Sunday, September 30, 2012
Me, slowly dragging myself from centerpieces and flowers and swathes of tulle, responded with, "You're joking."
I looked out the window. Two police officers shined their lights in my face.
"What's going on?" I said to Tim.
Tim snapped, "I don't know!" and headed for the third floor to get a better look. I started up after him, only to meet him heading back down. "We need to lock our doors!"
The police were on the other side of the hedge, and being that when I'm not being oblivious, I'm pretty dang nosy, I said, "Hey...can I ask? What's up?" in a quiet voice.
They answered just as quietly, "We're looking for the fellow that lives here," shining their light at the apartment window.
Since I am not 'the fellow that lives here', I was much relieved.
I really wouldn't know him if I fell over him to be honest. The fact is, I've probably seen him around and even talked to him, but have no idea who lives where. Don't know what he's done, but he's got local and state law enforcement after him.
Living in the city is a lot different than living in the woods. When we had activity in the back yard at night, it was generally a bear. You know what you're dealing with when you're dealing with a black bear. You cannot say that about people.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
You know that Dylan proposed to Brittani, right?
The blog has been quiet.
My life? Not so much...
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
It's funny. This is my favorite tree too.
I knew this tree as a young girl on a school bus. 40+ years ago, and it symbolized something then. All these years later, it continues to symbolize something to me, something different but just as relevant to my heart.
I never knew anyone with a favorite tree before. Now I do. We've got thousands of trees here in our woods. How strange that her favorite tree would be my favorite tree.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
I hate it.
I hate going in those front doors. I hate feeling like a patient. I hate the surreptitious looks of others even as you're surreptitiously looking at them. The place was packed, as usual. There were so many people there. The elderly man, thin and grimy and smelling strongly of unwashed body. A woman about my age, wearing pajama pants. There's a fashion statement I never understood. What kind of person wears fuzzy pink pajama pants with frogs on them in public? There were elderly ladies. There was a husband and wife who were obviously dealing with this for the first time, and looked a bit shellshocked. There was a guy who blessed me when I sneezed while talking a steady patter of soft Spanish into his cellphone. There was another Debbie/Debby who stood up with me when they called our name. It was a moment of humor.
I did what I needed to do, and then got the all clear for the fourth year, and sprang out those doors like I had a fire lit under my butt. How do I feel about that? Good. Don't get me wrong. But I don't feel good, and that is the thing that completely mystifies me. I have never gone back to feeling good. I don't trust how I feel because I felt great and found out I had cancer. Since treatment, I have been plagued by aches and pains and tiredness. I'm not sick. I function well enough to hold down a job, but if you stop me at any given time and say, "Right now...how do you feel?" I'd give you a list: my back hurts right here. My side hurts right here. My neck..." It makes me feel like a complainer, like some grannie with her list of pains, so I don't talk about these things. There's nothing to be done, anyway.
Once a year, I go to the cancer center, and they ask me how I feel, and I tell them. They tell me everything looks good, and that I'm probably dealing with fibromyalgia, which I should probably bring to the attention of my primary care provider. I say "great!", and I spring back out the front door like I have a fire lit under my butt.
If I can pull this scenario off just one more year, I will be given a new title. It will be 'cured'. Five years out, and I'll be called cured. I covet that title, and can't wait.
After springing out of there, I comforted myself with a walk through my favorite thrift store, and I found something, a sampler. Framed. Under glass. I reached into my coat pocket and pulled out my reading glasses. I squinted my eyes and made out the tiny name...'Ann Martin, 1808'.
Incredulous, I study it closely. I see the tiny stitchery. I see the individual threads of the cloth. I turn it over. It is professionally framed by a place in Waterford. The price is $5.99. I waver. It can't be a real sampler, but it sure looks like it.
There is the yellowing and the staining one would expect to see on a piece of material that old. The colors are muted and dull as you would expect vegetable dyes of that age to be. The piece is even slightly crooked in its frame, just a bit of unevenness as you would expect a piece of stretched cloth to be.
I make out the writing:
How truly blest are they who leisure find
to dress the little garden of the mind.
That gratefull tillage well rewards our pains
sweet is the labor, certain are the gains.
The rising harvest never mocks our toil.
We are sure of the fruit if we manure the soil.
