Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Learning to disengage, & grief.

Yesterday was quite a day. First, after finding out that my youngest daughter's travel plans were about to be decimated by United's unfriendly skies being too full for standby, she and her hubby and i spent several hours refiguring plans and looking up flights to buy online. By last night they had things pretty much rearranged. But the thing i practiced during this time was The Art of Disengagement.

As i was driving back home i realized, AHAH. What she and her father have in common, and i have in total opposite, is the way they deal with bumps in the road. i tend to be a "oh, we'll figure it out somehow" while secretly hoping i'm not lying. She and her father start with total annihilation: "The sky is falling! Everything is ruined!" and move toward "we'll figure it out somehow." The trick for me, anxiety-wise, is to realize we both actually want the same thing, we just take different roads to get there.

Regarding grief, that was the sad part of the day. A long time acquaintance just lost her husband suddenly, and the memorial was yesterday. It was a beautiful memorial, with all of their children and children-in-law and grandchildren sharing memories of his love and humor. But at the end of the service, as the wife was walking out on the arm of her son, i wondered, Can grief shrink a person? i mean, she has never been a big person in stature, but she has walked big. She is a very grounded and assured person, and has affected many people with her love of God, sharing hope and comfort, and being a person to walk alongside others in their hard times.

i remember a time back in college when i was thin enough to wear flowered pants without looking like a sofa, and being told by a much taller guy (i'm only 5 foot 4) that i "walked tall for a short girl." i guess that's what i'm thinking of, this woman has always walked tall. But when i saw her coming up the aisle of the chapel, headed to the next phase of saying goodbye to her husband of many years, she looked tiny and frail, and not a bit like the woman i ran into at the grocery store a few weeks ago. So her face haunted me all night when i'd close my eyes trying to sleep. And i'm really tired today.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Making laundry fun.

Now, i am not one to ordinarily sing the praises of my whitest whites and cleanest jeans, but OH, WE BOUGHT A NEW WASHER AND DRYER!! And laundry is fun again--not that i can dredge up a time that i was ever thrilled with it--

Due to our ongoing remodel, and the various tentacles of it that stretch into many parts of the house, the new water heater (the on-demand, hanging on the wall kind) "needed its space." Technically, it needed more room in front of it to satisfy the hunger of the county inspectors to make people change things to suit their rules and whims. So, since the laundry area and the water heater were sharing, we decided to get stacking front loaders for the laundry to give the water heater some room (if not privacy.)

Who would have thought it could be so thrilling to replace the washer and dryer? i must admit to having felt quite spoiled for years, since even in our first apartment as a married couple we had our own washer and dryer in our own attached garage. Oh sure, over the past nearly 31 years washers and dryers have come and gone--hand me downs, occasionally purchased, but always the same types. But THIS time....it's a brave new world!....stacking, front loading, water saving--the kind they've been using in England for years (the smartie pants.) PLUS, i have this all new and cool shelf system just to the right of the units, leaving plenty of breathing space between the shelves and the water heater. It's all very cool.

It's pretty sad, though--here we are, doing the 50's commercial-speak, admiring our bright whites, and being serious about it. Even Dynamo, our most curious dog, has sat in front of it a few times and watched the washer spin, wagging his tail.

For a few more weeks at least, laundry will be fun.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


...Electrical, that is... and by "We" i mean "Dean"...

In the looong, slow process that is our house remodel, the electrical inspection was this week, and everything went just fine! Dean's been dreading it for a year, he says.

So now that means *we* (and by "we" i mean "Dean") can move on to other things that show, like siding, and sheetrock. And i can once again dream of walls where the window is the only place the sun shows through.