Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ring in the New

New Year's eve, a time of reflection and contemplation. Endings and beginnings. Another year has passed us by, more quickly than we thought possible, with so many changes, both large and small. There have been difficult times, there have been moments of utter contentment. Sorrow and joy intermixed, so that each can be appreciated in comparison with the other. We laugh, we cry, and time inexorably passes.

The year's greatest triumph is nearly invisible to the eye, yet is quite easily discernible in the entries of the blog. Herself has friends. Good friends. It seems almost trivial, since friends are so commonplace for other people - yet for Herself, the cultivating of human bonds beyond the superficial has always been quite a challenge. And so, as the year draws to a close, she and I are forever grateful for the people who have stamped themselves as friends upon her heart.

It is with hopeful hearts full of love for family and for friends, that we look onward, to the blessings and the challenges of the new year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Edge of the Earth

I apparently have found the Edge of the Earth, and fallen off of it. Or perhaps it was a Holiday Black Hole that sucked me into its vortex. Where have I been? Was it the end-of-the-school-year bonanza for the Offspring, or the holiday preparations, or the multiple family gatherings, or the potent viruses and accompanying bacteria floating about the abode, or the injured elderly relative requiring emergency care, that was the proverbial straw that broke the blogging camel’s back? It is unclear, but what is certain, is that I have missed you terribly.

With the advent of the New Year, I will turn over a new blog leaf, and return to more frequent updates. In the erstwhile, you are close to my heart, and I wish that the joys and comforts of the season be bestowed in great wealth upon you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Oh, upcoming holiday season, how you have conspired with the omnipresent viruses to render it nearly impossible to update the Blog in any kind of regular manner! Back to business.

No playlist would be complete without at least one song from Lady GaGa. Although the jury is still out on whether public interest in Lady GaGa will expire from her overexposure, her stage persona is oddly fascinating and her songs inspire one to move. Although Herself frequently listens to either Paparazzi or Poker Face when out for a walk to keep the tempo of her stride up, her current favorite is Bad Romance. Repeat, repeat, repeat, until the jogging path is complete.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Eleven years ago today, Herself was at the hospital, waiting for the birth of Offspring the Third.

She had gone in the morning of December 8th for an induction, nine days before her due date, because this baby was quite a large baby and everyone was concerned about being able to deliver him safely. The induction did not take well, and progress went very slowly.

Of great concern, baby’s heartrate would sometimes dip with a contraction. After a day of labor, the drugs were turned off so that Herself could gather some strength and try again in the morning. Because of concern about baby’s well-being, Herself was strapped into the fetal heart monitor all night long. The nurses would come in periodically to check on her, and would lower the volume on the monitor “so you can rest.” Herself would surreptitiously raise the volume as soon as they left, so that she could be sure to hear baby’s heartbeats.

Early on the morning of the 9th, the induction was begun again. Baby showed increased distress, and Herself was truly frightened by the inverse bell curve of his heartrate with each contraction. Simultaneously alarming and comforting was the sudden rush of many people into the room in response to baby’s distress. Voices were sharp, decisions were rapid, a quick trip down the seemingly-miles-long hallway was made, and one Cesarean section later, all nine pounds, thirteen ounces, of Offspring the Third was delivered, squawking at the indignity of the bright lights and the cold air. Alive and well. Blessed relief.

Today’s song, Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, is for Offspring the Third.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

When the family travels with the camper-trailer, there are certain musicians who are always featured in the playlist in the van as it rumbles along the highways. One of them is John Denver. His songs, particularly Rocky Mountain High, will always remind her of the freedom and the possibilities of the open road.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Only You

In days of yore, when vinyl was popular and before CDs were well-established, one of the few records Herself had was 'Upstairs at Eric's' by Yaz. There was one song in particular on that album to which Herself still listen today - Only You. She is reminded most particularly about a moment in time during college: walking up campus, between the dining hall on the right and the dorms on the left, looking up at the windows of the dorms where a couple of her friends lived. In retrospect, she realizes that he did not truly appreciate the fact that her sole responsibility was to study hard.

