Monday, March 21, 2011

Bob and I are home, the ice chest is dumped, and I've drawn a bath. We hiked more early this morning near Deming and got a good long look at a pair or prairie falcons. They were beautiful flying back and forth in front of a rugged cliff and a field of brilliant blue sky. On our way home we watched the moon rise red. We were totally bad nutritionally and had chicken fried steak and buttermilk pie for supper in the perfect west Texas little town cafe. Delicious. We did split one order - some concession to good sense. Ruth turns 30 tomorrow. I'm at that good place of having enjoyed being away and now enjoying being home, though still putting off checking work messages. Oh, we did make even more writing progress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm in Deming in a motel room with Bob already asleep and yarn all over the place. The bright yellow object I just finished knitting is a peculiar size - usable? I hope so. maybe it will make more sense in the morning. Bob and I had a great drive across west Texas and wonderful progress with our writing idea. This is the best we've ever done with cocreation and I'm hopeful.Being away from usual connections and responsibilities is relaxing and stressful both. I've never been great at letting go and letting be. Everybody I love, know you are in my heart even though I won't have internet for two days.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My husband is wonderful. Yes I am bragging and yes I know how lucky I am. I've been working crazy hard long hours at the office and he had the garden in and the trip groceries bought and us just about ready to head off in the morning to write, hike, and rest in the New Mexico mountains. There will be no internet some of the time, so don't worry about the absence of entries. We'll be back Sunday night.

Monday, March 14, 2011

This week marks the sad end of my daughter Ruth's pregnancy with her daughter Mira. It was redbud time, spring break, soft weather like this when we got the call from the hospital in the middle of the night that she was bleeding, a long sad weekend of hoping that Mira had survived the shock, then the news of death from the sonogram, the D and C and the grief.Mira went from imagined grandchild, hoped for, to dragon fly symbol. Now her little brother Liam is two and often when he sees a dragonfly, live or in art, he tells me "My sister die. Fly away." I'm glad we are a family that remembers our losses and tells the truth. I'm glad we are a family that celebrates life in the presence of death. I'm glad we are able to mourn and remember Miraand to celebrate Liam everyday. I'm up in the middle of the night feeling anxious, and also ver glad of my family, period.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's been a rough week at work - so much pain. I feel pretty helpless sometimes. Familywise things are good. Liam has first skates and can actually roller skate. The design is much more stable than when we were kids. Bob is putting in a vegetable garden and Chris and Ruth areworking on the front yard, putting in grass seed, beautiful plants in front to the deck, and now some paving stones to broaden the walk up to the deck. They are so good in space. To think a year ago there was no deck at all. Bob and I have a writing retreat to New Mexico planned starting Wednesday and he especially is full of exciting ideas for our children's book. I'm having trouble feeling free to travel, and also feel a strong need to be off in the mountains with him. We'll see if I have the guts to go. Balance is so hard.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

After late winter in Milwaukee - white on white, I am immersed in Austin spring with cool nights, warm afternoons, a softness to the air and color bursting everywhere. It is full redbud time now, every pink tree vying to outdo her neighbor, and fruit trees, white and pink as well as lavender lilacs and wisteria are beginning to join the mix. Leaf buds burst from more and more still trees, and the earliester leafers are already providing the promise of canopy in the very softest greens.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I love the Milwaukee airport. It has a flight museum, a cool playscape for kids, a Leningrad Peace mural, and at least five flavors of citrus sorbet. I splurged on a double scoop of orange and lemon - YUM! People were friendly and helpful at every turn. My favorite thing though was the sign "Reconbobulation Zone" right after the security disconbobulation areea. That really made me smile.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Wisconsin in winter is white. Sky ground everything - white. I guess this is no news to people who have lived where winter is unremittingly snowy, but it is new to me -early march, all white, everything routine, not drama about it. It would take a blizzard, which they had a couple of weeks ago, to create drama. I think I would miss color in nature more than I would mind the cold temperatures. One can dress for cold, and I guess I would dress and decorate very colorfully if I lived in a world where one whole season was devoid of color.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Today was a starry letter today - literally. When KK opened the letter from McCallum Fine Arts Academy she knew right away it contained good news because star confetti fell out onto her hands. She has been accepted into the academy to study dance, and of course to complete her high school education. That is a marvelous thing for KK, great accomplishment to work past early deafness, dyslexia, the difficulty of dance training and still doing homework, nervousness over the audition and interview and now to be grabbing hold of a chance to go to school with other kids who care about the arts and also to study dance with top teachers from around the country in masters' classes. I'm so happy for our girl.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Odd experience for me today was spending a few moments with a uniformed soldier who had a beautiful black Lab with him. we talked a few minutes about the dog and then I said, impulsively "Thank you for your service." I felt a little dorky having said it, so I asked him if he gets sick of hearing things like that or if it still feels good. he told me he hardly ever hears it and that it feels very good. So I guess I will overcome my shyness and say it more often. I am confused about the politics of war, but feel sweetness for the young people risking their lives to protect lives.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Another take on early spring is KK, at fourteen, in her own early spring and so prone to storms of giggles or tears, so vulnerable, open, beautiful.This week there are more giggles than tears. I love you, girl, whatever your inner weather. This is a girl who has started taking over the food put away part of kitchen clean up spontaneously, who has said recently that she wants to get better at conversation and is working consciously on doing so, and who is pink and pretty and utterly silly about checking Facebook to see if certain young men are on line.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I think March is my favorite month in Texas. The blossoms and greening ning up and less freesh start, but there is still wind, unpredictability, the possibility of freeze.I'm sishing for more greening up and less deep freeae in the lives of many I know who are suffering this spring. A friend asked why knitting is so important to me right now. I think it's because I am unusually aware of unusual amounts of suffering and somehow knitting soft colors and textures together feels like an antidote, where as poems I write seem more like descriptions of the suffering, not comforts. All prompts seem to take me to suffering these days. For instance, this is my
take on stripes.


Prisoner of war
carries stripes of lash
on back all his days,
inescapble even
when hidden by
most expensive
silk shirt. My
own stripes,
yours, less visible
equally inescapable.

Victoria Hendricks
March 2, 2011

I'm not as discouraged as I might sound, just very aware of human pain every where I look. and then I see little Liam sleeping in utter bliss, absence of pain, and know that he will know all kinds of suffering and losses too and my job with him, wiht all the little ones is to protect some, but mostly to teach that the energy of pain can be converted into service, art, and work.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Bob really is getting the garden in, or at least prepared. I'm excited by that, as by Liam's increasingly delightful language and KK's happiness as innocent romance blooms for her with the first green of spring. I wore the first of my fun outfits from Ruth's closet to work today and got at least a dozen compliments. I do know how to raise daughters with good taste who then know how to dress their mother! That's a perk of having girls I never expected.