Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Are We There Yet?

A year ago I remember thinking that the hardship would go away with 2007 and 2008 would be easy sailing. I couldn't have been more wrong. Rather than bore you with the details here, I'll refer you back to my posts of January 1, 2008: here and here.

This year has been challenging, difficult, rewarding, and unnerving. I've packed and moved, had a Last Supper with scores of Tucson friends, driven cross-country with only my cat and XMRadio for company, begun a job where I frequently feel I don't fit in, begun a daily 120-mile round trip commute, short-sold both my houses in Tucson at an out-of-pocket cost of $70K, made offers on three Youngstown houses, driven to Asheville for my mother's 95th birthday party, enjoyed my annual Broadway weekend with PianoLady, had a handful of forgettable dates, and enjoyed daily hugs and kisses from my darling grandchildren.

Next week I'll close on my new house and begin again the process of settling and making a home for myself, alone. It's scary. It's exciting. It's daunting.

May 2009 be better than 2008.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Surf and Sand

I am in heaven on earth for the first time in nine years. In 1989, John and I bought our two weeks at Marriott's Harbour Club timeshare on Hilton Head Island, SC. Since then, it has been one of my favorite places in the U.S. John and I spent many delightful weeks here, and I was happy to introduce the area to Tyler and Jaci nine years ago.

This week I am introducing it to my grandbabes. Boston saw the Pacific Ocean about five years ago when his parents took him from Tucson to San Diego. But he has no memory of that visit, so this visit is, effectively, the first ocean vacation for both Boston and Ridley.

We arrived late Sunday night. Monday, after breakfast, Tyler and I took the babes for their first walk on the beach. They rolled up their jeans, slipped off their shoes, and dug their toes in the sand. To watch their bodies race across the sand and see the expressions on their faces was an experience I'll probably never forget.

Ridley ran down the beach at the edge of the water, arms spread wide, with her smile possessing her face. I think the best descriptor is Sheer Glee.

Boston walked deeper and deeper into the water until his jeans were three-quarters wet. I think if he had fallen down, he would have stood up giggling.

This morning after breakfast, we ran into CVS to get pails and buckets. Once the outside temperature reached the upper 60s, we headed for the beach. Tyler and the babes built sand castles and the babes ran back and forth to the water. The water was a little cold for Boston, and I had to promise to bring him and his sister back next year when it's warmer.

This vacation has been everything I've hoped for since we began the planning six months ago.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Evolution of Relationships

Tyler and I drove from Youngstown to Hilton Head Island yesterday. The babes were happily and quietly settled in the back seat, content with their dual-screen DVD player. I believe it was a six-video trip. Boston was thrilled to have been allowed to watch that many movies, back-to-back.

That long a drive yields a lot of time for thinking. As usual, my thoughts wandered to relationships and my lack of a significant relationship in my life.

I wonder if this is what we come to in our 50s and 60s. It seems to me that all the good men are being held by their women. The only available men are widowers, those never-marrieds that we're afraid of, and the divorced men who, for some reason, just cannot find the right woman. Oh yeah, and the Jacques Arses who, by some twist of fate, just don't understand how to be a good man.

I have a handful of male friends whom I adore. The Gardener, the Traveler, the Professor—these are all men with whom I share the most wonderful, if platonic, relationships. Sometimes I wish it were more, but it is what it is.

And I wonder if that's the ultimate state for second-half-of-life: lots of friends whom you hold in the highest esteem, and a house of your own that holds no arguments over who's going to do the dishes.

Still, it sounds lonely to me.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Oprah's quote for today is from Terry Tempest Williams:
I have inherited a belief in community, the promise that a gathering of the spirit can both create and change culture. In the desert, change is nurtured even in stone by wind, by water, through time.

I believe that bloggers are creating the 21st Century community by our regular use of the Internet as our gathering place to express, through our written words, our hopes, dreams, fears, and beliefs.

In the Youngstown blogosphere, local writers—with a heart for what was and what can be—are railing against those who would tear down what remains and leave us with nothing. These writers encourage and praise and admonish and seek to bring out the best in the community leaders and those who would be community leaders. The writers seek, and are striving for, renaissance.

Ms. Williams, who writes about and lives in the American Southwest, notes that change takes time. I believe that the dedication of the Mahoning Valley activists will bring the area back, not to its former glory, but to a greater glory that will nurture generations to come. I'm nearing 60 years of age; I don't necessarily believe it will happen in my lifetime. But I believe with all my heart that it will happen.

