A Weekend of Orchids

What a wonderful weekend!

I spent time with my aunt and my beloved cousin working on a special project.  How wonderful it was to have time with my cousin not sitting at the side of her hospital bed.  She is the toughest, frailest woman I know and I love her dearly.

I spent time with him.  We traveled to my niece’s home to attend her little girl’s first birthday party.  Our littlest great-niece holds his heart in her little hand.  He adores her and she adores him.  We went early to get some special time with the family.

We were able to help my niece and her husband get things together for the party.  I love the two of them so much.  She was the first child in her generation and I was still at home when she came along.  She was my first baby to love.  Her husband is such a loving, dear man.  He is precious and funny and I am always glad to see him.

The day also brought a moment or two to hug my brother and my wonderful sister-in-law.  My nephew and his sweet wife were there with their charming little boys.  It was great to see them!

Sunday morning brought a surprise to my door.  One of our “like family” friends came to visit.  We were expecting him and thought his wife was coming.  Instead he brought his mother.  She and my mother were best friends growing up.  It was wonderful to spend time with the two of them.  Our visits are usually as part of a large, loud crowd when we all gather.

We don’t all gather nearly often enough.  Mother had us all together three or four times a year and smaller groups rounded up in between those times.  Daddy was either on the ship or didn’t mind when he was home or didn’t say if he did mind.

I will not dwell on that.  We have plans in the works to gather some more.  I have a milestone birthday coming in the summer.  Time for a big party!  Meanwhile,  some smaller gatherings……….perhaps not so far away from Mother’s way afterall.

A note about the photograph.  It is a camping spot we used often and referred to as “the point”.  It is a short walk from my home and is full of memories for the people who loved my mother and her gatherings.  The park is only open for pedestrian day visitors now.  But, there are many ghosts of memories………..

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Blue Winter

Silly of me to feel this way.  I have had a blue winter day.  The sunshine of the island and the false spring days we have had lately didn’t stick with me today.  The gray sky and cold rain got me.   At least for part of the day.  I let myself get blue for a while.

I seem to have turned the mood around.  I switched to the 70’s music station on the television and actually did a little dancing.  Ironically, in front of the same mirror I danced before when it was the early 80s. I didn’t like dancing alone so I always danced in front of my mirror.  Tried it today to see if it would work on my blue mood.  Yes. It did.  Thank goodness.

Every time I have a down time, I fear the return of the black depression that has plagued me on and off through the years.

Lately, I have had some down days.  But, my thoughts haven’t really been down.  I feel more like I am bored.  I am busy, but not at anything very engaging or interesting.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit this.  I believe intelligence should overcome boredom.

Perhaps, I am reacting to job stress.  Maybe I have my thought processes zoned out to keep from stressing about the upcoming audit and the needs of my current position.  Not enough hours in the work week to do all that needs doing.  No overtime allowed at all.  Period.  This will be my third such audit that comes along every three years.  I always lose sleep over it.  We have always had great outcomes.  Nevertheless, I fret.  May is forever away and just around the corner.

Perhaps, I am unwilling to do things at home to make myself feel better.  I have been reading for pleasure.  I have a simple crocheted scarf almost completed.  I have a few crafting projects awaiting.  Even better than all this I have a wedding to help put together for our daughter.  Only parents and siblings and his daughter on the guest list, but still I want the event to be special and memorable for her.

Still, I have a gap in my attention.  I pass time piddling on Facebook or Pinterest, puttering around the house trying to keep up with the housekeeping, occasionally doing something in the yard.  Mindless things.  I need something to hold my attention and get my mind focused on the task at hand.

A hobby?  Yes.  I suppose a hobby other than reading and writing.  I hesitate to delve into something.  I can’t recall how many projects for which I have bought supplies and tools yet not completed or even started.   The tools and supplies are usually passed on to other crafters.  As I stated, I have a few projects I could do but not enough enthusiasm for them to drag stuff out and begin.

Frustrated.  That is it for me right now.  I was busier with projects when the children were young and Mother and Daddy needed my help than now when I have hours I could spend creatively.

What is the problem?  What do I really want to do with my time and creative energy?  Am I overreaching the issue?  Probably.  Break down the problem.  What do I really want to do this week with my time and energy?  Do I want to work out patterns to cut felt pieces for ornaments?  Do I want to get a darker washable ink to draw on the fabric I have been trying to embroider with my own design?  Do I want to try again to smear paint on a piece of canvas?  Would I rather write a draft of a new poem?  Should I work on the painted finish of the stool in the bathroom?

