Well, it's June.

Lots of random things on my mind with little time to focus. In no particular order, we've had these things happening....

- morel mushroom hunting. Big Man scored big time in a very concerted effort. The man did not give up. He was privy to no special land or information, but the guy can spot a dying elm tree!  And so, in many stolen moments he walked and walked and found some loot. He was joined once by a medical student (ok- forced...they don't know it's part of their gig at Winona Health. Some view it as a perk, others a peculiarity), once by a beloved aunt and uncle, and most often with Dog. She's a boon companion who does not complain or talk despairingly about long uphill hikes like some Things we know.

-blasts from our past.  Friends from residency visited our farm and all of the people, dogs, and kids blended well, a friend from my first teaching job spent a few days with me, and I met an old high school friend for a whirlwind lunch a few weeks ago. Last Friday, I met a dear woman whom I met early on in my life in Winona.  We see each other randomly but had not really talked in a long time. All this social time has left me thinking a lot about how we tend to relationships and which ones get our focus.  A woman I know believes in what she calls "seasonal friendships". There are different seasons or stages of our life and we are drawn to people who help us through those particular phases of life.  But there are those that we keep no matter the season and who seem to require little nourishment and thrive despite a lack of tending to. In each case, I was able to pick up where we left off and it was easy and comfortable and meaningful.  Big Man will be the first to admit that he is a gardener of plants, and I am the gardener of people. It's clear...we know our strengths.

-living with loss.  This has been strange, us living without The Original Big Man. Thing 1 received a beautiful birthday card from her aunt who wrote about how proud Grandpa Paul must be of what a sweet and loving girl she is becoming. It sent us both to tears when, a minute earlier, we had been giggling.  Yikes!  Big Man is  churning on...looking at the wonky way in which the tree he planted in his dad's honor is situated and trying to figure out best how to correct it's stature.  It seems a fitting metaphor for how we are all trying to live. It feels wonky and not quite right. Will it ever?  Thing 2 wants to hear his voice and goes silent when we talk about Grandpa. It's hard for him. I keep imagining Paul's interjections in conversation. I think, "This is when Paul would say 'Well, sure...." and state his case and I would likely disagree with him. It's just still too weird. And sad.

-politics. I am still reading about it, not commenting, ruminating on the system in general. I think, despite how anyone feels regarding gay rights, what I got from the whole experience was a front row seat to democracy in action. It restored my faith in the system as a whole. There is unrest and discomfort in my local scene,especially regarding our frac sand mining issue, and I find myself asking, "What would I do?" I don't think I want to run for any sort of seat and yet, as I get older, I see that real change occurs with policy making. And yet I can think of nothing more detrimental to your personal relationships- marriage, kids, friends, than becoming a politician. Oy vey!  But, how else can I get involved? 

-job changes. Big Man is finally hanging up his hat at Winona Health. Given the size of the community and time he has spent here, it is harder than one might think. I have been surprised at what a toll it has taken on all of us. My roll at The Book Shelf puts me out in the community sometimes .  People feel compelled to ask questions and offer kind words and express sadness. It is hard for people to say good-bye to their physician.  After losing his dad and bearing the weight of trying to be the kind of doctor he wants to be until his very last day here, I feel a bit like a cheerleader on auto-pilot who is down to her last pom-pom. Or, is it pom?

-my blog.  A dear friend offered some suggestions in order to make it more inviting for people to comment. Since I am not tech-savvy, I am working on this. If you can comment easily, do!  I would love to hear from you and will try to figure out how to reply to you.

I long for a day of focus. My last day of school was supposed to be mine, but instead Thing 2 is sick and I am writing in between trips to help him clean up after an upset stomach. This is life, my life. In all of it, I would not trade one thing.


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  2. I love that even when you think your work is unfocused and random there are beautiful themes running through it, and this post made my heart swell with all that It contained. You ARE a gardener of people and I feel so blessed to be one of those you nurture with your green thumb. :) Hang in there. One day at a time we get through this thing called life, and you've got a lot of big transitions all around you but still manage to smile and be lovely and kind when crushed by the crowds in a cheese store in Wisconsin. I feel so lucky to call you friend.


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