Thursday, April 28, 2011

Neighborhood Memories


Sometimes the best part of a photograph is its ability to capture a moment as the days rush by. My eldest has put a deposit down for college starting this fall. Another milestone in life- both in her's and ours. It's very poignant how certain images can take us forward and backward, often at the same time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Springtime in NY




I had a jaunt to the city to meet a few pals. Tribeca is so alive with flowers, the city has done an amazing job with beautification. A chance to walk with Ellen, always fun to take her photo on the street as she has such great style. My real focus was meeting Joyce for lunch at Greenwich Grill where she treated me. (Thank you Joyce!) We took our time and chatted- so nice to relax in a comfortable spot and the food was delicious. Leaving the restaurant, the sunshine and warmer temperatures of the day made all the flowering plants glow even more.
En route to the subway, Joyce and I walked past the bike store AdelineAdeline that had
Kate Spade's bicycle in the window. It was a treat to see it in person as it's great looking. (I couldn't get a very good angle on the window- too many relfections.) At $1100+ it's beyond my budget for sure- but I'm a fan.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Better Weather


Sometimes, it's a respite to watch other people who appear happy. A chance to think about things differently is a chance to redefine what is.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Trouble

As the youngest of 5 children, I am pretty wired to be agreeable to whatever someone else wants. I can draw the line when a request is completely wrong but I am very settlement prone and am willing to negotiate. I have found in my life, when one is willing to give exactly what someone wants, in the way and order that they need, you can make a person very content. If I need an adjustment made, I can usually finesse that. It's when I won't comply that I can take a lot of flack. As a kind of pliant female who appears easygoing- well- sometimes it's an utter facade. At times, I am not easygoing at all. My husband and children know all about this. (Probably too) easily hurt and observant of everything that happens, a common refrain I heard from my beaux during the torrid relationships of my youth was "You think too much!!" What a great thing to say to a young woman who had already been set up for life by her wackadoo family.
So here I stand, post menopausal and trying to fill the skin that is mine and own the good, the bad and the ugly that is me.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Laundry and Me

I don't know about how other moms (who routinely sigh or roll their eyes when the subject comes up) attain true laundry independence from their progeny- but in my house it's a topic we visit frequently. Often running along the lines of "Do you know what you are going to wear to school tomorrow?" and next: "Do you need anything washed?". (If you want to avoid an early morning meltdown- on top of getting four people out the door- this is a key question.) It's helpful to ask it privately in case the intention is to borrow something. Then you have to inquire "Does said person know you want to borrow this?" And so it goes.

"Don't you think you should do some laundry?" is another personal favorite as I eye a hamper spilling over with dirty clothes. I want these kids in the basement sorting and managing their own effects. For sure. Even with the frustration of supervising them I know it's my job to do it. I don't want them leaving the house not knowing how to take care of themselves.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Double Screwed

Years ago, one of my brothers attempted to seduce me. At the time I was a virginal 15 and he was 22. Somehow I had the presence of mind to stop his activities- and lucky for me- when I said "no", and left the room I was able to free myself, at least for a while. When I told my mother- who wanted all the relevant details, I knew she was relieved when I told her that "sex hadn't happened". Oh, a lot had happened on my end- people whom I was supposed to trust were not trustworthy at all. It sent me on a very downward trajectory and still haunts me. 40 years later. Now, through another relative, my brother's daughters know about his shenanigans and were outraged and disgusted. No one ever reached out to me- but that is for another story. My brother has been humiliated and shamed and somehow I should feel sorry for him. What he took from me isn't at the end of the day, really important in his scheme of things. From my perspective, his shame pales compared to the trauma of feeling that normal boundaries didn't extend to me. So much for self-worth. We recently had a conversation where he wanted to leave this all behind him. (Wouldn't that be nice...for him.) When I asked him what my mother said to him, all those years ago when I told her what happened, his reply was "nothing." She never said anything to him. I am not sure the pain of the double betrayal will ever go away. Forgiving them is one thing- understanding what made it all okay is something I will never understand. Knowing that nothing made his intentions okay is small comfort when I look at how his actions shattered me. Life is hard enough without the betrayal of those whom I thought were there to protect me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chez Nous #2





Lots of time when I am working outside, I won't let Comet join me. It's a little sad for him but he runs off without a moment's hesitation when he whiffs another dog or a squirrel which must be chased. With no invisible fence bordering our yard, I can't really turn my back on him. Still, he makes a good subject (however wistful) and inspires me to explore my own corner of the world.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Notations in Passing




A day at large in Manhattan provides a chance to absorb the many contrasts of the urban landscape. While ducking the raindrops, I had fun grabbing a few choice moments. On my way to Grand Central at dusk, I was once again mesmerized by the beauty of the wet streets and the reflections caused by the rain.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Artist Baker does the James Beard House





It's been a quiet few days of trying to regroup and reorganize. Pulling myself out of the doldrums to tackle the piles of papers and the general chaos of our home. I went to the city this morning where my friend Andrea, of The Artist Baker cooked an amazing luncheon at the James Beard House. So much hustle and bustle of people working away in this most famous kitchen of kitchens. I watched the many hands assemble an interesting array of flavors to serve the gathering of friends and foodies alike. She is a very talented chef- no doubt about it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Day of Daycare in Sleepy Hollow


I spent the day with a neighbor's grandson.. Due to a family emergency, child care was needed and I was happy to help. It's been a while since I was responsible for a toddler and it was lovely to sing and talk and mind him. Brought back a lot of memories of days spent chasing around small children and enjoying their unique perspectives on the world. When his mom came to pick him up, my crew were all home from school. My kids seemed so grown up- really adult-like. I'm about to run errands alone and unencumbered. There is something truly sweet about freedom. Time to go out and enjoy it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Family Happiness?

Nothing like a family birthday where one family member refuses to come down for dinner. O the joy of it all. I have memories of my older brother's 16th birthday where he refused to come in the house for his cake- too busy changing out an engine on a car. My 7 year old self couldn't figure out the whys of not wanting to come in and be with your family. Now as the matriarch of my brood I endure the craziness of everyone's most complicated feelings that seem to happen all the time- often at the worst of times. And so it goes. Patience has its many virtues especially when mine is worn thin.
Let see what forces win out in the end.

Someone's Birthday


The guy in the photo is special today for a lot of reasons. For his willingness to lend a hand and
for the happiness helping brings him. His able mind, love of life, dry wit and passion for detail.
For all those things and more, today- in a certain house in Sleepy Hollow a family sings his praises.
Happy Birthday, Dad. We love you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fears and Tears


Could I be any sadder? I imagine, of course I could. There is no tragedy afoot. But I am sad and powerfully so. Seeing the flowers setting with spring's arrival can be a reminder of a kind of joy and well being that elude me. It's as though some kind of melancholy larger than me, the weight of a dark history that precedes me is tugging me down. I know I have to stand up and fight. Feel gratitude, for health, for the many personal freedoms that are mine. For three well formed offspring who mostly do the right thing and a husband who is devoted to us and to me. So, when you look at all that I should be grateful for- then guilt over feeling blue compounds the moment. How do you own the moment when the moments are hard? Knowing I should be doing better than I am is a pressure all its own. Life has its share of struggles and the battles to stay afloat are many. Time to read a book of jokes and laugh at myself. And remember things that are easily attained seldom seem as sweet as those gained through fear, tears, courage and determination.