Category Archives: Personal

backyard magic

There is an ancient oak tree in my back yard.

At its base, it looks to be over four feet in diameter.

Six or seven feet up, there’s a hole.  A hole, if it were slightly bigger, that would prompt me to look about for a large toadstool and place my rump upon it in hopes it would be so hot that I would just know the lost boys were down there cooking their supper.

Today, in that hole, was a squirrel.

Rooting around for grubs and nuts no doubt.

It made me realize that until today, I had never witnessed in real life, that quintessential image that fills the illustrated pages of children’s books:  A squirrel peaking out from the hole of a large tree.

I’m not sure I realized that it was an image that happened in real life.  Just in folk tale pictures.  But there it was, out my window.

Next, I expect I’ll see a fairy living in my birch tree ring.

I would Die for You

I walk around with fear in my heart.

It can’t be helped.  I’ve tried.  I can’t get away from it.

Of course I’m happy and spend many joyful days, but I’m also anxious.  I worry.  And I scare easily.  Just Monday, walking home from the local Memorial Day parade, two fighter jets flew so low that my heart stopped.  The last time I heard that sound was the day after 9/11 when the skies were supposed to be quiet, and all I heard were the jets at midnight and I raced to the window hoping it wouldn’t be my last moment on earth.  I worry.  It’s what I do.  So when these jets flew over head, my heart stopped.  And then they flew on, and I laughed with my mom, and hid the tears bursting from my eyes.  I was so scared that I cried.  Over a couple of low-flying planes on a bright summer day.  And don’t even talk to me about the last time I went on a log flume.  Like I said, I get scared.

So, yesterday, I worried a lot.  With Do-bug at school, a dark sky, and tornado watches in an area I thought would never see such devastating storms, I barely got anything done.  The fear was too strong.  I worked intermittently, with one browser window glued to the storm tracker, and I’m not sure I was productive in anything.

To ease my tension, I joked about the unexpected along with everyone else.

But I also had run to the grocery story for water and cans of food and checked with Do-Bug’s dad to make sure he had a plan for shelter for the two of them.

Then, an hour later a friend posted this video.  My heart didn’t stop.  It raced.  And I raced to the phone.  I knew my dad was at a meeting somewhere.  And sometimes his meetings are in Springfield.  Springfield, where a Tornado had just touched down.

I got him on the phone at a restaurant at the exact same moment that my mom logged into facebook to find me:

We were all okay.  For now.

Don’t worry, this story has a happy ending for my family.  We’re all okay.  Our homes are too.  They never touched down on the North end of the Pioneer Valley.  And in Nashua, well, we barely even saw rain.

But this morning I heard about the mother who sheltered her teenaged daughter in the bathtub.  Her daughter is alive although in the hospital.  Her mother didn’t survive when their house collapsed.  I was driving when I heard this.  I cried.  It was hard to drive.  I cried tears of relief that we are all okay.  Tears of grief for this family who is not okay and the many others who are not okay.

And then I realized something incredibly important.

I would die for my child.

I never knew this before.  It is a relief to know this.  Because I can’t stop her heartache with a hug and a nurse anymore.  And I can’t predict that she will remain as healthy as she is now.  And I can’t predict that the U.S. will remain a country where I can walk down the street and be 99% sure that I am safe.  But if the time comes when I need to protect my child’s life with my own, I will do it without hesitation.

There is comfort in this knowledge.

That love can give life.

making love with fabric

My heart can get full sometimes.

It can complicate life.

My heart bursts with the hurts and the joys of others.  And then it gets all mixed up, mashed, and bubbly as i wonder what i can do to alleviate hurts i have no control over, or share in joys that are not mine…or wish for joys that are not mine…

And I find myself dreaming of the swaying of skirts, the swish of ribbons, and the feel of buttons in my hands.  I pull out my scissors, paw through boxes of fabric, and lay out grand plans for healing my heart through my hands.

In my mind, new babies are clothed in soft cotton kimono wraps, my girlfriends sashay in skirts that match their darling daughters, my child’s dollies and puppies are adorned with new accessories, i am forced to buy new shoes just to match the perfect little spring dress i whipped up, and my child snuggles up under her new quilt made just for her.

In reality, my projects take far longer because although the dreams are there, the time is not.

But I know, if I have the time to stitch every day, my heart would be too busy making love with fabric to notice it hurt at all.

read this; you’ll feel better

Embarrassments are, um, embarrassing.  Here, read mine and then you’ll feel better about yours.

  1. We’ve been cooped up in the house with an ugly fever since Sunday.  Yesterday, I walked in the door after being outside for the first time in days and realized that my house smells like…farts.
  2. Today, Do-bug was well enough to go back to school.  Yay!  Dada drove her in.  And then I got a call, “Um…is there school today?  There doesn’t really seem to be anyone there.”  So I checked the calendar where it says in bold letters, NO SCHOOL.  Her teacher came out at the same time to witness our mortification.  And then I realized that this is what it meant on my calendar for last week when I had a note written to myself to sign Do-bug up for Discovery Care.

Feel better?

Good; thought you would.

I’m going to go light a candle.