Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

My wishes for you and yours this New Year...

Smiles and laughter.
Silly moments.
Quiet interludes.
Many hugs.
Health.
Dreams come true and wishes fulfilled.
Peaceful sleep and mornings filled with hopeful anticipation.
Epiphanies.
Good friends, good times, good food and good spirits.
A love which no words can describe its depths.
Simple things made profound by appreciation.
A well lived year.

Make it a good one.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, however that term holds meaning for you, and Happy Holidays.

I am finding my day away from my family this year. They are only a few minutes down the road, but it is still "away". My eldest daughter has a new family and new traditions to celebrate the day this year, as this is her first Christmas as a young married woman. My youngest, at sixteen is at home with my husband, I am sure playing Half-Life on her new Xbox, wearing her vintage-style motorcycle goggles, rainbow toe socks on her feet, courtesy of what she found under the tree yesterday.

I guess at sixteen, one can be flexible on which day to open presents.

I was not there to witness the unwrapping, as I am hovering over my dad for the next two weeks as he recuperates from open heart surgery. I have a feeling that he'll soon tire of me and kick me out, which is a good thing. He is doing amazingly well. Dad is navigating stairs and doing most routines on his own. When one thinks of the process of open heart surgery, being placed on a heart-lung bypass machine, having parts replaced and plumbing re-routed, keeping the body oxygenated while the heart is temporally turned off until it is zapped back into service...it almost makes the mechanics of the body, well, mechanical. Simple. But as we all know, the body is more complex than that.

So, my Christmas Day is spent back in my childhood home, waking up in my childhood bed. The bed is shorter than I remember, the room my bed now resides in smaller. The night-time sounds are the same, though. The expansion and contraction of the one-hundred year old home are the same as they were when I was a child, only this time I know they are not sounds of secret monsters in my closet or under my bed. The smells are the same, scents that evoke memories spanning forty years. Memories of those no longer inhabiting this space. Memories of my mom.

I awoke early this morning, and still in my jammies snuck downstairs, not to see a Christmas tree and a pile of presents, but to see my Dad, sitting in his easy chair, a cup of coffee on his side table.

"Good morning," he greeted me.

It was the best Christmas present I could have ever received.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The heart of the matter, and other reasons

It's been awhile since I've added anything here, in this little spot of the Internet I call "ME" space. Not that there hasn't been anything to write about, I guess I just haven't felt the itch to do so.

So, without further ado, here is somewhat of a update, for those who wondered if I fell off the face of the earth, or if my laptop finally gave up the ghost:

My father had open-heart surgery Tuesday to replace his aortic valve. It was discovered at that time he would also need a bypass. He is doing as well as one can expect after having one's sternum cleaved open then wired back together. The surgery was very successful, and I will be returning to see him this weekend and hopefully bring him home. He's in one of the premier cardiac hospitals in the state about a two hours drive away, but as I sit here at my home, I feel like I'm thousands of miles away. I know that right now he is in very capable hands, but I still feel torn.

The ICU holding room is a very surreal place. It sits inside its own space/time continuum...like Vegas, but without the flashing lights and garish carpeting. Families huddle around in their small areas of real estate as if they are trying to collect warmth from an invisible campfire. They wait for surgical updates, biding their time until they can spend their allotted 15-20 minutes with recovering loved ones. Or loved ones who are trying to recover, or those who will never recover.

My father, in his situation, makes me realize, despite all the pain he is in, how fortunate our little family clan is.

We, being my husband, my sister and myself, spent some time with an elderly woman whose husband of sixty-two years was recovering slowly from a heart attack. She has been living in the ICU waiting room for almost a month. She had her suitcase and carry-all full of bottled water along side the chair she would sleep in at night. Quietly she would work on crossword puzzles, occasionally checking her watch to see if enough time had passed until she could spend another twenty minutes with her husband. That is how time passes in ICU, in two hour blocks and twenty minute increments.

When my husband asked her if she was staying at a hotel nearby, she shook her head and replied,"I've been with him for over sixty years, I'm not leaving him now."

Whenever I want to picture "strength" from now on, I will forever see this woman in my mind.


Other reasons...

About a month ago, I started taking a anti-depressant which is doing great for the black moods, but it has really done a number on my creative processes. I feel as if someone shoved cotton in the wanting-to-write center of my brain. Or, it could be as simple as the fact that I have removed "Sarah Palin" from my Google news alerts. My sister, who has some novels bouncing around in her head, waiting to be set free tells me that the lack of impetus to write lessens with time, so I will try and be patient. So, hopefully soon, I will emerge again and prolifically blog once more.

Lucky you, you dear readers.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What R/C Pilots do when it is too damn cold.

Here is a video from one of the local newspaper's on-line editions which features my husband and my youngest daughter who have found a Winter outlet for radio-control flying. My husband is the one with the Nascar (natch) sweatshirt, and my daughter is along-side with her Godiva hair and emo glasses.

video

My husband and daughter usually fly planes that weigh in the pounds during the warm months. The planes they fly indoors usually measure in ounces. They are powered by small motors, tiny servos, and battery packs the size of half a stick of gum, if that.

It's a fun time. If there is the inevitable mid-air, the planes usually end up fluttering to the ground like stunned birds. No harm done. Dear Husband says even I could fly one, but I could never wrap my head around that "right-is-left-and-down-is-up" when the plane is flying towards you.