Chilly October morning

Slowly the orange ball of fire called the sun is peeking over the black silhouette of beach, elm and black walnut trees that create my back yard. It is a crisp fall morning, and we have yet to turn on the furnace or clean the chimney. My bed feels warm and cozy, especially when I compair it to the chill I will find in the kitchen. I do not want to get up. But I must make lunches and hang out today’s laundry, and feed the chickens.

Pulling on my purple velour robe and slipping into my red fleece slippers, I emerge from my cave of warmth into the bright kitchen. I can here him in the laundry room, emptying his suitcase from his latest trip. He will have filled the white basket with the wet clothes, washed over night, and it will be waiting for me by the door. The green tea kettle, that he bought for me before we were married, is just beginning to rattle and whistle. On the counter by the stove, sits a single plate, with an egg sandwich, untouched. While in the prep cutting board is a half eaten similar egg sandwich.

It is especially in these moments, that I pause and am thankful for my teammate, my partner, my friend, my love.

The chill I expected to feel is gone. I pour the now boiling water over my waiting coffee beans and begin my Wednesday, happy. Balanced. In love.

Hoping your day also has tidbits and moments of happiness and joy. May you give as well as receive such feelings! What goes around comes around!

In preparing to write this morning, I also found this similar piece. It is from my first attempt at blogging and was written four and a half years ago, (when my eldest daughter was the age of my youngest daughter now.) At first, I thought to simply reblog my own piece. But as I stumbled from my bed, I was met with this scene, and fell head over heals in love again. Thanks to the blogging world, and my many friends for restarting my love of writing and sharing!

On display, by Busy Bee Momma…first published 2/19/2013

Advertisements

Beginnings

I started this blog, almost two years ago, to try to find myself, again.

I wonder…Am I still looking?

Am I lost or am I found?

I read, the other day, of another writer’s re-beginning, diving in, reaching deeply for the roots.

I imagine the roots which hold us down. Which call out in whispers, or in tears. The roots which sometimes lie exposed and raw, upon the barren ground. Little parts of us, so clear to any passerby, to see, to trip upon, to re bury, or to cut away carelessly.

Was I looking for the roots too? Was I looking to uncover them and polish the edges to a brilliant sheen? Or was I looking to see if they were even there? Was there still something left of the me I used to be?

Before the children, before the house chores and parental tasks of life, before the chickens and cats and bunnies. Was I looking for who I was before I even fell in love, and broke my cocoon to emerge, here, with strong, but dainty wings. Or was I looking for the caterpillar, the egg, or the leaf upon which it was hatched?

What I have found is sometimes translucent and perfectly clear, other times a charade of camouflage. I found the busy flap and flutter and glittering of gossamer wings, almost always going, going. I found I want to fly, to soar, to dip into the beauty. I found a desire for more, a yearning to reach higher to the crystal blue sky and beyond. But also the need to constantly feed myself with the curled tongue of organized adventure.

I also found the alarm of the ever on-guard antenna, hyper-aware of the taste and scent of any danger. Ready to curl it all into a little ball, thought to be invisible to the world. This, beside the striking contrast of the giddy and welcoming sweetness of the sun, and beauty of the fruits of life. I found I am always probing the world, to see which extreme will over power the specific moments of the day.

There is still much more to find, to hear and to see, and many flowers I have yet to visit. Perhaps ones that I have seen before, but in a different form. I still have much to learn, of myself and the world. I am still learning to let go of the cocoon, which I made so well, and that has kept me safe, but also held me back from seeing what else of me there is to be. I have but now to pause, in the fluttering, to see the deeper beauty and strength that lies within, and rests upon the root.

Succumb

Shall I succumb to the piles of papers mounting up on the counter? Or perhaps the the trail of laundry meandering round the house? Shall I throw in the towel, as I contemplate the mounds of dishes accumulating faster than can be loaded into the dishwasher? Or perhaps my down fall will be in the scheduling of three soccer teams, mixed with eleven dance classes and countless after school events. The groceries, car repairs and endless bills have eaten away at my bank account. And are looming, still hungry, at the back door, waiting to devour me whole. Another set back, another struggle to tempt me into the depths of despair.

But I will not be tempted. I will stand strong. I will not succumb.

I am strong. I am fierce. I will carry on with poise and coffee. I will try again, with renewed vigor, and better plans, and more organizing baskets.

I may stumble and trip. I may be late for some practices. I may leave the laundry in the washer for the day and a half. I may wait until morning to empty, then refill the dishwasher, having to wash a cup or two by hand. I may retreat into my phone for an hour or so, avoiding the mess, the chores, and the busy. I may fail. But I will fail well. I will fail, and try again, and again, and again.

Succumb? No. No I will not succumb today.

Ramblings of a mother on Friday.

