Sunday, May 18, 2008


It was unseasonably warm - hot, really - and the kids ran through the sprinkler, smeared with sunblock and laughing over the sound of the running water. The dog chased a tennis ball, occasionally running through the path of the sprinkler just in time to avoid being doused himself.

The screen door slammed, and my son burst into the kitchen, asking for a peanut butter sandwich.

"Supper will be ready soon," I said mildly, slicing zucchini and yellow squash on the wooden cutting board.

"But I'm hungry," he protested. I gestured to the table, indicating the snack mix sitting there, and told him he could help himself. I handed him flatware from the kitchen drawer, asking him to place the forks and knives by the plates I'd already set on the table.

Munching snack mix, he agreeably did as he was asked.

Mustard, ketchup, sliced pickles...corn waiting to be heated...zucchini and yellow squash sauteeing in a pan with some olive oil.

The smell of hamburgers wafted into the kitchen as my husband slid open the screen door and stepped into the house carrying a half-empty glass of Summer Shandy.

"Will supper be ready soon?" my son asked.

"Yes, in just a few minutes," I told him.

"Then I think I'll go swing." He fixed me with a grin and ran back outside, again pulling the screen door shut with a clatter. I walked to the door and looked out, watching him pump his legs to sail higher and higher, the grass a rich green beneath his feet and the sky bright, cloudless blue behind him. His toes seemed to reach to the tops of the ash and oak trees, and then he stopped, jumping from his perch to run inside just as his daddy slid the last of the burgers onto a plate.

Friday, April 18, 2008

One of THOSE days...

I burned my hand.

I made a cake, a beautiful cake using vodka and Kahlua, and it smells like warm heaven.

The hot pad slipped when I was pulling it out of the oven, and I have two burns on the palm of my right hand. It stings, and I'm a big baby. It's also hard to type when one's hand is wrapped in bandages.

No, I did not consume any of the vodka before pouring it into the batter.

No, not the Kahlua either.

Now, perhaps, would be a good time for that drink.

Monday, April 14, 2008

It's a Space Age Grandson!

My older daughter had her ultrasound today, at eighteen weeks of pregnancy.

"There's no doubt," she said breathlessly afterward. "It's clear. We have pictures. It's a boy!"

The Space Age Grandson is expected to make his appearance the second week of September or so.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen

Choose a city in a country other than your own, and tell us why you would like to visit there.

That was the blogroll topic this week. Despite the fact that it was I who came up with this theme, I was stumped on the subject of my own entry.

Would I go to Greece - Athens, perhaps? Corinth? Would I sail the Mediterranean and bake in the hot Greek sun and eat lamb and stuffed grape leaves? Would I choose Paris, with its laundry list of cliches: because I wanted to see the Eiffel tower, eat cheese, and buy hats? Would I go to London? Glasgow? Dublin? I could go to Oslo or Stockholm and see the countries from which my roots sprang, or I could see the mountains from Salzburg or the beautiful architecture of St. Petersburg. Perhaps I'd leave Europe altogether and head to Christchurch or Wellington or Sydney or Brisbane.

In truth, I would gladly visit any of these cities - all of these cities.

The other day, I watched Hans Christian Andersen with my daughter, a favorite movie starring Danny Kaye, one I'd seen many times already.

That's it! I thought later. I'll go to Denmark and visit wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen. I'll go in the summertime so that I can attend the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. I'll bike along the island and lie on the beach. I'll have my picture taken in front of the Charity Fountain, and I'll spend days prowling museums and admiring architecture and trying to lose myself in the history of the centuries-old city. I'll recreate scene after scene in my head, daydreaming my way along well-worn streets, and when I've had enough, I'll cross the bridge over the Sound and continue my tour in Sweden.

Some day, maybe. Some day.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


My girl left me a text message earlier. We had talked on the phone this evening, and some time afterward, she sent me the message. She wants her Mama.

She hurts.

I hurt.

We are separated by some 1500 miles, and while she is halfway through her first pregnancy and in the midst of planning her wedding, I am much too far away. She wants to share these experiences with me. She wants me there.

