Friday, August 31, 2007

One Day Left

Today's crisis is brought to you by the Health Insurance Nightmare of America. (Every day it's something, isn't it?)

Let's see, yesterday was my last day - a post all in itself. I had friends come over later to help take apart things (bed, tables, etc.) and to take home some plants (have I mentioned how hard it is for me to part with some of my babies?!) Then we took an hour or so to engage in fantasy football draft. PRIORITIES PEOPLE!! Let's just say I got Tom Brady but the rest is questionable (Seattle defense?!?)

Today we have finished boxing most everything, returned the DVR to the cable company, signed some papers at the realtor's office and are now awaiting the piano movers to arrive. G has landed at the airport and is going to enjoy a leisurely lunch and get some work done until we're able to go pick him up.

And then it's time to...wait for it...

Move it! Move it! I want to move it, move it!!

Tomorrow it's MICHIGAN OR BUST!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fear

Today was LM's last day with his dad. We had spoken briefly about the arrangements to get him back home but nothing had been confirmed. I called J this morning to verify that I was picking up LM after work. J was terse with me. Short, curt, blunt. He wasn't much like himself. He thought we had agreed to plans and I was picking up LM after work. I said that was what I understood, too, but reminded him that sometimes LM doesn't tell anyone involved what plan has been decided upon. He agreed and warmed slightly. I told him I had found his high school diploma amongst my hope chest items while packing and would drop it off. He didn't seem to care.

I called LM on my way to work. He seemed fine. Said he had said goodbye to his dad the night before. He seemed to think everything had gone well. He was quiet and I couldn't read him well. I told him I'd pick him up around 6, perhaps a few minutes before. He said fine and that was that.

Around noon I tried to call LM, just to see how his day was going, but he didn't answer. I thought it odd, since the boy has had his new cell phone glued to his hip since the moment he got it. I tried again a couple hours later. Voicemail.

I didn't really feel the panic take hold of my throat, I just know that all of a sudden it was there. Fear. What if his dad did something irrational? What if J just took LM and ran? What if he really wasn't as okay with this whole move as he let on? I know it's dramatic and irrational, but all I could think was all those times I've heard a wife or a mother say during a TV interview, "I never would have suspected he was capable of..."

I couldn't leave work and I didn't want to call J. If I was wrong and everything was okay, I would be interrupting his day once again to remind him of how we were leaving. I kept checking my voicemail, waiting for LM to call me back.

At five, while the girls at work begged me to go ask a cute police officer in the fitness center if he was single (for their sake, not mine) I picked up my phone one last time to see no messages, no missed calls. It was then I felt as if I couldn't breathe. Maybe it's just too much stress at one time. Maybe it's just too many newscasts viewed. Maybe it's just that things seemed to be going well. But I panicked.

I must have looked scared because one of the women at work asked if I was okay, I said, "No, I can't get ahold of LM." She knew it was his last day with his dad and she read my panic well. I grabbed my pocketbook and rushed out the door. I prayed the whole 7 miles to J's house. I pulled in and ran up the walk and heard LM say, "Hi, Mom" as I approached the door.

I don't know how I kept the tears back. I don't know how I kept it together. I didn't want him to know how I scared I was. I didn't want him to know what my mind had even thought for a moment might be true. I didn't want him to taste fear like that.

Two

I woke up at 5am and realized what had happened.

Every day I pray on my way to work. 40 minutes of conversation with God more to remind myself that He is in control than to ask for anything on my behalf. I pray that he keeps my heart calm. I pray that he keeps me from being anxious. I pray for peace of mind, for confidence, for security. I want to pray for a job the week I move. I want to ask that He makes the sale of the house go well. But I know that He knows what's best for me. The things I ask for might be all the wrong things (a lesson I've learned well in my life). But I pray.

And I wonder, most days, how do I know that I'm doing what He would want? My pastor recently put it into a concept I could get my mind around. "If it draws you closer to God, it's God's plan." So simple, but it made my choices seem so much easier to evaluate with that in mind. But still, somedays, I wish God had Verizon wireless.

But what woke me at 5am was remembering the day before. Remembering the boy and his mom who came to sign up for swim team. I remember how much I had wished I wasn't sitting at the service rep desk because I didn't want to do another registration, but that I happily took their request and registered them. They were really sweet people, an adorable mom and son tandem. They reminded me of LM and myself.

