Monday, January 14, 2019


I had to work until 11:30 at work on Friday. When my day was finally over, I got out of there quickly, and hightailed it for home where Brianna and William and Tim were waiting for me. The car was packed and ready to go to Dylan and Brittani's house for Iris' baptism.

The first surprise was hearing Tim's voice when I walked in the door. He was raspy and hoarse. I looked at him in horror. "Are you SICK?" He had awakened with a sore throat, and his chest was feeling tight. Tim was staying home.

The bad part of it was that I'd been so excited about going that the previous night, I'd been tossing and turning until after 11. I had to get up at 3 AM to go to work. I was extremely short sleeped, but had comforted myself with the thought that I could get five hours of sleep on the drive to Blandon. Suddenly, now, I was driving there. 

I took a deep breath, bought a large unsweetened ice tea with lots of ice and headed out. We made it by 6PM. I guess the excitement of seeing Iris and hugging my kids was enough to counterbalance the exhaustion. I'm certain that the caffeine did not hurt either.

It was wonderful. Iris laughs now and I am happy to report that she finds her grandmother pretty funny stuff. I had her squealing with laughter by singing "the baby on the bus goes wah, wah, wah!" I can also induce delight by crinkling a crouton bag. We all cooked together making meatballs for the the spaghetti sauce for the baptism dinner. It was a wonderful evening. 

Sunday was her baptism. She was perfectly behaved. When she heard the splashing of the water, she wriggled in the pastor's arm, trying desperately to get her little hand in the baptismal font. She came home and was passed around the room without a word of complaint. I had her cackling hysterically once again by kissing her noisily over and over again. 

Brianna and I chased Dylan and Brittani out the door for a date night. It was only their second one since Iris was born. Worn out by her big day, Iris slept the whole time they were gone. 

This morning, we all packed up and headed home. 

William cried and cried. He adores Dylan and they played nintendo together and talked a lot. William fell asleep in the back seat for a couple hours and when he woke up, we were almost home. A quick glance into the back seat showed us that the tears were silently rolling again. He's old enough to be embarrassed to be caught crying. 

When we got home, I suggested calling Dylan and Brittani on skype to say that we had arrived home. William quietly agreed, his lip quivering once again. Dylan said, "William, can you do one more magic trick for me?" William got his black suitcase labeled "William's Life Thrilling Magic" and opened it up. There, tucked in at the side was the nintendo console and game controllers. 

William gaped and stared at his uncle on the computer. "How did THAT get in there?" he asked. Dylan thought perhaps it was because William really WAS magic after all. William disputed this. Dylan explained that he'd enjoyed his time playing nintendo with William and that he wanted him to have it. 

William stared incredulously and then burst into tears. He cried hard. He finally remembered to thank Dylan. After we hung up, William kept looking at the nintendo. Every time that he tried to talk about it, he'd start crying again. He cried so hard that I cried too, He looked at me in surprise and then threw himself into my shoulder and cried very hard for quite a while. 

"Here, here," I said, "For pete's sake, are you happy or sad? I'm having a hard time telling for sure." I rubbed the back of his head.

He stood back from me and said, "I am both." He brought one hand up, and said, "One one side, I'm happy." He brought up the other hand. "On the other side, I'm sad." He clasped them both together and said, "It's all mixed up together and that's what makes it beautiful." 

It was a profound moment. I looked at his tear streaked face and his earnest desire for me to understand, and I did understand. I understood perfectly. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019


We're heading off to eastern PA on Friday. Iris is being baptized on the 13th, which is, incidently, her 5 month birthday. My lovely daughter in law was concerned that I'd be disappointed, because since we saw her last, Iris has become much more wary of strangers. I'm okay with that, really, and was quick to point out that if all that I got to do was sit across the room and make faces at her while she giggled, well, I'm good with that. The last time we were there, she wasn't giggling.

She also hadn't found her feet.

It's a long trip out there and Brianna and William will be carpooling with us. It's always a challenge to find something that will keep William entertained, because, really a car ride that lasts almost six hours is a hard thing for a little boy to tolerate.

William loves to read and he loves to be read to. Unfortunately, I get carsick when I read in a car, and a portion of our trip will be made in the dark, so reading out loud to him is ruled out. I've been looking at audiobooks for him, but they are pretty pricey.

I planned to see what they had at our library, but in browsing on line, I discovered Librivox. William loves to hear stories from my childhood. I love reading them to him. I discovered that at Librivox, they have quite a selection of old books narrated out loud. I downloaded three books for him. I'll upload them on my MP3 player. Most amazing? Totally free.

I've downloaded Beatrix Potter. William loves those books. He's heard some of the stories from Wind in the Willows, but now he has them all. I also downloaded a book by Thornton Burgess which I'm sure he's never heard before, but he so loved hearing the stories of Uncle Wiggily Longears that he'll get a kick out these stories as well.

I'll give him the MP3 player when we're on our way. I'm betting the trip will be a lot quieter than usual.


Today, Tim went to church with me. I counted, and after dropping off the deposit, we popped into the antique store across the street. We roamed around discussing our finds. I found a plate that needed to hang in my hallway. I found a pair of earrings that I needed badly. I got a chance to hug my friend Dan and to wish him a happy New Year. We left our e-mail for them to contact a vender to get a price on a painted cedar chest.

When we came out into the cold wind, Tim said, "What should we do now?" So we took ourselves out for a leisurely lunch out.

In the middle of our meal, we were shocked to see a couple lay their baby on the table and change her messy diaper. They stood her up to get the mess that had gone up her back. This was not even a quick change. This was a drawn out process that involved multiple wipes, standing up, clothes removal, and cream.

I gaped. So did Tim.

The waitress happened by, and she gaped as well. "We have a changing table in the bathroom," she noted.

The people finally finished and left. I've never seen anything like that in my life.

The waitress apologized that we had to see that while we were eating. Me? I've got to say I was more inclined to be very concerned about sanitation. About the condiments on the table, and the decorations, about how that table would be sanitized, and about immediately discarding those cleaning towels to be washed separately.


What is WRONG with people?

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Things

I did something that I have not done in years. I bought myself a new pair of jeans.