Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week-end Review

We survived the Museum of Science with five 11 year olds and in fact, I think we even flourished.  The Pompeii exhibit was heartbreaking:

And this beautiful statue did not prepare me for my daughter slipping into the exhibit to see a video which included the tail end of a live birth.  "Gross." said my daughter.  "It is what it is." said me.

Hard to say, except this was my husband's favorite exhibit.


Church today featured a lay lead sermon on the growing gap between the wealthiest and the poorest people in this country.  The statistics are staggering and I"m grateful to the Occupiers that we are now having this discussion in our churches and schools and hopefully in our boardrooms.  I'm also enjoying Arguably, Essays by Christopher Hitchens a transplanted British columnist who wrote about the parts of this country, that I for one, need reminding the fact that we execute prisoners under the age of 18.  Did you know that?  The United States stands alone as the country with the most juveniles awaiting execution.  Where is all the outrage?  I wrote a little entry about the things I miss as a younger person and I want to add "outrage" to the list.  I know it takes a lot of energy and we are busy raising kids and trying to batten down the hatches during this economic hurricane but we can't let go of being outraged.  Our kids need to see that outrage is justified when compassion has fled the scene. 

What does it mean, indeed.

Friday, January 27, 2012

the good ole days

I was driving home in the rain tonight after sitting for 2 hours at a dance lesson.  Tomorrow, I will be accompanying five 11 year olds and one 9 year old to the science museum.  Sunday, I will be fitting in church, skiing, and oh yeah, the kids climb with their peps that day.  I'm no martyr and I fit in quite a bit for myself but I was musing about the things I miss (that is the danger of a 2 hour dance lesson when you are not the dancer)....not as a mom but as a middle-aged person with responsibilities on all fronts.

I miss reading the Sunday paper for hours.  Was the news more riveting 20 years ago and so took a more concerted effort?  Thinking of the Sunday paper leads into all those leisurely Sunday brunches; banana pancakes in Austin, beignets in New Orleans, green chili breakfast burritos in Albuquerque, and of course, Jazz brunch in Cambridge. 

I miss week-ends devoted to just one thing.  Like riding my bicycle from Austin to Shiner, Texas.....82 miles in one day.  If memory serves me, I was so exhausted once I got there, I tried to get arrested so I could rest.  As a footnote, you have to do more than pee in a bush to get arrested in Shiner, Texas.  How about all those climbing week-ends?  Glorious because that is all we did....we climbed in the week so we would have the stamina to do multi-pitch climbs in the Gunks and in the White Mountains.  We slept by the side of the road and ate power bars on the cliff all day.  As a footnote, power bars plug you right up.

I miss staying up all night dancing with Jen in our vintage garb and eating breakfast before heading to bed.

I miss travelling.  Driving through the night to go skiing in Colorado or to see the sunrise over the canyons in West Texas.  Driving out west on a stretch of road between Lubbock and Clovis where there is nothing but road.  Feeling the peace of that.

I think we can be in the moment, and love our lives and community and family and all the things we are doing and still take a moment every now and then to remember those hell raising days.  I can stand up to an angry adolescent who is threatening to take out the principal because I waited tables at Abel's.  I can stand in the rain at my son's soccer game because I rode and climbed in the rain back in the day.  And I can damn sure appreciate a Shiner Bock beer, good enchiladas, and now...New England Clam Chowda.  It's all part of the mix.

What do you miss?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I miss you!

Work today was a bit of a whirlwind. It involved good karma boxes, distraught parents, some contraband, and a non-existent lunch. This combination led me to misplace my Iphone.

I noticed this exactly as I pulled into my driveway, after work, to make a call. This is one of my odd little habits. I consider the driveway my home office, and often place a call or two before I go in and get distracted by pure chaos. No phone. Ok, no big deal, I clearly left it at work and will pick it up tomorrow.

To cut to the chase, I have needed to check appointments, text, look at the specifics of a pattern I had photographed, and email. I have been forced to move to the big machine and it is woefully inadequate. If I do not find my phone tomorrow, I will stop on my way home and have a new one by the evening. I am wired in....

How did this happen? Is all this texting and talking and organizing doing something to our neural pathways? I just googled that question and the answer is apparently "yes." There are such things as internet and texting disorders. We are, indeed, redirecting our brain circuitry.