How she misses the simplicity of that time.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

To Be Cared For

Would you like a simple way to stun Herself into grateful silence? It's quite easy: do something specifically just for her. Bring her something trivial that you know she will like. Take care of a small task for her, without her having to ask. Give her your full and undivided attention for just a few minutes.

Today's song reminds her of those marvelous, rare moments when she feels nurtured by someone else's quiet gesture of kindness. Her preferred version is James Blunt's cover of Crowded House's Fall At Your Feet. (Alas, copyright issues on youtube prevent a link to the cover itself.) She listens to it when the world is cold, to draw again on the warmth that arose during those moments.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Month in Song

As time goes by, Herself finds that she is less and less attached to Things. As a youngster, and as a younger woman, Certain Items would hold particular sentimental weight for her. Even now, some objects still do: the baby sling she used to carry all three Offspring, for example, will always be of inestimable worth to her. There are fewer and fewer Things, though, that carry weight with Herself; it is the people in her life about whom she feels most sentimental, and to whom she feels most attached.

There is, however, one current object of which Herself is quite fond: her iPod. A gift from her Beloved, it travels everywhere with her, and she uses it while exercising; while driving, plugged into the car; while cooking, doing laundry, mopping, tidying, or performing other chores; and even in the wee hours of the night, if she cannot sleep. It allows her to listen to the same music over and over and over and over, should she so desire. (One of Herself’s most Asperger’s-like traits is her singular interest in particular songs.) It provides the soundtrack for her life.

In honor of the iPod, this month’s entries will be dedicated to certain songs and their meanings for Herself.

Today’s song is one that was mentioned previously. Ben Harper: Amen, Omen. It is a song of love and loss, and when she listens to it, Herself thinks of her friends, and how her heart has grown from their presence in her life, and how bereft she would be without them.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Poetic, But Enjoyable Nevertheless

My apologies. An erratic WiFi connection prevented me from updating further during the Thanksgiving trip.

Though no verse has leapt to mind to memorialize the excursions to Big Bend, it was a lovely time. There was some very good hiking, the complaining by either teenage Offspring was relatively slight, and Offspring the Third did his very best to remain a Good Sport at all times. Herself actually got to see her Beloved for much more time than usual, which is always beneficial. She also prepared a full-fledged Thanksgiving Feast despite the confines of the tiny kitchen of the camper-trailer. Brava to her.

Everyone does appear to be relieved to be back home again. Accustomed as they are to a larger amount of personal space than that afforded by the camper-trailer, they all dispersed quickly to their individual areas in the house. Now they are gearing up for the few more weeks of school before the Christmas break. I look forward to trimming the tree, preparing muffins for friends, and enjoying a few of the pleasures of the season.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lajitas Acrostic

Long drive, punctuated by numerous hills.
Achoo? - Offspring the First. Sniff - Offspring the Second.
Jogging about the RV park in glorious morring weather.
Into 'town' to see beautiful restored hotel and fort.
Twine, burnt with magnifying glass and used for bows and arrows.
A bit of relaxation, a welcome change of pace.
Scaling a hillside, Offspring Second and Third are mountain goats.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action!

We are packing up the camper-trailer for a small family vacation. There will be hiking and general outdoor enjoyment, much to Herself's delight. I will do my best to update from the road, and as usual, will deliver details in verse. Haiku? Limerick? Iambic pentameter? I do not yet know. We will see what presents itself in the moment.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Funk, It Is... Contagious?

Life can be quite difficult for a fifth grader. When Offspring the Third arrived into the safety of home from school today, he pronounced:

The world is a cold, heartless place, and you just have to adapt to it.

Herself provided a hug and a lemonade popsicle, and told him:

If you can find a few good friends, they will make all the difference.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Funk, It Is Blue

Herself has been in a blue funk of late. The myriad small difficulties of ordinary life sometimes overwhelm. But with the help of that magical technological marvel, the iPod, music will carry her through and beyond all adversities. A meaningful song is a consolation for a struggling soul.

