Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts

Monday, July 04, 2022

reaching the threshold

it was always difficult for children
dangerous even 
if you know of a place where it isn't
please share it 

we may sway in decision, hover in hope,
curve like prayer,
ache to follow rumors as if they're friends
inviting us to hurry

but we won't know how--or if--we let go
of mourning
our feet full of splinters, tracing love over
fragments of safety


_____
It's the fourth of July. We didn't have plans because we were supposed to be in YS. Also: things don't feel very celebratory anyway--it feels very What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?  This lines up with the memes that say: "Fourth of July has been canceled due to a shortage of independence" or "Frankly I don't think America deserves a birthday party this year." And then the news worsens with reports of mass shootings in Highland Park and Philadelphia and fires in Fort Worth...

Sunday, July 03, 2022

what could be

One more day at the reunion, and then we left for home a whole day early as Nu is (and hence we all are) in the midst of an unrelated crisis.

We managed to fit a lot into the 24 hours we were in YS, though. Peaches yesterday for reunion drinks, Glen Garden for flowers for Big A's mom with whom we were staying, Toy Company and Dark Star to keep Nu occupied, planned hangouts like the one pictured, and of course all the random running into old friends and neighbors. 

It's difficult not to feel a bit of nostalgia for the YS years and wonder...Will we ever move back there again? What might our lives have been like if we'd stayed?  

Friday, July 01, 2022

Scout = Love

Surely no one deserves this much adoration... but it feels like Scout is giving me credit for being such a grown up today: getting Nu to multiple doc appts., taking multiple meetings, being supportive to Big A as he moves into his new office in WI, and rescuing all the plants in my office. 

Or maybe Scout's commiserating because I almost got my Bluey back. Bluey got busted when I hit that poor deer back in February, and has been in the bodyshop for a month (parts shortage, delay, etc.). They called to say Bluey was ready, but when Nu and I drove off down the street, all sorts of warning lights began to flicker--so we went back for a recheck. 

In any case, I needed an extra dose of love today, and Scout was right there for me.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

normal...

Nu is completing all the school assignments he missed when he was sick, and JG very kindly consented to be interviewed for the "life in the 1980's" segment. 

We'd had a gnarly start to the day where I suspected I'd have to take Nu to the E.R.; so I was particularly glad with how fun and normal the rest of the day actually turned out--first a long visit from JG and then winding down with the new season of Umbrella Academy after dinner.

Plus I updated details of vacation week as #LaterPosts!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

All four present


I started the day with all my monkeys in a row at breakfast. 

A sunny moment in a day filled with other less fun duties. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Barcelona 1

Woke up in our futuristic space station-themed hotel room to a view of aeons-old surrounding hills. Big A watched a YouTube video to figure out why we were going around in an unproductive loop on the Eurail online pass--and he figured it out! Smooth sailing through all our other train reservations after this.

We had an early guided tour booked for La Sagrada Familia. Nu and I left early and walked around while we waited for the tour to start and Big A to show up after getting our train tickets. The tour started. Big A was in a taxi, but not there yet. When I asked the tour facilitator if we could wait a few minutes for Big A, I was told "He has lost his chance." I suspect we'll be quoting this for ages. 😂 I made up my mind to ask the tour guide a bunch of questions to delay our entry into the cathedral so Big A could join us. And then I screamed because someone ran up to me and whispered "Boo" in my ear. Big A!

La Sagrada Familia was more than I had even imagined. Even Nu was impressed. My sister remembered right away that I used to pore over a coffee-table book on Gaudi twenty years ago.... that's how long I've been waiting to see this. But nothing could prepare me for this ongoing, gaudy, excessive, earnest eruption of construction. And they have plans and reliefs all over the place, but the entire thing is a bonkers celebration of whimsy and religious fervor. 

It was a hot day, and we'd spent much of the morning outside, so after a tapas break we piled into a taxi back to the hotel for a siesta. While we were chatting with the driver he said that his favorite place in Barcelona was Park Guell, which was on our list for that afternoon--that made everyone in the taxi super happy. Post-siesta, however we found that tickets for the Park were sold out--so we peeked at what we could from the outside and headed to the beach. 

Beaches are my happy place, and the Mediterranean was particularly blue and mysterious. We left pink Big A in the shade of the promenade and Nu and I spent a long, long time walking on the pier and sitting in meditative silence by the waves. We had gotten news of the overturning of Roe and the possible domino effect on other personal protections at the start of the afternoon and that was weighing on me. Then began a string of texts from friends urging me to show up at the state capitol to protest.

