Yes, I'm alive. (sadly!) I couldn't write to you yesterday because Embarqmail was down all over. And I had things I wanted to tell you! You'll just get them a day late - two days at once. Fasten your seatbelt.
We had a bit of an adventure here yesterday morning. I was on the phone and heard Jethro whimpering in the living room. I thought one of the neighborhood cats was outside - he always wants to go out and play with them. I came to see what was up and got quite a surprise. He'd knocked one of the screens part-way out of the window playing with the cat, who was somewhere outside. I put the dog in the back yard and went flying out the front door in my baby-doll pajamas, and there was the cat sunning himself on the front porch. He came right to me, and purred when I picked him up. Then he realized I was taking him back inside and he did his best imitation of a tiger. I have lovely claw marks on my left arm, chest, and all the way down to my tummy. But the cat is safe. I fixed the screen - I must not have put the top in quite right when I washed windows. And now, when I leave the house, I don't leave the windows open wide enough for the dog to get his full weight against a screen. Bless Hunter! The little guy was outside for over half an hour and went a whole two feet away. So all is well.
I finally got hold of somebody at Panera Benefits that figured out what the problem has been. I paid everything on time, and the amount on the coupons, so I should have been paid up a month ahead. But both this year and last year, the coupons had the wrong amount on them. So they were pulling out of the month-ahead money every month, until I actually got behind by $24-something. So I did owe them $860-something this month, which has knocked the bottom out of everything. But I got into savings and paid it, and I'm all square now. And now I actually know what I owe every month. It concerns me that I've gotten two years of coupons and both years they've been wrong - nobody can explain that. Next January I'll call them and be sure. Unless I qualify for something cheaper under the new health care program, which I probably will. I'm making $12,000 a year and paying $421 a month for health insurance. And I'm glad to have it. But I do expect to qualify for something I can come closer to affording. And maybe then Anthem will quit cancelling my insurance every two months when the date-of-death-error zombie rises again.
I had the radio on this afternoon on the way home, and one line of a song jumped out at me. "I won't give up on us; God knows I'm tough enough." And I needed to hear that. People keep saying I'm brave or strong or something laudable for not dying of a broken heart. (Even though that's just what I want to do!) I'm nothing like that. I'm just tough. We both knew that. I've known it since childhood. I wasn't a tomboy, didn't learn martial arts, can't bench press my weight. But inside, I'm tough. God does indeed know that I'm tough enough. I'm holding out to be reunited with you - I'm not giving up on us. I'm plenty tough enough to hang in here until it's my time to go home. I know I've shown this to you before, but it's too appropriate for today to pass it up. So look at it again and laugh, because you know it's true!
Love you toughly and stubbornly,
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