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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Small things

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So I drove up to my favorite park last night, a place that feeds my soul like almost no other, and will do so until it gets warm and the darn kids take it over so they can loll on the tiny beach there and be loud and run off old farts like me who go there for the quiet. Darn kids. There were darn kids there last night and one of them kept yelling the most inane things, and for a while I thought he was on the wacky weed or something. Now I think it was just hormones and stupid teenage boy syndrome.

Anyway–so I went up there and was just gobsmacked to see the trees in full leaf. When did that happen? and how did I miss it? I’m not saying I want to rewind to when they were still completely bare so I can pay better attention to them coming into leaf, but damn, I hate having missed some of it.

Still, I love this time of year. I love the intense green of the growing things, I love the dandelions turning their sunny little faces up everywhere (yep, I love me some dandelions. They are not weeds in my book), I love love love the longer days, the mellow evenings, I love being able to be outside until 9:00 or later and it’s still light out. I love being barefoot. I love the sunsets. I wish I had someone to share all of this with, too, making it all a little bittersweet, but oh, I love this time of year.

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about, and liking very much: I truly like that I have the ability to take pleasure in small things, like mowing a lawn or seeing cheery dandelions massing across a field of green, or the simplest of knitting stitches, or a sunset.

I’m wishing you pleasure in small things today.

ETA: Just ran across this quote, and though it’s no small thing, I wanted to share it. Mr. F often told me that I let him be himself, and I think for the most part, I did. I’ve never quite understood why someone would choose a partner only to want to change him. I mostly loved his quirks, because those are what made him who he was–a unique individual.

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”
― Thomas Merton

Simple bliss

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So yesterday I mowed.

It was freaking awesome. No kidding.

I started in the backyard, thinking that any mistakes or embarrassments–like not being strong enough to pull the starter rope or running over my foot or something–would be hidden. I primed the engine, pulled the rope, and she fired right up for me–caught for a second–sputtered–died. Rats. The second time was the charm, though, and she ran like a champ after that.

It’d been close to fifteen years since I’d last had to mow, but I fell into familiar territory in no time flat, cutting in around the edges first, then sectioning off the yard as I pushed and walked, pushed and walked, pausing now and then to pick up sticks, to ease my way around tree roots, to secure a fallen strand of clothesline. The steps to that old slow sweet dance of the pivot-and-turn took no thought at all, and for a few minutes, there was nothing but the sound of the mower, the smell of the newly-cut grass, and complete happiness in that simple job of pushing and walking.

It was immensely satisfying. Just cutting the grass. Simple. Blissful.

Simple is good. Simple is beautiful. And there is beauty–even bliss–to be found in the mundane. I hope you find your own bliss today.


My day sorted

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Another cool and overcast day. I’d love to do nothing more than curl up with a book or my knitting or watch some TV–I’ve been watching “Firefly” lately, a show I could never get into until just a few days ago, and I finally get its popularity–but other things will have to come before goofing off.

I finally resumed my workout regimen yesterday and boy oh boy, did it feel good! Weights and yoga for my back were just the ticket to get me back in the groove after a sporadic week last week. Today, if I don’t mow the lawn (I’m house and cat-sitting this week and next and part of the package includes mowing), I’m aiming for a walk. If it doesn’t rain. Again. I may not work up quite the lather I have on the last few walks, but the movement will be good regardless.

Also on my agenda for today is a whole lot less time online. I’ve been working on a project with several other folks that has been taking up way too much of my time. It could be that I’m letting that happen, and feeling too responsible for folks who could be taking more initiative instead of relying on others to do the work for them. I’m all for helping folks out, but sometimes it’s best to let others fumble and make their own mistakes and learn from them in the process, so I’m going to be stepping back from this project somewhat.

That’s my day sorted, more or less–hope your day sorts itself out nicely, as well. Happy day, all!