With that statement as preface, my question for you today is this: why do you read blogs? And what should be your response to what you're reading?

I become disturbed when I read blogs, especially the community blogs in the Vindicator, where readers feel compelled to express their opinions about what was written, and to attack each other's words. (Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm the most non-confrontational person in the universe.) I don't mind a healthy exchange of ideas, including disagreement, but it upsets me greatly when people put on their helmets and pick up their verbal swords and call each other names.

The wonderful thing about reading a blog is your ability to close the browser page. If you don't like what you're reading, don't read it. Close your browser. Go do something else. Start your own blog to express your opinions! But don't attack, don't be ugly. What is the point of writing the author and making snarky comments and digs about her writing?

Does treating a writer in an antisocial manner make you feel better? If so, there's something wrong with you. Go volunteer at a homeless shelter. You'll see how good your life really is. Go tutor a child (or an adult) who is having difficulty reading. Be grateful your first grade teacher taught you to read. Go take out your anger by planting a tree or repairing a damaged building or painting a wall.

I have told my children countless times that I will consider my life to have been a success if someone stands up at my memorial service and says, simply, "She was kind."

Life is too short to fill it with ugly words and deeds.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ouch!

How did you spend your Christmas Eve day? I was up at 6:30 in order to be at the Acura dealer at 8:00 for service. I have put 37,000 miles on my TL since leaving Tucson on the 22nd of February. It needed some tender loving care.

For the past three days, I would hear a creaking, cranking, knocking noise anytime I tried to adjust the seat, especially if I opened the door with the Driver #2 fob and it tried to adjust to the #2 setting. I asked the service tech about it, and he said something was caught in the track that the electric seat runs along. I asked them to go ahead and remove the seat, hoping against hope that it was my missing gold earring, a gift from John many years ago and lost now for about a month.

When the techs finished with all the work on the car, I asked what they had found. "Oh, a penny."

Would you care to guess how much that penny cost me?


Ho, ho, ho.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Magic Gloves

I promised the other day to tell you more about magic gloves. Here's the story:

My work colleague was born with only three fingers on his left hand.
At our company holiday party a week ago, he won a winter gift
basket that included two pairs of "Magic Gloves" - super stretchy one-
size-fits-all black knit gloves. In the office on Monday morning, he
slipped them on and made a fist with his left hand, showing us how
the second and fifth fingers of the glove stood straight up. After we
joked about what it would look like if he had second and fourth
fingers instead of third and fourth, I said, "You know, I can fix
those gloves."

I took the left glove home and ran a seam from the base of the fourth
finger to the cuff, and from the base of the third finger to the base
of the thumb. It took me no more than five minutes.

After he donned the redesigned glove yesterday morning, he wrote me
the nicest thank-you note. He's thirty years old, and this is the
first time in his life he has had a glove that fit his unique hand.

Can you imagine? Can you imagine how much my small effort meant to
him, what a great impact? He tells about being a "fry boy" at a fast
food restaurant for his first job and having to tie the second and
fifth fingers of the rubber glove together to keep them out of the
food preparation.

I felt so honored to be able to give him this small/big gift. I've
been learning to knit, and now I want to try knitting him a custom
glove. This episode of my life just makes me feel good!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. May your smallest gifts be the most precious.

Thinking about Fear

Bedlam Farm Journal is my morning dose of humanity, and I share with you this morning Jon's writing on the concept of fear, especially as it pertains to current events.

My new house is sixteen days away. I find that my real estate trauma this past summer has instilled in me a fear of real estate. (Domatophobia? Oikophobia? Eicophobia? Orthophobia?) I want this transaction to go well, to be manageable, to not reduce me to sobbing. I want this to be the last house I buy in my life. I want the transaction and the next year of settling into the house to be devoid of nasty surprises (like Jaci having to call the furnace man yesterday and say, "The house is toasty warm and cozy. What's wrong?") I want no financial surprises, and I want to take my time deciding how to transform this house into a bricks-and-mortar reflection of me. (If you haven't seen the pics and would like to, send me an e-mail and I'll share the link with you.)

