Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"See the mountains kiss high heaven, And the waves clasp one another . . ."

Discovered this gem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, and I might just need to frame it and put it on my wall. It fills me with all kinds of happy.

Sorry for the brief hiatus after last week's post . . . I didn't mean to leave you guys hanging after all the gloom, because, honest to goodness, we're doing really well.  There are soft spots, now and again, but, for the most part, life is normal and joyous and everything is grand. I just wasn't sure how to follow that with a silly "Friday's Letters" and then, Saturday, I chained myself to my hand-mixer and proclaimed, "THERE SHALL BE COOKIES!!!!"
And, BEHOLD! there were cookies.
Thirteen dozen of them.
When I go big, I go REALLY big.

Ok, so they weren't ALL for the hubs and me.  Chris had requested chocolate chip cookies, and there was a church picnic Sunday night, so I decided, "What the crap? Let's make cookies." And so I did. Despite their massive success and subsequent exodus at the church beach picnic, there are still WAY too many cookies in my house. Somebody else please come over and eat them all before I do. Please and thank you.

Anyways, this post was supposed to be about the ocean, but, per the usual, I had to rave about sweets first.

I don't always realize how much I miss the sea until I see it.
Growing up in Florida, the beach is a pretty regular experience.  I didn't go as often as I would have liked, but I loved it.
When I was little, my favorites were building drip sand castles with my mom, hunting mole crabs, and pretending to be a mermaid.
As a teen, I loved boogie boarding and swimming out to the sandbars, delightfully ignorant about the swarms of sharks that probably accompanied us. I still choose to be delightfully ignorant. Sharks are awesome, and, really, nothing so much as touched my leg all the years I swam in the warm, murky Atlantic. I've never even seen one.
As I grew older, I grew to appreciate the lonely ocean walk, drinking in the sights and the smells, feeling the waves lap at my toes. I'd still wade, but I swam less, walked more. Some of my favorite memories with Chris are chatting as we walked hand-in-hand along the stretch of beach.  I think that's why he proposed on the beach at sunset after the space shuttle had soared through the sky, leaving a pillar of orange and red in its wake. That's why we took all three of our previous anniversaries at Sanibel Island, in the Gulf of Mexico, where the water is still and clear as blue frosted glass. Because I love the sea, and Chris loves that I love it.

I always remember how big the world is when I see the ocean, a creature all in its own right with moods and passions.  It's calm, soothing, and then roaring rage. There is an ENTIRE world hidden inside it, a world of which humans have barely scratch the surface. There are so many creatures, so many places, that fascinate and terrify us.  It speaks to me. Water has always spoken to me--in the ponds, rivers, and the seas. I have always loved water.
One day, I am determined to be a mermaid.

When we moved to the West Coast from the East Coast, I knew that the ocean would be very different. I had grown up on the shores of the Atlantic--they're smooth, sandy, and the waves predictable. It grows cold enough in our sparse winter months, but, during the long, hot summer, the water's perfect. Cool enough to be refreshing but not cold enough to freeze.  As a kid, we learned the danger of riptides and how to escape them.  We learned the value and the risks of sandbars, how to cure jellyfish stings, all that jazz. We learned how the Atlantic brings hurricanes and how to properly prepare, but, in the end, we flocked to it in droves to lay on the sand in our bikinis and drink in the sunlight. The Atlantic is easy.

The Pacific is an entirely different beast.  It is glorious in its fury.  I do not ever see myself wading in the Pacific--it's too cold, too rocky, too wild. Mostly it's just plain COLD.  When we go to the beach here, we go fully clothed with no expectation or illusions about wading. Sure, I'll take off my shoes and walk along the shore, but I tease the waves. Sometimes, I'm brave enough and it's almost warm enough. This weekend the picnic took place at a West Coast beach that, for the first time, reminded me of my old East Coast haunts, so I walked where my feet were constantly kissed by the dying stretches of the waves, damp and soaking. I think I was only able to do that for two reasons:
  • One, I was DESPERATE for some oceanic connection.
  • And, two, I didn't realize my feet had gone numb. 
The Pacific  holds the absolutely most stunning shades of blues and greens I've ever seen. There are mountains to one side and a seemingly endless expanse of blue on the other. I love the rocks that form tidepools filled with tiny creatures. I love the wildness of it. I love the contrasts--the sandy beach against rocky cliffs.  I am completely in awe and in love. I can't help it.