ETA: I ran across this a bit ago while getting caught up on SouleMama, one of the scant handful of blogs on my “keeper” list. I liked it a lot, and maybe you will. And in case you didn’t know it, you’re all this, too. REally.

I am

Love the ones you love

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It’s cool and overcast here today, after a couple of loud and flashy thunderstorms moved through last night. I don’t know what the forecast is for today–I tend to avoid the news and other unpleasant things as much as possible. My day-to-day life has enough challenges and difficulties to get through. I don’t seek out more, as a general rule.

That said, I do know of the horrible tornado in Oklahoma, the destruction, and the loss of life. Reports on Facebook this morning have said that there were fewer lives lost because of the storm than originally reported and that’s worth rejoicing over. It doesn’t, however, ease the sorrow of the families and friends who did lose someone they loved.

Mr. F and I drove through Joplin, MO–I’ve probably written of this before, and if so, forgive me–a few weeks after the tornado devastated that city. I’ll never forget the mounting feelings of desolation and horror as we drove from parts of the city wholly untouched toward utter destruction. So yes, I feel for those poor folks in Oklahoma. Any Midwesterner who’s lived through a goodly number of tornado seasons would.

Here’s hoping all of you have a good, and safe, day today. Love the ones you love, and let them know it. Life is too short and uncertain to let those words go unsaid.

After graduation

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It was a long day yesterday. I’d been awake since about 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, got up at 4:05 a.m. on Sunday, hit the road at 5:30 to pick up my brother, and then the long drive to Decorah, but it was oh, so worth it to see my girl graduate! The weather was iffy, so the planned outdoor ceremony was moved inside, but in the end, the sun shone on Lauren and her fellow grads. It was an honor to be there, to celebrate her accomplishments, to see where she’s spent so much of the last four years of her life, and to know that, despite all she’s done, she’s still the sweet, sunny, funny girl she’s always been. Meeting her special fella was great, too. I liked him very much, and though I have no say in it, I very much approve.

In all, it was well over a 350-mile  round trip to Decorah, tucked way up in the northeast corner of the state, but it went well. My brother gamely drove the whole way, and frankly, I was so tired on the way back I would have been no good as a driver. The route on the way up was much more scenic and enjoyable than the one home (our dad’s fault–he hardly ever drove the same route twice if he could help it. He liked seeing what was out there, and my brothers and I are much the same way), which included the god-awful endless stretch of US 20 from Waterloo west to I-35. I’ve driven that one other time by myself and it’s possibly the most boring and tedious drive on the planet. There is NOTHING to see. It’s worse than driving the interstate, and I hate driving the interstate. But we made it, and did so ahead of some nasty weather, and that’s what counts.

I’m being a bum today, resting up, knitting, hanging out with cats–mine and the kitters I’m cat-sitting–watching some TV, getting in a walk later on if the weather cooperates, and, well, being a bum. I’m lucky to have that choice.

Have a good Monday, all!



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My oldest niece graduates from college today. Watching her grow up has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. Congratulations, babe–I love you!

Saturday quickie

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Just a quickie post this morning. I’m still here, but have a couple of uber-busy/long/probably trying/but great days to come. My oldest niece will graduate from college tomorrow and my brother, my mom, and I will be driving up to honor her on this big day in her life. It’s a three-hour drive, the ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m., and some of us will be up at 4:00 to be semi-awake and properly clothed. My two main concerns are my brother’s driving–he can be a little erratic–and my 87-year-old getting cranky. Hoo boy, it will be a long, long day.

Today is prep day. My hair has multiple skunk stripes that need to go away, laundry needs to be done, and several other little details need some attention. Lots to do.

I may be able to sneak in a short walk sometime toward evening–it’d be good to get some activity if I can. If not, I’ll have to reboot and get back on track next week. I’m okay with that.

Have a good day, all, and I’ll most likely see you again on Monday!

ETA: Hair’s done. It’s better than it was, and that’s good enough for me. First load of laundry is going. One more after that. Progress!