Know that even in these azure times -- and, in fact, especially during these times -- Herself is thinking of you, with love.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mortar and Brick

Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Herself and I made our first pie crust today. It turned a relatively ordinary pumpkin pie into something quite tasty. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, pie!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Arm Yourself With Love

Today is To Write Love On Her Arms day. Herself is participating for both of us.

There is hope. There is help. You are not alone.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Nurturer Contemplates Flight

Periodically, Herself jests about running away. She has been jokingly suggesting doing so within the past few days. I’ve been observing carefully, and this is the picture I see.

Herself is a nurturer. She loves to look after other people: the Offspring, her Beloved, her friends, her extended family. Anyone need anything? A muffin or another snack? A blanket? A hug? A good book? A listening ear or a shoulder to lean on? Moral support? Reassurance? Assistance in any form? She’s there in an instant. It is her privilege and her pleasure to be of help to you.

There are times, though, when number of the small pieces of Herself that she gives away, seem vastly to outnumber the pieces she receives in return.

With the Offspring, of course, she fully expects to be taken for granted most of the time - they are the children, she is their mother, they are entitled to her love, services and care without question, even if they do not give back in return.

Her Beloved is so very busy. She has spent a lot of time pining for his undivided attention, longing for him to have time for her. She does her best to wait patiently; she knows that if she is ever in full-on crisis mode, she can count on him to be there for her in a heartbeat, and that's what is important.

Every now and then, she feels as though she puts more effort into initiating conversations, providing hugs and support, and looking after her friends, than her friends do in return. She suspects her feelings in this matter are cranky and not truly accurate; they do talk to her, hug her, laugh with her, call and e-mail her. Nevertheless, tiny moments feed into her insecurities. For example, a few weeks ago, she spotted one of her friends, and got up to cross the room to move closer and say hello. Her friend motioned her to sit back down and came to sit next to her. Herself was inwardly shocked by the amount of gratitude she felt at having her friend take the initiative to approach and sit with her. But why should that be so surprising? Could it be the infrequency with which it happens? Perhaps.

One of Herself’s deepest fears, one that she has confessed only to her Beloved and to myself, is that if she pulls back from looking after other people, if she stops initiating conversations or interaction, or if she lessens her habitual nurturing, that others will not notice or care enough to step in and tend to their relationships with Herself. She will be left alone. She doesn’t have the strength to go through with the experiment of retreating just a bit, though, because in her darker moments she is truly afraid that she might find out that no one really does care. Yet some days, she is drained and yearns for a respite from caring for others.

And so, when she jokes about running away, it is because she is idly wondering who would come to look for her if she did.

It is an unhappy mental space that Herself occupies with these thoughts. I think she needs a long, solitary hike in the desert to restore the quiet within her and to help her refuel. That would facilitate her recovery from this mindset, so that she may resume her joyous nurturing of her loved ones. In the meanwhile, I will do what I can to remind everyone:

nurturers need nurturing too.

Monday, November 9, 2009


There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.

- Sidonie Gabrielle

Sunday, November 8, 2009


It really is difficult to believe that this banana-flavored morsel of "candy" with its plasticine sheen is, indeed, edible. The most redeeming quality of this item was the joke printed on the wrapper:

Q. What are two things you can never eat for breakfast?
A. Lunch and Dinner.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


"A friend is a gift you give yourself."-Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Price of Wisdom

"I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable." - Joseph Addison

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Click, beep

Life would be so much easier if we only had the source code.

Monday, November 2, 2009


There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.
- George Carlin

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The most frightening part of Halloween this year, was the volume of trick-or-treaters. Within a space of two hours, over 400 stopped by. We had to begin turning people away when we ran out of treats. Egads.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Be Yourself

Thought for today:

Grasshopper, be yourself and never fear thus to be naked to the eyes of others. Yet, know that man so often masks himself. That what is simple is rarely understood. The dust of truth swirls and seeks its own cracks of entry.

- Master Po, Kung Fu

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Snow on the Franklin Mountains this morning. Beautiful.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Body Ugly

One of the few benefits of being disembodied is that I am blissfully free of most body issues. While I do acknowledge that my hair is thinning somewhat and my chin is a bit lopsided, I need not worry about weight, roundness of belly, or size of thighs.

