Friday, August 31, 2012

Farewell Summer

This summer, Michael discovered the cast net. Or should I say the JOYS of a cast net.

 He spent hours along the creek. Searching for critters.

 Perfecting his cast....

In his pajama top and shorts...(probably hasn't showered in DAYS)...

He caught 2 shrimp!!

I wish I could capture that feeling again. Remember? No sense of time, no urgency, no "to do" list, no dinner to cook or laundry to fold? No heartaches, no backaches. And the absolute wonder and thrill of 2 shrimp stuck in your cast net!

Just last night, Michael crawled up in the bed with me as I was propped up on my pillow returning some emails - computer on my lap.... and he says, "You are always working. I'm sorry, Mama. Don't you wish you could be like me and not do anything but play?"

Yes, Michael.

But don't be sorry - I had my time as a 9 year old - and the only thing better than being a 9 year old is watching my very own 9 year old do nothing but play! And discover the joys of a cast net.

Labor Day weekend is my summer swan song - we will be creekside, casting a net and watching the sun set. I am going to try and forget my heartaches and backaches and "to do" lists. Maybe I will walk barefoot in the pluff mud.

OK. Scratch the pluff mud comment.

But I am going to take a cue from my child and enjoy the wonder a bit more than I usually do. Shouldn't we all?

Cast the net out there this weekend and see how much beauty you can drag in!

Happy Labor Day!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

So Sad

As is so sad that I have no real talent for WORK/LIFE BALANCE.

None of us can "do it all", but some of us just really stink at it.


I had a great summer - did lots of wonderful things. All of which I was intending to blog about. All summer.

But didn't.

I can't balance at all.

And then, I cried the first day of school.

What does that have to do with work/life balance, you ask? Nothing. Except I need to talk about the crying. So, I finally blog.

I haven't cried on the first day of school in my entire adult life. For me, the first day of school was always a relief! If there were any tears, they were tears of joy! I was glad that I had the house to myself and that my children were being taught, mentored and cared for by other people for 8 hours, Monday through Friday. I have talkative children. Active children. (Some) messy children.

But things have slowly grown more quiet at home. I have had the time - and if I am totally honest - the growing realization - that this group of talkative, messy, active children that are my own....well, they are flying the coop, one by one. And there is an awful lot of emptiness in these four walls. There is beginning to be an echo in my heart.

And on the first day of school, I crept upstairs to check in on Martha. You know, to see if she didn't hit the snooze button one too many times.

And there she was, at her desk. Applying make up (so unnecessary) and dressed in her FIRST DAY OF MY SENIOR YEAR SPECIAL OUTFIT.

Friends, what will I do? When she is gone. And my last big kid lives somewhere else and gets a life separate from my own?

Tears. Tears then and tears now.

It has gone so fast.

What? Oh, yes, I still have Michael - and what a joy he is. But my last big kid. Somehow, it is different.   The end of an era. The bittersweet summation of a portion of my life that at many points I thought I wouldn't survive.

So, I am melancholy. I know.

It is just a "new chapter". And all that stuff you tell yourself to make it feel ok.

Thanks for listening. I feel better already!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

5 More Things

It is already the middle of June! Ugh. Summer is moving too fast!

Here are 5 more things about my summer that I wanted to share....

Summer 2012 VBS was a big hit and I enjoyed making the set for SKY! I will never look at clouds in the same way again.
Michael really enjoyed participating in the drama portion of SKY.

I am still trying to figure out how this little squeezable thing became...
This little squeezable thing!

A Pelicans game is a real summer treat - especially when a certain someone throws out the first pitch! And you discover that they sell Harp draft.

I would love to include some photos of Martha... AKA the other child living at home with us, BUT it would only be a shot of her car taillights - or maybe a shadowy picture of her standing at my bedside at midnight telling me she is home.


Thank you, God, for fresh corn-on-the-cob, cantaloup, tree frogs, clean sheets, Benadryl, Celebrex and votive candles.

This concludes my summer post, part 2!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Five Things

These are five firsts for summer 2012....

 Yeeee-yoooo! Now that's live action!!! For real....cable doesn't have anything on our neighborhood.

Its lasagna, its linguine...rigatoni, tortellini...cheese sprinkled on my fettuccine, a peachy-keeny cuisine!

