Sunday, September 26, 2021

Bits and Pieces

* Life is weird, and September has been extremely stressful. Emotional relief came midweek, a little earlier than anticipated, when my heart and mind were suddenly noticeably relaxed. Perhaps it was Tuesday evening's pottery class... but more likely it was a settling of thoughts, as if several previously misaligned pieces suddenly shifted into place creating a totally different perspective.

* My kids are struggling and it pains this momma's heart. If I could make them little again, I would make sure their life "tool boxes" were better equipped, but the days of me packing for them are over. Today they are left with choices. Either find the tools themselves, ask for help finding them, or learn how to get along without. There are SO very many things I would do different, but all the "if only's" in the world won't change what is. We can only go on from here.

* My favorite firstborn turned 40 this past Friday. How he caught up to me so fast is a mystery. I was so disappointed to miss his birthday, and then I realized that he probably wasn't fretting over it like me. The realization took the sting away, (and I was just there a few week back). I am a silly mom sometimes.

* It was a great weekend to be down at the lake. I even got my feet in the water again. Summer is holding on with all it's might. The lake water is getting colder, but still very enjoyable. I'll be gone away this next weekend so Saturday might have been my last opportunity for lake walking this year. (That's my friend Gail looking for beach glass.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Two Weeks

 I've never gone so long between posts as between this one and the last. I can hardly recall what's happened that I might want to look back on...

* Minnesota. I lost track of how many times Jim said, "You know, Mom, you could stay another week," or "Mom, don't you want to stay another week?" I have to admit, it was very tempting. Deep inside I wanted to say yes, but I have a job that I needed to get back to and only three of the five days I'd taken were paid. When it came time to say goodbye, Parker (Number 11) was just waking up from a nap. He wasn't much in the mood for a cuddle, so I kissed his little forehead, told him I loved him, and choked back the emotion that wanted to well up inside and leak out my eyes.

On Thursday night, September 2, my blog friend Kim picked me up at Jim's house and we went for a walk at the Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary which was only about a mile or so away. She had a limited span of time to spend but I was grateful for her company. I don't know if I will ever get back to Minnesota and I missed her last time I visited. My friend Kristina wasn't feeling well when I was there and so we didn't get a chance to meet up. I'm hoping one day in the future we will make another connection.

Jim was off work for the weekend, so we took a ride with the boys on Saturday afternoon. We stopped to say hello to Jim's childhood buddy Dan and his wife Rachel in Farmington on our way to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. It was a quick visit, mostly some hugs, a picture or two, and a little conversation, and then we were on our way. Dan and Rachel had a prior engagement to attend and hadn't been aware of my presence in MN until the previous evening.

We took the boys on a little hike through the woods to a "hidden" waterfall where an ever changing group of people enjoyed the cool water. The little found it wonderfully fascinating, while their older brother kept a sharp watch on them. I watched through my camera lens.

I returned from Minnesota on Sunday, September 6 following a fabulous brunch at Grammy and Granddad's house where we took some family pictures and Jim helped me do an "early" check-in for my flight because I'd forgotten all about it when we went to the woods on Saturday. He took me to the airport a little after 4 pm for my 5:30 pm flight home. I arrived in Rochester at approximately 11:30 pm local time and my friend Chris, who works near the airport, picked me up a little after midnight and took me home. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I miss my Minnesota people. In fact, I miss them very much. 

 * After my week away and flight home, I was relieved to have Labor Day off work. There were no picnics or parties planned. Late in the afternoon I took a drive out to find my friend Gail at her cottage in Williamson and we combed the rocky lake shore for bits of tumbled glass. It was an unusually quiet Labor Day. On my way home from Gail's I stopped by Bethany's house to drop a birthday gift off for Jilly (Number 8) who turned 6 while I was out of town. Jake (Number 5) had a birthday on September 11 and is now halfway to 18. (He's nine.)

* Work was crazy while I was gone and I returned to a daycare running at partial capacity. It's been a strange week and a half. The children have returned to school and are slowly trickling back in from mandatory isolations. (Yeah, that. I skipped town just in time.) Something in the daycare feels off, but it isn't the sickness. I'm hoping whatever it is passes and everything begins to feel normal again, but this too is a growing moment. 

* There was a family gathering on Sunday afternoon with chile. The forecast inspired us to change locations and so there were 12 grandchildren running about and frolicking in the house, yard, and driveway. They caught baby crickets in the grass and played in the rain. There were grown up conversations, heated discussions, and moments of encouragement. My heart is full and achy at the same time. 

* I started a new pottery class last night. Same instructor as in the spring as well as one classmate. I also know two others in the class; my friend Dan and his friend Katie. Although I haven't been to the studio much in the past few months, it felt comfortable and relaxed. I'm looking forward to the next eight weeks and wondering what kind of vessels will emerge... 

** I'm also still enjoying pottery nights with my cousins. This is my second "lace" cup, this time with a handle. I haven't yet decided how I'll finish it. It's possible I'll have it fired at the studio as they run their kilns at a much higher temperature. Time will tell.