How long can we go without our smart phones? Do we need to take a break on occasion?

This kinda reminds of the time when I forgot to go food shopping and then decided that an all day fast would be "cleansing." It was not. I know I don't want to get rid of my smart phone, maybe just turning it off on occasion is a good idea. Just realized I can't listen to tunes on the treadmill. Bigger issue is that I can't seem to see the treadmill under a pile of books, art supplies, and maybe a stuffed snake?  I would take a quick pic to post, but you know the story by now.....

I am going off the grid.  At least until tomorrow:)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012


WCE accepted a job today....about 15 minutes from the house.  I know he is saddened by the dissolution of the dream team but I have faith that they may come together again someday.  The process was a harrowing one which included my heart getting all fired up, literally; the kids asking if we could afford Christmas this year; and picking through our values with a nit comb.

I'm also grateful for the partner that I ended up with....even though I didn't include him in the favorite pics of the year, he has such integrity and compassion and all good things that I sometimes can't believe our luck in finding each other.  It is when things go off the rail that he becomes most steadfast.  I just get kinda loud:)

Congratulations Sweetie!  They, and us. are lucky to have you!

And by the way, thanks to all my friends and family for lending an ear, giving us such generous Christmas gifts, and talking this thing through.  I must have rocked in my past lives:)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Favorite Pics of 2011

Before church

After the race

A Day at the Beach


 More Contemplation
 Getting There
Warrior Dash


There you have it:)

Monday, January 2, 2012

One last day

Today is the last day of a week long vacation.  What did I not get to?  Oh yeah, getting my oil changed, renewing my expired driver's license, and putting away the holiday decorations.  Of course, I can't really do those things on the very last day of vacation, that would be unvacation-like. 

What I need to do today, what we all need to do on our last day of vacation is figure out the last lego piece to the holiday sculpture.  What magical winter experience eluded me?  Besides anything having to do with snow in the becalmed Northeast.  Although we did ski, hike, climb, and run.  We also partied, laughed, read, ate, played games, and enjoyed each other.  I got it.  Today should just be more of the same.

Enjoy each other and the gifts of vacation for one more day.  The oil and the laundry can wait.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

We rang in the New Year with good friends, good food, and some fierce dancing!  Do you think you can dance?  Hang out with a hip-hopping 9 year old, a friend with a Jazz background, and a dude with a Dean Martin hat.  You will be disabused of your notion:)

This is the post where I get to wax poetic about the gifts of the year.  I love this part of the holiday, although another friend pointed out, rightly so, that this time of year is really about the death of the old year.  Reverend Judith with her Buddhist perspective, wished us all "Happy Continuation Day" and I like the flow of that. 

I'm thankful this year, in no particular order for the following:

1.  My bodhisattvas, the people on my path who are teaching me....that is all of you so a big shout out for that.  My daughter teaching me love, my son teaching me compassion, my husband teaching me trust, my friends teaching me faith and joy. 
2.  My job-- a difficult one but a raft in turbulent economic waters.
3.  Adventures--Bermuda, skiing, Harvard Square, Brimfield, the Warrior Dash,  and the Cape.  Most within 50 miles of here.  Go figure.
4.  My docs--they continue to work to contain my fear and my occasional irregular heartbeats.  Go team.
5.  My elders--they are "wicked pissah". 
6.  My Community-- I complain a bit about the suburban life but I've got neighbors who are getting my son on the bus, carpooling with me to dance, and preparing for ski season together.  I found a village and I'm grateful as hell.
7.  Yoga-my friend Rolf told me years and years ago that I was going to need yoga more than I was going to need any other physical activity.  His words have proven to be prophetic.  With my racing heart, arthritic knee, and herniated disc (I don't look that great on paper anymore), yoga keeps me going.
8. Church--  I need to sing, pray, meditate, teach, laugh, and cry.  That all happens every Sunday.  Amen
9.  The Things I made this year--not enough of them, and some even had upside down snowmen in the end but every minute I spent making something by hand was a gift I gave myself.  More next year, I promise myself.
10.  My Clients--I don't blog about 'em but I am immensely grateful for the amazing stories I am privileged to bear witness to and is an honor.

So seize this year and embrace it.  I love you all!