Last ?’s Good Things

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It has been almost a month since I posted! That is the worse performance I have had yet. There are definitely excuses to be submitted, but I think the better thing is to just to get on with it. To ground myself, I am going to take a look back at that month that was and pick out memorable good things. Onward!

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Kids Were Home – While right now, it already seems like it was ages ago, we did have both kids and their significant others under our roof – all at once – during the last month. That was a first that has happened, and I can’t wait for the next! Our little house had to compromise a little to accommodate everyone, but it worked. There were some first  meetings among them that were sweet. I had a day that we spent eating Oklahoma Joe’s and then wandering the zoo. We played games and we ate around Kansas City like nobody’s business. I have such sweet memories of the kids while they were growing up and all of the things we used to do together. This having adult children who live away from you is something that you adjust to, but is never completely easy. I like to be with them. I like to sit in the same room with them. I like to be more keyed into what is going on with them. I like to share meals with them. I like to get to know their partners better. When they leave, there is always still an achy heart. But they will be back!

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A Happy Announcement – So, during that time we had the kids home, something very happy happened. On our 32nd anniversary, Jose asked Ali to marry him and she said yes. Dan and I both are so happy for both of them. Seeing them so happy with each other, makes us confident that their decision to spend their lives together is a good one. This is another new phase of our lives, but what a wonderful one. 

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My New Office – Six years ago, my office got moved from inside the hospital to a trailer about a block away. Granted, it was a big trailer that held all of my very wonderful team members also, and my office did have a lovely view of downtown Kansas City. Nevertheless, it had its down sides. When we moved to the trailer, it was noted that it would be temporary. Temporary ended last month! I am now in a newly renovated building that houses most everyone in our department. My office is spacious with beautiful big tall windows. I am still in the midst of figuring out how to personalize it, but it is getting there. 

IMG_0989Making a new dish – Last weekend, as I emerged from everything that was going on, I decided that it was time to cook something new. When we were in Louisville last year, we went to Milkwood which is Chef Edward Lee’s restaurant. We tasted lots of dishes, all of which had wonderful flavors. Since then, I got his cookbook that is fun to look at, but which I had not cooked out of too much. Saturday I made his Rice Bowl With Beef, Onions, Collards, Fried Egg, and Corn Rémoulade. I am a pretty good cook, mainly because I pick good recipes and I follow directions well, but this may have been the best thing that I have every made. The Corn Rémoulade alone was so tasty. If I could have gotten away with it, I would have sat with a spoon and just eaten that like pudding. It was fun to prep this meal with all of the steps. It was fun to set the table and pour a wine. It was a very good thing to sit and share it with Dan – and, holy cow, was it delicious!

IMG_1004New Notebook – It seems appropriate that I got to start a new notebook during this time. Finishing off my last one, I looked back on its pages and appreciated all that it captured. When I think of all of the journals that I have kept through the years, I think this format makes me happiest. It kind of logs my life in both a reflective and positive way.

So, there it is. A new post. I am happy to be back!

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The Kids Are Coming Home

This weekend Sam will come home and spend a few days. There is not much planned other than the usual: some Winstead’s and Oklahoma Joe’s. In a few weeks, Ali will be home for a visit – and we will get to meet Banjo the puppy, who is quickly becoming Banjo the dog.

In that this blog is meant for me to write about things that make me happy, these visits fit the bill. Yesterday, I spent time trying to write something about this. It really went nowhere. I was trying to get something down that may be meaningful beyond my own eyes, but not personal to the extent that it would embarrass anyone. I was not doing a very good job at that, so I didn’t finish. I am back to it today to try again.

For eight years now, I have been learning what it is like to have my kids living far away. It started eight years ago when Sam headed off to college in New York. The next year, Ali was off to New Orleans. Even though I am a proponent of kids going away to school, they were both hard for me. While high school gives you a preview, college is that point when the meeting of the Venn diagram circles of our lives, yield much smaller area. Their life, my life, where we meet and share, is not what it used to be. Those days of knowing who, what, where and when are gone.

So, I have arrived at this point, not unexpectedly. The distance between college and home for both kids made visits infrequent. When both of them graduated, they decided to stay in the cities where they went to school. Both of them have jobs, and health insurance, and friends who care about them. While I would love for them to be closer, they both are inclined to make good decisions that work for them. I trust that most.

But when there is a visit planned, it is happy. For me, to lay eyes on that person who, no matter how old, shares my constitutional being, grounds something in me. I think, one of the best podcasts out there is one called Radiolab. There was one that I listened to recently about fetal cells. Scientists are finding is that anytime a woman gives birth, there is some mixing of blood and it is not uncommon for fetal cells to be found in a mother decades after the birth. There are questions as to whether those cells are protective, could potentially create issues, or whether they even matter. I think that ambiguity seems right. All of the above?

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I am happy that in the next few weeks I will be able to spend time with my two wonderful kids. We may fall briefly fall back into the routines of what it was like to live together in this house. We may have time to talk more deeply about what is going on in their lives and what plans and hopes they have for their next steps. We will probably watch some stupid tv. Our Venn circles may cuddle a little closer. And when they get ready to leave, it will make me cry, but those are probably those baby cells doing their business.