Friday, October 14, 2011

It's A Combination of Things

I got word today that my 3 grandsons will be arriving on December 14th to stay for 2 weeks. I am ecstatic beyond words. Instantly I pull open a December Calendar page on my computer and begin plugging in fun things to do each day with the boys.

My only 3 grandkids live half way across the United States and I will want to wring every possible minute for all it is worth while they are here, all while juggling the extra cooking and cleaning and limited sleeping when our smallish house is full of as many as 13 people and two dogs plus puppies due soon. While they are here there will always be someone eating, though not always someone washing dishes, always someone in one of the two bathrooms, though seldom does the Lysol and Windex get applied, and as it will be winter, there will be layers of clothing and socks and wet gloves, so the washer and the dryer will always be running. Oh, and I need to remember to hide the Sharpees.

I honestly don't mind the chaos and the work. I will make a lot of the food in the weeks prior to their arrival and freeze it ahead, that will make dinner time easier. I will check with the grand kids to find out their favorite dinners so that dinner-times have fewer melt downs. Oh, wait, did I say grand kids? Oh please, my 17 year old is pickier than the 3 grand kids put together, and I have 3 other kids who have a long list of quirky food allergies.

Anyway, as I add to my calendar "Ginger Bread Houses" for the 17th and "Build Snowmen" on the 20th, I come to the 21st, Winter Solstice. I decide to do a little reading on Wikipedia to see if it sparks a fun idea for a way to make that day fun. That page comes up on the screen and I am reading along, and hit this sentence, "The Saami, indigenous people of Finland, Sweden and Norway, worship Beiwe, the sun-goddess of fertility and sanity."

Fertility and Sanity coming from the same Goddess?

That's the best laugh I have had in a long time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Hooray! The grocery store where I usually shop had primroses out front this week! A single rack filled with a dozen trays, happy hopeful flowers of bright yellow, deep red, and joyful pink.

In the world there are a lot more complex flowers than the primrose, more heat resistant, some better for arranging, some more flamboyant. But I think primroses the bravest, for they are the ones that show up first, and can keep themselves together, even if winter isn't quite through blasting us. They bravely go to the front lines of our imaginations, reminding us that there is more to life than winter and inversion and shades of gray, dead brown and more gray. "Spring is coming," they announce, "Somewhere under the snow there is hope".

It was warm enough on Saturday that I tied up my walking shoes and walked outside for the first time since November. The smell of things warming up was so wonderful that I started to get light headed from all the deep breathing. I was disgustingly cheerful as I called out to other walkers who couldn't resist getting out of the house as well. I live on a road that leads up to a lovely little canyon, and it was a steady stream of folks who just had to see for themselves if their favorite trails might not have disappeared completely after all the snow storms.

Though I had planned to walk at least two miles in any direction before turning around, my footsteps led me to the house of someone close by I know who started chemo therapy at the end of December. I worried I might be disturbing her, but her daughter showed me in and we had a great time chatting. She had been on a short walk that morning, but the second phase of chemo made her back ache, so she was curled up on the couch with a heating pad. She rubbed the few tufts of hair left on her head and said that should know soon if the second drug would allow her to keep what little hair was left. She was thrilled to say that even though she couldn't taste anything, at least her mouth didn't taste like chemicals anymore, and even though she didn't feel like moving much, she didn't feel like throwing up any more either. She thanked me for the gum and scentless lotion that I had brought previously like I had brought her something that took effort and talent. Her eyes, more pronounced with the weight loss, were bright and alert, and hopeful.

She's like those primroses, brave and hopeful. I liked primroses before, but they mean a little more to me now.