Monday, November 25, 2013

Men Like Greg, are rare

 My life isn't fair, and I have done nothing that could possibly have deserved this.
I know it. I recognize the fact.
I am thankful every day for November 26.
 It makes sense that November 26, is frequently Thanksgiving.
Greg was born then.
That is reason enough to be thankful.
 I don't know how many other people have been blessed to spend so much of their life
loving a man like him,
but I know he is one of the best human beings I have ever met or even heard of
and he will always do the thing that is right
over the thing that is easy
and he will know the most random facts
and look at them objectively
and he will know what a fool I can be
and love me always and all ways.
 He will be exhausted and not want to get up
but there he goes out the door to work
and if he is running a gas station
cooking and delivering pizza
camp counselor at a Easter Seals Camp
Set designer, director, teacher
or paint crew,

he will do his job as if it is the most important job in the world
and treat the people he comes into contact with as if they are all important
 He notices when some stranger looks hungry and buys them a meal
or if a door is too heavy for some one struggling to get into a store
or if an animal is injured
and he tries to help.
 And he never forgets to play
and to stay about "12 mentally"

 He is brave enough to force me out of my safety zone on multiple occasions and fun enough to make me enjoy it.

 And when I introduced him to my brother with Down's Syndrome I watched him like a hawk to make sure he was able to pass the most important test of all, but no problem.  He loved Lance and Lance still adores him.

 When his big sister died, he wasn't ashamed to cry, and when my Dad was dying, he was there to be strong.  When I never knew what I needed he always did.  The first time my parents came to visit, and I sobbed like a baby when the left, He took me camping

 When my Dad died and we were 1300 miles away he took me to the beach and let me cry until the salt on my face was more tears than spray.

 He cares about his parents, siblings, children and friends with a depth and an honesty I had never seen before.  Not that the men in my family didn't love their family, but they might pat your head, not gave you the kind of open honest feelings my husband makes so easy.  In fact he taught my whole family to express themselves more lovingly just by hanging out with them and saying "I love you" until no one could doubt it

I told him I'd love him and grow old with him.  I know I will. But I also know I was too proud, and too scared and too stupid to have made it this long, without him always being more interested in repairing the relationship than in being right.

Thank God for men like Greg in the world.

Happy Birthday.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Participant

I #amwriting again of course
Yesterday was November 16, and that has been a special day to me for 20 years now.  It is the anniversary of the day my husband and I stood in front of the Judge and promised to Love, and cherish the 6 month old boy who had been ours since his birth Mom handed him to me when he was 14 hours old. Adoption Day has been a joy. A celebration of the world recognizing what we already knew. But this year we are lonely for him, he's grown and working on a Crabbing boat 400 miles away from home, and I still celebrate being his Mom.

but writing means needing to reward myself with apple custard pie
 But it is also National Novel Writing Month.  I love November for the rush of typing a novel with all the emphasis on the story and non of the worry about editing it until later.  Some of my books have taken 13 years to edit so the intensity of jut doing story, while hundreds of thousands of others encourage and challenge me, is delicious freedom.  Writing is lonely, and has to be, to allow me to hear the soft voice of characters who live nowhere else but in the point where my fingertip meets the keyboard. For now
lots of fog and that is both in my mind and in my yard
 Usually I am good at this month long dash, but sometimes it doesn't work.  This year it is working, but not according to the rules so I am going with it and joining the group who call themselves nano rebels. I am still trying for the 50,000 words in a month, but with two books competing for my attention.  The third in my Duffy Barkley series is now at 60,000 words but didn't start here. I just can't stay way from it when something exciting comes into my mind for that story.  The other book, the new one, is a story of two boys facing destructive volcano eruptions 1901 years apart. But it uses the same device to communicate between times as I used in Double Time On The Oregon Trail.
snuggling the dog can count as work if I'm plotting the story

I work better with this guy in the house
 So Life is all about words on paper here this month, but of course it isn't. Today was proof of that.  My husband was just home after 48 hours away at a music festival, I got up early to write and brewed a 12 cup pot of lovely coffee all over the counter and the floor in my kitchen, so mopping happened. Then It is my sister-in-laws birthday and then My brother texted me about Christmas plans and a friend wants to come visit and someone else needs me to substitute teach and another friend needed to talk.  Family is hurting, to angry or celebrating, and actually all three. Life doesn't stop just because I have A NOVEL TO WRITE FOLKS!

