Sunday, March 29, 2015

Choose Happiness

LB and I made a spring tree with eggs and birds, and the apartment is slowly coming together. I am so sick of scrubbing and painting.

And then:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I knew it was spring in New England when I walked by the Dunkin' Donuts closest to my work and they had the front door propped open with a chair.  When we lived in Baltimore I loved the mid-Atlantic spring, so soft and warm.  New England spring is thin and chilly with a stiff breeze to remind me that I've lost my hat.  LB loves to look out the windows of our new apartment and track the slow disappearance of the snow in the park across the street and the slower reappearance of people in the park.  Last night, LB was at her other home, but I listened to some raucous basketball at dusk.

We made this spring tree with dyed eggs and painted paper cranes.  The drugstore didn't have a regular egg kit with the little dye buttons, so I had to get a terrible one with dye pouches, and then mostly used food coloring because the pouches were terrible.  But we got it done, and in the pictures you can't see that the eggs are attached to the strings with scotch tape-that is some kind of metaphor for our lives.

Things are okay here.  We like the new house, and it's slowly coming together although I'm worn out from my first burst of energy.  LB seems to be working through the transition with elaborate pretend games drawn from Frozen.  But I feel sad. Now I have space for all the loss to settle and pool.  And as much as I don't want to feel sad, and sad isn't really my emotion, this seems like where I need to be.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


We have something resembling a new home. With thanks to family and friends and coworkers and even B. I got a special bloggy surprise in the mail that is going straight on the fridge. My parent stocked my pantry and fridge straight out of 1935. They are almost boomers, born in 1945, and despite their countercultural years, it shows. They will show up for their daughter's divorce with 20lbs of flour, 10lbs of rice, canned corn, and laundry soap. I love it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Darkest Before the Dawn

As spring creeps in this is the last slog of black ice and dirty snow.  I've been keeping myself too busy, which has had definite highlights, but I found myself at 7:00am the morning after spring forward, inching along an icy sidewalk on the way to a work engagement in Pawtucket and, despite the pink sunrise, it felt very lenten.  I have the keys to a new apartment.  The landlord assures me he has changed the battery in the squeaking fire alarm.  I've done a good amount of cleaning, and need to do even more painting.  And, right now, I'm lying flat on my back, wracked with body aches, chilled and nose running, wondering how it will all get done.  But it must get done, it will get done, and spring will be here again.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Misery and Kindness

Finally, I got a picture of my little girl in the big snow!  Blurry and shadowed, but I just wanted a New England picture for posterity.  But she hates to put her feet on snow.  Today was mild enough that we took the bus home from the Aurora Kiddo Dance Party (you should check it out if you live anywhere near Providence), and LB even walked a bit.

This winter has been a misery of cancelled plans and wet feet, and broken hips, collapsed roofs, and hypothermia.  This story that's been making the rounds on Boston social media is a good example of the everyday suffering of trying to function in the endless cold and snow.

In the piece Barbara Howard discusses stopping in her car to pick up and mom and child waiting late a night at a snowy bus stop.  The other side of our current suffering is our increased kindness.  Each day along my bus route, riders work to get the lady with the walker and the guy with the cane safely on and off the bus.  From the bus, I watched an older man collapse in a slippery crosswalk on a busy street at dusk.  Two drivers immediately used their cars to block him from traffic and then carried him to the sidewalk.  So many "you want to hold my arm?" to unsteady crossers, and a "at least take that guy on crutches!" to the driver of an overfull bus.

It's never easy to get around as a person with mobility issues, or as a parent with a young child and multiple bags.  But those needs are so often invisible.  Barbara Howard must have driven by moms with kids at bus stops on other late nights, but this was the night she stopped.  Because our own suffering has made us more aware of the suffering of others and more sympathetic to them.  It's a beautiful thing in this world.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The long winter

Snow. Cold. Snowbound with child who woke in the night and puked in her hair. Bar dancing child and a snowy walk home.