Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wuv... TWOO wuv...

My children are a constant source of delight to me.

Last night, I put my son to bed without his pillow!  To understand the drama of this occasion, you must imagine an attachment on the level of Romeo/Juliet, Lancelot/Guinevere, Jane/Mr. Rochester, Elizabeth/Mr. Darcy... Bella/Edward *cough*.  The separation anxiety is usually severe.

On this occasion, some fluke happened in the cosmos, and my son did not notice his missing pillow.  As soon as he was asleep, Tim and I sought the missing object, frantically whispering new hiding place ideas to each other as we searched.  Our house is not that big.  Surprisingly, there are a lot of places to hide.  We didn't find it and I dreaded the next morning, when we would have to break the news of the missing pillow.

Sometime during the night, our son crawled in bed with us.  I wondered if he had woken up and realized his security was missing.

He didn't mention it this morning.  I shot up a few prayers asking God to please let us find his pillow before he noticed it.  I didn't dare ask my son if he remembered where he'd left it.  Pictures of the resulting disaster filled my mind.

I began to clean up the archeological dig that is my living room.  On my hands and knees, I began sorting toys into piles where they needed to go.  A quick look under the couch, and THERE IT WAS!  In the words of Carroll, Oh Frabjous Day, Callooh, Callay!  He Chortled In His Joy! 

My son heard my gasp of excitement and ran into the room.  "My PIWOW!  I WUV my PIWOW!"  He hugged the thing - the limp, dirty, overly-hugged, overly-loved, frayed, falling-apart pillow. 

For some reason, and I couldn't begin to explain myself, my tear glands started working.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ready... Or Not?

I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to weather warnings.  I grew up in a county that closed school before any snowflakes actually arrived.  And most of the time, those snowflakes never came.  If you jaunted to the store, the sections where milk and bread had once resided were swept clear.  Snow shovels and sledding gear all sold out in two hours of the first snow-storm warning.  

I admit I'm a bit resentful.  Mostly, all my sledding happened on green grass in our back yard.  It thawed my enthusiasm (pun fully intended).

Now we've got all sorts of warnings about Hurricane Sandy heading our way.  Given my background, I'm still a little skeptical about any major winds and damage.  I snort derisively when the newscasters blather on and on about death/doom/destruction/billion-dollar-damage.

This is the perfect storm.  Augh!  Run and hide!

Actually, they might have a point.  Well, not much of one, but I can concede them a little ground.  Even if the storm doesn't cause much damage, wouldn't it be better to be prepared?  

I played this question over in my mind as my husband pulled out the flashlights and checked the batteries, set out the candles, filled the bathtub and put aside drinking water.  As tempted as I was to laugh it off, I realized he's a pretty wise guy to prepare for the worst while still hoping for the best.

In the long run, I guess it's better, as Jesus said, to be like the wise man who built his house on a rock.  When the storms came, they blew and beat on that that house and it stood firm.  Or, like in the song I sing with my kids, the foolish man built his house upon the sand and the rain came tumbling down.  The floods came up, and the house on the sand fell flat. *Smack! with our hands - which, admittedly, is my favorite part of the song.*

So easy to apply this to the big scary storm supposedly heading in our direction.  Throw a little extra water around, toss a few extra candles on the table.  A lot less easy to apply to other issues.  Shallow friendships?  Do we spend time investing in people?  Or just pass them with a nod and a smile?  Financially unsettled?  Have we spent lavishly without thought for tomorrow?  Marital difficulties?  Have we missed out on communicating with each other until there is no foundation left to continue with?  

Isaiah 28:16 says:  

So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
    a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
    will never be stricken with panic.

Good words of advice.  Hurricane Sandy, or any other storm heading my way, try what you like.  I've got a pretty good foundation.


Thursday, October 25, 2012


I find prose to be much scarier than poetry.  In poetry, I can hide behind adjectives.  And if the adjectives don't make much sense, I can fall behind the poet's stereotype of the "tortured inner soul" to explain my choice of words.

"The bleeding wells 
Drip, dripped 
Onto crisp whiteness,
Blankness seeping through
My windows
To fill the darkness until
Only white remained."

What the - ??!


To write prose - or "to write like a normal person" as my husband so delicately puts it - is to unlock those doors I like to keep shut tight.  The ones that hide rooms chock full of my vulnerable ideas.

I could leave it at that.  Just leave those ideas in their rooms and keep on using the adjectives - and sometimes I might turn out a pretty decent piece of poetry.  

Or, I could take a risk, suffer a few knocks on the sensitive parts, and maybe, someday, come up with something truly great. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


So often I stare at a blank page,
Waiting for the words to paint the pictures,
To voice the myriad of thoughts
Swimming in my head.

The muse retreats and hides,
The page stays white,
The thoughts refuse to order themselves,
They brawl in their own barroom fight.