It is difficult to read because the 's' look like 'f', and the writing is tiny, the phrasing unfamiliar. I ponder this. It's not a cheerful little homily that lends itself to duplication. I mean, 'manure the soil'? What pushes me to buy it is this: that it tickles me to think of it. Tim is not a reader, and sometimes he is impatient with me, because my nose is in a book. He's a doer. I can tell him that I'm manuring my mind, and he'd totally agree with that. He thinks its b.s. anyway. So I buy it.
I take my little bag and tuck my largish sampler under my arm and head out the door to head out of the big city and travel the hour back home. It's a delightful drive in the autumn. The leaves are beginning to change already, and I glanced over at the sampler there on the passenger seat and wondered about what I had there, all framed and under glass, getting a little anxious to take it all apart and see.
Suddenly, I got the notion. This is an adventure for sisters, so I took a detour in Corry and headed for the little town of Grand Valley where my sister is. We both marveled at the sampler, and we could not tell. She gave me a razor knife and we slowly and carefully slit the paper in the back and began to remove the tiny little nails that held it in place. We both simultaneously said, "AWWWWWWWWWWWWW!" in disappointment to discover it was a print.
I spent the next couple of hours helping my sister. We talked quietly and comfortably. We went to the post office to pick up a shipment of new baby chicks. I handed them to her one by one as she checked their bottoms and then dunked their little beaks in the water and watched them swallow, and then dipped their beaks in the feed. Once she was sure that they would know to eat and drink, she turned them loose in their new home, and I handed her another.
Two sisters laughed in the changing seasons, the autumn sun warm. The chicks peeped, the chickens chucked quietly to themselves, and her cows bawled in the distance.
When I went home, I took a dozen of brown eggs with me. They rode next to me, set carefully on the seat next to the worthless sampler. It had been a golden sort of day and it had nothing to do with the falling leaves. I drove, singing along to "Behind Blue Eyes" by the Moody Blues and I was glad.
Late Edit: I am not disappointed that the 'sampler' turned out to be a print. It lent itself quite nicely to pleasant day dreams on the way home as I tried to calculate the price of something that old. It was one of those moments that are commonplace on the 'Antique Roadshow'. The idea to spontaneously share the adventure with my sister came to me, and so I did, because she loves old stuff too. It was a fun day with many dreams, and it is never a bad thing to feel the fragility of new life in your cupped hands.
The 'sampler' hangs in the library, and I will never see but what I don't think of an autumn day. It's only worthless in the financial sense, but it was a miraculous balance to a day that started out so icky.
Friday, September 21, 2012
(Side note: Another day, we were at the library, and he was marvelling at their ceiling fans which were two stories above the main lobby, way high up there. He was pointing and yelling "Man!!! Man!!!" The librarian said, "What does he see?" I explained about the fans. She said, "Oh, I thought he was saying 'man'." I said, "Well, he is, because he does not seem able to say the 'f' sound, which is okay, because the 'f' sound can get a body into a whole lot of trouble.")
The second thing he went looking for was the buffalo. He always sort of sneaks up on it cautiously, to see that it hasn't come down off the wall, possibly to 'get' him. Once he has assured himself that it hasn't moved, he has a garbled word that means 'Bob the buffalo'.
The third thing he did is to wander around the house calling "Baaaaaaa-ba. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-ba." He is always amazed to discover that his ba-ba is gone, and comes to me with a quizzical expression on his face, making the 'all gone' motion with his little hands. I explain to him that 'Ba-ba' is at work and will be home later.
Apparently he has some difficulty with the 'p' sound as well.
We had an exciting afternoon, but he began to get a little cranky, keeping to his habits, so he lay down on the couch for a cuddle with grandma. As soon as he dozes off, Grandma heads for the kitchen to fix supper.
When he wakes up, he is chirpy and bright eyed, and looking for his 'ba-ba' once again. It is a very exciting moment when he sees that red car pull up into the driveway.
We keep the little guy busy, but the last thing we do before coming in for the night is to take a walk. It is getting close to bedtime, and he puts up far less fuss about it if we simply wear him out. He had three helium balloons to walk, and he went along happily babbling to his balloons. On the way home, predictably, he wore out, and he wanted to be carried.
Our secret weapon at that point is 'One, Two, Three, Whee,' and he was swung into the air. He loves that. Most importantly, it keeps him walking for the rest of the way home. We like tired little boys at our house.
Home from our walk, he began to fuss in a tired sort of way. I looked at him and said, "Would you like a bath? With your cups?" He stopped crying immediately and studied me. He gently took my hand and began to pull me towards the bathroom.
