I forgot another friend’s birthday – again. It isn’t that I don’t care about showering attention on my friends – I do and I do. But I forget birthdays.
Since I remember my own, I’ve been known to give friends a birthday card on my birthday – just to cover my bases and let them know I really do care to honor their birthday – I just can’t remember to do it on The Day.
It’s not my birthday, won’t be for another 6 months but just because I keep forgetting – ‘
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVERYBODY!
Conversation was easy with one of my new colleagues as we drove to visit the family of a toddler we are serving. Upon hearing she had moved into the area a year or so ago I asked what brought her here. It turns out she is the daughter of someone whose family I knew in high school and her family has wanted to return and be in this area for some time now.
This area is a great place to live – and my family has been slowly dribbling back since graduating from college many moons ago as well. In fact, tomorrow I head out to look at another house with my sister’s realtor; I’ve been looking at real estate and visiting open houses for the past couple of months now as she and her husband are looking to move up in a year or so.
I shared this with my colleague and we both felt lucky not to be house hunting at this time – the market is busy. It is fun for me because I’m not the buyer! The sun is going to be out tomorrow and I am sure the home will look bright and cheery. I’ll have to put on my imaginary November lenses to see it from a real Pacific Northwest point of view.
At the end of last month, I had to escape the office. Everyone was frantically writing to meet a deadline and I didn’t have enough training to be of help to anyone. I finally just left and said I was sure I would make the time up later.
This week was my first end-of-month deadline experience. Because of what I witnessed a month ago, I was determined to pace the work as much as I could so I wasn’t one of those people with headphones and a face of fury working early in the morning and straight through lunch to get it all done.
I had a lot of support proofing my documents over and over and over again before I submitted them to the state but I made it by the deadline today and didn’t even feel rushed. It was sunny when I left and next week everyone is going on vacation so I’m sure the next few days will be bliss.
The wine tastes good tonight. Settling onto the back of my tongue, I taste the intricacy of its flavor as it warms there before I swallow.
Would that I could take each moment of my day like a sip of wine, swirl and enjoy the nuance of each second before swirling it delectably into the belly of time.
This weekend has been full. Full of family get-togethers, full of communication with family members, full of conversation with friends.
I’m filled up. I’ve eaten good food, heard good news and worrisome news, had provocative discussions and read and listened to thoughtful dialogue.
The best part of this weekend has been that I haven’t felt a need to rest and shore up for the week ahead. I’ve relaxed and enjoyed myself, stayed up a little later and had a few beers but today, Sunday, I haven’t felt next week tapping on my window. I’ve been able to let the weekend be a real end to my week instead of what often feels like the beginning – the “I think I can part” of heading up hill.
Math autobiography – an idea shared by Teri
0 – the age my grandma says she was aiming for because she thought we should be born old and grow younger with time; I’m still growing towards 0
10 -supposedly a “magic” age because usually everyone can name something special that happened that year; I moved from Alexandria, Va to Bellingham, Wa one month after my 10th birthday and have pretty much remained in the Pacific Northwest since then
25 – I married my husband of 35 years when I was this age and working about 3 jobs
32 – my second and last child was born making us the family we are today
44 – I left teaching in the co-op preschool setting and moved into teaching preschool in the public school setting where I worked for 16 + years and loved it. While I was there, my children left the nest and my husband lost his job and started taking care of our nest.
60 – I got a new job working in early intervention and am still in the process of learning. My son has moved back into our home, my daughter has moved across country and my husband is a doting cat-daddy.
4 – the age I would want to be in forever time
As the early bird in my family, I’m used to getting up and having a quiet house to myself. I like to do my stretches on the floor with the cat weaving in and out under me while I’m in the cat-cow stretch and then join me in my chair as I drink coffee, play my daily solitaire challenge and delete commercial emails that appeared over night. If no one wakes up for my precious two hours before I leave for work, I sometimes knit while listening to NPR or read.
Occasionally my husband wakes up at some point during this little routine of mine and if he does, I try to check in with him. We spent so much of our married life in syncopated work hours, (he on swing and graveyard, me on school hours,) that I want to engage him in morning routines if it works for both of us. I’ll bring my coffee into the bedroom and play my silly game or knit while he checks up on the news or we chat about whatever.
Today it was whatever. Because he actually got out of bed and was in the living room with cereal, my husband started singing “Oh how I hate to get up in the morning” by Irving Berlin. He looked up the song on the internet and sang all the verses and then read Berlin’s Wikipedia biography to me when I asked about him.
It wasn’t the way I usually spend my mornings, and although I really do treasure my quiet ‘me’ time, I’m impressed by what I learned about Irving Berlin!
We sat in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment, probably less than 800 square feet. One of my colleagues sat on the floor with me and one joined the pregnant mom on the sofa while her two children played in front of us. The mom’s friend and partner who are currently renting the apartment perched on chairs in the room as well.
This tight knit group of young adults are all caring for these children. When we asked questions to the mom about the boys routines and activities, all of them chimed in about what the boys ate, what they liked and didn’t like to do. Other adults from the apartment community wandered in over the course of the hour and half we were there, one of them settling in and eventually changing the diaper of the older one on the floor while we chatted.
Two children under the age of two and another on the way. No highchair, no crib, a dozen toys, no board books, the clothes on their backs, a borrowed stroller, food stamps, WIC, Tanf, DSHS….
and loads of love.
I’m glad the government can’t take away the love.
Everything on this desk is dusty;
everything propped on the windowsill near by,
the lampshade hovering to my right,
the photos on string against the wall,
How does life disintegrate before my very eyes
and then collect into a substance so unsubstantial
Looking at dust makes me tired.
I will sleep
and make more dust,
maybe enough to persuade me
Exploring with a camera lens in hand is a creative outlet for me. With my camera cupped in my hand I look around more and bend over to see what is on the ground or to view the world from a different angle. Because I am seeking to see, I usually come upon unexpected finds.
On my last walk on a beach in February, I stuck close to the driftwood at the top tideline stooping to look through holes and root balls, between logs and into protected cavities. I was intrigued by focusing my lens in and around holes. Little altars of carefully placed rocks on the surface of logs caught my fancy as did the collections of stones, shells and other debris in old knot holes. Two unusual findings were a root ball wrapped around a great stone and a dead blue heron.
Coming home and playing with the photos on my computer is the next step in my creative process. I am always surprised by the art I can create.