Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Woman in her Thirties at the Apple Orchard

Ain't no place like Minnesota in the fall, and this fall has been beautiful. So I'm going to post some pictures from our visit to the Apple Orchard today, while I talk about some other stuff.

A friend's daughter died tragically last Sunday, and our community has been grieving deeply for her and her family.  We feel the loss of this child as if she were our own.

Anytime something like this happens, I notice a few things. The first thing is the need to do something.  Anything.  I am a woman in her thirties who does not obsess over details, but I found myself this week a part of an army of friends and neighbors calling florists, plotting maps to strategically place balloons, and stressing about meal-delivery schedules for the family.  Yes, all of this is a show of love for a family going through the unthinkable.  Of course.  But none of it will bring this little girl back to her parents, and as we ran around town like busy bees, this knowledge stung.

Also, the goodness of people.  I would love to say this is Pleasantville-specific, but honestly, I don't think it is.  People are, for the most part, so damn good.  They are so giving.  For every kind act I witnessed this week, there were countless more kind acts behind it. 

Because when something horrible happens, people often say, 'I can't imagine'.  But they are wrong.  Of course they can imagine.  Especially if you are a parent, a friend, a neighbor... you can imagine what it would be like to lose the things-- the people-- most precious to you.  That imagining is what springs you into action, whether it be balloon-tying, meal-preparing, or good ol' fashioned prayer.  It humbles you to the point of submission.  You fall to your knees, despite yourself.  

This whole week, I was struck by how vulnerable we are, every single day.  Call it whatever you want, but whatever sense of control or security we have over our lives is false.  Laughingly so.  Why do we live as though silly things matter?  Why do we let people's opinions of us determine our happiness?  I am just as guilty as anyone else of this, but maybe after this week, I will be less so. 

There is nothing we can do to make ourselves less vulnerable to loss.  We could shut ourselves in, I guess, but that is a loss of its own.  To live is to be vulnerable.  To love is to recognize our small blessings and large miracles.  If not for ourselves, then for those who hurt alongside us.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Woman in her Thirties Writes the Damn Blog

I've prided myself on being a woman in her thirties who finishes what she starts.  Says what she means. Means what she says. Doesn't make excuses.


I have no less than FOUR blog posts recently that have lingered, unfinished, somewhere in cyberspace.  Why? Well, I can't be sure. It's not that the posts themselves are bad, or that there's anything specific keeping me from writing.  I just haven't felt the blogging ju-ju lately, which is sad, because my kids are SO cute and hilarious, and I have lots of great things to say about them, at the very least:

Aaron, on ice skates for the first time.  I mean, hilarious!

Ain't no shame in stealing someone else's creative writing idea (umm... on second thought, maybe there is...), so I'm going to do that whole five on fifth thing, to get myself caught up on the happenings of my own life.  Here goes:

1.  School is cool

We are back in school, and let me tell you how happy I am about it.  A long summer break makes zero sense to me, and why we don't all embrace year-round school is a mystery.  That is a rant-worthy post in the making, but let's just say the world is spinning with a whole lot more sanity now that we're back in learning mode.

2.  Walking in the rain is also cool

Anna's pick up time is 2:45, which gives Aaron and me two options: we can either get in the car and drive the two minutes to her school, or we can walk and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts.  Guess which one we pick, almost always?

 There's a little free library on our way, and we pride ourselves on grabbing all the good books the second they appear.

 While my hair does not appreciate walking in the rain, the kids find it totally thrilling. So, sorry hair! 

Aaron always brings Sharkey, and always brings a snack. Most of the time he falls asleep mid-bite and drools the snack all over himself by the time we get to Anna's school.  Good times.

3.  I published another book

This one has been an emotional journey, even more so than the first.  That is another post, and then another after that.  You can buy a copy here! (Only if you want, no presh, obv.)

4.  Pleasantville is so pleasantly Pleasantville 

When we moved here, so many people told us how great a place this is to raise a family.  I've seen that countless times over the seven years (!!!) relocating, and now that the kids are getting older (how it is possible I have a three and four year old, by the way?) I can really see it.  And appreciate it.  Even though you-know-what is coming.

Anna, posing with the firefighters who came to hang out at our neighborhood block party.  One of four or five parties of the summer... I lost count. 

Aaron doing is favorite thing in the world- going to the lake and throwing rocks in. 

5.  After school activities are for the birds

I've been struggling with balancing our new school lives since September. I am a classic over scheduler, but I'm trying to take control of that.  I heard a writer speak last Friday about the importance of living in the moment, about how fleeting all these times are, and when we're shuffling and hurrying about, we miss it.  So, with that mentality, I've been getting better at saying no to things. We all need to (okay, especially I need to) take the time to stop and smell the roses.