Drawing on Jon's morning words, the closing on the 9th and the next year should be just a passage through which I walk to attain the home-for-the-rest-of-my-life.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

All I Want . . . (part 2)

Note the Merry Christmas wishes in both cursive and block printing, to accommodate Santa's reading skills. This photo will make me smile the rest of my life, I'm sure.

All I Want . . .

I learned the g'babes have asked Santa for magic gloves that will enable their wishes when they wave their hands. For example, they could stand in their room, wave their hands wearing the magic gloves, and their room would magically be cleaned, neat, and orderly.

Y'know, I can do a lot of cool things on my sewing machines, but I'm thinking I can't do magic gloves!

Friday was our department holiday lunch and I told the magic glove story to a colleague who got a pair of "Magic Gloves"—really!—in the Winter Basket he won at the company party. (More on that tomorrow.)

We were talking about the power of belief—"I believe these gloves are magic" and therefore they are. He said Ty and Jaci could tell the children that the gloves were magic but had to be trained. So if you clean your room every day for a year wearing the magic gloves, the gloves will then be trained and will do the cleaning automatically. If you miss one day, you have to start the training period over again. It takes 365 consecutive days of doing something for the gloves to be trained.

You think it will work? I think it's magic all right—a magic way for the parents to get something done on a regular basis.

I think it was an inspired suggestion!

I arrived home at 11:00 last night after our final holiday pops concert. Boston greeted me at the door, wide awake. He said he had been putting things on the tree. (His mom was having girls' night out with Lucy, his sister had fallen asleep on the couch, and his dad was upstairs, asleep in the recliner.)

As Boston was helping me get all my things upstairs, he said, "I put a reminder note on the tree. I wrote one in cursive and one in block printing in case Santa can only read one kind of writing. I told him I hope he didn't forget the magic gloves."

(Have I mentioned that my grandchildren are precious?!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Definition of a Successful Concert

Last night's concert was fun and, for me, successful. Wanna know what that means?

That means my hot flashes occurred: a) during the warm-up; b) five minutes before curtain; and c) during intermission. Woo hoo. No hot flash disruption while singing. No having to sit down in the middle of a piece.

Now if I can repeat that pattern for tonight's concert, I'll be one happy singer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pet Peeves for an (Almost-)Winter's Day

I'm tired this morning. Our dress rehearsal last night concluded after 10:00, so I got home after 11:00. This morning I had to gather dress and accoutrements, music, and normal work stuff to get out the door, while racing up and down the attic stairs to deposit@home a couple of checks so nothing would bounce today. (Love USAA Federal Savings Bank and their deposit@home feature!)

Tired in me manifests itself as grumpy, so this morning I will share a couple of current pet peeves.

1) Drivers on I-76 who insist on sitting in the left lane while talking on the phone and not paying attention to their gas pedal (and therefore driving about 60mph). If you're gonna talk and daydream, move over. Or put another way: get the hell out of my way!

2) Singers who sing wrong notes loudly. Or who can't sing on pitch. The alto next to me last night was loudly singing about 1/8 step low, every note, every song. I have perfect pitch, so I'm always right on. But when someone is next to me singing wrong and loudly, I can't hear the correct pitch in my ear. Get it right or sing softer!

3) Singers who insist on talking while the director is trying to say something. Shut the duck up. Really. What tidbit about your life do you absolutely have to share with your seatmate at that precise moment, thus prohibiting me from hearing the conductor's instructions? What makes your words more important than his words?

4) Singers who can't count. Let me give you a little tip, Music School Dropout. When an eight note is followed by a quarter note, in a triplet pattern, you don't sing them evenly! Their sounds are not the same duration! Pay ducking attention!

Okay, that's all my grousing for today. I think I'll go take a nap now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's *Not* Only Money!

I'm fond of saying "it's only money" when I'm doing things for my kids.

The other day I heard someone on CNN talking about Caroline Kennedy's bid for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. The speaker said that Kennedy had the ability to raise the $70 Million it would take to keep the seat in the next election.

Seventy million dollars?

Why has the political process in this country come to this? Why must one be wealthy or have wealthy friends and supporters to govern? Wisdom and money do not go hand in hand.

I think it's a horrible state of affairs for this to be so. Look what could be done with seventy million dollars. (And we're only talking one race/one seat here. Multiply that by the number of people who raise that kind of money to be able to serve in Washington.)

Wouldn't you rather see all those dollars go to people who are losing their homes and people who are out of a job and don't have money for gas or food; wouldn't you rather see it go to wipe out all sorts of horrors than for one person to win a political race?