At one point, while the mom was writing out her check, I made conversation with the boy. He delighted me so. He wasn't perfectly behaved, wasn't strictly manicured, he was real. and fun and lively and articulate. Like LM. And so I commented on his necklace, a long silver chain with some sort of shield. He immediately took it off and handed it to me so I could look at it more closely. I studied it in my hand, but the design was simple and I wasn't sure what warranted the closer inspection. I said, "It's cool." He said, "Turn it over."

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9


How it took me until 5am to realize God spoke directly to me through that delightful child I will never know. But words couldn't have been more hand picked for me than those.

- The story doesn't need anything more to it to make it remarkable in my opinion, but in conversation with the mother I learned that this boy attends one of the Christian schools in town. I mentioned that LM went to that school but just for one year for preschool. I laughed, remembering that year and said, "That was the first time LM had been in school and he got in trouble because he was hugging all the kids. I never got over the teacher pulling me aside and telling me - in a Christian school no less - that I needed to speak with my son and get him to stop hugging everyone!" I no sooner had the words out of my mouth than this boy says, "I remember that kid! He had blonde curly hair!" Yep, that's my LM. God made such a small, small world, didn't He?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Three Days

I could tell stories about this boss, but you wouldn't believe me. I'm just going to close the door on bad management and hope that I don't have a similar experience anytime soon.

Today seemed forever long. Work was a drag and full of junior high-ish nonsense. Got home late, after my dear friend was already long waiting outside my door with dinner and the painting dude was already here to spackle and repair holes (have I mentioned how many pictures I hang?) They waited patiently for me, however, and joined me when I finally arrived. The plumber came a bit later and declared my disposal unfixable. For another $200, however, we found it to be replaceable, and hopefully have put aside any reason to complain by the potential buyers. The HVAC guy comes in the morning to give me his proclamation on the complaint the buyer's inspector had. Hopefully it's a simple fix and we'll be on our way.

I didn't pack. I'm plum out of boxes and no one that I called had any to give away. They said I could pick up some tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get that squared away. I don't need many, but I do need some.

I wrote a couple checks and mailed off a couple change of address and cancel accounts letters. I need to do more of that tomorrow. I'm quickly losing track of the things I would normally be doing at this time and hate to forget a bill that's due.

For now, however, Eli is already curled up beside me and Jonah is on the table next to the bed. I think we're all ready for some much needed sleep. Eating a real dinner tonight (albeit cold take-out) was so foreign that my stomach is doing flips. Or maybe that's just nerves. I only put the house on the market 18 days ago. In three days we leave it all behind.

Monday, August 27, 2007

5

I packed this morning until I ran out of boxes. Then I cleaned and tried to make the house NOT look like I was moving in 5 days because the inspector (and buyer) were coming today at 4. I'm not sure I was very successful. I had a long talk with Eli and asked him to behave himself while everyone was here. Jonah, too. I'm not sure they listened either.

I made a few phone calls to stop direct withdrawals from this checking account. I have several more calls to make to change my address on half a dozen bills.

And I gave notice.


It was ugly. But I stayed calm and didn't give any retort. I just let my manager be her typical, unprofessional self. And I said a silent prayer that I have learned whatever lesson God wanted me to learn from this sort of manager that I might never have to deal with someone like her again. I am hoping in the next couple of days to at least speak briefly (and privately) with a couple people higher up in the rankings in some sort of exit interview fashion. I won't slam my boss, I'll remain professional, but I would hope that the input I provide might at least make them more aware of the sort of person they need to hire to replace me (no morals, no life, no backbone...)

Now I'm home, snuggled up with one cat and one dog hoping to hear that there was nothing so significant in the inspection that I can't get it fixed in the next four days. That is, if the buyer even makes me aware of anything in the next four days.

On the agenda for Tuesday: pick up more boxes, pack a few of them, get address changed for all bills and confirm with piano movers as to exact time of their availability. Oh and sleep. Did I mention sleep? Cause I'm not getting so much of it lately!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

6 Days Left

I worked today. But I didn't get to give notice (my whole four days of notice) because my boss doesn't work on Sundays. No one works on Sundays. Except me. Oh yeah, reason #476 why I hate this job. I need to get through tomorrow and the whole giving notice thing and then I'll really breathe easier.

Did I pack today? Well, no. I had help packing yesterday and so I feel somehow a day ahead. How that can be when I only have SIX DAYS UNTIL I MOVE FOUR STATES AWAY I don't know, but work with me, football is on.

