Friday, July 18, 2014

Remembering the Neighborhood


On my top ten list of items I will never own but can't help coveting, is the set of models Mr. Rogers would occasionally use to segue into a visit to The Neighborhood of Make-believe. I had a paper version briefly, but, it's a long story.
We are leaving Spring Lake and St. Mary's. In the eighth grade Mea had a to do a school project about the most beautiful place in Spring Lake. She chose St. Mary's, and I have to agree. One of the most impressive features is a copy of the Pieta made from molds taken from the original marble. It sits right outside of church, a beautiful gift to the entire community.
I had a gift certificate to spend and I carried it around for a month or two trying to decide what to with it. I'm ready for my life to be more visually Catholic. I was shopping for a good-sized crucifix when I saw the Pieta, model-sized. After that there could be no other purpose for the gift certificate, and I was so excited to receive the statuette. It is so good to have something to inspire good memories.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

My Super Power

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Everyone wants a cool nickname when they are growing up. The closest I came to having a nick name at all was "The Walking Dictionary." It was too cumbersome for everyday use, so it was reserved for the days when even my teacher wasn't sure what I'd said. Secretly I hoped they thought of me as "Dic" which demonstrates that my familiarity with slang could have been expanded.
Recently my thoughts returned to this melancholy subject, and my mind skipped forward a couple decades to sitting at a picnic table with a therapy group. "That girl is Spiderwoman. She knows what's going on with everyone in the room." The gentleman who spoke those words was truly street wise, and we all respected what he said. I blushed violently as every person in the circle shook their head in agreement. It's the best nickname I have ever been given.
Other people's feelings are important to me. Some people walk into a room and they can't rest until all the pictures are hanging straight. It can be like that for me with other people's negative feelings. I am uncomfortable because they are uncomfortable, so I take action. There's no need for an Iyanla intervention. You'd be amazed at how much pointing out the free coffee at the back of the room can accomplish. 
Empathy has become fashionable. It's an official super-power on the Super Power Wiki. There are a lot of products being developed to teach children empathy. For a student to lack empathy is now as large a crisis as if they struggled to read. I was just born with it. It's a major reason I write, that and I have to do something with this ridiculous vocabulary.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Worn out



My birthday comes on the first day of summer. It's always made me feel special. To me, growing older means becoming more precious, because I loved my elders so much. My parents gave me my grandmother's Bible this year. It is crammed full of her personality and faith. Like the sword of all good Baptists, it is falling apart. 
I had all four grandparents and my great-grandmother until my final semester of college when I lost my grandfather and continuing until my first baby was born--a span of four years. I needed the powerful ups of college graduation, marriage, and pregnancy to counter such powerful downs. Mea was my greatest comfort after all that loss. Slowly the wheels are turning again as my beloved children start leaving me to create lives of their own. 
I've begun pouring my life into books, because that is my personality. The Bible will always be primary, but I was designed to study. I look forward to showing my grandchildren how many books I've worn out. I hope that they will wear out many of their own, because that is my faith.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything


It was a nice year. I raised a grown up. The other five conveniently remained needy. I deepened a lot of friendships. I finally came up with a great excuse for reading the classics. I began to understand my life in new ways.
Happy Birthday to me! I am no longer the answer to life the universe and everything, but you can only carry a responsibility like that for so long. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Smelling Like My Granny


The first time I got a whiff of White Shoulders was probably an hour or two after I was born. My great-grandmother, Edna Pearl Root Durr Spotts, wore it and over time it became a favorite scent, signifying peace and order. It has a certain pizzazz that has maintained it's popularity since 1943. I gave in and bought a bottle. What a great anxiety reducer. Some part of my brain turns on the chill out juice as soon as the spray hits the air, which is impressive to someone as high-strung as I am.
I hope someday, 20 years after my death there are people to whom a small reminder of me can lift their heaviest mood. I hope I can heal others as she did.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Saline or Ann Arbor?


I ran off on a romantic trip with my romantic man. We need a new house near his new job, and I needed a better idea of the lay of the land. He was more than happy to show me around especially without the kids. For us the choices are boiling down to lots of space, but a little out of the way--Saline, and less space, but nearly immediate access to globally appealing amenities--Ann Arbor. There's also smaller exemplary school system--Saline, and an enormous exemplary school system Pioneer.
We'll take it one house at a time.



Monday, June 02, 2014

And Away She Goes


Marguerite Eloise graduated yesterday. The ceremony was lovely, and we were all so proud of our kids. Mea was a Senior Scholar which means she graduated with highest honors. She plans on studying neuroscience at the University of Michigan. Watching her congratulate all of her friends and carry out all the rituals and traditions was encouraging because I know she will carry forward the energy into this next more demanding phase of life. 
Congratulations, Mea! I always knew you could do it and I knew you could do it well.