Monday, May 18, 2009

Playing catch-up

Damage to the garden was not disastrous as I'd first thought. Most of the plants are coming back, and the deer nicely thinned the seedlings. I should have lettuce by the end of the week, although with the hot weather we're having now it may bolt before I ever get it to the table.

So we planted tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and are experimenting with cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkins. I've replaced soaker hoses and hung prayer flags which flutter nicely in the breezes. We'll hope for a generous bounty.

Mother's Day came and went without a post from me, although I'd started a draft. I'd put a photo of mother, my brother and me on my Facebook page that was taken just three weeks before she died in 2005. It is hard to believe she's been gone for going on four years now, and that this winter, my dad will have been dead for 10 years.

But I see them in my own reflection: in my fine, greying hair, in my hands that show a delicate network of aging skin and a few arthritic lumps, in my smile. I hear them in my head -- how mother always said she liked listening to the silence rather than music or television (as do I these days), how they preferred ice water to sodas or lemonade, for instance.

I think of them at my age: mother retired at 60 from teaching because daddy had retired at 65, and they spent the next 10 or so years traveling and playing. More than that, too, but those were probably the prime years, although even those saw some health issues for both of them.

That's not quite in the cards for us yet. Tony is in full hammer-down mode as he goes in early and stays late working on a new product release. I've finished up a few stories, but so much of what I was doing has dried up, at least for now, for various reasons -- the main publication I was working on has ended, and I'm just not sure what I want to do next. This last week or so the play has begun to take most of my energy, although that will ease some with opening on Saturday night.

But I'm trying to stay open to opportunity and possibility. I need to make some money doing something, whether it's selling on eBay or pursuing more writing. Doesn't have to be a lot of money -- although I certainly have no objection to money, mind you!

I've asked the universe yet again to provide and to help me be open. We shall see where this next step takes us.
Summer is upon us, early this year. We've already had triple digit temps, much to my disgust. I just didn't get enough rain this year, and the early heat had me scrambling in my closet for something that wasn't long-sleeved and cozy. I'm still organizing everything, but at least the linen and cotton things are readily available now.

The last few nights have been wonderful, though, with cool breezes making for sound sleeping conditions. I do love our location, but the early heat is a little frightening: it will be with us well into October in all likelihood. We're all fearful of another summer of fires and unhealthy air because it is so dry.

We celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary yesterday by going out to breakfast, since I had rehearsal last night and he worked late again. We'll go to the ocean for a little R&R later this summer.

But we always remember that day in the Bay Area -- which was unseasonably warm for San Francisco, but gorgeous. We laughed, we cried through parts of the ceremony (which we wrote) and at which my Uncle Tom officiated, aboard a yacht on the Bay. We ate. We played and talked and enjoyed the boat ride all around our favorite landmarks, and there were Oracle and Kensington colleagues as well as family with us to mark the day.

We both feel incredibly blessed to have found each other, and to continue to be so much in love at this age. It's not that we don't have trials and some hard stuff to deal with -- but it's never with each other -- it's issues with the girls or with work or health or property or something like that. How rare that is to have such a relationship! I am so grateful.

In the midst of all the busy-ness it is sometimes hard to remember that THIS is our life, each day. Time doesn't stop because we are too busy to notice what is happening every day, every moment. When the product is released and the play is over, our lives will change again -- not really back to what they were a few months ago, but to where they are going every day with every moment and every experience.

It is essential to find even a few moments to appreciate what we have THIS DAY, to ask for what we need, to reflect on and remember how precious time really is. One thing that becomes increasingly evident as we age is that everything can change in a moment, with a heartbeat. it is up to us to choose how we spend our time, who we touch, what we do and say, how we express our gratitude. We have that choice every day.

Steel Magnolias is in preview tonight and we open Saturday. The play is about the fragility of life, I believe, and the relationships with others that can help us deal with the uncertainty and the choices we all have. I'm grateful to be in it once again, for the third time, to be forging a bond with the five other actresses who are in the cast. I hope our audiences take home with them the blessing of friendship and the appreciation for each day we are given.

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