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Carpe diem

He’s 87, and tired. He sleeps 12 hours a day and can’t motivate himself to clean his desk or do the dishes. He’s worried about his wife who drinks too much. They got married young, during World War II, and he left almost immediately after the wedding to fight. They’ve been married 66 years now. When she drinks she gets angry and brings up grievances from years ago. He tells me that she has a right to be angry about some things, he was unfaithful to her forty years ago and wasn’t around as much as he should have been. But for the last twenty years he’s tried to be a good husband, fixing meals for her and bringing her breakfast in bed.

“I’m 87,” he says, “and I’m tired of being yelled at. And at this point, saying life is short is a bit of an understatement.”

66 years of marriage, through wars, births and deaths of children, infidelity, and who knows what else. He’s 87 and just now is realizing that life is short.

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My son sat on my lap facing me as I tickled him. He giggled, and then put on a serious face and said “No more tickles, Mama. ”

“Okay, then how about kisses?” I said.

“Yes, kisses!” he replied and bent forward to put his hands on the sides of my face. He turned my head to the left and planted a big kiss on my cheek. Then, he turned my head to the right, and again planted his lips right up against my cheek. But this time, instead of a kiss, he burped. He pulled his head back and studied my reaction, which of course was one of mixed disgust and laughter.

“Ewww!” I said, “I can’t believe you did that!”

He looked back at me, face perfectly seriously, and said “That was a burp kiss Mama, for you.” And then cracked up.

Life is short, indeed.

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Starting over

I’m been neglectful, not just of this blog, but of creating in general. I’ve been spending so much time keeping my head above water I haven’t taken the time to consider what I’m treading water for. Isn’t the point to do things you want to do? Yes, I love my job, and I love my family. But I also love writing. I love crocheting and photography and colors and music. That’s all been missing, and I haven’t even realized it until now, when I’m been stopped in my tracks by an unexpected and very personal loss.  And now I need to write, need to create something from this. So I’m starting over. Here goes…something.

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One year ago…

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And now…

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Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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Top seven of oh-seven

Rachelle at Magpie Girl  hosts a lovely group of bloggers known as Small is Beautiful, bloggers like me who have stories to tell, no ads, no sponsorship, just our quiet corners of pixels and bytes. She has asked us to make a list of our top seven posts from the year to share.  Here are mine, in non-chronological order.
1. Divided

2. Song 

3. A story about a boy 

4. Match Day 

5. Intensive Care 

6. Compassion 

7. Frog Song 

Here’s to more creativity, more stories, more laughter and less tears in 2008!

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Uber-list revisited

Just about one year ago, I made a list of ideas for things I’d like to accomplish in the upcoming year, an “Uber-list”. Truthfully, I’d forgotten about it until I was looking back at past blog-posts for an Small is Beautiful Top 7 list. Here is my one-year old list, along with whether or not they were realized.

1.Eat dinner at the table, not in front of the television. (Definitely! I think we’ve eaten nearly every meal in our new house of seven months at the table. So much more civilized.)

2. Spend some time outside every day. (Over the summer I was able to get outside more frequently, but dang it is COLD in the North in December. Not to mention that snow stuff.)

3. Eat at least some fruit every day. (Definitely not. I think I just don’t like fruit enough to eat it every day.)

4. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. (The only time I take the elevator at work is when I’m on call and it’s 3 AM and I have to go up 5 floors to get to my call room. Otherwise, it’s the stairs both up and down. )

5. Floss more often. (Ha ha. I also haven’t been to the dentist in…I can’t remember. Not good.)
6. Take better care of my skin. (Well, I don’t know if I’m taking better care of it but it seems to be happier since we moved North. I do moisturize more frequently.

7. Write letters to my grandmother. (Unfortunately, no. This is going on my list for 2008 too.)

8. Create something every day. (Other than medical progress notes, not so much. Maybe good will counts for something?)

9. Smile at strangers. (I think I’m probably known as the weird smiling intern.)

10. Stretch daily. (How about weekly?)

11. Listen to music instead of the TV. (This we have done. Thank God for Napster.)

12. Leave my husband love notes. (No love notes, but I do try to tell him often not only how much I love him, but how much I appreciate his being in my life.)

13. Eat less prepared food and more of what I make myself. (Getting there. Our big chest freezer in the basement helps.)

14. Practice compassion with all my patients. (Sometimes a struggle, particularly when admitting the same patient for the third time in a month for something which is pretty much her fault. But I think I’m pretty successful, I hope so anyways.)

15. Daydream less and DO more. (Not so many daydreams over the past year, too busy with living.)

16. Stop comparing my body to other women’s. (Semi-successful, although when all my colleagues are newly married, nulliparous marathon runners, it is still a challenge.)

17. Keep my house tidier. (Um…I think I know where my vacuum is located. And I can see the floor in my living room. Better than nothing.)

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Onslaught

This is one of the best internet clips I’ve ever seen. I remember reading Seventeen magazine when I was in seventh and eighth grade, and there was an article about how to tone up your upper arms. I remember distinctly that it had never occurred to me whether or not my arms were fat, but after reading that article I became sure that they were and refused to wear tank tops anymore. I’m not sure I’ll allow my daughter (if I have one) to read that stuff, at least not without talking about it. For myself, I don’t buy anything in the “Glasmopolitelle” genre anymore. I just can’t look at any more pictures of malnourished nulliparous airbrushed women.

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Still alive…

The last few months have brought two graduations, a relocation 850 miles north, one new job started, another soon to be started, two camping trips, three plane trips, and a lot of miles on the car. It’s been busy and I’ve neglected writing here. Photos and scraps of poems are rattling around on the computer waiting to emerge, and hopefully soon they will. Until then, here is a photo of the Doodle and his new friend, the son of my husband’s best friend. Aren’t they gorgeous?black-1.jpg

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