Category Archives: #snow

This Lovely Snow Week

While my friends have (understandably) been crying on Facebook about the inconveniences of this snow week that we’ve all ended up having, my own week has been exceedingly sweet. This was a home week for my traveling husband, which is always nice in itself, since the traveling weeks ask me to be in two or three places at once about twenty times during the week. Thank the shiny stars above my family is able to help out with driving!

But, I have been griping about the snow and the cold. So inconvenient. Makes the roads bad. Gotta shovel the sidewalk and steps. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. The cold is ridiculous. Feels like -24 degrees? We’re all going to freeze to death if we just walk to the mailbox.

Today, the cold abated while the snow raged on. I decided to walk in the snow to my mom’s house (1 mile away) to help her with some computer things. On the way over, the snow had mostly stopped, so I snapped a selfie because pics or it didn’t happen.

Red and Pink and Red and Blue, Snowy, Snowy, Snowy, Sioux
I spent about 2 hours at my mom’s, and we had a great time. By the time I left, the snow was falling again. Huge, beautiful flakes. Now, everyone of course has had enough snow photos to last the winter, but I took this little video (13 seconds):

Although the streets had been plowed, the sidewalks were deep in snow. One of the roads is pretty busy, so I walked on the sidewalk there. Stepped deep in snow, over my boots, a good workout! As I walked, I realized something:

Snow is fun and beautiful and lovely when you are walking in it. 

Hmm, another picture of life? I can stand on the sidelines and complain about not having enough time, or wanting something I don’t have, or feeling overwhelmed. But when I actually participate, and get in the arena, all I see is the beauty. Even in the midst of difficulties, the beauty is there to see, if only I join in, immerse myself, and allow what is to be perfect just the way it is.

I Miss my Spleen. A Story.

I am reposting a blog that appeared here a couple of years ago. It is the story of how I lost my spleen.

I’ve been missing my spleen this week, as I have been fighting a mean infection.

This is the first time in the long and storied history of Siouxsies Musings that I have ever reposted something. But it is simply the next step in my story.

Realizing that not everyone wants to click links, I will also put the text of the original post here:

MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

S is for Storytelling: A Sled, A Spleen, and Siouxsie

With only two days left before Christmas vacation, the snow began falling early, but not early enough to score a snow day. We all focused on the snow even as the teachers asked us to focus on the blackboard.

After school, Linda and I completed our chores, put on our snowpants and mittens, and met outside in her front yard with our sleds and our excitement. We knew Judi’s yard had the best sledding on the street, and we were more than ready to ride joyfully down the hill after a year of memories and anticipation.

While Linda stood contemplating the hill, I noticed there was a little bit of an extra hill behind us so I suggested we start from the tippy-top to enjoy the extra speed that would surely result from such a daring start.
Gallantly, I offered Linda first dibs. Her face clouded up. No, she said, I’m too scared. Overly bold, I declared I wasn’t scared, and hopped into her sled (it was cooler than mine).

All of the kids on the street had been down this hill a thousand times, but this was the first time this year. Eagerly, I started down the hill. Just as my descent began, the back corner of my sled bumped the corner of the sandbox and altered my course just enough so that I knew immediately that I was on a collision course with the tree.

In this “artist’s re-enactment” you see many trees. But in reality, the tree I was headed for was one of only three on the hill. And there was plenty of space between them.

In an attempt to miss the tree, I rolled partway to my right, and then a little more, and just a teensy bit more, effectively stretching out the skin on the left side of my abdomen just as taut as could be, and

 BAM, hit the tree.

I knew I was hurt. All I knew was I needed to get home. I jumped up, and ran full-tilt all the way down the street to my house, thereby inadvertently allowing the internal bleeding to ramp up to a fast flow.

Once home, we settled into our normal injury/medical routine: wait to see if it gets better on its own. Judging by the stabbing pains I experienced all night long (due to internal bleeding), it would be safe to say it wasn’t going to get better all on its own. However, I was still alive in the morning! Barely able to walk; weak as a newborn kitten; unable to keep even a sip of water in my stomach. “I … want … to … go … to … school … … please. Can’t …… break … perfect … attendance … streak.” Mom decided that perhaps these symptoms were suggesting a trip to the doctor, rather than the preservation of my perfect attendance streak, so off we went to see Dr. Blatt.

In about ten seconds, he had me diagnosed: ruptured spleen, need surgery NOW.  I didn’t really care at this point. Thankfully, it wasn’t up to me to get it done!

Back before hospitals and health care were so strictly monitored, one was admitted and kept for quite some time for such a procedure. I was in the ward for two weeks, which constituted my entire Christmas break. My two sisters bravely agreed to postpone Christmas until I could be there with my family.

What remains:

  • This lovely scar, eight inches across. 
  • The opportunity to write on a million health forms, Splenectomy 1974, and to answer the consequent questions about what happened. 
  • An amused recognition that all I really needed to do was roll out of the sled and I would have missed the tree completely!
  • complete set of non-perfect-attendance records in my school days. 
  • boss immune system which picked up the slack resulting from losing my spleen.
  • precious memory of playing Boggle for the first time with my dad that Christmas and finding the word SPLEEN. (I didn’t ever think to ask if he had stacked the cubes!) 
  • Gratitude that my body did what it was designed to do, stopping the bleeding on its own, and getting me through the night and through the surgery.
And a lovely quote from Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee (highly recommend!):
“On the girl’s brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” 
― Chris CleaveLittle Bee
A scar means I survived.