 When I see the ocean, there is an ache inside me. I don't know if you have a place that does that for you. For my husband, it's the mountains. For my sister-in-law, it's her favorite clothing stores. For me, it has always been the sea. I stand there, gaping at it, everything inside me all aflutter and bursting.  It was the same feeling on my wedding day, right before we marched down the aisle. Bursting. A joy that aches in its beauty. I can't get enough.

Sometimes, I just sit in silence and want to be perfectly alone.  Most times, however, I'm a bundle of energy. I quite literally frolic. I'm all gasps and squeals at the littlest things because I am in awe. The world is so big and I am so small, and the ocean is glorious.  I can't find anything ugly in the ocean. I'm sure I could, if I really looked, but, quite honestly, I find everything about it glorious, especially after a long hiatus.
"Chris, even the corpses that come out of the ocean are lovely!" I burst out during our last trip, gathering up the shells of deceased mollusks and sand dollars.
"There are so many things wrong with that statement, I don't even know where to start," he replied, and limited me to two sand dollars and two shells, because, otherwise, I very likely would have brought home buckets.
But that's what I'm like at the ocean: a child in a treasure chest.


Thursday, July 18, 2013


There is a part of me that's not really sure how to do this.
If it's too early, too raw, too personal.
I promised I would tell you what what big things had happened, and I do like to keep promises.

First off, let me clear the air:
No one lost a job.
No one is sick.
No one left.
No grown person has died.
(The few friends and family who read this, if, um, actually, any of the above DID happen back in Florida, and I just totally missed the memo, please accept my deepest and most sincerest apologies, and I'll get right on blogging about that, too . . . or not . . . or . . . I don't even know . . . ).

It starts off, appropriately enough, the Friday before Mother's Day. The end begins, ironically enough, the Thursday before Father's Day.

I had made this for fun after our second positive test (I took three several days apart just to be sure).
We ended up using it a week after our seven week ultrasound--where we first saw a flicker of a heartbeat. We had, of course, told family shortly after learning we were pregnant. They, in turn, told friends and coworkers. One of my MIL's coworkers is the mother of one of my former students, who, after hearing the news, posted a congrats on my Facebook profile, which had everyone all "WHAAAAAA???" It was really quite funny. :]
In response, I posted this pic.
One week later, I took it down.

There's a part of me that's not really sure where to go from here. That maybe, that's all that needs to be said. That, maybe, I don't want to go any deeper. 
Things are just starting to feel normal again, do I really want to dredge that up?
Yes, I think I do. Maybe it has nothing to do with want and everything to do with should. Need.
I don't know.
It's there, crouching in the back corner of my mind like some starved rat, gnawing here and there when I least expect it. Scurrying into view, dark and hideous with those glittering eyes that I hate. Glaring down at me with the ache, the guilt--all of it. Hideous.
  It was something lovely, once upon a time. I'm trying so hard to make it lovely again. Sometimes, it is lovely--you see the little blessings blooming in the wounds. But they are wounds, and the geography of everything has changed.
They tell me that one day they will heal and scar, that I won't really feel them.

I believe them, and I do not.
Because, you see, there is a face I will never see in this life. A laugh I will not hear. I will never know if she favored carrots or broccoli, or vanilla more than chocolate. I won't know if he liked sports more than video games or if he looked handsome in the color blue. Won't that always be there? The knowledge that there was and then there was not?
They tell me that it is an ache that can be filled in time with another. I understand this, I do, but . . . there are all these "buts."

I don't know if part of the reason it clings to me is because of how it unfolded.
It wasn't all at once, you know. It was what they call a "missed miscarriage"--we looked for a heartbeat, the heartbeat that had throbbed two weeks earlier, and we could not find it. So we waited and  waited for it to end physically, understanding that what I held inside me was no longer living. That it was and was not.  That the one thing I had been so sure my body could do, it had failed. 

