Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Lately, however, I am feeling so adventure hungry. And it makes me feel so torn. Of course, "torn" suggests there are two options, and I don't know that there is a very realistic option for adventure right now, but my feelings are torn. There is something very appealing about the idea of being "settled" -- of establishing your little family somewhere permanent in the world where you can get to know neighbors and ward members and schools in a life long type of way; where your kids can feel secure that they will have the same friends a year from now -- or two or three or ten. I like the idea of getting a home paid off and not uprooting and starting over again. It was hard on Abe this last move, and I imagine it only gets harder as kids get older. And, the thing is, we are where we want to be. This IS where we want to end up and be established. But now that we are here I am feeling very much like, "Am I ready to 'end up'" yet? I don't know.
It is just each time I hear of a friend or family member contemplating heading off to take a job or go to school in some new place for awhile, I feel all wistful and like that is exactly what I want to do -- be all unsettled and unsure of where the road is leading. Unsettled? Weird. But there is seriously some excitement associated with the times in our marriage when we have wondered where we would be . . . and when and how. Do I want to suddenly leave and have Mike take this job to another state? No, that would be silly. We feel very lucky we were able to get back here and wouldn't want to risk losing that ever. Plus, I admit I may have added a little something of -- oh I don't know -- some poetry to the idea of being off in a new and unfamiliar place. We could go someplace new and find our circumstances miserable. But there is something so great about learning about a new place and having that place tucked securely in your mind as one of your places and as one of your life experiences.
I saw a blog the other day of a couple who are spending several months in Rwanda. Probably not the best place to cart our kids, but I just get this -- I don't know, almost a painful longing in my stomach to see and be a part of all of the different things and place that are out there. Even seeing the different trees and scenery gave me kind of this clawing feeling under my ribs like something trying to get out and get there.
I know, maybe we'll find time and money to travel when we get older. And I would love that. But that is not the longing I am talking about. Traveling doesn't allow you to BE a part of something the way living there does. That doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable, but it isn't the feeling I am antsy to have. In Israel I remember feeling horrified at the thought of having to just see the spots once and not getting to walk daily on the streets or see the small insignificant things about the place. That is how I feel. Like I want to know more of that still. I don't mean to sound discontent. Because that isn't it. I don't feel discontent with here . . . I just feel simultaneous longing for -- elsewhere. And as far as adventure goes, I realize life is fairly adventurous raising five very small children! And, as I mentioned, if an opportunity to move came along, I don't even feel that I'd want it. I would cry to leave. This is home. In fact when Mike mentions moving again just to a new house I nearly slug him (but that is more about packing and unpacking). And yet . . . sigh. What made me start wanting you, Adventure?
The other day I read some of my journal from when I began dating Mike for the second time (the time that lead to our engagement and marriage). It made me so happy to remember those moments and it seemed like it could be written out as a romance novel just like most everyone's story probably could. Here is a little example (I won't fill in all the background here, I just liked that this little minute in time with Mike was recorded).
June 1, 99 -- Tuesday
Last night . . . it was so quick I can't remember it really, but as I left I said, "Thanks for doing stuff with me again, Mike."
We were just parting and he gave a nonchalant, "Yah, no problem," but then I think he quickly realized there was more in my words than simply, "Thanks for hanging out tonight" because he paused and said more seriously, "Am I calling too much? I worry about that. . . . I know you probably . . ."
"No!" I said a bit too eagerly, but then said nothing further other than, "I like it when you call me." Then, and I'm not sure why, I added, "It's weird. Before, I knew right where everything stood. Now, I have no idea. It's like I just met you. . . . except it doesn't seem like it was four months with out talking to you."
He agreed and said, "It's because you make people comfortable."
I smiled. At least we were somehow holding hands for the moment. I don't think either of us had any intention of having a serious conversation though, and that seemed sufficient for the moment, so we said goodbye.
