getting unstuck

Sitting at my kitchen table
Still in pjs
Drinking coffee
Blue on guard in the backyard
[quietly]
Boys voices drifting up
[talking over video game sounds]

I took a long hot soaking bath with a light book yesterday
Had a good day but was tired and fried
That helped
A lot
I’ll do it again
I forget to
Best of all woke up early [4:40a] but fell back asleep until 7a
Bliss

[PAUSE]

Dog woofed
He jumped the crooked bent ineffective wire mesh garden fence and got stuck
Out of leash but also the leash clasp was caught around the edge of the fence
Stuck
Unclipped him
Bent fence down enough he could jump
Loved him
He scared himself
For today anyway
He followed me in
Muddy paws which he hates having touched
Got a layer of dirt off
My house is nowhere near spotless
Ever
A little garden dirt won’t hurt

Poured the last of my coffee
Not rushing anywhere today
I am so thankful for lack of rush

October 26, 2014
A diary of my Sunday morning moments that occurred between 8:18a and 8:51a today. I can pinpoint the timing so exactly because this is an excerpt of an email reply I sent to my cousin. On a wild whim decided to share this snippet from my life here too. I’ve been quiet in my public writing spots. Have needed to be. Still do. ~Janean

Advertisements

It is Valentine’s Day today. My boys each received a giant Hershey bar with a big red bow this morning. I was surprised they didn’t have chocolate for breakfast like on Easter morning. They could have, but they didn’t ask or just go for it sorta on the sly.
Instead of wearing red (I’m just not feeling bold like that) I chose my purple t-shirt with the hot pink sea turtles and the words “Aulani • Hawai’i.” We loved there. He and I. Our family of four cocooned together surrounded by Hawaiian island paradise. That was six months ago, at the beginning of August 2012, just three weeks before he died.
This morning my youngest son and I stood outdoors in quickly falling snow with Blue dog too. What began as micro flakes quickly changed to ginormous ones and was really coming down. This unexpected snowfall made me smile, as did the talking and laughing between us while while waiting for the bus. Sweet fifth grade boy has twenty eight valentines with nerd candy attached in his backpack, ready to give to his classmates at the party this afternoon. I’m preparing for a sugar buzz attack this evening, followed by a crash. He held his backpack over his head and asked me to go inside and get the umbrella to block the falling snow. I didn’t budge. Instead my hair turned white from snow accumulation because I’d left my hat inside. Enough landed there that I did blow dry it again once inside. Crazy winter.
I have a lunch date with my oldest son at his favorite restaurant to look forward to. Half day only at his school today. Parents Day in the lower grades. We’ll enjoy our afternoon time, just us two, before his brother gets off the bus returning home. He led me in a merry game of chase when I turned to give him a Happy Valentine’s Day hug before school. What a scene we made. Thirteen year old boy with the long legs staying just ahead, ten year old keeping pace beside me and Blue dog racing, not sure of the objective but not wanting to miss the merry go round of fun. I’ll get that hug. Later. The day is young. Good thing is, he “eluded me” by brushing his teeth before school at my reminder.
I’ll probably make a chocolate cake in my grandmother’s heart shaped cake pans. They are mine now, but they were hers first. If not today, sometime this weekend.
The dog is walked. The boys are at school. The house is quiet. The coffee is brewed. I started to reach for my blue “Oasis” mug. The one I glazed with the soothing colors of the Caribbean in early July while my children worked on 4-H projects alongside. Then I considered the earth tone mug in the unusual shape that I brought home from a summer art fair in 2011. That was longer ago than it sounds, considering all that has happened since. Instead, I chose the bright red heart mug today, on the day it is made for, Valentine’s Day. I bought two of these red heart mugs long ago, as Valentine’s Day gifts for my husband and I. Way back, before the children were born. I still have both of the mugs. Stupid earthly stuff. It stays behind with memories attached, both the good and the bad ones. So much to wade through.
Earlier this week on Monday, February 10, I wrote in an email to a girlfriend:
“Valentine’s Day won’t be as hard for me as our wedding anniversary on May 31. I always have considered Valentine’s Day “a Hallmark holiday” and still say showing your love isn’t about over the top extravagance on one *stupid* day you feel forced to make a gesture, but about the whole year of big, and mostly little things, that you do for one another. My 2¢. I’ll make sure to toast the day with chocolate and will spend it with my children, my two bestest Valentine’s, this year and every one. Hold each other close. Say, “Good morning, I love you” as the day begins and, “Good night, I love you” as the day ends. We got it right for the last month of our marriage, when all pride was finally shoved aside and we loved with our walls down. Beautifully. Fleetingly. It was good and all God. I told my oldest son yet again, on the drive to school today, “There were many miracles along the way, but the biggest one was the way God moved a stubborn man and a stubborn woman at the end of July.” It was all Him.”
I’m thankful for, and humbled by, the ocean of love and prayer that continues to surround my family of three people, one wild dog, and a cranky cat.
Now I’m on today. Valentine’s Day. All day. I’m finishing my last cup of coffee, a special blend sent across the ocean from Hawaii and looking forward to my lunch date. Later, I anticipate laughing later while watching Blue dog play outside on the long leash as I shovel snow, and then being tucked into home with my family tonight, with cake to follow soon. Lots of good stuff right there, in these quiet moments that no longer pass me by.
Aloha means, “hello,” “goodbye,” “I love you.” Feels right. Yes. That. Aloha. My subconscious knew, as I chose my souvenir t-shirt from our Hawaiian vacation to wear today, along with my sparkly heart love multicolor Venetian glass necklace, a gift from two GFF BFF friends, also from August 2012.
Happy Valentine’s Day, from me to you.
Love,
Janean