It made me feel out-of-touch and selfish, but we had reservations for dinner, so we went. It was a small, earnest place that served us course after course of delicious, farm-fresh food for over three hours. And while we were wishing At had come too, he sent us a sweet picture of him at lunch with Grandma S who's visiting Lansing for a Banjo workshop

#LaterPost

Monday, June 20, 2022

Trust me, there are fireflies

I haven't seen L in a while so I headed down the street after dinner for a hug and to update her on all the stuff going on. And omigosh--there were just so many fireflies out and about. L said they'd been out for a week now...  I guess I've been such a shut-in, this was my first time seeing them this year. 

So although my picture looks like unrelieved night, there are a few some sparks and sparkles here and there. 

I may have taken that as a sign.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

"An Evening In India"

Not sure if that was foolhardy or plain foolish, but in the midst of all the ongoing drama I decided to go ahead and host the "Evening in India" fundraiser anyway.

Honestly, I didn't have the energy to cancel it and communicate with the eight people who bid $80 to sign up, and then have to find another date that worked for everyone, and then I'd have that date looming on the horizon. It seemed easier to just go ahead and make the four-course meal I'd promised for today. 

So I did.

I was on my feet all day and didn't have time to think about anything but taste and temperature and coordinating time. (And unwrapping and arranging the desserts, which I got readymade at Swagath.) 

And then I had a blast writing a menu and talking to a room full of people I don't know very well. 

I'm so weird.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

downer alert

Nu was in the E.R. overnight again. This time Big A was home--I felt so thankful about that. Should I be thankful for anything when my child is in the E.R.? Is that stupid? We're trying all over again to surround Nu with the care and support he needs. 

Along with the roof ruckus, came the quick death of my garden--perennials like lilac, phlox, hydrangeas, hostas have all been squashed flat. All the annuals--coleus, begonias, geraniums--ditto. If they'd asked me to move my precious plants ahead of time, I would have found a way to do that. Somehow the peony bush seems to have survived. Yay? Friends think the perennials will come back next year... Yay, I guess. 

I keep thinking the garden looks like devastation and that I'm devastated. And then of all things, I worry I'm exaggerating my feelings. Things are worse in the world and could be worse here too. There's nothing to do but get through.  

Pic: My flattened garden. Just a few weeks ago, I was so hopeful about starting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

"all for freedom and for pleasure/nothing ever lasts forever"

I sang so much Tears For Fears as a kid--I got hooked on "Everybody wants to Rule the World" like everyone else and then got pretty lost in the deep tracks of their discography.

So when KB invited me to go see them in concert, I said yes. It was wonderful! I got to sing along to all my favorites, and Garbage whose song "Stupid Girl" I was near addicted to, once upon a time, opened. 

What I couldn't shake was the surreal sense of time and age--all around me I could see people like myself and I could see us all as kids when the songs first came out. We still loved the same songs, but were different people with different lives all these decades later. Curt Smith looks like an older version of the boy in the video, but Roland Orzabal (whose name I had to look up because he was the one I didn't have a crush on) looks like a completely different person. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

and that's (not) a wrap

I came home to the roofers hard at work with Tyvek wrap around the front of the house too. Older pictures I've posted show we've had that bright blue tarp up on the back roof for a long ass time

And while we've looked forward to this day for over three years, nothing could have prepared us for the all-day hammering, trampled garden, and glass from the skylights everywhere. (Thankfully broken skylight glass is clumpy and cubed like car windshield glass--not slivers.)

And now we hear the roof beams are rotted and need replacing ($$$). Plus they need to be ordered and that will take time. I know there's a crying jag coming my way any time now.

Friday, June 10, 2022

cherry picking

I mean Nu is literally picking cherries here 🤗. Between the squirrels and the rain, we didn't get any cherries last year, so Nu decided he'd get in there even as our cherries are just beginning to turn pinkish. 

And... Nu got offered the job he interviewed for at the mall yesterday! He says he was interviewed by two "older ladies" (this was defined for me as "20s or 30s" LOLOLOL) with "great energy." He'll start in July. He's so chuffed that he landed his first job interview ever. 

In other child-related news, in an unexpected development, I'm experiencing a sense of calm post At's car accident now that he's taking the bus everywhere. I didn't realize before how much his driving and his driving while brown status weighed on me. 

I'm about 70% packed for my trip to LA tomorrow. I'm gone for just two nights and Big A is fully capable (and better equipped by training) to take care of convalescing Nu, give Scout his meds, etc. but it still feels weird to leave. I'm ostensibly headed to my cousin's wedding--earlier than planned since the date has been changed due to a cancer diagnosis in the family. That sadness--and the superficial stress of making sure I remember the zillion things I need for my saris--are on my mind. I suspect my cousins and I will revert to being our silly childhood selves when we actually see each other.


Thursday, June 09, 2022

interview day

Nu interviewed for a job at the mall today. It amuses me no end that along with all the nineties fashions, hanging out at the mall has been coming back in vogue for this generation too. 

