Friday, June 15, 2012

Feeling Kinda Lucky

We had major rain in our little town yesterday.  All day yesterday.  It started with a spectacular shelf cloud that eclipsed the sky at around 10:45 am and never quit.  All day.  Estimates of total rainfall are exceeding 9 inches.

For some people I know, it was quite an awful day.  Rain in basements, new carpeting flooded, driveways washed out, water bubbling up from the bathtub drain.  Not the kind of tragedy that devastates a town certainly, but also not what I would wish for anyone on a summer Thursday.  Nobody was injured, the town rallied and put up sand bags and Service Master will meet their monthly quotas by pumping thousands of gallons of rain water out of our town this morning and in the coming days.  Because it's not over yet.  The river continues to rise.

We came out ok.  I described to a friend yesterday that it is both comforting and disturbing to hear the basement sump pump running almost constantly for hours at a time.  But we were dry.  We spent hours at the windows watching the washing machine of water triple rinse tomato plants and try to drown cucumber vines that were very happy to have a trellis to climb.  At one point, the middle bit and I braved the elements to go bail out some of my herb pots with plastic cups, but that was more for fun than any real sense of botanical urgency.  As a deep purple evening turned to night and the rain kept coming...we were still dry.

This morning, about 8am, coffee in hand, dogs underfoot...I went out to assess the damage to my landscaping and my tender edibles.  A quick survey of the front yard revealed very squishy sod and a jam of debris near the storm drain.  Not a big deal.  As I squished and waded my way around the side yard I was relieved to see my herb garden was no longer under inches of water and that no further bailing would be required.  More splashing and wading through the low area of sod across the back yard made plain the next activity for today would be replacing some top soil in my tomato garden.  Not a big deal.

Then I turned to peek at my peppers, just around one more corner in a raised bed at the rear of the yard...and I saw a baby sitting by my rain barrels.  Yes.  A baby.  He was quietly parked on his very soggy bottom, in my grass, playing with wet stones.  I am not kidding.  Nor am I losing my marbles.  I knew he was too young to speak to me as he crawled towards me on the soaking lawn, but I asked him anyway, "Well who are you?"  I looked around to see who he could possibly be with...nobody.  I called out, "Hello" to the general vicinity of my backyard neighbors...nothing.  I crouched down to peek into yards and around the corner for the person who must be right behind him...nowhere.

So I went over and picked up his sodden little self.  He reached right up and came to me.  I wiped off the grass bits from his drppy blond head and started out of the yard to stand by the street and look for whomever had certainly misplaced this towheaded tot.

As we came up the hill from our low backyard we were spotted by a very grateful gramma who came rushing across the neighboring yards with her arms stretched out.  "We have been looking for you!"  Apparently the wee explorer had climbed out of his portable crib and let himself out of the house while the older siblings were enjoying a post rainstorm patio breakfast with gramma.  I assured my friend and neighbor that her secret was safe with me.  No harm done.  He was a bit soggy, but just fine.  It was lucky I had come out to check on my plants.

Yes.  It was lucky.  Lucky that I wasn't bailing out a basement or dealing with a drywall restoration professional.  Lucky that my carpets were dry and my yard was mostly intact.  Lucky that our sump pump stayed on and that all I'll need is a tiny bit of topsoil to repair the damage from yesterday's torrent.

It shouldn't take a mysterious baby appearing in my yard to remind me how lucky I am.  But that's just what I got this morning.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

37 Days Later

You may not know this about me, but I am a Professional pain in the ass sarcasm specialist Organizer.  I counsel people about inhabiting their homes authentically. I help people go through their stuff to take stock of what they already have, before going out to acquire more things.  I encourage people to sort forgotten boxes and peek into seldom used drawers.  We look in unopened closets and unpack old baggage.  I ask them to truly see what is on their shelves and their walls instead of just living next to it and not paying attention. 

That's what I've been doing for 37 days.  That's why you haven't heard from me.  I needed to see what stuff I had in here, rattling around in my own space head.  I looked in hidden spots.  I paid attention to what was already there.  I unpacked some baggage.  And spent some time deciding what to do with all of it.   I found all this stuff in my head. Some of it went directly to the manuscript draft.  That book that may someday turn into something other than a giant Word document. 

And some of it’s going here.  I’ll probably trot it out in bits and pieces.  But first…

I'm really proud of what's going on over at A WordBetween Us.  There's so much there that's growing.  I had no idea what those seeds were going to grow into when I planted them.  It's kind of amazing.  Scary as hell actually.  If you're reading it, you should know you are bearing witness to a developing intimacy that most people don't get to see.  We're doing it in public.  And we've invited you to watch.  So amazing.

And second…

A few months ago I wrote an essay and posted it anonymously on another website because I was too chicken to put my name on it.  Well…I have decided that’s lame.  If I think it, I should own it.  And own the consequences…sigh.  So you can now read it here.

I apologize for my long absence.  I had some work to do.   

Sunday, February 19, 2012

37 from 37

 We inhabit ourselves without valuing ourselves,
unable to see that here, now
this very moment is sacred;
but once it's gone-
its value is incontestable.
-Joyce Carol Oates

I sat at the counter this morning, gripping my coffee, hunched over my iPad digesting the headlines, playing Words with my friends, reading the newest set of emails....blah blah blah.  Out of nowhere I had the most amazing realization and had to jump up and run over to the calendar close up the celebrity newsfeed on my device and open up my Google calendar to double check my calculations.

Today is 37 days from my 37th birthday!  Yes.  I noticed it in time.  It would not have been nearly as cool to come to this realization tomorrow.  37 days from 37.  Nice.

37 has become an important number for me recently.  One of my favorite authors, Patti Digh asks the question, "What would you do if you only had 37 days to live?" 

I have no intention of expiring in 37 days...but what if?  Hard question.  Would I pack up the girls and take them to see the world, with me?  Would I lock myself in a room and try desperately to write down everything I'd ever hoped to tell them someday?  Neither one of those feels much like me.

Inhabit the life I already have.  Yes, that's it.  Fully inhabit the life I have already worked so hard to build.  Not go live someone else's life.  I am going to spend the next 37 days working on living fully in my life. 

37 days.  I can't believe I noticed it today.  Today.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

De-Lurk for Maria

How often do the things we carry keep us from seeing where we are going?

We all have loads to carry, but the trick is to figure out how to wrap your arms around all you have to bear and still move forward.  One year ago this week, my dear friend Maria, added a cancer diagnosis to all she had to carry.  Added a disastrous illness to her already full arms.  Gathered it up among her treasures and her burdens...and kept moving forward.  

So she'll mark a kind of anniversary on Saturday.  Mark the day when the load changed, but not the direction.  And so, because I love her, and so many of you have gotten to know her story...

I would like to propose a week of de-lurking for Maria.  A lurker is a person who reads a blog regularly, quietly, anonymously...but never comments.  Maybe nods knowingly at the computer screen while reading the post of the week.  Laughs to themselves when something tickles them.  But never leaves a comment.  We bloggers writers know you're out there.  Our stat counters tell us you're out there.  But it's nice to hear from you all every once in awhile.

If you've been lurking out there, reading but not commenting...this is your week.  I would like to invite my lurkers to comment, to de-lurk.  For every comment left here by someone who has never commented before, from now until next Saturday the 11th, I will make a small donation to the fund that has grown to more than $700 from the sales of my book and goes directly to Maria who, as long as she is alive, will be in theMiddleBit of a fight for her life.

And, for those of you who have commented before, thank you.  I really appreciate hearing your thoughts.  I'd love to hear from you this week too.  The name of every single person who leaves a comment this week will go into a drawing for a signed copy of my book, theMiddleBit.  I will contact the winner after the drawing on Saturday and make arrangements to send it to you, from me, so you can carry it with you as you move forward.

Thank you all so much for de-lurking last week.  I know my friend was checking in regularly to get a lift from your comments!  I am so grateful.  Another donation to the fund is on it's way to her this week.  In other news...pastrylady, I am trying to contact you.  You were the winner of the book last week.  Send me an email through my blogger profile page and I can make arrangements to send it to you.  Thanks!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bootlegger's Ballad

Every night, the loving Father sings the same song to the middle bit and the little bit as he tucks them into bed.  It is precious.  And they love it.

A few days ago, Minnie, our little bit, decided that there was a problem with the song choice.  She explained to me that because it was a bedtime song, that was sung "at nighttime Mom, duh" that we should change the words.  Confident that this was just a stalling tactic, I kissed her head, told her, "Yes Dear.  I'm sure you're right.  We'll figure it out tomorrow," and shut off the light.

She apparently took some time to rethink the song's lyrics and this is her new version.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dear Lego,

Much has been written in the last few weeks about your launch of a new line of Legos designed to appeal to girls.   As a mother of daughters, I can appreciate the initial urge to answer their calls of, "More pink!" and "That's too boyish!" with a pastel colored mini figure that has boobs and carries flowers...

No wait!  I can't!  That's completely stupid.  Lego!  You really messed this one up.  Your new playsets promise minutes of fun while girls of all ages follow cookie cutter directions and assemble purple and teal scenes filled with puppies and pre-fab furniture.  Lame.  Sexist.  Insulting. 

So I thought I would show you what my daughters and I did with our primary colored Legos.  The bricks and bits handed down to them by their starship building father.  Accessories like a working ceiling fan, a broom, a plunger (for when too many organic vegetable peels get put down the disposal), and a paper towel holder that we had to assemble using our imagination.  Furniture we had to build because Daddy's old Star Wars sets didn't come with a 6 burner Viking range, a Sub-Zero refrigerator or a 36 bottle wine chiller.

Is it cliche that my girls and I built a kitchen?  Possibly.  But Lego, you know your new friends would loooove to be sitting on one of those barstools constructed out of rocket seats and red bricks having tapas and a glass of pinot with with my storm trooper right about now!


Nancy, the mother of 3 awesome Lego loving GIRLS!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


A new partnership.  A new journey.  A new year.

Come see.