Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Father's House

Everyone longs to go home... when sick or tired or even just happy and wanting to share.  They want to be rocked, cared for, and just loved.

I remember when my Nana died, my mother was devastated.  I know there were many reasons for this, but one of them was that she was not ready to give up going home to visit- not ready to give up knowing that although she cared for small ones, in that home, she was cared for herself.  She was child.  Oh, it is so good to be a loved child.

I had a free day today.  I decided to go home... to visit my father's house.  Ahhh.  I was greeted with love.  I belonged.  I was cleansed... its so nice to feel clean.   I was given a special strength formula.  It's so good to have energy.   I was given gift after amazing gift, so many, so much that tears streamed down my face and were wiped by loving hands.   With all these gifts, I was given one more... to be the gift for someone else.  To be the gift is more vital for human happiness then to receive the gift.

I enjoy my visit so much.  I can't believe the generosity, the love of my parents.  And to think, they are so lavish, so extravagant in their love.  If I go tomorrow, there's MORE!!!!  I leave their home with a huge smile on my face and a bounce in my step.  Steps run behind me.  I turn.  Waist high, blond and curly, she quickly hands my a package and races back to her mother sitting at the fountain.

Cookies!  All this and cookies too.  Going home is great!  I chuckle as I start my hot car and head out away from home to do the "Stuff." 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Neighborhood Parade

 "Why do we celebrate July?"
"What do you mean honey?"
"Well, all month long there are parades and fireworks and BBQs and parties."
"Is it for my birthday?" 

Oh how could they have missed our numerous lessons about freedom, our country, freedom to worship, and the pioneers entering the valley to escape persecution? 

True enough, every weekend for the past 2 months has been filled with fireworks, rodeos, and parades.  It sometimes feels like a bit of overkill.  But I'm glad I live in a small town that celebrates.  Tonight showed me why I like living in a great neighborhood. 

All month, the children have looked forward and waited for "the big parade."  You mean the Days of 47?  No, their parade.  And yes, I was in charge, once again.  My children dressed up and paraded out in a wheelbarrow to invite our neighbors we've never met to come and participate.  The children met an hour early to decorate their bikes, scooters, wagons, floats, or 4 wheelers.  My teenager helped the smaller children. 
 Our scouts led with the flag, followed by our parade royalty, two disabled teens from our neighborhood, crowned and driven in a dune buggy.  
 This year we had an indexing family history float...
 Followed by the neighborhood kids... young....
 And not so young. 
At the end, everyone refreshed themselves in the dunking machine, some of us refreshed themselves over and over. 
 Women dish out ice cream, pie,
or snow cones, 

Kids climbed the rock wall,
 Tried to see who could eat watermelon the fastest...
 Or pie.

 Followed by family games

 I'd never met many of the people who came.  They live in our neighborhood, but hide until July brings them out.  They go home thrilled to live in such a great neighborhood.  Who do they think puts these things on?  Someone had to plan for months, then set up since 2:00.  Who do you think that was?  Well, my kids were satisfied, no, thrilled.  Celebrating July is now complete.  And why not?  I suppose celebrating with those with live among is really celebrating. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It Gets Better... then worse

So many cities, and places I remember have changed beyond recognition, marking the passage of time and my age.  Minatonka Cave, refreshingly is just how I remember it from over 30 years ago.

I anticipated the Wedding rings, piles of gold, Kermit's Castle, and the dwarfs room.  I got to be the annoying kid that knew the names of cave bacon, ceiling straws and the other formations. 

Even happier, once again, I was the only one on the tour to correctly identify north in complete darkness.  The children marveled that such a large series of caverns could exist underground and it was a wonderful hands on lesson on earthquakes as we could see the fault line overhead.

We left the cave happy but dirty and trekked to Pickle-ville Playhouse, a melodramatic theater I'd grown up hearing about, as a particularly stuck up girl in my high school class acted in it every year.   But, no doubt about it, she was and still is the best high school actress I'd ever seen.  Thus I was not as surprised as I might be about the quality of the talent and the production.  I laughed at my little Sunshine dancing and guffawing more than I laughed at the REALLY corny jokes.  I watched Ladybug who cracked the occasional rare smile when she thought I wasn't watching.  Briz even laughed his head off.  But Little Mother writhed and wriggled on my shoulder half the time with a toothache. 

So, the day took a decided turn for the better... Until we pulled into our sleeping quarters for the trip.  We didn't have much time to enjoy the outdoors so we chose to stay at a KOA.  The pictures on line showed cabins nestled in mountainous terrain near a burbling creek.

The reality was mind bogglingly incredible.  Rows of RV's lined twenty feet apart.  I am confused that people come out to the wilderness to lounge in the world's smallest pool, surf the net under the stars, hook up elaborate lighted flag displays and neon lighted rocks to lead to their entrance.

We are guided to a tent spot on a bed of fresh woodchips.  We gape open mouthed at the large Hispanic family complete with radio and Chiwawa 15 yards to our left.  Ten yards to our left, a Mormon sized extended family with 5 tents and 2 babies under 6 months tortured us.

They cry.  First one, then the other.  9:00, 2:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m. then 6:00 a.m.  Meanwhile, Little Mother had her traditional night terrors and tried to claw her way out of the tent.  I love children, especially babies but as dawn approached and I turned my aching sleepless body, I felt positively murderous.  Every muscle screamed.  I lay for several more hours, heard Sunshine relieve herself 2 feet from my head and refused to leave my miserable position on the foam mattress.

