Saturday, January 28, 2006

Trip is more sweet than bitter

I didn't mention the defining event of my Florida trip because I was still thinking about it. First, the reason Clint was going to Florida was for his company's national sales meeting. This was the first year in several that spouses were "encouraged to attend." So, he went on Sunday, and I joined him Tuesday evening.
Tuesday night we had a delicious and delightful dinner with fellow employees and spouses, and Wednesday dawned with free time for spouses and meetings for employees until 12:30. Then, there was a break until 3:00, the starting time for a fun and entertaining team-building exercise on the beach, to be followed by a celebratory cookout.
The exer-tainment started, accompanied by Jimmy Buffett music(of course) and an open bar. This was not a serious event. We spouses congregated in little groups near our husbands/wives teams. After the beach portion was finished(each team had to build a boat with a stack of provided materials) the contest moved to the pool for a race. The race entailed one person sitting in the boat while four others propelled it across the pool and back twice. There were eight teams, with enough room in the pool for four, so there were two heats of four teams, then the winners of each heat faced off in the final. Sounds fun, doesn't it?
Clint's team was in the second heat, and since he's 5'8" and 150, he manned the boat. Four of his teammates pushed it, and they wound up disqualified, as they went to the side on the first lap and not all the way to the end. Anyway, one of the gentlemen who pushed exited the water gasping for breath. He was helped to a chair and attempts were made to get him relaxed and comfortable. At some point, a hotel staff person with some first aid knowledge joined the concerned group. After what seemed like an eternity, paramedics arrived and began chest compressions and use of the AED machine. It was too late, as we learned later. He didn't even make it to the hospital. He was only 58.
We were all stunned. The company handled the situation beautifully, with an impromptu prayer service that evening, and a more formal memorial the next. I was torn between the loss I felt for the man's wife (who couldn't attend due to health problems) and my own disappointment. It had been since the before the birth of our first child more than seven years ago that Clint and I had been away together, and this happens. So, for the next 24 hours I vacillated between praying for the new widow and feeling sorry for myself.
I said some brief prayers Thursday night just before I went to sleep. Friday dawned differently. I just felt more peaceful. Even though we were leaving in a matter of hours, I just felt glad to be there in a place that God had made so beautiful. I also felt a great thankfullness for the fact that I still had Clint, and would be going home with him to our precious children. Yes, something tragic happened on my trip. But, I was there, someplace lush and beautiful in January--what a blessing! And Clint and I still have today together, a gift I will work harder to treasure every day that I have it.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

We made it!

Florida is beautiful! The first night, I saw the loveliest sunset over the Gulf. I understand why God gave us our five senses, so we can truly appreciate all the beauty He created.
The kids and the grandparents survived our absence. Everyone was as happy and healthy when we returned as they were when we left. Tomorrow I'll write more about the events of the trip, but the place was beautiful and the weather was very un-January.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Am I going?

Let's try this blog thing.

I'm less than 48 hours from departure time for a much-anticipated trip with my husband to Florida. He's there--the kids & I dropped him at the airport at 8:15 this morning. My in-laws arrived this afternoon. Childcare, check. Frozen dinners, check. Warm weather wardrobe, check. The suitcase has been retrieved and is partially packed. But, there was a little hitch, last night Katie was up sick most of the night, my poor girl. She has kept food down all day and was feeling MUCH better, so I'm sure she'll be fine. But, I'm watching the boys, because I'll stay for them, but I won't be stopped if I'm the one filling every airsick bag on the plane.

Oh, and a little testament to the power of the grandparents--this morning, when I put Philip's sneakers on so he could play outside, he fought me kicking and screaming, "boots! boots! boots!" The boots, of course, were temporarily inaccessible. But, when beloved Paw-paw
told my little darling he needed shoes to go outside, he found the hated sneakers and ran to Paw-paw with them yelling "shoes!" Then proceeded to chatter happy gibberish while Paw-paw put them on and tied them. I don't think they'll miss me for a few days, do you?