Our first ultrasound, the doctor had been very pleased, but I was nervous. Women  had told me that this was the moment when I would truly become a mother--when I saw evidence of a child. Instead, the doctor said I was measuring almost a week small, and my mind and heart could not rest. I was afraid. Two weeks later, I asked if it was possible for another ultrasound.  The doctor squeezed us in, and we found our child, bigger than the last time, but no heart. She sent us to the hospital, and, for the first time in my life, I understood why people hate hospitals. We were ignored, herded, then poked and prodded without a word. They told us nothing, but, when the pretty little tech offered me a smile with a weak, "Have a nice day" I knew.  I knew that look. Pity. The "I have bad news that I can't tell you; I don't know what to say" pity. So we went back to my doctor, and she expressed what I already knew but had hoped was wrong.  There was no heartbeat, none at all, and the child was two weeks too small. It appeared we had only lost it within the last three days, after my all day nausea had turned into violent illness that rendered me like the living dead--I could keep nothing down, not even fluids.  Now, I think it was my body's last attempt to flood me with hormones to keep my child alive, but I may never know.  It was over.

The doctor gave us three choices: allow my body to complete the miscarriage naturally, induce the miscarriage through pills, or perform a D&C.  We chose to wait, expecting it to be over within a week, hoping it would be. It wasn't. Now, I see that as all for the best--had it happened within a week, I would have been sick and cramping all during our trip back to Florida.  Had it happened while we were visiting the following week, who knows how long it could have taken, how sick I would have been?

We waited for over two weeks before we decided to induce the physical miscarriage. Chris would be heading back to work in a couple of days, and neither of us wanted me alone. On top of that, as the pregnancy hormones were depleting, my body could not handle the stress.  I continued to find myself ailing with different illnesses, one after the other. I may have been cheery in public, almost normal, as if I were barely grieving, as if it hadn't mattered. But, the truth was that the grief and stress were physically draining to the point that we were worried.
We called the doctor, and she came to my home to administer the medication.  I was at home with my husband, but there was a loneliness to it, an isolation that I desired in a way.  I was so tired. For 11 hours, I waited while my body began with a slow, dull ache that grew into what were, to the best of my knowledge, small contractions. Then it was over.  In an instant, it was finished, over, and I stood there in my bathroom, breaking because we had no where to bury it. It tears my heart open every time I think about that moment--that we couldn't even give our tiny child a the dignity of a resting place, that it was released with the sewage. I still cry, even now, thinking about that.  They tell me there was nothing I could have done, but the guilt plagues me. I couldn't even bury it.

I know this post is not my brightest or my wittiest.  In fact, it might even be dark.

The truth is, we are bright. We manage, and we go out and we laugh and we love and we live.  There is a closeness that comes from loss. It sweeps in an understanding of my own finiteness and the greatness of my God.  We were given something beautiful, something lovely that brought joy, even for a little while.
It was gone, and so much shattered. 

It had not mattered that I was the healthiest I had been in years, that I had researched until I could recite pregnancy websites. It had not mattered that we were thrilled.  Sometimes, I wondered if it had happened because I wasn't excited enough--that I had bouts of fear, of nerves, feelings that something was off. No, it couldn't be that.
It's not my fault, I hear again and again, and, yet, I feel like my body has failed me. I am only now regaining physical normality. I haven't felt healthy in two months.    I'm just now crossing back into that, back into regular meals, regular workouts, regular walks outside (I hadn't had those in so long, it seems, I was too sick and too tired), regular laughter and hugs and conversation. Regular. Normal.
It's not my fault, they tell me. It was chromosomes or something. They say it is better this way because, if my child had had a chromosomal imbalance, would it have been in pain? Isn't it better, for it to be in heaven, carefree and joyous, waiting for me? I agree with them. I have to, or else it is too dark to find the light again.  With this hope, there is such light. Nothing is lost forever.  And, in that, I sing. I am not lost. My child is not lost. It's just absent,  waiting.

