Day 61

The tree that had the light – unfortunately my skills couldn’t capture it – but it was there!

I’m a lucky grandma. I get to spend a week with my grandbabies. Their parents are off for a little R&R.

So I’m spending these few days getting to know them all just a little better. They’re growing up so fast and becoming such interesting people. I love how their personalities just shine through; they’re not babies anymore. It’s great having real conversations with them and  getting small glimpses of the adults they’ll one day become.

Of course, realizing that they’re getting older reminds me that I am, too. Sigh. I don’t have the energy I did when they were small and when it’s bedtime for them, its bedtime for me.

I like that I get this mini opportunity to grand-parent. The joy of preparing meals for them and sitting down together to eat and talk and laugh. Asking them how school was and did they learn anything interesting. The answer is the same one their father gave me: no. Just doing small things for them that I hope will make them smile. It’s such a joy.

I have always been very conscious of time. The limit of it, the way it is expended in each and every heartbeat and I’ve tried as hard as I can to make sure the time I’ve been given is not wasted.

Lately, and I know this has a lot to do with my father’s passing and my impending 60th birthday, I’ve been doing a lot of wondering about how I’ve spent my time.

When I look back I see the mistakes I made, and I truly regret them. But then, I look at my grandchildren and I see how everything I’ve done has led to them. And for that I have no regret.

The sun is shining today, making the frost in the trees sparkle. At breakfast, my grandsons were talking about it. The youngest told his brother “look at that tree, the top is like a light,” with the wonder only an eight-year old can have.  His brother, who is two years older, scoffed and replied, not unkindly, “it’s not a light, it’s just the sun shining on the frost.” The youngest took a bite of cereal and then very calmly and firmly said, “It’s light. And it’s sparkly.”

I’m so glad I was there to hear them. It’s always the small things.


Purge – Day 10 or, I’m one tenth of the way to making my goal!

20171209_204647.jpgWow.  Ten days. In a row. I haven’t written this much, or this steadily in a long, long time.

For my tenth day of purging, let’s just say I thought about it. If you consider housework – vacuuming, washing floors and dusting – purging, then that’s what I did today.

I did manage to get outside for a short walk. In the -28 degree weather. It was a SHORT walk. Fifteen minutes. But it counts. I figure I must burn twice as many calories walking when it’s this cold because of all the extra layers I put on and the speedy pace I set.

Tim came with me. He complained most of the time. “I thought this was supposed to be a short walk?” “My nose is frozen. I think I’ve got frostbite” “Where are you going!? That way is longer!” “I can’t feel my legs.”

Honestly.  I took him by the hand and told him we’d be okay.

I told dad that Tim was being a whiner. I’m sure he had a good chuckle. But I’m glad he came all the same. It was nice to hold his hand as we trudged through the dark and the cold.

Day 3 — the purge continues

20180103_204556Every time I write the word purge I laugh a little. It reminds me of the terrible The Purge movie we watched a few years ago. It was worse than dreadful — it was violent and boring. I couldn’t wait for it to end.

Now, of course, there are sequels. Go figure.

The word purge is an ugly word. It sounds ugly when you say it; it’s ugly when written. Even the meaning is ugly.

Purge (noun)

