Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Hmmm. What does this old tried-and-true saying bring to mind, these days? Cheese dip. Red wine. Massages. Oh, and Mount Magazine.

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.


rlbates said...

Four books in one weekend! You read much faster than I do. How was Mt Magazine?

Happy New Year!

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I'll let you know - it is this coming weekend.

No - stretch that over about 2 weeks, not one weekend. I'm not that fast. I guess I could be, if all I did was read. But that isn't possible.

MomTFH said...

Wow, I hope the mountain trip is good. It sounds lovely. And air hockey! Fun!!

I love it that you had slides for the kids. I also love it that you call your ex boyfriend "Snake". He sounds so...seedy.

Happy New Year!

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I didn't call him Snake. He was called that by his friends when I met him. It does sound seedy, doesn't it? But I was Lizzard, so I guess it was a cold-blooded match - turned out that way in the end.

The Mother said...

Mine have been spending a ton of time in my office--minimum wage work, shredding and filing. It's kind of fun, having them around to help.

And thank goodness for competent teenagers--I have no idea how I'd survive without them at this point.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I hope I am raising mine to be competent teenagers. Good to have family around to help - much more trustworthy, I'll bet. And you can hold things dear to their hearts, like their favorite home-cooked meals, over their heads.

Ginger said...

Have fun on the Mountain!!! And Happy New Year!

Kyla said...

I like that you geek out with your kids. Sometimes I feel like I give them too much scientific information, but they eat it up!

I read the Twilight series over the course of the weekend/early this week. Shamefully, I ended up loving it. Junk food novels, I wish I could quit you! ;) Honestly, it just felt good to have time to read for pleasure again and be absorbed in a novel.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I also read the Twilight series a couple of years ago. I felt so guilty, I had to intersperse them with real literature. Some of it was tedious, but much brain candy. Kind of like Fizzy's chick lit!

I love geeking out with the kids. If you can't geek out with your kids, who can you geek out with (besides your science friends, of course)?

Ginger said...

*hangs head in shame*
As I post this, I am reading Breaking Dawn... it is the 3rd time I've read the Twilight series this year.

"Junk food" novels keep me happy and sane while I spend my days with young children. Reading material must be light enough that I can start and stop a page up to 50 times before I finish it. Frustrating when reading Rand, not a biggie with Fluff though. Don't ask me about my addiction to period romance novels... I blame Nietzsche.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I place no judgement on reading material when your kids are young. You should have seen my volumes of brain candy.

Your'e going to have to explain the Nietzsche/period romance thing. You are going over my head. Weren't you a philosophy major? Or was that physics and you just hung out with philosophy guys? I can't remember.

Ginger said...

Hahahaha! It was Philosophy and I hung out with Physics guys!

My comment that Nietzsche drove me to read romance was one of irony. Though entirely true.

Nietzsche is deep stuff. Fantastic, but deep, especially when read in the original German and the person reading it does not easily translate said German (though I got the hang of it, eventually).

Anyway, Nietzsche was a big part of my thesis and therefore so was the German which lead to ME being really brain challenged and fried... I got into some sort of discussion/argument with a girl at a party about women in Victorian era German society and how we really haven't come that far since....

Nietzsche has all sorts of wonderful insight into the female psyche and love in general (that's sarcasm, he was highly critical of both AND of the society of that time, in general)....

The girl was NOT a college student and had no idea what I was talking about but was offended none the less. She told me I really needed to lighten up and read some romance for a change, then took a book out of her purse and gave it to me. Weeks later I actually read it and BAM! Instant addiction to period romance (which strongly focuses on either Medieval or Regency and Victorian England)! It was the exact anesthesia my brain needed. Nietzsche became refreshing once again, and I love the satisfaction of knowing he would roll over in his grave if he ever knew his work drove one to the exact thing he spoke so vehemently against.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I love your new blog profile pic!

I'll bet your in depth knowledge of Nietzsche wasn't all that helpful at the beginning of your year. I'm glad you developed an alter-ego to balance yourself, both then and now. We all need to lighten up a little, don't we?