(The middle child whacks the youngest on the head.  She screams.  The oldest asks a question, asks it again.  And again.  The baby still screams.  The middle child thinks screaming is fun, so he joins in.  The oldest hates not being heard, so she screams too.  The house and my eardrums ring with screaming vibrations.)

The white page winks wickedly at me,
I sigh and promise
Tomorrow, we'll add the words.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Almost eight and a half years ago, I counted the hours until I could walk down that aisle in my white dress and say "I do" to my best friend.  In my head, parades marched and gongs sounded and fireworks whizzed overhead and the queen of England stopped by to take tea with me (a fantasy that has yet to come true). 

I loved the guy.  I still do.  

I remember a conversation with a friend about fireworks.  Not the ones that you light, then run like crazy to take cover.  The other ones - butterflies in the stomach, the literal crinkle that walks up your spine when his hand brushes yours, the blush that heats your cheeks when you meet his eyes.  

Blood pounds, pheromones fly.

My friend insisted that love = fireworks.  Without the fireworks, it's just - like.  Friendship.  No excitement.  The sludge of walking, every day, with a nobody.  

Fireworks are important.  Sure, I totally agree.  
But love is so much more than fireworks.

Tim and I were great friends before we even thought of fireworks.  The bop-him-in-the-bicep-hey-good-buddy type of friends.  Then, after awhile, love sorta sneaked up on us.  We got fireworks, yes, but not always.  Certainly not when I first laid eyes on the guy.  We didn't fall in love, like bumbling klutzes who happened to trip over a log and fell into each other.  We chose to love.

I think...

That love can be a thief, stealing in when you're not expecting him.  Sometimes it's a decision made after a heated argument.  Often, it hides in the words, "I forgive you."  It can be a man's wrinkled hand weaving his fingers through the aging fingers of the same hand it's held for fifty years. 

Eight and a half years in, a lifetime to go.

Love is patient; love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres.

Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:4-8a

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Seasons of Change

I looked in the mirror today.
The little girl there
Gazed back at me.
She held in her hand
Bubbles, round and unbroken,
Tenuous rainbows of
Unfulfilled dreams.

I looked in the mirror today.
The teenager there
Gazed back at me.
She held a rosebud in her hand,
Dusky crimson, petals
Not willing to spill
The whole story.

I looked in the mirror today.
The young mother there
Gazed back at me.
In her arms slept an infant,
A cherub
On loan for a time
From heaven.

I looked in the mirror today.
The old woman there
Gazed back at me.
Her silver hair framed
A face with
The lines told a story
Of bubbles
And rosebuds
And infants.
In her hands, she held wisdom,

Saturday, October 20, 2012


My darling husband has three alarm clocks.  That's right - three.  Each one is set to the highest volume, so when the first one goes off, I rocket out of bed.  The kids tumble out of their beds.  I'm sure the neighbors are crawling from their beds.  The only one still in bed is Tim.  He hits snooze on the first one, then again.  Then the second one goes off.  Snooze, then the third one.

Because I'm up, the kids of course want me to change-their-diapers-fix-their-breakfasts-pour-their-milk-comb-their-hair-brush-their-teeth.

I wonder if Tim has a strategy?  Hmm...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Seasonal Mutterings

I love fall.  I love the blue, deep blue of the sky.  I breathe the crisp almost sharp air, filling my lungs until they're too-too full.  Rustling, crinkling leaves.  Apple cider.  Apple butter.  Apple crisp.  Anything apple.  I think fairies could possibly live in the fall.  I don't think they live any other time of the year - just the fall.  The Tinkerbells and the Peter Pans peer in my window and watch me in front of a warm fire, reading a book, with a mug of my favorite apple cider in my hand.  

Here's a quick scribble:

Come, let us go for a moonlight stroll,
Where the shadows are thicker than leaves in autumn,
Than brown leaves strewn across the path.
And you'll take my hand, and
Together we'll walk the paths that
Spirits walked before us,
And left breathy images a-floating behind.
The wind whispers,
And the boughs speak and creak,
The roots ridge the path,
But have no fear, because 
The moon resides here.
It floats among the branches,
Peeping here, glistening there,
Lighting the ghosts and the tree-elves,
Welcoming them to the physical world,
Until we see that the quirky nose of an elf
Is a gnarled stump on a tree.
A witch's broomstick turns into a brand.
Or, you wonder, is it?
Is the moon illuminating what is,
Or what we perceive?
What is moonlight after all,
But a tryst between the world of light
And the liquid of dark?
Where trees and roots and bushes
Co-exist with warthogs and goblins and fairies
And the cackling chatter of swirling leaves
Reminds you of a ghouls' meeting where drinks are served.
Your hand tightens in mine
And together, we walk among them.