Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Our door buzzer rang awhile ago, and I ran out to the porch to find a big box from my mom on top of our mailbox. Every autumn, Mom mails me and Mike a care package filled with silk leaves and mini pumpkins and gourds, things we can use for supper (this time, a vegetable soup starter and a cornbread mix), tuna (my favorite lunch), hot chocolate packets, bags of microwave popcorn, and peanut butter-filled candy for Mike. Today's had all the usual treats, plus a little cooking magazine and a pretty card and basket, but the highlight to me was what is in the picture above: On one of the magazine clipping pumpkin pictures she had taped around our mailing addresses on the top of the box, Mom had written "Vally." It is what she's always called me, and it makes me miss her today even more than I already do. It seems impossible, but I've only seen my family once so far this year--in May for my birthday--and that's just not enough. When I get this next month's work schedule, I'll have to figure out time to make a trip home. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Heart of Compromise

Mike and I have a tradition of going out to breakfast over the weekend, and I had promised yesterday that we would eat out today and that I'd accompany him on a few of his errands--comic book shop, library, coffee shop--as well. But I woke up this morning and felt so. . .just not quite ready for it to be morning, I told him I didn't want to go today, after all, and we could go tomorrow. I work tonight and wanted to stay in bed and "bank" some extra sleep to carry me through the wee hours of the morning at work. "Oh, we can go tomorrow, but will we?!" he grumbled. "Or will you be too tired then too?" No, I assured him, sliding back under the covers, adding "I promise." He pointed out that I had promised about today too, and ooh! We were off to the races! A short but spirited exchange followed, and as he walked out the door to go to breakfast by himself, he reached back into bed to touch my hand and said "I love you." I said I loved him too, but by the time I heard the final click of his keys as they locked our door, my eyes were full of tears. Because he was right. I had promised. And I wouldn't like it if he did the same to me.

We have so little time together with my new work schedule, every meal together has become so much more important to us. Except today, clearly, when I chose to stay in bed, right? And while thinking about that in the first few seconds after he walked out this morning, I knew I was too worked-up to be able to fall back to sleep anyway and that I'd soon be joining him in our booth at Eat'n Park. I raced around the apartment getting ready and had to run a little to make it to the corner where he stood still waiting for the bus. We enjoyed breakfast together as always, and while he went on to run his errands, I walked home to take a pre-work nap. A small compromise, but big enough, and our day together is ending more nicely than it started.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Be Still, My Heart!

While looking for something online this morning, I came across a picture of a set of old playing cards with this unbelievably accurate drawing of me and Mike's dream home on one side.  It's a tiny maybe-one-story house! With a fishing pond! And ducks for Mike! And cats and dogs! Rounded window/frame above the door! Cobblestone path! An apple tree like the one in Great-Grandma's yard! A big old mailbox up on a pole! Shutters AND a window box! There are even Cattail plants edging the pond! A few years ago, Mike and I were emailing back and forth, and I sent him another one of my dream home pictures along with the following email:

Now, picture yourself on the (bigger-than-this) front porch in a comfy chair with a pillow behind you and your feet up, reading the newspaper to Stuffed--you underestimate him: he's probably quite interested --and looking up every now and then to watch Rowlf/Buster/Buckingham patrol the grounds. The scent of apple pie is wafting out to you from the kitchen, and the honeybees are (at a safe distance! and) buzzing around the flowers and their boxes. A better-than-water-beverage is at your feet. Our pet groundhog  is chasing squirrels. Your girl lounges beside you, happy happy happy....Can you dig it?

He wrote back "Let's make it happen." And bit by bit, one Craigslist-acquired-wing-chair and Daffodil-bulb-from-a-friend at a time, we are. I'll save the new picture-find for inspiration and take it as a sign that we're on track here.