The most significant part of my day today: I canceled my cable. May we have a moment of silence please. As of Friday morning I will officially be cable-less. I'm not sure how I'm going to cope. Until a job is landed, I just can't justify a cable bill (I figure if I have to stop supporting starving children in Africa for the time being, I have to stop watching cable). I just want to give this warning to my sis and Bear, if I don't land a job fast that supports my cable addiction, I'll be spending a lot of Sunday and Monday nights at your house watching football. And by 'watching football' I actually mean doing nothing BUT watching football.

So, that's today. Tomorrow, I give notice and make more phone calls to cancel things and I need to get a few more medium size boxes.

And did I mention the buyer is doing their inspection tomorrow afternoon? Yeah, not worried at all. (was that at ALL convincing?)

Voila. 6 to go.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

7 Days to Go

I can tell you are concerned about my lack of packing so I made it a priority today. I spent the morning running errands, picking up boxes, getting newspapers, making a stop at the bank and the post office. I had several things to get in the mail and needed to fill out change of address forms. I had written my g'ma a letter a few weeks ago, and carried it around in my pocketbook without ever mailing it. I wrote another one last week to go with it, to update her on all our activities. At the post office, I grabbed the two yellow sheets and put them in an envelope and mailed them but when I got home, I found one of the two letters in my pocketbook still. I had to call G'ma and tell her I have no idea what I just mailed her, but it could be all kinds of moving information that I had written down. Oh.My.

I decided which plants I'm taking with me and which I'm giving away. I packed 90% of my room, including my bathroom. I have almost all of the living room packed up. My former co-worker K came by tonight and she helped me pack up all of LM's books and a bunch of stuff from the kitchen. I need to get more newspaper to get the kitchen finished up.

I spoke with the piano movers tonight, we're confirmed for the move, but they'll let me know if they are going to come Thursday night or Friday afternoon. I had an email from church friends saying they are coming to help us load heavy stuff later in the week. What a wonderful relief! I owe a whole post to these wonderful people.

Now I'm watching NASCAR and the heat lightning that is dancing across the sky tonight. Eli is asleep under the coffee table (standard storm location) and I'm dreading going to work tomorrow. Still can't give notice, my boss doesn't work on Sundays. Will have to give four days' notice on Monday. Nice, huh?

Enjoy your weekend! (Don't worry, I'll do more packing tomorrow night!)

Friday, August 24, 2007

8 Days Left

Today I:
- worked 8 hours at my former job (they pay well!!)
- sent registration materials to LM's new school and talked with the guidance counselor about what classes he'd be interested in. He's going to a magnet school, so he'll get to take Computer Programming, advanced Math and Science, Band and Video Production (amongst English, Social Studies and the like!)
- Rented a moving truck (and a dolly!)
- Ate cornbread with some of Stacy's wild raspberry jam! YUM!!

And now? I'm watching the Patriots. I know, you thought I'd pack a box or two, wouldn't ya? I'll do that tomorrow. I'm efficient that way!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What's in a Week

So, we took the offer. And we're moving....



NEXT WEEK!!!

(No, I'm not kidding)


So what are we doing tonight? Booking a flight for my moving help (G), renting a moving van, watching Karate Kid and oh yeah, LM's busy pulling teeth (seriously). I know, we should be packing, but hey, we have, what, 8 days!!

So, now the question is, what's going to happen first, will we become Michiganders before Newly delivers Baby Butterman? The race is on!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Best Email of the Year

"Chris asked me to pass on our wonderful news. Jared Matthew was born on Monday August 20th at 8:15 am. He weighed in at 7 lbs 7 oz and is 20 1/2 inches long. Chris is recovering from the c-section quickly and hopefully should be home on Thursday. Thanks for all your prayers and support through this pregnancy."

I cannot even begin to explain what beautiful people Kevin and his wife, Chris are. God put them in my life in college and I have learned so much from them about faith and courage and love. I love my son more, appreciate my blessings and have stronger faith in God because of Kevin and Chris.

A birth in the family is no small thing. I don't need to ask God to bless their family, he so obviously already has. Tonight I ask that God continue to bless everyone touched by Kevin and Chris and their family. May we all learn something about faith and love and miracles through their example.

Welcome, baby Jared. You are loved by Mom and Dad, Rebecca and Allison, and watched over by Andrew and Abigail.

Harvard Might Be Knockin', But Not the CIA

I work Mondays from 2:30-11 which is what made it especially difficult to figure out a way to get the dog out of the house when the realtor called to ask if they could show the house (the coveted SECOND showing) at 5:30. I called my neighbor, but she was going to be at soccer until after 6. I knew I couldn't get home and back to work without taking more than 2 hours off, 2 hours I just don't have right now.

