Skip to main content

Is it just me, or.... these things happen to other people, too?

Okay. We travel to Kelso for Jake's graduation. It was an amazing event. Jake is such a great kid. Seems like just the other day, Denise was coming through the airport, 5 month old Jake in her arms, and me with a huge Kenny tummy. Then Darren went to Saudi Arabia and Denise and Jake were stateside. We spent a lot of time together. Kenny and Jake were best buddies with practically interchangable mommies. They both loved to blow kisses onto my big Zach tummy. Denise would say that Zach was going to come out spotted and bruised from all the love he got even before he was born.

Jake's a lot bigger now. But his eyes are still as blue and he can still make me laugh out loud. Especially during late night card games at the beach. I haven't been yelled at by my mother in years, but it happened more than once at the beach. I blame it on Jake. He started it.

He used to come to Walla Walla every summer to go to football camp with Dave and the boys. Dave and I used to just count the days 'til he'd get there. We couldn't wait to have Jake for a week. And he loved staying at our house, too. Once, after a long day of football, he and Zach were laying in front of the tv, eating chips & dip. Jalapeno & cheddar dip. And he smiled at me and said, "Aunt Shell, I love coming here because you always have this dip for me. My mom will never buy it." (Denise has a healthier cupboard than I do!) So after that, I usually put a can of the cheese dip in with Jake's Christmas and birthday presents as a joke. So we got him a fridge for his WSU (GO COUGS!) dorm room...and...ahem...several cans of cheese dip!
We also got to see Luke play in a baseball tournament, so I wasn't jonesing too badly. They were so cute. And Luke played some catcher, too. Way cool. They took 3rd out of 13 teams. Awesome!
And on Sunday we headed home. Sigh of relief, right? Oh...wait. I forgot to tell you. We brought our pregnant cat (Snickers, AKA Juno, AKA BabyMama) with us. I DON'T KNOW WHY I TELL YOU, I JUST DID, OKAY?????

So she goes into labor. Somewhere around The Dalles. Yeah. That's about 3 hours away from home.

And as we get to Arlington, it's apparent this is the real deal and we're going to have a kitten in the back seat of a suburban.

So Kate promptly FREAKS OUT. No, really. She did.

And Zach's saying, "Ahh, Mom, I think I should drive."

And Kenny's in the front seat. Headphones firmly in place. iPod turned up all the way. "Don't even look at me!" written all over that face.

Juno, by the way, is pretty calm. We've got a box for her, so she's sitting in there purring and rubbing on Zach.

Then the bloody show.

So, Kate FREAKS OUT. Kenny turns up his volume. I talk to Zach. It'll be okay. Just stay with her. Comfort her, tell her she's doing a good job.

"Mom, maybe I should drive."

So after a little bit, I call Nurse Neese. She suggests we pull over until the first baby is born.

Zach says, "Is it supposed to look like a superball with a stripe?"


"Well, their heads are pretty small," I tell him.

"Not THIS small," Zach replies.

Kate FREAKS OUT. "What's wrong with its head?????"

So I take Denise's advice and pull over into some desolate truck stop outside Boardman. And I check the cat. And well, it's a TAIL.

So, I freak out. Not capital letters...yet. Denise googles it. "No, it's okay, 40% of all kittens are breech. It will be fine."

And our tiny Juno has a contraction and I take one look and I just know, that superball kitten is NEVER coming out of there. So I Freak Out. (Just a few capital letters.) Denise says, "It's okay unless it's been stuck for 10 minutes, then you'll have to pull on it." Seems like it's been a year. So the next contraction I gently pull on the tail. Nothing. Nada.

So, it's getting dark and we can't see. So I go into the minit-mart and buy a flashlight. Because the one I so cleverly, with fore-sight, put in our SUV a year ago has dead batteries and minit-marts in god-forsaken truck stops apparently don't sell batteries alone.

And I don't want to be out here in the dark with a laboring cat any more. So I decide Zach should drive.

And I FREAK OUT! All caps this time. I don't know why. He's an excellent driver. Better than me at this point, I'm certain. But I have this mini-panic attack and start doing this funny breathing thing, like I'M the one in labor. "I can't do this, Zach. I can't do this. I don't know why, I just can't."

So Zach. He pulls the car over, gets in the back seat and somehow manages to get me, Kate and the cat breathing calmly.

I drive. And pop. Out comes the kitten. A calico like her mom. Promply christened "Freeway" for the place of her debut. And BabyMama knew just what to do. Cleaned the baby up, got it breathing, and other things that shall go unmentioned due to some folks' delicate sensibilities. Go visit a farm, for Lord's sake!

Took the baby a while to latch on and nurse. Maybe because of the speeding, swerving driver. Yeah...Zach should have driven.

