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.