I finally decided I would leave LM home when I went to work and his dad could pick him up when he got off work. LM could take the dog for a walk while the folks looked at the house.

Except that it started to rain.

I left for work at 1:30, with instructions for LM on leaving the house in perfect condition, taking his umbrella and the dog and sitting on our neighbor's patio while the folks viewed the house.

I called to check on LM at 4:45, to make sure he was getting ready for people to be in the house. I called again at 5, when LM informs me the dog just puked in front of the couch. Luckily, I have previously taken the time to instruct Jacob on how to use the steam cleaner, so he was able to wheel it out and quickly scour the area.

I called again at 5:15, LM reported he was out on the patio, but it was raining pretty hard. He thought he might go across to the building across the lot and stand under the recessed roof. I thought that would be just fine, he could clearly see when people showed up and when they left so he could go back in.

I called back at 5:30. LM had decided to take the puppers to his fort in the woods, and sit under a tree. I said, "NO!! Go back to where you can see the house! How will you know when they leave?" LM agreed to go back and stand across the street, out of the rain.

I called back at 5:45, LM was on the patio of our neighbor. He said it wasn't raining quite so hard any more. I asked if he had seen any realtors or people going in the house. He said no, and there weren't any unusual cars out front.

I called back just after 6, LM told me our neighbor had come home from soccer and he was sitting just inside her door with the dog. He saw someone pull into the lot and go into our house. I was greatly relieved that he was inside out of the rain and that the people were finally here. I told him to call me back when they left.

I called LM's dad and told him to call LM on his cell phone when he came to pick him up, as he might not be in our house, but might be at the neighbor's. No problemo.

I called back at 6:35, LM's dad had arrived and they were now all sitting in his car (even Eli) waiting for people to come out of the house. I thanked LM's dad for his patience with this process (the poor man who doesn't even want his son to move) and said to call when the folks left.

At 7:00, there was still no call. I called to verify that the folks were still in the house. LM's dad tried to be optimistic, "maybe they are just working up their offer". I said I hoped so, but it seemed like a long time they had been in, it's not like we have a big house.

I called back at 7:20, still no sight of any people. At this point, I'm really feeling horrible that my ex husband is sitting outside my home while I'm two towns away at work, watching to see if buyers come out of my house so they can put the dog back in the house and they can finally go get some dinner.

I called at 7:40. Still no sight of people. I said, "this is absurd!" I asked LM if he was sure he saw people go inside. He said, "Yes! And their car is still sitting in the lot!" I said, you mean two cars, the realtor wouldn't have arrive with the people in the same car. LM said, "No, they came in a green Jeep Liberty." I said, "Put your dad on the phone."

"They aren't in the house," I said to my ex. "What? LM saw them go in." "No, my neighbor's son drives a green Jeep Liberty. The realtor has long since been there and gone, I suspect." I suggested they go up to the door and see if it was locked. If it was open, the realtor and buyers were still inside. If it's locked, they've come and gone.

LM went up to the door.

It was locked.


At some point in the last TWO AND A HALF HOURS the nice buyers had come and gone and LM HAD TOTALLY MISSED IT.

Thank God my ex is a kind man and doesn't own a gun.


(Good news? There's an offer on the table today. Not one I particularly love, but there's an offer!)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Whirlwind Part II - Pictures

My camera took a lot of lousy photos this trip to MI. I'm not sure just why but some are really grainy!


George and Little Bird
Little Bird and George

Silly George

George was afraid of monsters in the dark. Apparently, a beauty mask helps ward off monsters! (All three kids build "nests" to sleep in when they are together. George was curled up in his little tent!)

The kids (and Eli!)

The Boys (LM and George) in the hammock
(My favorite pic from the trip!)

Solomon

Solomon

Water Fight!

HSM2 Gang (High School Musical 2- for those of you who aren't related to any girls aged 5-15!)

The HSM2 Party!

Jules outdid herself with the theme, decor, menu and activities!

Bear even jumped in to show the girls how ACE "Dance, Dance Revolution!"



Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Whirlwind

Day One: 11 hours in the car with child and dog (kennel was full) from PA to MI. Arrived in time for a late dinner and giggles with George and Bird.

