As we sat at the table looking over the menu, Sarah handed the smaller version of the day’s offerings to Asher. He held it up in front of his face perusing the choices as if he knew exactly what his would be. Then an older couple moved over to the table across from us and he turned and said, “Hi!” The gentlemen took his hand and responded in kind, as Asher flashed those beautiful long eyelashes accompanied by a smile. What a hoot! During lunch he played with a miniature Batman, Darth Vader, and some other red clothed guy while he jabbered and ate. That’s how we communicate. He talks and I pretend I understand completely. After lunch, as we headed for the car, he waved and said “Bye” to the restaurant.

So, that was two times that I heard him say the appropriate word, at the appropriate time. Hi, and bye. What a rush!  Probably all grandparents feel this way. Early on his parents taught him a bit of sign language. The first time I saw the spark of understanding was when he had finished eating, and let me know it by waving his hands over the tray to the high chair. Shortly after, while we were shopping he patiently allowed me to push him in the stroller while Sarah and I contemplated floral selections for a Christmas swag. Finally he had enough, and waved his hands over his lap to let me know he was done. And that too, was a rush.

When I was a kid, longing for something in the not too distant future, my mother would tell me not to wish my life away. I often remember that thought, and then remind myself to savor the moment. But at the same time, I long for the day when I can talk with my grandson. There are so many things I want to tell him about. Like pollywogs and how they become frogs, and all about the cool things that live under fallen timber. And how important it is to walk carefully around the wildflowers. I want to tell him about snowflakes and raindrops. And how everyone is special, including him.

Sarah will probably say, “Soon, Grasshopper.” And she’s right. I know that because as I buckled him into his car seat, put his lovey (gauze blanket) on his lap, and moved toward his mouth with the pacifier (gear for travel and sleeping mode) he put his hand up and said “Nooooo!” Usually he just turns his head away when offered something he does not want. I looked at his mom, but she didn’t share my shock and awe – just a big smile. So then I did what any self-respecting grandmother would do. I tried it two more times and the response was the same…”Nooooo!” I did the happy dance right there in the parking lot.

Yesterday my grandson told me “No”. Maybe some day I won’t like that so much, but for now it’s a happy little song that I loved to hear.


Grandma! Again!

March 2, 2010

That’s right! There’s another on the way!

I’ve been given the green light to share my sunshine…

Nestled safely inside that warm and comfy space is a wonderful little baby. An ultrasound today confirms that our grandberry is ten weeks old, with a nice steady heartbeat. Sarah, Mark, and Asher will welcome an addition to their family, our family, sometime around September 28th.

Sarah is doing great with this news. Laid back and patient. Grandma, on the other hand, is thinking about onesies, the Carter’s coupons I got in the mail last week, and trying to remember how it is to have a two year old and an infant. Breathe deep, grandma. Sarah’s got the right idea. All in due time. No pun intended.

What a day.

January 20, 2009

What a country.

In the build up for today, that began sometime during the weekend, I had already decided that it might be necessary to take part of the day off. I didn’t want to miss a beat. And I didn’t want to wait until I got home from work either. In fact, had this been back in the day, I would have kept my kids home so that we could have watched it together.

As it turns out, work came to a halt as one by one entered and gathered around the television. We are quite an interesting cross-section of Americana, but there we all were; sitting together to witness something that some of us had dared to dream of, and I am sure others feared we will regret. None the less, it was a moment in time that everyone wanted to be a part of. We didn’t plan it that way. In fact this is the first inauguration that has drawn interest outside of casual water cooler talk in the 17 years I can attest to. Interesting.

Tonight on the news they said that amidst the gazillions of people in the capital today, not one arrest was made. Amazing. Even in our own gathering, aside from one nasty little critique of Aretha’s hat, nary a negative thought was shared. Do you think we are moving to higher ground? Ah, if it would only last more than just today.

I loved every minute of it. In fact I have been soaking it all up for a few days now. The crowds of regular people just like me, and not like me at all, filled with anticipation, excitement, and hope. Hope. Hope.

And I couldn’t wait to get the text of the speech, the poem, and the benediction. Each time I read them over, they say something new to me. Willi missed the benediction by Rev. Dr. Lowery, so we watched this clip again tonight. Oh, so good. Here is my favorite part:

“With your hands of power and your heart of love, help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nations shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid, when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.”

I’d like to make some tractors from tanks. Hope, hope, hope.


What a day.

What a country.

What a guy!

December 10, 2008


It won’t be long now…

August 31, 2008

Thursday evening Sarah came by. The difference in the fullness and position of her tummy in only a few days was amazing. She lifted her shirt so that I could see more clearly. I ran my fingers over the place where the baby gently rests.

This morning as I showered I was wondering if she had any pictures of this wonderful time in her life. Back in the day, we wore clothes that would hide the beautiful curves of our bodies; large pieces of fabric gathered on to a bodice that modestly indicated that a baby was on the way. Today we celebrate those changes in our bodies. And what a wonderful thing that is.

I was delighted to find that while I was sleeping, she and her friend were capturing this moment in pictures. They are the most beautiful gift for Sarah, Mark and the baby. And for me, too. I love every one of them.

Any day now, we will be holding a beautiful baby in our arms. But for now, I want to savor the wonder of my daughter, with all of her hopes and dreams of what is to come. Beautiful. Don’t you think?

