22 December 2011

The Silver Lining

Happy Birthday to me!  There's my wonderful kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Maas.
Anyone who has moved knows it can be a stressful, sleep-depriving, anxious experience, doubled when children and/or pets are involved.  I must have been begging for an ulcer with our last move.  We survived, but it was tense.

The few days following, I felt a bit off.  I chalked it up to the flurry of activity we'd been experiencing but by Tuesday, the real problem was evident: a double ear infection.  I'll spare the details of my eardrums going from mildly bothersome to painfully throbbing and suffice it to say, I found myself with in the urgent care clinic with my mother.

I asked how long it was going to take and the receptionist got an apologetic look on her face.  "An hour or more."  I nodded and proceeded to bawl my way back to my chair.  I kept thinking I might as well just jab my eardrum with my mom's knitting needle--at least then the pressure would be relieved and I could go home and sleep away the torturous pain.

Half an hour later, they rolled one of the patients out that was taking longer than usual, keeping the rest of us waiting.  I'd know her laugh anywhere:  Mrs. Maas, my fabulous kindergarten teacher.
Not many teachers bring ponies, chickens, sheep, and rabbits for their classes to enjoy, but Mrs. Maas did!
I suspect most people don't remember their kindergarten teacher but 20+ years later, she is still one of my favorite people and she made me feel like I was one of hers.  It turns out she was chopping wood and had stumbled and broken a foot.  True to her nature, she was laughing about the whole thing which made me momentarily forget my own agony.

We chatted briefly and exchanged quick family histories, reviewing things like how many children and grandchildren we had and what we had been doing the past few years since we last saw one another.
One of our annual family outings to the Maas farm where at least once a year, my craving for horses was satiated.
My turn came around at the clinic and they prescribed heavenly drops to dull the rhythmic pain.  My eardrum still ended up rupturing so now I have a constant ringing that will last a few weeks.  It prevents me from hearing properly so I feel like an old woman, yelling, "What?  What did you say?" to everyone.  Pink eye made another appearance and two teeth are simultaneously pushing through Claire's gums so sleep is a fleeting luxury.  Though it wasn't the ideal way to bump into her, Mrs. Maas was the silver lining to an otherwise galling evening.

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