A college coed is home for the summer after experiencing her first year of college.  She’s grown in so many ways.  She’s learned to make decisions on her own, life has thrown a few obstacles her way and she’s maneuvered around the tough spots.  But being home means being separated from her new friends and her independence and that makes for a bumpy settling-in around the old homestead.  It’s not a crisis, but it’s shaping up to be a challenge.

Speaking of challenges, I had one this morning myself.  Walking up the driveway and onto my side steps heading for the door and paying no attention to my surroundings, I encountered a black snake out for a morning slither.  When he saw me, however, the slithering stopped.  I stopped in mid-step too.  Years ago, at those same steps, I was planting some flowers on a day much like this one and turning around to get some more plants, there was a black snake staring at me from about the same distance as the one I met today.  THAT was a crisis, then, not a challenge.  What did I do? I called Leroy.  He quickly reminded me he was at work, about 45 minutes from home and could not do one thing to help me.  At his suggestion, I called animal control and the woman on the phone wasted no time informing me that the snake was in his habitat and if it was a black snake, not to bother it because they are considered “good” snakes to have in your yard.  I finally called my neighbor who came over and moved the snake with a shovel to the front yard and the crisis was averted.  Today, as I reminded myself, there’s no calling Leroy this time so, I got a rake, struggled to move the snake to the backyard, while informing him he needed to stay among the trees for the rest of the summer.

And then the real challenge of the day came my way via email.  My friend who is facing  advanced esophageal cancer got word today that she will begin her treatment this week.  A combination of drugs targeted for her cancer that was recently approved for use in this country.  These are serious drugs that will no doubt be hard on her body.  They come with warnings so scary, it’s better not to read the fine print.

In the world of challenges and crisis, the buck stops here.  This is a life changing day for her.

Transitions back to home and two foot black snakes dissolve into thin air compared to this.  Powerful chemo, multiple sessions of treatment ahead, fighting to live….how much harder can it get?

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