Tuesday, July 26, 2005

picture's worth a...

Had to post a cute picture of my kids to prove to a certain someone that you can do this on blogger now without an external link...

because I really should write something here occasionally...

Great huge crashing lightning bolts tonight as a blessed cold front moves through. Tomorrow they're predicting temps in the 70s. We will open the windows and turn off the a/c and feel a little less like creatures living in refrigerated captivity. Had a first at work today -- a patient I'd had got me a gift certificate to the extortionate coffee stand in the hospital lobby, in thanks for taking care of her and her new baby. Cool! It was very sweet of her to do that. This coffee stand is seriously expensive, and I can never justify spending the money to get myself something there. I've gotten their coffee twice in two years; once when I was depressed because I'd been given a holiday, then got a call back 10 minutes later saying "oops, we need you after all, come on in to work," then again when after a 12 hour overnight shift I had to drive to the hospital across town to meet my husband at his appointment with the cardiologist... So next time I need a little something extra to get me through, I'll have that gift certif. waiting in my locker.

Day off yesterday, and I took the kids out to Black Creek to pick blackberries. C was dismayed by the flies that zoom in and circle your head like they're in orbit. They're a big pain when you run -- they keep pace with you all the way, and you're at risk of inhaling them at any time. I usually have a little fan club of 10 or 12 running with me. I always wear a hat or a bandana because I find the most annoying thing to be when they land in your hair and just buzz away two inches from your eyes and ears.

Then before dinner we all went out to the Y and went swimming. Both the kids take lessons there, but it's fun to go and just mess around, too.

In between berry picking and swimming, J and I cleaned practically the whole house, so I was wiped by the end of the day -- need another day off to recover!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

where'd I leave that other x chromosome?

Came home from a 12-hour night shift the other morning and was flipping through channels. Cruised through the sports channels, though I don't know why, because I didn't want to see any reference to our loss to the Devil Rays the night before. So I kept flipping until I landed on the Three Stooges and settled in to watch that. Don't ask me to explain the types of things that appeal when you're sleep deprived. J. just shook his head and said "Baseball and Stooges? I can't believe it--I married a guy!" Sigh. Pardon me, I have to go to the mall and buy some shoes now.
(had to edit the post when J pointed out he'd been misquoted -- I originally wrote "I married a man" -- of course there's a difference there -- guy culture is its own thing...)

Friday, July 15, 2005


We've been settled in our new place for two years now, but I'm still feeling very much like a transplant. I have come a long way towards feeling more at home -- at first I was even prejudiced against the local flora; it seemed so much coarser than the refined New England landscape I was used to (I came from being surrounded by rock maple and shagbark hickory and white pine, and here I still haven't learned what trees I'm looking at -- it's amazing what a difference that makes, the landscape here still feels foreign to me).

It's odd, but when I'm in familiar territory I feel like I carry less with me. I have memories, experience & knowledge embodied in the places around me that I can pick up and use in context. When I'm out of my element and don't have that to rely on, I feel off balance. I have to pack up all those memories and carry them with me and I wind up feeling much smaller, distinctly separate from my surroundings.

I lived in one area essentially my entire life, so there was a lot to miss when we first moved. The park I'd gone to for 30 years -- I'd played there as a kid and my own kids played there (I even walked around the pond there in labor with my second). My favorite run -- a loop through woods and fields. The road to my grandmother's house that I'd walked, biked and driven.

I can't just pick up and move and live anywhere -- I need to send out roots and feelers and dig in, really inhabit a place to feel at home. Lots of walking has helped me get a better sense of place here. With every footfall my roots have a chance to spread. My new favorite place to run is an echo of my favorite run from home -- it's a loop through woods and fields at Black Creek park. There's a short stretch through white pines (which are few and far between here) where I'll usually hear a wood thrush singing, just as I did on my runs at home.

I have serviceable substitutes form my old favorite bookstores, coffee shops and grocery stores, but nothing to replace one of my old landmarks -- Brigg's Shady Oaks Farm. I used to live in a town where the milkman would still deliver to your house -- but I preferred picking up milk at the farm instead, because you could take the kids in the barn and visit the cows and new calves. Bobby Briggs also sold animal feed and bedding, butter, eggs, cheese and bacon, and had an ice cream stand in the summer. Occasionally you'd have to stop on your way to work as the cows crossed the road from the barn to the fields. The place was right around the corner from my house -- when C. was tiny I'd walk up with her in the stroller and tuck the milk under her seat for the walk home. When my grandmother's family first moved down from Maine in the '40s, my great-grandfather worked at Briggs. The house they settled into was a bit farther from the farm than the house I grew up in -- he didn't walk to the farm to work, but rode his horse.

You know, I was ostensibly going to write about how I almost never feel homesick anymore, but this is really making it worse. Not as bad as last October, though when the Red Sox won the world series -- torture watching that from Yankees territory!