Thursday, June 25, 2015

M Is for Middle. M is for Madison.

I read this saying the other day that your first born child is the one who makes you parents, and it's your youngest child that makes you empty nesters. While that saying is very much the truth, what about that middle child? What does the middle child make you--crazy, perhaps? 

When our middle gets the opportunity to come home we are not left wondering if she is in fact here.  Her larger than life personality does not leave us questioning.  She always is adding humor and fire to situations. On the flip side she is always quick to show her gratitude for the things we do for her--like spending hundreds of dollars on her car to keep it in safe running condition, or reflecting on past adventures. 

She enjoys spending time with us...from getting rained on in the botanical gardens on a mom date, to infusing herself with history on a parent date. 

The middle is never left short of picture opportunity with a sister.  The middle is the meat between two slices of bread, or the pages between the cover of a book....

When it was time for our middle to return to her college town where she works for a minor league baseball team, parting was sweet sorrow.  I was back in my world of "home alone"-- which actually isn't all that terrible! (sorry kids!).  What neither King Ralph or I expected was a call that half way into her drive she blew a tire.  A tire was not part of the hundreds of dollars spent on car repair while she was she home.  Thank God for AAA.  Walmart, uhg! The place where prices drop, but the automotive department stands still in time.  Three hours later she had a new tire, and never showed for work that day.  

While she was sitting idle in Walmart I kept finding all these reminders that she was home.  

And this my friends, is how sibling wars begin! 
(The pantry white board) 
(The lower level family room) 

My thought, Princess A made us parents, and D made us empty nesters, but the middle child is the one who keeps the family alive! 

M is for middle. M is for Madison.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY, Come Again Another Day (like weeks and weeks and weeks from now)

There is something lost in my usual summer hall pass morning ritual of sipping my cup of hot tea on the deck, grabbing the morning sun and reading a book.  There is something lost in my morning summer hall pass ritual of walking to Starbucks on Monday and Friday for a latte--exercise and caffeine all rolled into one.  There is something lost in my usual summer hall pass morning ritual when all my phone does is spit out emergency alerts that the area rivers are about to flash flood. There is something lost in my usual summer hall pass ritual of taking walks outside or bronzing my skin for an exact thirty minutes a day.  There is something lost in my usual summer hall pass ritual when I can't lunch with my girlfriends at eateries with patio dining or float on a raft in my sister-in-law's pool.  Mother Nature is screwing with a ritual that cleanses my spirit and lifts me up.

Yesterday; however, after a day of constant rain, I caught a burst of unexpected sunshine.  At 5pm a short break in the rain occurred.  The sky was blue, with soft white fluffy clouds and the sun poured down right onto my deck.  I grabbed my NOOK, opened my favorite chair and stretched out soaking in every last ray that was offered up in that twenty minute tease of a gift.  A girl's got to take whatever Mother Nature is willing share...or should I say spare?  While the sun was shining a gust of pleasant sweet wind blew and the rain laden maple tree leaves danced.  They danced a day's worth of water off its leaves--mimicking rain falling.  It was so beautiful, almost musical, with an encore performance.  Then as fast as the sun appeared it was gobbled up by a new batch of grey clouds and the rain resurfaced.

Once the sun set the rain stopped.  Then while we slept it started again.  And hasn't let up.  I miss the sounds of the cardinals chirping their early morning song of "birdie-birdie-birdie" and the young neighbor kids laughing in their yards.  I miss the sound of lawn mowers grooming yards .I miss the sight of my neighbor's underground sprinkler going off at the exact same time each day. I miss, I miss, I miss--a lot of thing sunshine permits us too. Ugh! ENOUGH ALREADY. IT'S BEEN RAINING SINCE LAST SUNDAY.  ENOUGH!!

Instead I am left to watching Redbox and Netflix movies, walking on the treadmill, jumping rope in the red room next to the piano, sipping tea or a latte (brewed from the Keurig) while sitting in the living room (peering out the window at rain) and surfing Pintrest for the next best thing I can cook up in the kitchen.

The grass is so tall I may have to resort to borrowing a goat or two to graze and chew down the height.  Good Lord, the lawnmower would bottom out in the marsh the yard has become.  The only sound besides rain I hear is our sump pump churning so often I fear it can't keep up.  There's a good chance that my old neighbors (and they out number us 10 to 1) are building an arc just in case the creek across the street rises and threatens to sweep us all away.

So. I plead with you, Mother Nature.  Down on bended knee, hands pressed together in a prayerful form...please, please, please, pretty please bring down the curtain on this symphony of rain.  My productivity is highly dependent on the amount of sun that shines.  The weather conditions have left me a muck, thus resulting in a bed that has not been made all week.

Think that begging was heard?  Or did that fall onto deaf ears, like when I ask my college kids to pick up after themselves?  Oh well, can't fault a gal for trying to plead with Mother Nature!        

Monday, June 15, 2015

Singing In The Rain

At the present moment I am experiencing first world problems. I have no electricity and my cell phone is dead. No landline, just a cell phone...see the problem? Being in communication with me is not an option. Opening the refrigerator is a no-no, need to keep the cool in the box, so cooking is out of the question. As is grocery shopping to restock the staples we are out of.  Just when I think the thunderstorms have passed, and natural light will flood the house, here comes yet another storm. 

Let me take you back a few hours , back to the mother/daughter date I had with M today. With just a few days left to her week home, while the minor league baseball team she is employed by is on the road, we figured some good local fun was calling us. We decided on the Botanical Gardens
where we could enjoy the lantern festival showcase pieces in the daytime.

When we left home it was a beautiful and comfortable 81*, but as we walked around the gardens it was clear the summer Saint Louis heat was catching up. We didn't care, we were spending time together. Ooooing and aaahhhing at all the things beautiful (that my black thumb could never grow), from flowers to artichoke plants in bloom. When the quickly approaching dark clouds, that I was confident we could beat, got us.

Once the rain began it came down in buckets. Once we were wet we were committed to being wet and just walked on--laughing and playfully singing the water cycle song. Honestly, what else is a soaked to the bra and undies mother-daughter duo to do? By the time we got the entrance the gentleman who graciously took our photo at the beginning, just happened to be there (soaked like us) at the end of the adventure, to snap our picture again. As you can see, like the flowers, we too got watered!

This just proves it's not how you spend  time together that makes the fun, but who you spend time with that makes the fun!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

There is no greater joy than that of my work year ending and my glorious unpaid summer break beginning! It's been a year to say the least!  A year of things I've seen, heard and processed I am more than happy to forget! 

This summer break will give me time to refill my empathy tank (it's been on empty way to long), stop the self soothing eating (M &Ms I shall miss you in a 3lb bag form), clear my mind and soul, lose some pounds (M&M I blame you, but thank you for helping me through the rough spots), read, bronze my skin (poolside) and hang out with the people I love. The people that fill me with joy.  I plan to camp, sip grapefruit and cucumber martinis, chug a blueberry lager, hike, run on the tread mill, have coffee and lunch dates with girlfriends, hang out with my nieces and daughters, float the river, go on dates with King Ralph... The joyful possibilities are endless. Make homemade strawberry jam. Visit the lavender farm (on my bucket list). Go to the lantern festival at the botanical gardens. Go to a Cardinals ball game. Take a trip to the wineries. Most of allow erase the nastiness of a year of ridiculous behaviors that permeated my work space. 

Hello summer I've been missing you!