Imperfect gatherings…

Imperfect gatherings…

When my kids gather around our table these days, it is a bit of a bumpy ride. The three born to us, could not be more different. Their personalities barely fit in the room. One never knows what will spark a yelling match (politics is often the culprit), a wrestling match (a tussle over a cellphone and a mysterious Facebook friend), or mayhem of one kind or another. We’ve had good natured (mostly) water fights in the living room, blow ups that send one or another out the front door, and just a general sense of excitement that underlies both big gatherings and small.

Continue reading “Imperfect gatherings…”

Fancy friends…

Fancy friends…

This past weekend, we joined a small group of friends and family to celebrate a new beginning. My friend’s handsome son walked her down the aisle to a man whose love for her was evident across the room. From the 33rd floor of a beautiful building in downtown Boston, we enjoyed stunning views. We could see the city splayed out before us as the light gave way to evening. We watched the trees light up below. We danced like no one was watching. We toasted to new beginnings and true love. We laughed in the face of their joy. It was a night I won’t soon forget. Continue reading “Fancy friends…”

Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving…

Most families we know are gathering around the table today. As I write this, last minute preparations are being made, check lists are being marked off, and dashes to the store for a forgotten ingredient are underway. For my family, Thanksgiving falls on a workday. As we do, we made the holiday adjust to our reality and celebrated last weekend. We gathered and feasted and enjoyed one another. Today, we will finish the last of the turkey soup. Continue reading “Thanksgiving…”

Six month follow up…

Six month follow up…

I laid there with my arms over my head, an IV dripping into a vein in the crook of my arm. My knees were bent with a foam wedge under them. As my body moved in and out of the round tube, my body rushed with the chemicals they pumped into my arm. A plastic voice ordered, “take a big breath and hold it.” And then later, “breathe.” While magnets whirred around my body, I could feel the anxiety rising, threatening to close off my airway. Tears gathered in the corners of my eyes. A few minutes later, the Tech said, “are you okay?” I nodded yes, of course. I’m fine. But I thought, I don’t know. That’s why I am here. Continue reading “Six month follow up…”

An act of defiance…

An act of defiance…

It seems as though the world has become harsher, all sharp corners and ragged edges. The news seems to be all bad these days with more violence, and more hatred than one heart can handle. In the face of all this, it feels like the only option is to withdraw. For me, this reality has left me feeling isolated and afraid to reach out. From this place, it is easier to hold my tongue and keep the peace. And yet this withdrawal has pushed us away from each other, into groups of people who agree with us. Continue reading “An act of defiance…”

An alpaca farmer…

An alpaca farmer…

For a dozen years my sweet husband has had a secret love. He’s been dreaming of the day when he might become an alpaca farmer. He fell in love when he helped his cousin on her alpaca farm and has been talking about it ever since. We’ve visited farms. He’s researched online. We’ve talked about the possibilities and discussed the challenges. We purchased our home with the thought that “someday” we might add alpacas. Continue reading “An alpaca farmer…”

Mountain Day…

Mountain Day…

Each October, students at my alma mater wait expectantly for the president to call Mountain Day. An annual tradition, the bells ring out to announce the cancelation of the day’s classes. Students spend the day enjoying the glorious autumn countryside. Tradition encourages students to climb a nearby peak where ice cream is served at the top (Hoodsie Cups all around). The view is spectacular, the company is friendly, and the tradition is an important part of the fall semester. Continue reading “Mountain Day…”

Workday…

Workday…

They gathered, a bit blurry-eyed. It was early for a Saturday morning. Brian was the first to arrive, he is always first. Allie showed up next. Steph and Tyler brought a friend, and Teddy stayed with Auntie Kim. In the early morning gloom, they ate donuts, swigged the coffee and hot chocolate they brought with them. They were here to help their dad regrade the long winding driveway. Ten yards of gravel had been delivered and the bright yellow tractor was on hand for the weekend. They were here to work. Continue reading “Workday…”

Savoring August…

Savoring August…

After almost thirty years in New England, I recently realized that although I am a fan of both October and May, it is August that has my heart. From beginning to end, August fills my soul. This year, I have enjoyed each of the 31 days, rolling them around in my mind like penny candy. Although it is my nature to jump ahead, this summer I’ve lingered over the golden light of August and allowed my senses to fully attend to sights, sounds, and delights of late summer. Continue reading “Savoring August…”

A book hangover…

A book hangover…

He slammed the door of his truck and stalked toward the house. From my view on the back porch, I could see that he was upset. He stomped up the steps as an oath escaped his lips. He looked at me in frustration, sharing phrases not usually repeated in my presence, or at church. This man known for his ability to remain unflappable in just about any circumstance, was frustrated and upset. I couldn’t figure out what was happening. “Worcester traffic?” I offered. As he walked closer and threw himself down in the chair, he groaned, “Shiva died.” Continue reading “A book hangover…”