Herself has been wrestling with her body image, and the longer she waits for the doctor's clearance to resume her regular exercise routines, the greater the struggle has become. She realizes that she is no longer anywhere near the blossom of youth, and that a few wrinkles, a smidgen of sag, a bit of extra baggage are to be expected. She well knows the platitudes, It Is What Is On The Inside That Counts and Beauty Is Only Skin Deep.

All the same, she is wistful for the times when the body machinery worked properly without effort, when calorie-counting and avoidance of migraine-inducing foods were unnecessary. Days when medical issues were rare and easily handled, when there were no surgical scars instead of the eleven, large and small, that now dot the landscape of her torso. Time when the marks of bearing three consecutive nine-pound babies had not yet arisen. Ages when she was not self-conscious about the height of her forehead, the jiggle of her arms, the heft of her breasts, the sponginess of her abdomen, the shape of her behind. She thinks of these things now, and curls inward on herself, wanting to hide away from those who might look at her and judge her. Appearance should not matter. And yet, sometimes, it does.

I would like to teach her that she is beautiful in her own way, and that her scars, both physical and otherwise, are to be embraced as part and parcel of her entire being. Once she is back on the mat at tae kwon do, she will slowly regain the sense of mastery over her physical self that she so desperately needs right now. She will, I hope, eventually learn to accept all her perceived flaws, and face the world bravely without care as to what others may think.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Soup of Satisfaction

After bemoaning her plight as a thwarted cook yesterday, Herself had three unexpected pleasures arise. First, she was able to foist a loaf of fresh cranberry bread upon a friend. Second, she discovered an upcoming opportunity to make muffins in celebration of a visit from an old tae kwon do comrade. And third, her Beloved arrived home early enough for Herself to make him dinner. At his request for light fare, she prepared egg-drop soup with noodles. Unusually, she worked freehand - without a recipe. Since Herself is a scientist at heart, she typically views cooking as a technical pastime rather than as an art. Every now and then, though, she throws caution to the wind and experiments. There are no leftovers, so I believe the soup was a success.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cookies of Despair

Herself and I tried out a new recipe for Halloween - chocolate-chip-pumpkin cookies. They are a lovely fall color, and quite tasty, I think. (Herself thinks so too, although she must pick out the chocolate chips to avoid migraine.) Alas, the Offspring were not interested in consuming the cookies. Instead, they ate drop-forged-store-bought-donuts. Or Pop Tarts.

Herself realizes that not all recipes will be successful. Yet, of the four humans in the household besides Herself, only 25 to 50% at any given time can be relied upon to try anything new or exhibit enthusiasm for homemade goods. Herself's Beloved is always game, but he works such long hours that he is not often home to consume whatever Herself has made, and so she does not often cook items specifically for him lest they spoil and go to waste. Of the Offspring, it is extremely rare that all will enjoy the same particular item. The three must be cajoled to taste something new, with varying degrees of inveigling depending on which child is most hesitant. The odds are, only one of the three will enjoy a new item enough to consume a noticeable quantity of it.

And so, Herself remains a frustrated and despondent cook.

Fortunately, the holiday season is swiftly approaching, and Herself will have an opportunity to satisfy her stifled love of cooking by providing baked goods as gifts to her friends. Maybe they will like the cookies.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Less is More

I dream of a tiny house with a large plot of land. Land in the desert, or land on the plains; land high in the mountains, land on the edge of the forest. Land close to nature, and quiet, and peace.

One of my favorite sites to peruse is the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company website. I try to envision what the houses look like, what it would be like to inhabit a small abode. Sometimes I imagine the tiniest of spaces, a blissful getaway for a few days. Other times I imagine one of the larger designs, a permanent home for myself in my solitude.

A refuge from the world’s chaos.


Saturday, October 24, 2009


My friends the tiny ducks are trying on their costumes. I especially like the unearthly sheen on ghostly duck.

