Friday, December 17, 2021

Day 648

We are expecting measurable snow this weekend. It's not unexpected this time of year, but I was hoping to make a quick trip to Boston to put a few presents under the grandkids' trees. I will stay home because it's one thing to get caught in the snow but something entirely different to knowingly drive into the storm. I will put things in the mail instead, and we will catch up in person after the 25th.

It was encouraging to think about taking a drive because I have been totally homebound since December 6, when I tested positive for covid. We got word a few days earlier that there was an outbreak at my grandson's daycare and were advised when to test. My grandson and his parents tested positive too; Ken was negative. My biggest concern was for my grandson as he is not old enough for the vaccine. Fortunately he came through it okay, as did the rest of us. I felt like I had a sinus infection for ten days. I got back on the treadmill this week and no longer feel "fuzzy" headed.

I am grateful that we are all okay. I am glad we had the Thanksgiving weekend together. I wouldn't trade a minute of the time we had.

The news this week about the latest variant is concerning. We will continue to be as careful as we can and do our best to keep ourselves and others safe. 

I thoughtfully share my experience because it is the case that we can do everything right and still get caught. I will go forward one day at a time acting on the best information I have.

Be safe out there~

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Now December

 The second half of November was a welcome family-centered two weeks. 

My older granddaughter celebrated her sixth birthday with friends in a zoom cooking activity where they made cupcakes. We were the lucky guests to Maggie's birthday dinner on the exact day, complete with streamers, colorfully wrapped gifts, her favorite foods, and happy chatter. I had fun making doll quilts to match the quilt we started together last summer and a matching pillow case ~ I am delighted she appreciates fabric as much as her mother and I.

The next week my younger grandson had his first birthday. His party was postponed but we had a video chat and sang happy birthday. I couldn't wait to hug him and his parents ~ making it through the first year is an achievement and worthy of celebration.

And celebrate we did over the four days of the Thanksgiving weekend. My sons live in the Boston area just four miles from each other so we easily visited back and forth. My older son and his wife hosted dinner on Thursday; we each contributed favorite dishes which made for a delicious dinner and tasty leftovers. Friday we celebrated Wyatt's birthday with his other grandparents, and Saturday the cousins came over for lunch and cupcakes. We topped off the weekend with the Patriots game and a beef brisket my older son has perfected. It really was the perfect holiday weekend.

Now we're home. The house is quiet and the days are long. I have time to work on anything I want to, when what I really want is to spend time with my grandchildren. I will see Maggie next week and family in Massachusetts later this month. It's good to have that to look forward to.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Restructuring

I saw my osteopath today. On the drive there I took inventory of how my body is doing, to consider what to say when she asked how I'm doing. The word reorganizing came to mind; tonight the word restructuring surfaced. The words are synonyms, as are rearrangement and shift and upheaval (all of which I'm feeling). I like the word restructuring because I can picture building anew the elements that support the whole system.

It feels like my physical body is finding a different way to be. From my ankle turning to my knee locking up to my wrist feeling sore to my back cramping ~ body parts are transitioning as is my thinking. Is one in response to another, or is there a coordinated effort?  

My feelings about situations and relationships are changing, too. I am gentler with myself and others. I wonder about capacity for empathy and willingness to change. I question how two people can manage perceptions and priorities when they don't share the same. 

I still have more questions than answers. Part of what is changing is being okay with that and learning to be patient while I wait. 

I am encouraged when I look around the house and see the reorganizing I have done over the last eighteen months. There is less stuff and more room, a vivid example of how restructuring can be a good thing. I remind myself to look around, take a deep breath, and believe that I am making progress in many ways.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Joy Ride

 I went for a drive today. My goal was to check out a road across town.

Our road was supposed to be paved this fall, finished by November 1. I had my doubts about that end date when they didn't even start preparing the surface until well into October. They spent four days grading, hauling and spreading underlayment, and rolling the surface. It was ready! They took that Friday off...and then it rained for a week. Okay. Certainly they would be back the following week. They didn't return, so last week I called town hall to get a status report. I was told it had been wet and then it was too cold. I asked if it was possible that it wouldn't get paved this year, and the answer was that that was a possibility. 

