March 2009

Home Festivals

We sat on the porch tonight for the first time since Autumn. The evening air was mild, the trees bare-limbed, the sky crossed with pastel clouds and flocks of geese and little bats…the mosquitoes biting. Truly, it was so lovely, but those mosquitoes surprised me!As we sat and watched the sky and chatted, I felt grateful for the light and soft breezes, but relieved that the trees were still bare…for I haven’t quite caught up with myself and the weeks just past. I need a few more days to chronicle our small home festivals and imagine tucking away our Winter life before we meet the Spring and our last home festival of the season….



A dear son’s birthday, Valentines Day….and in just a few days…my own birthday. A very special one, for I will turn 50 on Wednesday. Back in January, when my deario asked me how I wanted to honor such a milestone, sharing a few of his own lovely ideas, it came to me in a flash that I wanted only to get to England again. From that moment, nothing else tempted, and we decided that we would accomplish it-tho’ we haven’t come into inheritances or won the lottery since the last time we hoped to manage it-I just knew it would be possible this time, this year.

And so it seems to be.

We have a friend that we will stay with, we found affordable plane tickets after much research, we have arranged for my brothers to take care of my mom, we found a window of time between college and summer jobs and gigs so that we will be together in the land I love and haven’t set foot upon in twenty-five years.

It is a very powerful thing, this turning 50 years old. It has been bringing clearness and focus to me, as it approaches, in little ways and big. I will have more to share about that in the days to come.

Oh no, but it can make you brave!


And as I am finished “wrapping up” the last of our Winter days, here is a photo that matches today, on the cusp of Spring.


Fantasy and Reality

On Saturday afternoon, we began our Gilmore Girls marathon. Caleb and I have been watching the series on DVD for the past few months, very much enjoying its wit and heart and entertaining references to current events and eighties music. When my mom came to live with us, she joined right in, as she had loved it when it was on tv. We were down to the last season and I did some fancy maneuvering with my mom’s and our Netflix queues and had all six discs ready for our weekend’s indulgence. The first day, I sorted and cut more things for the rummage sale whilst watching……by Sunday, we were ready for some serious relaxation and immersion and got it as we had brunch in the living room as we continued the story.

We brought the toaster into the living room so we could toast our pop-tarts (Gilmore Girls food) by the fireside and sip our lattes (Gilmore Girls food) and steep ourselves in episode after episode. As the hours passed, we added a log to the fire now and then, we kept watch on the rain that was supposed to turn into snow, we got water to drink, we wondered to each other where the story would go while we put the next disc in, my beloved husband was drawn into the circle when he returned from a jam session, we fixed homemade pizza (Gilmore Girls food-tho’ that would never have been homemade Caleb reminded me) for supper while the long-watched for snow arrived, and then we really snuggled down for the last few hours….

(paper snowflake made my dear nephew in Santa Fe which we have up in our kitchen
window for months, hoping to draw the snow our way)

Just a few minutes into the next to the last episode…as our hope was growing for a happy and satisfying ending, the electricity began to flicker and then went out in a final-sort-of-way. We had been lulled into such a place of comfortable unreality, that we had to scramble for flashlights and to fill water jugs and do all the usual preparation-for-storm things that we do.
I did what I needed to do in a grudging sort-of-way, all the while wishing the snow had been a hot-chocolate-and-sledding-sort-of-snow instead of this worrisome kind with no running water and eerie flashing lights outside.

As I helped my anxious mom to bed, and then lay in bed later trying to sleep, I thought about the distance there can be between our fantasy of …life…snowfalls…parenting and daughtering….and the reality.


Of course, with the dawn came brightness-of the day and my spirits….but still no water or electricity. We discovered that the weird lights were a downed powerline at the edge of our hayfields and I decided to drive my mom and I into Williamsburg where she could be comfortable while my guys kept the home-fires burning.

So I am here with my mom, trying to get some work done and keep her happy….again, the reality rather different from my hopeful imaginings, as I am less generous and patient than I would like to be!

But I find inspiration in what I have been seeing as I sift through the photos of the birds I took yesterday before driving into town. In the midst of the deep snow and cold, while their winter-lives must be harder than ever, they sing and seek nourishment and bring joy to us. I am sure that there is a very helpful metaphor in there somewhere.

While I was preparing the large photo (which I chose because of the two mourning doves and the goldfinch and the bird in flight in the background), I noticed this little dove in the upper left hand corner. I hadn’t seen her before, while I was focusing on the little crowd at the feeder, but she brings me comfort, somehow, with her patient waiting.

And how about this fellow? He makes me want to try harder to maintain my sense of humor and adventure when I feel impatient or fearful….which I have been feeling more than usual lately. But that is all a part of life, which is sometimes a blizzard, when you want a gentle snowfall.

Soon enough we will all be together again, electricity restored, hot water on tap, Twizzlers (Gilmore Girls food) and popcorn at the ready for the last hour or so of wonderful escapism. And life will continue to give me lessons in balancing fantasy and reality with grace. Please send good wishes to my husband who just called me on the phone to say that his fantasy of no burst pipes has been dashed with the discovery of a broken pipe in our well-house. When you read this tonight, deario, may your repairs have gone smoothly and all the other pipes stay strong, so we can return home soon.

Hoping everyone is coping with their own realities this winter day. I will write again very soon with some exciting news to share.