Tuesday, December 30, 2008


You were a humdinger,
gunslinger year, wildly
you dealt wild cards, birth,
death, illness, threat, hope,
love, loss, turmoil, triumph,
all jumbled up .New patterns
New promises, New paradoxes
will unfold on the watch of 2009.
Sit down. Your turn is done.

Victoria Hendricks, December 31, 2008
Long work day and about to take off to Oklahoma with Bob and the kids in the new Prius - should be a lovely break for all of us - supposed to be cool daytime and cold nigh - indoor swimming pool at the hotel, buffalo, elk, and prairie dogs, longhorn cattle, snow geese, birds of prey on the refuge. We are all excited and I'm also glad we don't need an early start. I'll have time to put the house properly to bed in the morning after getting myself to bed tonight.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Danny is well celebrated - sweet time at the Austin zoo. He delighted in his presents and cake and just had smiles for everyone and everything. I thought it was sweet that K.K. had asked him what he wanted her to wear for his birthday and he chose an outfit and she wore it - just seems like something not every brother and sister pair their ages would do. Our new pearly blue Prius is out in the driveway. Bob and I stopped on the way home from signing final papers to buy seat covers - soft microfleece for the front seat and flannel for the kids in back -I wish they made microfleece for bench seats. We even got a new car trash container. I think we're funny, so excited about this car. S far it is averaging 54 miles a gallon and that's partly in town - AMAZING! All of us are excited about our road trip to Oklahoma with the kids in the new car starting Wednesday. K.K. is closer to packed than I am, I think. That girl is incredibly detail oriented. I work a long day tomorrow, but then am off for a whole week, which will be great. Last week I worked in and out between the holidays so this next week will be more of a vacation.
Danny's ten today. We'll go out to the little zoo (Austin Zoo) later to celebrate. That is his favorite place to celebrate birthdays in good weather and today is lovely blue, in the sixties. I remember turning ten - 1960 - thinking about the change in decades and the change in me - feeling like it was an important birthday. I have a specific memory of sitting in a little dark wood rocker (in Joanna's house now) in my blue room in Houston, thinking these thoughts. I wonder what Danny will remember about today. Easier to know what I remember about Danny almost ten - eagerness on every level, specifically eagerness to learn despite struggles with dyslexia - love for what he can get from books ANYWAY - and the determination to be able to get much more of it himself, enthusiasm for life and love, generosity of spirit, sweet smile, warm hugs, love of the ocean and all things related there to, a tendency to burst into song, high capacity for empathy and thus a tendency to be upset when others are or to feel "stuck" between others' desires, needs, preferences, love of helping, especially in the kitchen, great adventurous appetite and love of good food, love of food period because of enormous growth spurt, long legs and arms that show off wrists and ankles more than we'd like because his clothes just keep getting smaller, beautiful honey colored hair, very much like Ruth's, a resemblance to pictures of has grandpa Kerry at the same age, good sense of style, love of word and card games, love of his family. Now I should stop listing and make said ten year old a cake. Bob has gone to get the Prius - what a thrill! I bet the birthday boy is the first invited to ride.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I've had time today to catch up - post my writerly attempts from earlier this week - so if you are interested in poems, check entries going back to December 21. Bob gave up on watching the Cowboys succomb to slaughter by Philladelphia this afternoon and is now dozing in front of the Jets and Miami game while I catch up on email. I bought groceries this afternoon and was entertained by the full sized pineapples - complete with greens. Ruth's pregnancy blog states that Liam is now about the size of a pineapple - a good sized fruit. Eager now to have both grand babies in arms, but not quite yet. Being with both pregnant (Bob made me smile by saying "beautiful pregnant" daughters for the holidays has been a real treat. It is definitely time to get busy planning and throwing showers.

At another life cycle moment, K.K. invited her dancer friend (and crush) Ian to the Hanukkah party and it was a delight to watch the two, very young in adult terms, very well mannered dancers, sit close together playing dreidel, sharing lattkes. K.K. called me this morning just to talk about how much fun she had last night - with Ian. I was glad to hear that. It was hard to tell by watching because both young people were quiet, reserved, careful, probably uncomfortable. I remember feeling like that in sixth grade at the swimming party of David Speak, upon whom I had a huge unrequited crush. K.K., I think, does not need to worry about her feelings being unrequited.