And you know what, I'm glad it doesn't. I love so many people and I am not the best at letting them know sometimes, but They let me know, even when the timing isn't convenient, that good times and bad times, lonely or not. I'm not alone, even though it feels like it.
Good night

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thankful For Family This November

Mom and Dad
My Mom, Her Aunt and Grandmother in Wyoming

Dad & I
So all over facebook there are people posting about the things that they are Thankful for, at least one a day for the month of November.  I did that last year but a lot of it just came down to one thing.
My husband's parents at their wedding
 And it wasn't a thing. What I kept writing about in my list was the people who are my family and friends.

When I was a child, Family was My Mom and Dad and I, living a long way from any other relatives in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  I thought family was a rock solid, unchanging concept.

Great Grandma Emma Lafferty Slack and I
Then when I was only a couple years old, we moved diagonally across the state from the South East corner to the North West. Back to the part of Wyoming where my Mom's family had long roots.  Suddenly I had Grandparents and great Grandparents and Aunts and Great Aunts and cousins by the dozens and I was happy with the change.  Adding more family was great.

And we added more.  When I was nearly 5 we adopted my baby brother, and when I was 12 another brother was born and more cousins came along and family was a growing, entity.  A wonderful circle of loving security.  I am grateful for those years.

Of course they couldn't last.  Sooner or later everyone learns that family isn't permanently growing, sometimes it is losing members too.

My cousins divorced, My great Grandmas both died at age 98 and another 18 year old cousin died of cancer, and another, favorite cousin came home from the marines safely only to be killed by a drunk driver.  Then my Mom's Dad died of Cancer before I graduated from High school.

And  I grew older and moved out and my home was just a converted garage with my 19 year old boyfriend in it.

Greg and I at 19
My wedding finery! just an hour after the JP married us
and then I was moving farther away, and the boyfriend became a husband and my family expanded to include all his, in-laws and nephews were great to add in. But all too soon there were days of driving between my family in Wyoming and us in Ashland, Oregon.
When My family came to visit Ashland, Oregon where I was in College

 and a month after we graduated from college in Ashland, my Mom's mother died.  I didn't like this part of family.  The losing ones you loved part hurt.
My Brother and parents at Niagara Falls
 but life moves on even when there is pain and the good years came back and my brother and I and my husbands sister were busy adding babies to the family and life was noisy and exhausting and wonderful.
Greg and I during our term as exchange students in Beijing
Some of the best years

 but all too soon my Dad, who loved being a Grandpa, was dead of esophageal cancer, as was one of my cousins.  My Mom and brothers were changing and moving on, and we heard from them but didn't get to spend enough time together, and family expanded to take in a Day care Grandma and day-care babies who lived with my babies from 7 AM to 5 PM every day and were more like siblings than friends.

Lance and my Mom after Dad died of Cancer

My Maternal Grandma and I
 And still life moves on.  My Mom is aging and her memory becomes confused. Talking to her on the phone is difficult and a strange trip into fears and confusion.  She had to move out of her house this year and my Brother Lance had to give up his 19 year job to move with her. Now in DC they are farther from me than ever, but closer to my brother Brett.

My youngest son and his lovely girlfriend
My sons are grown up and the family home is more a revolving door with people in or out and me never quite sure if it will be empty or full.  There are new children in our life, great nieces and nephews, a grandchild on the way, the babies of extended family. Life filling in the gaps because a vacuum is never allowed to remain
My oldest son working on a crab boat
My Brother Brett and his New wife
 So the family I am grateful for this year is not the one I loved as a baby, not eve the same one it was last November, but still, yes the family and friends are the part of my life I treasure the most.
Mom and my brother Lance