Today is Friday the 13th. I woke up late. The littlest was in my bed all night, having had nightmares. I forgot to make the cinnamon buns for breakfast, (that I took the time to prep last night). My oldest almost missed the bus, because she asked for double French braids seven minutes before the bus comes. My husband leaves for another weekend trip today. Our bank account is lower than I anticipated for the weekend, again. And I forgot to hang the wet laundry out on the line before we all left for the day.

This morning I dreamed of snow covering my tomatoes and nobody helping me quickly harvest them. It is true that they have been on my mind. Along with the potatoes that need to be harvested. And of course the whole garden, really, needs to be put to bed and raked out of grass and leaves and plant supporting debris. But there never does seem to be enough time. (Perhaps I need to cultivate more Thyme.)

Tonight we have yet another soccer game. And somehow, somewhere, a basketball practice. Plus one is asking for a sleep over somewhere. And then, tomorrow is two more soccer games and a spaghetti dinner/book fair for the littles school. Then Sunday is more basketball, and dance and figuring out how to get the eldest back from a Saturday night’s sleep over. Not to mention finding time for the Halloween costumes they are asking for me to help them finish on the sewing machine.

Busy.

Full of life. Full of love. Full of crazies.

So, after the morning chores of getting everybody out the door. I sat down to catch my breath. I took a moment to be still. To breath. True, this moment was in the entrance hallway to the elementary school, with many children, and parents, as well as various school staff bustling by me. But I took a just a moment, a deep breath and then another. Before I continued on to my paying job and busy busy Friday.

TGIF. Friday the 13th. Just another day, a moment in time, soon to be replaced by another moment in time. Make it as good as you can and remember to breath.

Middle of the road

Every morning I listen for the sound of the bus, stopping for my young teenager. I hold off on my morning chores and busy myself in the kitchen, just to be near and hear it. And everyday, I peek through the rhododendron, that blocks the window, to watch her patiently waiting. And then I watch her cross the street. Confident, beautiful, strong and amazing, especially to me.

The last time she rode the bus was first or second grade. Then I would bundle up the pajama clad toddler (or two), and hustle out the kindergartener/preschooler and we would all stand together. We played games of guessing the color of the cars before they zoomed past. With my coffee in hand, I taught them hop scotch. The driveway, then, was more covered in chalk than black pavement. On rainy days, the bigger ones, all dressed for school, would huddle under an umbrella with me. Meanwhile, the littlest stomped in puddles till the water came up over the top of her tiny rain boots and soaked her feet. Occasionally we missed the bus, and then I would drive all three of them the three minutes to school. By the time the youngest was off to kindergarten, bus riding was no longer cool, or fun, or the easiest choice for our crazy, rushed, mornings. If I drove them the three minutes to school, it gave us more time in the morning to do three pairs of braids, and pack three sets of lunches.

Then came middle school: and early, (very early) mornings. Too early for me, really. She has handled them like a champ.

At thirteen, she gets up without a fuss, and dresses quickly in mature and stylish clothes. She comes downstairs within 30 minutes, (as I am barely stumbling out of bed), with hair done up, tasteful makeup on, nice clothes, and a plethora of bags. I make her a sandwich for lunch, but no longer sneak in little notes or silly surprises; it is easy to accidentally embarrass a middle schooler. As her father heads off to work, she and I have a quiet breakfast and chat about the days plans. It has become a time I look forward to everyday: connecting with my eldest, beautiful daughter. And then she is off to wait for the bus.

No longer are there screaming struggles of “nothing to wear!” Nor do I have to go upstairs 10 times to finally rouse her from the bed. Occasionally, I remind her to fill her water bottle for soccer/basketball/softball, butler she has it all together, ready. Instead, we have calm conversations about what she might want for lunch. Or she tells me the latest drama story of eighth grade. She sighs and harrumphs sometimes, not wanting to go to school or practice later; but don’t we all.

Once in a blue moon, she has a down morning. Where I can see she is barely holding it together. Something (that in the great scheme of life is usually nothing) has gotten under her skin and rubbed the wrong way. Perhaps she is physically exhausted due to her sports and extra dance classes, and she is feeling the strain in her muscles. Or sometimes she isn’t sure of a friendship and a turn that it has taken (or that she perceives it will take) and is questioning her place in middle school society. But still, we make it through and she pulls it together fabulously. Off she goes to wait for the bus, always leaving 5 minutes early, so she will be sure not to miss it.

With her ‘A Game’ on, she is gone. She is out the door, school bag, gym bag, sports bag, lunch box, water bottle and phone in hand. With a quick and final smile goodbye (or sometimes even a kiss if I am lucky), she strides to the end of the drive way. Her straight and strong back, her beautiful dancing posture, will be the last I will see of her until well into the afternoon. No looks back of sleepiness, sluggishness or sadness, or even another goodbye. She marches forth into the battle ground of middle school, prepared to fight the dragons of the day with courage and poise…my little girl is growing up and headed out to the middle of the road of life.

