Sunday, April 10, 2016


Spring is often heralded as a metaphoric rebirth.  In fact, for a teacher, spring break can be just that! I started my spring break with a meandering afternoon run on Saturday. I had granted myself the gift of sleeping in on my usual long run day, to kick off the break on a restorative note.  Mission accomplished!  I did a little math and counted 7 naps, 5 yoga classes, 4 runs, and countless hours in the garden over my break.

Time in the garden equals delicious rewards!

My garden got plenty of sunshine at the start of the week; I even started getting a tan!  By the end of the week, the yard was well watered.  Over the last four days we’ve had grey skies and much needed rain showers.  The weather report is merely a segue into me sharing these awesome photos of my garden glistening with dew!

One more bit of math I did over the break, only 9 weeks of teaching until I start my summer vacation.  I don’t know how often I’ll have the chance to blog during those next nine weeks. Not only is our school entering the testing window, rehearsing for a musical and planning our 125th birthday, but I’m continuing to teach yoga flow classes and adding a kids yoga class to that each Saturday. It is going to be a busy couple of months. But fear not readers, it is only 10 weeks until we start our next travel adventure.  Greg and I will be traveling back to Europe to celebrate his 40th birthday and our 10th wedding anniversary.

Where will we be going, you ask?  When was this all decided?  Strangely enough our travel plans started to take shape in the moments before Greg was wheeled off to surgery.  What?! Is that news to you?  At the urging of many, including Greg who has encouraged me to break the social media silence about this event, I’ll take you back in time to the first of March.

March 1st was a foreboding date scratched on our mutual calendars for months ahead; the scheduled date for Greg’s total thyroidectomy. We both wanted the date to pass and get on with the healing, but then again it also loomed ahead like a giant question mark in our lives that seemed to be asking, “What if…?”  Even though a million possible negative scenarios ranging from loss of voice to death plagued our minds, in those moments prior to surgery where nurses checked his vitals and put in an IV, we distracted ourselves by dreaming about a European vacation.  What would it be like to spend a whole week in Munich?  How about biking in Holland?  Could we find a new region of Switzerland through which to hike?  These questions kept our minds clearly fastened on our future together rather than the frightening present as the anesthesiologist parted the curtains.  Now you know the future that we dreamed of, but what about the past?

This all began over a year ago when Greg lost some weight and looked at the newly revealed lump in his neck with concern.  After visits to several specialists offering differing opinions and a biopsy that was benign, he opted for the wait and see approach. Many months passed and it became clear, despite healthy dietary changes and homeopathic treatment, the lump was not getting smaller, in fact it was growing, and rapidly.  The third surgeon Greg saw ended up being the one who convinced him, the thyroid had to come out as soon as possible, it was already pushing against his trachea and if left to grow bigger would require a much more complicated surgery to remove it.  She reassured him that even though the vocal nerves can possibly be compromised in this type of surgery, the team knew he was a singer and would take every precaution. 

To allay your fears, Greg’s recovery has been going better than either of us anticipated.  He was chipper as soon as he emerged from anesthesia demonstrating for all who would listen that he could not only talk, but sing as well.  The surgeon took a phone pic of the thyroid when she removed it; clearly it was diseased and inflamed.  She explained that his immune system had been fighting that thyroiditis and with it gone, he should start to feel better. He was a real trouper when it came to the pain, denying all narcotics and opting for the Tylenol. Greg has been regaining his strength and though he still experiences low energy, especially in the evening, he has been able to go back to work and he has even been able to come back to yoga class!  

Look who let me tie him up before yoga class!

As Greg’s healing continues and he gets back to a busy schedule at work and with upcoming band gigs and my spring break draws to a close, I am relieved at the sense of normalcy that seems to be settling on us.  Yet, not everything is as it was.  Greg will be taking hormone replacement for the rest of his life and so far finding the right level to give him ample energy has not been easy.  Another difference is that after years of musical constipation in the writing realm, Greg has written several songs while in recovery.  As the season changes, novelty is revealed in the bird song you don’t remember from last year or the flowers springing forth in a new part of the garden.  While we recognize this season, for it comes every year, each time unique challenges and blessings arrive.  In this swirl of newness and change, the constant that remains for us is our love for one another and our hopes for the future.


  1. What a beautiful garden! Prayers lifted up for Greg's continued healing and total recovery.
    ~Tanya Navarro-Gonzalez

  2. Ahhh! Send my wishes of continued recovery to Greg!