Thursday, January 25, 2007


While winter is not my favorite season, it is when I see the garden most clearly. Both as it is, its structure or bones, and as it will be, with the help of my large seed order. Sometimes there are surprises, such as

a bird's nest in the Japanese maple.

Ron received the call from his recruiter. He did not pass the physical due to severe flat feet. He choked back sobs as he told me of the call, the loss of his heart's desire. He is entering a winter season but he cannot see clearly yet. I resist feeding him my truths, truths I learned the hard way. I must allow him to feel these emotions, but soon I will point out the other paths that are waiting for him and perhaps he will look up and see something special
like an oriole's nest 80 feet up in the wild cherry.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Teaching responses

This morning I got my hair cut and restyled and somehow my gray hair disappeared also. I then exchanged a pair of slacks I bought my husband at a department store. While I was there, I got a phone call from my friend rescheduling our coffee date. So when I was asked if I wanted a makeover, the saleswomen seemed shocked when I said yes. I needed to buy new lipstick anyway and, with my new hairdo, it seemed the right thing to do. I found a lipstick and liner that I liked, so the time was well spent.

When my son saw me after school, he gasped in horror. My husband counseled him to remain noncommittal until you determine if the woman was pleased with the new hairstyle, makeup, clothes. She did go a little overboard on the eye makeup. What was "natural" to the makeup queen was shocking to my son (and to me.) I just scrubbed and lotioned (is that a verb?) my face and feel so much fresher.

Sports Frenzy

If you drove several hours south of my home, you would be in Indianapolis and several hours northwest lands you in Chicago. As you might guess, this town is divided between the Bears and the Colts. In fact, the Colts' coach suggested that the Super Bowl be held in Fort Wayne.

But the only division in our home is between the children and the parents. The parents don't care about sports (unless their child is playing) and the sons are avid fans of most sports. And their loyalty has been with the Colts for several years.

When Ricky came home from watching Sunday's playoffs with some friends, he was still frenetic. He ripped open his coat to show me his T-shirt. It was a white T-shirt that he had decorated with permanent marker, showing his support for the Colts. And it was totally ripped to shreds as part of the post-game celebration. (He refused to let me take a photo but did ask that I put the shirt in his memento box.)

Update on Ron's enlistment: He didn't pass his physical in December because of severe flat feet. He appealed and he had x-rays taken by the National Guard in early January. He didn't pass again. So they put in another appeal. We are now waiting. He has decided now to become a welder because "they start at $80,000 a year." Ah, reality will hit someday, Son.

Monday, January 15, 2007

MLK musings

I was struck by the truth of this and this post about how far we have come. The changes are slow and difficult to notice day-to-day, similar to the growth of your children and the sudden awareness that you are having an adult conversation with your teenager. Sure, we have much room for improvement, but we have come so very far.

I recall my mother telling me about entering an elevator in a local department store (Patterson Fletcher) in the early 50s. The black elevator operator told a black woman she had to get off the elevator because a white woman entered. Mom said it was OK, but the operator insisted, probably for fear of her job. Mom just nodded, got off the elevator along with the black woman, and walked up the stairs. What a woman!

I grew up in a segrated northern rural community, but we went into the city several times a month. I clearly remember waiting at a cross walk and noticing a dark hand at my eye level. I was three, perhaps four years old. I reached up and rubbed the hand. A woman laughed gently and, in a kind voice, said, "Chil' that don't rub off." That was my realization that people had different skin colors.

My parents "integrated" the small country church we attended. The men sat on the right and the women sat on the left. The first time my parents, newly wed after a long separation during WWII, entered the church, they glanced around, looked at each other, marched to the front of the church and sat together. No convention was going to separate them. The next Sunday, more young couples sat together and soon the separation of sexes was eliminated without any discussion. (And Dad sat on the women's side with his beautiful wife and infant daughter.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

National Guard Appeal

As I posted here and here, one son is trying to join the National Guard, but he has severe flat feet and they rejected him in December. He is in Indianapolis again today having his feet x-rayed as part of the appeal process. I have such mixed emotions. This is his heart's desire and he will be crushed and directionless if turned down. So if he comes home inducted, I'll cry, and if he comes home rejected, I'll cry. Either way, he doesn't need to see my tears, so my plan is to be strong and upbeat to encourage him.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


We wrapped up 2006 and unwrapped 2007 since I last posted.

Our Christmas celebration was steeped in family traditions. While we no longer play with Hot Wheels, other traditions have emerged. A large family dinner with my family complete with a white elephant exchange. Buying a gift from our church's giving tree (tricycle to Ukraine this year). Communion and candlelight service late Christmas Eve. Stockings before breakfast. A china and crystal breakfast. Open gifts. Gather with hubby's family.

This year was a clothes (and a few electronics) year for the boys. Ricky strutted around in his letter jacket and Ron has worn his Komet Hockey jersey to about three games already. Ricky started reminiscing about gifts from the past, which pleased me greatly. When they were 9 years old, we sent them on a 3-county scavenger hunt for their own solo canoes. That was fun.

New chairs! Dining room chairs! To be delivered in about a month. The few wobbly chairs left from the set I bought in 1972 are almost beyond repair and certainly aren't holding up to the ploppy rocky actions of teenagers. We will refinish the table and I'm eyeing the walls and curtains for a makeover.

We brought in the New Year at home, perfect for Steve and I. Ron went to a sold-out hockey game with a friend and then stayed overnight. Ricky had talked about going to a party all week and that fell through, plus his ski trip was cancelled because of lack of snow. Oh, how hard it was to experience the extreme disappointment of a 17 year old at home with his family when he longed to be with friends. He spent the night working on his MySpace page and managing his playlists. It reminded me of a male version of the old Janis Ian song, Seventeen. It's easy to forget how deeply emotions are felt at that age.
It isn't all it seems
At seventeen