The journey

The first steps into the night,

Guided by years of traipsing

These hand formed stairs.

Grass and cedar hold back the hill

As flowers tumbleAnd weeds intermix.


Starless warm skies,

A sense of endless time,

A traveler lost in moments,

(Or could it be hours or years?)

My boots are drenched with dew,

The damp darkness has settled

Into every nook and blade of grass.

Loosening the hinges of reality.

Ah! But the night reveals a door!

Guarded by stretching rose bushes

And overgrown shrubs.


An old summer cottage,

Overgrown by fall.

The light and sound within:

An aproned grandmother,

Cleaning up the last of her dishes.

Or an ought to be abandoned shed,

Filled with bickering children

And lit by flickering candles’ glow.


Inner reality is blurry, obscured by dust

And a half fallen curtain.

No candles glow.

No grandmotherly figures wiping up crumbs.

A strange disorderly order

Of objects pressing together,

Jostling for space or attention,

Demanding a closer look…


What oddness abounds!

Greeted by fluff and feathers

And attitudes all around…

“How dare you disturb my night!

Have you never heard of privacy!

A moment to gather my senses

And find my evening bonnet!”

I pause, to allow the dust to settle,

And then begin my evening chores.


All chickens accounted for

All foxes shut out for the night.

Food and water filled for morning.

All have settled down

And are ready to turn out the light.


I re-traipse my wet footprints,

Back up the overgrown stairs.

Awaiting me at the top,

My own cozy cottage

With children happily giggling

And a husband washing the dishes.

All is well and quiet and good.

Good night.

No, I am not…

No, I am not at the amazing and super fun annual pumpkin drop today. No, I am not driving to Waterville and back for basketball today. No, I am not cleaning the chimney, or cleaning up around the wood stove today. No, I am not harvesting apples or making cider for the winter. No, I am not.

Today I am resting.

The world will not end if my children miss a chance to see 1000 pound pumpkins dropped on stripped down old cars, this one year. It will not end if I rely on friends and coaches to ferry my middle child to and from the Sunday basketball games, an hour away. Nor will it be horrible to wait a few more days before lighting the wood stove this fall. And the world will certainly not end if I don’t drive the 15 minutes over to the job site, to harvest apples on this windy day.

This week has been a doozie of a busy week. There have been six soccer practices, one basketball practice, five soccer games, eight dance classes, a PTO meeting, two deep car cleanings, one camper cleaning and set up for fall, two cavity fillings, way too many bills paid, one morning of volunteer work, one day off from school, a four day headache, two sleep overs, three grocery shopping adventures, one big hassle with internet service, two evening-out dinners, a birthday celebration, an early morning play date, a friend’s baby born, a failed car repair, as well as week of working two paying, part-time jobs. I am tired.

So, today I have been helping children find Lego pieces, reading my book, mindlessly playing on my iPhone and doing only one load of laundry. I suppose I also had to tend the chickens, cat and bunnies; as well as make breakfast, lunch and dinner for the family. And I did have to deliver one child to the coach and another to the dance class. But that is all.

Harvesting the potatoes can wait, too wet anyway. Sorting the art supplies and making a new art cabinet can wait, need to get more boxes and shelves still. The sorting out summer clothes from the multitudes of drawers and closets can wait, Young’Uns is probably closed tomorrow anyway. Even the planning of the week’s meals can wait, we can just have pasta and peanut butter sandwiches for a couple meals.

Would it be fun to see the pumpkin smash into millions of pieces and feel the impact shake the ground? Yes. But then the blanket would be all wet from the rain, and the children covered in tiny pieces of leaves and their pockets filled with acorns I will find in the washing machine. There is always next year, as well as the previous five (at least) years to remember fondly. Do I wonder and worry how the first basketball game of this new team and new season went? Yes! But there will be another next weekend and it gives her a chance to giggle with her friend for the hour ride there and back. Has the weather turned a bit chilly and damp and a fire would be nice? Yes, for sure! But we have so many sweaters, we love baking bread in the oven (which warms the house quite a bit), and it is far too windy today to be up in the roof anyway! There is always next Saturday to clean the chimney.

Today we rest. We let others help. We reset ourselves and brace for the next coming week: 6 soccer games, 7 soccer practices, 8 dance classes, one day off from school, one pumpkin boat regatta, one picnic play date, one fundraiser for a friend, one or two basketball practices, one hopeful car repair trip to Portland and back, one morning of volunteering, one sleepover, one spaghetti dinner fundraiser, and three days of solo parenting. But that is all just par for the course.