Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Lots to Love

There is a lot to love in Minnesota. The little ones here are full of smiles and snuggles. 

Jim is working from home, and Michele continues to recover from childbirth. She is absolutely amazing.

We've spend most of our time inside. The backyard is off limits due to an impending tree removal, but we've gone out on the front sidewalk for a bit of time each afternoon. "The Sickness" is keeping us close to home.

I don't feel like I've been a tremendous help here, but I have snuggled children, changed diapers, and cleaned the kitchen. Well, I loaded the dishwasher anyway...

Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Lake Was Gorgeous

 The lake was gorgeous last night. Rough and tumble waves rocked the shore and blasted the breakwater drenching anyone and anything in the way. I got my feet and pant legs wet and it was wonderful. I love the lake calm and still, and I love it rough and wild.

I'm heading out of town. In a little less than an hour I'll pack my bags into the back of my car. I'm flying to Minnesota to see my grandsons and meet their baby sister. I'm hoping to be helpful to my handsome son and his beautiful wife. I'm also hoping for a minute or two to catch a visit with my friends Kim and Kristina. I have a week.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Bits and Pieces

 * August is going way too fast. The summer is going way too fast. I thought I'd have more free time. LOL!

* Life hasn't turned out exactly as I'd envisioned, which I'm sure doesn't surprise anyone else whose lived a good portion of their own. Situations and circumstances just keep taking us by surprise. Some surprises turn out sour, but there are the sweet surprises as well. Thankfully, life gives both hard lessons, and unexpected blessings.

* Work occupies a major portion of my time and energy. Sometimes that is hard, but it is softened by the smiles and affection of the little ones I am there to serve. The little friend who lost his daddy a few weeks ago was very happy to see me on Monday. I was blessed with smiles, hugs, and childish chatter, and he is not the only one who looks for me. Yesterday a small sweet voice called out from the toddler room, "Marrrrthhhaaa... Where arrrrreee yoooouuu?" It was repeated over and over as I passed out breakfast trays and I would call back to her, "Nataleeeeeee... I'm commmmminnnngggg."

* My momma heart is aching this summer. A situation I'm unable to share that is constantly thumping about in my thoughts. I find myself crying out to God. I don't know, of course, what the final outcome will be. I have to give every anxiety into God's hands. It is no longer possible to pull my hurting children into my arms, to rock them on my lap, or kiss their wounds away. They are grown up now and must find their own way through the heartaches of life.  "Oh, Lord!"

* I booked a flight to Minnesota. Time is going so fast that I barely realized I'd be leaving in little over a week... My Minnesota people are planning an out of state move in the not too distant future, so unless they change their plans (which isn't likely), this is quite possibly my last Minnesota trip.

* Two of my boys came over last evening. We sat in the garage and I listened to them talk. There was blatant honesty, exaggerated stories, and comic relief. They spoke of experiences that are both amusing and terrifying all at once. I've never been of the mindset that my kids, especially my boys, have or will continue to avoid substances and activities that might send a mother into a panic. I wasn't sure how to respond.  Another piece of life to let God handle. "Oh, Lord!"

Saturday, August 14, 2021

A Pocketful of Beach Glass

I go to the lake whenever I need a moment of solitude, a chance to de-stress, or when I simply hear the call. Quite often I go "just because." It wasn't until last summer that I started hunting beach glass. It's now an obsession. Ha! I can't go to Webster Park without scouring the rocky shoreline for bits of green, brown, clear/white, or even red or blue. Sometimes I find a friend, but I'm often on my own. I love it either way.

Life is never dull or settled for long when one has seven children, five of them married, and seventeen grandchildren along with a full time job in a daycare center. I have adult children who struggle with a myriad of issues. It breaks my heart because so much of it could have been prevented had I been wiser long ago... And then there are unexpected medical surprises which make me once again grateful for not only modern medicine, but intuition as well. My daughter in law will be okay thanks to her own action and the blessing of doctors who listen to valid concerns. I am also grateful for a son who is not afraid to take on caring for his infant daughter when her mommy had to make a return trip to the hospital. I think he's a super dad! (He didn't dress her in this picture.)

