Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Haunting We Will Go...

These days, the enjoyment of blogging has slumped into a vast abyss of nothingness. I'm a moody writer/journal keeper/blogger/human being/slave driver/mother/wife. How did all the fun drain out? I rarely turn on my desktop--that has been collecting dust as of late. I slap on photo files to my external hard drive and never look at them again. I read political campaign news on the iPad until I get heartburn. I don't even read blogs as much as I used to--I'd rather watch reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond on Netflix because it takes zero mental effort and as a bonus, I burn all the calories from the 60 donuts I ate for dinner because I'm laughing out loud so freaking hard. Pure lethargic bliss. Fancy that. I don't know how or where to get a sensible mojo back. Either pregnant hormones are shutting out my happiness neurons or I need to find something else that prompts ambition in my spare time.

Eh, spare time? That's when my sacrosanct nap hour begins. I can never get enough.

Tonight, as the kids were trick-or-treating with their dad, I poked my head out of the front door window to see them galloping from house to house in our neighborhood. Man, I love watching childhood. Being in the thick of it is rough, but watching it from afar is sweeter than Halloween candy. Awww. I don't think I've seen more precious looking superheroes. Captain America and Catwoman Cat girl played their parts well--neither would dare shrug off their secret identities. It was as if their masks transformed them into the real deal. Indy insisted to be called Cat Girl at all times and wouldn't leave that rhinestone blinged-out black cat mask alone. I guess that leaves me with needing to start accumulating various dress-ups for these two.

Fortunately for us in northern New England, we escaped the wrath of Hurricane Sandy this week. The storm was howling in the grim October air, but we were safe and had power all night long. I never thought that I'd ever say this in my ENTIRE life, but I'm so glad to not be residing in New York City right now. The photos I've seen online make me depressed. We were very blessed to avoid the flooding and mess that we had over a year ago when Irene came through.

Oh, and we had a earthquake out here just last week or so. October hasn't failed in bringing scary surprises to our neck of the woods.

Happy Halloween.

boston lot lake--west lebanon, nh
world-famous pumpkin festival in keene, nh

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Living With Trains

Clickety click! as out of town
The engine picks her way;
Where barefoot children, sunburnt brown,
In dusty alleys play.
All the summer early and late,
And in the summer drear, 
A maiden stands at the orchard gate,
And waves at the engineer.

(excerpt from "Clickety Clack," Cy Warman)

I like to see it lap the miles, 
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step
Around a pile of mountains,
And supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare
To fit its sides, and crawl between
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill
And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop--docile and omnipotent--
At its own stable door.

("The Railway Train," Emily Dickinson)

Trains are a part of our daily routine. They greet us at the same hour in the morning and they remind us when its time for story books and bed. Not a day goes by that we don't hear those whistles coming from the train tracks near our home. For these two siblings, life couldn't get better.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm All Grown Up

About a week ago, after I dropped my not-so-little three-year-old off to preschool, I was pondering on a flurry of thoughts as I drove through the parking lot in my car--thoughts of parental pride, excitement, and optimism of my preschooler's experience with his new routine and environment. That day, I explained to him that he would go on a field trip with his classmates.

"You're going to ride a bus today to visit the apple farm. Won't that be fun?"
"Listen to your teachers, okay? Please follow directions."
"You get to ride a school bus today...isn't that cool?"
"You're gonna love field trips, buddy."


It's hard to say which of us was more excited about the school bus because as I waited at the red light, I heard the low grumble of an engine with a half-sized yellow school bus that followed it. The bus passed me and continued its journey up the hill towards the school. My heart jumped and I immediately felt a thrill like electricity in my bones. Then, without a moment's notice, water started jerking out of my eyes. I wasn't being emotional because "my baby" was now in school and doing the stuff "big boys" do, it had more to do with the fact that I had arrived in that certain niche in adulthood.

"I am old. Like really old." I thought. An unexpected feeling, that's for sure.

I don't remember other milestones in adulthood that impressed me as much: living on my own in another state after high school graduation, leaving everything again to serve an LDS mission, getting my first job after college and becoming financially independent from my parents, getting married, having a baby--those events were expected to be life-changing. And I still felt young...young enough to continue feeling inexperienced and incapable as a growing adult. Now, I'm pushing 32 and my child has embarked in school--if you call less than 2 hours a day for three days a week "school". My world has now shifted from a controlled home environment of my constant teaching, disciplining, instruction, and love to a new environment with outsiders who are taking quantitative time to shape my child too. (That proverb of "it takes a village to raise a child" comes up to mind.) It's taking a little bit of bravery on my part to hand my most precious possession to someone else. And from what I've observed so far, I like what I've seen.


And her? Indy thinks she, too, belongs in preschool the way she sets foot into the classroom behaving like a pop star. Everyone there knows her name. From showing the teachers the hat on her head to being stubborn about heading out the door, this girl makes her presence known. School for her is right around the corner.

She's becoming an independent and vivacious toddler. I love it.

Maybe I'm oddly unemotional about my kids moving on to bigger things. I get nostalgic for their tininess like any parent, but I am more eager to push them to grow and learn about the big wide world out there. What has surprised me is this new chapter in life. The responsibility for my kids is now newly anchored with the involvement of others; our lives will be getting more complex from here on out. Parent Teacher Conferences are for those old and seasoned parents. Am I really there now? Gosh, I'm old. What next? Will I wake up to teenagers and feel really, really old? I have lines on my face and silver hairs spotting my hairline. I don't need any more reminders. I never knew that becoming aware of myself growing up could be, well, trippy.

Here's to getting old.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Finally Fall

Fall, at last, it's you and me.
I should compose a sonnet about you every year...but I'll have to freshen up on my Shakespeare first.
Because of you, my color of choice year-round is orange. Ooh, and citrus orange season is around the corner. Drool.
I still wish I could celebrate my birthday during leaf changing splendor.
I adore you more than those brown paper packages tied up with string.
I need you like apples + cinnamon need a buttery flaky pie crust.
I relish your mornings filled with chilled crisp air that pinken my nose, your afternoons that warm my face while my neck cozies into a soft scarf, and your evenings filled with haunting quiet stillness.
You're all I yearn for during the winter, spring, and summer.
You're the most wonderful time of the year--shouldn't there be a song for that?

Fall, I love you. Let me count the ways...

the notches/kancamagus highway/white mountain state park white mountains, nh

woodstock bridge, vt

watching apple ice cream being made at billings farm, woodstock, vt.
misty morning on the connecticut, dartmouth rowing, nh/vt border
norwich, vt

Fall is no doubt the best season of the year in New England. My home hosted two sets of visitors last month...I'm hoping to entice more. Let me know, and I'll book you on my wide-open calendar.

Fall, please stay a little while. Christmas can wait.