I’ve not written in a couple of weeks, and my mine is just bogged down in a mess of emotions and experiences and whatever else you’d like to thrown in there for good measure. So, if you manage to follow along, you deserve a gold star.

  1. My wife lost two uncles in a less than a week of cancers. One uncle, Uncle Dennis, we went and saw during his birthday party (waited two hour for a five minute conversation). He was a shell of his former self, and the cancer guilt kicked in good and strong. Here’s a man who coached for 31 years, is third all time in coaching wins with 1,115, and is adored by his family and the community, reduced to sitting in the shade so he won’t overheat. We went to his visitation on a Friday, and that Saturday, we visited  the other uncle in hospice. During the above mentioned party, we found out that Uncle Mike had a series of strokes and couldn’t move and could barely communicate. They took him to the doctor, and when a scan was done, it showed that it was in fact an aggressive form of cancer which had attacked his brain. He wanted no treatment as it was an inoperable form, so they brought him home. We went up and saw him that Saturday, and my wife’s aunt was there. She said they couldn’t wake him up and that his breathing was really labored. We could hear him snoring from the hallway. So, we went in, talked with her aunt, all the while watching for any kind of signal from Mike. We leave about 11:15, and by 2:30 that afternoon, he was gone. We were so glad that we went up to see him, even if he may not have known we were there. It was nice to be able to have a little bit of closure.
  2. We went to the funeral on a Wednesday, they drive 4+ hours to Des Moines for the Iowa State Fair. Our daughter was showing twice, and for the most part, things were ok. One heifer showed pretty well, one did not. Weather was great, It was bittersweet because it may have been her last time at the Iowa State Fair with her animals. She’ll go off to college next fall, and we aren’t sure if we can swing both the State Fair AND move in day. We’ll see. I’m optimistic, my wife is a bit more of a realist! 🙂
  3. Then, there’s school starting back up, which brings about an entirely new set of things to worry about as my wife starting a new job teaching four year olds and working with the special education side of things. She’s very excited, a little nervous, and overwhelmed with stuff to do! My own job didn’t change, but it was incredibly hard to get up for this school year. My team saved me, both 8th grade team and the friends in the elementary too. The laughter and smiles and “what the h*ll, Darin, lighten up,” helped me to get back into the groove a bit. This has been the hardest year to gear up for, and I’ve needed that motivation. In previous blogs, you can see I was trying, but wow, I was really, REALLY burnt out at the end of the year. I’ll get my groove back, but it will take a while.
  4. My youngest is a senior and that isn’t logical to me. There’s no way that this is her last year and that she’ll move out and away next fall. Of course, she tweeted this over the summer: “When I’m 18, I’m so outta here,” so apparently she WILL be gone. My wife and I practiced the “no kids” thing as we traveled to Lansboro, MN and Lake Okobojo. We also had two weeks to ourselves with my daughter being gone in Germany. We’ll see how all that goes.
  5. Republican control in Iowa has set up our teacher and public employees down a hard path. “Collective bargaining reform” and all sorts of other stuff that went on last session will cost our state and our profession dearly as college students don’t want the lower pay, the intense workload, and the constant “teachers suck” that being trotted around. But, as long as someone feels they got their digs into the union, then all is right in Iowa. *sigh*
  6. And finally, our country is imploding upon itself. I subscribe to a rather pessimistic view of things. We live in an infinite growth society on a planet with finite resources. That never, ever turns out well. Any time in history were growth has been allowed, unchecked, there’s been a collapse. We are almost 20 trillion dollars in debt. I look at oil and the fact that we’ve tapped into literally all the “easy” oil on the planet. We drill deeper, we use methods that pollute more to get oil that needs more refining. This won’t end well either. The only time we’ve been as divided as we are right now, a civil war broke out. Our president, whether you like him or not, is not acting presidential, and all the anger is at a boiling point. Our hope is that both sides the ultra left wing nuts and the ultra right wing nuts, take a step back, and realize this is not what America is. It’s highly unlikely, but a guy can dream.

So, there you go, my mind is dumped of all the clutter, good and bad, so now I can start refilling it again! If you’ve gotten this far, you get the gold star of “Why Did You Keep Reading?” 🙂

Not the most positive of blogs, but sometimes, you can’t be positive and that’s ok too. The trick it, don’t let yourself get sucked down into the mess. And I won’t.

Just today.