It's been about 20 years since I've been to Mount Magazine. My college boyfriend Snake's dad had an old dilapidated cabin in the middle of nowhere. We would bring a tent for the front yard, since the cabin was only fit for twilight wanderings to get your creep on. It was teeming with insects, arachnids, and forest vermin. My favorite part of those weekends in the mountain weren't the dinners cooked by bonfire - I remember fondly learning to shoot a gun.
Snake usually brought along a .22 rifle and a .20 gauge shotgun. The .20 gauge had a little too much kick for my taste, but I enjoyed sighting the soda cans he set up on a log far away with his .22 rifle. He was a little more than peeved that I was a much better soda can marksman than he was, despite my novice status. I was secretly pleased. Despite the fact that my ex hoards a large number of guns in a gun safe, I never shot another gun in my 13 years of marriage. Not that I remember, anyway.
Wait, that was Mount Nebo. Not Mount Magazine. But I think they are in the same vicinity. So I am ecstatic to take my kids to Mount Magazine this weekend - I booked a King suite with a fireplace and two balconies - my partner assures me it is as good as any five star resort. The kids and I are pretty fired up about the indoor pool and the arcade that boasts air hockey. "Mom, what is air hockey?" I can't wait to show them.
Happy New Year - have I said that yet? It goes without saying. This year has got to be better than the last - a giant head f$%# of a year. I'm flying high off of a challenging call weekend with an unprecedented amount of difficult medical marrows. I stopped a radiologist in the parking lot last night and accused him of dragging patients off the street. He is older than me, and has a lot more holiday calls under his belt. Still, he remarked, "That was one of the worst calls I have ever had."
I took the kids back early Sat. so my ex could go hunting, so they had to trek up to work with me on Sunday to look at a couple of cases. They were over the moon.
"Mom, we get to go to your office? We love your office!"
They don't go that often, so I wandered into the lab and introduced them to one of my favorite techs. We headed to the doctor's lounge where there was one chocolate doughnut left - we also loaded up on Frosted Flakes, 2% milk, and juice from the fridge. I promised them if they were quiet while I looked at the stains from a lymphoma case and did a wet read on a bone marrow aspirate, then calling a clinician to give them results, that I had a surprise in store.
A couple of months ago I went to a science area in a kids store and found five microscope slides of an ant, a honeybee mouth, a planaria, a cross section of an earthworm, and I forget the others. I had been storing them next to my computer for an opportune moment, which was Sunday. I made them guess what they were looking at, and although C cheated since she could read the slide label, I was pleasantly surprised that Jack guessed the ant. I filled them with facts.
"Did you know a planaria can be cut into infinitely small pieces and regenerate fully? Meaning it can grow back from a tiny bit of itself?"
"Mom, I love the planaria the most. It is so pretty."
"Those eyespots are called ocelli. Can you imagine if someone cut off your fingers and voila! A new Cecelia was born?"
"Would it be another Cecelia with my exact personality?"
"Not possible, I think. You are one of a kind. It might look like you, but it would have to forage it's own mindset."
"Oh. That's good, I guess."
Then she went on to creating her own pathology notepads from mine - she crossed off my name and wrote below it, "Cecelia Ann Schneider, M.D." She stapled her work together and took it home. Meanwhile, Jack was busily decorating my notepads with my favorite blue highlighter. I have his work pinned up on my bulletin board full of kid art and normal values.
Yup, absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I missed the hell out of my kids last week and was glad to have four books (I recommend Little Bee by Chris Cleave, Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon, and Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow - and I won't mention the other because if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it, right???) to read at night and lots of work to keep me busy all week and weekend. The kids and I are counting down the days to the lodge. I hope to plan many more outings in the new year, to keep us all occupied. An idle mind is the devil's workshop. I enjoyed this call so much that I don't think I'll give up any more for the rest of the year.