Missing my mother

IMG_3330It’s Mother’s Day, and I am missing my mother.

My mother died. Nineteen years ago. Sometimes I am embarrassed by the tears that can suddenly overtake me when I realize that I am still missing her so much. Really? At almost 53 years old?

Really.

Sometimes the emotion sneaks up on me so fast and is so strong that it takes my breath away. But it’s been so long, I think. I shouldn’t still feel so bad, I think.

The truth is that I didn’t appreciate her enough while she was still alive. I left her in a million ways before she left me.

Now that I am the mother in this complicated mother-daughter algorithm, I have insights that I lacked then. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized all the ways that my mother was there for me that I didn’t even know about.

We are connected forever to our mothers. My mother carried me inside of her, and now I carry her inside of me. Whenever I wonder if she is still with me, I get a huge rush of feeling-love?- that assures me of her continued presence in my life. Just like when she was still alive, she is always as close as I will allow her to be.

 

Disney

me space mtnI went to Disney once before, in 1989 (or thereabouts). There was one ride I wanted to go on then: Space Mountain. I have no idea why, but I was fixated on it. When we got there, the first thing I did was ask where that ride was and, guess what? Space Mountain was CLOSED. Yep. I know, right? Unbelievable.

Fast forward (OMG-I just had to use a calculator to make sure this number was correct) twenty-six years to the present. Twenty-six years during which all of my friends and family were subject to hearing that story. Over and over.

And over.

I was going back to Disney with my daughter. It was her first trip there. It was her birthday present. It was all about her.

Except for this: this was all about me. I had a FastPass for us for Space Mountain. We got there. I made her take my picture in front of it. We found the FP entrance and went in. We got in line and…my daughter freaked out. She didn’t want to go on it! Now I had a moral dilemma. After twenty-six years, I was finally going to put this urban legend to rest, but am I the kind of mother would force my distraught daughter to get on a ride when she didn’t want to?

You bet I am.

The only way out of it is through it.

I think this is a good lesson for life in general.

N.B. In my defense, afterward she said it turned out to be her favorite ride at Magic Kingdom.

:)

To boldly go, part one

disney blog 1My daughter has been asking to go to Disney since she was about 9 years old. I would always listen to her ask, nod, smile, and say that tried and true line that I’d borrowed from my own mother: “We’ll see.” I got away with that for, oh, 5 years or so. Five years during which she watched many of her friends go to Disney. Five  years during which she watched her older brother go to Disney (in fairness, I never took him either-he was an adult and paid his own way when he went). Five years during which she got older and smarter and my “We’ll see” was starting to fall a little flat, even to my own ears.

A few years ago, she changed her tack; instead of asking to go, she started asking to go for her sixteenth birthday. That changed the game completely. That was a line in the sand. “We’ll see” is timeless, fluid, eternal. “By my sixteenth birthday” was a finish line. I stopped saying, “We’ll see” to my daughter and started thinking, “What if…?” to myself.

Since my one word this year is ‘brave’, the ‘what if’s’ have become more insistent. So what if I haven’t been on a plane in, oh, 25 years or so? So what if my vacation hours at work are precious and few? My daughter will only turn sixteen once. So what if park passes cost more than the airfare? So what if we live far away from an airport with a direct flight to where we are going? So what if the idea of getting us there and back is, um, terrifying?

We’re going.

Lemons

IMG_2067I got up early on the Sunday of Daylight Savings Time, the way I (almost) always do. Time to make the donuts…

No wait! That’s not right! Time to feed the chickens….I threw on my coat over my PJ’s and bumped into my daughter on the way out. She said she was getting in the shower, and then inexplicably, picked up her phone and went on to the bathroom and shut the door. I went out the back door and the moment I shut it…I got the universal sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that one gets when they realize they just locked themselves out.

I called my daughter on said phone-no answer. I fed the chickens. I got the paper. I called her again. No answer. I texted her. Nothing. I called my other sleeping child on his cell. Nada. In desperation, I even called the land line.

Right. Nothing.

I stood on the porch, wishing I had put my jeans on as the 4 degrees seeped through my thin pajama pants. Let’s face it, a teenager’s shower could potentially take an hour.

I decided to (take my life in my hands and) take a walk. In the snow. And the ice. On my Very. Narrow. Street.

I made limoncello out of lemons! I am the type of woman who does that!