I didn't want to post this to be depressing. I suppose it is, in a way. Death is never pleasant.
And it was a death.
This was not a tumor or a mistake or a bundle of cells that suddenly ceased to exist. It was a child, our child. It didn't have a name, not yet, but it was a child. It had been alive--we'd seen the heartbeat, once, a tiny little flicker in a bean-shaped shadow. Light dark light dark light dark, so very tiny.  We were only nine weeks along when we learned it wasn't alive any more. I would have been fourteen weeks today.  I still count the weeks. I can't help it. You think about what could have been. It was a child. And then it died. There was a death. We grieve for a death, for the infant we will never hold. We rejoiced in its life. We thank God for the little while we had. We were not afraid, and we are not afraid now. Of course, there are worries, concerns, for the future. There always will be. Still, my God is bigger than all that. He gives and He takes, and I am so small and so loved. 

If we look, we find beauty in all of this. Chris and I are closer--we have learned how the other mourns, how to cling to each other. How to cling to Truth that is SO much bigger than the both of us. God is good. In all things. There are relationships opened--shared pain draws people together so much more than shared pleasure. I learned how much we were loved, how much our child was loved, by friends and family far away. We felt the prayers--we so needed them.  We could find joy in our days.
I'm not saying that there were not bad days, that there aren't still "dark days" on occasion.  Two nights after the last ultrasound, I melted into a pit of anger, of bitterness, and the next day I couldn't get out of bed. I was so tired, so hurt.  But it doesn't end there. It can't.
There has to be light somewhere. We may never understand the why or the how, but we believe there is Light. There \has to be. Or else what point is there?

I had heard a quote once in a children's movie, but it was something so sad and so beautiful it hummed in my mind long after the film had ended. It is, in fact, from a book by an author I adore, and it is no less beautiful and honest in print than when it is spoken:

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
--(Lemony Snicket from
Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid)

We had taken a step where we could not see, and we slipped in "dark surprise."
We readjust, we stand up, and we continue though we limp a little in the beginning. Perhaps there's always a whisper of a limp, but we keep walking, climbing, talking, laughing, living, loving because there's light. 

There's always, always Light.

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, 
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
 the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength; 
he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
--Habakkuk 3:17-19a

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dear Friday . . .

Dear Friday Letters,
I've missed you.
If I could find absolutely nothing to blog about all week, at least I could squeeze out something, ANYTHING, for Fridays. Because Fridays are cool. Everyone loves Fridays. Because you're awesome. And you lead us to Saturday, which, I'm sorry to say, is more awesome.
It's hard being second favorite, isn't it?
Also, because you're Friday, people publish articles like THIS and I die. Because it's awesome . . . and it's Friday.

Dear Shasta,
See, puppy? I kept my promise. I took you on a nice long walk all over town. Just like I did yesterday. Besides, when I say the word, "walk," you get so worked up and bouncy and just . . . well, you explode, puppy. You kind of explode. It starts small, with a curious head tilt, and then you see I mean it, and suddenly you can't sit still. First, you run like a freakn race horse through the living room, then you start jumping and yelping and wagging and just OHMYGODWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALK!!!!
How can I deny you? You're hysterical.

 Dear Navi, 
STOP CHEWING ON OUR STRAWS.  First, you steal water out of uncovered cups, and now you're violating the covered cups. Seriously STAAAAAHHPPP IT!!!

Dear Pipkin,
"Draw me like one of your French girls."
You may continue to lounge about in front of my computer monitor. I enjoy the company--you give my fingers kitty kisses and make all kinds of funny noises in your sleep. You can stay. Just PLEASE stop trying to groom your thighs when I'm playing games--you keep turning off the screen in the middle of vital, pixelated life-or-death moments.  -_-

 Dear Self, 
If you get a life, you might ACTUALLY have something to take pictures of besides your pets. Please and thank you.

Dear Local Library,
You are tiny.
I thought maybe you were bigger on the inside, but no, you're tiny. Like the size of my downstairs tiny. Like, for the first few seconds, I just stood there, mesmerized by your tiny-ness. One wall non-fiction, one wall fiction, and three short shelves encasing the area with childrens/juvenile books. I had seen larger personal collections. Tiny.
But that's not a bad thing. You're old, you have character and hidden gems, I'm sure. And I mean, you're a library, which means FREE BOOKS. Heck to the Yes. In fact, I brought home three new books to try.
I've missed libraries. I might read through you in a couple of months, but, hey, months of books are months of books, and that CAN'T be bad.
So, here's to our new relationship. Who says size really matters, anyways?

