Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Space

Jesse surprised me with a little piece of the internet to call my own, so I'll be hanging out over there now.  Come visit, won't you?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Clumps of Moments

This post is inspired from an excerpt of the poem Small Things by Anna Kamienska:
It's not from the grand
but from every tiny thing
that it grows enormous
as if Someone was building Eternity
as a swallow its nest
out of clumps of moments

some of our "clumps of moments:"
a special place to look at letters with a fancy pen
eating a waffle drenched in "seeeryup" with a blue fork on a blue plate
from a mixture of tulle and paint
a Sunday afternoon hike
spending a rainy afternoon at the movies

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I got lost on vacation.  It wasn't anything serious, although for awhile there I imagined my face popping up on one of those AP articles when you log onto your Yahoo email account.  Here's what happened:  I went for a run one morning and instead of going down the main road, I went behind the house we were staying in, and into the woods. 

I realize that was my first mistake.  Going into the woods is comparable to scuba diving.  Everything starts to look the same.  In scuba diving, you don't know which way is up or down, whereas when you're in the woods you don't know which way is left or right. And when I write "you" I mean me.  I'm no John Krakauer for crying out loud. Although I did write him once to tell him how much I loved his book about that kid who ran off to Alaska and he wrote me back! John Krakauer, not the kid.  The kid died.  It's very sad. I'm digressing.

I ran off into the woods because when I started out on the main road there was a bear-like dog having a fit in regards to me running towards his territory.  So I turned around and ran like h-e double hockey sticks into the woods. 

(Readers of this blog know I'm terrified of bees, but I'm also afraid of dogs.  Yes, really.) 

I think it's safe to conclude from reading the previous paragraphs that I am not an outdoors person.  My idea of "roughing it" is sitting outside at a restaurant with kids.   I know nothing about being outside which leads to panic and overreaction.   So while I was running around what probably was a five foot patch of land with lots of trees, I was getting a little scared.  OK I was a lot scared.  And maybe I was crying a little bit but it could've been sweat.  I'm not sure.

Jesse's uncle found me.  Actually, he and his wife (Jesse's aunt) were a bit concerned that I might not know where I was going because we'd arrived at their place in the dark and I'd yet to scope the place out in daylight.  Rookie mistake.   So at a point when they either had to assume I was training for a marathon or lost, he decided to go out looking for me.   We laughed it off as he showed me the way home.

I've been lost before.  I got lost on the way home from Kindergarten once.  In high school it took me a good six weeks to remember where my locker was.  I was lost at Calvin too, but that was more metaphorical.

Being lost makes me uncomfortable. I don't pay attention too well when I'm uncomfortable.  I think, I'm no good in this place, or, I'm not going to try this again.  I think that's the real danger.  Letting one experience determine what you can and cannot do. 

I think in most cases, it's always good to go back and take a second, or third, or thirty-sixth look.

Enough times as it takes until I've begun to pay attention again:

to the excitement one child has for holding a fish, and the fact that the other just wants to throw it back in water...

...or the satisfying thunk the blueberries make after I've plucked them off the bush and dropped them in a bucket....

...and then taking those blueberries home and scouring recipes for blueberry scones, tarts, pies, and smoothies...
...or deciding you've had enough baking and it's time to dance...

Because eventually, you get comfortable.  You start paying attention.  You decide to try new things.
Like ride around a lake on a bicycle built for two.

I can't really be lost with family.  Whether it's with my in-laws or the Lewises and Ayanoglous.  They've always made me feel at home.  The great thing about that is when it's time to go off on my own, I have the confidence to check out that new place and see what's what. 

It's good to get lost every now and then.

I've found some great treasures when that happens.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Phase?

For the most part, I think Hadley's a pretty miled mannered kid.  She rarely loses her temper, is friendly to everyone, and is generally a go with the flow kind of gal.

Except when we start playing Phase 10.  Hadley cannot handle losing this game.  She slams her hands on the table.  She growls.  She throws cards everywhere.

Even if she is winning she'll chant things like, "I am winning and Mommy is a loser."  Note that she calls me a loser.  Not "Mommy is losING."  No, I am a losER.

It's tons of fun.

One night, Hadley asked me if I would play Phase 10 with her. 

"I will, but are you going to get mad if you lose?"

Hadley thinks about this for awhile and then responds, "Yes, I will get mad.  But I will bang my hands on the table lightly like this."

She demonstrates. 

For the record, I wouldn't describe what she did as "light."

But we play, and at one point we are tied.  Hadley is not happy about this but I can tell she is trying hard to stay calm about it.

"Hadley?  You OK?"

"I'm not happy that we're tied, Mama, but I am happy about something."

"What's that?"

"I'm happy that my name is longer than yours."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer Hangouts

There were afternoons spent at the ice-cream shop,
and mornings spent dressing up.
There were days gratefully spent in the shade at parks,
or cooling off at Starbucks reading books,
writing first letters
and practicing old ones.
We peeked at the sun through trees
and took long walks home without strollers.
The afternoon nap seems to be a memory,
but there are remnants that we like to take with us.

It's been a nice summer.