Christmas Eve at Joanna's house, while she and Tracy worshiped at mass, was sweet. Bob read the Christmas story to the children after Santa's cookies were in place on the mantle with a cup of milk Danny poured and carried himself without spilling a drop. Only K.k. was awake when the story was done, but the boys managed to rouse themselves to stumble upstairs to cuddle snug in their beds. I also loved it that, though we spent less than some years, all three children were outspoken in being thrilled with their gifts. K.K. said she got "absolutely everything I wanted!" with a look of transcendent joy - something I don't hear from any people of any age, and the boys seeem to feel the same. The adults too for that matter. Joanna makes a good Christmas.

Bob and I watched a superb, though painful film called "A Beautiful Country" while winding down on Christmas night. About a son of a Viet Nam war era GI and a Vietnamese mother who is terribly mistreated in Viet Nam because of the hatred for mixed race kids - "children of the enemy" "ugly" "pigface" "lower than dust". The hero truly is a hero, a hard working young man of great heart who eventually makes his arduous way to Texas to find his father. I will not give away the story, but Bob and I both give this film maximum stars.
Winter Holiday Season

I used to hate it when people called
winter holiday time "the holiday season"
as if no other season or cycle of holidays
counted or even existed. Now I see beauty
in this holiday season, which begins in thanks
giving, abides lengthening nights, shortening days,
honors expected return of the sun, making
a festival of lights, honoring hope for us all
in the birth of a babe, and concluding as
we begin a new cycle with resolution.

Victoria Hendricks - December 22 - 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Late - should be asleep.
Menorrah awaits finale
Eight candles tomorrow,
full on, full glow, delight.
Then back to high shelf,
aglow in memory always,
and in expectation, hope.
After Ruth and Chris' Hannukah party, I know I should go to bed. It's been a busy, rich week. Bob had a minor but car destroying (not people hurting) car accident on Christmas Eve morning while I was at work. Ruth and Chris took tie from their crazy day to rescue him and pick me up at work and help us finish shopping. Bob felt guilty and sad about having destroyed a car that had served us so well and taken us so many places. I felt relieved he wasn't hurt and touched by Ruth and Chris' support. They also lent us Chris' car to use during the holiday break. Today we chose and have almost finished purchasing a Toyota Prius (what a cool car, with a camera to show what is behind when you back up and of course the hybrid greenness - our version is pearly blue). We left the dealership before finalizing the deal because we needed to get to Ruth's Hannukah party, which was probably the best of many good ones - a really delightful mix of chances to talk with old friends and get closer to newer friends of Ruth's and Chris's.

Christmas day at Joanna's house was lovely - such delight in the growing up children and hope in the babies to come - sweetness sharing food and time. K.K. and I ended up reorganizing her drawers and closet (one of those things we never would have planned but were delighted to have accomplished - started in the process of putting away new clothes and just grew). Tracy and Chris put up a backyard basketball hoop for the boy and all boys of all ages played some basket ball. There was a moment cleaning the kitchen after dinner when I felt the "three generations in the kitchen" sweetness agai, like at Thanksgiving. That is one of my favorite versions of sweetness.

I love my family - am so blessed in my family.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Robert Lee Brewer, at Poetic Asides, http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/default.aspx - a poetry site which I use for inspiration suggested a holiday acrostic for this week. I had trouble thinking which holiday word to use - Christmas? Hanukkah? Winter Solstice? New Year? Finally I settled on the "home for the holidays theme after hearing clients struggle all week with the difficulty of going home or having grown children come home for the holidays - also the joy involved and the opportunities for healing. Since my daughters and grand children all live close and we see each other often we don't have the "home for the holidays" tensions, but I remember them from my twenties. This poem is also partly inspired by the holiday tensions of women friends and is a wish fulfillment poem for Chris' family - a wish that the tension in their home will ease and the love (which I know is there and strong) will fill their home.

Home for the Holidays

Hopeful mother prepares.
Opens attic boxes, recipe file.
Makes cakes, garlands, plans.
Expects tradition to unfold.

Family members gather.
Old resentments rise and fall.
Real conflicts surface.

Tension mounts, tests tradition.
Hour by hour, memories haunt.
Emotions swirl, bright and dark.