Dear San Juan Bakery

I'm going to have to make Friday visits a regular thing.
First off, you are the cutest little thing EVER with your little retro sign and your tiny chalkboard with the swirly letters reading, "Yes! We're Open!" because, let's face it, everyone WANTS you to be open. You make that whole corner of the street smell like heaven, and you're just the perfect picture of a sleepy town shop.
And your clerks are super nice. Today, I even got to talk to one of your employees about books, and, let's face it, I haven't talked books with someone face-to-face in MONTHS. Oh, so refreshing.
Plus, on Fridays, you have the BEST doughnut holes in existence (sorry Krispy Kreme, you've met your match) that melt in your mouth, and just YES. And there's the White Chocolate Coconut bread that Chris and I have become addicted to. Dessert? Who needs dessert? I have the softest, sweetest, richest slice of pure awesome melting in my mouth right now. Screw dessert.

Dear Dessert, 
 I didn't mean that. I'm sorry. You know I love you, baby. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

New, Old, and Gray Days

 Outside, it's a gray, breezy kind of day.
It's July, but, for the first time in weeks, I had to pull Black Hoodie out of a pile of laundry to take the dog out for a walk.  The window's open, again, for the first time in a long time because it's finally not pushing 100 degrees outside. There's no air conditioning in the townhouse, and the only fan's downstairs, so the air stays thick and stiff unless the windows are opened. Chris got sick of it and bought a window unit air-conditioner so we can stand to be upstairs. 
But we don't need it today.
Today, when the sky began white and gray and melted into blue, when the wind hums little tune to itself, and the world is somehow, miraculously, mourning and joyful, and I remember how very much I love a good cup of tea.

It's a writing kind of day, and it's long, long overdue.

Adulthood grows into a bit of a lull.  It's not that it's not pleasant or challenging or exciting, in its own little grown-up ways, but it's different. What thrills me in life sounds perfectly mundane on paper (screen?). I get excited over David Attenborough documentaries and updated episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix (STILL WAITING FOR THOSE, UGH).  A clean kitchen just about sends me into giggles, and don't get me started on baking. Nothing makes my weekend like whipping up a batch of muffins.

Being unemployed lends its own bundle of dullness, I suppose, though I am not complaining. It's lonely, though.  I've had more conversations with my cats than I care to admit. It's not that we're not trying to make friends--we are.  There's just not . . . You know when you meet someone and there's that click? Like puzzle pieces locking? Where kindred spirits meet and you can't wait to see each other again? We haven't found that yet. We have met plenty of nice people, the kind you meet with once for lunch, and then don't see again because they are busy and lose your number and forgot to give you theirs. So we drift. The nice thing is that Chris and I grow closer than ever, grow content with the quiet pleasures of life.  Not stagnant--we don't want to be that. We're striving for new things, but, things like time and money and gas and pets and money . . . Adulthood. Responsibility. All that jazz. It's no surprise that there are so many movies nowadays glorifying the quarter-life crisis.  As a kid, the world is your playground. As a teenager, there's drama and hormones and endless possibility. As a college student, you're a go-getter with the world on a silver platter.  Then, you leave it all behind, and life begins to mellow and settle.  It's frightening and it's lovely. You grow into it.  All right, so I might not do "exciting" things like clubbing till three a.m. on the weekends, but, wouldn't you know, I've learned to balance a checkbook and can make a mean lasagna and even better peanut butter pie.  I like being a grown up. I was always an old soul with childlike fascination. I think I was sixty when I was sixteen. Or maybe that's just introversion at its finest.

We feel very in-between things.  Or, at least, Chris does.  I feel slightly between, but I am happy with the quiet little town where we live and I can't stop gawking at the scenery even driving to the grocery store. I adjust easily to places.  I can be happy almost anywhere, even if I don't like it much. There's always nice little treasures hidden in every dreary place. I miss family, but I do long distance well because I know that times come to see them again, because long phone conversations with my parents and siblings are great, because seven-year-old Ellie and I can play Pass the Pigs over Skype and it's all lovely. I've lived away before. You get used to this sort of thing. You learn to make any place home, so long as you have at least one person to share it with. I have Chris, so any place where we're side by side is home.