Day Two: LM and I met my sister's bff to look at an apartment. LM was utterly impressed that she manages 1500 apartments! Felt better knowing there's a 2 bedroom apartment with our name on it should we need it anytime soon. Grabbed lunch for Jules, three kids and the babysitter and returned home to get ready for an interview. Interview seemed to go very well. The position really seems like something I would enjoy and could expand my career options with. Great benefits. Should hear back sometime this week. Returned home to change clothes, relieve the babysitter and play with the kids!!

Day Three: Hung out with the kids. We played games, we ate lunch, we ran around the yard, we chased after Eli as he chased after the cat. Friday evening the boys escaped to go play laser tag with Uncle Bear while we hosted a High School Musical 2 party for Bird and seven of her best friends. It was remarkably eye opening for this mother of an eleven year old boy, let me tell you!!

Day Four: up early to head back home; slight delay as there was some debate over whether George had seriously injured his ankle the night before or if he was just playing gimpy. Turns out (as verified by a trip to the ER by my sis) that it's just severely sprained. Oh George. At least it's not broken (again). Drove home and had LM picked up by his dad so they have as much time together as possible.

Tomorrow: would love to be napping, but will be at work instead.

While we were away: four showings with one more already scheduled for tomorrow. (And as far as I know, no news from Newly...)

(Pics and details to come. Tonight it's just me, a glass of wine and a football game on the tele. I might not be awake past the first quarter, but the idea still sounds heavenly.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dear God

Thank you for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.


Love,
Amy



(I'll write more when I get my head above water. House is on market. 1st Showing is tomorrow. Have an interview coming up. There will be a whirwind tour of Michigan in my near future. While I'm away cleaning...talk amongst yourselves. Need a topic? How about placing your bets on when Newly will deliver?!?)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

And Then It Was My Turn

to pick up the phone and make the hardest call I've had to make in years.

I called my ex and I told him that it was not a matter of if w were going to move anymore, it was when.

And when I hung up, I cried. For I cannot imagine what it would feel like to have someone take my son several states away.


I cannot imagine at all.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Right Now

LM is on the phone with his best friend, W. It was the first person he wanted to talk to after he and I had our discussion tonight. The first and only person he wanted to tell. The person that makes this decision the hardest.

LM is explaining to W that we are going to move. That his mom has potentially two interviews in Michigan next week, but regardless of the outcome, the house is going on the market. The question is no longer IF we are going to move, but WHEN. I heard him explain to W that it could be as few as three weeks, it could be as much as four months.

They're also talking about the time LM stayed the night at W's house and they played superheroes, with W's younger brother being "Captain Obvious". They're talking about next year, and all the things W needs to be on guard against in the new middle school ("the big kids, W, stay away from the big kids"). LM is also asking how well W and his favorite brother are getting along, and sharing his stories about counselling two brothers this summer in Pittsburgh (that were going through a divorce). LM is reminding W about the time he tried to go a whole day without speaking and how the reason it failed was because the girl W has a crush on came up and spoke to him, making him break his silence. LM is telling him about how this kid, A, the kid that was so mean to LM all year, asked him for his email address on the last day of school, explaining that he didn't really HATE LM, and that they really did have some things in common (Star Wars). LM said, "He told me not to tell anyone, but that doesn't include you." I hear giggles, and teases, and stories pouring out of LM's room. "If you want her to be your girlfriend, then she is your girlfriend. She might not know that, but it's TRUE." LM is reminding W that if he decided to tell Melissa that he likes her, "don't do it around a ton of people". They are remeniscing , they are sharing stories, they are talking like two eleven year old best friends who've known each other for thirty years.

I remember the friends I've left behind, and friends who have moved away from me over the years. I remember each and every one of them. I know where many of them are today, even if we don't communicate regularly. And I have a few that I have grown closer to over the years.

I hope that LM and W have a great friendship for years to come. No matter where we live.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Gift

It's difficult, when it's just the two of us, to help LM buy gifts for me. We've tried a lot of different options, from asking a sales person to help him shop and to let me know when they are ready so I can just pay the bill (the result: a $93 bill in a candle store- the clerk didn't think that was at all outrageous for an 8 year old to spend on his mom...); I've given LM money and waited in the parking lot of a Hallmark store while he shopped (better results, but unchaperoned gifts can be, well, interesting...).

LM returned home from his six week stay at grandparents with boxes and bags and duffles packed with odds and ends and what's-its. But in and amongst everything was a little red box. Upon seeing it, he quickly seized it and set it on top of his bookshelves proclaiming it as "off limits!" to me. "It's your birthday present," he explained.

