Hail, hot dogs and a slap

It rained here today.

That's a bit of an understatement. It poured. The skies unleashed and heaven rained down on earth.

Thunder, lightening, hail, sheets of blinding rain.

Washing away the dirt and grime.
I've talked before about how healing rain can be. A steady stream of raindrop hides tears, it distracts, it cleanses, it revives.

Hail though, it hurts. Stinging as it slaps you in the face. Leaving behind welts that will be sore long after the ice has melted.

It's confusing. Things should be washed away. Leaving behind pure, untouched earth, ready to be worked. Instead, there are harden pieces of ice scattered everywhere. Tripping you, crushing under your feet, icing over your soul, leaving tiny dents over everything.

I'm not so sure on this hail idea. I think I prefer just a regular rain instead.
Good thing hail doesn't happen often.

A rowdy breakfast with most of my extended Iowa family this morning followed up with a quiet day. Lots of rest for Kate and I. A few small tasks accomplished. Lots of talk about Scott and more love.

I've been writing a piece about the memorial service. I want to record it here for Kate. This blog is the journal of our life. Our history right here for her to read anytime she likes. Scott's service is a huge piece of that history. Look for it in the days to come.

Hot Dogs
Most people heard the hot dog story yesterday. For those of you that couldn't be with us (many of whom had hot dogs in their own homes as a sign of support like my friend Kim in Wyoming) here's the story.
Scott and I were instantaneous. We knew each other so well from the word go. Finishing each other sentences on our first date, talking until all hours of the morning like we had been friends forever.
Our second date was a trip to the Cubs game. It was a cool, late September evening and a losing season for the Cubs (imagine that) so we headed down to get tickets at Wrigley Field. On our way to the game we joked about making a detour and heading to O'hare airport and hoping the next flight to Vegas to get married. To this day, I'm positive the only reason we didn't was because we knew some people would be disappointed in us.
So we arrive at the game, get some rocking ass seats and settle in. Scott says "I'll got get us some dogs." I agree and off he goes. I watch the game and think about how lucky I am, pinching myself a little to make sure I'm really awake. When Scott returns he says "I got down there and realized I didn't know how you like your hot dog."
It hadn't dawned on either of us that he wouldn't know how to fix my dog. It already seemed like he knew everything about me. That we had been together for a lifetime.
He adds "so I got one with brown mustard and one with regular mustard."
I freeze. I HATE mustard. My disdain for the yellow, vinegary slime is legendary. I've thrown away perfectly good sub sandwiches because of trace amounts of mustard.
I smile and say "Either one is fine." and grab the one closest to me. I choked down that hot dog, mustard and all.

Through the years this story has been a foundation for Scott and I. We were together in an instant, he would always be doing anything he could to make me happy
and I would take anything he could give and never complain.

Weeks later, my disdain for mustard came to life and we laughed for the longest time. For the nine years that followed there we more jokes about the mustard than any other single thing in our relationship. So yesterday, BigDan and Kathy served us hot dogs, mustard only (yellow and brown), Cracker Jacks, chips, peanuts and sodas. Just like the ball game. It made my heart smile.

Go read BigDan's blog post from this evening about the hot dogs. You'll be glad you did. I laughed, I cried and I rejoiced in how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life. You all can get me through anything, even moments like this...

The hail got me to use my new camera for the first time in a while. It felt good in my hands and I instinctively knew what to do. Crawling on floors, getting dirty, putting myself between my subject and the light.
In loading the photos to share here I found evidence of the last time I picked up my camera. One single, lone, photo. A picture of Scott taken that morning, a little more than five hours before his death.
He's looking right into the camera. Right at me. Right into my soul, the way he always did.

Kim  – (March 20, 2011 at 9:51 PM)  

:gagging: no mustard here, yuck! Ketchup only on my dogs. Love the pictures and yay for picking up the camera and diving back in. Thinking of you as always!

Colleen  – (March 21, 2011 at 8:25 AM)  

love this story!
gorgeous photos B - as always : )

Sara –   – (March 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM)  

your blog is always so amazing and full of emotion. BigDan's was fantastic as well.

thinking of you and Kate always.

christine –   – (March 22, 2011 at 4:27 PM)  

amazing photos

Faren  – (March 22, 2011 at 10:24 PM)  

Beautiful pictures! Love the hotdog story. Thinking of you and Kate.

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