Be where you are.

For much of my life, I have struggled with staying in the moment. I am always planning the next thing or thinking of what's coming after what I might be doing. I am reminded time and again how present kids are--case in point would be the ability to become totally enraptured with a bug detected on daily walk to the car. Even if we might be late, we just have to run to the recycling, find a jar, poke holes in the lid, and cart the thing with us. Another example would be the intense focus on "hitching" the next wave at a beach we were lucky enough to visit. There were scads of places to visit that day- Sea World, a zoo, a famous aquarium, Lego Land and Disney Land if we wanted to. But there we were- stoic mid-westerners standing in the cold Pacific with the 9:00 am hour barely past, and my kids were encased in love of the ocean. One noticed the smell and the other noticed the color of the water and compared it to a lake we had recently visited and both threw themselves in without fear or reluctance. "Let's hitch some waves, dad!" cried Ben. With squeals and giggles, the quest for the next big one began- and they were hooked. After the trip, I didn't point out their happiest moments happened at places that didn't cost anything. It is good enough that I noticed them. Perhaps I am making progress after all.

Everything is just peachy!

Have you ever wondered how things that you never really thought much about before can suddenly become the only thing you think about? Such is the case with peaches. Or should I say, lug. You know-- big boxes of peaches come in lugs. I bought one. I never knew I wanted one until, say three days ago when I aquired one. This occurred because my kids have been wanting me to make jam. They love jam and I learned to be proficient at canning jam and even better at gathering berries over the summer- a combination of wild and tame and generally a hodgepodge of whatever I could get my hands on. But then the tv became a problem and this became a problem for the berries which is just nuts but so it goes. How this relates to peaches is circular so try to follow this: I freeze the berries as we gather them and put them in our basement freezer. Shiny globes of raspberries and strawberries and few blueberries filled the freezer. But then a mental storm broke out- fights with wanting too much tv ensued and in a fit of frustration, the breaker to the tv was turned off so little ones thought the tv was broken. Parents thought they were clever and children started fundrasing to fix the tv. A few days later someone goes to the basement for a few frozen berries to put in a smoothie only to discover a gorgeous red puddle of berry juice cutting a fine line througout the basement floor. Yep- the circuit connected to the tv was connected to the freezer. Clean-up was not fun. No berries meant no jam and the tv was miraculously fixed. Which brings me to the peaches- the only fruit ready for jam making, which seemed like a fine idea three days ago. But now it is two days before we leave on a week long trip and jam making doesn't seem like the thing to do. The fruit flies threaten to swarm and the peaches will rot so the only thing to do is make jam, which is what got me into this mess anyway.
Three hours later:
I did it. It's pretty and yummy and things are just peachy.

Storm Troopers and Lemonade

Four kids decided to make a lemondade stand knowing that the amount of lemonade available to sell was slim. First there was lemon juice mixed with water and sugar. Then there was a trip around the valley to locate lemonade mix and finally there were single power aid packets made to order all in the name of the business. The kids decided they'd get more action if it was a fundraiser so their school's PTA will be the beneficiary of $19.90 made in less than 2 hours. How this happened I don't know. Maybe it was the three kids milling on the side of the road or the assertive girls who would hold their hands out as if they'd been traffic cops all their lives beckoning passers-by to stop. Or maybe it was the boy in a white Star Wars Storm Trooper costume trolling for customers on his bike and in some cases hand delivering drinks. The boy was irritated at dinner time because some people had made promises to stop by in one of his adverstising campaigns and they didn't show. "Big people are mean!" Yes. I didn't venture to explain how startling it might seem to see a Storm Trooper selling lemonade, but then again maybe everyone is used to us and it all passes for normal now.

Who doesn't love a wedding?

Where, oh where have I been? The story is too long and not that interesting to tell, but I am back and will be post more regularly from now on. Thanks for your patience.

O.k. Who doesn't love a wedding? Well, my six-year old son and a handfull of deaf aging men, but aside from that? Recently we had a grand time gettting dressed up for my sister-in-law's wedding. After my son survived the most happily tearful exchanging of vows I have ever witnessed (bride and groom were alternately dabbing their eyes with handkerchiefs the size of a small table cloth),we got to attend a "wicked party" according to my daughter. Said son made these two comments during the ceremony: "WHEN will this be over?" and "This is disgusting! I am ready to take off!" (whispered loudly during the kiss). Ok. So we know how that went. I considered it a success that he did not crawl under the chairs or actually leave the ceremony. After sitting through the meal, a fabulous auntie from my side of the family rescued him and took him off to his natural habitat-- the Science Museum in Minneapolis, which apparently, is a fine place to be on a Saturday night if you don't like crowds and/or weddings. He had the dinosaur skeletons and his auntie to himself.

The "wicked party" began when the music began to play and my daughter and a bunch of mid-twenties gals found their bliss on the dance floor. Why do so many of us lose this pleasure? I love to dance. I am no good, but my mom and dad did it regularly while courting and my dad loves it, too. At my own wedding, my favorite pictures are of dad and my sis not just cutting a rug but burning it up. So daughter must have inherited this from my dad- she was positively glowing and relentless on the dance floor. Twirling and moving without a care in the world and soaking up the music while mommy-me cringed at the thought of her absorbing too many of the lyrics. I am old. But we continued to dance with aunts and cousins and strangers and on some occasions, she twirled about on her own. I flashed back to a different wedding when she was two and half and there was chamber music- but the smile and the twirl were the same. Keep it, I whispered to myself all night long. Keep this joyful uninhibited desire. Keep twirling.