Wish I was there . .
My passport is ready and I can be packed in minutes.

30 September 2010

Tut mir leid

Really, I'm not meaning to ignore this blog, but somehow life has out run me yet again.  We leave in a week for autumn break.  School is out for three days and we just tagged on a couple, alright FIVE extra days (and two weekends).  We land in Munich after a stop through Amsterdam.  One night in Munich to let the kids (and me) adjust.  Then it is five days in Innsbruck, five days in Sud Tirol Italy, and then back to Munich to catch a flight back to Hell.  Unless of course I refuse to leave.  Wonder how long I could stay without a visa or without getting caught . . .

17 September 2010

Pictures to Escape By

When foxes eat the last gold grape,
And the last white antelope is killed,

I shall stop fighting and escape
Into a little house I'll build.

But first I'll shrink to fairy size,
With a whisper no one understands,

Making blind moons of all your eyes,
And muddy roads of all your hands.

And you may grope for me in vain
In hollows under the mangrove root,

Or where, in apple-scented rain,
The silver wasp-nests hang like fruit

Escape written by Elinor Morton Wylie (1885 - 1928).

Pictures take July 2010 at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

15 September 2010

Say What You Need to Say

A  mother of two children who attend the same school as my kids died today.  She was diagnosised with cancer in June.  I didn't know her - our children are a few years apart, but it is a small school so news travels fast.  She was younger then I am.  Her two children are in middle school.  And the rumors are that she suffered.  So in memory of those who die too young, who leave behind children and a husband who still need them, please tell someone what they mean to you today.

****Wanted to put in picture here but my computer has a bug and I am working off of Hubby's which contains no photos.

09 September 2010

Saved by a Seedling

Today was going to be a whiny post.  Since coming back from the funeral a week ago, I've been out of sorts.  I had to withdraw from my German class at the university because they felt I would be missing too many days due to the funeral and trip to Austria.  I am trying to arrange private lessons with the money that was for the class, but so far no luck.  The kids are right back into school and activities.  Over the weekend, I either picked up a head cold or am having allergies.  During the day, I won't take any medication but at night I need to take something so I can clear my sinuses in order to sleep.  I wake up foggy and slow moving.  I spent yesterday cooking a meal to take to a friend's house as her father in law went in for surgery this week and died unexpectedly.  The funeral is tomorrow.  I am the executor of my grandfather's will and the list of items and accounts to be handled is never ending (if anyone is interested in 100+ acres and an old farm house in rural Maine - let me know).  And while autumn may be making limited appearances elsewhere, it's hot and sticky and moldy here.  Plus, yet again Florida has produced some wackado who makes international news for doing something utterly inane. 

So it was with this attitude I went for a run this morning.  I was pissed because I couldn't breathe due to allergies.  And I was pissed that while in Maine I could run 5-6 miles comfortably, but here due to the heat and inability to breathe it was only 3 miles.  And I was pissed that the air is so thick with moisture, it was the equivalent of running in a steam room.  And I hate Florida. 

Usually after running, I feel better, but today was an angry run and I was still feeling agitated after the run - wheezing, sore throat, nose running, sinus headache. I rounded the house expecting to see that the seeds I'd planted over the weekend had been eaten by the squirrels and instead I found these

Pictures are a bit fuzzy due to my camera's reaction to the humidity, but these are seedlings for green beans and wax beans that I planted on Saturday. I'm not saying I love Florida or this heat; given a lottery win or a job, I'd be out of this place faster then you can say Sunshine State. But for today, I'll be pleased with the fact that in just five days after putting a seed in the ground, I can grow a plant.

07 September 2010

A Few Clues

Where will this family be visiting in just a month? Well, the details are still being worked out, but I expect there will be . . .
Alpine Mountains

Autumn Treats including some Apfel Strudel

Of course, a castle, or two, or three . . .

We'll be singing "The Hills are Alive" from a Golden Rooftop  . . .

02 September 2010

Grandpa B

We shouldn't have expected your death to be easy as there was very little in your life that was easy.  You were born into a family that had little.  You quit school in the seventh grade to go to work until you were eighteen, and then you went to war.  Those years weren't talked about, but we all knew that your jobs had to do with the gathering of bodies.  Gram once let it slip that you still had nightmares and you would wake up yelling.  When you returned, you and Gram had your family - seven boys and a girl.  You farmed, you opened a little mechanic shop that eventually grew into a car dealership, and mostly in those early years you just tried to survive.  With your seventh grade education and Gram's high school diploma, you created a successful car dealership. While you eventually had other brands, you will always been known as SAAB dealer. Not only did you sell them, but the stories of your racing them on land and ice are still told.  As are the stories of your fast and wild "driving" on the back roads of Maine.

You gave up your old farm house to move into your in-laws farmhouse so that Gram could take care of her father.  That is the farm house of my childhood - where we hayed in the summer and gathered for Thanksgiving, too many of us to fit around the table.  Somewhere in there you bought some land on a lake and a small camp from somewhere else.  The story goes that you waited for the ice to freeze so you could drive across the ice and drag the camp to the land where it still sits today.  It was there that you and Gram had a good group friends in similar circumstances, and in the summer after work you had "cocktail hour" while the kids ran wild. Your great grand children still swim and fish at the camp. 

You weren't easy.  You were hard and didn't show affection.  You drank and when you lost your sixth son, Uncle Jimmy, in a car accident you became an alcoholic.  We thought the alcohol might have done you in when you crashed your car in the early 90s, instead you quit drinking.  The doctors wanted you to stop smoking also, but you said if you quit that too, you'd be so pure no one would know you.  It was when the great-grandchildren came along that you finally let yourself express the joy of your large family.

Grandpa B and KK

Grandpa B and Hew

When Gram died seventeen months ago, you knew you were in trouble.  Dementia had already begun its theft of your memory and Gram was who had kept you straight for so many years.  The memory of you saying good bye to Gram still makes me sob.  We too couldn't image you without Gram.  Since then, dementia has continued to rob you - you forgot that Gram had died and had to be retold.  You didn't recognize your grand-children and eventually your children.  By the end, you didn't even know who you were.  Your family cared for you until the last month.  By then, you'd become combative - wanting to fight you grandchild one night in confusion.  We softly laughed at the irony that the week your youngest great-grandchild was written up at pre-school for biting, you too were written up for hitting another patient at the nursing home.  You always were a fighter.

So when you died last week, we all couldn't help being a bit relieved.  You would have never wanted to live the way you had the last few months - scared, unknowing, and alone, even when you were surrounded by the large family you'd created.  I hope that you finally have the peace that you worked so hard for.