new york city kid in arkansas
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I’m not what anyone would call “a survivor.” When I watch zombie shows, I immediately picture myself as one of the people volunteering to be eaten quickly to avoid a nightmarish future being chased by the undead. Troy, in the meantime, has full-blown backup plans in case of a Zombie Apocalypse, which he loves to discuss. The other day I went to pick up Huck at Fayetteville High School following a long morning of the SAT, believing him when he said it would probably be all done by 11:30.  I waited in the car for him until he finally arrived at 12:15, again remembering why I should never, ever be on one of those Survivor shows. For 45 long minutes I suffered extreme boredom, a mild heat stroke, a slight blood sugar crash, restless leg syndrome, dehydration and a near panic attack trying not to wet my pants. Troy, in the meantime, could have set up a tent and slept there in the parking lot for several days without food or complaint. Definitely Sole Survivor material.

But I have survived a few things lately. Number one on the list: The Hardest School Year Yet. I survived Huck getting his driver’s license (which also means I survived the DMV), but so far we just follow him around wherever he goes like a couple of nervous stalkers. I survived a weekend at Beaver Lake where I saw a snake and two lizards, got a tick, hiked forever, and was pulled around in a tube attached to a pontoon boat (though I requested the driver go so slowly that my friends compared it to a lazy river ride). I survived the heartbreak of another canceled vacation, this time Canada, our attempt to replace France last summer, but the border remains closed and the quarantining procedures insane, so we pulled the plug and replanned a vacation in the northern part of the good old USA, reachable by car and including some of our very favorite people. I survived rainouts, faculty meetings and health insurance deductible increases. I survived (so far) three months of chronic ear troubles that led to this afternoon’s allergy testing at the doctor’s office I’ve visited nearly 20 times since March. And right now I’m surviving goodbyes to eight close friends who are leaving Fayetteville, though four of them promise to return in a year.

Back to Saturday morning. Huck finally exited the school and apologetically got into the car as I wiped away the crumbs from my lifesaving Clif Bar. He said, “I’m so glad it’s you picking me up! Dad would have been SO mad.” I smiled and said something like,  “Oh, it’s okay!” thinking what a survivor I turned out to be.


Pappy T

June 8th, 2021

I wouldn’t have been mad, I’da been gone.
Off to fetch my tent and emergency provisions.
(Of course, I have no idea where I stashed that stuff, so I’da gotten distracted and started planting flowers or tending to my compost.)

Aunt Jeni

June 8th, 2021

You are stronger han you realize Sissy!

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