Hug in the kitchen clears air.
Oranges and ginger perfume house.
Love rises, stronger than resentment
Important confidences build trust.
Differences shrink to actual size.
Adults and children, children and adults
Yearn to hang onto this day, this memory.
Satisfaction permeates sleeping house.

Victoria Hendricks - 12-24-2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mystery of Birth

Whether Jesus was Messiah
is a matter for theologians.
I love the celebration of his birth.,
Baby born outside propriety,
in humble circumstances,
baby who grew to teach, heal,
reform, lead, change, comfort.
Every babe I see, born outside
propriety, in humble circumstances,
or in perfect propriety sucking
silver spoon, I think of baby Jesus,
and I know each babe could be
teacher, healer, leader, reformer.
Can't know. Beautiful mystery of birth.

Victoria Hendricks - December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


The night before, no one
knows for sure tomorrow will come
Christmas Eve, Erev Yom Kippur,
Eve of new year, marriage, birth.
Festivals require celebration
Eves require trust -ability
to act as if. Every moment is
transitional, uncertain, eve to
the next moment of life as I know it
or eve to mysterious unknowable chapter.

Victoria Hendricks - 12- 24-2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Solstice - 2008

Temperature hovers just below freezing.
Pillowed clouds hang pale, low, full of snow.
Hannukah candles await dusk on silver tray.
Empty menorah reminds us light returns
before the glow is visible. Energy wakens
today, first day of winter marks beginning
of spring's green hope, promises flowers.

Victoria Hendricks, December 22, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008


56 was an easy year - peaceful,
no weddings, deaths, divorces,
pregnancies, births, major illnesses,
no big accomplishments. 57 shook life
by the neck - deaths of beloved elders,
parents of friends, life threatening
illnesses or family and friends,
Ruth unexpectedly, joyfully pregnant
in winter, baby Mira died in spring.
Joanna's marriage, revealed as broken,
ended, new love in her life and family,
offered opportunity to know and love Tracy.
Train trip alone across desert to writer's
retreat with friends at Big Bear produced
new poems- sorted recipes, letters, toward
making snse of family story - made it real.
Bob in hospital with blood clot, could have
blown as aneurysm, could have killed him.
Ruth became pregnant again come summer. Joanna too.
Twin cousins are charted for February arrival
K.K. reached puberty,started middle school.
emergws as the serious dancer she hopes to be.
Danny and Zachary reaching new maturity, calm,
Danny created space alien and ocean books,
Zachary shot basket after basket, dribbled.
Bob and I charted possible retirement in six
years, seven? My work life tripled in intensity
and income. Essay published in grief book.
Economy crashed, jobs lost, stocks lost,future shaky,
people frightened. Barack Obama elected President.
57 shook life by the neck. 58? Can't know yet.
I count my blessings to have gotten this far.

Victoria Hendricks - 12=22-2009

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bob is home and that feels so good. We hiked at McKinny Falls last night before the cold front hit and heard coyotes yipping loudly - quite a number of them, close to the trail - impressive! Tonight we went with Ruth and Chris to the synagoues first night Hanukah party in a lovely country home. Good food, song, joy. I feel tired right now - not inspired to write. Happy though, watching menorah flames burn down. Tomorrow is my birthday 58 - I feel fortunate to be so surrounded by love.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm thinking about mortality tonight - a young mother whose blog I've been reading and who has been ill with sarcoma, but hoping for remission, recovery, just was placed in hospice care. My friend Paul came in today and reported that his brain tumor has shrunk again - good news - but he's still having seizures and his baby's only si weeks old. Both of these people, in the midst of their illnesses, seem richly alive, more present than many of us with good health, and I remember that kind of presence in Kerry when he was ill too (also before he was ill). I found a quote that expresses this quality of rich aliveness in face of death in “Kitchen Table Wisdom,” a book of reflections by Rachel Naomi Remen.

Telling about people with terrible illnesses who nonetheless choose to “show up for whatever life may offer,” she describes them as “in­tensely alive, intensely present.” She writes:

“From such people I have learned a new definition of the word ‘joy.’ I had thought joy to be rather synonymous with happiness, but it seems now to be far less vulnerable than happiness. Joy seems to be a part of an unconditional will to live, not holding back because life may not meet our preferences and expectations. Joy seems to be a function of the willingness to accept the whole, and to show up to meet with whatever is there. It has a kind of invincibility that attachment to any particular outcome would deny us. Rather than the warrior who fights toward a specific outcome and therefore is haunted by the specter of failure and disappointment, it is the lover drunk with the opportunity to love despite the possibility of love, the player for Surrendering our lives to God gives us the freedom to experience real joywhom playing has become more important than winning or losing.

