Monday, February 29, 2016

February Blues

Saturday was a day that will go in Minnesota's history. There was record shattering warm weather (59 degrees in February!) and the sun shining high and bright. We hadn't seen that in while either. For a few hours there was not one cloud in the sky. The blue highlights scattered all around -- the sled ready for storage, the metal garden fish, the dried grapes left on the vine from last season, the yarn, the large planter, the sky peeking through the dense elm tree branches. All seeming brighter against the damp landscape uncovered by the melted snow which was all different shades of brown. 

The bare ground means any warm days headed our way will have the potential to strike a heat wave. I'm ready for the early Spring even though it was a very mild winter. February has been a good month leaving me rejuvenated and excited for all that March will bring. The warmer weather makes me realize I need to finish off the fingerless gloves I'm knitting for my niece who lives in Florida. She chose a yarn color I never would have picked up on my own which makes it a surprising pleasure to knit.

The yarn wasn't the only unexpected pleasure on this day. We spent a good part if it outside cleaning the yard, trimming the dogwoods, making potions, riding bikes, chasing shadows, and knitting in the patio while taking in the warm sun. It was an afternoon of finding balls, rocks, little green things and a lion buried under the snow for months. The ground was still frozen but the surface ice had released its seize on the city. Songbirds came around, a cardinal tweeted about, sparrows raced back and forth in groups. At one point I counted four bunnies and seven squirrels. Everyone was out enjoying the day....






....and yet if the day ended up on a spectacular note, this was nothing compared to the evening spent with a nice bottle of wine, family dinner at the table, steak, broccoli, potatoes, pretty thrift store dishes, lit candles, ice cream sandwiches.

Pouring water for the kid, we all toasted...Hail to the Queen of Love! Hail to the King of Hearts! Hail to the Princess of Flowers! And Hail to the Queen of Kitties. 

After dessert Dave pulled out the ukulele and we all sang. No matter that it was the same song over and over again because sometimes we hummed and sometime we just let the string sounds float around the family table and swirl around the sleeping kitty by our sides. 

It was one of those moments that I hope to remember to the end of my days.

----------------------------------------Added later--------------------------------------------------------

I realize now it was the perfect send-off for our cat. The first of the little babies that have come into this house. We got Desi not long after we bought the house so in many ways, she helped make this house a home. She was just a little kitty but such a big member of our family. She passed away last night in the comfort of our home. I believe we were able to provide her some peace in her last few days. She brought us so much love and warmth. She will be greatly missed. Farewell, love. I hope we meet again and again........

HAIL to the QUEEN of KITTIES!!!!!

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

We've got one LIFE to LIVE!

Mortality is the real shit. 
OK. Let me back up.

We found out early in the new year that my mother had three brain tumors and the pathology results show a rare and highly aggressive form of cancer. They successfully removed the tumors but it is entirely possible that they will return at any time and they will grow big and it will happen fast.

I have learned a lot from this experience:

1. Mortality is the real shit, y'all.
2. We get ONE glorious life to LIVE. We get to do this thing. And it can be wonderful or not. The choice is mine. The choice is there for everyone.
3. My capacity for love is limitless and not at all bound by my past experiences.
4. Forgiveness truly does leave me feeling light and happy.
5. The alarm clock of my life has been going off for a while now and I keep hitting snooze. That stops NOW.
6. Lists can be very helpful when going through a self-searching process.
7. Every day leaves me with little bits of gratitude.
8. I have the most amazing husband and daughter and this is a reflection of my choices about how to live my life.
9. My life is full of abundance. I live a charmed life. I have resources aplenty.
10. A clean house does make life less stressful.

So my mother is dying.

And so is my cat. In cat years, she is 85. And all of sudden last week she started looking old. We have to let her go but making the final decision is hard.

I let go of much of my anger towards my mother but I also got the opportunity to speak my truth. In my heart I have forgiven her for failing me as a mother and I told her as much as I could. This leaves me feeling much lighter and much less conflicted about how to raise my own daughter.

Although my parents left Minnesota for Florida years ago, my mother leaving this earth is going to change things radically. Someone asked me yesterday how I feel about my mother dying. I thought about it and realized that it will be sad. Of course it will be sad! The difference is that now I won't berate myself for feeling sad about it. My anger would have left me unable to honor the sadness. A wise friend informed me that I used anger as protection of my inner, tender self. I no longer need that protection. And so when my mother dies I will be sad. Yet I told her repeatedly that I have no doubt she will live another twenty years if only to make my life miserable. My mother understood the joke and the truth of my words. It was very healing for me.

And so I have this ONE life to LIVE which I fully intend to make the most of. What that may be is largely undefined right now because the wonderful thing is that I have many paths open to me. I intend to take steps down each and every one of them.

The sad is balanced out by the good. My daughter turned SIX last month. The Big D and I celebrated 22 years of marriage. Holy crap! I have some very, very good friends in life. We challenge each other to be our best selves. I have many, many resources available to me. Spring is on the way to Minnesota, months ahead of schedule.

So this is me returning to blogging. A month of self-searching has made me realize how much I've missed blogging and taking photos. I spent a month writing and writing in my journal. I feel charged and roaring to go!

Here are some photos with more to come. If they are crap, then they are crap. If my blog posts are inane, then they must be inane. But I will have done it. I will do it. AND it will be awesome!

Thanks for reading! 

If 5 was about mermaids and unicorns, then 6 is all about words and books and ice skates and art.

Florida photo from right outside my favorite restaurant, Rusty Belly.

No, really, I did do a lot of journal writing!


Well the cake was tasty but if I had known the kids would go straight for the cupcakes then that's all that I would have made. That just meant more cake for me and her dad!

My little Desi is now a old, granny kitty. Hang on for little longer, my dear. We can't bear to let you go.

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