Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.—William ShakespeareTick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
The middle of May found me making lists…lists for my yard, lists for my summer courses, lists for books I wanted to read and reread, lists of movies I planned to see and lists of places I planned to go. I even made a list of things I wanted to do to our house and separated it into things I thought I could tackle alone and things with which I ought to have assistance. I also made a list of people who had offered themselves and their areas of expertise up for grabs on the old interview/freelance circuit.
I’ll do some heavier reading on William Shakespeare and James Joyce, maybe offer up a professional/peer-reviewed paper comparing the two characters. Hence, it goes on the list! I’ll edit my book and work on the layout for the upcoming critique session I have scheduled with it in hand.
I made a list of things I wanted for my birthday. I’ll turn 49 this June. Where’s that list of all the things I planned to do by the time I was 50? Last year, I received a lawnmower and a basket of deodorant from my loving husband. To his credit, he thought the basket contained lotions and bath bubbles…and some of the products do look the same. This year, I promised was going to be better.
I began to jot things down feverishly in my Farmer’s Almanac Daytimer/Calendar. It is my brain and serves as a record of everything I’ve done or planned to do this year. By the middle of May, my doctor wrestled my calendar away from me and forced me to agree to spend an afternoon with him. An outspoken cowgirl by nature, I gave in and told him he had 48 hours to get me as good as new…or I would hunt him down and it would not be pretty.Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
So, here I am. My summer has started, and rest assured, I have big plans and even bigger, longer lists of things I want to do and accomplish. Some of them are personal. Some of them are fun. Some of them are educational. Some of them are adventurous. Some of them are on the list out of necessity.Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Time and Mother Nature threw me a bit of a curve last week as I kicked off my summer with a trendy hysterectomy at the hands of Dr. John Williams, who has been with me for over 20 years. I told him he was in the running for my longest, successful relationship with a live male, but I think he is disqualified on the basis that he does not deal with me totally out of the goodness of his heart or the fact that I’m just a fun gal with whom to spend time on a sunny, summer afternoon.
But I digress here. I am now home and I am working and I made my goal of making him laugh about three times in the surgery waiting area last week. I forced him to play a little “get to know me” game by giving him a package of things I had written and an official “Houn’ Dawg” t-shirt. I told him the surgery would go well if he was an official Houn’ Dawg. How could you lose? I told him I was a trend setter when it came to fashion and an outspoken proponent of underdogs, longshots, big ideas, folklore, politics and education. “I have lots of people who love me,” I remember saying…like somehow that would make him do a better job. I’m not sure, but I think he rolled his eyes.
I told him I thought my preacher had just prayed for my husband to “have a new woman” and I was wondering if I had somehow taken the prayer out of context. Someone with a mask on indicated maybe there were hopes in place that I would be a “new woman” after the surgery and I was trying to decide how I felt about that, too. It’s amazing how light and fluffy you become wearing one of those ugly tablecloths with the vent in the back while hooked up to tubes on a gurney that your feet do this little dangly thing on at the end. A sock person by nature, I love the ones with lace, ruffles and frills and refuse to outgrow them. Those hospital socks could use a makeover. They at least need a little lace and those gowns could stand to be a little longer for tall girls like me.Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
I figured it was time the old doc knew some things other than my height, weight, temperature and hormone levels. He needed to know my first name might be Jennifer, but my friends and family call me Kim or Kimmy. Those who call me other things need to know they are dealing with a North Town Girl, with an equally varied vocabulary. He obviously has somehow gathered that I’m stubborn and that I talk a lot as he instructed my family to go by Lowe’s on the way home to purchase large amounts of duct tape. This was after giving me a pat and a high five and telling me I could go home and do anything I felt like doing. (He and I are going to discuss that this Friday. Was the tape for my mouth? My arms? My hands? Does he really think a little wad of tape will slow me down?)
They shipped me home before 10 p.m. on the same day as my robotic/laparoscopic something or other—with a minor scare of a rather high human growth hormone level right as they were wheeling me in to surgery. I was already in the midst of relaxing and had trouble grappling with what this lab test meant. Dr. Williams indicated he would run the test again, but that in some cases those results might indicate the presence of a pregnancy. He was smiling. My eyes were blurry and somehow I decided I had finally taught him how to joke and tease. His timing was a little off and I decided I would provide a lesson on that in the near future. The second test came back and I was out like a light and didn’t even get to dance on the table liked I’d promised.Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
So, I’ve made my bucket list for the summer of 2010. I’ve already enjoyed a week or so of rest and reading as I get back up to high gear with my yard work, the chickens, my trips to the Farmer’s Market and my Ozarkian escapades. I have classes that start next week and I am excited about them. I am teaching a few and taking a few.
I have friends who called, friends who emailed, friends who sent flowers and friends who prayed or held my hand. My boss, Dan Decker, even made a surprise appearance and laughed at me in my grogginess. I do remember him shaking my hand as I offered up my most professional handshake. I am thankful for all of that and even more grateful for the wonders of modern technology. I am even more humbled at the miracles of faith, love and the healing properties held by the human body. Time is wasting. I am always watching the proverbial clock—trying to cram as much into a minute, an hour, a day or a week that I possibly can. I do know that life is precious. I do know how important it is to listen to your body and pay attention to the signs. I also know how important a daily nap can be to the human spirit when you are trying to recover.
This week’s trek will include trips to Warensburg, Arkansas, Roaring River and Lebanon. I’ll be writing about some of these summertime excursions and the people I will visit there. I still have my pile of lists and an even bigger pile of bills. I’ll take care of all of them in due time.
But, rest assured, right now, I am meandering around some local trail, camera in hand, hair blowing in the wind, eyes squinted at the sun totally living and loving the moment. And that, my friends, can’t be put on any list.Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. (I am seeking grants, opportunities and sponsors for an outdoor classroom, a hands-on traveling museum, living history projects and summer internships. The internships are in the works and I’m exploring opportunities with private sponsors to do some enhanced living history work this year. Stay tuned as I unveil a revamped website under The Ozarkian Spirit Umbrella. Here’s a link to my new blog: http://open.salon.com/blog/kim_mccully-mobley. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-229-2094. I’d like to extend a special thank you to those who emailed or mailed me a handful of column/story ideas. A few of you have even offered to show me some places of historic interest of your own as summer arrives in the Ozarks. I’m going to take you up on it! And,…in my spare time on Saturday mornings, you might find me hanging out with my brother--the old Outlaw at 95.9 on your FM dial. As the temperatures soar and the school year winds to a close, you’ll find me pursuing some writing projects in various communities in the Ozarks region. I’ll be sharing a few more of them in this column. You’ll also get the opportunity for a more detailed look at them in a published project later this year. In fact, flyers and letters will be distributed in June to gain support on the book/advertising/sponsor list as part of the steps to receive a matching grant for my publication project. There’ll be something for everyone who’s interested in the project.)