Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Maybe It Wasn't Alive, But It Was the Next Best Thing(s)

Crazy ol' Val here again with her repeating theme.

As you might have heard, Hick and I took The Pony to Oklahoma last Tuesday for a freshman orientation camp. It was my first time out there, though Hick has taken The Pony on a campus visit before. You know, when he took those pictures of scenery, with a miniscule Pony in the middle.

We were nearly there, perhaps an hour out of Norman on I-40, headed toward our turnoff to keep us out of Oklahoma City, but who's keeping time on a 10-hour drive, anyway? I was struck by the remoteness of the town. Hours across the middle of nowhere. My precious Pony might as well be on the moon, so far away he will be. No short trips home for an hour or two on a Saturday, like Genius has graced us with his occasional presence. My heart was heavy, but I did not want my percolating grief to bubble over, for The Pony's sake. It was his week. A time to be excited about this new adventure upon which he is about to embark.

It's no secret that I am having trouble letting go. If I could, I would lasso my little Pony with my apron strings, and hog-tie him so he can't get away. As I contemplated my near future with my empty nest, tears welled up. I held them in pretty good. So many thoughts rushing through my mind. I had to stop, before those tears overflowed. I looked out at the countryside. We were passing a billboard divided into three panels.

The middle one was a ladybug on a leaf.

Such a coincidence, huh? I'm not sure what that billboard was even advertising. I had not looked at most of them, so wrapped up in my thoughts for so many miles. In retrospect, it was probably for the Myriad Botanical Gardens ladybug release coming up in July. I did some digging with my estranged BFF Google a few minutes ago, and found that event. But at the time, all I could think of was, "A ladybug! Okay. Everything will work out. Calm down."

We went on into Norman and got our room, then went to dinner. We had that night with The Pony before dropping him off at the campus Wednesday morning. He sent me a text within 10 minutes, a picture of the room he was staying in, because I'd asked him to. I just replied OK, and left him alone. I couldn't help but wonder how his day was going. But I didn't intrude. He would communicate if he wanted to. I wasn't going to horn in on his camp time.

That evening, I sat on The Devil's Throne at my laptop trying to soak up enough free high-speed internet to get my money's worth. The TV was on, and Hick had gone to pick up Personal Pan Pizzas for supper. I was waiting for the 2-hour premiere of Big Brother at 7:00, a little sad that The Pony was not going to be able to watch it with me. We look forward to its return every summer. My mom was a big fan, too. I'd call her on commercials to complain about those houseguests. And after the show, to rehash what they should have done. Then I'd call her the next day to share spoilers with her that I saw on Big Brother After Dark, or on my reality TV websites. The Pony is not one to enjoy spoilers. We had set the DVR to record it, but I was NOT going to miss the premiere. It's BIG BROTHER, by cracky!

I made sure I could find CBS on the hotel TV network. The numbers on the guide were not always the numbers of the channel. The Pony and I had figured that out the night before. So I was scrolling through around 6:50, looking for CBS, when I happened upon a documentary channel. I don't know what that documentary was about, but it was going off. The credits were rolling, with an inset of a dude sitting on top of a slide attached to a plastic playset at a playground. He was talking about how things were better now, and he was enjoying life.

As he spoke to the camera, he held out his hand to show a ladybug crawling up his finger.

Sometimes, Val wonders if she is going off the deep end.


  1. There seems to be a lot of ladybugs in your life. I doubt it's a coincidence.

    1. Yeah. I barely remember any ladybugs before. Unless you count the bazillion of them out of sight in the drop ceiling over my head when I visited Mom. Oh, and that year they swarmed the west wall of the school for about a week, during the year The Pony was born.

  2. Replies
    1. I'd like to think so. It gets me through.

  3. I almost never see a ladybug...just sayin. I do almost always look at a clock when it is 11:11.

    1. I saw 11:11 a couple times while on our trip. And this morning, I saw it as I started up T-Hoe outside the insurance office after submitting The Pony's transcript to get the Good Student discount.

      Let the record show that I had planned to be there at 8:30 when they opened, but tarried to play with Puppy Jack, then stopped by the cemetery to talk to Mom, then popped in the credit union to take out money for Genius's fall tuition payment.

      Everything in good time, I suppose.

  4. It's a sign. Your mom is keeping an eye on you.