Nu thinks the interview went well, Big A took him to the mall as I had a couple of meetings. When we mock-interviewed yesterday, Nu was kinda amazing. I mean, I asked him the standard "why do you want to work here?" and he responded that he likes to help people and would like to be the small interaction that might light up a person's day. I wanted to hire him on the spot. 

Despite the 90s nostalgia, I think we're doing better as a society. I didn't worry even once about how Nu's quirky aesthetic would be received. This is so different from my SIL's experience when she used to wear a blue mohawk. 

Pic: Big A's portrait of pre-interview Nu.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

in the woods

I've been sleeping with hands gathered
into tight fists

so nothing messy... nothing I have to fight 
enters my dreams

here where trees are leaning on each other
is a new aloneness

so I wait for thoughts of you to grow up in
the dirt of my mind 

Pic: Baker Woods

Monday, June 06, 2022

as I lay me down to sleep


childhood nightmares never go away
the roaring lions and underground hollows 
the things in corners, cupboards, under beds

I force myself to wait until it is morning 
to call out to my parents--on a phone line 
to hear them tell me everything will be okay

In every country a small goddess runs away
refuses worship, says she wants to be normal 
asking: surely, it's better to take than to just give

I see how she forces herself to still in hollows 
as animals stare, scatter, screech in importance 
I see how she wills her silence, says she'll be okay
----------------------------------------------


Pic: Scout tells me this poem is bunk and sticks out his tongue.


Saturday, June 04, 2022

blessedly ordinary

On StephLove's post about having a tree fall through their roof (I hope your roof is getting the attention it needs, StephLove!) I said something about roof tarps being great--we've lived with ours for over three years now. It has kept the elements out--I can't see it in the winter (covered by snow) or in the summer (covered by trees). Why it has taken over three years and our roof hasn't yet been fixed is its own boring and expensive saga.  
I love our quirky (no central air) house, which was built based on this lead article from an issue of Popular Science magazine (there's a typo-laden explanation here) but it always seems to need attention. Here, the guy who came to prep for the roofers found carpenter ants chewing their way through the outside. It's always something...

Other than that, inside the house, I had a blessedly ordinary day. I watered all the plants, cleaned from top to bottom, soaked, read for hours, had cauliflower pizza (which I would not repeat or recommend), and started the new season of Stranger Things with my cuddly Nu, Scout, and Huck. I'm so relieved... happy... to be doing ordinary stuff again.

Thursday, June 02, 2022

updates on my worn down family

Nu is home from the hospital! We'll need a lot of outpatient care, which the hospital is putting into place... but Nu's home! It was a relief to do something ordinary like sit close to him and try to follow Pan's Labyrinth without subtitles--which since we've watched it 15+ times feels kind of possible.

At seems physically ok, but his car is not just towed--it's totaled. He arrived for his Boss Day dinner via bus and Uber and a bit shellshocked. We went for a long walk and I managed to make him laugh just a couple of times before I had to drop him back at his apartment.

Big A is back from a successful emergency trip to Madison, WI--his licensing for the new gig that starts in July had been held up for six months, but they were able to fix it in a couple minutes when he showed up in person at the licensing office. 

After too many nights by ourselves, the puppies and I were excited/content to have everyone back. Here's a photograph from this happy-sad, peculiar day. I can see Nu's hospital pallor and At's traumatized cast... And I can't unsee what Big A called his "big Saturn head" on one side and the rest of us orbiting it "like satellites" on the other. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

at the end of May

dismay
May seemed a forever recovery 
over bits of grass--bits of glass

mayhem
Can it really be June tomorrow?
Will the year make its amends?

maybe
Growing long like summer time
the year fills out in its maturity

mayday
hold my hands as songs get longer 
nothing but excitement--and fear

--maya
the kind lodged between my ribs 
gasping: I care, I care--do you?

____________________________
Pic: Wisteria Square #MSU

Monday, May 30, 2022

Spring farewell

footsteps scatter oracular
one foot then another
grow louder than water

I bless the bees, the blooms
the leaves like hearts
sound, reverberating 

spring is a gamble, my friend
some years fruit, beautiful
others empty and quiet

I see my own fate in these lines
of light, denial, the tunnel 
curving, coming up for air

Pic: Red Cedar River this morning.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

all empty and all full

The city has emptied out--what with the end of the MSU semester, graduating students, and the long Memorial Day weekend ahead of us. 

I was on my own for dinner tonight, so after I fed Scout and Huck, I had a whole column of pistachio baklava and about half of a small watermelon. 

I regret nothing.

Pic: The largest solar carport in North America had just three parked cars on this morning's walk with L. 

starting over

Once in a while, I'll come across a piece of art--even something Nu has decided to throw away like this piece... And I'll be overcom...