“The willingness to win or lose moves us out of an adversarial relationship to life and into a powerful kind of openness. From such a position, we can make a greater commitment to life. Not only pleasant life, or comfortable life, or our idea of life, but all life. Joy seems more closely related to aliveness than to happiness.”
Bob is on vacation now, though he won't be home until morning. I'm excited about having holiday break together. He had a good last day before break with his kids and I had a good busy Friday at work too.

It is better to light candles
than to curse the darkness.
It is better to plant seeds
than to accuse the earth.
The world needs all of our power
and love and energy,
and each of us has something that we can give.
The trick is to find it and use it,
to find it and give it away.
So there will always be more.
We can be lights for each other,
and through each other's illumination
we will see the way.
Each of us is a seed,
a silent promise,
and it is always spring.
Merle Shain

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Foggy, foggy morning. It was scary going to work in the fog, could barely see the cars coming. Tonight is a little less foggy, and warmish. It is a crazy winter, wildly fluctuating temperatures. I think Christmas day is supposed to be cool/cold like one hopes - but not snowy

K.K. is just finishing up her last Nut Cracker performance. My boxes are mailed. to out of state family. I still want to write a few winter letters and cards - am feeling excited about Bob coming home and about all the holiday activities next week - Christmas morning at Joanna's, Ruth's Hanukkah party. It has been an eventful year - lots of loss and change, lots of new beginnings - so unlike my quiet 2007

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Foggy evening after long work day. Maybe the recession/Depression/economic downturn, whatever we call it is hitting Austin now. Ive heard a rumor that one of the big new office towers down town has been "unable to make its rent". I don't know what that means exactly, for the people who work there, for Austin, if it's the first of many or a single incident. I've been reading lots of old family letters, written during the hard times in the thirties. For our family those were lean times, struggling times but not terrible starving times as they were for so many Americans. Every one worked hard and family members depended on eah other. Those are the stories I grew up on, Depression stories, and I think my consciousness is more of that time than of the more independent, prosperous times since. I like seeing our family and friends coming together now, taking care of and helping out each other. It feels right, real.

I really loved last night - my extended Austin family all together, happy. Except that Bob wasn't with us. Next week he'll be here though, for two whole weeks - and that will feel really good, comforting, steady.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today was another good family day - Tracy's first birthday among us. I was so pleased the Jeanie and Mark, Marie and Bill, as well as Ruth and Chris went to the annual Christmas sing a long with the kids. Then everybody came back here and we sang and ate three cakes I had baked. Tray wanted German chocolate and I think it was a success, as well as a Heath bar crunch cake and a marble cake. It was so good being in our community, feeling loved. Tray loved being loved on and celebrated - and he is good at showing that, which feels good.

It's been colder than usual - a little sleety but not the kind that paralyzes traffic. I walked to the bank around noon today and was plenty warm in my coat and hoodie, but was enthralled by the ice sculptures drooping from the trees - narrow streams of water frozen into icy streams.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What a weekend - so rich in family and culture!

Saturday afternoon K.K., Bob and I went to see "Magic in Manhattan" a musical created by her favorite jazz and tap teachers at Ballet Austin. Her dear friend Ian sang in the chorus and played his violin in this touching show. I was so impressed by the reality level of the show, which dealt with a family separated at Christmastime - the Dad career military in Iraq, using frequent flier miles to send his wife and two kids to New York City for a special Christmas since he can't be with them. The emphasis in the show was on economic hard times - panhandlers, a soup kitchen, the whole idea of the absence of peace on earth and the value of being good to each other - and still there was lots of fun singing and dancing. And its always a treat to be in the Ballet Austin world with K.K., who is known so well there and can't walk ten feet without getting hugged.

Saturday night Ruth and Chris, Joanna and Tracy, and Bob and I went to see K.K. in the Nut Cracker and out to Katz' after. It was great to see K.K. dance as a bon bon for the second year, and to see the Nut Cracker on the stage at the new Long Center - beautifully danced and beautifully lit. James got a ticket not far behind us, which could have been awkward, but wasn't. Everyone behaved well, and I was glad he was able to see K.K. dance and brought her roses. So much has change in our family in the last year. I think I am probably the least adaptable of all of us to the many changes - but even I see the growth in each of us.

