Thursday, January 9, 2014

Returning to Normal

A housekeeping note: Yes, after nearly a year of deliberation I'm changing the name of my blog to something I feel is a better expression of the things I share here. I love seeing a pie cooling on my kitchen windowsill on a clear day. I enjoy watching swarms of blackbirds out of my picture window, and I adore the massive blue sky that frames my house from all sides. I won't declare in detail how poorly the "brarian" part of my former moniker fits my current life. But you can still call me the Mennobrarian if that makes you feel comfortable. I will always answer. Also, no need to update any bookmarks. Visitors are automatically redirected to my new address:
 Speaking of new addresses, I've been trying to relocate.

It was just a few days before Christmas that I caught my first glimpse of the journey.

Maybe it was when I was emptying the dishwasher and not only noticed, but cared, that the dishes in the cabinet weren't exactly how I usually stacked them. Perhaps it was that moment when, with firm resolve, I decided I was going to wear a dress and not a pair of pajama pants again. Somewhere between those two moments I began to rediscover the town of Normal.

For six weeks I had been off my feet, getting around with the help of a walker. Hauling my painful, swollen and badly fractured ankle along for the ride as I shouted out for the hundredth time, "Don't put fabric softener in the bath towels!" to whoever was standing by the washing machine. Nothing was normal.

Then, Normal was coming closer and I eagerly anticipated that moment when I would hobble with such confidence that the walker would be in the way and  pushed away so I could begin to reclaim my old life. I wanted to walk Normal's streets, stop in at the general store, and feel like it was my town again. I wanted to move back to Normal so bad. I wanted to somehow fly there, although it has no airport. 

I'm still not in the heart of Normal. Maybe I'm residing in a suburb of it at this point. When I try to pry a shoe onto my misshapen foot attached to the ankle disfigured by surgery, the sign still reads: Normal: 12 miles.

But I'm in the neighborhood. I'm on my way back home, reclaiming my favorite places, Routine, Convenience, and Productivity.

Here are a few things I missed about Normal:

Making my own coffee. Not having to ask for more sweetener.
Walking my dogs.
Granola. Baked oatmeal. Everything I cook.
Getting into the shower without an audience
Going to a store.
Seeing a cloud of dust on the floor and being able to sweep it up and not having to look at it for a week because no one else sees it, until finally, you look like a maniac when you tell someone how the dust tumbleweed has been wearing you down.

Lord, I wondered, did it really take a broken ankle to be thankful for a list of basic amenities? Did I have to move so far away from Normal in order to appreciate its clean streets, many conveniences, and sunny skies? It's amazing what you notice when you're out of town. One can never retain enough gratitude to knowingly appreciate home comforts. We are truly leaky vessels.

My luggage is packed with thankfulness to be heading home to Normal. I want to arrive safely, without a limp, so I'm taking my time. I have a map and oh so many plans. I'll call you when I arrive.


  1. It is great to hear from you. Sorry that you had trouble with broken bones... not easy with a little guy to care for plus the house. I had this happen to me when we were in the midst of a move with two toddlers. I wasn't as patient as you, I'm afraid.

    I like the new name and new family picture. Your little man is growing up.
    Have a wonderful day and pray that you will heal completely.. quickly.

    1. Oh, Mrs. Doug, it's SO good to hear from you. You would be amazed how many people told me they went through something similar while mothering very small children. Anyone who went through this has my admiration. I was not always a model of patience, as The Mister could attest.

  2. Love the new name of your blog,and very glad things are getting back to normal for your family...normal is a good thing :) Blessings friend

  3. You don't use fabric softener with your bath towels?? This is one of the cutest posts I've read! You are so creative and I just feel for you. It makes me want to go clean something just because I can. I remember feeling semi-like that when I was very close to my delivery date. I'd look at something on the ground and just walk over it 100 times because of the energy it took to bend over and pick it up. I'm glad things are slowly but surely returning to "Normal" and yes, sometimes it does take being away from it to appreciate it. Love this.

    1. Beth, I want to use fabric softener on them, but it makes them less absorbent. I'm a mess.

  4. Just when you're returning to Normal, I'm leaving Normal to live in Limbo for an undetermined number of weeks and months. Oy... I'm so glad you're getting along a little better now, and am hoping your next post tells us you've learned the Macarena.

    PS: It's never too soon to enlist the help of a toddler-waddler with the dishes...(just kidding)

  5. Must be nice to have a place called Normal in your state. I haven't heard of one around here. Atleast not within walking distance.

  6. So glad that "Normal's" in sight. Hey, and spring's coming, too! That'll fit just fine with Normal, I'm thinking.

    I enjoyed your writing, as I always do. Bless you, my friend.

    Waving and smiling.


  7. Prayers for your fast return to Normal. I know just what you are going through. I broke my ankle over a year ago. Hated the site of that walker and the black boot I had to wear.

    1. Oh Colleen, I feel such an affinity with you! I can kind of laugh at the walker, but am looking forward to throwing out the boot with great ceremony.

  8. So, so glad you are slowly able to experience "normal" again. I cannot imagine how frustrating it had to be to just "be" all the time! I think you must be something of a saint by now. :)

    1. Thanks, Lydia. I could be many things by now but a saint wouldn't be one of them. Just ask my husband!


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