Happy New Year 2019

We spent a lot of time driving in December, seeing the grandsons and their parents every weekend for various activities (some babysitting, some special holiday events, and a certain 3-year-old’s birthday). As I write this post, Christmas has come to a close with the passing of Epiphany; the new year is one week old and I’m still slowly addressing envelopes for the annual Christmas letter between attempts to pack away tree ornaments and other decorations. Sometimes I suspect I drag it all out because I am sorry to see it all gone.

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These two boys ♥♥

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Little Foot is now 3 years old.

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We’re calling it the T.S. Enterprise. It’s awesome! #goingboldly

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Home improvement gifts was a theme this year.   #grateful

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Post-Christmas visit to extended family while Mama and Daddy went to work.

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My BFF knows me and loves me. ♥

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Not everyone can receive a magical flying unicorn onesie and pull it off with aplomb, but SuperDad most definitely can and did. The video is awesome and slightly horrifying.

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Me, my ankle brace, and my great loves ♥                                                              Standing (L-R): The Barefooter, Humorous-Juniorous, The Scout, The Engineer & The Author

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Chomper and I sent everyone else to bed and had a late-night party. Then we rock-a-byed to sleep.  H-E-A-V-E-N.

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Woman in Winter

Winter mocks her.

Despondency settles heavily on her brow like a sinus headache.

The steady drip of melting snow trickling off the eaves is just that: a trick. It will snow again. She knows this to be true.

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Today’s roadway slush will freeze tonight into alien landforms. Walking outdoors is treacherous; slick ice with sloppy, wet, grayish-brown sludge on the offensive, ready to take her down. She despises shopping malls – if one more person suggests walking in one, she will scream. Besides, there is no time. She hasn’t seen her younger child since an early supper on Wednesday before he left for scouts, his shaggy unkempt hair incongruent with the neatness of the Boy Scout uniform. She lies awake late at night, trying to clear her mind and relax so she can sleep. Eventually, sleep comes – she suspects it arrives with a cast iron skillet like a cartoon fishwife.

Groggy mornings find her struggling (but not really – why fight the sleep that came so slowly?) to awaken. The children are already at school. She forces herself to go through the motions: shower, get dressed. She looks longingly at fleece lounge pants – too warm for sleep, they would be perfect right now. But she must leave for work and they are too informal for office attire, even for her. Wearing no make-up, she chooses nicer yoga pants that she hopes look like dress pants.

At work, she fakes happiness in a voice doesn’t belong to her. The more she accomplishes the further behind she feels. How important, really, is that particular task? Would anyone notice if it was done or left undone? She stays late at the office in a futile attempt to catch up, making mistakes that cost her more time.

She pulls into the driveway and turns the key, shutting off the engine. Life at home continued without her, of course. The fourteen-year-old has already shut himself in his room for the night. Her place is set at the table, her cold supper portion resting in serving dishes.

Rest. That’s what she craves. So much remains undone in her life: work, appointments. She sighs – and realizes that in the morning shuffle, she failed to take her medication. No wonder she is achy and sad. (There is no exclamation point because one of the forgotten pills is an anti-depressant.) If she takes one now, she will perk up and have trouble sleeping. It is better to wait for morning. Tomorrow is another day.

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This post was originally written 4 years ago and left to languish in the “drafts” file. Today simply felt like the right day to set it free.

 

Dual Zone

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There are lights on the tree…

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…and leaves hanging from the mantel.
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The fireplace decor sums up the situation.  Honestly, though, it’s okay if it takes another week or two to get all gussied up for Christmas — after all, it was just a few weeks ago that I managed to put away the final few pieces of the Christmas decor from last year!

 

 

 

 

Misnomer

In the springtime, blossoms fall
pink and white, yellow and purple—
like fat, flowery snowflakes—
each one different from the other.

In the summer, cold air collides with warm
causing thunderstorms. Lightning strikes
produce forest fires. Winds whip
and send ashes falling near and far.

In the autumn, leaves turn
yellow, red, and russet
and fall to the ground as surely
as their springtime cousins.

In the winter, the skies darken
and clouds release their moisture;
sometimes rain, sometimes snow,
but always falling to the earth.

Blossoms
Ash
Leaves
Snow

So could someone please explain
that with all of the downward vertical activity
why only one of these four seasons
is called fall?

A visit from Little Foot

It is still winter here where the snow falls like powdered sugar.

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Little Foot arrived at our house on Saturday evening. His mama and daddy both caught the stomach bug he’d just gotten over, and Oma and Opa were happy to have him here so his parents could rest.

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The resident uncles pretend it’s not a big deal to have Little Foot here for a visit but given the opportunity, they are happy to interact with their nephew.

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It’s hard to focus the lens on a moving toddler!

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This boy is amazingly mellow. This is the first time he has spent extended hours in our house without his parents here with him. He has asked, “Mama, where you? Dada?” a few times. However, most of the time he is content to play. Opa’s meatloaf, Oma’s pumpkin pie, bananas and peanut butter toast have been the favorite foods for the past day, along with muffins and breakfast breads at church on Sunday morning. Green beans were decidedly “meh.”

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Oma, why is there only a tiny bit of sparkles on this toenail? 

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I’ve been taking advantage of his nap times to get some rest myself, even if it’s just reading a book. And really, who could resist just watching him sleep?

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This nap, however, is coming to an end. Time to get back down on the floor and play!

We’ll be heading home to his mama and daddy this afternoon. They are feeling better and I have work tomorrow.

 

 

MTM: Soggy

Rain has been a near-constant companion for the past week, helping to thaw two months worth of icy, dirty accumulations of snow.

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It’s not pretty — and not just because it is a cheap cell phone picture.

All that rain is also raising the level of the river, which has been running three times above normal at 16,000 ft. per second. I’d share a picture but this weather has also affected my ankle; the hardware (or maybe it’s arthritis?) does not let me get out-and-about easily when it is damp and cold.

We’re down to 8 inches of soggy snow in the front yard, although it’s much higher wherever the shovelfuls landed or the snowblower blew it. The dirty snow at the edges of the street is ugly, but it’s nowhere near the danger level of the many potholes that have become evident now that the streets are no longer covered with several inches of compact snow and ice. Commuting to and from my exercise class (and yes, I know that is a silly thing: driving in order to workout elsewhere) I’m one of many drivers zig-zagging in and out of the lanes to avoid becoming a pothole victim.

Days like this are good reminders to “unplug” so I went to the public library after church and returned home with a stack of books.

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The two items on top are DVDs about Ellis Island: one is an overview from the History Channel and the other is a PBS documentary about the hospital on Ellis Island. Three out of the five books are stories of immigrants. I may be unplugging for a bit, but I am not ignoring what is happening all around us.