Today I took the kids to church, and I'm so impressed by the new priest - who is just full of life and energy, has a beautiful cantoral voice which he uses in chant an song and is just very warm. His sermon theme today was good for me - "Rejoice, anyway." It's so easy to get thrown off, irritable, "too busy". I think I've been in better balance all day in response to his words and the manner in which he delivered them. He also impressed and touched me by interacting directly and personally with the kids - not at all stilted or isolated. He just seems so natural with them and them with him. Zachary reached out to give him a high five and the priest responded in kind without missing a beat. After mass, I saw him standing on the sidewalk in front of the church consoling a woman who was crying - just right there in the windy morning doing what needed doing. It seemed exactly right.

This afternoon while K.K. danced her second to the last Nut Cracker of the year, Bob and the boys ad I went to a park that has basketball courts and Zachary really shone - making 20 baskets in many tries with a full sized ball and regular basket height. He dribbles well too - seems to really be learning how to play with a basketball. Danny made some shots too, but enjoyed a more typical afternoon of playing at the park. Zachary was just obsessed with the basketball - with shooting and with dribbling - dribbling all the way to the car, for example. Bob and I both shot some baskets too. I am always surprised (and shouldn't be) by how goo physical play feels. I've always liked throwing balls around informally and that hasn't changed at all. Want to do it more often.

Friday, December 12, 2008

If there is to be peace in the world-
There must first be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations-
There must first be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities-
There must first be peace between neighbors-
If there is to be peace between neighbors-
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home-
There must be peace in the heart.

I absolutely believe the economic hard times - see evidenc around me - but it's odd because Austin does seem to be in a bit of a protective bouble for now, at least at the upper end. Parking lots at upscale restaurants are full night after night. And the NutCracker - which runs eighteen performances here, is just about sold out - the more expensive seats all sold out except for an occasional loose single seat at the edge of a good section. We are going tomorrow night, Ruth and Chris, Bob and I, and Joanna and Tray, and taking K.K. out to late supper after at Katz - (Katz Never Kloses) her favorite restaurant, a New York style Deli run by a family from synagogue. The owner, Mark Katz, knows K.K. from times when she and I ate there frequently between dance classes and he always comes over and speaks to us and gives her a piece of complementary cheescake occasionally. She always hopes. Tomorrow should be festive. And I think Bob is going to drive home tonight, so I treasure having him for a few extra hours - and of course next weekend he will be home for his break - Hooray! He was a little down yesterday because his kids did not score well on the benchmark test - but I think it's at least partly because half the class was sick. I hope Bob stays well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Language does have the power to change reality. Therefore, treat your words as the mighty instruments they are - to heal, to bring into being, to remove, as if by magic, the terrible violations of childhood, to nurture, to cherish, to bless, to forgive - to create from the whole cloth of your soul, true love.
Daphne Rose Kingma
I am so much enjoying having a calmer work week - time to breathe and do chores backed up on my list, like mending. I still have Christmas/ Hanukkah tasks to do, but don't even go to work until noon tomorrow, so I should have time and energy for those fun jobs in the morning.I like the feel of life right now, as long as I keep work in balance. It is hard to imagine babies coming in February - a real new chapter to our larger family life. Coming, they absolutely are. I'm buying a crib from a client (just $25.00 with sheets, mattress and everything) to set up in my bedroom for visiting grand babies - fun to be entering that stage again. I think having the crib will make the coming of Liam and Andrea (Thing One and Thing Two) seem ore real.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The snow didn't keep into morning - The ground was just too warm - but I'm really glad I went out and let it fall on me - caught a few flakes on my tongue. Today was good - a calmer work week has meant getting some bills paid and notes written, just a little more breathing and a sense that I'm in charge of my pace. Feels good. I still have gift fantasies I haven't gotten to. We'll see.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I've been sitting here with snow and sleet falling outside my window for several hours - and sticking a bit. It's snowing pretty hard - great big flakes, right now - common for those in northern realms but interesting and different here. It also was thundery and snowy at the same time earlier, which felt odd and a little disquieting. Now it's just snowing and blowing - no more thunder and lightening. It was close to seventy earlier today, so the ground has to be warm - but I can see snow accumulating in my yard even in the dark - odd. We'll see what the morning brings.

