Bringing Home Baby

She’s not exactly a baby.  She’s two years old.

My husband, with all of us in tow, are going to rescue his forever friend on a trip to PA this weekend.  I sense a bit of good karma in this (that’s “giving back” for all of you who may roll your eyes at new age terminology).

Alan is looking forward to bonding with his new wilderness companion and all around best friend.  We’ve watched movies like “Marley and Me”, “Turner and Hooch”, and “Hachi” as a way of considering the worst case scenarios with the best aspects of giving home to a larger dog than we’ve been accustomed to.  Our son’s dog is looking forward to a new playmate, but Crash (so named after a cymbal on my son’s drum set) is just a little guy.

We have invested weeks and my husband has invested a great deal of  thoughtful consideration to this venture.  We had one wonderful dog come into our home on a visit; but Alan was heartbroken when he realized that, while he really was falling for her, this was not the best home for her considering that she had some experiences that our teen filled environment might inflame memory of.  A couple of weeks later we’re back on track.

I’ve rearranged my breakables, getting the house ready for the new arrival.  The kids have been great about gettomg on board with this idea, even the ones who weren’t enthusiastic about more pets. (Isn’t that a parent’s mindset?)  I attribute this to how wonderful a father my husband is and how well he has communicated his soul’s need to find this mate.  I have made the commitment to support and encourage him and his new friend in their relationship while delivering the famous speech (tongue in cheek) given by mothers everywhere…”This is your dog.  You have to feed it and bathe it and clean up after it”…yadayadayada.  It’s fun to tease him.

I did remind him just this morning that the drive out to get Makita and the initial bringing home baby experience will flood his tender heart with those happy hormones which carry one through an initial adjustment like this. (I’ve given birth five times…I’m a professional)

The  experience can be likened to settling into a ride in one of those luxury minivans.  It stirs your nurturing instincts, floods your head with dreams of soccer games and dance classes, and lulls you as the speed increases, the terrain becomes more challenging and then BAM!  you find yourself flung from the vehicle at full speed rolling across the road, trying to stop the spinning and regain your sense of balance….trying to find a new sense of normal while continuing your long journey on foot.  I do think that somewhere down the road a nice retirement home transport vehicle picks you up and carries you to a charming countryside village, but we haven’t gotten that far yet.  I can dream.

For now, better fasten those seat belts!  We’re bringing baby home!  Stay tuned.


Pen the Memory on the Lifeline

Mental processes are all about connections.  Like the daily commuter, one traveling down  memory lane depends on each thought transfer being at its assigned destination on time.  I used to use mass transit to make the connections from one moment to the next.   I have  jauntily sauntered over hill and dale, able to recall anything on demand…like the cable television service.  At one point in my family it was almost like a party game…pen the memory on the lifeline.  The kids would ask about some random experience or even where anything in the house could be located, down to the smallest item,  and I could astound and amaze with great dexterity and deftness  that may have rivaled the process of rifling through a file cabinet.  (Alright, it wasn’t at light speed but, I got there before they gave up and walked away)

Today my brain synapses are a little run down and the drivers don’t show up for work on time.  If a household member wants to know where something is, they have to don a spunky cap and cape, clenched pipe in teeth and investigate.  I don’t get invited to those parties much anymore, either.   However, one thing remains…the value of writing our memories, our family heritage, our heart’s hopes and dreams across the lifespan of our children and their children.

My grandfather endured Alzheimer’s for over a decade before he passed away.  I didn’t understand what was happening to him.  I was in my thirties, busy raising five children and could only acknowledge that he was losing his memory.  The emotional nuances of that experience, the impact on his own sense of getting up each day and going to sleep each night…that I couldn’t fathom.   At times he could remember.   I wonder now if he realized that he would also again forget.  With each memory that slips from my own recollection, I stand at the edge of his experience astounded by how much he prevailed, even in the midst of succumbing.

My grandfather, Poppy (as I named him – being the oldest grandchild),  represented all that was wise and profound about the world.  He seemed to understand life and his opinions, to me, were always right.  It is, as I wander across the landscape of my own memories, difficult to find a time when his perspective didn’t take the high view.  Maybe that was what seemed so magical to me about him…his sense of perspective and intuition.  They say that seeing is believing, but with Poppy and I…well, maybe believing was seeing.  He was right because I believed in him.  He had hopes and dreams, triumphs and tragedies, travels and travails the likes of which made life’s expansive terrain rise up as the sun on the horizon.

While many people found my Poppy to be stubborn and opinionated, which he was, I’m not always sure that they fully realized what virtue was wrought upon the earth by his presence.  Even his faults couldn’t overshadow the creativity and proclivity for invention that blew through the boughs of my life like a spring breeze.  He lit my imagination on fire from the time I was a little girl.  I can see where I bear his genetic markers.  They are the pens with which I have written so much of my own experience and perspective upon the lives of my family, even though they be tossed with more zeal than aim from the hand of the news carrier at times.

