Monday, July 02, 2007
Clothed in Freedom
Being an avid reader, it's odd I've never read the Harry Potter book series. It's on my 'someday' list. Having seen all the movies, I get the characters a bit mixed up, as soon as you move beyond Harry and his gang. However, I do remember Dobby, the unattractive house-elf, who is at the beck and call of everyone living in the house. Dobby desperately wants freedom, which can only be granted by someone giving him a piece of clothing. Until then, he wears a pillowcase as a sign of his house-elf enslavement. His eventual release is brought about, accidentally, by catching mid-air a 'disgusting, slimy sock', tossed off by Harry.

It's an understatement to say 2006 was a humdinger of a year for our family. A college graduation, 25th anniversary, and two new members added to our growing family. Three months apart. Any of you who regularly visit here know that with Addison's delivery came a few issues, she was a bit early, a bit small, some serious challenges. Several months later she had heart surgery. You certainly can't say we don't get a lot of bang for our airline buck. Don and I flew out, then I flew out, then I flew out, to help lend a hand here and there. Sarah and Chris aren't ones to ask for help quickly, but their needs were over the top there for awhile. During one of my stays with them, I was lovingly given the title of "Dobby". Because it was greatly needed, I functioned as the house-elf for a bit.

Then Leslie delivered Landon in August. I flew to Dallas again. There's nothing that'll bring you to your knees like bringing home a first-born. Then, a couple of months ago, Leslie and Jeremy sold their house, had less than two weeks to be out of it, so I flew out again to help pack their house. It's amazing that a relatively small home can hold so much. They moved back here, and we unpacked everything we'd packed six weeks before. Leslie and I literally went through every box in their townhouse, finding a place for it all. Having a nine month old when you're trying to unpack presents challenges, so she needed help. Elf help.

Two weeks ago I flew to Colorado for a 12 day visit, covering 3000 air miles, and 1400 miles by road, spending time with every member of my family. I arrived home late in the evening, a tad weary. Early the next morning Jeremy and Landon showed up on my doorstep, trying to avoid a house that held Leslie who'd managed to get the flu. My first day home was spent, in part, helping them with the baby, and making sure they had what they needed. When Leslie felt better by leaps and bounds the next day, we did some shopping, and I brought a supper of chicken and noodles over in the crockpot. Don was out of town, so the three of us sat and dined together, sharing good laughs, before I headed home for some catch-up sleep.

The next morning Leslie stopped by, and gave me a card. She'd pasted the quote from one of the Harry Potter books, where Dobby gets a sock, that treasured piece of clothing that signifies he's free. Inside the card was a gift card to shop for CLOTHES. She told me she was 'releasing me'. Like Dobby, I'd been given my Freedom. Just in time for the 4th of July, which seems very appropriate. In the last 15 months, I've flown to Dallas/Ft. Worth seven times. That's an average of every other month, give or take a fraction.

When Leslie told Jeremy what she was doing, that she was giving me the gift of clothing to signify my freedom from house-elfdom, he responded, "You mean she's free?" I don't know which tickles me more, the gift or his response. I do plan to spend the card on something cute from Ross, soon as I lose the weight I gained from all my travels. I'm happy to say I have no plane reservations waiting in the wings, and didn't miss the fact that I'm blessed with a more than gracious husband who's tolerated me being gone much of the time lately. I'm also thankful the cat didn't go permanently weird on us. I'm actually thankful the kids put up with me being with them as much as I was.

If I had to be connected to a movie character, I would have preferred Dorothy, tapping her red glittery shoes, saying "There's No Place Like Home", rather than some dried up elf with pointy nose and ears. But I'll take it. After all, Leslie could have just thrown me a slimy sock.


  posted at 11:11 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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