narrow bands of time

Last weekend we made the familiar 10 hour drive south.  Since my husband and I wouldn’t see my uncle until the next day and there were no motel rooms available anyway, we drove the extra hour into San Francisco.

That choice gave us dinner at a favorite restaurant, and an unseasonably affordable, beautiful hotel room in Union Square.

From our 9th floor location, I couldn’t resist this shot of the narrow stairwell.

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I imagined all the feet that climbed here a century ago.

I felt the presence of my grandmother and even her mother.  Both would have recognized this very building in the city that was home to several generations of us.

I thought about the narrow band of time each of us is given to use on this earth.  Some squander their gift.  Some choose the safe, quiet and, I suspect, unfulfilled path.  Still others dare to risk – –  to deeply love, to make mistakes, to give extravagantly and to make their narrow band a better place.

My uncle is one of the latter.

I’ve thought about him all week, his grave medical prognosis and the impact his life has had.  He joined our family through marriage when I was grown with children of my own.  Yet his connection and influence feels more like a lifetime.

I’m thankful for his example.

I’m blessed to be part of his narrow band of time.

WordPress ~ Narrow

 

Solid Footing

Some days the ground must feel like sand or mud or sludge to you.  Your feet shuffle and stumble and stub up against things.

Some days you ask me if you need permission to go outside, or if there’s a sign-out list, or who it is you need to pay for breakfast.

I know you rarely remember, but you used to take me to the roller rink at the old San Francisco boardwalk and whisk me around and never let me fall.  You rode bicycles mile after endless mile with me.  You walked me down the aisle to my husband.

But some days now, you’re afraid to put your feet on the floor.

You’re afraid you will fall.

You’re afraid.

Dementia did this.  It took you away though your body is here.

I see you every day and fix your meals and wasn’t aware how fast your were leaving.

I didn’t say a proper good-bye.

But today…

You can hardly wait to go out in the sun.

Today you found the door.  And even opened it by yourself.

Today the deck is solid beneath your feet.  You lift each shoe completely up.  You set each shoe firmly down.

And I see the walker left behind.

Good for you, Dad.  Good for you.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Beneath Your Feet

Symbols that move me forward

It’s hard to escape symbols lately.  They are thrust in your face every time the TV news comes on.  And as we all know, symbols can get a body worked up.  And cause frustration.  And misunderstanding.  And turn one against another.

So I’ve been looking for symbols that are life-giving.  Not life sapping.

Because I am a little sapped.  Which does not mean I am a sap.  Just feel that way.

Doug and I have lost three people these last couple months – – my best friend from childhood – Lorna… our first friend in Alaska – Tom… and a friend who was kind of mentor to us as a young couple – Dave.  I believe they’re in heaven and I will see them again, but still, their leaving makes the world a little bit gray.

So I’ve found a few symbols around me that say, be resilient… don’t give up… love and laugh a lot.

And here they are:

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My dead fuchsia –  OK, that didn’t sound too uplifting, but I have a horrible record with fuchsias.  However, this one lasted all of summer 2014.  By early autumn it looked scraggly so I took it down and set it in the back of a flower bed.  It sat there all of last fall.  All winter long.  All this spring.  It was nothing but brown and dry and  I purposely ignored it.  I weeded around it, hung new baskets over it, always intending to pull out the dry contents and plant something new.

But it got tired of waiting.  So it just grew itself!  And with a little more water and fertilizer and some apologies on my part, we have this a month later.

I love this spunky fuchsia!

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What says great days are coming better than a wedding invitation in the mail – – although we’d be there regardless – – because we’re helping with the food and we are half the parents – – so, like, we HAVE to be there!

To sit across the table from this cute couple and talk about reception food and cake and such and such and so forth and so on…. is a very big, happy love thing.

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Blank notebooks.  Ready for new words.  All on sale and with pretty covers besides.

“Driving Miss Paisley”   Oh, how I love a good play on words.

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My husband.  He makes me laugh.  Here’s an exchange from the dentist office this week:

Receptionist: “this is your co-pay today, would you like to pay it now or later?…ummm, well, maybe you should pay it now.”

Doug: “why, is there a possibility I may not come out alive”?

Receptionist: (with much nervous laughter) “oh, no!  you’ll be just fine… I just meant… I may not be here, umm, when..”

OK – so he is not the actual symbol – – it’s his hands, holding a cup of coffee (or the occasional glass of wine).

Because that seems to be how we get thru this life… sitting across the table, one cup of coffee at a time.

Life’s not always pretty.  The conversation isn’t always pleasant.  With my tendency to worry and his to make jokes, you’d wonder how we get anything done.  But we have.  And we do.

And it’s the best part of my day to sit across the table from him.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Symbol

Star Spangled Motion

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Motion

My first view of daylight always holds our flag.

The rain and wind do their thing.

So does the flag.

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Let music swell the breeze

And ring from all the trees

Sweet freedom’s song.

Let mortal tongues awake;

Let all that breathe partake;

Let rocks their silence break,

The sound prolong.

~~~ from America – My Country, Tis of Thee

The Daily Post, photo challenge

Threshold of a New Day

Most every day starts in the very same room… at the very same window… sipping coffee from the very same mug.  And it’s always early because I don’t want to miss a moment… not one moment as the sky lights up before me.

Some mornings, like this one, there’s no choice but to throw on coat over pajamas and head out to it.

In quiet, in peace, I wait in expectation….

my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ~~Psalm 130:6

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~~~Weekly Photo Challenge~~~

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

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I wish I could capture the day beginning… the sky opening… what I see on my early riser mornings with first cup of coffee.  But that would take a different kind of photography, way beyond my skill level.  Plus, I’d have to get dressed and go outside!

A close second to that wish is a day captured last week.  The husband and I drove to a place where the big river meets the bigger sea… and found a park we’d never seen before.

He, typically, walked straight thru to the other side, snapping panoramic photos of the water and the sand dunes.

I, typically, stayed inside photographing an old building… pawed thru a patch of clover to find a four-leafed one.

But when I stepped into the gazebo, I felt the words…. Look Beyond…

Light.  Wide open space.  Possibility.

Breathing room… where thoughts untangle and fear melts.

Weekly Photo Challenge link

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ In The Background

My son, Ian, under the wing of the plane he takes care of… like a baby… he loves it… he really, really loves it..

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Can mice get into a car?  Thought I heard scratching sounds on the way home from the post office…  sending the husband in to do a “mouse-sweep”!

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And in honor of Memorial Day, my son David… March 2004 return from second combat deployment. (arrow above his head)  I got the faintest glimpse of him from a distance.  Though I hate crowds and have never pushed my way thru one… I did this time.  I love the misty sea of soldiers… the band behind them with tubas held high.  Home at last…

home again

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Escape

Outside, I walk and breathe… fresh air… a little quiet.

Sometimes I sit in my car… it’s the one thing here with my name on it and “I can sit here if I want to”, my bratty self says.

Inside, we are prisoners… she of her mind… me of her space…

… both of her suffering.

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WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ From Above

A photo taken from above… I can never pick just one…

…. where the Klondike and Yukon Rivers meet at Dawson City

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…. where grown-up sons play at the beach 

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…. and “Wheel Barrow Boy”

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WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge