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Family stuff on a rainy weekend

01 Jun

Half asleep in my shoes, trying to shake fatigue and a chill, listening to my two oldest chatting in the kitchen, I drifted in and out of sleep, that creative half sleep where ideas flow and connect, and the true self can distill priorities, yet all I could come up with was what if someone made playlists to go with mental states, such as a playlist for betraying a loved one (I had been reading Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver before my nap) or when experiencing knee pain (which I was). I woke fully, feeling like I used to when living with my folks and Dad had turned on classical music that was reverberating around the centuries old farmhouse, and it was a weekend. Delicious, bordering on divine. This time it was the sound of my own grown children enjoying each other’s company.

I need to register a prediction, which, when it is discovered that I made it first, will get me calls to go interview with the big names, and I can earn some travel money. I predict that when the presidential candidates are finalized and ready to begin the actual presidential campaign, the majority of voters on both sides will be so exhausted and disappointed, and the candidates so exhausted themselves, with laryngitis all around, that suddenly up will step a miscellaneous presidential-looking candidate with no known flaws, and he or she will be the new darling. He or she will have quietly made powerful connections and saved up funds that will allow him or her to strike the final blow to the reputation of each opponent, and jog across the finish line in the lead. No one will really know what they are getting until it’s too late. That’s where my prophesy ends.

I picked up a disaster preparation booklet in the library yesterday, which may prove useful in case Trump comes to power. Put my youngest on the job of creating a shopping list–he says we need 36 gallons of drinking water, among other things. From the stuff on the list I can see they presupposed very little competence in living off local ecosystem or garden provisions. Thought it would be cool to spend some time at our woods property and learn more about what a person can eat out there, practice making shelters, try out the bow and arrows my father handed on to us. Truth is, I think that would make me happy. Call of my wild roots–a grandfather that lived in the woods many winters, father who surveys the forests of Newfoundland as an undergrad, mother who could publish a book on what ways to create meals and accoutrements from dandelions and medicine from wild oats. The private office is nice, but I need the woods, and if I can’t have a river, at least there’s a little stream there. I hope this is not just talk. I have a habit of denying myself what I think could feed my soul, maybe out of fear it won’t, and a bit of hereditary martyr complex.

My daughter wants to take a trip, any trip, outside the U.S., before college, possibly another mother daughters one, though I said maybe I could plan it and their dad could take them. He didn’t like being left behind last time, but it’s just too hard to travel all together. He did a great job of taking care of the garden while we were gone.

We talked about France and the British Isles, since I know both languages and none of us has ever been even there. Could hit museums, explore the farmland, eat in French cafes, then visit the home of George MacDonald and hike the highlands. Or, I’d be fine with my spouse going instead, as long as someone is giving the girls a good time. I’m pretty good at vicarious living.

My father in law turned eighty this week, and we’re celebrating tomorrow. I’m responsible for the cheesecakes and salad–must check extra carefully for slugs. Twenty two family members will be there, just the kind of gathering he will love. Though he married my ma-in-law only about a decade ago, he is actually a cousin of my husband’s actual dad and has always been in the family. He’s a loving guy, fun, outgoing, easy to talk to, and loves a party. He’s very proud of the clan, which now extends to a few great grandchildren. Lately he’s been caring for his wife, my mother-in-law, as she’s injured her knee and can’t walk. Though he never cooked or cleaned much, being more of a handyman and car guy, she says he’s getting really good at eggs, oatmeal, all kinds of stuff. My kids have been recruited, gladly, as they like to hang with the grandfolks, to do some cooking, cleaning, and yard work. Looks like knee surgery is coming, but they both feel that the decline in mobility and feeling old can’t be stemmed much, which needs to be accepted gracefully. I don’t know if this will change what they were thinking about living arrangements. Currently they have two places and keep them both up, one in their home town and one where she raised the kids. They plan to sell one eventually, and we’ve told them we’d be honored to have them consider going in with us on a house together with some nice extra living quarters.

Still no house, though we made two offers. We let them both drop, my husband not feeling ready. I’m so ready I can’t make a level headed decision, maybe.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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