Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another day, another nail-biter

Word upon word, this dissertation is coming together. I sit down to write late last night, with the day still swirling around in my head.

Last Sunday, our house rings with laughter and company (20 for lunch). W and I do marriage counseling with a young couple in the evening. When we're done, my "day off" is over. We're ready for a good night's sleep. Except that I wake full of buzz and viniger at 3am. Between trying to lie still for 3 hours but "I don't feel tired," the shower running in the bathroom next door, and W getting ready for his trip, I fall back asleep at 7:15. The alarm (Bible read aloud) goes off at 7:45 so I enjoy 15 minutes of meditation, listening.

W chose to go to a conference this week, so my mom ("Grandma" to the kids) is here helping with Kirsten. She warned us, that at 76, she'll be resting rather than cleaning. "Fine, Mom," we said. "Good for you, Grandma." (Doubtfully.) That's great. If Mom's relaxing, I won't have to answer questions about what's where, so I can focus on studies. I don't have time to visit, that's for sure. I'm beyond past crunch time on this hideous dissertation. Time is running out.

Mom and I start the day with a walk. "I hate this hill," she said. I agree. I'd never take myself for a walk if I didn't have dogs. We live two blocks from the almost-top-of-the-mtn. ... after you climb our steep driveway to the street. Once you're at the top, it's easy, rolling swells. "What shall we have for supper tonight?" Mom asks. I snag some chicken from the freezer and start it thawing.

While I get in the tub with papers to edit, Mom "rests." Sort of. Not really. She takes everything out of the fridge and cleans it top to bottom. After noon, I hear a knock knock on the door... "Want to have lunch with us?"

Sure. I dress, things are not quite ready ("Wow, that was quick," says Mom when I come into the kitchen.) 15 minutes later, I eat with Kirsten and Mom. When I splash back down in the tub, adding hot water to make it bearable, an hour's gone.  I zone in until 4pm to get through the paper. I begin editing at the keyboard, inserting changes.

"Need some help?" I ask about 4:30. I'm feeling guilty about not helping Mom cook. But she has everything under control. Carrots are cut and soaking, spaetzle dough is whipped up, the chicken is breaded.

Meanwhile, Jonathan and two friends are baking chocolate chip p-b cookies. "I'm waiting for them to leave the kitchen," Mom said. "But everything's ready." We stand around, they decide to stay for supper, and I get back to my work for 10 minutes.

Ding-dong! it's the front door, with a couple and their babe in arms. The dogs yell and run for the door, beserk at the new arrivals. Their barking wakes the baby. "Darn," says the mother. "I was hoping she'd sleep."

After 6, we eight sit down to a wonderful German meal. "I'm not cleaning up, you guys!" Grandma announces. But she gets up and calls the boys to help clear the table. I stay in the kitchen for cleanup afterwards, trying to shoo Mom away. One of Jono's friends washes the last dishes. By the time Mom and I empty the dishwasher and get everything back to normal, it's after 8pm. Another day. Gone. Oh well, study time? That's what evenings are for.

Hey, what's this? The footnotes have strange double quotes and there are formatting conflicts between journal and magazine styles... oh my. 700+ footnotes to look through? I send a quick "HELP!" to the editor, who says, "I can fix it in a hurry; send it my way!" Gratefully, I shove it off my desk onto hers. After 10pm, my brain, eyes, and fingers disconnect so I give up.

My fingers feel taut when I get to bed. What?! I bit all my nails off while editing. Ugh. Good thing they grow quickly. I need to get to work. to work. to work. Lord have mercy.

Read more:
*One day Moses said to the LORD, 'You have been telling me, "Take these people up to the Promised Land." But you haven't told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, "I know you by name, and I look favorably on you." If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.'

The LORD replied, 'I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.' Exodus 33:12–14 NLT

*Psalm 7:10-17; Genesis 10:1-11:9; Matthew 5:1-16

*Rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God. Joel 2:13

*Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news." Mark 1:15

Moravian Prayer: Forgive us, our Redeemer, when we take on a show of piety but not a heart of piety. Create in us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us. Restore to us the joy of salvation. Amen.

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