Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pasco, dog dependency and gardening

Last week I got to work, asked my co-worker if she had time for our meeting to talk about fundraising and she said, "I have to go to a meeting in Pasco. Do you want to come?" and some strange part of me said "Sure." For those of you who don't live in the Western U.S., I work in downtown Seattle and Pasco is a small town in the tri-cities in Eastern WA. It is approximately 230 miles away on the other side of the mountains. But it was a sunny day in Seattle (which meant really nice in Eastern WA) so I said sure. As it turns out the drive was lovely. I drove over and my co-worker drove back which gave me plenty of time to look out at the scenery. And we stopped in Cle Elum for dinner, which is a little horse-obsessed town that I love and I think maybe after our daughter goes to college I can convince my husband to move to a farm out there.

Our meeting was with a woman who works with migrant farm-workers and we're starting an educational/outreach program for them. My co-worker went into the meeting first because well ... we had stopped at Taco Del Mar in Ellensburg to get something to eat and I quickly learned that eating a mondito burrito with lots of guacamole and sour cream doesn't work so well if you are driving and only have one hand to hold said burrito with. So, I spent the first part of the meeting in the bathroom desperately trying to clean burrito off the front of my blouse. In a bathroom with no paper towels because good lord - when did the City of Pasco decide to go green????

The meeting itself was very interesting. The social worker we met with grew up in a migrant farm worker's family too and was telling us a bit about their lifestyle. Even her life now is still very rural and she was talking about a fishing hole her husband goes to every weekend and I of course blurted out, "I would love to go fishing with you guys sometime," and she said, "Oh, that would be great!" When we were leaving my co-worker said "You know, the meeting was going ok, but then you got there and it's like you two were instant best friends! I'm so glad you decided to come with me!" That made me feel really good.

In other news I'm still on stall rest. I was actually starting to feel a lot better because of the high dose of naproxen I've been taking, but now my neck is hurting again today. Which means I shouldn't probably work in my garden like I was thinking of doing today. Hmmm ... I'll see if I can rig things up so I don't have to do much lifting. If only I had a trebuchet.

I was talking to my mom last night about someone I know who is my age and lives with her parents and doesn't work or anything (and is not disabled ... we do have some friends whose adult children live with them but in those cases the kids have autism or developmental disabilities and despite that still take classes and have active lives). Anyway, I was telling my mom how I felt sorry for this person because much as much as I love my mom, I think it would be so depressing to live with my parents and not have any friends, or family of my own or job or dreams. Maybe it's the lack of dreams or goals that I find most depressing. Even just having a child is a huge goal - my goal being to help her grow up to be happy and independent. Even if that's all I did was be a mom it would be something I was working at and striving for. Just surviving day to day without anything to look forward to or work toward sounds worse than anything to me. I guess that's the difference between some of our friends whose children are disabled but live at home - even their kids have goals and dreams even if it does not involve living independently.

My mom, whose is not one to mince words said, "She doesn't care. She's lazy and dependent". To which I said I'm not terribly lazy (no more so than the average bear) but I think of myself as a dependent person. My mom pointed out that I certainly wasn't dependent on her or my dad. So, I thought about it and tried to think who I am dependent on. I guess my husband and I are fairly inter-dependent. But that's the way it's supposed to be. That's part of the joy of having family. Then I realized, I think I'm dependent on my dog. Seriously. She's kind of a therapy dog for me. I take her a lot of places I go (except public places like restaurants and grocery stores obviously). If I don't have her when I drive long distances I feel lonely and kind of disjointed. If I'm downtown at work without her I feel vulnerable and small and like an easy target and when I'm home alone I can't get comfortable and completely relax without her. I realize that having a big pitbull helps me to not feel small, vulnerable and unsafe. Having my old dog (German Shepherd/border collie) did the same thing for me before we had the pitbull. I guess there are worse things to be dependent on. I'd rather be dependent on my dog than on cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, or my parents. It makes me even more grateful to her for being such a great dog!

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