Friday, July 25, 2003


Well so much for my carefully planned weekend. Somebody on the PBS side forgot to follow through on details for Saturday's road trip, so I will not be riding to the mountains. The real let down here is that I passed on the possibility of driving to Santa Cruz with Mom and Grandma, because of the commitment I had already made. Argghh. This morning they are with Bill and Alison; maybe having breakfast at the Red Apple, certainly having a good time. Without me. Yesterday they had lunch in Carmel, toured around Cannery Row. By tomorrow they will be cruising through the Redwoods. Sigh.

I spent my day sort of being productive, sort of not. I bought groceries. I cleared a cabinet. I called a repair person, but they haven't returned my call. Is this dull? Yea. I know. Today I plan to mail a gift, clean the glaringly visible accumulation of neglected stuff, and feed children. Oh, and get gas. Not me. The car.

As for tomorrow, I will not be whisked off in a convertible to destinations new and alluring, nor sipping chilled wine in some quaint countryside inn. I do have a back up plan: bra shopping! Yes, even after swearing off malls only 2 months ago, I am obliged to return to the land of glitz and consumption. I won't disparage myself by describing the state of my gray and frayed bras from the last millennia. I will not keep you abreast; tomorrow's titillating details will be kept between me and a three way mirror. And yes, the puns were intended.

Perhaps this is the time to update everyone on the progress of my New Year's resolution, but I think we've had enough excitement for one morning. Email me. I am here. I'm thinking of hosting a Pity Party.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Pack With Care

Everywhere are boxes. Boxes for here, boxes for there. Boxes that need sorting, and those that need tossing out. We have been at this for a while now, even living with twenty or more boxes of books on the porch. Today Friends of the Library will pick the books up. Elmer is coming in his station wagon. And so, slowly the decks are clearing.

Grandpa is with his son. Tonight Grandma will be on her way to Oregon. In another two weeks a moving van will have room on their schedule to pick up Grandmother's belongings.

We keep finding treasures, like old pictures and favorite trinkets, an article clipped from a newspaper, tia Maria's tortoise shell fan. Most of the time we are too busy to pause and let our emotions take hold of us. I can imagine that in a few days, after they have left and the changes we have made are plain and open, I will sit wrapped in my Grandmother's rebozo and cry. I couldn't be happier for her, but she is one treasure I will never be content to let go of.

Thank goodness we find moments to laugh. Be careful, and don't seal any box or bag until you have checked it for stowaways. Diego nestles himself wherever he can, and preferably with a Beanie Baby or bear.

Not that he always treats his favorite possesions with complete affection.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Eunice's New Morning

Diego, The Cat In the Sack, is delightfully predictable.

Our lives, mine at least, can move along seemingly the same from day to day. The same routine, the same expectations. I know Alex will sleep in, Max will wake up hungry, William will rise with sleepy eyes and a drowsy head. I know the garage needs clearing, the weeds are multiplying and the bathroom faucet is dripping. I know Diego will claim empty sacks, that the Chicas will happily clean pop corn from the floor.

It seems to take a particular kind of difference to realign our point of view or cause a major change. What I am writing about, what I am trying to express is so complex and entwined in different lives and histories, that it merits rough drafts and rewrites, outlines and careful thought...but this is Chicken Blog where there is seldom enough time to just scratch the surface and hope to make a little sense of emotions and events.

Today is a new day for Eunice, my Grandma. She woke up in her room and nothing there was like it was yesterday or last year, or thirty years ago. Today she chose her own pace, her own flavor, and mood. She may have noticed the flowers Mom put in a vase for her. She may have noticed the empty walls and filled them with her own visions and memories. She has time and room now to create her own path, to listen to her own voice.

We have all seen her strength, her dedication, her spiritual grace. We have all felt awe and wonder at her resolve and her generosity, but this is a new day for us as well and I am looking forward to seeing all of Grandmother's gifts and qualities turned on herself. I am happy that she can travel, or rest, cook and eat for her own body, clean and plan for her own satisfaction, and do what she wants when she wants. I am certain that she will regain the splendor and joy of knowing herself, of giving to her own needs.

Something changed, and it seemed sudden, but perhaps it was not. This is a different day, and our expectations are not the same. Whether you know Eunice, or not, she is to be admired, because she learned it is not too late to start again, to release material bonds and even the routine duties and obligations that defined and confined her. She found the resolve and conviction to trust that the strength and love she has always given away, could save and serve her own life.

I greatly admire this woman.