On Priorities

June 12, 2008

There’s this guy at work that kind of oversees those little fix-it type projects that come up from day to day. He has this habit of telling those of us who would like some kind of commitment as to a finish date, “You are not a priority.” It’s kind of interesting how that works because over the past few years that phrase has trickled down to those that work with him. And the rest of us are so use to hearing it, that we now just finish the sentence, if we even bother to ask.

Setting priorities has always been a problem for me because everything seems like one. This is a hazardous path that leads, at least for me, to maximum density – the sorry state that occurs when the only thing to do is work until there is nothing left for me, or my family. The remedy, when I finally realize what has happened, is down time. Ironically enough, I was forced into down time by the need to take vacation days – or lose them. So I did. In fact, we both did. Last week. I left work that Friday afternoon with a desk full and didn’t come back until a full nine days later, with a new list of priorities. And work isn’t one of them.

Don’t get me wrong. I still give it 150% while I am there, but the laptop stays on my desk when I go home. Granted, it has only been four days, but so far it’s working out pretty good. It was hard to go cold turkey, and I found myself walking a circle around even my home computer, but it was well worth it. I’ve had to draw a few lines in the sand, but I have stood my ground. They have posted for another position, and I am promised one more to follow. I guess the squeaky wheel sometimes does get the grease. That’s a good thing, because this tire was just about tread bare.

So here is my new list of priorities.

I’m going to plan some meals that will take full advantage of the herbs we planted amongst the flowers in the planters alongside the house. Dill, Parsley, Oregano, Rosemary, and Basil. That ought to keep me busy for awhile.

I’m going to sit on the balcony, with Willi and Cali, and watch the sprinkler wash over the garden we planted last week. The tree we cut down last summer had left us only shade. So we took full advantage of it’s absence by extending our patio another five feet and planted some vegies.

Already the peppers and tomatoes have promise of a fairly nice yield. And you know how I love real tomatoes. The kind that are red, juicy, and run down from your hands to your elbows when you eat them with a shaker of salt. Now that’s what I call a priority.

Next, I am going to pull the weeds that grow up between the beans. I learned this from my farmer friend, who taught me how to “walk the beans” back in the day. Our little patch of beans isn’t much more than two or three steps broad, so that shouldn’t be too difficult.

If things get really slow, I’m going to count the blades of grass as they sprout. Finally, after many years of dust, we will have turf. Well, sort of. The Creeping Charlie has pretty much had it’s way with what was left of the lawn. But at least it has some pretty little purple flowers. Lemonade from lemons, you know.

I honestly can’t say how much you will see of me. When the sun goes down I have been spending time with Willi, rather than sit at this computer. So please don’t think that you are not a priority, it’s just that there are so many others and I am trying to put them all in the right place.

Like this one, who will need more of my time as days go by – moving household and having a grandson in just a few short months. And this one, who I hope to be hearing from real soon. And Willi’s ones who will be with us this weekend. They would have to move to the top of anyone’s short list.

Particularly mine.

Before I start, here is a picture for Songbird . . . our little Dogwood finally graced us with a few blooms this week. We’ve had her for quite a few years and these are her first. It was a small showing, but we are thrilled just the same. Especially considering the long cold winter.

Today I drove from the county considered a “Suburb of Chicago” deep into the “Rural White Counties” of Indiana. At least that’s the way they are summing up the Hoosier state on CNN right now. It was really a beautiful drive down to the location of my conference. Just South of Indy there were Redbuds and Dogwoods galore. In fact I’ve never seen so many in one place as there were in Paoli. I’m going to sneak out of this conference and try to get some pictures before I head home. This picture is somewhere between Bloomington and French Lick. I was taken by the deep gold color of the field, although this picture does not do it justice.

The polls closed in my end of the state an hour after they closed down here and within minutes they were spinning the numbers. I’m holed up in the hotel room watching the results of what has been a very exciting month in our state. Willi and I tried to beat the lines at the local church by voting early on Saturday, but as fate would have it, the electricity was out at the government center. Indiana moved to computerized voting machines last year, so no vote. We left an hour early this morning so that we could vote on the way to work. By 6:20 a.m. there were already two rows of chairs filled with voters waiting their turn. This probably sounds pretty hokey, but I get such a thrill out of voting. And pushing that button today seemed more important than it ever has for me.

I got kind of choked up (don’t laugh) as we walked to our cars. Willi asked if I was thinking of my mother. She used to work the polls. Because we live in the same precinct as I grew up, we have over the years seen some of my mother’s friends working the polls still. I can always tell if they knew my mother because they call me by my full name, as only people do who knew me as I was growing up. Actually I wasn’t thinking of my mom so much, but it was a chuckle to think that she probably wouldn’t be too happy with me, once again, as I picked up that little card with the “D” on it.

Doesn’t this hallway remind you of Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”? This whole place does. Glad it isn’t snowing here. Anyway, I’m listening to Senator Obama give his speech in North Carolina. He just congratulated Hillary Clinton on her win in Indiana. In the mean time, CNN says it’s too close to call, and her lead has just gotten a little smaller, now 4%. I wonder if he counted us out too soon, with only 76% of the vote counted. Our little county is still colored white on the big map in the newsroom. I wonder what the heck is going on there, that the votes still have not been counted. In the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter how you spin the numbers. I think he will be our candidate. And as exciting as it has been to have a part in this decision, I’m glad it’s just about over.

So, tomorrow this Primary Election will be history and I will spend the day soaking up rules and numbers of the business I am trying to learn. And plan my escape out into the sunshine. Ah, there is a heaven…