Monday, July 26, 2010

I feel satisfied tonight, happy to have gotten the household's laundry done, happy in time spent with Ruth and Liam, glad Bob is coming home from Blacksburg tomorrow night. he had a really great visit with family. I hear the pleasure in his voice - such good people he comes from. Highlight this afternoon was a fierce thuderstorm that hit while Ruth, Liam, and I were in Home Depot looking at doors and windows for the little house we are building out back for K.K. The storm was unusually quick rolling in, roared loud, flashed bright. Liam loved it and kept asking his Mama to make more thunder. Sometimes even his magic mama can't make something happen. We walked the dogs after the rain slowed to gentle mist, marveled at being cool in Texas on an evening in July.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Moon is big tonight, time got away this month during its waxing. I felt sad seeing it so full so experientially soon after I saw it as a crescent. This summer is passing fast for me, so busy and full of change, sweetness I want to hold as well as stress. I'm enjoying the house to myself tonight, though I miss Bob. His family visit sounds delightful. I'm rethinking my decision to stay here and worm would have enjoyed this visit. Liam and his Mom made nachos for midafternoon snack, and Chris taughjt K.K. to make chocolate chip pancakes this morning. So much of what is precious is ordinary time shared.
Several sudden deaths in my broader circle have me wanting to share a recent poem about life and living it here as well as in the poetry blog.


I am thankful for the times
I've dropped practical concerns,
rolled on the floor with the toddler,
giggled or wept too late with friends,
walked a dusky beach until moonrise,
made love on a rainy winter afternoon
with floor unswept, dishes in the sink.
Death says no soon enough.
In the mean time, I say yes.

Victoria Hendricks
July 14, 2010
Shabbat again. This summer is so stressful I especially appreciate the pause, and the way we have been marking it with the ritual meal. We are no where near Orthodox - but there is something beautiful in having a break from business, a sense of standing on holy ground as a family at least once a week. I felt the air change tonight as we lifted Chris' prayer shawl over Liam and stood together in our little tent, a refuge of blessing. This work wee really played out my mantra of "Life is hard and life is good." I saw so much suffering this week - and also had utterly delightful catch up coaching sessions with young women I saw regularly years ago - both doing well in their lives, thriving, and coming back to share their successes and dreams with me. It is such a delight to see growth and joy, hard won.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I am so far behind - time to resort to bullet format and stream of consciousness and just get everything down that seems important at all.

-Bob turned 61 on Saturday and I revived his mother's wonderful tradition of letting the birthday person be "boss for the day". It was so much fun for me to be at his beck and call and see what he would want to do. We started the day with a walk on Town Lake, ended with a local (tiny funky theater that supports local artists) performance of the play Circle Mirror of Transformation, which we both enjoyed, though it was set in a creative drama class and caught some of my vulnerabilities about times I have "made a fool of myself" in pursuit of creative goals. I have not been sure if I like naturalistic theatre, but I think I do when it is done with a sensitive touch. I feel some redemption that I tried to write some more naturalistic scripts, with pauses and awkward human interactions when I was younger and was told audiences would be bored - apparently not always today. Liam and Ruth baked Bob a wonderful lemon birthday cake with the word "celebration" written in candles - and this man sure deserves celebrating. Chris fixed spicy and low fat chicken and steak on the grill with the best pineapple chipolte sauce I've ever tasted. We talked at dinner - with K.K. present, about the things we love about Bob, including his trip planning, his attention to making sure we communicate fully, his willingness to admit and change when he has made a mistake, and his radical acceptance of us all with our quirks and mistakes. I am crazy in love with my husband, more than ever as our relationship seems to catch up with it's history. What started in innocent hope has moved through challenges of blended family, health problems, career change, to a place of tremendous mutual respect and increasing teamwork.

-Housing changes are coming fast and furious and not nailed down yet - more as that shifts. Probably K.K. will live with us during the school year while her family moves to San Antonio for work. And we still have to get Bob home all the way, the stuff as well as the man.

-Bob is visiting his parents in Blacksburg on Thursday. I'm sad I chose to stay here and work, but it's probably a good thing since work is demanding and delightful right now.

-I'm newly addicted to hills work outs on the treadmill at the gym and both Bob and I continue to lose weight and feel more fit, about which I am a bit heady.

-I struggle with my desire to make everything perfect or at least good for everybody I love all the time (nothing new there) and am more and more seeing that this is a growing edge for me, letting go of needing to buffer pain for those I love.

