Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy


This is the worst of it for us...flooding all  around the house, and the road leading to our house was flooded like a river. It is receding today. We had to pump water out of our crawl space under the house, and  my husband's office in the barn also got flooded from rain collecting outside, then pouring in at the floor board level. He's ripped out his floor and is drying the place out. Water in the barn is a whole lot easier to deal with than water in the house, so we are thankful for our dry house. After seeing what those north of us are dealing with, we have utterly no complaints.
We are very glad it's over.

Thanks for the support and prayers. Hope you are all warm, dry and cozy on the day after the Superstorm. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Double Birthdays

We are loaded with family celebrations in the Fall. Two granddaughters have the same birthday two years apart. 

With my daughters--my cherished friends and beautiful mothers to my five grandchildren.

Teppanyaki rules!

Aww, a heart-shaped pile of rice. Can't get much sweeter than that.

Except fire. Food on fire is exciting. 

The guys at the other end of the table look positively captivated.

The birthday song with taiko drums.  A blend of East and West.  

The birthday girls take it all in. 



A long-desired ukulele from Hawaii. Yeah. 

Mama and birthday girls. Mama's birthday is on its way, too.

All the single ladies plus two. 

The extreme guitar pose. No shame.  Straight ham.  
I love these ladies.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Big Birthday in the Barn

Barn preps underway. Big moment coming.

Izzy turned 13. She and 19 of her friends  took over our farm for 24 hours.  

With pizza on pretty plates,

and sweets and Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast. A junk food festival.

An amazing centerpiece made by Aunty Crystal.

 Sparkly mirror balls to go with the beat from the ipods.

All theirs for the night.

Picture time, and here they are, trying to give us a Rockette's arm roll.

Enjoying posing for the cameras.

For Izzy, it's been a long wait to become a teenager. When you have the late birthday and all your friends have already passed over the line from childhood to "all grown up now", it deserves a big celebration.

Cute as kittens.
Darling girls.
All 19 of them eventually showed up and stayed.
Maybe the largest sleepover I've ever been party to.

Savoring the moment, another pic of them surrounding the Birthday Girl.

One more pose and then to the pond and jacuzzi.
They sort of acted like they were college girls--- but with soda and bedtimes and numerous chaperones.

I have such mixed feelings about them growing up. But I can't stop time, so on it rolls, taking my grandchildren with it.
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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Good Advice

I think this is the original poster hanging in a British museum. It's from the 1939 British government campaign to lift morale as Hitler marched across Europe. It was only rediscovered in 2000 and you've likely seen it reproduced everywhere-- in all shapes, sizes and sentiments. It was a war-time admonition to the British public to not get swept away by fear, but to press on with the normal responsibilities of life as much as possible. The more things change, the more necessary stability becomes. With a war waging, it was essential that people face it with courage and keep the country running. Everything depended on that response.

When my beautiful friend Melissa took her life in July, it knocked our world off its tracks.  All the carefully set game board pieces went up in the air, and landed on the ground in disarray. Putting it all together again is requiring more intense effort and insight than I could have imagined.

For one thing, I feel jumpy inside. The scene keeps replaying. The questions keep coming. I keep playing detective trying to make sense of the incomprehensible. I am skittish with it, nervous, but compelled to replay it. Do answers make me feel any better? Not at all. Does that stop me? Not in the least.

For another thing, I am tired. I am world weary. I shrink from it: "This can't have happened. No." Another deep sorrow. Another huge loss, which spreads in many directions.  Deep disappointments. So many human failures in this whole thing, including mine. Is there no limit to how low life can go?  Apparently not.

And finally, there's the change. There are so many repercussions to this final act by my friend. Nothing, nothing is the same. Nothing. Grasping for the familiar is an exercise in futility. The familiar is gone. Everything has changed. No one who knew her looks the same now. The shadow of her absence is on all our faces. Our church is disoriented. People look hollow. The air has gone out of our sails. The beauty has gone out of the changing season. The Fall traditions seem like too much trouble. Her family and friends are longing for her, wishing her here, and facing the reality of never seeing her again in this life. It's a stunner.

Probably not unlike seeing beautiful, stately London bombed out by a maniac, loved ones in a battle from which they may not return, imminent danger on every continent,  and at home, food and energy and commodity shortages that unravel every day life.

Keep calm and carry on. It's become my watch word, a compass point in the storm.  Change is chaotic. It is unsettling. It is unnerving. It leaves few options.  It requires me to leave an older secure way of doing things, and to reluctantly move on to the new that is not of my choice or making. It requires letting go of cherished things with a silent grief  in the daily process. It requires me to do things I don't know how to do.  There is a learning curve and failures daily. Trial and error. Trip and fall. Depression, discouragement, and dread.

But I have learned that it can be done. It must be done. There are children watching who need hope.

Keep calm and carry on. It's the only sensible thing to do right now.

Isaiah 30:21
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."