Photo courtesy of Isaiah Eyre
From one of his last hiking trips with his roommate and friend, Isaiah, to Washington before leaving Idaho to come back to Florida in 2006

Chris has lived away from family, as well, but those were on adventures with this second cousin twice removed slash BFF since high school. Joe is the kind of person who gets carried off on the wind and manages wherever he lands.  He's the ultimate bachelor hipster. Truthfully, Joe was hipster before it was a word, and, as it gets more mainstream, he is only more hipster without knowing it. At thirty, he sports a handlebar mustache and a devil-may-care wardrobe with an odd mix of . . . what? Bill Murray? Lumberjack? Struggling musician? Homeless?    He's just Joe. He looks like Joe.  That's the best way to say it. If you ever meet him, you'll understand. He's Joe. That's all there is to it.
He floats from place to place, seemingly without a care in the world and nothing to tie him down--no woman, no mortgage, just himself and his whims. At least, that's how it seems.  Perhaps it's not accurate . . . but I wouldn't be surprised to hear in a month, six months, a year, sometime, that Joe has moved yet again for a new venture, and Chris will report the news with a wistful glimmer. 

When they were twenty, after several years of a close, easy friendship--that odd kind that men have, where you can talk about every and nothing or say nothing at all for hours, just drive nowhere in particular and listen to an awesome mix CD--Joe and Chris ran off to Idaho to attend college. Made the drive in three days and began a life Chris now sees as his golden years.  For Chris, Moscow, Idaho, remains a sort of Promised Land.  When he gets lonely or frustrated here, Chris starts looking at houses in Idaho because, maybe there, things will feel like home for him. He'll have his favorite coffee shop again, and, hopefully, fall right back into his old crowd. He'll have Joe again, and the two will catch up like they always do--having hardly spoken in a year or more, they'll begin a conversation as if it's only been a day. Music, movies, theology, philosophy, the same quirky humor that swings from laughter to very serious then back to laughter. Because that's who they are.

Photo courtesy of Isaiah Eyre
Joe and Chris's great-grandmother, Ninnie, at our wedding in October, 2009.
Joe had just started teaching in Indonesia and showed up as a surprise for our wedding, which led one of the groomsmen--the boys' other college roommate--to offer his position as best man to Joe because "it just seemed right."
Joe, Chris, and Ninnie have a very special relationship. They visited her frequently when they were growing up in Florida, and it's a relationship all three continue to treasure.
And, quite honestly, this photo sums it all flawlessly.
 I have no Promised Land . . . Well, London, maybe. I miss London terribly, almost daily . . . but would I settle there? I don't know. I am simultaneously a wanderer and homebody. I can set down roots almost anywhere then yank them up and start somewhere else.  It's not that it's not difficult--I miss the relationships of homes past, but I understand that some things are temporary and some things never really end, even if you can't touch them any more. There will be reunions filled with hugs, warm wishes, and reminiscing. Or maybe I'll just have memories, and those get brighter and warmer as time goes on. The mind likes to store things in extremes, I've found--you remember the very good and the very bad and very little in between. Or maybe that's just me.
I like roots, but I like change, too. I guess maybe I haven't found a place that's not worth changing. Well, that's not true--I could see myself here for a long, long time. I adore it. But maybe that won't be the case. Maybe it will. The trick is to hold all things loosely, isn't it?  

To be perfectly honest, there have been happenings here.  We've had outings and visits and all those things that are a lovely break from the ordinary.  There have been a couple things that change everything, where nothing is ever quite the same.

I'm trying to find the words to write about those, find the way to tell the stories.  It's still very fresh. Maybe that's when it's best--when every day hold a reminder of it all, where things still bleed if you poke them. Or maybe you wait until it's older, tougher, and, perhaps, you see things more clearly.  I don't know.


I've missed you all here in Blogsphere. I don't know if I've been missed, but that's ok. I've missed all of you. I can't wait to get caught up in your stories and pictures again.  It always makes me smile. Thank you.

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