Tag Archives: law school

a much needed update…

a little update about the state of affairs homefront…so much has been going on i don’t quite know where to start! i guess i should start with the three most life-changing happenings. first of all, mr. parks and i closed on our fabulous new condo on wednesday, and we couldn’t be happier about it. it really is beautiful, and i can’t wait for gus to check out the new digs! i’m leaving the decorating and room arrangement entirely to mr. parks’ discretion, since i’ve come to realize that he is my eyes and i am his ears. together, we remember things fairly well, but apart it’s a hopeless cause!

the second exciting thing at the moment is the fact that i’m almost ALMOST done with law school. these last couple of weeks feel like a major stretch. i apparently have to turn in a thirty page paper on monday, then i have to promptly start a second thirty page paper which is due the first week of may. i just had a presentation last week, and i somehow have to learn enough about my other three classes to take those exams. god, i fantasize about the time when i will no longer have to do so much work without being compensated. after this, i think i’m going to be done with school forever. and i mean that for real this time! on the positive side, so long as i finish all of the aforementioned requirements, i get to graduate and be officially finished with the last three years of postgraduate education. I CAN’T WAIT!

the third exciting thing is that i have a job!!!! i am so incredibly thrilled about it, and i feel like i’ve found the perfect niche. officially, i’ll be an “investment analyst,” but i’m not entirely sure of what that means (yet). i am quite willing to figure it out, though! i am going to be working with some incredible people who i care about very much, and i’m going to learn more than i can conceive of right now. i am so grateful for this opportunity and i can’t wait to get started!

anyway, i promise to update this blog on a much more regular basis. school has been driving me nuts and i’ve been out of town quite a bit. but you know what i love about this blog above all else? i love how it documents both the mundane and momentous events that mr. parks and i traverse each day. we will have a multi-media time capsule of everything we’ve shared together, and it will be here for our kids and our families…and for us! good night, all, i’m tired and not writing all that well!!!

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a day i will remember

my first day of classes was last monday, january 8th. i spent that day flying back from my family’s house in naples, where i had stayed with my mom and her parents for the past couple of days. they are in their mid-eighties, and both have fairly sever macular degeneration. my grandpa also had a stroke several years back. i’m glad that i spent the weekend with them, because i will remember it forever. i can’t say the same about what would have been a generic first day of classes.

even more special was the way i spent tuesday, january 9th, my second day of classes. i woke up bright and early and drove to dublin to meet my dad. together, we drove to the coldwater, ohio hospital to surprise my grandpa and grandma. my grandpa was very recently diagnosed with cancer, and he was having a port implanted through which he would be receiving chemotherapy. he is a strong man, tough and stubborn, funny and hardworking. at 78 years old, he had been to the hospital a mere three times in his life (which i think includes his most recent trip). it’s hard to say whether he was in a lot of pain prior to his diagnosis, since he rarely complains of any pain or discomfort. not much can get him to a doctor.

growing up, i always thought that my grandpa was larger than life. he is an important figure in his community. he was mayor, and later, the county treasurer and state representative to ohio’s legislature. he is primarily responsible for bringing the hospital to coldwater, along with a new fire station, among other community advancements. he gave many speeches; mesmerizing speeches. he commanded attention, and was clearly a natural born leader. people want to listen to him, they want to follow him, they want to be in his presence. this is a characteristic that i think my own father inherited from him. all of this from a man whose own mother died of lockjaw, causing him to grow up in an orphanage when his father could not handle the responsibilities that a very young child presents. he is a very strong man with a gentle heart.

my grandfather’s booming voice calls out the christmas gifts every year. “to hedley, from rick” and the present is passed through a dozen people before reaching its intended recipient. i have such fond memories of those times, with my many cousins and a dozen aunts and uncles. it’s as if the holidays take on an energy of their own, filling the room wih something more than a physical presence. it’s magical, and he leads it all.

finding out that he has cancer in an advanced stage is shocking. in fact, the day that he was taken to the hospital, he was up on a ladder, stripping wallpaper. he seems like the guy who would never be affected by anything. prime example: he used to smoke, then quit for several years. when he reached 70 or so, he decided, “what the hell, i’m 70 now and if i want to smoke, i’m going to goddamn smoke!” he has the aura of an old time cowboy.

anyway…to go back to tuesday, january 9th, the day that we were at the coldwater hospital…well, we quickly found out that he was actually at st. mary’s hospital several miles away. so, we embarked on another roundabout journey through the quiet farm towns of western ohio to find my grandpa. after stopping at a funny little balloon shop, run by a husband and wife and their dog (haha) for guidance, we made it to our destination. we navigated the labrynthine halls of the hospital and arrived at room 6 of outpatient surgery. we walked in and surprised them both. my grandpa was soon wheeled away for his procedure – but not before joking to the nurse about whether he could snag a beer in the operating room. she said she wished they could, and if so, she would join him. my dad and i sat with my grandma in the hospital room, in a lopsided circle of makeshift chairs beneath the hospital’s buzzing, harsh lights, and waited. my grandma looked worn out, but was strong and in good spirits. we told stories, and laughed, and waited for grandpa’s return. a young, wiry, articulate doctor entered the room to fill us in on how the surgery went. he explained the impending chemo procedure and my grandpa’s current status. shortly thereafter, my grandpa returned.

for a man who had just undergone surgery (with an inadequate and mistakenly administered numbing procedure), he was in good spirits, and ready to eat. my dad suggested behm’s, a lakeside diner a few miles away. so we set off and got situated for one of the most memorable lunches of my life.

