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Archive for January, 2010

Jan 29 2010

I’m Sitting in Your Chair

Posted by Mugs @ 11:10 am in Family Print This Post Print This Post

You are supposed to have a yearly physical in the Army, but Dale has determined that “yearly” is a subjective term and has a physical every five years instead. He returned from Iraq a year ago last September with some lung and stomach issues. Thankfully, the breathing problems have dissipated as he is no longer subject to burn pit toxins on a daily basis. However, his stomach is just not right.

He went in for his physical and was assigned to a highly motivated doctor. The man is “fired up” at all times, works hard at his job, and is determined to find the cause. He has subjected Dale to a gamut of tests. These tests usually take place at the clinic in the Pentagon and I am not involved.

However, one test was to be done at Fort Belvoir. It involved anesthesia and required my presence. Dale has never asked me to be present at any medical appointment in our twenty four years together. He even once had out patient surgery and all I did was drop him off at the curb of the hospital and pick him up at the curb of the hospital.

You’d think that one request in twenty four years would be responded to with, “Of course, Honey, I’ll be there for you. Don’t worry about a thing.” Instead, I replied, “Are you sure I have to sit there? Can’t I just drop you off and come back?”

I was, of course, thinking about the coordination involved in getting four kids to school without my assistance.   I was not thinking that for once, my husband actually needed me to make him the top priority. It’s jarring, I tell you. Thankfully, I am blessed with helpful friends and three of them covered my duties for the day.

So, I found myself sitting next to my husband in a hospital gown. He went off to his test and I read the paper in a dazed state for we had gotten up at O dark thirty.

Suddenly, his doctor came bounding into the waiting room to introduce himself. The guy is highly motivated at all times of the day. I have a friend like him. Whenever I am around him, he’s so fired up, it rubs off on me. I become highly motivated to do something (I’m not sure what, but something).

I then went in to sit on the chair in the recovery room next to Dale’s bed. I felt so very odd. I finally said to Dale, “This is very weird. We are in the wrong places.” I’m usually the one in the hospital bed (dehydration, concussion, cesarean, pneumonia, etc), not him. Dale replied, “At least you know what the waiting room looks like now.”

On our way out, we passed through the pharmacy and listened to the computer generated voice which calls out the ticket numbers, “B463 to window number 2.” It’s the same computer generated voice at every military hospital around the world. For me, it will always be the sound of an endless wait. We hurried past, looking in empathy on those in the room and grateful not to be sitting in their chairs.

Jan 27 2010

I Don’t Like This Body

Posted by Mugs @ 12:29 pm in Devotional Print This Post Print This Post

By Mugs Manry

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)

Throughout the last twenty years of my life, I have moved twelve times. Sometimes my family moved across the country, other times we moved across the world, and each time we prayed concerning our next church, “God, where would you have us be?” After asking this question, I would give God lots of hints. My hints would contain specific requirements such as: inspiring teaching, encouraging pastor, gifted worship leader, ministries for the children, a designated church building, and chairs that did not have to be put away.


Jan 27 2010

Memory Games

Posted by Mugs @ 12:13 pm in Family Print This Post Print This Post

I have never been very good at memory games: be they the baby shower version (memorize the tray of baby items) or the card games for kids. Some parents, when playing a card game will fail to play to the best of their ability to try to give their child a chance. I, however, genuinely try to beat Zeke when I play the sponge bob memory card game.

We will have 72 cards spread out between us and I try so very hard to remember the location of the card I previously turned over that matches the card I now just turned over. Zeke is exceedingly good at this game, I am not. I dread playing it.

Apparently, Abby realized she was not very good at the game either. She was refusing to play it with Zeke and told him to choose another game. In an attempt to pressure her into it, he said, “Mom did really bad, and she didn’t cry about it.”

Jan 26 2010


Posted by Mugs @ 10:37 am in Family Print This Post Print This Post

A chapel speaker told the kids to raise their hands as he queried them about what they like to do. I watched Zeke for his response. “Who likes to play games?” Zeke’s hand went up. “Who likes to watch shows?’ Zeke’s hand went up. “Who likes to read books?” Zeke’s hand stayed firmly in his lap, and I hung my head in shame.

My first child loves books as much as me. I read to him while he was in the womb. I read to him while he was an infant. I read to him while he was a toddler. I read to him while he was a child. He reads and reads and reads.

My second child followed nineteen months after my first and was subjected to the same reading routine. Although she loves listening to music best, she also likes to read. She prefers historical fiction and strange stories by Roald Dahl.

My third child wasn’t read to as extensively as the first two, but I read to him often and we read books out loud together as a family when he was young. He prefers to build things, but also likes to read books that teach him about science, animals, and how things work. He is especially fascinated by the elaborate pop up books of Carter, Sabuda, or Reinhart.

I neglected to read extensively to my fourth child, so he taught himself to read. However, he is not interested in the enjoyment of reading. His latest purpose for reading is to find places on maps and check the traffic and weather reports.

When my kids sit down to read the blog together, Zeke insists on getting his turn. Usually the older kids will find shorter, less complicated posts for him to read out loud. I suspect they must read along silently, because by the time Zeke finishes, what he has read and what I had written are quite different.

Lately, he has decided to vary his reading skills with sound effects. Because he was racing through the words without bothering to stop at periods, I told him to take a breath whenever he gets to the period. So, now at the end of a sentence you will hear “heum hah.” In the event of three dots to indicate a pause (…) “heum hah, heum hah, heum hah” will be heard. (When I told this story to Dale, he informed me that the three dots are called an ellipsis.)

Isn’t he a smart one.

Furthermore, when Zeke reads a question, he now finds it appropriate to pause and say “hmm?” Finally, Zeke has decided that my blog poems need to be set to a tune which he will make up on the spot. Between his tune and my poetry…

Well, somethings are best avoided.

Jan 25 2010


Posted by Mugs @ 10:14 am in Running Print This Post Print This Post

Saturday morning was beautiful. The sun was shining, the frost was sparkling on the ground and the birds were singing as if spring was here. We are in the midst of the January thaw, and though I want to sing of spring with the birds, two winters in Virginia have taught me that February is a disagreeable month, and rightly termed winter.

Dale has informed me that the route I have been running is actually .9 mile, not .5 mile. I can now feel just slightly less pathetic. Although I did enjoy being outside on Saturday morning, the running part of it was still not appealing.

However, I only had to stop to walk twice, instead of the four times I needed at the start of this “for the health” business. Also, an amazing thing happened as I began to trot the last section. It didn’t hurt. I concluded it must be either Karin’s illusive endorphins or I had lost all feeling in my legs.

Today, Blaze and I trotted out to enjoy the balmy 60 degree weather sent to us via California. I was determined to try to see if I could trot to the top of the sledding hill without stopping. The top of the sledding hill is the approximate half way point on the route. Here I was presented with the following question, “If the dog is walking, is my pace still considered running?”

If I humor myself and consider my pace up the sledding hill running, I did not stop to walk until I got to the end of the path. My mind wanted to push on and try to make it farther before walking, but my body was bent over like a little old lady whose arms are more determined than her legs.