You can follow this blog via email or send an owl.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Today I'm grateful for apple-cider air ripened with sticks of cinnamon, mounds of pulp and a little smoke chaser--just the way I like it. The liquid equivalent of this magic scent I'll slurp out of a chintzy plastic cup the size of a giant's thimble, while wasps bump at my elbows hoping I'll spill some for them. Generations of orchard-keepers will watch and nod, satisfied their work is done.
I'm thankful for soft sweatshirts with frayed sleeves, nubby flannels, leaves that make your car windshield into a mobile kaleidoscope, summer flowers hanging on for dear life as full-figured mums nudge them aside. Scarecrows, corn mazes, screaming football fans. The chill that snubs your spine in favor of the nasal passages, leaving you wondering how you ever took a single breath before. I don't care what the results to my color season surveys say. I'm an Autumn.
Happy Friday! Happy Fall!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Smooth Sailing

This Friday, I'm celebrating smooth sailing, which is how I'd describe the first week of back-to-school. I guess I can go ahead and say it now, since it's the last day. That's not counting my chickens, right? Just in case it is, I'm going to throw some salt over my shoulder.
     I'm a superstitious person. I'm also a little paranoid because I hail from Detroit, home of the Tigers: you know, the ball club that was seven games ahead of everyone else at one time, and now has fans sweating it out wondering if they'll even make the play-offs. I knew it was a mistake to buy tickets for a game so far in advance. They should really suck by mid-month. Then again, around here it's not over until Aretha Franklin sings.
     As for school, you'd think I'd let out a breath. Do a happy dance. Meet some friends for lunch or arrange a bus-stop coffee clutch. But no. My neurotic dog and I pace around, disconsolate in the wake of a sense of impending doom. So what if everyone seems excited in the morning, content when they get home and generally well-adjusted? It might be just an act! It doesn't help that the dog is acting really weird (maybe she's just responding to my anxiety), shadowing me everywhere and the children! The children! They're abandoning their electronic devices when they get off the bus and going outside to walk their rabbits or play football with the neighbor kids. They're laying out their clothes the night before and packing their own lunches. It's like a sequel to the Stepford Wives, The Stepford Children. Do you think they might've been abducted by aliens, injected with some behavior enhancing serum and restored discreetly to their beds without me knowing?
     My middle daughter says she loves Middle School, seeming unaware of the horrors that await just around the corner. (Unless perhaps Middle School is kinder to middle children since they're both "Middles"?)
     My oldest loves high school. She even has a senior (whom she calls "My Senior") to show her the ropes. In my day seniors pretended underclassmen didn't exist. If we called them "My Anything"--unless it was boyfriend or girlfriend--we'd get beat up or otherwise ostracized.
     My son in third grade proudly displayed his first agenda book last night before brushing his teeth.
     I guess I should just enjoy this peace and harmony while it lasts, but it's kind of hard to do when I'm waiting for an anvil to drop on my head. The real issue, I think, is I see my friends bidding adieu to their college-bound sons and daughter and I know that will be me before I know it. I sense my family on the brink of going their separate ways in both body and spirit, and here I am, backpedaling in vain, desperate to keep us as psychically together as possible. Staying physically together every moment will soon be impossible. I mean, look at these pictures from our trip to the zoo. They're so obviously separate, so contemplative of their own thoughts they couldn't even pose for our traditional fountain picture. Growth is relentless, each little dig on our door frame representing a moment to which we can never return.
     Not that I want to stunt their growth or anything. (Can I do that? How?)
     This week I'm celebrating that my kids are capable of leading functional lives separate from mine. And cursing that same reality.
     This is a hop hosted by the following blogs: Scribblings of an Aspiring Author
Diana WilderLG Keltner @ Writing Off the EdgeKatie @ TheCyborg Mom, and CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse