Friday, July 24, 2015

Solitude, Imagination, and Humor - A Diary Page

Tonight I experienced something that doesn’t happen very often. I had the house to myself. Unlike those who will order take-out and watch a favorite movie in your much loved cozy spot, I head straight to the kitchen to cook and bake, turn on my classical radio station and set my mind to its internal writing mode.  After a light spinach and feta salad I baked up a batch of peanut-butter, chia seed, and chocolate chip cookie bars.  By the time I’m finished my mind takes its usual turn and begins finding mundane things funny, a common occurrence when I spend time alone. No, I’m not crazy, just enjoying the freedom to let my imagination roam.

Not only is this environment a recipe for delicious food but for humor. It’s here where my mind creates visual absurdities and imagines the kinds of things you might see in an animated film. As I clean the kitchen and load the dishwasher I imagine all the dishes, particularly the forks, knives, and spoons to be animated characters loading up for a ride in the large, square bathtub. As I slide the lower rack in, I can almost hear the utensils yell “ouch” as they give each other dirty looks and start fighting as I bang their heads against the side of the large metal wall, just like people being shoved into the subway car at the end of a long day at work.

With the dishwasher closed, faces appear in the patterns of my ceramic tile floor.  I’ve seen these faces before, they also live in my master bathroom.  As I head down the hall for my sketch pad and pencils, I get distracted and end up on another journey. I could spend hours in this “zone” accomplishing very little. Except that I’ve experienced a thoroughly enjoyable and therapeutic evening. This is how I decompress and refuel after an overly cerebral and hectic week.  When I used to oil paint I’d stay up until 2 or 3 am and completely lose track of time which is a problem when you have to work the next day. As a young adult I went through a phase where I refused to wear a watch thinking that if I didn’t acknowledge time it would go away. It didn’t work. As time has marched on, I’ve traded painting for writing. Oh my gooodness, it’s 10 p.m! How did that happen? 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Mother's Day Gift to the People Who Call Me Mom

I'd like to dedicate my Mother's Day 2015 to the incredible people who call me Mom.  Without them, this day would have little meaning.

Justyn -  I admire your loyalty, steadiness of character, discipline, and sense of humor. You're one of the kindest women I know. You finished your BSN degree and made the Dean's List to boot! In the five years it took you to complete school - including one gap year for refueling - you experienced six moves, three schools, your own wedding, and a family crisis but, with God's grace,you persevered and finished 2014 united with your new husband in a new state with your new dog starting the next chapter of your life.You have become more strong, determined, faithful, and beautiful than I ever imagined. I love you, I miss you, and I can't wait for you to come back home some day.

Andrew -  With your gift for music, for languages, and your thirst for adventure you are truly my "Renaissance Man."For the boy who always wanted to be on the go you've chosen a perfect vocation. You're my only child who went to 4 different high schools in 4 years - now, that's an adventure. Realizing pretty quickly that you were made for action and excitement, for travel and new cultures, you are serving your country and have endured some rigorous training in the process - being strapped down and submerged in an aircraft , Wow!  I have no idea what skies you'll be flying but please call once in a while. In case you decide to slow down at some point, you can always call this home. I love you.

Olivia - Your complexity makes you the most difficult child to describe. You are a combination of drive, determination, zeal, compassion, and thoughtfulness, you acknowledge that through all the hardships you're encountering are from the hand of your loving God. You have lived with chronic pain for 18 months and are now facing back surgery. Your journey through college may be as unconventional as your sister's was, but I believe that you will get through school and physical therapy and will become a more beautiful person through it. Although this past year you have had to say good-bye to your brother, your sister, and your dad and the house feels so empty sometimes, you don't lose hope. I love and admire you, girl.

Patrick - What mother could not love a son who is so much like herself (maybe I shouldn't say that.) You're a diverse young man who is an incredible blend of artistry and analysis. You make a plan and stick to it. You love being around your diverse group of friends but you like your alone time, especially after everybody else goes to bed and the house is quiet. You have an amazing sense of order and style, of right and wrong and responsibility, and a great sense of humor.  I pray that God will allow you to pursue your dream of dentistry and that you don't decide to go to Marquette for dental school...haha. I'd miss you too darn much!

Dominic - Mr. Personality!! If you had your way I think you'd go into the theater or some sort of performing arts but you know that's not the best use of your gifts. You are a caring, compassionate, and kind young man with a powerhouse personality who will stand up to injustice. Whether you choose broadcasting or some sort of community involvement, you'll definitely make things "happen." And if the way you treat me is any indication of the way you will treat your wife, she will be a very fortunate woman indeed. I can't wait to see where the Lord guides you.

God has given me five fun, dynamic, smart, and funny people to call my children and if I weren't your mother I'd be pleased to call you friends. I love you all and don't forget to call me or bring me Yankee Candles on Mothers Day!