There was no progress this week, so I decided to take a drive across town to see if the other road that was due to be paved was seeing any action. Indeed it was! One half of the road was being paved as I sat there staring. So much for being too wet or too cold. 

I guessed it wasn't a good idea to call town hall until I had collected my thoughts. I started back toward home and kept driving to the river, just three and a half miles from my house. The day was bright and the river was calm. I decided to give my mom a call. We talked about kids and grandkids, landscaping, weather, Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams. It was a good conversation and gave me time to compose what I wanted to say. 

I took the long way home. I called the town manager as soon as I got home. Very interesting update ~ our road is on the schedule to be graded the day after tomorrow and paved next week. I am encouraged, yet I know enough about this process to not get my hopes up too high. 

The other thing I learned today is that I miss going for a drive. In the last eighteen months I have been somewhat of a hermit, often not leaving the house for days at a time. It felt good to venture out today. I didn't need to go far to feel like I'd been somewhere. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Boosted

I got my booster yesterday. I feel okay, which is a relief after the reaction I had after the 2nd shot of Moderna in April. The booster was Pfizer but whether or not that made a difference I don't know. I was planning to write this post last night but was so tired I went to bed earlier than usual. I took it fairly easy today and think tomorrow will be back to normal.

The last year and a half has been all about health, wellness, and prevention. There was no question we would get the COVID vaccine in the spring. We've kept up with dental cleanings. I have always been lukewarm about mammograms and was going to put it off yet again last winter, until my daughter-in-law shared that her mother's breast cancer was found early in a mammogram. I scheduled mine and was given the all clear. I know two quilters who are dealing with issues found on mammograms and send them both healing thoughts. They caught it early, and the outlook is positive.

We never know, do we? Last Saturday marked the 16th anniversary of the death of a dear friend. There are days I still miss her and wish I could call to catch up. Once in a while she shows up in my dreams, which I always welcome because she was always up for an adventure. 

I hope this finds all of you well and boosted, or planning to be ~

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Sunset

I was at the kitchen sink this evening and glanced out the window to see the last light of the evening through the trees and the sliver of the moon between the branches. Of course I couldn't capture the colors or the moon in a photo, but the image has stayed with me ~ trees so dark only the outline of the highest branches shows against the gray-blue sky atop a glowing horizon ~ not all can be seen but what I know from before is that it's there and I will see it again...though it may be changed and not as I remember. 

The book I pulled from the shelf opened to the perfect poem ~ 

 For the Interim Time

by John O'Donohue

When near the end of day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between,
Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while it will be night, but nothing
Here seems TO believe the relief of dark.

You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

"The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born."

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.

Everyone else has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.
Do not allow your confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

(From To Bless the Space Between Us, Doubleday, 2008, p. 119-20)

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Saving Time?

I remember how the time changes with the phrase "spring forward, fall back." I have never been able to remember which one is Daylight Saving Time, but I hear that DST is ending tonight. Whatever it's called, I enjoy the extra hour of sleep.

We marked the event with a new dishwasher, though not by choice. I was preparing to do my due diligence in cleaning the filter and screen in the bottom of the dish washing machine. My husband had most of it apart when he moved the hose to the drain out of the way and it disintegrated in his hand. He reached down to see if he could gather the rest of it to replace and it came out in pieces. Let the online research begin!

As you may have heard, there are some items that are hard to get right now. Appliances are on that list. It turned out the online rating mattered not as much as availability. I trekked over the Lowe's, during the ghost hours of late afternoon, and asked what they had in stock. I came home to check that the one white model they had wasn't on any "must avoid" lists and decided that we better get it while they still had it.

It took a bit of jockeying and adjusting, but we currently have a new dishwasher installed and operational. Our fifteen-year-old model sounded like a helicopter taking off from the roof, while the new one is so quiet we can't tell if it's running or not. Turns out there is a light on the front that goes out when the wash cycle is finished, which takes more than twice as long as the old machine.

There will be an adjustment period....