working hard at not working on Labor Day 2012

It’s Labor Day and we just got back from Chicago.  We’ve been house hunting for a home closer to my ailing parents.  My mom has stage IV lung cancer and my dad has congestive heart failure.  They are still a couple of spitfires.  We love visiting with them and helping them out (even keeping them entertained), but they are in their eighties and I am in my fifties, so after the long drive home, we are pretty wiped out.

By “us,” I mean my practically perfect husband, Rich and me.  Rich is already in his early 60s, even older than I am (!), so we are just chillaxin today, thank goodness! Neverthe-less, we have been working for hours now to get this “user-friendly” blog software movin and shakin.  The hardest part of anything always seems to be how to get started.  In this case, which server host and what blog software, if any.  We weren’t even sure exactly what we needed, and we’re still not sure we’re doing this correctly.  Rich is a great project assistant.  We work well together, and he’s good at things I’m not always good at, and vice versa.  Even with his help, though, I have to say that in comparison, setting up a blog can make the act of writing seem pretty damn easy.

I have been an avid blog reader for a few years now.  Mainly I’m just a reader, but when I get online and links start popping up, I inevitably end up reading some random post by just about anyone on just about any topic.  I have a lot of interests, but above all, I find human beings and their insights worthy of pause and consideration. I like to think a lot. This was one of my strengths as a teacher (at least it felt that way), because whenever I called on a student who said something unexpected or surprising, it would often bowl me over.  I would stand there stunned, saying, “that’s an interesting point, student whoever…,” and I would walk around thinking about what they said for days.  Sometimes the entire semester.  That is one of the few things I think I will miss about teaching.

I also have trouble posting status updates on Facebook, because every sentence begs a back story.  To abbreviate them, I end up typing things such as, “This was one weird week.”  The ambiguity of the word “weird” has left my audience wondering, and maybe even worrying what might have taken place.  I wouldn’t let my own students get by with that sort of generalization.  I knew it was probably time for me to start a blog when so many of my updates wanted to be essays.


© Debra A. Valentino, all rights reserved.

20 thoughts on “working hard at not working on Labor Day 2012

  1. I found such heart in your beautiful post about your Mother. I see that you lost her about the same time I lost my Mother August 8th, my daughter Nov. 23, 2013. Your Mother sounds like she was not only a wonderful Mother but an amazing woman, I like how you described her Mothering skills but also how loved she was as a woman in the community. I enjoyed reading your post so much, and you have inspired me to get back to my blogging.

    • Judy, I cannot imagine the level of devastation you are experiencing with two significant losses in one year, of you mother and your daughter! My heart goes out to you, and I’m so glad you found my blog and have been inspired to return to writing. I wish you great love and gentle healing as you go forth.

  2. I liked your responses here almost as much as I liked the post! Love your writing and looking forward to your humor continuing to shine through. Rich sounds like your perfect complement, for a near-perfect husband. Isn’t support and encouragement from those who know us best something everyone craves? So glad he helped you jump on the worldwide interwebs.

  3. Clarice, I still find weaknesses in it, but one has to start somewhere…and starting is the most daunting phase of all, I think. Thank you for your kind encouragement.

  4. You are a natural! I so enjoyed reading this post. I don’t envy you the daunting task of caring for your parents but your sense of humor and caring heart will surely help you through it.

    I was struck by your “practically perfect” husband. Aren’t we all practically perfect? Also, “I find human beings and their insights worthy of pause and consideration.” How wonderful. Also, “I have trouble posting status updates on Facebook, because every sentence begs a back story.” Definitely time to start blogging.

    Keep it up.

    • Kim, thank you for your helpful observations. My writing confidence is currently low, so your comments are encouraging. I appreciate your support. And, yes, most people are struck by my wonderfully kind and thoughtful husband. He is also my greatest cheerleader. I feel very fortunate that we found each other. Thank you, again.

  5. A lovely first post and sounds like you have a wonderful “wingman” in Rich. I look forward to following your venture into blogging as we navigate Susannah’s Bogging from the Heart.

    I wish you well in the house hunt. I know how important being near family is, as I am 2000 miles away from both sides of mine and it makes me question where I am every single day.


    • Thank you, Shannon, for providing my first ever blog comment! Just like that, you are special to me! Thank you. Yes, distance from family is something I plan to address on this blog, among other things that have made a strong impact on the person I’ve become. My parents are old and ill, and it is currently my greatest desire to move back “home” before they leave me forever. I want to take care of them and give them the proper sendoff, just as they took care of me and gave me the proper sendoff when I was a child. My best to you.

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