to walk coolly, calmly, down the highway. Drugs, they assumed. Drugs, I had assumed.

Or maybe it was just tequila.


For Posterity

I’m in kindergarten and I’m hunkered behind our living room chair, my back against the wood paneling of our living room, and I have my sister’s portable cassette player. No idea where my sister is. There’s a faint sound of the mower in the background. My mother was probably out mowing the front lawn. I’m eating slices of cheese, the Kraft singles kind, only it’s not really Kraft because we couldn’t afford that kind. It’s an off brand yellow cheese and I’m pulling the piece into smaller pieces and sitting them around a plastic Tupperware plate, while the sound of some newsman blares through the recorded cassette tape I am listening to. The back of the chair has a large piece of wood running along it and I have my feet up against that piece of wood.

So there I am, eating my cheese, my back against wood, my feet on wood, listening to a recording that my mother made five years before. It’s a recording of the news from January 20, 1980. An hour after Reagan is inaugurated. It is a recording of the moment Ayatollah released the 52 American hostages from Iran. I am smitten with this recording and listen to it often.

Today, nearly 35 years after my mom made that recording in her small living room apartment on State Street, I have some questions. How did I get my hands on that tape? Did she want me to hear it? Why was I obsessed with a recording of hostages being released at six years old? Why did my mother feel the need to record that in the first place? She was barely pregnant with me the day the American diplomats were flown to Germany to the welcoming embrace of President Jimmy Carter, who had worked for over a year to free them, but just lost the general election and was robbed of the last heroic act of his presidency. What compelled her? Was it the state of the country at the time? Was everyone gathered around their television screens that afternoon, waiting, anticipating, feeling it was their patriotic duty to listen, to record history unfolding, with their American flag newspapers Scotch-taped into their wooden window frames? I can’t be sure. I just don’t know that country. That world. My mother, at that time.

I do know the feeling though. The feeling that what is happening, right now, in the present moment, feels in some way so important that we have to record it, write it, etch it into our collective memory for future generations to dust off and read, listen to, with their cheesy fingers sliding between pause and play, while the voices of those long gone cry and scream in release.


Guns, Diplomas, and a Bar

We have just wrapped up Jerimiah’s birthday week, which was a little bizarre on account of the Covid-19 scare that happened halfway through, but still fun. If you’ll recall from previous posts we celebrate birthday weeks around here and give little gifts all week, until the finale on the person’s actual birthday. This year Jackson and I were at a loss on what to get Jerimiah. He’s sort of one of those people who never wants for anything for years and years, then suddenly he wants like, a new truck. Thankfully this was not a new truck year, so instead he asked for a new meat thermometer and a set of margarita glasses, so yeah, we didn’t have a lot to work with.

Jackson, who is currently obsessed with Call of Duty and SWAT teams, wanted to get Jerimiah a gun safe for his guns. The problem is, Jerimiah doesn’t have many guns, and the guns he does have he doesn’t really use. They are family guns that have been given to him over the years, and they sit around in long cases throughout the house. One tucked under a bed, one in a closet, an old German Mauser that I am pretty sure hasn’t been fired since like 1850. He just isn’t a “gun” person like our family (and Jackson) want him to be. He doesn’t hunt. He isn’t fearful for his life, feeling the need to keep semi-automatics around the house. He has a small array of these long guns that have been passed to him, and a nine mm that he keeps in a small safe in a location of the house neither Jackson nor I am privy to, with the bullets in a separate location. He’s a common-sense gun owner, if nothing else. So I compromised. I let Jackson pick out a gun rack for Jerimiah. One that he could sit the old, family rifles on. More like a display than anything else. That worked for Jackson and he went to work finding the perfect one.

Meanwhile, I asked his mom if she would get him some new frames for his diplomas, something simple and tasteful to stick in his home office, which has been his only office for the last four months. Then I set to work on reorganizing the office. Trying to decide what a real “man’s” office should be. Whatever that is. Whatever that isn’t, and well, with our powers combined I think we pulled it off. What follows is the redecoration/reorganization of Jerimiah’s office, complete with the added gun rack, a bar, and of course a bankers lamp, because every Controller needs one of those.

