Category Archives: local haunts

still here

These garden photos are old, and so am I. Please forgive my silence here. I’m still alive. Thanks for that email asking me about that. I made myself busy in other things while the girls were gone for a few weeks this summer, and once they returned we settled back into a routine of sorts, one that didn’t involve sitting in front of a computer in the evenings.

I also had a brief encounter with a drunk driver a couple of weeks ago. I was at a complete stop at a light, and he plowed into my car from behind, pushing me forward to the car in front of me. I’m feeling quite lucky that he wasn’t going any faster, and grateful that my car absorbed the bump quite well, considering it is old and not worth a lot, and any substantial damage would have totaled it for sure. I’m regretting the decision I made, while sitting at the light, to lean over to the passenger’s seat and take my library books out of my bag so that I would remember to drop them off in the return box on the way home. So I was turned sideways and in an awkward position that really rang my bell. I get that phrase now – the ringing in my ears started immediately, and was completely distracting and disconcerting. It took me a bit to get it back together, but I (mostly) took it easy for the next week and tried to practice good post-concussion resting skills.

It was a Friday afternoon when it happened, and I was rushing out of the office to get home. My parents had arrived, my in-laws had brought the girls home again after another week away, and my sister’s family was coming in as well. We had a whole weekend of celebrating planned for F’s 9th birthday, and I was just a few minutes, and one library book drop-off, away from starting the fun. After a thorough examination, I was released to go home and rest, but we had a party to throw. I delegated some, but in my typical style, I just kept going. So now I’m pretty tired and trying to be reasonable about my own expectations and to-do lists.

What else is new? My children are getting so old. I did some deep cleaning while they were away, and spent a lot of time in their quiet, empty rooms. E will be a sophomore this fall. I understand how time is moving now, and I’m thinking of those things that I still want to do with her at home, things to tell her, stuff she still has to learn. It’s a lot. F will be in fourth grade, and her friends’ parents bring up middle school but I’m just not ready to go there yet in my head. It’s fast. I’m not saying anything new, just saying it. It’s fast.

I wasn’t supposed to exercise or lift things for at least a week, so I waited 6 days until I caved and needed to move and stretch. I’m terribly impatient with myself and stillness. That’s not entirely accurate – I find stillness in movement, so that’s really what I was seeking. Stillness in my brain, which is what I needed to heal anyway. At least that’s what I tell myself.

On my first run after the accident I really slowed myself waaaaay down, but when I was done I looked at my tracker and I had run one of my fastest times this year. My perspective is skewed – maybe I don’t know what slow is. Maybe my perception of it also got knocked silly. The days feel slower because the light lasts longer, but I’m filling up the spaces with the same efficiency that I’ve always brought. I never learn.

I have a stack of magazines that I’m determined to get through and recycle. They’ve accumulated to the point that I can’t imagine actually reading through them all, but I’m going to try. I think I’ve successfully cancelled the subscriptions, but they will still arrive until the end of the subscription year. I started with a Travel + Leisure, and it’s left me feeling like there is so much of this world that I will never ever see. Am I okay with that? I walk the same paths over and over again, and what am I missing in that ritual?

Maybe nothing. Maybe it’s enough to read about these places, even if I never see them in person. I run and think about a trip I’d like to take with E and M before she leaves for college. Where would we go? What would we squeeze into a trip like that? Would it feel like the end? Like our last opportunity? Or would she become the inviter – come join me here? and here? and here?

I have so much on my mind. Nothing new. I’m still here. Still me. Barely bruised.

special request

I have so many photos to share here, but first, a request.

The girls were with me recently in the garden, and they begged me to take their picture in the old children’s garden. If you are familiar with our botanical garden, there’s a really large children’s garden – but it wasn’t there when E was little. In fact, she didn’t know about it for several years after it was built. (I was initially against a play area in the garden because I just wanted the garden to be the place to explore. I’m over it now, but still we rarely go.) Anyway, there was a tiny children’s garden that used to have an outdoor train, and it still has a mini-hedge maze with a peacock fountain in the middle. The girls insisted that I take their photos, and THEN I was instructed to look up old photos of little E and F in the fountain.

So I did.



E, October 2004


F, October 2010

wednesday morning in the garden with both my girls

It’s been a long time since I’ve had both girls at home on a Wednesday morning. I’ve been looking forward to this change of schedule for awhile. They were slow to rouse and slow to rise, but we finally got there. Once there, they wanted to go everywhere until I reminded them of our time limitations. Next week they’ll get up a little quicker.

It’s been a little rough around the edges here lately, and I’m glad it’s finally Friday. I’m ready for the weekend pace. I’ve had some disconcerting symptoms that started out of the blue about a week after we returned from D.C., and I’ve had a series of tests in May. Since last Friday I’ve been waiting to hear something – anything – from my doctor, and yesterday they finally called, and then called again later for a lengthier discussion. The things that scared me the most are off the table, and that’s a relief. I can deal with the rest, even the unknown parts. It’s hard to be patient and focus on daily life and work when the mind wants to wander. We’ve had other major things surface, and have spent a lot of time organizing our workspace and our headspace. So many decisions to make and indecision to counteract. It’s draining.

But summer is here, and it’s glorious. I don’t even mind the heat because it means sunshine and sandals and lengthening days that I can fill up with more of the things that I love. Vacation is on the horizon, and the ocean puts everything in perspective. I welcome that. I can smell it already.

I’m so grateful for this space to walk, to clear my head and stretch my legs. I watch the girls ahead of me and they are ageless and timeless and it swells my heart.

Summer will be good for us, I can feel it.