We made it home before the next one was born. I was up until 4:00 am. Five altogether. 1 calico, 2 black and white and 2 orange. Whew! Juno and company are doing well, 48 hours later. And Duke LOVES the babies. Koda, of course, is afraid of them.
DSC_0083 was YOUR weekend?
And, by the way, do you need a cat? I think you do. Really. I think you do.

So, Monday morning comes shining loudly through my window. 7 am: time to get ready for FOOTBALL!!!
Yeah... 8am to 8pm. Football!
Watched some scrimmages on Tuesday. Zach had an interception and 2 td's. It was a fabulous outing and it was so fun to see them on the field again.
Baseball tonight. Zach's exhausted and sick and has a hurt left knee and a hurt right ankle. Had a HORRIBLE game. Insists on going to football in the morning. This week just might kill us all.

Keep praying for Kristi...I hear the hair has made its exit, but that means the chemo is working and Kristi feels that the tumor is noticeably smaller. YEAH!!!'s all in NJ?


  1. Chelle
    This post lead me from tears to laughter. I continue to pray for our friends. So tell me are either of the yellow kittens male?

  2. Awwww, congratulations! What a real trooper ALL of you are! If I were closer, I'd take a kitten!

  3. I loved the way this post came full circle, back to birth and babies! And if you can ship a kitten across the country, send one to me. I've never had a cat, but LOVE my sister's, so I'm thinking one day I may venture that way.

    Thanks for asking about things here. My aunt in Chicago is slowly (but surely) regaining strength. Dad is doing the chemo thing, grumpy and ornery, but at least he's eating a bit better. Still VERY thin - needs to regain about 50% of his current weight to be back to "normal." Laura is in surgery as I type this. (She lives in Hawaii.)

    The weather here is so gorgeous that it keeps things feeling okay! And my employer started summer hours, so I had today off to go to lunch with some girlfriends.

    Life is good. And so it goes. :)


  4. Hi,

    Congratulations to your nephew on his graduation!! Great pictures!!

    Your friend Kristi and her family and Patti and her family and you and your family are in my prayers.

    I hope you are having a great summer!!

    Prayers and hugs from Iowa,


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


So I had my first Walla Walla goodbyes.
The first was my eye doctor, Dr. Poffenroth.
He's taken care of my eyes for 25 years.
He's more than just an eye doctor.  He's a caring person and a friend.
As I left my last appointment, he handed me a card with a referral to a friend of his who practices in Port Angeles.
I looked at the card.
And realized...I won't see him again.

I've been living in a bit of denial.
I know.  Big surprise.

With all the excitement and chaos of moving,
And all the stress of living in limbo,
I somehow missed that I'd be leaving some things
some people

I know I'll be back often.
To see my kids and the new grandbaby,
friends and family.
This fact allowed me to forget...
there are some I won't see.

Even though we promise to keep in touch,
Life has a way of getting busy.
Good intentions and all that.

I  have written many times about Walla Walla.
It's a magical place.
Safe, nurturing.
I never thought I'd leave.

People ask…

Being a Widow on Father's Day

This day never gets easier.

I scroll facebook and I see
that my children and I are not alone.
So many families missing dads on
Father's Day.

We are lucky.
Dave was here,
and fought to stay,
as long as he could.
He left a legacy that we will
always remember.
He was honest and kind and caring.
He was full of faith and joy and love.
His example leads us through every day
without him.
Missing him never goes away.

I want to give a "shout-out"
to all those moms who do double duty.
Who work hard to be the best mom that they can,
and try to fill the empty space left by a dad
who is no longer here.

For the last almost 11 years,
and often in the years before that
when Dave was so sick,
I tried to do what I could.
"There is no way to be a perfect mother,but a million ways to be a good one."
I worked two jobs.  Sometimes three.
A few times, even four.
To make sure my kids could stay in their childhood home,
to try to provide some safety, stability and security
in a wo…


I got a tattoo.  Christine actually wrote on my facebook post, "You??"
Yeah.  Me.

I've been thinking about it for six years.
I finally decided that if after six years, I still wanted it, maybe it was time.

The writing is Dave and Doug's.
Taken from notes they wrote me.
They always signed their notes the same way.

I thought I was doing it in memory of them.
To mark the way they are always on my heart.
To have a visible reminder.
A permanent keepsake,
always with me.

And while it is that.
It is also more.

I didn't realize it,
until afterwards.

It's a marker.
A closing of a chapter.
Closure, if you will.

I don't know how to explain it.
The minute it was finished,
I knew.
I knew something inside me was different.

and to a lesser extent,
have been part of my every thought
every day
for over 10 years.

Daryl saw the Dali Lama this summer.
One thing he learned:
Interrogate your truth.

I've been thinking about that a lot.

Interrogate implies a…