Without squinting, I see you clearly,
my daughrter, K.K.'s mother, Ruth's sister,
pregnant, laughing, drinking soup in my kitchen ,
but squint a little, let the edges blur, and I see me
years ago, K.K. years from now, Ruth tomorrow,
you at thirteen, ninty four - folded generations.

Victoria Hendricks, December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Successful organizing day - especially considering seeing three clients at home and having a drop in visit from Joanna, Tracy, and the kids - very pleasant. I'll see Jo again tomorrow. She is actually off! I didn't htink that happened in December - and I have a noncrazy work day. We'll have lunch somewhere out and maybe look at baby things. I ordered Ruth's stroller on Saturday - as both daughters look increasingly pregnant, the promise of babies in February seems more real. I'm getting excited.

Something crazy is happening with my computer - I tried to get online for the whole length of my writers' meeting without success, and now I'm online, when I don't really need to be. Strange. I will never understand computers. But I do love the access they give me when they work.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

New poem, not mine - as I begin to focus on light as the days shorten to winter solstice.

It is better to light candles
than to curse the darkness.
It is better to plant seeds
than to accuse the earth.
The world needs all of our power
and love and energy,
and each of us has something that we can give.
The trick is to find it and use it,
to find it and give it away.
So there will always be more.
We can be lights for each other,
and through each other's illumination
we will see the way.
Each of us is a seed,
a silent promise,
and it is always spring.
Merle Shain
Sunday morning - straightening up - so many things I don't get to during the work week. This morning I've already swept, done more laundry, and made some decisions about which clothes I won't be wearing until spring and moved a few more things to the spare room closet. It feels great to be able to make order at any level at all. Later today I'll be doing more baking and cooking (mostly but not all healthy). And this afternoon and evening really do seem to offer time for scrap booking, chronicling, and other gift and family history connected projects.

K.K. is still asleep. I'll wake her and feed her soon before she goes off to dance her matinee. Weather is gorgeous - cold at night, mild in the afternoons, breezy. Some leaves reamain on Danny's maple, much fewer and less bright than last week - but I still see late fall, not winter out my window, which is technically correct. Thirties at night do feel like winter though, Austin style.

Bob stayed in Corpus this weekend to participate as required in his school's eightieth birthday celebration, which was small but prleasant. It sounds like he's had a pleasant weekend with classical music and football for entertainment. He and I really seem to be handling the separations well (though I am eager for his Christmas break at home.) Sticking point seems to still be ending conversations when there is no clear deadline or bedtime, like on weekends. I still feel sad that Bob, rational being that he is, has a sense at some point that we are "done with the conversation" and I, of course, relationaship addict that I am, believe that conversatins with my beloved are NEVER done, and that we only stop talking because the big bad outside world impinges. Bob is very kind to me about this, but last night I learned that he has still been noticing when he feels "done" and has just been politely waiting for me to end the conversations (which I almost always do out of concern for his sleep, not from a sense of completion). This is the kind of situation that makes me very glad I value living from wise woman/higher self and not from pure emotion and need. My wise woman completely understands that BOb loves me as much as I love him and that his feeling he can be "done" talking to me without an outside pressure is not a threat. My emotional self still has trouble with this - but I didn't call Bob repeatedly in the middle of the night to hash it out as many of y clients would have and as I might have in a younger, less evolved state. Mental health and self-awareness really are significant blessings.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I've had a wonderful day, not at all what I expected. Ruth and I talked on the phone at length. She's delightfully excited about preparations for Liam - crib, desired brown corduroy pants, his naming ceremony, the stroller Bob and I ordered for him today. I went with Tracy and K.K. to the dance wear store to get tights and a new pair of pink canvas dance shoes before opening night of The Nutcracker tonight. Then, after the ritual of stitching elastic into the shoes - criss cross at appropriate tightness, K.K. and I baked together until Joanna came to take her to perform. Joanna came back here (much closer to the theater than her house) and had dinner while K.K. danced, and then we had the treat of going and getting her - delighted, composed, so happy after the performance. As we walked out of the theatre lobby K.K. said to me "I can't wait for tomorrow so I can dance again." She has eight Nut Cracker performances in all - one down. Tonight she chose to sleep here so we can do some more crafts and baking before the matinee tomorrow. I should probably sleep so I will want to get up and join her in these activities.