Being the daycare cook, requires a significant amount of time in the kitchen where I often listen to the happenings in the toddler room directly across the hall. I thought I heard my name one morning and popped my head in to see what it was all about. The toddler teacher, in making conversation with our two and almost two year olds, had asked, "What kind of animal give us milk?" and one of the toddlers piped up, "Martha!" Have I ever told you how much I love these little people?

Last Sunday afternoon I was blessed to join my sister and her sister in law for an hour or so of kayaking. This is something I could actually do alone, but have never thought to try solo. The creek is full of paddlers, so it isn't as though I'd be completely solitary if I ran into trouble. I think I'll give going alone some serious consideration.

One evening this week upon my arrival home, I found my family hanging out in the garage. As we sat and talked, something went flying through the air and bounced of Killian's head. "Hey!" cried Hannah, "a rubber band just hit my baby in the head!" After a bit of deductive reasoning, we decided it had broken and popped off a container of clay I had sitting on top of the garage refrigerator. How funny that we should all be sitting there to witness the debacle! Of course, the baby barely noticed at all.

I've been having a wonderful time with my cousins this summer, playing with clay and getting reacquainted after way too many years apart. Our children should have grown up being best friends, but they barely know each other. I am grateful for a new chance to be friends with the cousins I grew up loving. This little cup is just glazed and ready to be fired. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

PS. I signed up for another advanced class at the pottery studio. We start in September. 

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Number Seventeen

Charlotte Hope is here. She arrived by cesarean section early Thursday evening, August 5th. Both mommy and baby are safe and we are grateful for modern medical technology. Such a beautiful baby! Our Little Wildflower joins her Mermaid cousin in the band of grandchildren.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Bits and Pieces

* When I don't know what to do or where to go, I go to the lake.

* Last night I found my friend Gail looking for glass on the little island beach across the mouth of the creek. My friend Tahnya, a former coworker, found me as I was watching a sweet, small child scamper about the shore. The child turned out to be her daughter. And then my friend Pam and I found each other in Wegmans. We have been friends since fourth grade but rarely catch up. It was a good night to find friends.

* My sweet little friend A was at daycare yesterday. I spotted him when I took in the lunch cart. He was all smiles, happy to see me, happy to be sitting with his best friend R., and blissfully unaware of the tragedy that befell his daddy last week. In years to come he will grieve, but for now he is a not quite three year old child blessed with the inability to behold and process such sorrow.

* I've been a little off this week. Not entirely sure what's kickin' me. Maybe it's because August has made its arrival feeling like September.

* Sweet little Seventeen will be making her way into the world soon. Her biggest brother, Number Six, also known as Austin, turned eight this past Saturday. They are growing up without me. This is hard.

* Number Fifteen is not slowing down for anything. He is bound and determined to grow up this week. Crawling on his hands and knees is not enough. he's pulling himself up on his knees and also up onto his big brother's giant stuffed dog. (I think he's got a little of his mommy in him! (Shhh! Don't tell her I said so.)

* I have plans to go out on Friday night. A plan always helps. I need more of those.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

A Pocketful of Beach Glass

"Grammy! Do you want to go to the lake?"

A cool, refreshing breeze blew, the sun was bright. It was the perfect lake day. We tossed a few fruit snack packages into a box with one fig bar, grabbed two can of sparkling water from the garage fridge, and set off for the lake. We stayed for hours. It was glorious!

I picked lake glass from the beach, snapped pictures, and did my best to keep him safe and dry. He tossed sticks and stones into the water, balanced on longs, and dipped his hands into the water. We both got soakers, me from an unanticipated wave and he from losing his balance stepping over the breach in the dam blocking the creek.  

We ventured into the woods, walked the pier, he rolled down the big hill, and we ultimately ended up back at the mouth of the creek. Hannah came down after Killian woke from his nap to see what it was that Idris loves so much about the lake.

It was a beautiful day with my grandson, the kind of day I used to dream of having with my future grandchildren. I am thoroughly blessed.