Monthly Archives: October 2015

A Family History of Jack-O-Lanterns

We get in the Halloween spirit in this household, especially when it comes to jack-o-lanterns. Here is a family history of Halloween, as told through pumpkins.

Our greeter.

Our greeter.

This year’s jack-o-lanterns, so far:

Pumpkins from years past:

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam and a New Pair of Shoes

toast

A toast to self-indulgence

I’m doing okay. I have the most excellent jar of strawberry rhubarb jam in my refrigerator right now. It’s an essential part of my new nightly snack and moment of zen. In the midst of trying to get my kids launched and see my mom through her last years, I keep from burning out or falling into martyrdom with strawberry rhubarb jam. Also new sneakers.

Here’s the deal. I get paid twice a month. Out of each paycheck I make sure to buy something for myself. Often it’s something I truly need, but in the past I might have gone without anyway. Usually it’s something small. I’m not talking diamonds. I’m talking new hair elastics or a book of kakuro puzzles. But it’s something for me, a selfish indulgence to keep me human.

A couple of weeks ago it was a pricey jar of strawberry rhubarb jam thrown into the cart with my pile of store brands. I still have half the jar to enjoy after a several nights of enjoying of a spoonful of red heaven spread on toast. This most recent paycheck saw me retire the shoes that have served me for more than a thousand walking miles. I thanked them for their aid and put them out to pasture (literally, I’m using them for yard work now) as I laced up my new sneaks. I have tread again!

shoes

Old and Wallered Out, you’ll be expected to train your replacement, New and Shiny.

I don’t know if it’s admirable or pathetic or something else altogether when I find myself coping with a stressful moment in the morning by reminding myself of the snack I can have at night. I hope I’m not straying into “Bread and Jam for Frances” territory.

I don’t think it’s indicative of a pathological food issue. I’ll walk off the calories – I have shoes for that.

Our Other Mom

Marigolds

These marigolds don’t have anything to do with the post, but aren’t they pretty? Also, a butterfly.

I write a lot about my own mother, because our lives are so enmeshed. I may or my not have mentioned that my husband also has a mom, and we all love her just as much. We don’t see her often, because she lives a few hundred miles away.

It can seem overwhelming sometimes being the close child, the one who is involved every day, the one who has to track every detail, take every phone call, drop everything and run to assist when your parent needs help. But now we’re experiencing the challenges of being the far-away kids.

Continue reading

The Many Meanings of Senior

The word “senior” has a prominent place in my life at the moment, but with a variety of meanings. At age ninety, my mom is a senior. At age seventeen, my son is also a senior.

In my life at this moment, senior means both Medicare statements and college applications.

Senior means a skilled living facility and classes in two different school buildings.

Senior means rock star parking with my mom’s official hangtag and a photo of my son in a tux.

Senior means being old and disabled enough to be excuse from jury duty and being a smidgen too young to vote, yet.

Senior means more difficulty eating and the ability to consume pizza without end.

Senior means fewer choices every day and more decisions to make.

Senior means spending hours every day reminiscing on the past and hours every day looking to the future.

Senior means discounts with an ID.

Senior meaning so many things at once means I’m still in the sandwich generation.