It’s amazing how being just seven months in to being back at work full time, and I’m already starting to forget what it was like to be mostly at home and not working for two and a half years. (Or something like that. I purposely lost count.)
But, today’s flashback offers a good reminder of the type of activities I engaged in on a daily basis – like cleaning the house. Okay, so maybe I didn’t quite engage in cleaning the house on a regular basis, but here is the proof that I was actually forced to do it for a while. Don’t everyone get out their violins at once.
Life without Maria
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This afternoon a few of us ventured out to Camas, Washington for a communications planning retreat on a colleague’s ranch. I had never been to Camas before – or frankly, even remotely close to Camas – but once I got over the initial shock of just how long the commute is, I found it quite lovely. So pretty and peaceful; I can see the appeal for sure. She has this amazing barn on her property, which she calls her “dream come true” and this is her beloved horse, Viz, short for Visible Difference. As you can see, Viz gave us a warm greeting when we arrived before heading out to the pasture to relax for the afternoon while we worked out on the patio. And yes, we actually did get something done.
I decided a few days ago that Fridays at burpobanter.com would be reserved for flashbacks – or a look back at old pictures or a repost of previous “banters,” if you will. I did this for two reasons: 1) Because I’m guessing it’s rare that I’ll be motivated to write a full post on Friday nights and 2) I thought it might be fun. For me at least.
That said, first allow me to say that today was quite a nice day. And I mean that literally, to begin with. After several days of gloomy, somewhat chilly weather, we had one of those days today that we live for in Portland…high 70s and not a cloud in the sky, and of course no humidity (sorry east coasters). Picture perfect, really. And it’s supposed to be that way through the weekend. This afternoon I was invited to spend some time out and about in the zoo touring the construction site for our new Veterinary Medical Center that is scheduled to open in December. It’s one of the first projects that has been undertaken within the bond program. And, wow. It’s going to be such a great, state-of-the-art facility that, like all else the zoo is planning for the future, is pushing the envelope in terms of how we care for the animals. It’s pretty cool.
When you’ve spent most of your career working for public relations agencies in Washington, D.C. – or really – doing anything in Washington, D.C., there’s bound to be a certain amount of culture shock when you start a job not only at a zoo, but a zoo in Portland.
Six months in, there are still so many days when something happens and I think, “Wow, am I really at work right now?” Like today when I’m at my desk and we start hearing a loud quacking-like sound. And your first thought is, “Is that a…a…duck?” Why yes, it is. Just a duck in the office. That’s normal, right? Or, the line of six-year-olds who stroll through with their camp counselors. That’s normal, right? Or, the teens having a meeting in the conference room across from my area who are giggling like, well, a bunch of teenagers. That’s normal, right?
Then there are the times like yesterday when you have on your Outlook calendar something like: Zoomer training, 11am – 12pm; please bring your driver’s license. What is a Zoomer, you ask?
This morning I was actually sweating when I got in the car to pull out of the garage. A little morning workout before heading to the office, you ask? Nah. I mean, who needs Richard Simmons when you have Elena? Every morning feels like a race against the clock (and my toddler) to get out the door – and let’s just say I’m rarely the winner. This morning was certainly no exception.
It all begins innocently enough – a shower, a cup of coffee, throw some bread in the toaster for Elena and Ian (who is already downstairs and looking at me longingly for some food), grab some cereal, pour two cups of milk, start to get together the things for my lunch. You know, same gig, different day. Once I’ve got things well underway, it’s time to wake up the littlest Burpo. I opened the door, set to pick out the clothes for the day, and find her sitting there quietly in her crib with an unpleasant smell permeating through the room. Oh jeez. As soon as she saw me, she immediately started pointing down with an innocent “Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh!” I won’t go into gory details, but any parent knows what I’m talking about and “uh oh” isn’t what I felt like saying as I’m looking at the clock. Tick tock, tick tock. Luckily Jeff, who was about to head out to drop Ian off at school and then take off for a few days on business, was still downstairs. I certainly didn’t want him to miss out on the clean-up fun so I kindly requested he come up. He worked on the wall – exclaiming something about Elena needing to eat fewer berries -while I got her changed, both of us washed up and downstairs to corral her in the chair for breakfast. Tick tock, tick tock. Meanwhile, I headed back up to get things soaking in the laundry sink.