Sunday, September 28

In the Still of the Night

There are these stolen moments at the end of the day--assuming that I manage to stay up later than my night owl teenagers--where all the world is quiet.

Really quiet.

The hum of the computer tower is the white noise behind the click-clack of my fingernails on the keyboard. Surprisingly that staccato sound does nothing to disturb the internal hum of calm and consciousness I am streaming now. Distantly, there are thoughts echoing; agenda for the upcoming day, to-do lists and other measure of accomplishments and ways to dissect the time. Relentlessly, those will bubble to the surface soon and define my existence, but for now, in this moment, there is mostly stillness in my world. In the rush of pure thought, which clicks into rhythm, lines up with logic and answers all of life's quandries in split second coherency, I am understanding personified.

Trust me when I tell you, if you could climb into my brain right now, there would be awe.

If I could, I would capture these moments, bottle them and hold them fast. There they would sit on the shelf, proudly displayed, next to my other favorite, very esoteric things. Like that moment just before Andrew falls asleep, his eyelids so heavy it seems he can't manage the sudden weight of his eyelashes. The next breath after they slam closed is heavy, slow and warm.

And like the dawning realization moment when I recognized for the first time that I was looking up into my Ian's eyes, not down at the top of his head. Days of my firstborn as shadow and companion long gone and in his eyes I see the seeds of every bit of independence we've attempted to plant over the years. Harvest feels like it's merely days away.

Moment to moment with my daughter, ever increasing in her beauty, interweaving her own way with patterns of mine. Gestures, phrases, and expressions could be a mirror, but I know that's not me. That's her. And she's on her way to something--some things--very, very good.

And every moment (yes, all of them) with a companion who knows me every inch and still he's here. His very presence echoing the I love you forever message he promised me when we were forever young.

Maudlin moments, sure. But they are mine.

And I am gonna hold them tight.

Saturday, September 27

HEADLINE: Automobiles and Bicycles - Dangerous Combination


my own game
click here for the rules.

The rest of my news is below. What's your sensation today?

1. Goofball
2. soccer mom in denial
3. Flower Child
4. Anneke

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And Now, The Rest of the Story

Since a single word is likely not sufficient on this issue, I offer you this longer explanation.

First of all, I am fine. Shaken, stiff and still scared. But I am fine.

I shall set the scenario. You are welcome to gasp at the scary moments and giggle at the nonsensical bits. I am certain that some moment soon, I will laugh a little about it too.

I was cycling toward my home yesterday afternoon. (I had spent my day off doing IMPORTANT STUFF like getting my nails done and shopping. My plan was to drop my shopping bags off at the house and then continue my ride out to the school to pick up Andrew from the After School Care.) I was not quite underway (stopped at the red light at the intersection) when Emma called me as she had just arrived home and was wondering where I was. I told her that I was on my way and would see her in about 2 minutes. The light turned green, I tucked my phone into my coat pocket and set off down the bike path.

Just one street away from home as I was cycling this way==> I saw a car on the cross street preparing to enter the main street I was riding parallel to. As is law in this country, as a bike I have right of way to travel first and automobiles are required to yield.

But she didn't.

She accelerated.

I pulled hard on my brakes, realized I was too close to be able to pull off a full stop and tried to swerve forward around the front of her car (risking the dart into oncoming traffic).

I failed.

Her car struck my left hip which caused me to tip, bike and all, into and onto her car. After that moment it all gets a little fuzzy to me and the next moment I have coherent memory of I was lying on the street with a blanket under my head. Millions (okay, a dozen) bystanders were swirling around me shouting directions at each other and asking me a million (yes, a million) questions in rapid-fire Dutch. In the midst of all that chaos the only thing that seemed reasonable (this is one of the non-sensical bits) for me to do was to fish in my pocket for my phone and call Don. So I did.

At that point I couldn't tell you the order of events really. I know there was loads of panic and at some point while I was talking to Don, Emma came running from the house, my colleagues from work arrived (Don made all these phone calls simultaneously while talking to me) and someone shoved a phone into my hand to speak to the ambulance dispatch. Later Ian called from home to ask where I was and as soon as I told him what happened he came running too, with the house phone still in his hand.

The police arrived. The ambulance arrived. They cordoned off the scene with red tape. (When I do something, I do like to do it big!) And after what seemed like a million years (plus one) I was checked out, statemented out, and released to go home.

That's where I am now. Feeling very lucky.

Thursday, September 25

First Leaf

In response to Goofball's recent diatribe against the end of summer I have been thinking a lot lately about why it is I do like autumn so much. In reality I can totally get behind the idea of mourning summer's end as it means we are one short season away from winter. If you've been reading this blog for long you may have gathered that winter and I? We are not friends.
But Autumn and I have been frolicking together for as long as I can remember. Autumn gave me colorful leaves to collect from the maple, oak and aspen in our Salt Lake City neighborhood and Autumn also gave me colorful fingertips stained with raspberry juice from the fresh picking of the backyard bushes. Autumn meant corn field mazes, Halloween parades, jam making, fresh food canning, and leaf pile jumping.

