2011 Christmas Day

It was such a lovely morning.  My son gave me a beautiful sweater, and he liked the few gifts I got him as well.  He really enjoyed his stuffed stocking, and it makes me so happy to see his happiness.  That’s the best aspect of parenting.  I don’t care how old your child/ren is/are: wanting for, and taking pleasure in, their happiness, and success, is paramount.

We had a scrambled eggs and bacon breakfast, and then we made our Gingerbread house.  We don’t have a good track record at that activity.  We’ve only made two of them before, both of which came out awful.  We didn’t name the first one, but we dubbed the second one: “Sucky, the Gingerbread House”, and this one my son named: “Mediocre, the Gingerbread House”.  We did have a lot of fun making it, and maybe any future attempts will give better results.

My son’s feeling mostly himself again, although he still has a cough, and he told me he woke up drenched in sweat in the middle of the night so he left his room and slept on the couch, where I found him this morning.

He left a little while ago to hang out with friends, and while I want him to stay well, it was really nice to have him home and wanting my help and company for the last few days.

Merry Christmas every one!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

All Hallows

Rabbit, Rabbit.  The ancient Celtic year begins today, marking the start of winter.  Winter was already ushered in rather harshly with our recent Nor’easter dumping thirty inches of snow in some areas.  I feel lucky that my town escaped with just over a foot of the heavy, wet snow.  I was only out of power for part of a day, while some of my friends are yet to get back their electricity.

Yesterday, I visited my Mom because her phone was out and I wanted to make sure she made it through the storm alright, even though I know that one of my aunts was staying with her, and the guy who works for her and lives nearby would also have checked on her and I figured I’d have gotten a call if anything bad had happened.  Then I thought that all phone service in the area might be out, and I just wanted to visit regardless of anything else.  I was a bit worried that fallen trees or downed wires would prevent me from making it to my mother’s house, and it might well have earlier in the day because I saw evidence of cleared trees and other debris all the way there.

It was almost evening when I arrived, and I brought a flashlight in case it was dark by the time I left.  My mom doesn’t have electricity or running water, so the storm changed nothing for her except interrupted phone service.

The glow of the kerosene lamps, and warmth from the wood stove, enveloped and welcomed me even as I was welcomed by my mother and aunt.  They were happy for my unexpected company and we chatted about the snowstorm’s effects, and how weird it was to have a major storm before Hallowe’en, as we sipped coffee and evening began settling in.  I don’t know if it was the time of day and the way the lamplight glowed and cast slight shadows on the walls, or the steamed windows and cooking smells from whatever dinner my mother was making, or simply spending time with my mother and one of her sisters, but there was something so extraordinary about being there that I noticed and enjoyed in the moment, and that feeling, or experience, actually, has stayed with me since.

I left before it was dark and made my way up the path without needing my flashlight.  I noticed the stillness of the woods around me as I walked, and had a sense of being present to life in a way that I rarely sense.

I got up this morning and began working on things that I often think about doing rather than starting – or finishing.  I feel my life changing, almost radically (for the better), and I hope that’s true.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Too Young To Trick-or-Treat On My Own

On Hallowe’en, when I was around five or six (maybe even the same year I split my head open), my older siblings were allowed to leave on their own to go trick-or-treating, but I had to stay home until I finished my supper, and wait for my mom to get my little brother in his costume.

I remember thinking how completely unfair it was that I had to wait for my baby brother, and be treated ‘like a baby’, when my next oldest sister was only two years older than me, and she got to go out with my other sister and brothers.  After enough complaints, my mother warned me that she could leave me home while she brought my brother around if I kept harassing her.  I don’t think I uttered a word after that until we finally went out into the chilly night.

We had split-pea soup that night, which was one of my favorite dishes my mom made, but there would be no seconds that night.  I wanted to get out there and trick-or-treat until my pillowcase was filled to the brim with candy!  I never stopped to think how heavy it would be to actually fill a pillowcase full of candy.  Back then, there were no ‘fun-sized’ candy bars, only full-sized bars, but people often gave things like small boxes of raisins, or popcorn balls, or apples.  My mom would usually throw out anything that wasn’t store-bought, so I had to beg her let me keep a candied-apple one year, and she finally acquiesced after I badgered her so much that she told me it would serve me right if I found a razor-blade in the apple.  I also think I lied and told her I knew who it was who gave me the apple, so she could have them arrested if I died.

All week before Hallowe’en I walked home from school singing the Five Little Pumpkins song, and felt a chill up my spine when I sang, “Oo, ooh went the wind, and out went the light…!”  I would pull off any leaves still clinging to their branches that I could reach on my way home, as though that would hasten the arrival of the much-anticipated day.

My older sisters and brothers always ended up with more candy than I, or my younger brother ever got, and I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to get as much candy as them.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Path

Heading down my mother’s path, Wendell, Massachusetts.

Back up to the garden near the top of the path

One of the two plank bridges

I so enjoy seeing the seasonal changes down the pathway to my mother’s place.  A guy she hired, and one of my sisters, labored diligently a few summers ago to smooth out the passage, making it easier for my mother to push her wheelbarrow up to the garden and back.  They cleared all the weeds and other plants encroaching on the path, spread wood chips, replaced the old plank bridges with new ones, installed solar garden lights, and did what they could to make the pathway straighter.

If this winter is anything like the last, I think all of my siblings and I should chip in and get my mother a snow-blower.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Where I Belong

I was excited and happy to be in Boston yesterday.  I love the bustle, and variety – maybe not so much being stuck behind a garbage truck for miles – but I don’t like that at home either.  The smells of the city are more concentrated, not having anywhere to go from being hemmed in through sky-scrapers and a labyrinthine road system that’s always in the flux of disrepair and repair somewhere along the routes, and usually in several areas at once.  The same is true in the hill towns, but it’s not as oppressive as it seems in a more concentrated environment.

I enjoy the challenge of successfully navigating through the crush of people and traffic.  I practiced letting go of control while my son drove through the city on our way in.  We very nearly hit a pedestrian, and it would have been that guy’s fault crossing against the green light, his eyes only on his destination – meeting someone on the other side of the street.  If I hadn’t been there to call out for my son to stop, that guy would have been hit because my son said he never saw him.  I’m glad we averted that tragedy, and that my son didn’t have to bear that responsibility, but I hope the event made him a more aware driver.  This is real life, son.  People are idiots – including myself…

On the drive home, I started to relax, as I usually do, once I headed into wilder country.  Seeing the hills of home in the distance at about the half-way mark between here and Boston is like a drug kicking in and I feel like I belong to that land.  I know my friends and some family members are there, but it’s the actual vista that claims my heart.  I will probably die here, or ask that my ashes be sprinkled from a plane over the hills. (Can you imagine being those hit with my ashes? “What the he-” choke, cough.)  Maybe I can have someone just spread my ashes on the forest grounds.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.