I'm looking at the calendar date and the leaves changing, at peak or past peak now, and I reflect on the weeks since the fair and I think about all the things for which I am grateful. My list is long and it begins with being able to write this post at all. You see, the Monday following the fair, I noticed a small area around my ear, which had been irritated by my sunglasses, getting swollen and ultimately infected. My ear was pounding and I began to feel ill, despite all the home remedies and care I was applying. By Thursday, I needed to see a health practitioner and I was prescribed antibiotics. I went home with my pills, and commenced drafting my piece for the Maine Unschooling Mini Conference, that I was planning to present on Saturday. As I worked, Alex and the kids were happily cutting up cabbages and cucumbers for lacto-fermentation. Several hours later, I began to have an allergic reaction to the antibiotic and when I called my doctor, I was told to head immediately to the emergency room. Once there, my throat was swelling and I was sent to triage, where I was fitted with an IV. Soon after, I discovered that I also have a very intense, very unpleasant reaction to Benadryl, of which I was given a large dose to help bring down my anaphylaxis. In short, I thought I was dying. All I could think about was how, when I left the house, my two teens were busy stuffing cabbage and cucumber into glass Ball jars. Alex was with me in the ER the entire time, (gratitude #2) and obviously, I made it home safely (and shaken) later that same evening.
That Friday before the conference, I worked all day on my piece and took the medications that was keeping my allergic reaction at bay. My anxiety was at a high (also part of the allergic reaction) and I worked late into the evening and was up before dawn to head up to Camden with my family for the unschooling conference. We had a really great time reuniting with friends and visiting one of our favorite Maine towns. Each of us presented. Alex presented A Conversation About Higher Education, Adam hosted a Minecraft Funshop and Olivia joined me in presenting Unschooling As Feminist Activism. It was a really positive experience and (gratitude #3), I'm so glad we were able to attend and present. (Incidentally, Alex and I have been asked to present at the Northeast Unschooling Conference in August 2013.)
Then last week I continued to have reactions to the various medications I was on, including the ones meant to mitigate any anaphylaxis and it meant I was not up to doing much. It was a week of ups and downs, no doubt about it, as we celebrated some very good news (gratitude #4) and we crossed fingers and worried about someone close to us whom we care very much about, knowing they face a tremendous health crisis.
By this past weekend, my normally good health returned and I feel myself again (gratitude #5). I'm back to baking, gardening, home caring and doing fun things with my teens (gratitude + infinity). I look around and I'm grateful beyond measure for my family, friends and home, for the beauty surrounding me and that, as the wheel turns, I get to witness Autumn paint, with fine, impressionist points as well as broad, blatant strokes of color across the landscape. I'm here, I'm grateful to my core and I'm taking it all in. Every bit.