I'm appalled!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Sharing with you, today, from Jon Katz's Bedlam Farm Journal, which I absolutely adore:

[Simplicity] is about choosing what you will focus on, make room for, allow into your life. I have often been guilty of cluttering up my mind and my life with too many things to absorb, rushing from one to another.
. . .
Simplicity is, I think, about learning what I need, not what I can get. Tough lesson, hard-earned. Lessons often come at a high cost, to me, or to others. A sad thing about them.

As I move toward having my own home again, a month from now, I want to do this right. I want to live simply, be organized, feel a sense of peace rather than constant frenetic angst.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Favorite Quote of the Day

From this week's NPR broadcast of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me:

[Blagojevich] puts the goober in gubernatorial.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Breathe a Sigh of Relief

Woo hoo! A day with no responsibilities. No music to practice or organize or perform.

I have long said that December is the worst month of the year for musicians, and that there should be an alternate Christmas in January just for those of us who work all month to make beautiful music for the rest of you!

Yesterday I had the honor of working with Craig Raymaley and Amanda Beagle, along with drums, bass, and the incredible Teddy Pantelas on jazz guitar. We drove two-and-a-half hours to Fairmont, WV, where it was about 33 degrees. We played in a heated tent for the Feast of the Seven Fishes Italian festival. While the son was shining, we were warm enough in the tent, but once the sunshine waned, it was frickin' freezing in the tent. After every song, I was rubbing my hands together to try to keep them usable!

We left Youngstown about 10:45 yesterday morning, and got home 10:00 last night. A very long day, but much fun. I really enjoy playing for this couple, and hope we can do it again.

Hell Week for the Akron Symphony holiday pops begins on Tuesday. I have rehearsals on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and performances on Thursday and Friday.

Next Saturday can't come soon enough!

Friday, December 12, 2008

We Are Thankful

I follow the Coach blog at Zappo's blogs. Some days he posts exactly the uplifting note I need.

Today's post is one of those:

We are Thankful...

For our part in paying the rent, it keeps a roof over our heads and keeps us dry.

For our utility bills, it will help keep us warm with heating and water.

For the low gasoline prices, it lets us have more money for what we want, instead of what we need.

For our tight clothes, it means we have enough to eat.

For our lives, for the other option is inevitable, which reminds us how precious our future is.

For's all part of Our Wonderful Life.

Yours in "Perspective" - Coach

The Geography of Bliss

I've always enjoyed watching Rick Steves' Europe on PBS. Just last week I discovered a Rick Steves podcast!

One of the episodes I just listened to included an interview with NPR correspondent Eric Weiner about his new book, The Geography of Bliss.

This is one of the most thought-provoking podcasts I’ve listened to in quite a while. Weiner explores happiness—in what countries are the citizens the happiest (and unhappiest!); what contributes to happiness; are wealth or cost of living factors; does belonging to an organized religion make you happier; and so on.

The religion discussion struck me as interesting, because I tend to associate organized religions with group-think, with not having one’s own thoughts and opinions. But of course my thoughts are severely impacted by my [negative] upbringing as an Adventist.

Rick Steves references Maslow’s Hierarchy several times, and I’ve always found that theory interesting since the first time I heard about it in my thirties. (If you're interested, I tend to stay pretty low on the triangle. I'm all about security—tell me my Little Adoptee doesn't sit on my shoulder all the time!)

Steves mentions the U.S. and the number of people who take “happy drugs”, and whether we as a people are happier as a result. Do we take happy drugs, or do we take anti-unhappy drugs? I do not think these are the same. When I have taken antidepressants in the past, they didn’t make me happy. They just took the edge off my unhappiness. And they made me want to sleep all the time. Sleeping isn’t happiness; it’s nothing.

Weiner talks about the World Database of Happiness. Are you kidding me?! Who compiled a database of happiness? I love databases – would this be a great job or what?!

I highly recommend this podcast. I’d love to get all my friends together for a glass of wine and a discussion of this topic. As our geography won’t allow that, how about posting your thoughts here after listening.

The Joy of Music, Part 2

Last night I experienced the real joy of music, not the agony.