Briz and Little Mother tried to comfort the Unhappy Camper, but there was no comfort to be found from camping purgatory. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Nightmare Begins

Planning, grocery shopping, marshaling the forces to gather sand toys, clothing, repellent, sleeping bags, and the other paraphernalia required for a multiple stop weekend.

Briz has his faithful trip anxiety.  "We're ready!!!  Can we go yet?"  I finish loading the last eco-friendly grocery bag with boiled eggs.

We arrive at our destination and at the last moment, switch plans. With time to use, we stop at Blue Pond Spring.  The smell is RIGHT.  I suppose it is because it is part of the Cache National Forest, which is, as everyone knows, the standard for the perfect mountain experience.  Mosquitoes swarm... which is not part of the perfect experience.  Sunshine has brought one hiking boot of her own, and one belonging to Little Mother, both right feet.  We search for her bag... Oooops, not here.  Briz blames six year old Sunshine.... She blames him.  she will now camp, swim, sleep and celebrate for three days in the same grubby T shirt, too large jean shorts, and two right hiking boots, one three sizes too big.

Briz stomps ahead with Little Mother and disappears leaving me to hike the crumbling face of the mountain in slippery high heeled flip flops.  I hang on to unstable Sunshine and the therapy needing Ladybug.  We find Locust casings clinging to the grass, and watch the spring burble up below us.  Soon the path disappears and we stomp through the underbrush to find our way back.

I hear panicked screaming ahead.  It is my Little Mother.  Headless of my position, I race toward the little girl, stuck in a sink puddle with no Briz in sight.  A bust of pain slashes through my calves.  I look down to see I have raced through a stinging nettle patch, leading my littlest right behind.

As we drive to Minnatonka Cave, I chant over and over in my head that kindness begins with me and that Christianity really shows itself when tried, but it's a tough sell.  My answers to my vacationing family are short, yet stranger-like sweet as I try to keep from SCREAMING obscenities.  "My legs are fizzing!"  Sunshine remarks.  "I know honey."  Boy did I know.  "I want to go home now."  Ladybug whines.

I am in a nightmare with gorgeous scenery.  I think I'll write a horror story called "Family Vacation to Bear Lake."

20th Aniversary

Twenty years...
For me, now longer with him than without him. 
Long enough to forget the lonesomeness of without, to cease thanking every day for the blessing of love.
He is familiar, known, and expected, like my arm, elbow, or ear. 
Hard things have come.... and gone.... and come.
Yet here we are still, together. 
Deonne offers her love through a gift of a night to celebrate. 
It is fitting that it is where we spent our happiest newlywed years.

Every corner holds a memory, a smile. 
We hike the Wellsvilles, sniffing the sumac, listening to the birds.
Just like 20 years ago, my knees have collapsed and he must hold me up to make the climb. 
We sit at the marble mirrored bar for a chocolate soda.
We stuff ourselves with Victoria Rum Chocolates.
We wander through labrinths of musty books at Books of Yesteryear. 

I am glad that we still have so much in common. 
At Sherwood Hills, we swim, alone and happy.
We dine, then sleep... restfully, quietly.

Then back to the three that depend upon our union for their security. 
It was enough. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Love Strokes

How does your spouse say “I love you”? Can you recognize it when he does? 

Briz showed up at the pool 10 minutes after the girls and I arrived. They little ones in their psychedelic suits run up and down the stairs to race down the water slides. He sits down beside me, an odd sight in his cowboy hat amidst the tattooed and oiled tanning bodies crowding the pool. “Are you going to swim laps with me?” Good idea, but I didn't bring my suit and just planned to read and write while my little ones got their fill. “Will you wave at me once in awhile?” I ask.

“Every time my arm goes up really high, I'm saying hi and I love you. “ I reexamine my manuscript. The sun fades the words and I strain to desipher. I look up. I see it. “I love you.” 

Back to work, I download pictures. Twenty minutes later.... I love you still.  His rhythm pulses as he glides back and forth through the water. Almost an hour has past. I look up. He is loving me across the pool. Continuously. First one arm rises in salute, then another. Its like breathing to him... this love he has for me. 


I didn't know I was dry in my brain. I thought I still had miles to go. Miles of care, therapy, and structure to offer my people. But Jodi asked me last minute to join her at her house in Idaho for a little R&R with my girls. I can get Ladybug out of school! We can go! The younger two can feel like they have a summer that is not just Ladybug therapy. 

Ooops.   Ladybug cannot go.  Do I stay home?  I HATE to have a vacation without her.  But I decide that her behavior cannot punish the rest of us.  Three girls join six other girls to fill the small house in Paris with giggles, nail polish, and fun.  

Life slowed down enough for me to hear my brain.  Without thinking of how to therapy each moment, my mental and emotional joints loosened and I laughed... really laughed.  

Volleyball.  Darling if you Love me... Smile.... Bear Lake.   Round and round on the merry go round.  Morning and Evening Walks.  Crafts.  Movies.  Night Terrors.   Late night talk therapy.  Sunburns.  Mosquitoes.  Ice Cream.  Montpelier Library.  Good Times.  The best of times.  Summer memories