Monday, August 30, 2010
It was late September, the kids had been back to school for about a month, and I was
relishing the quiet hours between 9 and 3. Time to work uninterrupted. If the weather was good, I could even get an extra half an hour in as I sent the kids walking to school and let them see themselves home. Why am I unprepared for the onslaught everytime they walk through the door at 3:15?
"Mommy, do you need to go to the store?"
"Sure." I answered, "You can come with me."
She wants a cookie, I thought. I can take a break from this in a while and take her.
Gabrielle offered, "I'll help you make the list." This was her way of getting me off of my project and out the door faster.
"Go ahead, hon." This was my way of staying on my project and helping my first grader become more independent.
"How do you spell asparagus?"
Oh, great! I can focus through a lot of background, but spelling requires all of me.
"Why don't you just write down the first letter of the things we need, and we will remember when we get there?" My idea satisfied both of us. Aisle by aisle in my mind, I named the things we needed, and Gabrielle marked their initial.
When we got to the store, my plan seemed to be working: "A" asparagus, how could we forget? Another "A" for apples, "M" mushrooms, "B" bread, but then she came to a "W." We stopped.
"W," "W," what did we need that started with "W?" Watermelon was out of season. We stood in the aisle between the bakery and the produce wracking our brains. Suddenly, Gabrielle turned toward the deli, and with her finger in the air declared, "I know, wunchmeat!"
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
"The lifeguards are gone," I say. "We can dive off the dock." Roman had been called out of the water earlier by the lifeguard. I watched in amusement as the stocky 2nd grader was made to read the rules. He looks up at me now like I had just handed him a pirate's treasure chest. "We can do whatever we want? Whoo-hoo!" We all run across the sand from the lifeguard stand to the water and swim to the floating dock. First, we rock the dock. Then, we dive. Some kids do flips. The dock is in the shade, so I dive off and head for the log. At 6 o'clock, something magical seems to happen to Lake Pend Oreille. The water, which had been so refreshing all day long, feels warmer. The beach gets quiet as parents leave with their little ones and old people go home to dinner. The lake gets calmer too, like all of those boats just ran out of gas at 6 o'clock.
I pull myself up on the floating log that is loosely anchored to pilings demarking the border between the swimming area and the boating area. I sit facing West, soaking up the sun that will not set until 8 o’clock. I watch the kids playing king of the dock. There is a lot of pushing and a lot of laughter and no injuries. Someones mom makes an alarmed sound from the beach, but no one can make out what she said. Horseplay reigns in that golden hour. I watch some Russian boys with big smiles balancing and knocking one another off the log next to mine. There are signs posted "no standing on logs." Therefore,that is all I can think about: standing tall and diving off this log. I make several unsuccessful attempts to stand on the slippery log before swimming back to the dock. It's Sunday after all, no need to try too hard at anything on a Sunday. Roman has a twinkle in his eye. "I am going to push you off," he says. "Oh, you wanna wrestle with me?" I ask. We lock arms and smile at one another. Rory catches my eye from the beach. "Caleb and Gabrielle, Dad is waving us in. We have to go now." I say. Gabrielle is disappointed, "Aw, mom!" A tall girl who had done the majority of successful shoving on the dock looks at Gabrielle and asks incredulously, "Is THAT your MOM?" "Yup, that's my mom!" Gabrielle gives me a squeeze. Roman manages to push me in as I prepare to dive. Splash! I come up to see Roman jumping up and down, cheering for himself. “You got me!” I said. And I meant it, he got me. They all did—dirty red bikini, Atlantis, Roman, the tall girl, the Russian boys –they got a piece of my heart where they will live at the end of a Summer day forever.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
So the heart that I drew with StudioCherie underneath was my logo, but now it feels so "5 years ago." Simplicity is ready for my logo to put on the catalog page and pattern cover. I think I like this. A picture says a thousand words, right? Tell me honestly how you think this would look as my logo on the cover of my patterns.
I think the main objection that graphic designers have to this is that it does not communicate what I do. The way I look at it is that if this is on the product itself, they know what I do, I want to show who I am, and where to find me for more.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Women have our version of war stories. We tell the tales of our children's births(and adoptions too) with relish. Years may have passed, but it all plays over again like a home movie when the opportunity arises. Whether our tale is cautionary or celebratory, we share with our women friends. Birth stories are our oral tradition. We teach the young mothers, and we commiserate with the veterans through our common experience.
This morning, as I was cooking sausage and eggs, my 2 youngest sat at the kitchen counter, hungry for their stories. I never imagined how pleasurable it would be to tell my 3 birth stories to my 9 and 11 year old children. They sat in rapt attention and delighted in the details. Everything about their circumstances pleases them. Caleb, being Mondays child, fair of face, always the joyful, smiling one, looked serene and satisfied that his birth was easy. Gabrielle, aware that she is Tuesdays child, full of grace, was unfazed by the lack of grace displayed by her mother during the occasion of her birth. (I had the flu and told my doctor - If I am not already in labor, make me be in labor NOW because I am not doing this pain twice!) She is okay with knowing that the wild-eyed woman with the dry heaves demanding an epidural was her Mama on the day before her birth. Then they wanted their big brothers story too. The sacred first birth full of surprise and wonder. We all secretly envy Christian, the child born on the Sabbath day is fair and wise and good and gay. Okay, so with me it's not so much of a secret when I shake my fists at the heavens and say, why wasn't I born on Sunday!? Guess what? Saturdays child works hard for a living. Oh, well. Back to work...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
The bacon sizzles, the dishwasher sloshes and hums, the car starts and roars through its gears, another day has begun. Time to do. Time to go. I know I used to be a human be-ing. But in my rush to achieve, I became a human do-ing. My life's rhythm changed from doo-be doo-be do..., to Do! Go! Do! Go! Do, do, do.
I sent a message to a friend who had kind of fallen off the map. I had the feeling her life had turned to do do too, but I hoped she was glad in it. The story I heard back was sad. Her kitchen caught fire, she was okay except for a badly burnt hand. Her basement flooded. And her 3 kids all had the swine flu. Here is how out of it I am. I drove by the drugstore the other day and I read the sign: get your hini shot here. I thought, they don't give those shots in the rear do they? Are folks dropping their drawers in the Walgreens? Later I realized it said H1N1. Anyway, her kids are better now, but they all had it.
Her message was a wake up call for me. I made a mental note. Do not try to cook and sew at the same time. No matter how Rory complains at the lack of variety on the menu, DO NOT cook and sew.
Right after replying to her message, Rory and I went for a hike at Indian Painted Rock. At the spot where we look forward to acres of Iris later in the season, I caught the spicy fragrance of something we have never been able to single out. It is a wonderful scent that always makes us stop in our tracks and linger to breathe a little deeper. As I stood there, I looked down at the slope next to the path. New grass was coming up and the sun was warm, calling the earth back to life. I felt Spring inside of me too. I felt a need to connect my Spring to the larger one. I suggested we lie down on the slope and soak up some sun. As I lay there, feeling the cool of the earth on my back and the warm sun on my face, I opened my eyes just enough to see cumulus clouds in the distance amid a slice of clean, blue sky. A tear dropped down my cheek. That is me there, the human be-ing. Lying on the ground, next to my husband who is quite content just to be with me. Soaking up the sun. Fragile, and turbulent as the Spring itself. Ready to grow. Not sure I am ready to be, yet here I am.