I kneel beside the clawfoot tub, and reach over the high sides, scooping up water and pouring it out again and again. He loved the streams of water, and the splashing, and he played for a good long time. Suddenly, he got up, and stood, holding on to the side of the tub, between where my arms rested, staring at me intently. I said, "What's up, my little pippermasqueak?" and ever so gently, he leaned forward and kissed me right between the eyes.
There's a 'moment' right there. It was grandma's first kiss.
Friday, September 14, 2012
In the middle of all that agonizing (have I done the right thing?), there is something new taking root. A curiosity. I'm excited to see what comes next.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I realized that I have always been waiting to be chosen, sort of like the klutz in gym class, waiting, hopefully hopeless. I've spent my life waiting to be chosen.
When I was chosen, I always took it, straightaway. There were always kids, or responsibilities, it was always a necessity.
It was Tim that pointed out that a great many of those responsibilities are taken care of now, and then we are financially in better shape than we have ever been in our lives. He wanted me to quit weeks ago. I was determined to make it work. My sister stopped by and lectured me as well. Listening to the two of them, last night, I realized that they were saying the truth.
This is my chance to choose.
I will choose wisely, BB. I won't rush willy nilly into the first thing that chooses me. I will choose wisely. Tomorrow, I'm going to the unemployment agency. There's a job I want to apply for. It would be a good hours drive to work and then back home again. It is an OTA job. The real deal, working with veterans.
I am a veteran. I am an OTA. I think that it might be a good fit for me. But I'll have plenty of time to think before I make my choice.
It's kind of a private astonishment to me, and I marvel that I am able to make a choice.
And I am grateful that life has come around to this.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Tonight, I am handing in my two week notice at my current job.
I am trusting that there is something out there for me, somewhere. I am trusting in my own ability to find it, trusting that I will recognize it when I see it.
I'm not accustomed to trusting myself. Tonight is a big step for me.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Well, I went back to the old blogger format, and there it all is, all the icons, just the way it's meant to be. And as Jeanie has suggested, I bookmarked this, so that I will always be able to use it. Gees. What a challenge. Especially for a woman that needed two days to figure out her new toothbrush was electric.
As I reckoned, I do not have time to do a full post. I've spent the last couple days with William, and everything stops as I wallow in some 'granny time'. We have so much fun!
Well... that day has come.
For once, I took a picture that I was not ashamed of.
I know! I was shocked too.
That rocker in the background behind the antique crib we found? That was mine, when I was a little girl. I've never known a time when I did not have that chair. My own have all rocked in it, and now William rocks in it.
The poor Playskool wagon holds blocks, and that was also mine when I was a little girl. Cara likes to point out the chew marks on the blocks and suggest that the blocks were painted with lead based paint, which explains a great deal in her mind.
It leaves my mind with a question: why did I have kids?
When you go out of the play room, you are in a big hall. There are two sets of doors that lead to the attics, long attics that run the entire length of the house on both sides. They really are wonderful. Across the hall there is a bedroom. We really haven't done a lot with that, not yet anyway. Tim painted it.
And in hall, at the top of the stairs that leads from the third floor to the second...
The afternoon light shining through the window is giving everything a golden glow. I love that. It almost makes it look magical, doesn't it? The room we entering into is the little reading nook. Here's that little reading nook. Bear in mind that everything is still a work in progress. I collect things along the way, which is why things may still look a little 'naked'. For this room, I need a little white book case to hold the children's books. All in good time. All in good time.
I have to work tonight, so I'll stop the tour here, but Bob has been hanging around waiting to say hi!
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
I went shopping the other day. I had to pick up some things, to include a new toothbrush for myself. So I saw one on sale, and thought, "Cripes...$2.97 for a toothbrush is the SALE price?" but I bought it because it was on sale. And hot pink, not something that I'd accidently mix up with Tim's toothbrush. Those two things.
Later that night. I opened the toothbrush. Used it like one generally does with a toothbrush, and grumbled a little when I discovered that the handle was so thick that it did not fit in my toothbrush holder.
Life went on.
Honestly, two days later I was using my toothbrush. Much to my amazement the thing began to vibrate and buzz in my mouth. I almost dropped it in the sink.
The fact that it took me two days and 5 teethbrushings to realize my toothbrush was electric is a sad commentary on the severity of my technological deficiencies. It also makes it easier to understand why my husband's cell phone number is taped to the back of my phone.