I have a friend or two I need to make time to call.  I have a cousin I need to call and hopefully be able to assist.  I have a birthday party to attend.

And always, I have him…..he needs attention.  I love giving him attention.  Sometimes, he lets me.  Sometimes, he is busy with his own projects.  When my blue winter days come, he gives me attention.  He turns the blue to silver and the gleam of delight returns to my heart.  I am ever mindful of him and what he might need from me.  After all, he is my favorite hobby.  And definitely never boring!

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Lessons Learned

My trip to Maui was multi-layered.  Time with the children.  Seeing the sights.  Relaxing in the warm sunshine.

The unexpected layer was discovering myself not weak and old.  I am not beyond pushing physical limits.  I hiked two five mile trails.  One was challenging.  The other was not for the faint of heart.

The ridge hike in the rain and the mud is the one of which I am most proud.  I was slow.  But, my son was absolutely patient and encouraging.  He guided my steps and we joked along the way.  What a kind person he is!  I did the hike without incident and without excess pain and fatigue during or afterward.

I didn’t and perhaps still don’t appreciate how hard I was rolled at Big Beach.  I had some bruises I didn’t realize I had gotten until the places turned black and blue.  It took days for all the sand to come out of my ears.  I still have sand inside the lining of my swimsuit.  I will have to work on getting it out when my package arrives in the mail. (I packed up extra clothes, shoes and my souvenirs in a box and am letting the mail lady bring it to me rather than having to check a bag at the airport.) I didn’t panic when tumbling under the wave.  I just relaxed and waited for my head to come up and my feet go down.  I didn’t feel any pain.

Again, I marveled at my endurance traveling home.  I awoke especially early in the morning.  I was unable to sleep at all on the plane during the overnight flight I took late that evening.  I was up about thirty six hours.  I wasn’t really exhausted feeling.  I was sleepy by the time I had my bath of course.  That is usual for me.  But, I did not feel horrible as I expected.

Those long hikes didn’t hurt my feet.  A good pair of shoes made the difference.  My feet often hurt in the morning just from an ordinary day at work where I sit most of the day.  I do not like wearing athletic shoes.  But, I did buy two new pairs of casual work shoes last week and had a pedicure to take better care of my poorly treated appendages.  They deserve the best care as reward for taking me along marvelous paths.

I discovered I am more physically durable than I believed.  I did more and suffered effects less than I ever imagined possible.  This body, even at this moment, has a spot or two of sharp pain and a spot or two aching just it has these many years. Nevertheless, I am pleasantly recalling my adventures in the middle of the wild blue Pacific.  My body didn’t ache and my mind didn’t race.  I longed only for certain amber eyes as the days blended into each other.

How does one live on island time here at home?  How does one live physically challenging adventures here at home?  How does one overcome the compulsion to push against the waves and get rolled rather than bobbing and floating, laughing and loving through the tumultuous days?  There is a time to dive into the waves and a time to paddle along the stream.  There is also a time to drift and notice the color of life.  The color of my life is aquamarine.  What color is yours?

 

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Maui

I spent eleven days exploring the island.  My son and my daughter-in-law live there.  They took me all the way around both parts.  We hiked.  We laid on the beach.  We ate scrumptious hamburgers at several different places.  They showed me the best of what they have discovered so far. I even got to fulfill a long time dream to see Pe’ahi (Jaws) breaking and surfers riding it!

Waterfalls, bamboo forests, cliffs dropping into the sea, whales breeching just off shore, beaches, volcanic mountain sunrise, high ridges with muddy trails, a beautiful luau.  Yes.  I experienced all of these and more.

But, the best part of my trip was time with my children.  Seeing how they live and interact with each other.  Hearing them plan what they wanted to do with me.  Her patiently taking photos for me. Him patiently coaching me through the physical challenges of our adventures.  Watching him help her look for sea glass at every opportunity.  Watching her do her daily tasks making their home lovely.

Yes, my favorite thing about Maui is the two of them.

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I was glad to go and hope to go back.  But, I was glad to come home.  I missed him.  He doesn’t think I did.  I kept myself busy reading when we were at home and not sleeping.  I kept waking up on the wrong side of the bed wondering where I was.  I am very happy to be back with the one I love more than breath.  I love our adventures together.  I love our simple, beautiful life together.  No tropical island needed.