Thursday, December 20, 2007

Smuggy birthday!


I am 42 today. I have no party planned, just a long-overdue haircut, and maybe even, shhhhhhh, highlight, followed by a women's league hockey game. I doubt there will be cake, though Ian might surprise me yet and the gifts will be less material than the kind I used to enjoy as a child. But.... just in case I paint a depressing, mid-life-reeking picture I must share my morning with you so far.

After the usual morning circus of feeding, watering, grooming, wiping, diapering, snapping, zipping, wiping, zipping, didn't I already do that?, and ruthlessly rushing the girls, I got them out the door and to their respective holding pens-- Esther-Kindergarten, Isla-daycare. I came home and fed the horses. I mucked out the barn, threw ten bales of hay down out of the hayloft and kissed the horses on their velvet noses. Then, on the way in, I spied one of our sledding tubes that had blown in the wind off to the side of our yard. I went to retrieve it and, on the way to the basement, decided to take a spin. I climbed in, shoved off, picked up speed, and got an exhilarating shot of fresh snow right to the face as I coasted to a stop. "Again," I thought to myself, in the voice of Isla who has recently discovered the joys of sledding. "Again."

The fact that I was sledding alone on my 42nd birthday didn't bother me. In fact I realized that the reason I was alone was because most people-- normal, mature people-- don't really have the time, or inclination to go sledding at 8 a.m. on a Thursday morning. For once in my life, the fact that I did, have the time and inclination to do something childish on a weekday morning, made me feel ever so slightly smug. I'm getting smarter with age.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

here blizzard blizzard


One day cooped up inside while the wind howled and raged outside and it feels as if a week has passed. We swung from peaceful artists, to warring siblings, to sad, unloved oldest daughter, to Mary and baby Jesus in the stable, to bathtime buddies. All this before Isla's nap.
Ian and I folded the mountain of clean laundry that has been sitting on our bedroom chair for at least a month. As we encountered sock after unmatched sock, I wondered aloud how "all the other mothers" manage to keep matching socks together throughout their lifespan. Yes, I used to compare myself to others in measurements of speed and strength and stamina, now it's all come down to domestic prowess.

That said, I've written this

Friday, December 07, 2007

living in black and white

I love December in Vermont. It proves that black and white can be beautiful. The starkness of the landscape kind of lets my mind relax. It frees up space for things that matter. The riot of color that fall brings leaves me feeling anxious and pulled in every direction. In December, days so short and the nights so long, and the world stripped down to its barest bones, I'm focused, like a bear, on one thing: conservation. While conserving energy, I've been writing over here