The Ascent of Jerimiah

Jerimiah was born on August 5th, 1981 at Mt. Carmel Hospital, a regional hospital in a small town in Southeast Kansas. The building itself was new, having been relocated in the late 1970s to a prime, 70-acre, $6 million lot in hopes of blossoming in a new era of hope, while shedding its reputation as a place of despair. It wasn’t the first renaissance the nearly-century-old hospital would see, and it was not the last. As it sits today it is the nearest level III trauma center option for people in a region of The Great Plains that sometimes has limited options.

Mt. Carmel Hospital was originally founded in 1903 by the Sisters of St. Joeseph of Wichita, Kansas. The same Wichita where Jerimiah would, 12 years after his birth at Mt. Carmel, attend middle school, the same Wichita that raised his mother. Mt. Carmel Hospital, though still standing as the good Sisters intended, has been through many transformations over the years and is now known as Ascension Via Christi Hospital. Quite the name. Quite the journey. A lot like Jerimiah.

Jerimiah’s parents chose his name based on initials. His uncle was John Robert (J.R.) Goodnight, and they wanted Jerimiah’s to be the same. So on August 5th, 1981 his mother scribbled the name onto his birth certificate paperwork, presumably on the labor and delivery floor of Mt. Carmel, either intentionally spelling her son’s name in contradiction to the Bible spelling of the same name because of her prophetic sense of who this child was, and who he would one day be. Or perhaps it was the slow IV drip she’d babied since the early morning hours. Or, you know, a typo. It was 1981, who can be sure.

What we can be sure of is that shortly after shedding his white blanket, with the pink and blue stripe every good, gendered, baby received from The Sisters of Mt. Carmel, the Jerimiah spelled with an “I” began his ascent to the loving, trusting, honest, hard-working, stubborn, educated, peaceful, kind man that he is today. That, and he stopped pooping in a diaper.

Jerimiah with an “I” has seen his fair share of ups and downs in his life. Like that time his older brother hoisted him into a tree by his overalls and let him hang around until someone else came by and took him down. Or that bright morning in high school when he decided to climb under his truck (while it was parked on a hill) to see what was going on, and he accidentally moved the gear into neutral and lay helpless as his truck ran over him. He was shaken by the truck, but had no broken bones. The torture of hanging outside in his overalls, well that had some further, lasting reach.

One can surmise a highlight of Jerimiah’s ascent to the man he is today, was set off by the love, kindness, tenacity, and beauty of his wife. Yes, that’s a fair assumption. Or perhaps it was the birth of his own J.R. Goodnight, in 2008. Either way, what Mt. Carmel, his mother, his brother, and his truck didn’t do to help, we certainly have. Gotta take credit where credit is due.

Which brings us to today (having skipped large swathes of time for reader enjoyment) Jerimiah with an “I”’s 39th rotation around the sun. Although I’ve only been part of 19 of those rotations, I am happy to have been part of the upward spiral, and incredibly excited about watching the next 39 work the same sort of magic, from the magic that lives, breathes, encapsulates the heart and soul of this amazing human being. Trust me, there’s more to come from Jerimiah with an “I”.

If you can squeeze in a happy birthday to this man today, I implore you to do so. And if not, that’s okay. He won’t think twice about it, and won’t have a mean thing to say. Unless you send him overalls.

Happy Birthday Jerimiah with an “I” from Mt. Carmel Hospital. May today, tomorrow, and all the tomorrows after that continue your rise to the person your Momma expected you to be.

I love you the most.


Day Four

It’s day four of antibiotics and steroids. I keep waiting to wake up and feel like a million bucks, but the bucks aren’t coming. Still self-isolating while I wait for my Covid-19 test results. Jackson and Jerimiah aren’t exhibiting any symptoms which is good, but I’m still worried. We hoped for results today, but that was being optimistic of us. Jerimiah said he had a “white man moment” assuming that we’d get the results back at the earliest point mentioned. He’s funny, and overthinks sometimes like I do, but honestly it’s all probably just backlogged here. Meanwhile, my symptoms haven’t slowed, and I’ve developed some new ones. I’m playing this game of trying to think up reasons for the symptoms, like maybe my muscles ache because I slept wrong, or maybe I couldn’t taste my food because my nose is stuffy. Things like that.