 You say limes....I say mojito!

Fact. I live in a beautiful place. I snapped this with my iPhone while running errands!

My favorite flower. My neighbors were so kind to share. This bouquet literally makes me smile. Bury me beneath a blanket of gardenias....

In summer, the song sings itself.  ~William Carlos Williams


Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Daisy For Your Thoughts

Mother's Day weekend was not such a grand thing. Plagued by miserable weather, indifferent children and a case of "poor old me" -  I should have thrown the covers over my head and retreated until my head came around to thinking like my heart usually feels...which is grateful. But I didn't. I sipped on my disappointment like some folks sip champagne. Cheers to crummy weekends.

WHY am I bringing up Mother's Day weekend a month late, you ask?

Well, in addition to a bad attitude, that same not-so-great weekend brought a small tragedy, too. Our Bichon Frisee, Daisy, decided to push the envelop a little and get tangled up with husband's moving car. The result is too horrific to write about, really. No, REALLY.

But she is improving. I am certain most people wouldn't have spared her life. I am not certain we should have. But our emotions have made us come this far with her and now we are committed to helping her survive.

She is snoozing on the couch beside me. In her bandages and bonnet. And a feeding tube. She is happiest on the screened porch. I guess because it is a close to being outside as you can get without actually being outside!

She can't walk. She can't. Yet. But she is trying. She is eating better and looking interested in things around her. She likes to lie close to me, so I guess she has forgiven me.

We sleep next to her in case she needs to go out at 4 am. Or in case she soils the puppy pad. Or gets thirsty. Sometimes I think she is just bored. And then again, she might need a pain pill. I know I would!

My summer will have some highs, I am sure. We have travel plans, a wedding, camp, golf, new bikes and other things -- but most of my summer will be here on the porch, with my pooch. God's miracle. Daisy.

I am learning to appreciate the small things.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Windows to the Soul

This past week was a real grind. Martha's surgery, while obviously tough on Martha, wasn't a cake walk for old mom, either.

In between dosing out the pain medication, providing service with a smile and food on a tray, I was peering out the windshield of my car window at the dear old Kings Highway.

Realizing that life must go on in spite of the unexpected....I fit in grocery shopping, doctor appointments, meetings, rehab, dogs groomed, bills paid.... and it got under my skin and into my lower back! The view from behind the wheel of my car was a bit depressing.

 The view from Martha's eyes wasn't great either. We were quite the pair!

 And then, there was baseball. Extra innings. Late to bed. Poor nutrition. Rushing the homework.

 And somehow we managed to get Martha off the couch, into the car, over to the school, into the gator (under the protective eye of the school athletic trainer) to support her team through a challenging game (thank you Vicodin).

But I have come to realize that I have a choice as to how to view this past week. Will I view it through the window of my car or through the eyes of my children?

The traditional proverb says that "the eyes are the windows to the soul". And for me a mirror, into which I see reflected a life of gratitude and joy and countless blessings. I am reminded of the ultimate goal -- to see those things of eternal value reflected there, in the eyes of my children and not those things framed out by the front windshield of my car!

I am making adjustments now, for a better view next week.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Soccer Monkey

In my house, there is a girl.

She is Strong. Determined. Lovely. Funny. Too Hard On Herself. Really not a girl but a YOUNG WOMAN. Sigh.

She loves soccer. She has played for most of her few years. I love to watch her. I had to sift through HUNDREDS of parent pride-driven photos to find this one...

I was looking for a shot of some magical trick or amazing throw-in, but chose this one because you can see her joy! She loves to play soccer.

I will be in deep trouble for posting these pictures. If you have ever read my posts, you will know she hates having her not-pre-approved-pictures made available for public consumption. But we can see her beauty even when she cannot.

Soccer got her in a little bit of trouble this year.

The first regulation game. On her 17th birthday. In the last minute of the game. OUCH!

Today was the surgery day. She was scared. There were tears of fear and tears of pain...from both of us!

 Dear God, protect Martha. Go before her. Give her peace and provide her with Your healing mercies. Amen.

 Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

In 6 months, she will be back on the soccer field. Strong. Determined. Lovely. Funny.

Brave girl-woman, you are an inspiration and an example to me -- of commitment, passion and loyalty to the thing that you love!

Go Warriors!