From my grandmother I learned the balance.  NanNan (so named by me because she was too young at heart to be called grandmother), the rose in the garden of Poppy’s world, has written  journals of quotations and thoughts about choosing a positive attitude and reflecting on the value which could be derived from all of life’s moments.  She has pasted clipped pictures and sayings from magazines like a road map for my future.  Repeatedly she has told me that I put her on an undeserved pedestal.  She has never wanted to injure me when she would, inevitably, fall off.  I remember standing in her kitchen the first time she made that bold statement.  My mind’s eye saw her standing statuesque on the wheeled kitchen stool I upon which I so often entertained myself  as she cooked.  At her revelation I saw her tumble to the floor, having lost her balance, and felt only compassion rather than judgment or disillusionment.  My reply continues to be that it is in her very real humanity that I find my hope to encourage others as she has encouraged me.

Consequently, the library of my own life contains volumes of experience and perspective from which I leave my version of Cliffs Notes for my own children and grandchildren.  I’ve never written that which would harm them, but I have included the full range of experience, hopefully pointing out the view from different vantage points along the topography of our lives.  As they grow, so will their understanding and ability to decode my messages.  I just pray they don’t bury me with the decoder ring still on my finger.

We have to engage our own process, become part of the world wide life long web that connects us.  We take clues from that which others write upon the papyrus of our lives.  A beautiful story unfolds as we do and perhaps, as we get older, we even remember  where we last saw that very item someone is looking for.  The most important items lie safe within each heart.


I close my eyes and center myself. When I awaken, opening my inner eyes, I am lying on a warm beach, gazing up at a star filled night, feeling the tide wash over my body like a lover’s caress. Where is the one with whom I could share the silent touches and sparkling gazes…insights at a glance, comforted and aroused by the wholeness of our beings…experiencing the silent synergy…

YoYo Mom

My first statement should be that I love being a mother. It’s my first and favorite thing about my life.
My second statement is, that along with the joy, there is pain.
My teenage daughter doesn’t hand in her makeup work (after being reminded three times by a patient teacher), and suddenly I am not even acknowledged as a living presence in the house because I had to bring it to her attention.
The fact is, I wasn’t the only one talking to her about it. My husband actually received the email and together he and I spoke with her about it. Together, we arrived at a reasonable response…so to whom did she speak for the duration of that morning?  Her father, of course.
My older daughters weren’t living with me during their high school years. One stayed in Texas to finish high school with her friends while we had to move back home. The other is my step daughter who lived with her mother. So this is my first full immersion.

The labor pains of birth are very difficult. I gave birth five time, only twice with anesthesia. So, I know a bit about this. Guiding one’s child through high school and into their life beyond is like a long arduous labor. It’s giving birth all over again.

In conclusion, I will state firmly that it is in every way a worthwhile and valuable experience. And even if my emotions are treated like someone’s personal yoyo from time to time…motherhood is still the favorite thing I love about life.

Where is forgiveness in the world? (a personal rant)

Has it ever occurred to anyone that we all make mistakes? Errors in judgment caused by fear, ignorance, or just plain stubbornness, or even hurt feelings…

Owning up to one’s lapses in integrity is certainly a step in the right direction for anyone. And can’t we all find compassion to help us forgive, based on recollections of our own weakness and human frailty?

Humility is key to reconciliation and love is a choice we make. Listening to (or reading about) people criticizing and nitpicking one another’s posts and comments makes me wonder, at times, if there’s hope of getting through to anyone.

Then, from time to time, one runs across someone who seems to get it. Who seems to understand the whole “love your neighbor as yourself” idea…even when that means one has to remember that one’s neighbor isn’t as perfect as we might think we are. Because we’re not really perfect…any of us.

If we love those who love us and show mercy to those who show mercy to us than we’re like everyone else. The one of true virtue will extend such consideration to strangers and enemies and those who, in their humanity, goofed it up.

A Little Taste of Normal

Having a child home from school, either due to illness or weather, has become the norm since Christmas. Today there’s a little bit of “normal” seeping back into life in the form of Haileigh. She’s the baby I watch while her mom is finishing high school. There is such peace in holding a baby in one’s arms.

Unfortunately she’s in need of breathing treatments, so I’ve learned how to do that this morning. She was very cooperative!
Also, unfortunately, my son is home with a slight fever and cold symptoms. Our daughter is recovering from mono so, I’m praying that he doesn’t have that. Even though it is primarily passed along via saliva, I read on Web MD that mucus also carries the virus to others.  I’ve become a germaphobe! (sp?…not sure that one is in the dictionary yet!)