This morning I had interesting thoughts about the characteristics of life (y life) right now - 2008. Sitting at y computer checking email, I took breaks to tie off strands of lemongrass from a friend's garden into knotted bits to use in tea. Clean clothes flapped on the line and another load swirled in the drier. A pot of bean soup simmered on the stove - so much old and so much new in my morning, in my life. I have a 60 year old friend who says that his mother, a child of the Great Depression, was totally enthralled by the conveniences of the fifties and hated old patterns - like hanging clothes, hand washing dishes, or cooking from scratch, because they reminded her of hard, bad times. Now I can wish my Internet connection were faster, and still tie off lemon grass - interesting world.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Better tonight. Still glad the work week is over, but not exhausted. Night poem to share.


Night envelops dreamers,
in hospital bed, in barracks,
on camp cot, on park benchs,
cozy under handmade quilt,
dozing in glider with nursing babe,
snuggled in lovers arms, alone,
rocked close, beloved, forgotten.
Night envelops dreamers.

Victoria Hendricks - December 2, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I am way too tired tonight - long day with group at the end and a week that is just more intensely packed than is good for me. I think I've done good work but wonder if I will start making mistakes if I keep up this pace. Next week is a little less packed and I'm trying hard to keep it that way. I love my work. It has just taken on a life of its own lately and I am not so good at putting edges around it. Bob won't be home this weekend, which is bad (I will miss him) and good (more time for projects that are not related to work). Sleep is probably the best thing I can do at this point.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Days shorten and leaves fall. North wind flings branches around roughly outside my window. Temperatures will be in the thirties the next three nights. I'm still beyond busy at work but am managing to get lunch every day and keep up with the pace, which shows no likelihood of easing in the new year. I think my blog creativity is down though - speaking so many words at work leads to fewer words to share here. I think I'll try a few highlights from last week's trip.

Bob and I stopped for supper the fist night in the small town of Fort Stockton Texas and looked around for a restaurant - found a family owned Mexican place which advertises itself as the "All Madden Hall of Fame" because the well known football commentator, who Bob admires, stopped there once to watch Monday night football and has since made it a regular stop on his travels and become a friend of the family. The lobby is festooned with all kinds of Madden and football paraphernalia. We both tried the Madden special - a chicken dish with peppers which was good.

The Cat Walk in New Mexico's Gila Wilderness is every bit worth the trip, especially in fall when the giant Arizona Sycamores flare gold, then lose their leaves. We stood on the trail well above the Gila river and watched the hand sized golden leaves drift and dance down on the wind, then float downstream. Waterfalls of different sizes each had a unique song. http://www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails/trailNRT/Catwalk-NM.html

I actually beat Bob at Scrabble Monday night in Wilcox. I won with the word "finny" on a triple word score with the "F" on a triple letter score. That made me smile.

Coati mondi remained elusive at Chiricahua National Monument http://www.amwest-travel.com/awt_chiricahua.html, but we did see the rarest mammal in Arizona, the Chiricahua fox squirrel, who was adorably red and seemed to hop more than your average squirrel. I was thrilled as always on this trip to have found such a well matched hiking companion in Bob - not hurried, interested in taking everything in, just as I am, though much better with binoculars!

Tuesday night, after hiking the Chiricahua, neither of us felt quite done - quite ready to go home. I felt melancholy and would have just stayed in that mood, but Bob, being the magic finder man that he is, found a short route to Guadalupe Mountains National Park so we could hike McKitrick Canyon in Texas on the way home. That trail never disappoints. It was the first trail Bob showed me after we married, and a favorite with both of us. I've hiked it in winter and summer, but never hit fall before, and fall is absolutely the best. I'm still dreaming nights of the Texas madronnes laden with vibrant red berries and the big tooth maples flaming. Bob spotted a large (to our eyes) spotted fish in the very clear shallow water of a stream we crossed. I frightened the fish away when I crouched down predator like for a better look. His speed in take off impressed me.

After the extra hike - magic like any totally unexpected, apparently impossible treat, I was ready to head home for Thanksgiving - felt our trip had a real ending, a completion.