Tomorrow I will have the honor and pleasure of accompanying Amanda Beagle and Craig Raymaley at the Feast of the Seven Fishes in Fairmont, WV. Craig was a classmate of Tyler's at Youngstown State. He and Amanda are enormously talented and awfully nice. They've put together an assortment of Italian and Christmas tunes that should please the audience.

Last night we had a very productive rehearsal, and I went home with the joy that comes from making beautiful music with other talented musicians.

This is why I continue to pursue music!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

You Like Me. You Really Like Me.

Remember the Sally Field Oscar moment? I need to do my research and see if she was adopted. Maybe she just had poor parenting that disabled her ability to develop self esteem.

I was thinking yesterday about the thousands, well tens, of men I've dated over the past five years. (Geez, it's been five years since EEFFH broke up with me. Where does the time go? Why am I still alone?)

I don't see a man and set my cap for him. I notice someone paying attention to me, and then—because he likes me—I start liking him. And I make all sorts of adaptations in lifestyle just so he'll continue to like me and like me more.

So he'll adopt me.

I think my whole life has been about trying to get adopted over and over again. And always keeping a mental fix on the location of my suitcase, in preparation for being abandoned again.

Is it possible, at 58, with knowledge, to finally recover from the horror of the original abandonment and the hypercritical adoptive mother? One step at a time.

I think I like me. I think I really like me. Maybe.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Joy of Music

I'm thinking this week about the quality of choral performances and what rehearsal techniques are required to produce that quality.

I sang, off and on for fifteen years, with Oratorio Society of Washington/The Washington Chorus, under Robert Shafer's baton. I had first sung with him in Fontainebleau, France, in 1971 while studying with Nadia Boulanger. He is a musical perfectionist and I love that about him. Yes, he could go off on us during rehearsal, but if a singer is paying attention and working hard, she shouldn't mind that. If all the singers were paying attention and working hard, he wouldn't have had to go off on us. In my humble opinion.

Then I moved to Tucson and was one of the charter members of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, led by Dr. Bruce Chamberlain. Bruce's rehearsal were like sitting in a graduate musicology class without having to pay the tuition. He, also, is a perfectionist. It was a joy to sit in those rehearsals.

With both these men, when I would drive home late at night, I knew I had just participated in a music-making session of the highest quality.

The chorus with which I'm singing now doesn't leave me with that feeling. The conductor, a dear friend, has inherited this chorus; he is in his first year in this position. We haven't discussed the situation, but I believe he feels he must tread lightly this first year. He did not walk in with a big broom and sweep the place clean. The rehearsals are lovefests, not intensive fix-everything sessions.

It's frustrating for me to be surrounded by people who insist on chatting with each other when the director is speaking, or who don't know how to sing with a chorus. A chorus is about blending and supporting each other—again, in my humble opinion. If your voice is aging and you can no longer control your vibrato, please excuse yourself from the symphony chorus and go sing with a community chorus.

And as I sit through these rehearsals, giving my time in a city an hour's commute away from home (meaning I don't get home on rehearsal nights until 10:30-11:00), I think about quitting. Last night I wondered what it would be like not to sing with a chorus. I've done it for so long and love it so much, but this organization is not meeting my needs.

I even thought about asking Tyler to start a small vocal group, maybe eight or twelve voices. We could do the classical repertoire or a cappella jazz or pop. And we could bring in the highest calibre singers who do it for the love and because they have great abilities and ears.

In the meantime, I keep going to rehearsals. And as I sit there, agonizing over the singers around me, biting my tongue, I remember Tucson rehearsals. And I sing the Hallelujah Chorus without looking at the music because I've sung it 50 times over the past five years! (Thanks, Bruce)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Piano as Blanket

Yes, I've been quiet lately. I've been learning a ton o' music, practicing up on my sight-reading, and getting my fingers back in shape.

I was privileged this afternoon to accompany the students of Craig Raymaley and Amanda Beagle in their studio Christmas recital. The children, ranging in age from seven through high school, were darling and all did a fabulous job.j

I love accompanying. I feel it's my gift—to be sensitive to what the vocalist is doing and support him or her.

In one of our rehearsals this weekend, Amanda said to one of her students, "Just think of that piano as a big blanket, keeping you warm." What a lovely way to put it (especially in this frigid, snowy weather).

To do what I love doing, what I've very good at doing, and get paid for it? Life doesn't get any better than this!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sing a Song of Christmas

Yesterday morning I stopped in to Starbucks to do my part for World AIDS Day, and—on impulse—picked up the Yo-Yo Ma & Friends Songs of Joy & Peace CD that was languishing on the counter, ready to ease my morning commute.