See, now I want to write that in a book -- throw in a little about it being night and a few details about looking down or biting my lip and -- wah lah -- my own little life a story moment.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
And, really, my husband is of the type who doesn't see a home as a home or a family as a family with out a dog in the equation. I know this about him and I love him so all I can do is sigh sadly and wring my hands a little and tell him to do what he must. And he was VERY convincing talking me into this particular dog. It is a Newfoundland/St. Bernard mix. I have always preferred big dogs to little (and this dog is nothing if not big), but he didn't use that to win me over. He didn't even talk about how they are the "baby sitter" dogs, or how they save drowning people, or how much my sister loves her Newfies. No, he chose a far more convincing angle when he told me: "The lady that is selling him bought him because they have cougars around there, and she thought he would scare them off. And just think, Nancy, not even one of her kids has been eaten by a cougar since she bought him." Really, what could I say to that?
Anyway, he has left me here all alone (well, if being here with five kids can be considered all alone) with nothing to do (I mean, of course, nothing except finish my book, catch up on email, and clean the whole house up) while he is off to get our new dog. He assured me I didn't need to be too sad about him getting home late -- he promised he'd wake me so I could help him move the dog house into the backyard.
Lest some of you are wondering what my problem with dogs is: I don't really have a problem with dogs. I love dogs. I mean, I don't love to actually pet them, but I like the idea of a loyal dog around. It is just that both Mike and I grew up with dream dogs (Lucky and Festus) and envisioned such a perfect companion when we bought our first ever dog not long after being married. Unfortunately, we have had miserable dog experiences -- from howls all night, to many running mishaps (Mike knows the look of "don't push your luck" that he now gets when he suggest a dog go running with me), to a neighbor practically being attacked, well, to a whole lot of all around nonsense. Sigh.
Here is to hoping new dog is a Festus (yah, I know, cool name -- he was the best).
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Anyway, all I'm saying is, there is no shortage of things for me to post post post. I am generally not a very big fan of improv., but sometimes I feel like having improv. night here on my blog. You know, where you would just all throw out a subject and I would blog away. But now, oh dear, I've just mentioned all the things I could blog about and, without realizing what I was doing, left myself with exactly what I said wasn't the problem -- nothing to blog about. I just threw out my whole arsenal of topics that quick. Huh, well, if I haven't just blogged myself right into a corner, thrown out the baby with the bath water, and all of that. I've faithfully tramped myself about in nothing but a big circle I guess, because now I am back to this: Think. Think. Think. What to blog about?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Research from the University of Virginia says you might be getting old sooner than you think. Researchers say our mental abilities begin a downward slide from the age of 27, after reaching their peak just five years earlier.
And all I have to say is: Dear Smarty Pants Researchy People, Next time you find out something like this, keep it to your researchy little selves. What would your mothers think!?
It is like I have always said, some science no one wants to know (like peanuts being legumes, tomatoes not really being vegetables, Pluto not qualifying as a planet, and the fact that when they are looking for "life" on Mars, they are just looking for things like bacteria and not cool green aliens). But, I suppose one could argue that science must be published -- popular or not. I mean not that long ago people were none too happy to hear that the earth was round. And look at us now! Just thrilled as (oh I couldn't think of a good simile), but really thrilled to be able to boat ourselves around all of Earth with not even the tiniest bit of fear about plummeting over the edge.
Still, I think researchers would do best to spend their time studying things that everyone truly wants to know -- like how to cure diseases and how to find Big Foot -- and leave things like the fact that I might not be so smart anymore out of it!
Seriously, aren't kids' faces just pretty much beautiful? I love love to look closely at their perfect little features. And what I love most is that their features do seem perfect. I don't know what happens as we get older and why we start to have more narrow thoughts about what is beautiful because in children, crooked teeth, round cheeks, messy hair, pug little noses, whatever the features -- they are all charmingly perfect. Sooo . . . I had to take a few closeups of my kids out enjoying the trampoline.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Mike: Oh yah? Well, they'd pay attention to a row of trophies!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
But, can you imagine if you were a poor mother living in a log cabin trying to take care of sick little ones with out passing germs on to other un-sick little ones? To have had no quick access to clean water and fresh soap? And that isn't all. We have showers to throw kids in and washing machines to throw clothes and sheets in, AND we have Clorox wipes for crying out loud!! I was wiping up the entire house -- door handles, light switches, toilet seats, faucets, all to ensure no further spread of the germs than was absolutely unstoppable. I was so terrified of anything reaching Jesse and must have scrubbed my hands a hundred times (which was super great on my eczema and cracks), but oh, with all of my complaining, I can see how it could have been so much more awful. I want to cry to think of a mother stressing with five little ones in circumstances like I was in yesterday only with no modern conveniences and no way to even help her little ones if their sickness or fever should get too high.
