Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reading Lips

It's snowing outside. Again. I know it's only April 19th, and in Wisconsin we've been known to have snow days in May, so I shouldn't be that shocked. But we've already had several 80 degree days this spring, some 70 degree days all the way back in February. It just hasn't been a normal winter. Normally the snow falls a few times in November before sticking in December. It starts to warm up a bit in February, gives us a few tantalizingly nice days in March, as the snow slowly but surely disappears until we suddenly notice that it's all gone, and it's on to the beautiful warm days of spring. But this year, we've had spectacular weather that melts all the snow, then we get hit with a huge storm dumping a foot of snow on us. Then it quickly warms up, melts away, and we get hit with another storm. It's torturous because I can't put away Mia's snow pants boots, or winter coat, but I also keep out her capris, spring coat, and crocs. It's like the weather can't make up its mind, or it enjoys toying with us. It's spring...no it's not! It's winter...no it's not! Ha ha, psyche! 

It's also torture on my body. The constant changes in barometric pressure make my joints ache terribly. For awhile I was logging my pain level compared to the barometric pressure each day. It became too depressing to actually quantify my pain with a number each day, so I quickly abandoned the exercise, but not before I discovered that as the pressure rises, I hurt more. It's one of those things that I would love to use to be able to bring some relief. Just like during the week of my period, my pain is absolutely unbearable. I know each month that that will be a week not to make big plans, because I'll spend most of it in bed. That's one of the reasons I know that I don't truly have rheumatoid arthritis. Most RA patients have relief during the week of their period, but I'm just the opposite.

I'd love to figure out a way to make that work for me. Would getting a hysterectomy give me relief? Would moving to Arizona or someplace where the barometric pressure is fairly stable? Both of those options seem pretty extreme to me. So I keep taking my pain pills and just trying to make the most of each and every day, thanking God for everything he gives me the ability to do.

Reading Lips: A Memoir of KissesReading Lips by Claudia Sternbach is the story of a woman's life through kisses. Sternbach who told the story of her battle with cancer in Now Breathe is a remarkable author who tugs readers' heartstrings while also tickling their funnybone. She opens with her first almost kiss to Teddy K, and the emotional angst and confusion of a fifth grade girl. Sternbach's writing as young Claudia is earnest and innocent, perfectly capturing all of the drama of girls that age. She wants to finally beat best friend, Babs, at something, and kissing Teddy would do that nicely. The essays flow from childhood to college to adulthood, somehow skipping over her first husband entirely (apparently his kisses aren't worth relating!), always with humor and charm. As the author ages, the writing matures, acquiring the tone of your best friend who always has the best stories. Two stand-out chapters are her rant at then-boyfriend Michael when he requests the opportunity to spend a week with his ex-girlfriend in order to break up with her (emotional, frustrated without ever being bitter or cruel, with a hilarious bent) and the story of giving birth to daughter Kira and kissing her for the first time. By the end of the book, readers will have fallen in love with this humble, intelligent, and funny woman who so craftily and wittily manages to take the stories of her life in kisses and make them feel like they belong to us all.

Thank you to Unbridled Books for providing me with a copy of this book for review!


WomenGrowingInChrist said...

Beautiful picture!