Thursday, August 31, 2017

Rain games

 Last Sunday it rained all day in south and central Texas.  (And now there is a catastrophic situation in Houston, with The Girl and Teddy smack dab in the middle of it.)

But Hubby had planned to clear out the garage for "big trash day" on Sunday anyway, so he just opened up the garage door and got to it.  A lot of crap got put out at the curb, including a giant roll of carpet he had been hanging onto for TWELVE years.  I vetoed his idea of putting carpet in the barn - that's a big NO.  Out to the curb it went.

The original plan was to putter around the house in the morning, then go to a wine pick up party in Wimberley.  But due to all of the flooding the pick up party was cancelled and our 5 bottles are in limbo for now.  But that was hardly a concern for us.  We were both a little stir crazy though I continued to putter, and he stayed glued to the TV news, which does nothing to allay your fears over wtf is going on in Houston.  To kill the time, forget the TV a little bit, and try to relax, we made our own pick up party with snacks and a card game or two.

I'm a firm believer in not drinking on an empty stomach, even if I'm not the driver. Well, I'm never the driver when I have had more than one glass of wine...but we managed to kill three bottles of wine over the course of the afternoon and evening.  It was a temporary reprieve for us.

The weather radio was still alarming in our ears, Hubby was still obsessively-compulsively checking his phone, we weren't able to get our messages to The Girl about the storm, and the rain just seemed to go on and on...Monday I felt like an emotional zombie at work.
Fast forward the week and our nerves are pretty worn.  It's hard to go calmly about your daily business when there is so much destruction and uncertainty happening.  If my only daughter weren't there in the midst of it...but she is.  So it's about all I can think of.  
Our plans included getting her to Austin as soon as we can because who knows how long it will take life to get back to any kind of normal in Houston?  And yet getting her here represents its own set of challenges.  So even though its over, it isn't over.  But thank God, the rain is...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Come for lunch

Come over for lunch, I always tell him.  

I have plenty of food, and your brothers and I would love to see you.  And it's about the only time I can drag information out of you to see how you are doing.

I see what you are doing there - STOP IT.

Maybe tell me about your day.  How is it going with work?  What have you decided about moving to Leander? How are your finances lately?  Are you getting enough sleep?  I hate that vape thing!
I guess I'm not done "momming" this one.  I worry about how he is navigating adulthood but I know I just need to LET GO ALREADY.

Spencer is 27 going on 14 - he's pretty silly at the lunch table.  Especially if one of the other boys are sitting there.  He gives them the wisdom of his wise-cracking opinionated self.  I call him Caveman because of his beard, and especially when I think he needs a haircut (which I give him still because its free and I can...)

He's being good-natured about me taking his pic over and over, because I think he misses us a tiny bit and likes to come over to eat.  Someday he will find someone to share his free time with and although I will miss seeing him more often, my heart will be glad for him.  I think a lot of what we tried to impart to him over the years will make its way to the surface - its in there.  In particular I love that he has a strong work ethic and is really into what he does for a living as a mechanic.
So come over all you want for lunch, Spencer.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Not one bit

School started back up in Austin.  For the first year since 1995 I do not have a child going "back to school".   I'm not going to count Gray going to ACC since his classes don't start for another week.  And unless you include my getting him a toll tag, I haven't bought him anything but tuition...

Do I feel sad one tiny bit?  No.  I never thought that would be the case for me.  I mean, for 22 years I have been all about being the homeroom mom, the basketball mom, the band mom, the scout mom, the karate mom, and the homework mom.  It was my identity and I used to shed a tear when my kids hit milestones thinking how bittersweet it was that they grew up.  But now I'm ready to be something other than The Mom.  Or a different version at least.
I mean, I will always be that Gina.  But my role is so drastically different, that it might take me a while to learn it.  And probably I will still shed a tear now and again for milestones:  college graduations, marriages, grandchildren...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dream feelings

Very early yesterday I awoke from a bad dream, featuring Dylan.  Even after I had gotten up to potty, then returned to bed, I couldn't stop thinking about it.  Which isn't really rare, when my kids make a cameo in one of my dreams.  Usually they disturb me.  This one certainly did.

We were walking along, he and I, and it was getting dark outside.  He seemed to be getting tireder and tireder, hanging on to me for support.  I asked him what was wrong and he said he hadn't been sleeping much.  At the same time, he was getting younger...
We were walking to the bank or someplace, and when we got there, he conducted his business at the counter with some woman while I waited.  I stepped up to the counter because I could hear them talking, and Dylan was curling himself up on the counter, as if to sleep.  I told him to get down, thinking, this really isn't appropriate that a grown person should be doing this!  The woman was carrying on with her business, barely noticing.  All the time Dylan was talking to her, but we finished up and left.  Flash forward a bit, and as we were walking away, he became a baby, maybe a year old or so.  It was apparent to me that he was very ill.  He was in a sort of box-like crib on the ground, struggling to breathe.  I was holding some suction tubing near him, trying to drain a serous fluid that was leaking out of him.  He also had an oxygen mask on, but I have no idea where it came from.  As I struggled to keep the fluid from engulfing him I thought to myself that I would continue to save him, even though I didn't know what I was really doing.  Then the dream ended.  Or nightmare, I guess.
I guess this is a pretty easy dream to interpret.  He's growing up, with adult pressures and responsibilities.  But he's still at home, so I can offer him support and advice. He had some kind of intestinal bug when he was about a year old that alarmed pediatrician.  No matter what I did, the diarrhea came every day for weeks, and it was a struggle for me as a working mom to balance that with two other kids and a full-time job.  So I worry about whether he will take care of himself. 
Dylan is a gentle soul of a person, and I worry that he is making very slow progress to leave home and strike out on his own.  At the same time, I know that everyone has their own path and it can be very challenging. 
Also, I worry about my kids in general as adults.  Did I hold their hands a little too long?  Was my mother right about loosening my grip? My gut feeling says no and I don't want them to feel like they are a burden to me.  But I feel like the time is coming pretty soon that Dylan will need to leave the nest and experience a little more hardship before Mark and I pull up stakes and move out to the country.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