Yup. Autumn + me = BFF

Nowadays, the onset of fall means the onset of several things. It just so happens that these are the things that make me smile.

Autumn means darker mornings which inevitably and thankfully leads to longer sleeping hours for Andrew. So, instead of the pitter-pat of feet and the shake-shake-shake of his hand on my shoulder at 6:00 a.m. I am happily sleeping until 7:00 and then waking him up.

Autumn means cold, crisp morning weather. Just right for bundling up for the cycle to school.

Autumn means boots. I love my boots. (I think it might be a fetish.)

Autumn means sweaters too, and wraps. Oh, and scarves with hats!

Autumn means a subdued and lovely light for photographs. The echoes and shadows of the softer sun are tremendous to explore behind the lens.

Autumn means falling leaves. I adore the colors and the way they crunch under both feet and bicycle tires.

Autumn means leaving the backdoors open for very long in the afternoons will ultimately make the end of my nose and the tips of my fingers tingle with the cold.

Autumn means soup is back on the menu.

Autumn means evening's shadows enter early which makes our house feel cozy and welcoming, especially when the candles get lit.

Autumn means cuddling under fleece blankets. Provided I can get the kids to share.

Autumn means early bedtime, and reading by lamplight snuggled in the thick duvet.

Autumn means dark, cold nights. Which means middle of the night cuddling. Yes, there is a theme here: I like cuddling.

Autumn means slippers on my toes in the morning and steam rising off the coffee in my cup, warming me from the soles to my soul.

Yeah, Autumn is here. It's nice to see her again.

Tuesday, September 23

To the Beat of My Own Drum

Movement and Music Tuesday

Monday, September 22

Let the Sunshine In

SMID's Music Monday

Chalk it up to whatever makes it make sense to you. The options being 1. I've gone completely off my melancholy rocker 2. I am nothing but sap and mush at heart 3. It's Indian Summer in The Netherlands and in answer to the calendar marking the start of Autumn the sunshine is reaching down from the heavens (a little like a gift) giving us these magical warm-and-cozy-last-stolen-days-of summer before we have to hunker down for the onset of winter.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

One of the first performances I remember in shadowy detail is the solo I danced in a church house near the University of Utah campus where I trained from the age of four. I was seven years old and I was dressed in a tricot tunic of the brightest yellow which hung with a single strap over one shoulder and billowed open when I twirled. My mom made it.

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Later, to this same tune, my sisters and I danced together. I must have been 10 by then, which made the two of them 8 and 6 years old in turn. My mom created the same tunic for each of them and the three of us danced our hearts out knowing, in the precious innocence of our youth, that we were beautiful and our movement magical. I know when we danced we made our mother cry.

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely

Later than that, as the teacher, I picked up this gem of my past and choreographed for my eight year old daughter as the lead soloist, twirling in her own yellow gown--skirt billowing outward--performing with all the passion and grace I once imagined I possessed while tears poured down her mama's cheeks watching from the wings.

Sunshine almost always makes me high

Most of the time there is a song in my head (often it is an entire radio station) Always, always, there is a song in my heart. Today, for whatever reason (take your pick from the list above) this is the song accompanying my movement.

If I had a day that I could give you,
I'd give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I'd sing a song to make you feel this way

If I had a tale that I could tell you
I'd tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I'd make a wish for sunshine all the while

I think I might be singing because I know you.

Saturday, September 20

Sometimes, You Feel Like a Nut


my own game
click here for the rules.

Singing this jingle too? Link it up if you've played along today.

1. soccer mom in denial
2. Ambassador
3. Anneke
4. Goofball
5. Flower Child

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Friday, September 19

Because I Loved Her

In celebration
I walk out to the ocean
and begin to dance

Arms reaching upward
Bare feet sinking in the sand
My body whirling

Spontaneous laugh;
my voice echos in my ears
Replacing the tears

Autumn sun setting
My heart thumping, beating strong;
Memories rising

Tired, I stand still now
Letting my breath rise and fall
While joy fills me up

Brushing sand from toes
Wrapping shawl around shoulders
I make my way home

Feeling blessed, alive
hoping now when I leave here
One will dance for me

Haiku Friday

Wednesday, September 17

Just Out of Sight

For Jessica



And now, a few words.

I am back at the ANNEX today with a post first published here in May 2007. It seems very fitting that this, of all my submissions, should be picked now. As melancholy seems to be the watchword of my life lately and saying goodbye to special someones appears to be the theme. Please if you have a minute, stop by to read this post about my grandpa.

Tuesday, September 16

Remember, I Remember

This is my friend Jessica.

Jessica and I taught in neighboring classrooms at Awakening Seed School in Phoenix for many years. She is a young, vibrant woman with a remarkable ability to make everyone (child, parent and colleague) around her feel loved and cherished. I loved to visit in her classroom, whether as the Movement Specialist working with her students, or as the whiny co-worker looking for a little venting session with a good listener. Either way, it was a joy to be around Jessica. Always smiling, always ready with a hug, always with a laugh just about to erupt over the funny life of an Early Childhood Education teacher, Jessica has been a bright light in my life.

