Mindful Moment

I woke up about 3:00 am, for no good reason. As I snuggled in my bed and tried to get back to sleep, I finally decided to try to meditate my way out of insomnia.

The sheets, warm from my body heat, felt silky soft against me. The air in the room was chilly, but the bed was perfect.

Just the right number of blankets to keep me warm without being too warm. And exactly the right weight. I like the weight of blankets on me: even if I'm just taking a nap (a rare thing), I need to have a blankie.

The night was nearly silent. I could hear the hum of the refrigerator and the snuffling of my Chloe dog, who may have been sniffing out rabbits in her dreams.

I thought of my Sweet Hubs, camping out in a wilderness area on his deer hunt. I was sleeping on his side of the bed, so my head rested on the same pillow where his head rested the night before.

Gradually, dreamily, I drifted back to sleep, feeling the softness of my warm bed and feeling my heart near my husband.


Two things I saw on the interwebs this past weekend. Both of them made me say, "Say WHAT?"

"Hes taken you for grannit."

"Supper Deal! Supper fast 1969 Chevvy Camera for sail"

My own sweet hubs never takes me for grannit, granita, granite OR granted.

And a supper deal? Like a blue plate special? Or a supper fast? Isn't that an oxymoron? I never knew Chevrolet built cameras, anyway, let alone for sailing on a blue plate while starving yourself.

Oh. My. Gawwwwwddddd.


A Lesson From Mom

Mom at about age 4 or 5 -- sorry, I don't
happen to have a picture of her 10
My Mom was 10 years old, a platinum-haired, scabby-kneed tomboy of a Dutch girl, when the Nazis bombed Rotterdam. The Dutch fought back, but in only a short time, they had to surrender and the Nazis occupied the strategic seaport of my mother's home city. It was spring of 1940 and the life she had known up until then ended that day.

Under Nazi occupation, the family faced starvation and terror. They witnessed heinous acts of violence, lived through a multitude of bombings, lost friends and family and neighbors. Mom was about 14 when she was smuggled out of the city to go live with strangers for a year, because she was dying of starvation. Rotterdam was being squeezed to death.

I asked her once, how she ever learned to forgive and move past all that had happened then. She told me a story.

Their apartment was along a main street of Rotterdam and only a short way from a warehouse the Nazis had been using as one of their headquarters. On Liberation Day in 1945, Canadian soldiers marched rows of captured Nazis out of the area. Mom and her older sister threw rocks at the Nazi soldiers as they were being marched away.

I think I said something about how good that must have felt, to get a little even.

But Mom said, "No. We felt ashamed of ourselves afterward."

"Why? After all they had done to you and the other people?" I asked.

"Because we had behaved just as cruelly as they had, and we should have been better than that." She replied.

It's probably been 35 or 40 years since Mom told me that, but I have never forgotten the lesson.

A Writing Prompt

The writing prompt: Choose a moment from your personal history and mine it for sensory detail. Describe it to us in rich, evocative details. Let us breath the air, hear the heartbeat, the songs, feel the fabric and the touch of that moment.

April 20, 1994

The room was quiet. Only his halting breaths and the distant, low voices at the nurse's station brought a soft murmur to my ears. The blinds were closed and the midday light was a soft, creamy glow at the window. 

His outline seemed so small, almost insignificant, beneath the white sheet: a mere shadow of the man he once was. That sharp, almost gasping breathing punctuated the air. I sat by his side and held his hand, just in case he knew enough to know someone was with him. His fingertips were still rough from his years at the jeweler's bench. Diaphanous, parchment-thin skin, prickled with black hair covered the back of his hand. It was so unlike the powerful, capable, hard-working hand I had always known.

Those halting breaths were bitter, adding to the smell of disinfectant and dying in the air. I thought of other days. The smells of campfires, jeweler's rouge, family dinners, sawdust, trout streams and Old Spice. I thought of my little boy who would be losing his cherished grandfather that day: a little boy who was, at that very moment, sharing his dinosaur birthday cake with his kindergarten class. How would I explain this?

A sudden, ragged, stuttered intake of air. A sharp exhale. The breathing stopped. And my father was gone.

Mindful Moment

I sat at the table
a cup of sweet coffee warming my hands as I enjoyed its flavor and fragrance.
Sweet Hubs makes the best coffee.

My emotionally needy dog gently puts her front paws in my lap
and tries to lick my face, which I don't allow but appreciate the gesture.

And the sky turned pink with the rising sun.

Cosmetics Salesgirl from Hell

I was striding through an upscale department store, on a mission and in a hurry, when a gravelly young voice calls out to me.

"Would you like to try this redonkulously overpriced new cream for your crow's feet?"

What is up with young girls using that gritty, creaking voice that is supposed to come with extreme age?
If I did, indeed, have crow's feet, would that have worked? Would that have shamed me into trying her overpriced cream, made from the foreskins of circumcised baby pandas, or wherever it comes from?

As it was, I just shook my head and smiled at her in that motherly look that says, "Oh, dear. You're such an idiot." and went on my way.

Cosmetics counter salesgirls of the world, take note: shouting to me that I have crow's feet will never work. If I don't have them, you just made yourself look nearsighted and silly. If I do have them, I'm probably not proud of them and don't want it broadcast over the loudspeaker.

What's next? Are we going to see Little Miss Sunshine at the drugstore, shouting out to the shoppers, "Hey, come get a sample of these less-visible incontinence pads!"

What I See--Alita

Oh, Alita! What can I say? We've known eachother for so many years! Alita and I became acquainted first because our husbands worked to...