Monday, June 28, 2010

“Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.”

~Ada Louis Huxtable









By all accounts I know I should be drunk... with summer.

I know I am in a bubble. First we have a big move for my parents planned for the end of this week, into their new apartment. After we get them settled for a few days, my brother and his wife and their two girls are coming for a visit the following week.

So much to do, to look forward to, to enjoy. It keeps us all in the bubble. As if by our activity, we can keep everything we cherish within our collective grasp.  We're afraid to sit still, to stop moving, to get off the ride.

While the boys went with their father to a baseball game, I worked in the yard yesterday.  I started with just pulling some stray grass growing amongst the flower beds.  With the soil saturated from all the recent rains, they slid out easily in large clumps.  The steady monotonous work was soothing. I watched my fingernails fill with dirt and remnants of grass. My fingers were caked with clay. I pulled and I pulled.

Soon, all that was left  were the thistles.  Maybe its my frame of mind, my inability to leave the safety of my bubble, but I found myself barehanded, tackling those thorny weeds.  I tugged and pulled at their spindly base, wincing at the prick on my fingers when coming in contact with the thorny stems.  Yet, I never once moved to get my gardening gloves.  I sat with a tweezer last night, surveying the wounds and slivers covering my hands.  They are battle scars and a badge of honor, that serve as reminders of the heavy burden I carry.

For all of the beauty of my blooms and blossoms, simply can't take away the worry in my mother's face. Or my sleepless, restless nights.  Or the change in my Dad's words, his appearance, his growing weakness.

Our bubble is showing signs of weakening.  I tread lightly, holding my breath, knowing the bubble will one day burst.  The thorns and the thistle will take over, no matter how many times I bravely reach to yank them from the ground.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A pocketful...

I am carrying "peace" in my pocket with me today... the cool smooth stone is a tangible reminder to take a deep breath, and know... all shall be well.  Thanks sweet friend for knowing the perfect thing to send to me.  

What kinds of things bring a little peace to your world?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hockey Day Minnesota

Take 3 NHL Minnesota Wild hockey players.

Add in two NHL hockey players from our town.

Mix in one big announcement that our town and high school hockey team were chosen as the backdrop for Hockey Day Minnesota 2011, to be broadcast on television, February 12th.

Squeeze in the zeal of our hockey community.

Presto, you have one monumental day.

Such an honor for our town to have two former players represent us so well in the NHL, with a third one to join soon.

Lots of media on hand...

A large crowd in attendance.

Chris Vande Velde, has recently signed to play with the Edmonton Oilers and will report to their AHL affiliate In Springfield, MA.  In the meantime he works out at the rink.  Its an odd juxtaposition to have our young boys running stairs along side the pro players.  How cool would that be as a young player to hang out and be coached by your idols? 

Brian Lee, finished his season last year with the Ottawa Senators playing defense.  We're excited to see where he may land next year.  

Matt Cullen, in an ironic twist was traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Ottawa Senators too.  We had two former Moorhead players on the same NHL team!  Matt donated 30,000 dollars to our youth rink to build the outdoor rink where our Moorhead Spuds hockey team will play Hill Murray, February 12th, 2011. 

Brent Burns, defenseman for the Minnesota Wild.  

Colton getting autographs.

Games galore was sponsored by Well Fargo and the National Guard.   Nolan and Colton racing... Colton ended up with a huge burn on his backside... owie...

Nolan and his buddy Caleb racing cars... 

Wells Fargo stagecoach rides!  

What a great day for the State of Hockey!  

I was also in close contact with my mom yesterday. Dad had a good day. He has decided to allow more morphine to be given, which in turn has eased his breathing and relaxed him. He rested and read and listened to his music in comfort yesterday, and listened to our hockey tale at the end of the evening. Your prayers, and kind words and deeds, continue to encourage and humble me...

Friday, June 18, 2010

His presence...

I couldn't figure it out.  What is that, sticking up, from the gutter?  A stick?  A feather?  Another shoe?  Yeah, there's been a  shoe on the roof before... don't ask.


Could this little guy be it?  Where'd the pointy thing go?


I watched...



leapt for joy when Rick gave me HIS camera with the telephoto lens to use...

Except then this happened...

But later he flew back...

With treasures in his beak...

Comin' in...

for a landing...

And then he left again...

came back...

left again

Hi Colton... (sorry this has nothing to do with anything, he's just cute.)

Another "present"

And then... suddenly, mystery solved.  Two birds, building... a nest.

But not just any birds.  Mourning doves.

Through a veil of tears I uncovered the symbolism of the appearance of mourning doves...

Mourning doves

The dove is a member of the pigeon family and both hold the qualities of home, security and maternal instincts.

The dove's song is its most distinctive feature. It can be heard throughout the day.

When "Dove" makes an appearance to you it could mean:

Unexpected and unseen support and assistance will come when you need it most.

Travel is often indicated when Dove appears prominantly, and this may include relocation to a new home.