P.S. See?! I am trying. Getting there. Day by day. Grief is not for wimps…and this rambling post probably doesn’t make a lick o’sense. Oh well. I wrote it anyway. So there. Take that, Valentine’s Day! *sigh*

Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

February 14, 2014

So, there was a little hostage situation here last night…
My youngest son, age 10 in fifth grade, asked for the yardstick to measure the dog’s long, fluffy tail. When I didn’t immediately hand it over to him, he began taking items out of the pantry one by one, reading their labels aloud, stacking them on the kitchen counter as he stockpiled hostages. Along the way he found the yardstick and Blue did NOT want his tail measured, so my boy resumed taking pantry items hostage. Not just the extra food, also batteries, straws, flashlights, lightbulbs and the broom. Then, since I made white chicken chili yesterday, and the crock pot found itself surrounded by other hostages, that boy blocked his captives off with the yardstick and declared the crock pot hostage too. What?! The crock pot was an innocent bystander! Just sitting on the counter, minding it’s own business, after working hard all day, when it found itself surrounded by hostages and a crazed madman brandishing a yardstick about. Too funny really, both in the moment and as hindsight. Love him. The older boy too. He had his own smiling, trying to get my goat, way of pushing buttons last night. His grin said he knew he did too. My narrowed eyes didn’t convince him to move because my grin gave me away. He showered. Such a simple thing, but heaven forbid it be one. Thursday morning now. The sun rose. Both of my sons rose too, even though they were still rather tired, grumbly and wanting more sleep. Oldest is delivered to school and youngest is en route. Blue has been out twice. Time is 8:30am. I stayed in my flannel pjs and am making coffee now. Errands and cat duty and miscellaneous whatnot will all fill in the hours until those two boys who hold their mother’s heart return home again. I may have agreed to make a chocolate cake last night to free the hostages. I sort of think I did. I better make one, to appease that crazed madman, age 10.
~Janean

January 30, 2014
There is a new moon tonight. The second new moon of January 2014. There are two super moons this month, on the first and thirtieth, but actually, there were three because of the full moon in the middle. I have a feeling “moon effect” had a little to do with the antics at my house last night. The rest was a very creative, witty and hilarious way to avoid bedtime.

first quiet stillness
on a moonlit morn
and then…
THIS
lavender sky
clouds lit orange
from below
as the sun rises
along the horizon
looking out
o’er my backyard
intensity of color fading
softer now
as the sky brightens
so fleeting
it’d be easy to miss it
glad I didn’t
though this time
my feet are in socks
I’m warm indoors
leaning on the doorjamb
opening the sliding glass door
just enough to take photos
*snap*
using my feet to block the dog
who is curious
like a cat
my turquoise wind chimes
catch the wind
such a melodious sound
the sky is bright
the sun is awake
it is officially morning
breakfast and coffee await