Of course, 3 minutes into the walk she called me, and I turned around and went right back.

 

The Song of Karen (or whoever)

IMG_1584I went to the Crystal Harp Healing Session at The LoveLight Center with an open mind. I wasn’t sure what the ‘healing’ part was about, but I have heard Cheryl play that instrument before, and that was worth going back for.

There were about 9 of us seated in a circle. Shoes were shed at the door. The sequence was this:
1. She played for the group.
2. She then played an individual melody for each person present.
3. She closed with another song for the group.

It took about half an hour. It was free.

What was it like? Well, you know how when you have a massage or acupuncture session, sometimes there is an emotional release? It was like that for me (full disclosure: so okay, I was crying).
Right before Cheryl said that she was guided to play ‘my’ song first, I was sitting there thinking:

I wonder if my mother is here?

One moment before the music began, I suddenly felt like she was standing right behind me.

Is that you, Ma?

My mother Mary died in February 1996 on Leap Day. She was only about two years older then than I am now.
Then the music started.
Then the tears.
Yep. It was her.
Thanks, Cheryl.

 

Dear Coffee, I love you

coffee“Before coffee, I’m up, I’m moving around, but I’m not awake,” said some wise soul somewhere. Until I typed the words, I actually couldn’t remember where I’d heard it but I just did. Peter Falk uttered this truism in one of his Columbo episodes.

Truer words (about me) were never spoken.

How did I get here?
College.

My other favorite coffee quote is from a Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail

“I love Patricia. Patricia’s amazing. Patricia makes coffee nervous.”

:)

I have surrounded my coffee drinking with cool stuff. (Why should the tea drinkers have all the fun rituals?)

  1. A Keurig, so that I never have to wait more than 30 seconds for my coffee.
  2. Coffee straws (see picture), just because I like them.
  3. Cute mugs, like the Dunkin Donuts one pictured here. I have several of these because they remind me of my Dad (who was a doughnut maker once) and my friend Sheri (who bought me one I really wanted one year for my cubicle at work when I really didn’t need another coffee mug).
  4. My little coffee warmer. Okay, so I have two of these: one in my home office and one next to my bed. They make me happy.

My current favorite coffee is Green Mountain’s Spicy Eggnog, about which I often wax rhapsodic. Alas, it is a seasonal flavor.

So, I buy it by the case.  My friend Traci told me about Big Cat Coffees and the pricing there is FAB.U.LOUS.

Please participate in the poll below:

 

 

Comment below with your favorite coffee flavor!

A welcoming place

Bean Tree WestbrookI had the great pleasure of attending the Bean Tree Open House today with my daughter, Izzy. Their Facebook page describes Bean Tree as “a studio for creativity and growth”.

Sign me up for that.

When we entered the house through (after much discussion) the middle of three doors, we found ourselves in bright, cheerful kitchen. Nancy Carroll introduced herself and offered us the option of having some tea or to poke around the studio a bit first. We decided to poke.

Everywhere we looked there was something beautiful to see: a silver angel on a key ring, colorful mosaics hanging on the walls, lovely pottery pieces of all kinds. The energy in the rooms was warm and inviting. The pottery studio is on the left side of the house, and the collage studio is on the right. The kitchen is a central area where the aforementioned tea was brewing, and (nice surprise!) some plates of small baked goods were available: cookies and sweet rolls and scones, oh my! :)

bean tree como collageThe collage room drew me because I am interested in one of the upcoming Intro to SoulCollage (registered trademark keyboard symbol…where are you?) workshops Nancy has planned. There were tables of images available and a poster board on an easel so that today’s guests could contribute to a community collage for the Open House. Izzy and I took our time choosing our images. I found one that shrieked ‘brave!’ at me and after taking Nancy’s advice to trim it a bit, made my contribution. You can see it there on the left. Guess which images were from Izzy!

 

And then I ate a cookie (note to self: ask for the recipe-so good!).

Was that wrong?

There is another class mentioned on the website that I am interested in finding out more about: The Power of Home: An Art Journal Workshop. Yay! So much to look forward to!

What about you? How are you staying creative these days? Add your comment below.

Also, please consider helping me achieve my goal of reaching 1000 followers by clicking on the ‘sign me up!” button on the upper right corner of my blog. If you are already a follower, thank you so much! Here is a virtual cookie to show my appreciation!

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