I have not yet decided what to be for Halloween. Being disembodied is spooky enough.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Scales of Justice

I spent a very long day Tuesday with Herself at jury duty. Ultimately, she was dismissed and not asked to serve, which was quite a relief as the trial promised to be long, arduous, and grim. The few details provided concerning the case revealed that it concerned the death of a young child. Herself confessed to me that she was certain that no juror who heard the case would ever be quite the same again.

It is so very important to make oneself available as a juror, in order to ensure that each and every individual's rights are protected. Never have I felt the weight of the Constitution of The United States more than when I sat in that courtroom, listening to the prosecution and the defense conduct voir dire, and trying to parse the inscrutable look on the face of the defendant.

I don't know what the ultimate verdict in the case will be. I do know, though, that a man's life as he knows it hangs in the balance, and that is a mighty weight to bear. Be strong, jurors. Our freedoms depend on it.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Preparations for All Hallow's Eve continue. Gone, however, are the days of yore in which a trip to the local party store would yield a bonanza of appropriate costumes. With the advent of teenage years, dress-up has become a much more fraught affair. Any commercial costumes for girls are designed to display what Herself believes to be an inappropriate amount of flesh. Those for boys are, in Herself's opinion, either extremely gory or excessively juvenile. Encouraging creative, self-designed costumes is now necessary.

Then there is the question of, how old is too old for trick-or-treating? An offer has been made to host a party for the teens at the house, but it is unsure whether they will be interested in doing so (as we know, other peoples' homes are always infinitely superior to one's own abode). Herself will be trapped in the front yard as the hundreds of trick-or-treaters flow by. At least she is pleased with her costume. I will try to convince her to post a picture in due course.

My favorite part will always be the carving of the pumpkins.

Friday, October 16, 2009


During most of the month of October, Offspring the Second periodically rearranges a set of fake bones in the front yard as part of the Halloween decorations. He is quite creative, and always sets the pieces in their physically correct relation - leg bone near hip bone, arm bones properly aligned, and so forth. My favorite scenario from last year was one in which the bones stuck out from underneath a tipped-over recycling bin.

Can you see me? I'm in the eye socket. Boo!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Herself is struggling once more with a possible infection. This one is commonplace, but quite painful, and she feels rather wretched at the moment. Antibiotics should improve matters within a few days.

At the moment, she is full of irritation and disappointment at her own physical frailty. That, combined with the slightly invasive testing yesterday to determine the cause of her discomfort, has rendered her practically apoplectic with rage at the entire situation.

Anyone know a good joke to help cheer her? She needs help.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tick, Tock

Some days there just isn't enough time to accomplish all of one's goals. Fortunately, Ralph Waldo Emerson has a few words of wisdom for us:

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely....”

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Secret Plan

Herself has a new goal. She just received an e-mail message indicating that the date for the local Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure will be on February 21, 2010. It is 5 kilometers. She would like not just to walk it, but to run.

This is quite an ambitious undertaking for her. She will necessarily start very slowly, as she is not fully medically cleared for all activities yet. I see her intense concentration as she fills out a calendar of intermediate goals, and I am pleased that I will be helping her train. Wish us luck.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is a cookie on each side.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Q: How many dinosaurs can fit in an empty box?

A: One. After that, the box isn't empty.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Moment of Silence, Please

The ancient, enfeebled, debilitated hamster of the household has finally shuffled off this mortal coil. He appears to have died peacefully, curled up in his nest and surrounded by his favorite foodstuffs. While we knew his warranty had expired quite some time ago, it is still the loss of a wee mammalian friend. May he find peace and happiness in the Beyond, along with all of the other beloved pets who have passed through our lives.

Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.
- James Cromwell

Useful Advice

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lighten Up, Already!

Since last week's entries were quite serious, this week will be devoted to more lighthearted fare. I confess that I'm absolutely terrible at telling jokes, but I am optimistic that I will be able to elicit at least one chuckle along the way.

For today:

Q: What weighs 35 tons and sticks to the roof of your mouth?

A: A peanut butter and apatosaurus sandwich.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Loneliness and the Gallbladder of Doom

Otherwise known as, Another Answer To The Question, Why is She So Extraordinarily Fond of Her Friends?