January 19, 2014

back to routine

7:27am
-Blue gave up fussing about not being able to see his dog buddy Jake, and decided to just eat breakfast instead.
-8th grade boy was shocked, amazed and thrilled to find a new MythBusters on the DVR this morning. You see, it’s not just a new MythBusters, but A NEW STAR WARS MYTHBUSTERS!!!! Are you kidding me?! Pure awesome right there.
-Best of all, thanks to the folks at Discovery Channel, that TV show was the incentive my 5th grade boy needed to come out from under the layers of cozy covers where he was burrowed when I told him it was wake up time, a little after 7a.
Up, dressed, breakfast, backpacks with lunches packed…we just might make it.
7:33am now
Gotta go!

The words above were posted in real time as my Facebook status. It is 8:24am as I post them here at Tumblr. I just walked through my front door, after delivering one boy curbside and waiting with the other until the bus arrived. It did. *whew* My breakfast time is next. Coffee. Taking my mom to the train station mid morning. I have a whisper of an idea for how I’m going to spend my day, but I’m not yet telling. Wednesday today. All day. Going to make it A Good One! First step is taking my winter coat off. I’m holding my phone with a turquoise knitted glove and typing with my thumb. I will. Letting the words flow ‘til then…

disaster averted

My coffee pot flubbed up this morning. Just two cups were brewed and the rest of the pot wouldn’t drain on through. WTH?! I didn’t panic. I didn’t stomp or cuss. I talked to it nicely, and said, “Why won’t you make coffee?!” Then I calmly opened up the top of the coffee machine and jiggled the carafe atop the warmer, like any sane person would do. The best part is, it worked! Woo hoo! Pouring my first of two mugs now. *whew* Yes, I talk to inanimate objects. Don’t you?!

January 2, 2014

Life whirl

Life whirls by fast, like a marvelous dance.
Then the music stops and you’re dancing alone.

Some couples twirl for many decades.
They marry in their 20’s.
Their family grows with the arrival of babies.
Those babies grow to school age, then graduate from college.
Suddenly your babies have babies of their own.
Decades have flown.
The couple still holds hands and smiles.
They still stand and sway when music plays.
Inside they feel the same.
Outside their hair is silver.
They move a l’il slow, but get there.

Other couples have the music stop abruptly.
It’s the last thing they expect.
They spent a l’il over two decades together.
That’s all ‘twas meant to be.
She sat in the cemetery between their children,
as his body was laid to rest.
They won’t be dancing at their children’s weddings.
He’ll be watching from Heaven instead.

Life whirls by fast, like a marvelous dance.
Then the music stops and you’re dancing alone.
Life still whirls by at a breakneck pace.
Yet, your pace is set on savor.
Home feels good, like a cozy cocoon.
You venture out when necessary.
You pause and marvel at the sunrise.
You lift your face to feel the noonday sun.
You watch the moon wax then wane, and feel a tug.
Days pass.
Nights too.
Family and friends cross your doorstep.
Giving and receiving hugs for hello and goodbye.
Laughter returns, as joy bubbles from within.
Life whirls on.
Dance.
Set your own pace.

I do.
In the kitchen.
Alone.

December 19, 2013
I wish I could tag this “creative writing,” but it is a true story. Mine. After a two year and three month cancer fight, my husband died in August of this year. He had just turned 43. I was still 41. Now I’m 42. We were together over 21 years, counting from our first date. Together nearly half my life, married for 16. I didn’t want to write this poem, but when the words are there you learn to honor them and let them flow. Even when they make you cry crocodile tears that fall as you do. Perhaps this is why my dog was awake extra early today. Coffee and breakfast are next for me while my boys sleep a l’il longer and I can soak up the quiet of the house before chaos and commotion reign again. Zany. Crazy. Wild. Ornery. Rambunctious. Loud. LIFE! It is for living. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of today.
Love,
Janean

P.S. Nearly included this line, “Not quite four months ago, and it’s still hard to believe.” Adding it here as a footnote for now, to mull over later. It’s time to make that coffee, turn on music with the volume low, sing along and sway.