Yesterday as I was partway through my work day here in The Hague, I received an email from a friend which read in part:

It is my task to deliver some sad news to you regarding Jessica Worthington, who taught at the Seed for many years. Jessica was 36 weeks pregnant with her first baby and in the last few weeks ran into some complications with her pregnancy. She developed problems with her liver, which resulted in the loss of her baby last Thursday, September 11th. Jessica herself never recovered, and also passed on Sunday evening.

And I felt the light go out.

I want to say something meaningful and poetic here about the journey of life and the circle of our existence on this planet. But I am at a complete loss for words and choose now instead to cry a river in remembrance of Jessica; fully aware that as much as I grieve the loss of my friend I also celebrate her influence in my life.

Darling Jess, I thought I missed you when we moved across the ocean. I miss you exponentially more now. Goodbye, friend. I love you.

Saturday, September 13

My Obvious Superpower


I've showed you mine, now let's see yours.

1. Isabella
2. Goofball
3. soccer mom in denial
4. Flower Child

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Thursday, September 11

The Things You Do For Love

Ah, here comes the sun
Just at the break of autumn
Indian summer

My whole soul reacts
embracing the sun's warm rays
smiling deep inside

The question remains
How a desert sun lover
now lives in the rain

But can't worry now
There is playing to be done
This day while sun shines

Haiku Friday

Tuesday, September 9

Starve the Fever

Answer me this:
If one is plagued with a viral infection turned bacterial known by name BRONCHITIS and one is well, you know, coughing incessantly no matter the position one is in or the time on the clock, while also suffering interchangeably with chills, fever, aches, massive headache and general feeling super sorry for oneself, what should one do while one waits rather impatiently for recovery to come knocking at the door?

(A note to my readers: I don't know how to insert a proper poll here, and let's be honest can't really be bothered to learn it right now, being on death's door and all. And besides that stunningly good reason for laziness, having a non-anonymous-you-must-leave-me-a-comment poll not only offers me all the warm fuzzies of reading your comments it also offers you the creative leeway you, my lovely readers and friends, deserve in that YOUR answer to the question may not lie in the choices below.)

(P.S. I get delirious with fever. I don't know why I mention that now, I just thought it was something you should know about me)

1. Soldier on, little trooper. Also known as: Go to work everyday. You might as well be sick there and accomplishing something (which won't get done without you there) rather than bored and hacking up bits of lung at home.

2. Stay home and whimper loudly about the sorry state of your sorry self. You, after all, need to keep the bronchial passages moist. How better to do that than shed some tears over your poor pathetic self?

3. Take the high road and do both things. Spend your days at work cough, cough, coughing and causing all around you to wonder just why oh why you are there in the first place (read as: awe over your selfless sense of dedication to your work) and secretly scrutinizing whether you are going to infect them in the second place. (read as: how could you be so self centered as to enter this building and make the rest of us sick?) AND then come home to sniff and snort and well, cough. A lot.

4. Email your friend in between naps and/or coughing jags and laugh out loud over this line describing Bronchitis recovery: I knew I was getting better when I recovered enough interest in living to be amazed at the amount and variety of stuff my lungs started throwing back out of my body... But only laugh for a second, because, you remember now, laughing makes you cough. And coughing is bad. Very, very bad.

5. Laugh harder when you receive a Get Well Soon HOOPS & YOYO e-card in your inbox (from someone who never misses a beat) And then, of course, try to stop coughing while you are snorting over it.

6. Take lots of medicine, including your antibiotics (which you will finish to completion because you DO NOT believe in making superviruses--regular bronchitis viruses are crappy enough, thank you very much). Not that any of the cough medicines will really help all that much but it does serve as a good model for Andrew who is also suffering from the big B and who doesn't, I repeat DOES NOT enjoy taking his medicine.

7. Snuggle up with your significant other, who is approximately a day behind you in this journey to bad-bad-bronchitis hell, and reassure him that it only gets worse before it gets better. Then cough loudly into his ear. He will like that.

Or are there better ideas?
Please, enlighten me. But try hard not to make me laugh.

Saturday, September 6

Thursday, September 4


Andrew's First Day of Kindergarten

Wordless Wednesday
Featured here on Thursday
Because that's how I roll.

Tuesday, September 2

Pickin' and Grinnin'

Here's the deal friends. I am up to my eyeballs in preparation for first day of school arriving this coming Thursday. And while I (of course) have a lot to say, I have no time to say it, at least not this week. Don't cry for me though, strangely I thrive on this kind of madness and chaos and find myself grinning ear to ear as I work the long hours.
You can cry though for yourselves if you want to. And okay, you can tell me just how much you miss me, and my charm, wit, grace and photography this week. That would make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.


While you wait for me to generate some sort of masterpiece-ical post, do this for me won't you?
Pop over to see Lilacspecs at her place and read this piece.

Why you ask? Because it just got a perfect post award. From me.

The Original Perfect Post Awards 08.08

Go see why I love it so, and then tell her you love it too.
She'll feel all warm and fuzzy inside, which she will really, really like. And which she totally deserves.

What are you still doing here? Go there. Go on now. GO!

Look here or here for more of August's posts of perfection.