:an act of removing by cleansing; ridding of sediment or other undesired elements
:the act of clearing yourself (or another) from some stigma or charge
:rinse, clean, or empty with a liquid – purge the old gas tank
:eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth – He purged continuously
:make pure or free from sin or guilt
:an abrupt or sudden removal of a person or group from an organisation or place – he died in a purge by Stalin
:clear of a charge
:excrete or evacuate (someone’s bowels or body) – The doctor decided that the patient must be purged
:oust politically – Deng Xiao Ping was purged several times throughout his lifetime
:rid of impurities – purge the water – purge your mind
But my intent to purge my life of unnecessary things is not ugly. It is liberating. Like some forms of purging listed above, it is actually a good thing.
Today I rid myself of magazines. I have hung on to these magazines for ages. Some of them were from the early 1990s. I kept some of them in the bathroom in case someone needed reading material. I, personally, wouldn’t touch them. And as far as I know neither did anyone else. They were dusty, wrinkled from constantly being steamed from the shower, and out of date.
Dr. Oz’s advice on how to stock your refrigerator so you’ll lose weight is only good for one reading as far as I’m concerned. When I picked up the women-only fitness magazine and leafed through it I thought for one brief moment that I should try some of the workouts, but then I remembered that I went for a walk this morning. That’s good enough at my age.
It’s not like I ever want to wear a bikini again — no, a nice high-waisted tankini with tummy control, waist minimizer and boob support is my style these days. Something I can walk around the resort, beach, deck in with a glass of wine in one hand and a book in the other. My pretty-young-thing days are all behind me and I’m happy.
I also got rid of Christmas and holiday magazines. I had been clinging to these as though they were precious artefacts. These magazines represented the romanticized versions of the holidays that I always tried to create. I made a few of the crafts, tried out recipes, and read inspirational stories of stranger’s special holiday memories. So many times I felt dissatisfied after the holidays were over because they had not lived up to the expectations I’d borrowed from the glitzy pages of those magazines.
This year I wasn’t home for Thanksgiving; I spent it with my parents and some of my siblings. I didn’t have to do a thing. It was my dad’s last turkey dinner and I felt blessed just to be able to be there and share that moment.
Christmastime, I was home, but because I spend half my time living in Fort McMurray where my husband works I didn’t decorate or put up a tree this year. I said I didn’t have time. Honestly, I just didn’t feel like decorating.
I didn’t go through my usual routine of replacing my dishes with Christmas ones, putting out Christmas linens or stringing garlands all over the place. The Dickens’ village didn’t get set up and didn’t have Christmas blankets and teddies strewn all over.
We spent Christmas morning at my son’s house and enjoyed all the festive decorating my daughter in law does. Their tree was lovely. We opened presents, we had our traditional eggs-benny breakfast and then my husband and I went home. None of it was inspired by a picture or article from a magazine. It was genuine, it was memorable and it made me happy.
When I saw all those magazines today it occurred to me that they are meaningless. Holidays are not about how your house looks, or how your table is dressed. It’s not about decorating advice from the pros or how to host the best Thanksgiving dinner – EVER! It’s about family, creating memories and sharing love and laughter, tears and joy.
I didn’t even break a sweat as I carried all those magazines down to the recycle bin.

Sunday night — should be hitting the pillow. . .

. . .but I’m just not tired, yet.  Sigh.  I have such a long day tomorrow. Big sigh.

It’s another round of negotiations with a mediator.  Our last meeting was pretty productive so I’m crossing my fingers this one will be, too.

But, I don’t want to talk about negotiations.

We’ve had three solid days of rain, and, as much as we need it, I really wish it would stop.  It’s been cloudy, cool and wet long enough.  What we need now is some heat, that will really get things growing.  I’ve still got bedding plants to get in — am hoping, hoping , hoping to get it all in this week.   I’m behind on weeding and so need to really get out and spend a few full evening just plugging away at it.

Bat guy is back!  Tim and I noticed his tell-tale pile of poop about two weeks ago and then Friday, when we got home about midnight, there he was crouched up in his little corner on the wall under the eaves.  I was so happy to see him.  Sometimes, when

Our little bat guy — always a welcome guest

I don’t catch sight of him I think maybe he’s decided to uproot himself and find a better doorway over which to hang out.  But, no!  Happily, he decides to stay put.  And boy, do we need him right now.  The skeeters are atrocious.

I’m looking forward to the end of this school year.  Things seem strained at work.  Can’t figure it out and I’m tired of thinking about it.  I think we all just need a break.

Winter was too long this year, and Spring hasn’t been all that wonderful, either.  The last couple of weeks our temps have only made the high teens, and the forecast for the next week says more rain and cool.

Had a great time taking care of my grandkids last night.  Ethan, who was in bed before we got there, did not want to sleep, so I went and got him up.  Seeing as it was a tad cool out and he was in his pj’s I didn’t want to let him outside where the others were playing.  He wanted so badly to join them, that after the first time I told him he couldn’t go out, he went and got his little shoes and put them on all by himself (he’s 21 months old) and headed for the door again.  Again, mean old gramma told him no.  He went straight to his dad and started crying like his heart had been broken.

I took him out.

Why not?  He wanted to play with his sister and brother and cousin.  It’s tough when you’re the littlest.  So, he stayed out with me for about 45 minutes then we went back in, I gave him another warm bottle and off he went to bed without a peep.  In fact, he had the sweetest smile on his face when I covered him up.

Timothy was next, and when I tucked him in I read him one of Landon’s old books, Me and My Dad,  by Mercer Mayer, in honour of the fact that it was Father’s Day the next day.  We had fun looking for the spider and grasshopper on every page and he asked a ton of questions, just like Landon used to about why Little Critter was doing this or that, and why the dad was mad, etc., etc.  Then I covered him up in his gazillion blankets, wrestled a kiss out of him and went down to spend some time with Hailey and her cousin, Aleah.

We made popcorn and Tim entertained them with a bunch of his corny magic tricks.  They were enthralled.  It was all just too much fun.  They squealed when he pretended to break an egg on top of their heads and laughed when pretended his fingers were linked together by magic.

These are the moments that are magic to me.