What a fabulous collection of songs! It is eclectic, filled with the highest caliber performances my all sorts of musicians—classical, jazz, country; even a bit of bagpipe. Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, James Taylor, Renée Fleming, Chris Botti and Dave Brubeck all make appearances on the disc. The core piece that keeps reappearing in many different forms is the traditional Dona Nobis Pacem—Grant Us Peace.

I highly recommend this disc. There's also a deluxe version that includes a 60-minute DVD showing some of the recording sessions. I purchased mine at Starbucks, and it came with two free iTunes downloads from the collection.

This is not in-your-face Christmas music. It's simply a mixed bag of gorgeous music that will have you tapping your foot and smiling.

Listening to this disc yesterday and to the XM Holiday Pops station made me start thinking about what Christmas music is my favorite.

Of course, I love all the traditional carols that I grew up singing. From my years of Christmas concerts with The Washington Chorus and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, I just love "In the Bleak Midwinter", written by Harold Darke. And John Rutter's "What Sweeter Music" just blows me away. Simple carols? The French carol "Il est né le divin enfant" is charming, especially when sung in French.

My other new fave holiday CD came out last year. Mario Vacho and Hugh Campion, as Duo Campion-Vachon, 50ish duo-pianists from Quebec, are wonderful. They are what Piano Lady and I could have been if we hadn't been raised in the South in the 50s and 60s, if we hadn't been so focused on getting married and raising a family.

Duo Campion-Vachon's arrangements are out of the ordinary, lush, interesting—everything I love in an arrangement. Their disc is Noël Pianissimo. Every time one of their tunes would come on Holiday Pops, I would instantly look up to see who the artist was. After I did this six or seven times, I realized I had to buy the disc.

(Oh Piano Lady—it will be in your mailbox tomorrow. You're welcome.)

So what's your favorite holiday music? What are you listening to this month?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Walking Backwards Through the Cobwebs of My Mind

My kids and g'kids are at Walt Disney World today. I'm so jealous. For seven years of my life I was associated with WDW, both as a staff accompanist (that's a pianist, if you didn't know) and as a Dickens Caroler. I have so many warm memories of that association.

By the time they were two and four years old, my sons had been to the Magic Kingdom at least 100 times. Back in the days before you had to watch your child every moment, I would find a bench in Tomorrowland and TJ (The Child Formerly Known as Scott) would just run back and forth across that open plaza, as fast as his little legs would carry him. When his dad stage-managed the Kids of the Kingdom singer-dancer troupe, he knew all the songs and all the choreography.

Oh, how I would love to see the looks on Boston's and Ridley's faces today. How I would love to ride on Peter Pan's Flight with them (my fave ride!). And for them to see it for the first time when all the Christmas decorations are up—it's just too magical for words.

I searched for a WDW webcam today and found one. I quickly texted Tyler to let me know when they were standing at Town Square on Main Street so I could look at them. Then I reread the home page and realized the webcam was only virtual. It was only a simulation of being live. Ha ha, the joke's on me.

A simulation of being live, of having a life: that's how I'm feeling with them gone for all this time!

Come Home to Mama

My laptop came home last Monday, after a six week illness and hospitalization. In the interim, I had broken a second, very old laptop, and set up my five-year-old tower in the bedroom. The tower was inconveniently positioned, so I was disinclined to spend much time on it. And I certainly couldn't reach over and pull it into bed with me when I woke up, as is my pattern.

As a result, I was blogging less frequently and reading e-mail on the fly.

I had the weekend alone (the kids are on a two week Thanksgiving vacation - giving thanks that they're not tied to jobs and schools that would prevent such a luxury!) and left the laptop downstairs all weekend. It's interesting not being so tied to e-mail/Twitter/Facebook/etc. I get out of bed and out the door faster in the morning, but I also don't read friends' e-mails with the same depth I do when I'm not rushed.

And it leaves me to ponder whether I want to resume my old ways or be a regular social being and stop being so tied to my cyberworld.

(The other interesting insight of having the kids gone is feeling so alone again, like I did in Tucson after they left. I realize that being with them and caring for them is the center of my life. I feel like a rubber dinghy floating on the ocean when I'm alone. Interesting!)