we have a big family on my dad’s side. all in all, there might be up to 30 people at a family gathering. while this makes for lots of fun, it doesn’t allow for too many intimate conversations. the lunch i had with my grandma and grandpa was unlike any time i had ever spent with them. i heard stories and told a few of my own, and laughed and felt loved and happy and hopeful for the future. with all of the support my grandpa has from his family, friends, and community, coupled with his own positive attitude, i think great things can happen. i think the positive energy of all of these people can affect his healing, and help to eliminate the cancer from his body. stranger things have happened, and i am a firm believer in the power of positive thought. i love him very, very much, and i am proud to be his granddaughter. i will never forget that day – especially when we were about ready to go, when my grandpa said, “how about i buy you all one more beer?” well, my dad and i gladly accepted, and we sat a bit longer and shared more. it was a wonderful day.

screw the second day of school. i have the memory of a lifetime. i love you, grandpa and grandma.

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A page a day, a day at a time…

Time management hasn’t been my strong suit. With that said, I still resolve to chip away at small goals that i have made for myself, whilst often being disappointed with the amount of time that i am actually able to free up for these activities… i try and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

We all wish that there was more time to do the things we love – of course we do. Just because we all share this lament doesn’t necessarily condemn us to accept it. So many times, i hear the old adage “life isn’t fair” when what people really should be saying is “stop bitching” and just go do whatever it is you are moaning about, or at least try. So many times i have wished for a benefactor to swoop in and fund my most creative and bold pursuits, taking away the burden of distractions – for what is out of my grasps when i have the time to put all of my energy and soul in to a project? There would be endless possibilities. So, i suppose what i am getting at is that the hardest part about life is the juggling act. Keeping three or four things in the air at the same time without dropping one. Balance. It seems the hardest thing to achieve at this juncture.

Simple things like working out four times a week or finding time to go shoot become enormous obstacles in the wake of poor time management. So, i have resigned myself to doing three or four things that are important to me daily- no matter what – in order to foster and establish the tools for a good foundation for some future goals.

One of many goals i have designated for myself is authoring a work. Mrs. parks and i would like to co-author a book someday. This has been frustrating for us for the reason that when we envision writers, we see someone in a bathrobe slaving away all day at a type-writer with cup of coffee and a cigarette. This sounds appealing to us in a romantic, seductive sort of way, but that isn’t quite realistic, is it? It is the romanticized idea of a writer that we have conjured from movies or other books or what have you…The truth is we have to make time for it inbetween everything else. We really have to take it a day at a time, writing at least a page a day. Days when we are tired from work, and want nothing more to sit in front of the TV we have to muster up the discipline to write that page. This speaks about any and all goals we have. If we can’t be disciplined enough to balance our time more efficiently, we will never be able to finish any side projects. It has to be important. Otherwise all we will end up with is a pension and a gold watch after thirty years, and who wants that? Things are never permanent unless you want them that way. If you lack the discipline to change your life than it will undoubtedly stay the same. The time is precious that we have, and the is no sense in whining about what we wish were different – change it. You’ll find, surprisingly so, that so many of the things you want to change so desperately, end up changing you in the end, and quite often sneak back into your life in some weird cosmic way later on. Take things as they come, confront them head on and then move on to the next, a page at a time…

actually, this is a copy of the email i sent to myself…too ambitous? Not for some…

Look up and find out how to get short stories published.
(write a page a day)

Find instruction on how to take better photos.
(weekends go shoot)

Find out how to start an online company.
(any spare time)

Build my work out bench.

(3 times a week at least)


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separation anxiety

i’m starting to understand the helpless uneasiness that gus seems to feel when mr. parks and i leave him at home alone. true, this is a relatively rare phenomenon, seeing as we usually prefer to all be lounging within a very close proximity to one another, but when it does happen, gus is demonstrably displeased. from andy, i’ve heard that gus will pace anxiously and peer out the window hopefully at each passing car. when we finally do arrive home, we see his little black nose and curious eyes watching us from the bedroom window, eager to determine if it is indeed us.randy-and-barb-in-sd-2-077.jpg

i am starting to exhibit the human version of these sentiments. i have been spoiled for most of the time that mr. parks and i have been together. i’ve been in school the entire time, which lends itself to an atypical and flexible schedule, so that i have been free to spend time with him with few restraints. he was also in school for a year of our time together, which meant that we both could structure our shedules to spend the maximum amount of time together. the semester that we were apart, i was flying to california about every two weeks for another fun weekend adventure.

when we finally moved back to ohio together, i became even more spoiled with not only his company, but my brother’s. since both of them just graduated, they were busy interviewing and looking for jobs – but without any regular schedule tearing them away from our homestead. no, they were both around and the three of us were fortunate enough to have tons of time to spend together.

then, it all came to a crashing halt. andy started working, and mr. parks quickly followed. suddenly, i felt like gus – alone and anxious for my little family to return. it’s been a much more difficult transition than i expected. i was really accustomed to never being alone in this big, quiet, victorian house, and now it seems to be the norm. sure, i have classes (just started my last semester last week), but as we all know, being in school affords you quite a lenient schedule. and, since i can get my work out of the way pretty quickly, i find that this lonliness that i am experiencing to be even more magnified.

don’t get me wrong, i’m happy for the both of them that they’ve found jobs and all the accompanying congratualatory niceities, but the bottom line is: I MISS THEM!!!! it makes me even more determined to formulate some sort of future business in which we can work together. our quality of life would grow exponentially, and i would work so hard towards something that is ours; that we create together.

until then, i’ll do my best to finish up this semester without counting down the minutes until they get home too much!! wait…is that them???? i think i heard a car….

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