Sunday, September 27, 2009

Taking Time To Relax:

Up until today, I’ve been so busy that I’ve hardly had time to miss my girls.  Most likely strategic on my part as I’ve organized some event or said yes to every invitation imaginable.  So after a lovely morning enjoying coffe and a visit with a dear friend, I came home to an empty house.  It was also a clean house.  And a quiet house. What was I to do? 

Honestly, I was at a loss.  Poking around in the yard in 90 degree heat lasted about 2 minutes.  Ok, I’ll prepare for dinner early.  Marinating the salmon took 5 minutes.  I finished my book, done in 10.   The orchids needed attention.  Lab reports needed correcting. Finding chores for chores sake was becoming downright silly.

Then it hit me, stop fighting it.  Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  So that is what I did.  I sat in the well worn, but comfy recliner, under the fan and just reveled in the boredom.  Was tempted to text daughters, but held back.  Thought of starting a new book, but decided to wait a bit longer.  Torture. 

I forced myself to just be still. When was the last time I did that as a working mom? I did notice something unusual, my mind did start to settle down.  My heart rate slowed and I cooled off.  Sounds like meditating and my eyes weren’t even closed. 

The seconds ticked by and became minutes.  I think I remained in this inert state for around 30 minutes, a lifetime in the life of an insect!  I did it though. 

Next weekend, chores.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


When the kids were little, they sold gift-wrap for their elementary school.  Our family bought it, our neighbors bought it, our friends bought it and we bought it.  I didn’t need gift-wrap then and I don’t need it now.  Partly we bought it to support the schools.  But mostly we bought it to support them and watch the excitement that each new order generated. 

Our school secretary, Mary was our best customer.  Never did she wince when we came around with the order form. She’d happily leaf through the selections, carefully selecting pretty paper for the holidays.  After years of this, she’d sometimes ask us, "shouldn’t the girls be selling the gift-wrap by now?"  The girls were thrilled with her orders as she usually put them over the next tier of “prizes” they could accumulate.  “Prizes” that we’d end up recycling before the years end. 

Thursday our doorbell rings.  It is our little neighbor coming around selling paper for the same school our kids attended.  I thought of Mary and her unconditional support.  He came in and the two of us sat under the family room fan looking through the paper that probably is not environmentally friendly, but nevertheless beautiful.  How could I say no?

After getting an update on the status of the teachers at the school and visiting with this little 4th grader, I placed my order.  Watching him mentally calculate the prizes with this new order brought back sweet memories of my girls. 

It will be years before this little neighbor and his brother stop coming by to sell gift-wrap.  And, it will be years that delight me as I go back in time to revisit these sweet memories of the innocence of youth.  Thursday, I was Mary.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Our family loves the Giants.  We’re obsessed.  Well, they’re obsessed.  When the kids were at home, Gary use to alternate taking the girls to the games, so I would attend about every 3rd one.  The routine was similar each time.  If it was a night game, dinner was enjoyed at Delancy Street before the first pitch.  Our seats, down right field line and up about 4 rows provided the perfect view of the alternating teams relief pitchers.  It was frowned upon to leave before the top of the ninth inning.  And the post game show with Kruk and Kuip was a must.
When the Giants were away the game was enjoyed on a sizable flat screen TV, while one or both daughters would enjoy the “massage deal”.  Daughter gets 10 minutes; dad gets 10 minutes, repeat.  Sometimes I would hear shouting from the other room.  Shouting at the Giants, railing against the opposing team or arguing about the merits of a certain player.  Crushes on players, fights about who was or wasn’t on steroids and the status of Barry Bonds when he playing was always a topic of disagreement in this house of ours.
So, now that it’s just the two of us, it is me filling in the space opened up with both kids gone.  I’m the one who is going to the games.  I’m the one who insists upon listening to the post game show.  I am sitting here right now watching Lincecum pitch after some time off.  It’s fun.  And what I’m really enjoying on the nights we don’t have tickets, the “massage deal”.  Yeah, I guess we’re all obsessed after all.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


The day after we took our daughter to college, we hosted a card party here for 12 people.  That meant cleaning the house, tidying the yard, preparing the food for the 6:30 arrival of our guest.  Having company was a wonderful distraction on our first day home without kids.  All went well.  The weather was warm, dinner was wonderful, the competition intense as we complained of bad cards, crazy bids and strategic faux pas’.  The laughter was cathartic.  Only minutes after the last guest left, off went the electricity!  For some unknown reason, it went out in the entire neighborhood.  Feeling completely spent and without juice, both figuratively and literally, off we went out doors.  Quilt on ground, bodies on quilt, we stargazed and said little, each absorbed in our own private thoughts and I’m sure silent prayers.  Forty-five minutes later, on came the electricity and restored energy for both of us.  The symbolism did not get by us as we began to prepare for the second night alone.