Pursued

She wasn’t sure she was going to make it.

The split second she needed to gauge the footsteps – the leaps that would take her further from her pursuer and closer to an escape – that fraction of time might have made the difference.

Her pulse was throbbing in her ears. Could he hear it?

He would catch her again, this she knew.

She could hear his short, shallow breaths just feet away. He wasn’t watching. Not yet. But if she moved, if she made any effort to change her position, he’d be there in a flash.

She decided to go for it.

Uncrossing her legs, she leaned quickly to the left and sprinted up the stairs. Three, four, five steps to make it on the landing, then a quick juke to the left. Through the doorway – there it was! Freedom!

A door slam away.

She twirled around, grabbed the handle. Began to propel the door forward, but too late. Too late.

He was with her, grinning maniacally. He knew he’d beaten her, he knew she was caught.

As did she, so she sat down to pee, defeated, and handed the toddler a roll of toilet paper to unravel, resigned to her fate.

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Red Dragon, Lunchmeat and why there won’t be a Monday Meals Post

I want to tell you about that time that I purposefully placed turkey cold cuts on my face.

That time was yesterday.

It started out as a great day. I kissed my boys goodbye that morning and headed to meet my friend Greta for lunch and girl time.

I enjoyed a fruity Blue Moon and a spicy Red Dragon roll while GFunk and I chatted about family and future plans.

She gave me my birthday present, a really cool bird’s nest necklace that she made herself. No one has ever made me jewelry before. I totally love her. She’s one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met, both inside and out. Also, she’s hilarious after a cocktail.

After negotiations with my husband via phone, I managed to eke out a few more hours to hang with my pal, so we went to see The Five Year Engagement.

Y’all, I’ve never watched a more awkward movie in my life. Maybe that was the point? I don’t know. The previews were good though. Ted? The talking teddy bear? I’m so there for that movie. And the Judd Apatow flick that’s like the sequel to Knocked Up? Hilarious. Can’t wait.

Anyway.

About an hour into the movie, I started to feel weird. My throat got really dry. My head started pounding. Eventually I had to excuse myself to drive home so my husband could make it to work on time.

The drive across town was miserable. My face felt like it was ballooning out. The road kept blurring.

But I made it, and walked into the house where hubs handed over kid duties, kissed me goodbye, and left for work.

I got the kiddo settled with cookies and juice and took my temperature. 101.4.

Great.

I downed some ibuprofen and over the next 20 minutes just kept feeling hotter and hotter. I took my temp again. 102.

Awesome.

Later, while I was prepping dinner for my son, I stuck my head in the fridge. My face was on fire. My gaze alighted on a package of honey smoked turkey lunch meat. The thought crossed my mind that it would feel really good on my sizzling skin.

So I took a piece out and slapped it on my forehead.

Y’all, it felt great. I smelled funny for the rest of the day, but those few minutes of instant relief until the medicine kicked in were worth it.

Eventually my fever made its way down to 99, and I put the baby to bed and went to sleep myself.

I woke up this morning still feverish with a splitting headache and a throat full of lava. Right now I’m riding the Nyquil wave, so I’m feeling minimal pain but I just realized that I have nothing scheduled for Monday Meals, and there’s no way I’m cooking today.

So maybe you could go visit a few of my favorite recipe spots instead. Try here. Or here. And definitely here.

Or you can have a cheeseburger. Here ya go.

Oh man. I can’t wait to read this tomorrow when I’m less delirious.

How was your weekend? When you’re sick, how do you handle it?

The bucket

Image source

During my training as a teacher, I was given an analogy that compared relationships to a bucketful of acorns.

The speaker held up an empty metal bucket. He said, “This is the person you’re in a relationship with.”

He placed acorns on the table in front of him. He said, “These are moments. They are kind words and insults. They are good deeds and trespasses.”

He handed the bucket to a woman sitting nearby. He told her she was doing a wonderful job at preparing for her career. Then he placed an acorn in the bucket.

Then he left the room and came back with a soda from the machine outside. He handed it to the woman and put another acorn in the bucket.

Then he kicked her.

Not hard. Just enough to catch her off guard and make her a tiny bit nervous.

He reached in the bucket and took out an acorn.

“Every interaction with people consists of deposits and withdrawals. You want to make sure you’re making as many deposits as possible, because eventually, even by accident, you’re going to end up making withdrawals,” he said.

I think about that demonstration all the time.

***

Now I’m not so great at banking, but I do know that if there’s $100 in my checking account and I write a check for $150, it’s gonna bounce.

And so I also know that with people in my life, if I care to have them around at all, if I care to make a positive impact on their life or want them to trust me, I need to invest in them.

I need to put acorns in the bucket.

But what happens when you’ve made several deposits in the other person’s bucket but they never make any in yours? What happens with they’ve given you no acorns and then they walk up and kick you?

Even if you’re a forgiving person (and I struggle with that) you’re going to feel that person is bankrupt after awhile. You’re going to take your empty bucket and go somewhere else.

You can’t ever get back the acorns you put in their bucket either. You gave time and thought and maybe even money to this person, but it’s an investment you can’t ever touch, because really what they’ve done is just dump out the bucket.

Today I realized that I made deposits in another’s bucket for no reason. I realized that every time I gave, and they took, that they never tried to reciprocate.

I looked down and not only was my bucket bereft of acorns, it had some IOUs in there. It was an account that was severely overdrawn.

So I’m closing that account. I’m taking my bucket elsewhere. And while I’m not ok with that, while I had hoped for better, I have to accept that some people are incapable of handing out acorns.

Are your buckets full? If not, how do you wish others would invest acorns in you?