Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh look a blog

I haven't been blogging.  I'm waiting to see if I can get my sitemeter "average hits per day" to zero. 

Not really.  It's just the older your kids get, the fewer cute things they say.  And sometimes when you sit down to write all that wants to come out is an inarticulate scream or possibly just sobbing ...and that's not what I do here.  I'm PollyFrickinAnna and I plan to stay that way.

The dog is ...nutty.  I've been at home with a backache forfreakingever and now when I leave the house for an extended absence of say, twelve and a half minutes, she greets me upon my return as though I'm the first rain in the desert for seven years.

What's terminally cute is the neighbour's daughter, who is about 8?  7?  has put a sign up on our mailboxes saying "I walk dogs.  I walk small dogs.  I walk them around the pond.  I charge $2.  I love dogs!"  and listed her phone number.  And then there is a helpful drawing of a dog just in case you don't know what kind of animal she is referring to. (both her older and younger brothers have made appearances on this blog over the years.  I'm glad they live on our street.)

It has been 2 million and 5 degrees below zero here, with a windchill of minus waymorethanthat, and she calls every day.  "Does Toopka need a walk?"

Indubitably, honey, but she also needs all the body parts she is currently in possession of. 

Oh hey, here's a thing!  Speaking of the Family Across The Street, we have this thing going on where if I have no butter I call them and if they have no taco shells they call me and if I have no bread ...you get the picture. Sometimes I bake cookies and send some of them across the street.  Sometimes my mother in law bakes buns and I send some over there, because who could walk by our house and smell that and not have a moment of pure longing? It's magic.  I make a call, a small person shows up at my door holding the missing item.  Or I get a call and there is a small person on my doorstep holding out their hand.  I like this arrangement.  Makes me believe we're not all so barricaded into our separate houses that we can't be accessible to each other now and then.

My mother in law was visiting the other day, and we needed evaporated milk, which - can you believe it?? - I did not have on hand.  I called across the street, a small person showed up bearing the goods.

Later that week, my mother in law came in from the grocery store with evaporated milk.  I blinked at it in confusion.  "We need more of this?"
Mom gestured across the street.  "Oh but you need to give it back to the neighbours."

While this is a perfectly reasonable expectation, I'm sure they were just as bemused as I was.

I'm glad they live on our street.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lost and Found

My mother knit all through my childhood, with painstaking care.  She was not a fast knitter, but she enjoyed it.  She made sweaters and big thick mittens and wraps and shrugs and one year when I was in my late teens she made me a long white scarf.

I did not like the scarf.

It was exactly the right length and I liked the pattern and I liked the tassles on the end but - it had mistakes in it.  There were two rows of ribbing in the seed stitch border, and a few other glitches here and there.  I thanked her for it but inside I thought "Have some standards!"  (Teenager - not giving a parent a break.  Has never happened before or since)  I wore it but really ...it niggled.  I wanted to reknit one in the same pattern that was RIGHT.

I never did.

Two years ago, while my mother was undergoing a surgery that was supposed to kill her, I knit all day, and wondered where that white scarf had gone to.  Had I thrown it out?  Why oh why had I not tucked it away somewhere, why hadn't I treasured it?

She can't knit any more. 

Sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about the white scarf, probably the last thing she knit for me, and I want to go back and find that younger me and give her a good talking to.  I've searched the closet a dozen times looking for it, wracked my brain trying to remember when I finally threw it out.

Yesterday we spend some time working on tidying up our basement.  Mostly I sat in a chair and bossed people around, but at the end of the day, I went into the basement bedroom and saw a box of boots and winter wear that hadn't been gone through.

At the bottom of the box, underneath the old mitts and toques - a glint of white.

It's still the perfect length, and I still love the tassles.  And all those mistakes I remember are still there and ...

I couldn't care less.

Thanks for the scarf, Mom.  I hope it lasts a lifetime.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

And then there's the day ...

Maybe it's a Saturday morning, and you're feeling a little fragile because the day before you said "Fine!  I will do it mySELF" and your back ...is still your back, not your healed back ...

and everyone else in the house is busy or wants to be a kid, not your helper, and you lean your head back on your chair and say "Please, God, meet my needs today.  Help me know what the difference between NEED and WANT is."

And from your music player comes the song*:

I'll hide in the shadow of Your wings
and listen
while You sing

I'll hide in the shadow of Your wings
and listen
while You sing
over me.

And you remember that, whatever it is - God's got your back.  (no double meaning intended, but it's likely still true in that sense as well)

*free dishcloth for the first person who tells me where that song is from.  Feel free to google it (I don't know if that will even work!).

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I get all quiet sometimes ...

Yes, those of you who remember me from high school, I really do.

I don't blog as much when I'm struggling to be cheerful.  Maybe that makes me dishonest, I don't know.  Monday I was very tempted to treat you all to a long waily waily post about how overwhelmed I was feeling but it turned out that a close friend picked up on how discouraged I was and brought me a coffee, and another close friend answered my "how is family going to get FED??" by sitting down with a pen and a paper and saying "ok what's for dinner tonight?  And do you have the ingredients?" and by the time she left there was a menu plan for the week and a grocery list and the friend with the coffee was on her way to the grocery store.

Last night I needed to pick up a prescription or two and a friend (that's the third one) came to give me a ride and drop A off at piano on the way by ...we left B home alone, and when we came back, half an hour later, supper was ready and waiting, because the boy loves tacos enough to have taught himself how to make them.  And he does it all - cooks the meat, slices and chops and shreds until there's lettuce and tomatoes and cheese ...

I have nothing to whimper about.  What was discouraging me was that I hadn't been to the chiro in a week and a half (because he was out of town) and on Monday, when I went, he said that I had been in better shape the last time he'd seen me - in other words, no forward progress, considerable backward progress.

HOWEVER.  Today he gave me exercises to do so we've moved on from mere symptom treatment to some prevention.

And the sun is shining.

And the people in my novel are speaking to me again and !!!!   There is going to be a meeting between two very unlikely people, in this novel, and I can't wait to write it, because it's going to make me cry.  A little child shall lead them, I tell you!

Also this is what we saw out our back window Sunday morning:

I think they were brothers.  There are two hundred and fifty million trees out behind our fence, but they were fighting over this one.

There was originally a third porcupine.  I think this is their parent, likely a parent who achieves more emotional distance from squabbling offspring than I do.  Or a much younger sibling who didn't want to get in trouble for fighting.  The Good One.  Climbing a totally different tree.

And this is how I handed out candy Sunday night.  Missing from this picture are:

- the recliner TechnoNiceMan moved outside for me so I could hand out candy without hobbling across the living room and down two stairs every time the cherubs hollered

- my knitting.

And no, I have no idea what that look on my face is. I could barely see.  (In fact, I dumped a handfull of candy all over a teenager's feet.  The teenager was kind about it.)