And I want to be.

How could I not? She's my baby. Her message was anguished, and I felt it acutely. We talk all the time, but it's not the same. It will never be the same. It hurts like hell to have one foot in Idaho and one foot in Minnesota.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

New Story At The Writer's Block

I've joined a fiction writers' blogroll, forcing me to hit the keyboard a little more often for the made-up stuff. The elements to be present in this week's assignment were a blue car, a man named Dominic, a clock, and 2:00, AM or PM.

Check out my new story posted at Writer's Block, and click on the blogroll links to read the other stories as well!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Baby Update!

The Space Age Grandchild is well on his or her way now. My daughter had a doctor's appointment today - she's almost 16 weeks and has lost another pound, but as she put it, is "expanding in all the right places." The baby's heartbeat was 160-ish. The old wives' tales will tell you this is a girl, but I'm an old wife, and I'm not sure I believe the tales.

This Gramma business looms ever closer. It's really a baby!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

They say they can make dreams come true...

And maybe that's a little bit true.

We went to Disney World last week. It was a Space Age family reunion, including my parents, my siblings, and their families. I had once visited Epcot many years ago, for just a couple of hours at the tail end of a business trip. I had never explored fully, nor had I ever been where dreams are supposed to come true: the Magic Kingdom.

I'm over forty. I wondered if the magic would still work for me. It's just princesses and cartoons and silly roller coasters...or is it?

Though I will never see the Magic Kingdom as a child, I did get to experience it through the eyes of four children - two of my own, and two of my nieces. I had the once-in-a-lifetime privilege of soaring through the skies and space next to my own father, just as we might have thirty years ago when I was still just a kid.

We flew on magic carpets, roared through mountains, sang with pirates, and rocketed beyond the stratosphere. We found volcanoes and singing birds and dancing horses and glittering carriages. We walked on stones trod by millions before us, their collective history making real what our own eyes saw.

Somehow, it worked. If there is such a thing as pixie dust, it drifted above and around us for that one week. I'm left now to wonder if my original family - scattered to the winds once again, living our own lives - will ever be together in such a way. Maybe we will, and for that I can hope.

For now, I have warm and balmy memories of a few days spent suspended in a magical time warp that dissolved the barriers of time and distance. We are lucky, and even better: we know we are lucky.

Some dreams do come true.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The moving finger writes...

...and time marches on. Or something like that. I'm mixing my poems and axioms.

Age will do that to you.

I've often written about my parenting exploits. I've been a mother for almost exactly half my life, and nearly all of my adult life. Much of my identity is tied up in the apron strings of motherhood. "Mother" is a title I'm happy and comfortable with.

I'm about to get a new title. A new and unfamiliar title, heretofore reserved only for women of another generation, women older and wiser and even more motherly than I. Women like my mother and her mother, whose ranks I am about to join.


The word looks suddenly odd to me.

When I think of Grandma, I think of my own Grammas, women born very early in the 20th century, women who had gray hair before I knew them, comfortable women who wore dresses and tiny curls in their hair, who knew all sorts of history before it was history. I'm stuck on that. Those are grandmothers. I'm only a mother.

A mother whose daughter is about to become a mother.

From where I sit, her becoming a mother is even more surreal than my becoming a grandmother. My baby? The darling toddler who sat on a dark-stained wooden chair in front of the washer and dryer, waiting for her cloth doll to be freshly laundered? That little girl with the blonde curls cascading down her back, wearing a blue denim jumper and little white Mary Janes?

When on earth did she get old enough to have a baby?


I don't remember.

She'll be 21 when the baby comes. She lives in a townhouse with her significant other, her intended, and it's there they will bring home their baby. He works and she works, and they buy groceries and keep house and cook. They aren't children, but they seem so young.

I was just shy of 21 when she was born. I don't think I felt as young as she seems. How our perceptions change. Twenty-one years ago this month, I donned my first maternity blouse, awaiting the day when my baby would come.

Now, full circle, we wait for hers.