I'll admit, I was tickled. He had bought something without me even knowing about it. With money he had earned working for his grandpa ($1/hr to answer phones and help with mailings!) I was really touched.

And so the red box has sat, untouched by me, until last night, when LM asked for wrapping paper and spent several minutes in his room making it "just perfect". And then the gift was hidden away and I was given strict instructions to make sure I woke him this morning before I left for work so he could give me my gift.

Because today, my birthday, I was to be at work from 7:30am until 11pm. LM would be going to his dad's mid-day, so we would only see each other for a few brief moments in the early morning hours before I headed off for my long day.

And so, at 6:30 this morning, I woke LM as I was ready to head out the door. He had slept on my floor again last night, tickled by the idea of "camping out in Mom's room" once again - a rare treat - He rolled over and fumbled around with his blankets and pillow and I said, "don't go back to sleep - you wanted me to open my gift, remember?"

"I know, I'm getting it for you."

And he reached under his pillow and pulled out my beautifully hand-wrapped gift with a handmade bow that was just a little bit smushed from being slept on. A precious birthday gift that had spent the night under his pillow awaiting my birthday.

While I love the onyx cross necklace that he picked out just for me, I hope I never forget this morning and the precious moments we spent with a pillow-smooshed present and all the love that came out of it.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Bad Combination

Maybe it's because I give tours daily, or maybe it's because I just took a First Aid class, or maybe it's because I dreaded the obligatory birthday gathering my company does that I thought for sure they'd try to surprise me with today. I don't know the cause, all I know is I haven't had dreams this weird since I was preggers (and no, I'm definitely not. Thanks for being concerned anyway.)

Last night I dreamt that I was giving a tour to a man who was not quite all there. He was mentally handicapped to some degree, but I was giving him a tour around the basement of some house. There were pool tables and general clutter, but I was telling him all about it nontheless. I was interrupted by my sister, who said we had to go. I knew she meant we had to go to the birthday thing, but I didn't want to go. I reluctantly followed her, abandoning the tour guy and we found ourselves walking through a very long and very crowded hotel lobby. I knew we were headed for one of the banquet rooms at the end of the hall (even though the birthday thing is a really small and quick affair). Along the way, my sister was throwing little yellow cubes at Little Bird and LM. They had been doing something bad, apparently and this was how she decided to get them to stop. I yelled at her to knock it off. I was soooo upset that she was THROWING things at the kids. Jules said, "I didn't hurt them. I didn't even hit them." And I started screaming at her, "Yes you did! Look! Here's a DENT in LB's head!!" I was so angry with her, but she just kept on walking towards the banquet room. I decided right then and there that I wasn't going. I knew it was for my own birthday and I knew I would take a lot of grief for it later, but I just decided I didn't care, I wasn't going.

As I walked back the way we came, I saw my old boss (from two jobs ago). He and I started talking as we stood on either side of this strange machine. The machine was about the size of a typewriter but was a square wooden box of sorts with a conveyor belt running along the side of the top. My old boss was telling me that I should go to this birthday thing. I kept trying to interrupt, to tell him what my sister had done, but he kept saying, "It doesn't matter. You still need to go." I was getting so upset that he wouldn't even listen to me, and didn't CARE how irrational my sister had been (apparently, in my dream in all,) but just then, his arm got caught in the conveyor and the machine started to pull him in. His body shrunk to about a quarter of the size that it would normally be as he was pulled into the machine. I immediately yelled, "HELP! Someone help us! Call 911!" and grabbed onto the conveyor to keep it from pulling him in any further. All that was left, sticking out, were his legs, which were strangely small and seemed soft and pliable, dangling in an unnatural position. I saw down by the edge of the conveyor belt his little hand sticking out, so I held onto it and kept saying, "You'll be all right," even though I knew there was no way he could be sucked into that small of a space and come out all right.

I found a switch on the side of the machine and turned it off and then immediately started unscrewing these tiny little screws on the sides (I was picking up the machine and turning it all around while I unscrewed them...it was very light for holding a grown man inside). As I got a section unscrewed, I would lift off a layer of the machine which revealed a small amount more of the squished boss, and several more layers of machine. I kept unscrewing and pulling away layers only to realize that when I got to the last layer, it was only about an inch thick and surely, no brain could survive being smooshed that small and flat...

And that's when I woke up.


I don't know what's wrong with me. But it makes me just slightly uneasy that later in the day a 3 1/2 year old boy broke his arm at the Y and we had to call his grandmother and paramedics.