It's not the city...

One of the many small projects I need to do at Highlands is figure out a way to store tools.  Currently they are in a 50 gallon drum, as a sort of over-sized kitchen utensils holder  (and I don't have a pic of that right now), but ideally, they should be hanging.  I want them easy to get to, easy to store, and NOT, I repeat, NOT a place where scorpions and giant spiders can build an empire.  Also, the gloves have to be sealed in a giant zip locs because apparently their cozy dark spaces are very attractive hiding places.  When we were recently up there erecting a pergola, it gave me the willies to have to pick up each glove and shake it out.  Because that small garden tools tote is the very place that a rather large scorpion was hanging out last time I used my gloves.  Like my husband said "It is the country, after all."  It's not like I'm afraid of every. little. thing. out there.  But I am so not a fan of creepy crawlies and things that sting or bite.  Nor snakes, of which there was a large snake skin wrapped around another 50 gallon drum located just a couple feet from Mabel's steps.  At least the snakes will likely slither away as fast as they can, but the scorpion will say "come at me" as it waves it's tiny pinchers at you.

In addition, there are mice that poop on every flat surface, every type of spider you can imagine, wasps, deer, coyotes, squirrels, something else that leaves scat in front of the barn, owls and wild turkeys.  Plus, I am sure there are other creatures that I just haven't discovered yet...
Someone recently told me they thought I would hate it out there.  But it didn't have anything to do with things like scorpions or snakes.  They assumed I would be bored out my mind with no theaters, no restaurants, no neighbors, and no exciting nightlife.  But those aren't important things to me now, so I don't know why that's going to be a big deal later.  And, come to think of it, we WILL have neighbors and we DO own vehicles that can take us a short drive down the road to anything we will need.  What it won't be is crowded and loud with major traffic snarls, expensive with higher than average cost of living, and big-city unfriendly.  That person also told me that a septic system is going to be a pain, but having working potties is a non-negotiable condition for me.
I can learn to live with with all of that.
It is the country, after all. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The swing

Years ago I told Hubby I wanted an iron bench for a window nook just outside of our dining room in our new house.  He was so proud to show me that he had purchased one - come out and see.  To my disappointment I saw - a swing.  Not what I wanted, but he had gone to the effort and bought it, because I had asked him to.  {Lesson learned: if you have something very specific you want, don't go sending someone else to find it for you.  Do the work to find in yourself!}  I put a couple of pretty toss pillows on it, surrounded it with a couple of large potted plants, and called it done.

That swing stayed put for several years.  It was pretty in it's little spot by the house.  It was a pain in the patoot to move, and the kids had to be told several times not to try to "swing" in it it like you do on the ones at the playground.  But we didn't sit in it much anyway.  That is, until I asked him to take it up to Highlands.  He perched it on the top of the hill, looking out towards the lake, just in front of a firepit, and we sit in it every time we visit.  
And I think, "maybe this is exactly what I wanted, after all".

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Living for the weekends

I find that anymore lately I am living for the weekends.

I remember doing that, years ago, but in a much, much different way.  The last time I had a Monday through Friday job was in 1992.  I was working as a customer service rep at a mortgage company.  One of the top 5 worst jobs I have ever had.  I was away from my children all week, barely making enough to justify the daycare, eating ramen noodles with frozen peas for lunch, and cooking God-knows-what in the evenings after I picked up the kids from daycare. I had exactly 5 outfits to wear, so I had to clean and press them each Sunday, along with everyone else's laundry.  I was exhausted all of the time - Spencer was 3, Chloe 1 - and all of my weekend off was spent trying to catch up - on everything - cooking, cleaning, shopping, wife-ing and mothering.  I'm 100% sure it was as hard on Hubby as it was on me.  We were in our 30's but pretty clueless about many things.  And we were dirt-ass poor with family far, far away.  We might as well have been alone on Hell's Island.

Nowadays, the weekends will find Hubby and I hopping into the truck on Sundays and heading out for a day of Mexican breakfast, followed by putseying around Highlands, enjoying a bottle of wine, some sun, and maybe a nap. Dreaming up plans for what we want to do out there in the future, and not worrying about money, kids, laundry, or anything else Monday through Friday related. 
The bad ole days are gone.  Not that God has promised sunny skies from now on...but I am relishing the weekend now, while I live it.