-Irrational physiological anxiety will probably always be part of my life, and that pisses me off, but I am determined to neither deny the anxiety or be ruled by it. I have anxiety. Anxiety does not have me.

-The online poetry community is COOL, and I want to devote more time to becoming a stronger part of it. i don't just want to, I will!

-Old friends celebrated Marie's birthday Sunday night. It was great. Nothing like old friends. I remember her thirtieth birthday celebration. I remember meeting her when Joanna was the age Liam is now! Time does pass and that's not all bad. Roots grow deep with time.

-Kerry has been dead 21 years - bizarre! I remember some of the events of the summer of his death as if they happened yesterday, and yet that time almost seems like another person lived it. I'm thankful for both of my marriages, both of my lives.

-It has been a relatively moderate and very green summer. Crepe myrtle season is past it's peak, but the flowers of that summer plant are still visible in a variety of colors and please me deeply. Red bud is early spring, Crepe myrtle high summer.

-It's James' birthday today. I'm proud of the way he and Joanna have managed their separation and continued to both parent their kids. He is taking the kids to his family's ranch for the midweek, and that is something they all look forward to.

-I've been visiting Northwest Pool (walking distance) on summer afternoons for more than 31 years and there is not much more delightful than a summer afternoon at your neighborhood pool, especially with whichever generation of family babies in tow.

-Hummus, especially citrus or black pepper, pineapple, and blueberries are my favorite summer foods - oh, ahd cashews with black pepper.

-The moon has been a rising crescent this week, probably half tonight, and I just learned that after full, Bob's favorite shape of moon is the lemon slice, barely still a crescent, just short of half. My favorite, maybe even more than full, is the very first visible crescent, just tiny and barely visible. For me that is hope's moon. What is your favorite phase of the moon?

-Usually moderation in bedtime is good for me but once in a while, like tonihgt, absorboing enough silence to allow a crazy flow of writing is more valuable than sleep.

-For the ump-hundreth time, Life is good and life is hard. Most everything is multidetermined. Those seem to be my most familiar anchoring statements lately. And real really is better than perfect (because it is possible).


Nobody's perfect. That's for sure.
Not me, no where close. Imperfect.
So it's good nobody's perfect as
long as each of us remembers
nobody's perfect. That's for sure.

Victoria Hendricks
July 14, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I have trouble writing about my life right now. So much is changing. It seems like everything is changing day to day, but I know it's not quite that extreme. Bob is for sure moving back to Austin to teach sixth grade in the fall, which means we need to clean out his apartment. Joanna's family is moving out of Ruth's house so Ruth and Chris can sell the house, and I have been helping with the packing for that move. K.K. and Zachary are super helpers, even long hard hot packing days, and Andrea is a darling toddle-waddle who tries to help or hinder by turns, putting the right things into boxes or taking the wrong things out. Danny is in Corpus with Bob at the Texas State Aquarium's explorer camp, which is superb and perfect for him. The kids are learningto use a seine net in the sand, to identify birds, fish, and insects, to canoe, to use a compass, the rudiments of scubs - so many real
naturalist skills. Danny is in his element, totally thrilled. His voice just resonated joy when he told me on the phone about the BIG black bellied whistling duck that flew low over his head in the marsh, whistling. Bob works hard to make the right activities happen for the grandkids every summer, and he sure has hit with Danny and Sea Camp. Actually, I'd like to go to Sea Camp myself.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Hard week. Exciting week. So much change. So much sadness and loss at work and in the larger world. I'm glad Bob is coming home for good and dreading the work of moving him home. I wish I could just focus on the good parts and not dread the work.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

It's really amazing - everything's changing. Bob was hired on the spot to teach sixth grade at Andrews Elementary here in Austin. So he'll be home for good after seven years of keeping two households. We got used to it. it worked. I loved getting to know the Corpus community - our beach and birding time - and the lives of the families and kids we met down there. If I'd thought it would be seven years when we started, I wouldn't have gone for it, but it hasn't seemed long or bad or hard. But now he'll be home and a whole new phase starting. I'm excited about being able to easily help in the classroom, to go to assemblies and plays and things, and just to be together day in and day out, night in and night out. And not keeping two households will sure be easier on the pocketbook.

It's crazy weather here because of Hurricaine Alex, highs around 80 and lots of rain, nothing like early July in Texas where we are usually well into the 90's if not 100.