The Old House

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We moved back to our hometown in 1990.  We had been headed for Tennessee, but at the very last minute, we couldn’t leave.  T had been offered a job, and we had sold our first little house.  We packed up everything as we prepared to move across the country.  We loaded it all into a moving van with the help of our families.  I’ll never forget that day in 1990.  Baby Andrew was asleep in his car seat between us in the front seat as we prepared for a long drive.  We sat for a moment staring at our first house before we pulled away, and I began to cry.  My parents were not taking this move very well.  Neither were his parents.  I don’t remember who said it first, but instead of heading for Tennessee, we headed for my parents home 20 miles away.  The next day, we rented a storage unit, unloaded the truck, and began to look for a home in the town where we had once proclaimed we would never return. Continue Reading »

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Baseball Memories

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When I was a little girl, my father gave me the most important gift, the gift of acceptance and unconditional love.

I was in the midst of those awkward middle school years.  I was trying so hard to be cool, to be like everyone else.  Above all, I wanted to fit in.  All my friends played softball, so of course, I signed up to be on a team, too.  I hated every single moment of it.  I was afraid of being hit by a ball.  I couldn’t catch, pitch, throw, or hit.  Yet I kept right on trying.  I went to each practice.  When I got home, my dad spent countless hours trying to teach me and trying to help me improve.  Nothing worked.  I didn’t improve no matter how hard I tried.  As hard as I was working to be better, my heart wasn’t in it.  I wanted to be reading a book, or playing the piano, or spending time with my pets.  The only things I liked about playing softball was sitting on the bench, visiting with my friends, and going to the concession stand after the game. Continue Reading »

Brownies and Memories

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I dipped my finger into the warm, chocolaty batter and brought it to my mouth.  The scent was heavenly as flavor expanded across my tongue.  Tears filled my eyes.  I stood motionless for a moment, my finger still in my mouth, as the flavor released its memories.  I closed my eyes, and I could once again see three little blonde children chatting happily at the kitchen table as they made cakes out of Play-Dough while a baby girl banged her fist in a highchair.  I imagined a different kitchen with a maple-topped center island and tall ceilings.  I could hear the sounds of my children and feel a warm breeze blowing through open windows.  When I opened my eyes, the only thing that was left were the tears and a lingering taste of chocolate. Continue Reading »

My Amazing 10-Year-Old

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Mom and Lola

She wasn’t planned.  She wasn’t even supposed to be here.

In 2001, I was pregnant for the fifth time.  I had three living children.  Needless to say, my pregnancy history wasn’t good.  Because of that fact, I had a standing order for a tubal ligation after this birth.  My plan was to stay an extra day after delivery and have my tubes tied.  In the event of a c-section, I had made it clear that I wanted my tubes tied during the procedure.  My wishes were noted on my medical charts. Continue Reading »

Proboscis

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hummingbird mothWe were all sitting on the patio this evening.  Cocktail Hour.  T and I sat watching a large moth gathering nectar.  It was huge and looked almost like a humming bird.  The moth moved from planter to planter, flower to flower.

Em watched it along with us, and she was fine until we told her that it was NOT a humming bird.  Then she freaked out as if the moth were suddenly going to attack her.  I explained to her that the moth didn’t have a stinger.  When it darted past her head as it moved to the other side of the patio.  Em was ready to go back inside.searching

I asked her to calm down and told her to look at his proboscis as he moved through the pot of petunias.  “His what?” she said.  I asked T if this was a Hornworm Moth, sometimes called a Hawk Moth.  Em looked shocked.  She thought she knew her parents, and we were suddenly talking like a couple of entomologists. Continue Reading »

Let’s Go Home

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T came to visit us early last weekend.  He had to be in Milwaukee for a second interview on Friday, so he came to my house to stay the evening before to cut down on travel time and the need to get up ridiculously early.  He had never been here for a visit on a “regular” work/school day, and he asked a lot of questions.  “Is this what you guys usually do?”  “Do you want me to do that for you?”  (As we all prepared our own dinners and did the evening household chores.)  He seemed like an observer in his own “home” as the girls and I went about our regular routines.  He observed it all with a smile.  The three women in his life may not be doing things the way he would do them, but we had somehow managed to come up with a routine that worked for us.  Four months apart, four months in separate homes, has changed all of us.  We have all grown, and we have all found the strength to face a multitude of changes.  With all of the growth and strength, we have also discovered something else.  Even with all of this new-found independence sprouting up all over the place, we have learned (the hard way!) how very much we all need each other – not to do things for each other or because we can’t live without each other.  We have found that our lives are BETTER when we are together. Continue Reading »