Thursday, September 13, 2012

Little Reminders

Sometimes, life takes us in so many different directions that I end up not being in the right place to catch one of the endless balls in the air. Keeping a calendar helps, and sending myself text and email reminders has been a great technological advantage. Appointments, rehearsals, meetings, classes, work assignments - there are very few days when at least one of us doesn't have to be somewhere, or have a deadline to meet.

Pie safe, with a new lease on life!
There are other reminders that serve to keep us on our path, and help us remember what's important. Dearest recently 'rescued' the pie safe that I grew up with; cleaning, refurbishing, and tightening all the joints after it spent several years gathering dust and falling to pieces in my mother's garage. It's a piece of furniture that has always given me comfort, because it was there when I was too young to know about the very hard things in life. It came out of an old house when Dad was working in demolition, before I was born, and he just couldn't bear to toss it aside. Hard to believe that glass has survived all the roughhousing when us kids were growing up! My brother took it when my parents moved, and stripped the old black stain to reveal the warm oak color. He gave it to me when my big kids were little, and I felt as though I was welcoming an old friend.

Lately, with Carey and her family moving, there has been a flood of reminders wrapped up in the house next door. The house where Dearest and I decided we'd have children, first through fostering, and then adoption. Where Girlie came to us only weeks after we'd made the decision. Where we said 'hello' to a brand-new-born babe that we thought was going to be our own, and then - with only two hours notice - 'good-bye' six weeks later (I choose to believe his story has a happy ending, because with confidentiality laws I will never know for sure). Where Tall Boy and Carey finally came to live with us full time, then Boyo came - and through one thing and another we ended up with two more for a total of six children in that little house (four of them teenagers), for eight months! The pie safe was there then, but had to be moved a few years later due to a severe case of us bustin' out at the seams in that house. Considering there was one person in particular, not to mention any names (coughBoyocough), who literally climbed the walls, and a couple little people who threw things during meltdowns, the pie safe was no longer safe in my care in such a little house.

No matter how many times I thank him, Dearest can't completely know the importance of this gift. Just a piece of furniture? No. In fact, although the photo shows it empty, it never was. The pie safe has always been full of reminders of comfort, safety, and the assurance that we can endure. ♥

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Take a breath!

I kept thinking time was getting away from me, and mentally counting up the days since the last post - hard to believe I let three weeks go by!

So - we've been busy with horseback riding, extra rehearsals, performance at the fair, fundraising for the ballet academy's fall production, preparations for school, repairs (and some more repairs) to my van, a couple of home projects, a day trip north to visit family, checking on Mom more often while her caregiver was out of town, helping my oldest daughter and her family move out of the house next door :-(

Yes, the last item on the list was hard - still is - and has been an interesting thing to experience on many levels. I tried to ignore that it was happening right up 'til the first night they didn't sleep in their beds next door, just because there was no way I could get myself emotionally ready for it to be real.  It took the kids even longer; Girlie mentioned a couple times that she was waiting to give something to her niece and I had to remind her they really didn't live there any more. It's been most of the three weeks now, and I'm less often thinking along the lines of running next door to chat, and getting used to not hearing the squeak of the gate and fast little footsteps on my porch.

Milo 7 months - 6/12
It's a good thing - shouldn't that make it easy? No; in fact, I just realized the three weeks of not writing here was a way to delay the very last reality of it, which is putting it down in black and white. And I may have just stepped away from the computer for a bit to grab a tissue. Of course we still talk every day in some manner, but I don't have access to an immediate fix of hugs from the grandkids. And no more giggles and squeals from the yard.

All right, enough of the maudlin, let's move on to the practical. When Girlie's schedule came in the mail I noticed immediately that she'd been assigned a locker. In considering for a while it seemed like a plausible way to work on a new life skill in preparation for starting high school (!) next year. I had Girlie sit down at the table to practice with a combination lock and found she could only open it on the first try about 50% of the time. I don't even want to know how that would translate in a hallway full of kids with a time limit, so no locker for Girlie. It wasn't a problem; the school counselor had assigned it by mistake and Girlie can continue to keep her things in a cubby in the life skills classroom. The problem with the combination lock is due to her dyspraxia, which is a huge variable at any time. Girlie can sit in her room and do some beadwork in a quiet, relaxed environment, but when she is stressed or in a hurry she still has difficulty manipulating buttons on her clothes. If she must have a locker at any point, it will have to be with a keyed lock.

School got off to a great start; now it's time to get all we can out of the last sun-shiny weekend of summer with one more road trip before the real extra quiet time starts for me next week. Well, it will provide the perfect opportunity to learn how to use the knitting machine a friend gave me last week...