I have two modes in most crisis situations: I either overreact immediately or, because I know that is a possibility, I under-react (is that a word?) as a means to combat the craziness that tries to sneak in. I felt myself wanting to overreact on Friday when no doctor would see me in person, so I’ve been mitigating that with this fun game of, “Chill, girl. You’re good. This is all just a funny, little mix up.” Ugh. It’s stressful. Stress! Maybe that’s what is causing the constant headache and joint pain!

So there you go. Day four of symptoms that I don’t usually have, that align pretty closely to the symptoms of a global pandemic I’ve spent the last four months actively striving to keep away from, in the middle of my husband’s birthday week. I slept alone in our bed last night, we decided Jerimiah should move to the couch. He’s not all the way down in the guest wing in the basement, not yet. I won’t let him. That’s too final. For now, just the couch. Tomorrow, who knows.

Hope you’re all staying safe, and wearing your GD masks!


It’s a Monday…

I’m not feeling particularly well these days. I woke up Thursday with what I thought might be a cold or a sinus infection, then Friday morning I woke up with a fever and body aches. I thought for a second that I was getting the flu, then realized it isn’t really flu season. Within three hours I was seen by a doctor via video chat, was starting a round of prednisone, and am currently in self-isolation until my Covid-19 results come back (I was able to do that so quickly because I have health insurance, money for an urgent care copay, and Emory University Hospital ten minutes away. I’ve been thinking all weekend about people who don’t have those things…) I feel horrible, but not just physically, mentally and emotionally too.

We are knee deep in Jerimiah’s birthday week. I had plans, lots of plans. But plans change. Yesterday the coughing started. I began to feel myself pulling away from hugging my kid. I won’t know for sure until I have the results, but it’s a scary time we live in.

Mentally I know I’ll be okay even if I do have it. Something like 80% of cases are mild and treated at home, but there’s always that other percentage. My biggest fear is passing it to others, which I may have mistakenly done not knowing I had it. If I have it.

Obviously it’s a damn Monday around here. Not the best one I’ve had in awhile, not the worst. Hoping for a call from the doctor today. Hoping for a negative test. Hoping it’s a sinus infection, that I will have more energy, that I will finish this week strong for my husband, not worry my son. Lots of hopes going out into the world today. If you’re sending some put will ya send one out for me too? I’d appreciate it.

Stay safe and sane, y’all. I’ll keep you posted.


Birthday Week!

It’s the halfway point in Jerimiah’s birthday week, and we have been having a great, albeit unusual time. The things we normally do, have fun lunches out at new, hip places, do exciting day trips, maybe actually take a trip, are all off the table, so we have resorted to finding other ways to fill the hours. Like Thursday, when instead of a lunch date at a place near Jerimiah’s office, we all met at the hot tub (now called the cool tub on account of it being in summer mode) at 1:00 pm and had fruit salad and talked about life. I mean technically it was a lunch break near his office because his office is right off the dining room now, but still. Not the same, but workable.

Friday night we surprised Jerimiah with a movie night. We ordered pizza and watched “The Hunger Games”. Jackson has been reading the book and of course he had to finish it before we watched the movie, so he finished it in secret this week to be ready for movie night! He’s been really into this whole birthday week for Daddy, even picking out what little gift to give him each day, and working on a bigger surprise for next week.

Last night we arranged a Zoom call with friends for cake and games, but some unexpected things came up, so we rescheduled, and instead we got donuts, played board games, made some FaceTime calls, witnessed a crazy accident on the way to Kroger (I’ll tell y’all in another post) and drank some margaritas.

Today it’s s’mores in the backyard firepit and outdoor games as a family. Tomorrow who knows?! The possibilities are… limited. Ha! But I’m sure Jerimiah will appreciate our time together any way it is done.

So if you see him around (you won’t, we are staying home) but you know what I mean, say happy birthday week! He would appreciate it!


Highlights so far!