Friday, August 31, 2012

Butterfly Love

All summer, it felt like there were butterflies all around us: on hikes, at the property, in the front yard... So we went to the Butterfly Pavilion in Broomfield. It had been a long time since I was up there but I wanted to bring miss m for the first time.

Sitting in the greenhouse with all the butterflies fluttering around you is pretty uplifting. M and her friend B just ran around terrorizing each other but I enjoyed the light flutters and sitting at a bench in front of a bay window where you can literally watch them coming out of their cocoons - hundreds of them hanging there in lines, some cocoons bobbing, other ripped open with a slow moving butterfly next to the old home.

The other thing that was interesting to me was two butterflies making sweet, sweet butterfly love on a leaf in the middle of the room. I stopped and stared and took photos for quite some time (what can I say, I'm a voyeur. I look when at the zoo or in any other public place where we have fashioned a pseudo-environment for the animals in our world; why not learn that piece of their lives too). I mean really, how many of you have ever seen two butterflies getting it on? It was quite impressive as they slowly opened and closed their wings and never once faced each other.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Attention Please: Everyone in the Frame

The Rodgers came up to the Swinger last weekend. It was fun to watch the kids play. As always, it's almost impossible to get them in one photo all looking the same direction with both eyes... still we managed to have a good time. It's amazing what tequila does to stave off the world domination designs of three young masterminds.

These two photos remind me of those early 80s film photos that
sit in your camera until you finally get them printed 5 years later. 
"Hey you. We're coming to get you in the zombie apocalypse."

This is just an exercise in territory and sharing
and balance on Uncle Andy's "Macgyver" swing.

And these are just too dang cute not to include.

Monday, August 20, 2012

In Bloom

Our tree out front is heavy with fresh fruit. I love looking down on it from our bedroom window: it's like seeing a bird's eye view of the sun kissed smoothness - all the peaches oddly pink at the same angle, as if they need sunscreen on their delicate skin. Every now and then the sweet peach smell wafts past my nose and at times it seems even the lightest breeze knocks off a few more pieces.

We watch her and try to ease the pressure. Passersby always admire the color and want a piece off her. I of course am a hound dog, considering myself her body guard. Still, the excitement in the air is hard not to enjoy. She brings a fresh beauty to the neighborhood right now and I love seeing otherwise sugar-stunted kids craving a natural treat from our tree.

Some days, I expect to wake up and see her wholly lying on the ground having finally succumbed to the weight of bearing so much fruit. The other day, a branch broke and we collected about 50 withered peaches not yet ripe for the picking. We both felt so bad they sat on the table for a few days before I finally took them out to the alley not knowing what else to do. I didn't have the heart to officially throw them away.

I plucked some more today in an effort to ease the gravity on her bended branches. Each release came with the slightest upward motion of a branch. I ended up collecting another bowl full of peaches - I hope these ones will ripen.

 The last time the tree bloomed, miss m was in my belly and I felt we had a strange comaradry. I long for that feeling every day when I pass her; I think how amazing we are when we are in bloom. Hold on old girl, you're almost there!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012


We met up with a good buddy for some park time. There was a motorcycle with a sidecar, perfect for the two of them to chum around on. She gets it from her dad...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Play Dough

A while back, someone on Facebook wondered why the maker of Playdough hated moms so much? I always think about that when miss M wants to pop open a container of the stuff. She always wants to eat it (and when it's the prepackaged neon colored stuff from China, my blood boils at the thought of the chemicals she's mulling about in her mouth). The other day though, I was fine with some home-mixed dough at the Children's Museum - though I make it a practice to tell her not to eat it anyway because she has no sense of colors and can't decipher neon orange from a nice fluffy homemade pink.

She is at the entryway of what people come to tell me is the "terrible twos". There are already tantrums on the floor, like an Italian mother sobbing as if she has just lost her son in the war. There are also moments when she knowingly is pushing the boundaries and making sure my full attention is on her; I have to hide my smile at how charmingly cute and totally f'd up it is all in one moment. Like the other day when she was sitting in a group in the middle of the room watching as everyone took turns mixing the Playdough. She turned around to me and waved across the room to get my attention. My heart swooned thinking she missed me already, just ten feet away. Then ever so slowly and purposefully she put some Playdough in her mouth and started chewing it while she devilishly smiled at me knowing I couldn't come grab that dough out of her mouth. It cracks me up and makes me shiver at what's to come...

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Good Blubber

M fell asleep in her car seat. I stopped the conversation to try and wake her but she was already out. Truth be told, I wasn't so bothered (this meant I would miss afternoon nap time) because I wanted a few minutes alone with Amy. As I pulled in to the parking space next to her car, I knew I was going to cry; these were tears of joy and tears of sorrow.

We have gotten used to a good blubber in recent years. Amy nourished me in those early months of motherhood when things felt so raw. I like to think I helped her through some hard stuff too. We found ourselves apologizing for our vulnerabilities only to realize it was silly since we were in the presence of an old, caring friend. I hold it as a treasure that I was able to cry around her; perhaps letting go some of my lion's pride and ego. I have always felt so unencumbered around her. Can you imagine when we first met in high school she said to me one day, "don't you ever stay silent for a few minutes?" Me?! 

It felt nice to have her physically close again. She introduced me to cross country skiing and some beautiful trails outside Boulder. We got visit her at Frog Belly Farm and learn some pieces of what she was learning. She gave me an acupuncture treatment and essences and always her sage advice. We could discuss topics I rarely talk about with other people and watching her with miss M and Ginger was always so beautiful. It makes me so happy to see people I love enjoy each other's company as much as me. As a family, we all felt good when Amy came around.

The whole time she was here, I knew she would leave again. I tried to connect with her as much as I could; which at this point in life is one day a month if I'm lucky. It meant sitting in a hot tub at the rec center for an hour while M was in child care or coming over to the house while she napped. I treasured any time with her. In this way, I'm glad I wasn't working too much because it provided more opportunity for us to get together.

There are so many amazing things Amy participates in. She always reminds me to return to me. She settles me and leaves me feeling lighter. She brings a sense of magic and connectivity to it all.

I have seen her come and go many times: to Vermont, to Japan, to Alaska, to Portland, to Boulder, to Nepal, and now, to return to her Homer. Truly a journey she has been on for 7 years. Inspiring because she left that beautiful town to become a licensed acupuncturist so she could return to that community and contribute with her healing heart. When I was up there five years ago, I knew I had to come back one day when she lived there again. The stars aligned these past few weeks and now she is headed north.

Though I know there are so many great ways to keep in touch with people these days, it also is the end of a chapter. I'm just better with proximity. At this point in my life, I've said enough goodbyes to know how distance affects friendship. Truly there is no sweeter nectar than a friend sitting next to you. That is the beauty of living in the present.

I cried all the way home. M woke up when I tried to transfer her and cried out for Amy in confusion. And then she understood, "Amy buh bye?" Yes but we will visit her soon and she will always be in our heart.