Today we are seeming pretty well back to normal. The kids stayed home an extra day from school but have mostly just lounged and read books with little sign of ill health. I have been doing a lot of disinfecting due to the nature of their sickness, but am feeling so grateful that they all hit it on the same day (rather than making me deal with it for a week!) and that I can keep pulling out my little Clorox wipes.
We have an ancestor who had nine of her eleven children die to some illness or other. My mom once told me how when she was feeling frustrated or upset about something one of her kids had done, she would occasionally feel like she could hear this great grandmother saying, "But Sharon! They are alive! You can hug them! Who cares if they are hard! They're alive." My kids weren't misbehaving or driving me crazy, they were just sick -- messy sick, but it is almost like I feel some sweet ancestor looking down on me and gently chastising me for all the complaining I did yesterday as she thinks back on trying to rock, clean, and care for sick little ones with dirt floors and no clean water and the fear of them actually dying in her mind.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Ask me someone's eye color -- I can't tell you the answer. Do I like the moderny light fixture in my bedroom at the new house? I didn't realize there was a light fixture. But seriously, it gets worse. I don't have the slightest idea of what type of vehicle anyone drives -- I usually just have a vague idea of the color and perhaps the size (you know, a van as opposed to a car). Mike recently mentioned something about the unused sink in my parent's garage and I had no idea what he was talking about. What? My parent's have a sink in their garage? I lived there nearly 23 years with out noticing that.
Awhile back we needed to borrow a hitch from my brother. It was on their jeep which was parked down in their ward parking lot where his wife was setting up stuff for some Super Saturday thing. Mike was worried that my sister-in-law would come out and be worried someone had stolen it. This seemed highly unlikely to me as I couldn't imagine ever in a million years walking out to my car and noticing a missing hitch. I probably wouldn't even remember whether or not we had a hitch on there to begin with.
Occasionally I will notice some detail -- like a small dent in our door or some such. I will bring it to Mike's attention only to be told it has been there for five or six years.
And that is the thing that has recently made me aware of how poorly I pay attention to details -- Mike. It is beginning to seem to me that no detail escapes his awareness. When I first thoroughly cleaned the bathroom at our new house I noticed that there was a small seem full of lint, etc. where they had not connected the wood floor all the way to the vanity. I was eager to tell Mike because well, I always feel special to have noticed ANY detail he has missed. He knew about it. He even knew about the crayon colored on the underside of the counter ledge (that I only just discovered today).
Anyway, I am going to be of no use to the police when I am called in for questioning after witnessing a crime. "Oh, it was definitely a male. Maybe 4 to 7 feet tall. I'm not sure what color hair or if he had glasses or what he was wearing, but I think he drove off in a reddish car. Yes, I'm sure of that. It was definitely red . . . or maybe blue. I can't be absolutely certain of the model or make, but I am positive it was a car. So, a male in a car. If you have any more questions, I'm happy to help."
Why am I so unaware of details? Maybe that will be my new goal: notice a few more details for crying out loud (and yes, the "for crying out loud" will remain in my official goal decree).
Or, it might be easier to just turn it back to speaking metaphorically and keep me detail deficient. If I'm so good at the forest (the big picture) and don't worry about the minor things along the way I'm doing pretty good right? . . . Of course, I am not so good at that once we speak in metaphor so it sounds like I have it wrong all around!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"Well, Nancy, you certainly deserve it, after all, there is a whole lot on your plate. You must be quite the woman."