Anyway, it reminds me of the days of raising these little people and how thankful I am to have done that while I was younger.

Not much to say today. Just sending my thoughts out into the cosmos. Life can turn on a dime, reveal all sorts of inconsistencies, but as long as we persevere with one another in love, forgiving because we remember when we’ve needed forgiveness…life grows and blossoms like the flowers in spring.

Today I see sunshine in the midst of caring for those in need around me. I feel the sunshine coming from the hope within me as I emerge from my cocoon. The challenge of metamorphosis has been relentless…but it’s good in the end. I’m learning to fly.

There’s an old saying I learned as a teenager in youth group…
“Please be patient with me. God is not finished with me yet.” We all need that grace.

Cyberdating My Husband

Yesterday morning my husband and I did something new and interesting…and filled with laughter! We “cyber” dated.

He took me to our local wifi restaurant, along with his laptop computer and our new family laptop computer and we “connected” over coffee and breakfast. I’d never done anything like that and he was kind enough to show me the ropes. (as a homemaker of 29 years I’m a little shy to try these things on my own the first time out)

Our teenage son even got in on the action by IMing me. I responded by saying, “Well hi son! I didn’t see you sitting there!” (groans from the audience…)

I love the play on word game, and I really enjoyed trying to juggle IMing and talking over the computer (literally) to my husband while attempting to consume coffee and grits (still have to eat soft food after the tooth extraction).

I sincerely hope everyone, reading this or not, had a chance to laugh as much as we did yesterday and to fall in love all over again over the computer (or wherever else one was playing)!

Second Opinions

I have found that I am in favor of second opinions.

Last week I visited an oral surgeon who gave me very grave news…many teeth needed to come out.  His office would get a health clearance from my doctor (I’m not in perfect health, unfortunately) and we’d make a treatment plan.

When my husband was advised by a co-worker to get a second opinion, I was a little put out.  I hate going to the dentist and my mouth/face hurts so that I just want to get the stuff over with and feel better!  But, something in me decided not to argue. (I can be quite stubborn….NO!  right?)

As it turned out, the second oral surgeon gave us an entirely different perspective.  It was quite a bit more conservative and sent us back to a dentist, which is where I should have started in the first place.  (the insurance company had advised going straight to the surgeon because of the symptoms)

Now I am scheduled to endure facing down my deep fear, with my high blood pressure in tow, today.  I took my two teenage boys to them for check ups yesterday and the people there are very kind and compassionate in the face of my irrational fear.  They can help my anxiety with chemicals  (i like chemicals…) and we’ll get through this, one visit at a time until my mouth is healed.  You know though, I’d rather give birth without pain meds (and I’ve done that three times!)  than do what I must do today.  Even the exam the other day had my blood pressure up very very high.  It was a bit scary.   Anyone inclined to offer a prayer for me, I offer my thanks in advance.

I need to be cleaning house and doing laundry, but I’ve been glued to my on line distractions all morning.  I used to have so much courage.  I’ll keep the song by Rebecca St. James with me this afternoon…”Hold me Jesus …

1.5 hours later….

I’m not kidding.  I was typing the last line when the phone rang.  It was the dentist’s office wondering why I was not at my appointment.  I had 2pm on my calendar but they had me at 11am.  Long story short, I jumped up and drove just up the hill to their office, getting settled into my appointment before I even had time to worry, still holding the words of that song in my head and heart.

The exam went amazingly well (the grace of God is amazing and I believe that Jesus was holding me, just as I’d asked).  I’m going back this afternoon at 4 to have 2 extractions done with nitrous and Valium to aid the process.  I feel an assurance…blessed assurance…as I go about some chores.

The complete line from that song goes like this:

“Hold me Jesus, cause I’m shaking like a leaf.  You have been my King of Glory.  Won’t you be my Prince of Peace.”

And so it goes.

trip to the oral surgeon

It’s a play on words of sorts. I’m trying to schedule a podiatry appointment and coordinate it with oral surgery consultation. I’m in pain from head to foot.
I’m thankful for the support and patience given by my family. I also find that the pain keeps me mindful to pray for those suffering so much in different areas of the world right now.

Just read a blog on Haiti

R Tom Sizemore’s blog “News from Haiti”, pictured on the front page of WordPress caught my attention just now.  His reflections on his experiences and the pictures shared in that blog were deeply touching.  He mentioned children playing and smiling for cameras in the midst of such suffering…an almost unimaginable hope they seem to share.

So really I am writing this to simply say another thank you to Mr. Sizemore for the blessing of his blog entry.  I am left profoundly contemplative.

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