A death, either physical (of someone one knows or is close to) or symbolic (within the individual) may occur and while it may bring grief, there is also quite often a sense of relief and gratitude that suffering has finally ended and peace will soon be at hand.

Even in the Bible, the Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove in the baptism of Jesus.  According to the Bible, when Jesus emerged from the water, a dove from heaven descended upon him.


If you asked me where God is, in these moments when a life's journey is coming to an end, this is what I have discovered so far...  the signs of his presence, are everywhere. 

It's in the young buck I saw leaping through the grasses down by the river, who stopped, turned his head and looked at me... unmistakable right at me... then bounded off.  

It's in the fury and power of the weather, the umpteen tornadoes that swirled with force and power all around our community yesterday, destroying some, while leaving others unscathed.  It's a stormy day that will remain in the memories of many forever, as well as in the weather history books.   

It's in his eyes, my father's, as he searches my face.  On good days, he is all there, and we talk about every day things like always.  On not so good days, he searches my face for recognition, as if to ask, "Am I still here?" 

It's in the syringes, all lined up in a cup, next to his chair, filled with morphine.  We use them now, to help with his labored breathing at times.  

It's in the cards, letters, facebook messages, food, phonecalls... every. single. prayer.  said in his name, our name.  Especially there, I feel HIS presence. 

It's in these doves who have shown up, cooing their mournful calls, beckoning to places beyond...  while reaffirming the circle of life with each twig they add to their nest, preparing for the arrival of the new life.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The lunch girls

Dear Brynne,

Today you had your first three hour lunch with the girls.  Its a tradition between your mom and I that started more years ago than I can count these days.  The first time your mother and I had lunch together we were probably still in high school and we grabbed fries and a diet coke at Hardees or Mcky D's.  Then suddenly we were in college and started a long standing tradition of grabbing pizza at Godfathers.  For awhile I remember many late nights spent dancing at The Old Broadway, which turned into many early morning breakfasts at Cher's Kitchen.  

Over the years your mom moved away, and then later I did too.  But we both returned home to visit family and always got together for our lunch date over the holidays.  We'd both go back to our towns and resume our lives, collecting and gathering our stories to share with each other the next time we'd meet.

There have been many phone calls, emails and visits in between, but your mom and I have had an innate ability to pick up right where we left off each time we get together.  Its grown much more complicated, this gathering of ours.  Its not just her schedule and mine to juggle any more, but its husbands, and kids and now parents we work around each time you and your family come for a visit.  

Plus our topics have matured along with ourselves.  While we might have focused once on boys and dating and shopping, we now talk about boys, as in our sons, and dating, which we agree we won't let you do till you are at least 30, and shopping... well some things never change.  

But somehow we've managed to remain friends all these years.  As you sat watching us over lunch today, I couldn't help think of all the things we have yet to teach you.  But here's the main thing I want to tell you.  The things worth keeping in life, are the ones we make time for.  

Like your mother and I, and our lunches.  Those lunches have seen us through, engagements and break-ups, weddings and mortgages, funerals and births.   I have no doubt the seeds of hope for a baby girl for your mom, were once whispered over one of our lengthy lunch conversations years ago. 

Oh sure, on the surface, its just lunch I suppose.  But string together all of those hours spent sharing the stories of our lives, and what you have, is the thing worth keeping.  A best friend and a friendship borne over diet coke and french fries, still dreaming about the future and all they will have to share, the next time they have lunch. 

Thanks for lunch girls!!!





Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Shiny and new

Do you know how happy this sight made me?  Definitely picture worthy to see the entire contents of our refrigerator on the counter.  Can you guess why?


Our trusty fridge that we hauled back from Idaho, with 1 forgotten pint of Ben and Jerry's chocolate brownie ice cream completely forgotten in the freezer... which melted and ran all throughout the interior and then all through the door at the bottom...yes, making a gooey, sticky, mess that I still have remnants of in the grate at the bottom... yes, that fridge is moving out... into the garage... 

and look who moved in... 1 shiny new fridge with french doors and a big freezer drawer with a slot for pizzas.  


Plus when I went to put the food all back in?  I had lots of room for more... which is a good thing since the boys are eating their way through their college fund as I speak.


As if I could get any luckier, look what came in the mail... its a hand made tote bag that Megan at Polish the Stars, sells in her Etsy store.  I won it in a giveaway, but her crafty and clever ideas are worth going to visit for yourself!  Thank you Megan

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pepsi Cup 2010

Can you guess...

where I've been?

If I told you I'd been wrapped in a blanket, freezing my rear off, on a sunny 78 degree day? Would you think I was crazy? Cause I felt a bit silly, with my coat and blanket on while my bare toes peeked through in the frigid air. And when I forgot to take my warm coat ensemble off later, I got a few stares at the store. Photobucket

It's okay, its all good... Photobucket

Nolan played in the 2010 North American Pepsi-Cup Hockey Tournament with 15 other Moorhead boys all born in the year 2000. They won their last game to finish the tournament in third. See, I'm only a tiny bit crazy after all.

When you get lucky

When you get lucky

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