One of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, once divided love into four categories: affection, friendship, eros and charity. Of the four, he found the least natural yet the most admirable to be friendship. Today’s entry pertains to the miracle of friends, and to that end, relates details surrounding the Gallbladder of Doom.

Nearly two years ago, Herself had her gallbladder removed on a very quick basis. (She knew surgery was imminent when the first words out of the surgeon’s mouth in his office were not, “Hello, I’m Dr. So-and-so,” but rather, “How did your gallbladder get SO BAD?”). It was one of life’s mercifully few nadir moments. The primary difficulty, though, was not the run-through-with-a-hot-poker-type pain, nor the operation and recovery; rather, it was something much more elemental, and much more problematic to resolve.

Herself had only a short amount of time to go home, prepare herself, and return to the hospital for a 5 PM Curtain Call. Her instructions for her Beloved were to pick up the children from school – first priority is always the needs of the Offspring – and he was unable to arrive at the hospital before the appointed time. She telephoned her parents, and e-mailed her colleagues at work and her internet friends. And that was that. She was without any company at the hospital, save that of the pre-op nurses, for a couple of hours before being wheeled in for surgery.

Herself has historically been quite solitary. For myriad reasons, she had not formed any local friendships. She was mostly content with this state of affairs, until those long, long minutes of waiting by herself, in pain, desolate and forlorn.

The horror of being so very alone still haunts her.

Afterwards, as she spent the majority of her recovery without adult company while her Beloved was at work, she recognized that responsibility for those terrible moments and for her present situation rested solely on her shoulders, and that, as frightening as it might be, it was time to find some local friends.

Fast-forward nearly two years to the present time. Once more, Herself was scheduled for surgery. There were a few noteworthy differences this time around, though. Everything was planned in advance. Her parents had arranged to be in town to help care for the Offspring. Her Beloved was present throughout the difficult pre-op waiting. And most of all, wondrously, miraculously, Herself had found friends to help her through.

One friend kept her company via text message during many irritating moments, both before and after the surgery. Another stopped by the hospital to bestow good cheer and provided very sage and welcome advice about recovery. A third provided vital DVDs and a good book for distraction, which proved even more invaluable when her slight complications set in. They, and others in the tae kwon do family, provided hugs, encouragement and well wishes before the procedure as well as afterward. Even though her Beloved needed to work long hours, Herself still had good company. They made her laugh, and it was healing laughter. And she was never lonely.

She has a deep, visceral gratitude for the presence of these people in her life. She is also appreciative of them on behalf of Her Beloved, as they have relieved him of the unjust and impossible burden of being Herself’s sole adult companionship. They have enriched her world enormously, and made it a brighter place.

She hopes they know that she would do anything in her power to ensure that they never experience the isolation she once did. She would move Heaven and Earth to bring them happiness, if she could. They are kind to her. They bring her so much joy. They are her friends.

“A friend is one with whom you are comfortable, to whom you are loyal, through whom you are blessed, and for whom you are grateful.” – William Arthur Ward

Thursday, October 1, 2009


When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you, yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

- Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Few Words

I realized that I do not write much about Herself’s Beloved Husband. In fact, I do not talk about him often with Herself. For that matter, she does not discuss him often with anyone. She happily will recount the facts of their relationship, including the tale of how they met and began dating, or of the time they spent apart, long-distance, before they married. Nevertheless, she frequently falls silent when contemplating him. Why?

She explains that she does not know where to begin - there is too much, experienced and shared: love, longing, joy, laughter, safety, support, tenderness, sorrow, grief, loss, anger, frustration, tears, patience, forgiveness, acceptance, faithfulness, devotion. Some mundane, some unique. Over twenty years of human growth, both separately and together. There is no way to encapsulate it all within a few spoken words.

I asked Herself for a suitable quotation regarding her Beloved, and she first provided the following:

Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship… only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was. "Light! Give me light!" was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour. – Helen Keller

“Is that too long?” she asked. “If it is, you can use this one instead.”

