Memories of Mom’s “Wall”

The words of Francis de Sales sustained me through many hard times over the last thirty-some years.

Do not look with fear on the changes and chances of this life; rather look to them with full faith that as they arise, God – whose you are – will deliver you out of them.

He has kept you hitherto.   Do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms.

Do not anticipate what will happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

Published in: on February 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

For the Fan Girls

Agony and Heartbreak

Published in: on February 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Food, in freezer and out

I am having trouble planning meals.  I’m supposed to be eating four meals a day, four small meals a day, and I can’t fit that many in.  I have compromised by trying to plan three meals and a snack.  I am concentrating more on number and frequency than on content, though I did give up sugar on Feb. 1.

In the last week I’ve made and frozen, in portions, two “special” meals — chicken chili and chicken tikka masala with rice.  I have a total of seven “portions” frozen   If I allot one per day, add a sandwich as one of the meals, and round out the day with oatmeal, I should be able to have a pudding (sugar-free) or what-have-you in there somewhere.  I want to get the routine down before I start minimizing the size of my meals.  (Actually, I have — after all, I usually eat a sandwich and chips, or two sandwiches, not to mention the usual two portions of skillet food.  But it’s going to get much, much smaller.)

I’m going to make an inventory and a very specific food plan for tomorrow, then I’m going to have a sandwich.  The food plan will contain water and lengths of time between water.  I will worry tomorrow about whether I do it perfectly.

Published in: on February 24, 2013 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Harley at Duck age 1

Harley at Duck age 1
har beach age one edit


Published in: on February 21, 2013 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Articulated Need

So this guy runs a folksy and descriptive ad in the local Freecycle offering a “grubby” table that was used by his daughter and roommates, and he says that articulated need will impress him more than speed of pickup. I sent him this:

My need for a grubby old table is debatable and not easy to articulate. We have a kitchen table of those dimensions, but we can’t stand it because it’s about sixty years old and the two drop leaves are held up by wobbly metal things that no longer hold them parallel to the center panel. The angle is small but annoying and unattractive, and our dinners are accompanied by creaking. My grown son is constantly saying we should dispose of this table even though it’s maple and my mother got it when she married. On the other hand, neither of us wants to eat off the floor. If you have not found somebody more deserving, e. g., somebody who has no table at all, i would like to put my son in contact with you to arrange a time to take this off your hands. We live in Graterford and my station wagon is not running, but he has friends with pickup trucks, and his college semester just ended and he’ll usually bend over backward to help me because I’m Old and Sick and he owes me money.

His reply:

Thanks for your note and the smiles it gave.  I did get a couple of those snippy ‘I’ll take that … sent from my iPad‘ kind of responses which is exactly why I put that comment in my post in the first place so no, I have not found anybody without or more deserving.

How about this?  Send your son over, accompanied by you if you wish and feel up to it, to take a look at the table.  If you want it, and he agrees to invest the ‘elbow grease’ to clean it up and make it decent you can then send him back when convenient to collect it. It’s not costing me anything as I don’t have to feed it or clean up after it and that side of the garage is a lost cause anyway, being mostly filled with my daughter’s things.  If you should decide not to take it no harm done.

My address is [in Collegeville] and I’d guess it’s about ten minutes from Graterford. I can send directions if you need them.

I work from home, so pretty much any day is fine with me so just let me know what works for you and your indebted offspring.  If you want to wait until after Christmas or after the New Year that’s absolutely fine.  I will not do anything with it until you have had a look at it.

Merry Christmas & Season’s Greetings,


* * * * * * *

Dan and Har picked the table up a few days ago.  They reported that the guy was “real nice” and spoke with an English accent.  The table is perfect.  It’s in better shape than the one we gave back to Margaret, and it’s sturdier.  It’s a little longer than the other one, so we had to put the short end against the window and bring it outward into the kitchen.  That’s how I wanted the old one, but Har felt that having the long side against the window “opened the room up more.”

Published in: on December 21, 2012 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  

The day all the children died.

I’ve been up less than two hours, and the sun is setting.  When I woke at 10 am, I decided to lay back down for an hour or so, which turned out to be five and a half hours more of sleep, from which I was awakened by a call from Harley telling me in words that tumbled out like candy from a bag what he’d been doing since last night and ending with the promise that he’d be home shortly but not for a long stay.  During the stay we had a better talk than we would have if I hadn’t in the interim learned about The Awful Tragedy in Connecticut.  I was in the mood to cherish him even more than I had been for the last several days of being together for errands and chores.  My tall strong handsome boy who is now a man.

What part do I have in mending the world?  Is the answer what I thought so many years ago and didn’t do — be a better Baha’i?

