Friday, August 08, 2008

Eighth Month, Eighth Day, Eighth Year

Some think this is a special day because of all those 8s, but really it's special because it happens to be Ms. Eunice V's 86th birthday. Grandma, we call her. As I sit here, trying to compose a fitting tribute, all I can think is: I miss her so much. What am I doing here? Why aren't we on our way to see her? I think we should go see her. Soon. Maybe this week. Thursday and Wednesday are taken, but Monday and Tuesday could be clear... hmmm...

Last year we celebrated her birthday in Oregon, and when she turned 80 we had a big family party. This would have been another fun one to celebrate, and really, anything is fun to celebrate with her, because she is wonderful. She is wise and gracious, she is sincere, kind, beautiful. She can impart so much compassion and understanding, even while showing her own vulnerability

Last Summer, with some of her great-grandchildren.

So many of my fondest memories include Grandmother. She has made us blessed. Happy Birthday Grandma. We love you.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Stealing a Moment

Amidst the jumble of empty pots and long neglected gardening gadgets sat the withered stump of an orchid that I could not bear to throw out, and yet had not taken the time to nurture either. I went through my archives, back to January of 2004, expecting to find some reference or suggestion for why I received an orchid in the first place. I knew I didn't write a specific post on the topic, but I thought there would be subtle hints in what I wrote or shared. There are no detectable traces of the orchid story. It was a gift, a kind and lovely condolence gesture, sent by Ruth and Jim. The orchid bloomed by the kitchen sink of the Treehouse for many months. Then life got complicated, you know, and after a time the little plant was lost in the shuffle. It came here to GarageMahal, but was still relegated to a corner. I have a lot of corners, where there are things, projects, hopes, and ambitions, that I am waiting to address.

Recently, while caring for the tadpoles, I started sprinkling a little rain on the barely green remnants... a pitiful gesture, I know. It may not have been generous or thorough, but evidently it was effective. The little bit of effort, the token attention that I afforded the moribund orchid, gave it sufficient means to live and bloom. With hardly any soil and nothing for its roots to sit in but a tiny drained cup, the orchid produced 2 sturdy, beautiful blooms. It's hard to describe how magical and luminous they are, figuratively and actually. I see them and think of life and survival, of love and the swift passage of time. I think of loss, and the ways we cope, manage. They bring to mind my own frailties and resilience.

Now what? I thought about taking it to the nursery and asking for the latest and greatest in orchid soil technology. Should I bring it inside and shelter it from the elements and nefarious vermin? Should I continue my neglectful method... no, I don't think so. The thing is, life is even more complicated than it was 4 years ago, when I ran out of steam, and so realistically I am not sure this poor thing will ever receive the quality of care and attention it deserves.

How much care is enough? When do we know we are doing enough?

Sewing, blogging, emails and leisure reading are all on the back burner this week. My body and personal grooming have been on the back burner for about 5 months (or 5 years, depending on what is considered enough.) Home decor, organizing and playing Hostess with the Mostess has been all but abandoned for at least 2 years. We juggle. We prioritize. We drop things and get derailed and fail to do enough, then try again. I sigh deeply.

William and Alex started at a new high school on Monday. Eventually it will be a mostly homeschool experience, but this week is full of meetings and hoops to leap through. Many hoops. Many leaps. And a lot of driving. Max starts in about 10 days. More hoops.

We are still looking for a house, and the endless loop of the search is hurting and defeating and hard. I may not have blogged about certain topics a few years ago, but remaining silent does not make the truth go away or dissipate. My hope is that by sharing the uphill climb, we will finally, some day, look back from a better place and appreciate the effort we made to get there.

Max has been enjoying his birthday week and your birthday wishes have been happily received. Thank you for your kindness.

Another post. Another session of scratching the surface of deep thoughts and other musings. Speaking of musings... I wonder what would happen if I stole a few moments to look after myself... a little sprinkle, some light, a diversion. I think I know the answer... I think I might just bloom.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Max!
This has been a very sweet day, made extra special because of family and friends that are like family, and especially because Max celebrated with a joyful heart, generous wishes, and an all day smile.