This is my beloved and this is my friend. – Song of Solomon

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. - Zora Neale Hurston

Monday, September 28, 2009


The seasons have turned, the weather has cooled, and once more, I feel the the crisp breath of solitude and the small twinge of loneliness I usually associate with autumn. Fall is always a season of love and loss. To this end, I devote the upcoming week to appropriate quotations.

For today:

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

Sunday, September 27, 2009

That's A Wrap

Spent part of Friday preparing for, and all of a very long day yesterday working at, the Tae Kwon Do tournament. Today, I plan to lie about doing as little as possible.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I spent some time in the kitchen this morning with Herself. Cooking always brings her solace. Today's projects: a pan of brownies, devoid of any esoteric ingredients, for the Offspring; a separate pan of brownies for her Beloved, who enjoys dried fruit and nuts in his brownies; and a gigantic pot of homemade tomato sauce, complete with sausage chunks. Now I'm hungry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Despite the above title, I do not write much about The Offspring in particular. Rather, I write more about offspring in general, and the closing of a door.

Herself has been caught unawares by some feelings that she mistakenly thought would not be at issue at this point in her life, and I am helping her sort through them. The sorting may be brief, but must occur, and hopefully, will not be too painful.

Herself’s Offspring are aging at what sometimes seems to be a staggeringly quick pace: the first two are teenagers, and even the youngest has achieved double digits. After Offspring the third arrived, various conditions came together to notify Herself that for the sake of her health and for the needs of the present Offspring, he should, in fact, be the last-born child in the family. He is, and this family is complete. And yet, with the recent surgery that put an end to any possibility of Herself ever bearing another child, a small kernel of sorrow was found. I suspect that it had been there all along, but has been buried among the mundane aspects of everyday life.

Herself thinks back to some of the small horrors of the early years of child-raising: the difficulty of ascertaining exactly what, if anything, is wrong with a howling, pre-verbal person; the worry of being an infant’s only food source; the frustrating, nonstop activity of toddlerhood in which the child’s ability to locomote far exceeded any grain of his or her common sense; the late-night trips to the ER with a tiny someone roasting under a fever of 105. Mentally wandering through these difficult moments is enough to convince Herself that No More Children is a good thing; it’s not even necessary to reflect on the unique challenges of grade school, middle school, high school years of the Offspring.

And yet.

There is that tiny voice within Herself that recalls the simple pleasures of wearing an infant in the baby sling; of seeing the delight festooned all over a small face viewing some fascinating aspect of the world for the first time; of successfully bringing health, safety and happiness to a tiny human being. She is sad that there will be no more of those moments.

When Herself was in college, one goal she had for herself was to be a stay-at-home mother when her children were small. Circumstances did not provide this chance. While telecommuting has allowed Herself unusual flexibility, and while she is forever grateful for the freedoms it has allowed her, she nevertheless never had the opportunity she had once so strongly desired. She mourns this loss very quietly (yet I suspect quite deeply), as the opportunity will never come again.

And yet, again.

The Offspring are such beautiful souls, have so much potential, and bring such joy into the world, that she cannot contemplate the alternatives of “If things had been different…”. We are all shaped by each moment, and she and the Offspring would not be who they are today, had not circumstances unfolded as they did. So she must learn to accept that all has been done as well as possible -- and then she will be satisfied.


Saturday, September 19, 2009


I feel compelled to apologize for a rather lengthy pause this week. I have been tending to Herself.

Herself was stricken with two different complications from last week's surgery. The very worrisome fever was mercifully cooled with the help of antibiotics, and Herself was most fortunate and extremely glad to be able to avoid re-admission to the hospital. The allergic reaction (if that is, in fact, what it is - the actual cause is uncertain at this point) at the surgical sites has not abated, but is under treatment. Right now the only redress that provides any significant relief is The Blessed Ice Pack. I rotate them through the freezer for Herself, as she rests and diverts herself with numerous episodes of Stargate SG-1. I am pleased that she is finally on the road to recovery, and hope that life, and blogging, will return to ordinary schedules soon.