This isn’t going to happen today, December 14, 2012, especially not now, after sunset.  I feel like I’ve been a good person today, and I have firm plans about the immediate future.  I’m going to eat some macaroni and cheese, wash the dishes, light the menorah, and pray (as I always do) thanking God for what is before me:  my home, heat, food to eat, cats, a porch, Harley, Dan, the fact that I wasn’t awakened by gunfire but rather heard of it secondhand from a comfortable seat in front of a computer.  Then I’m going to go around the apartment and gather a load of towels.  (How can two people who own twenty towels and a washer and dryer right there manage to run out?)  I’m going to call a friend to arrange a ride to a Christmas party I’ve been invited to tomorrow.

What right do I have to feel despair?  Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it — it’s not about rights or logic or perspective or even gratitude necessarily.  It comes and goes.  Today it’s gone.  I thank God for that.

Here’s a nice prayer Margaret gave me:

Dear Lord,
I may not see the sun and moon lose their light.
I may not witness rivers turn red, or stars fall from the sky.
Yet there are times when my world becomes unhinged
and the foundations of what I believe crack and dissolve.
Give me the grace to believe that Your power is at work
in the turmoil of my life.
Lead me to remember that Your power is greater than all evil,
and though the world may rock and sometimes break,
it will in time be transformed by Your Love.

author unknown
And I pray that I never forget that on days like today I have myself had a limb ripped off my body, whether I feel it or not.
Published in: on December 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jon Stewart: in my dreams, literally.

Okay, seriously? There is some symbolism going on here. I dreamed AGAIN about Jon and Maggie Stewart. i do appreciate that my Spirits have been telling me to love the Inner Child, but why inject Jon? How is he my Inner Parent? it’s his wife whose parenting I talk so much about.

In one part of last night’s DREAM, I am in his suite in some place we are both staying (somehow we are “equals” and it’s okay for me to use his shower while he was out) and I use some pomade he had on the vanity. I also check out the personal items he’s brought to make it “homey,” among them a framed sheet of children’s lined paper with Maggie’s first written sentences. The bathroom is a mess, towels on the floor, etc.

A few days earlier:

Last night’s DREAM: I am in some sort of public building, mall-like, that is open for people to wait out a hurricane that’s expected to be bad. Jon Stewart is here, apparently as some sort of Hurricane Host. Much occurs not involving him that I’m skipping. I seem to be in a wheelchair. I decide to roll over and ask him if he’s tired! (He’s been there something like 29 hours.) He’s not there, but Tracey (his wife) and the kids are, so I ask her to pass the question on to him. I also remark that as the Mom she’s probably even more tired. Little Maggie seems taken with me, and as I roll away she is holding her hand to my lips and giggling as I kiss it over and over. I see Jon coming to watch the kids so Tracey can go eat, and I think how freshly-pressed he looks and what a pro he is. I hope he sees me with Maggie, because if he can tell she likes me he’ll probably speak.

+  +  +  +  +

Inner child.  Giving love.  Writer.  Safe.

Inner parent.  Doing a good job with the Inner Child.  No lack of love and nurture.  Protecting Inner Child.

Published in: on December 13, 2012 at 10:46 am  Leave a Comment  

English 265

Once again my Creative Writing teacher has given me feedback I disagree with.  But she gave me all the points, so I can live with her (mainly positive) comments.  Suggestions are too much like criticism to me, and I process them the same way.  I feel sorry for this woman.  She has sixty students and as far as I can see not enough time to work with any of them.  I have to be honest:  talent and creativity aside, I am so much more “advanced” a writer than most of my classmates that she probably feels relieved to read my work.  

I have not had the Jump Start I expected from this class, and I have enough insight to realize it’s me, not the work.  I can’t pinpoint any particular source of my current depression and lack of motivation; I know only that it’s been getting worse for about two years.  I still have boxes in my room from when I moved in twenty-two months ago.  I was going through one today.

I have, however, written a little bit on my book!  The novel.

Published in: on November 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Blog is Public

— but it is not serious, well-written, or recorded to any purpose.

I have discovered that people find it by Googling the names of my husband, my son, and the actor (Stephen Colbert) I have a crush on.

This is my first post addressed to readers other than myself.  I apologize if you’re disappointed by what you find here.

I for one am delighted with my own words, my careening between silliness and morosity, my wont to make up words, and the complete lack of preparation and care given to the content here.  I am impulsive and changeable, and what you see is what I pretty-much-am throughout the day.

If you shuffle through this melange at all you will discover that I write a pithy and professional business letter, an A+ essay for most English classes, and some heart-wrenching poetry.  There is also some whining.  There is a lot of nonsense.  I live for nonsense.

I’m the mom that brings casserole to every potluck.  Some people curl their lips.  And some people say, Mmmm, another casserole!  What is it this time? 

Published in: on November 4, 2012 at 8:31 am  Leave a Comment  


There are so many small household things I need that I hate to ask for on Freecycle. Like, I don’t want to say, “Please give my the curtains you aren’t using, but not if they’re ugly.” Or “Several of my dining chairs have broken, and I need two or three more; they don’t need to match (none of ours do), but they must be able to support three hundred pounds and they can’t be ugly.” I don’t deserve Freecycle.

Published in: on November 4, 2012 at 8:14 am  Leave a Comment