Sunday, November 20, 2016

Photo-Free Adventure Post

Pictures are on my camera but I can't get them on my laptop--guess they'll have to wait till we get home . . .

Last week was a whirlwind of school and preparation and packing and getting kids organized for Brad's and my extended trip. I'm so glad Ben and Tucker and Karli are all there to watch my chickens while I've been in . . .

. . . NYC for the past few days.

Even leaving town was a complicated affair. I woke up Tuesday morning with a sore back--the kind of sore I feel just before my back goes out. I taught all day long, attended a PTO meeting and book club before coming home for the night around 9:45 pm. As I left my book club, I brushed the front door against my knee, and that slight impact shot pain up my spine. I knew I was in trouble.

Wednesday morning when I woke up, I couldn't even get out of bed, dry my feet off out of the shower, or bend over to tie my shoes. It was the worst it's ever been, and it's my own fault. I've had a bad back for years (something about 8 pregnancies), but once I picked up yoga, my bad back disappeared. In my complacent no-back-pain state, I gave up yoga for the most part when I started teaching. Gradually my flexibility and strength have disappeared, but my back stayed fine. Until I gained 10 pounds from bad eating habits and lack of exercise because of my overscheduled self with school. And then--I graded 128 essays in five days, hunched over for hours in an unnatural slouch. This toxic mix of neglect and overuse killed my once strong back.

I didn't know what to do, because we had so many flights scheduled, and with my back in that state, there was no way I could fly. My doctor made time to see me Wednesday afternoon, giving me a shot of Toradol and prescriptions for painkillers and muscle relaxants with the hope that the pain would break. Thirty minutes after the shot, I was convinced he was a liar. Thirty-two minutes after the shot, I was blessing his name.

Since Dr. P said that bedrest would only atrophy the muscles and tighten them even more, I elected to go to school on Thursday, taking Advil and Tylenol on schedule all day (no need for the prescriptions). By Thursday night, I was much better, and when I awoke on Friday, I knew that the worst was over.

And that leads up to this weekend.

Brad and I spent all day yesterday wandering the city in the most beautiful fall weather ever--the Whitney Art Museum (not my favorite), Rockefeller Center (where the Christmas tree is still hidden behind scaffolding but incredibly impressive), walking 5th Avenue and Times Square, and catching a fancy dinner (Wolfgang's Steakhouse) and a Broadway show last night. Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812--wow. What an amazing experience. Check out their website. Listen to Josh Groban's recording. Look at the stage and notice how the audience sits as part of the cast. Brad and I had seats on the stage, and if I'd wanted to, I could have reached out and touched Josh Groban's foot on a few occasions. I'm sure he spit on my head a few times as he sang--and I didn't even care. It was incredible. The show officially opened this week, and reviews are very good. I'll add mine--go see it! Lucky for me, Groban returned to the stage yesterday after missing a few performances this week while he rested his voice. I would have been so disappointed if he hadn't been there!

Today we attended church in Manhattan, strolled through Central Park for less than 30 minutes (the gorgeous fall weather was replaced with Arctic blasts that reddened our noses and stole our breath), and mourned at the 9/11 memorial and museum. The memorial is beautiful, even in the cold, but the museum was one of the best I've ever been to. I wished my kids had been there so they could fully understand what the rest of the country felt that day and the days after.


Tomorrow we're planning a quick trip to St. John's Cathedral, the Guggenheim, and the National Jewish Museum before we leave for . . .

. . . Pakistan.

That's right.

Brad and I are attending our friend Nosheen's wedding this week. In Pakistan. Crazy, right? Wanna know what's even crazier? We're flying out tomorrow night, arriving in Pakistan and then driving 3 more hours to her town, getting there around 6 am Wednesday morning. Wedding celebrations commence Thursday and last through Saturday. Sunday we'll attend church then leave Pakistan Monday morning at 3:30 am for home, arriving in Phoenix at 8:30 pm Monday night.

Did I mention I'm teaching Tuesday?

Yeah, I might be dead from exhaustion, but I'm excited for the adventure. I'll try to post a few pictures when I can--who gets to attend a traditional Pakistani wedding in their life--in Pakistan? I know, right? A mixture of fear, excitement, dread, and gratitude compete for dominance in my mind.

Here's to a grand adventure this week!

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