Thursday, April 23, 2009
Ok, I'm not actually going to write an ode. I've never been a hand at poetry, so I'll spare you the torture. You can thank me later.
Last weekend my darling daughter had a birthday party at a friend's house. The day was warm and sunny, and after picking her up we drove back through the neighborhood toward home. There was a nice breeze that brought in the scent of the grass that was being mowed as we passed. There were the bright colors bursting from the flowers planted in garden beds as well as from the redbuds, cherries, dogwoods, and other trees we drove under and by. We waved at the mowers, we waved at vehicles passing by, and we talked about her friend from school who had a Tinkerbell/Disney Princess/High School Musical party. It was one of those moments when you just want to pause the tape and breathe it all in for so many more...it was just one of those perfect, golden afternoons.
It wasn't just the warmth (finally) or the flowers (beautiful) or the smell of the grass (heavenly but also allergy-inducing). It was knowing that we belonged, that we knew these people and they knew us, that we had a shared history, a shared story, a shared community. Living in this little microcosm as we do, it's easy to forget that it's not like this everywhere else. We have roots here, and they run deep as well as wide. When something happens, we can ask "who was that? Oh, so-and-so's child/sibling/friend/schoolmate?"
One of the closest ties of friendship here is our high school. In February at a friend's birthday dinner, we looked around the long table at the restaurant and realized that except for one, each of us had attended the same school. We weren't all in the same span of years, but knowing that we had attended and could compare notes, commiserate over teachers, coaches, and administrators, could root for the same team at Homecoming in the fall was something that made us all look around and smile. Well, except for my brother-in-law, the outcast, whom we ribbed mercilessly for attending the obviously inferior rival high school. They must have been good losers, because he took it well. ;)
Why am I writing this? Because it was a gorgeous afternoon I'd like to remember always. The other reason is a little bittersweet. We may be leaving our wonderful hometown with its roots and heritage in order to pursue a living elsewhere. It will be a hard transition, not only because of the newness, but also because of what we stand to lose. I hope that if it does happen, we can find a community somewhere else to become a close part of. There's really nothing like a small town.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Give me the serenity to accept what I cannot change,
The courage to change those things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I was thinking over this saying today. My first impression has always been that the point of the serenity prayer was that we should accept our situations. That's mainly because I have such a hard time with acceptance...I'm a fighter, even if it's only a mental battle. As I was turning the saying over in my mind this morning, though, I realized there's another way to look at it. "The wisdom to know the difference" isn't only about knowing what to accept when we're out of options...it's also about knowing when not to give up without a fight. Not only do we need the courage to change things, we need the wisdom to know what's changeable and when to step up to the challenge.
It's not terribly brilliant, but it was a new facet to an old question.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I have had a library card at the same library for approximately twenty years. In that time I have been scrupulously careful to return books and materials on time and in good condition, and when I haven't been right on the due date, I have never been outside of the grace period.
Until the past month of this god-forsaken deployment, when apparently my grey matter turned to mush and I have been incapable of getting things returned to the library on time. Not only that, but there was the laundry incident...suffice to say, the librarians had never seen before what a DVD looked like after having been laundered. Now they know.
I have had meltdowns, I have had crying spells, I have had food binges, and I have had temper tantrums. All of these things have been happening in greater frequency and heightened color, but they are not new. THIS is new.
Surely this must be the rock bottom of this deployment (in fact, it will hopefully be the rock bottom of my life...) I have never been so astounded...so utterly floored as by seeing that my library account has been blocked.
I am desolate. Wake me when the deployment is over and my husband and my library account return.