Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Now and Then: Today and Looking Back at the Weekend

I am being good. I am staying at my computer and working, even though there are so many other distractions eager and willing to pull me away. Like puppies. And gardens. And cooking.

But I'm being good. I am about halfway done with our income tax forms. My goal was to finish them by the end of March, and it's just possible that I might actually do it. Go me! It's a good thing I'm a Gemini because I am having to make myself be that other twin that is usually quiet, and do the right-brain work that I dislike. But I can do it. Backbone straight, woman, and steady on.

As usual, I am wearing two hats as I work because I am also working on a presentation for the WV Library Association's Spring Fling. Storyteller Jo Ann Dadisman and I are doing a joint presentation, and I am looking forward to seeing her and putting our work together. We are developing our parts of the program individually since we live a couple hundred miles apart, and then we'll let it flow back and forth between us as we present. This is a Summer Reading workshop--as you probably know libraries across the country offer summer programs with lots of incentives and presenters to keep children reading through the summer. I do many programs in the summer for libraries, building around their theme. Some years the theme is easy but this year is a challenge for storytellers.

This year's theme is "Fizz! Boom! Read!" The focus is science; you might wonder what can a storyteller do with a science-based program? Jo Ann and I decided to play with the idea of the science in folktales--for example, a folktale about water followed by an experiment with water, or one about how rainbows came to be followed by making a liquid rainbow in a jar, and so on. Today I have been playing with all sorts of ideas, pulling together the research I've been doing on and off since last summer, and creating handouts. Later this week I'll be making a mess in the kitchen as I try out some of the activities I want to use this summer. Fun!

I did slip away a little bit and sorted out the cloth napkins. Sometimes mundane work like that helps me regain focus when I've been at something too long. And I had too many napkins, all tumbling out of the cabinet. Now there is a little pile for the thrift store and the napkins are under control. Mindless work but a nice brain break. I had hoped to go walking tonight but my asthma decided to flare up today for some reason and with the temperature just a little over 40 it's best not to go out.

Walking has been on hold since last Friday anyway because the weekend was filled with all sorts of other things. My sister Theresa came from Virginia to visit, along with my granddaughter Kate and her mother Jennifer, all in town for the baby shower for my soon-to-be-here great grandson (and Jennifer's second grandchild). Theresa and I did some stocking and rearranging at my Ravenswood booth in the morning. She was a great help, and it was fun to have her with me. Then we were off to the shower.

Jordan, the mother-to-be, is glowing and so ready to have this little boy, and her daughter Cadyn is ready to help. I can just see Cadyn trying to change diapers, feed and boss that little boy before he's hardly got his little eyes open! Granddaughter Haley came to the shower too--Haley graduates this year and I know the time is close when we will see less of her. Life seems to go at warp speed sometimes.

While Theresa was here we went to a community dinner offered by the youth of the local church. I was so happy to be able to introduce my sister to our good neighbors. The food was awesome--is there anything like a potluck put on by country cooks? We really enjoyed the impromptu gospel music sing too; that's real music when it's live and performed by people who don't claim to be performers--they just like to sing.

Sunday morning found the family in my kitchen for breakfast, which seems to have become a ritual, and a good one, when out-of-town visitors are in. Larry was the only man among us, but he loved every minute of it no matter what he says. We made biscuits, gravy, fruit salad, cantaloupe (so summery good), sausage, and scrambled eggs and no one went away hungry. I hated to say goodbye, but what a gift it was to have them visit.

We then took off for Marietta to work on the booth there. Would you believe my van has been full of furniture and totes since March 8th?! I had no time to do anything with it and rather than have the house cluttered up I just left it in the van. It actually worked out pretty well. We were able to empty the van finally, and it almost looks funny with nothing in it.

In between of computer work and company I managed to get my article for Two Lane Livin' written and sent in and worked on a couple other proposals. I was happy to find an email that a story I submitted for an anthology has made it through to the final selection round so I'll be waiting to see if it makes the cut; even if it does not it's flattering to know it got this far. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

As busy and happy as all this sounds, sadness visited too with the news of the sudden death of a friend's father, and of another friend's life-love slipping into the final stages of cancer. These two men remind me that life is not a given, that every day is precious and to be treasured. As I await the coming of spring, my friends walk a difficult and lonely path, and I keep them in my heart and wish there was something I could do to make their journey easier. Life will go on for the rest of us but for them it is like time suspended, their grief making our simple worries seem like nothing at all. Please send up prayers and good thoughts for John, Laura and Kevin as they make their way through the darkness, and may the light return soon to their lives.

As I looked through my camera I realized that I did not take one photo all weekend. Sometimes when I am in the thick of doing, it's hard to step back and take pictures. So all I have are the memories in my mind and an empty van as reminders of the weekend.

Now I'm taking another break as I write this post. Maybe it is time to just stop for the evening and enjoy some puppy and hubby time. I think so. Blessings to you all who have managed to read all the way through to this point.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

3 comments:

Nance said...

hubby time : )

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Lots of magic in both folktales and science! Now get back to those tax returns.

momalizzie said...

This was a great read. I'm going to need a vacation after one of your weekends! You're such a busy woman! Looking forward to my flowers, too, G-Sue.

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