The first time I heard the saying, Life is in Session, was about 24 years ago in a 12-Step meeting for families and friends of alcoholics. Someone was going through a crisis and after they shared about it, they closed with, I guess life is just in session. I’ve probably heard the phrase thousands of times since then and it has never been used in reference to a pleasant or exciting event in life. It has always been associated with a difficult stretch of time, probably because families and friends of alcoholics seem to have more than their share of those. It is not so much a complaint as an acceptance that life is not always easy and that we are probably best off trying to learn something from what we are going through instead of just complaining. The notion that life is a classroom offering lessons we are intended to learn appeals to me philosophically … it even fits with what my Mom taught me about life … that it’s for growing. As somewhat of a lifelong student, it’s a notion that helps keep me going if I can see the value of the lessons I’m learning. But I’ve never done well in required course if I can’t see their purpose. (more…)
Posted tagged ‘family’
I am most often a grateful person who can look to the good things that life has given me instead of focusing on the difficulties. That is not an ability I was born with, in spite of the fact that I am the son of a woman who could do exactly that, even in her later years when the effects of diabetes were making her life harder and harder. Fortunately, pragmatic optimism and an attitude of gratitude can be learned … my particular education came in the rooms of a 12-Step program but I am sure there are other places it can be found. However, for the last few months … and in particular, the last few weeks … issues with my adult son have dragged me downward. A clash of lifestyles made it necessary for us to (finally) push him out the door and this week, after several false starts, he moved out … not, of course, without some nasty arguments with us on the way. To say life at home has been stressful is an understatement and it certainly doesn’t end with his moving. He is still our son and still on our minds. (more…)
Last week, I was working in the park, as I often do when I want to especially enjoy the benefits of being self-employed. There is a picnic bench right next to the lake under the shade of a spruce tree that makes a delightful office. I was getting my laptop out of its travel bag when a card fell out of the side compartment onto the table. As soon as I noticed the two kittens climbing a Christmas tree on the front, I knew what it was … it was a Christmas card from my friend, Stan, from the winter before he passed away from pneumonia. I opened it and read: (more…)
It has been 3 weeks since I’ve posted. Does anyone care? Yes. I do. My life feels fuller when I post. But it is an unfortunate characteristic of my personality (what 12-Steppers would call a Defect of Character) that I don’t always do what is good for me. In the interest of making this a better day … and at the risk of feeling like a social media trend follower … I thought I’d do a Throwback Thursday post with a picture of me from each decade of my life. It was not as easy as I thought. In my first two decades, the 40s and 50s, I was so darn cute it was hard to choose one photo. And beyond the 50s, as the primary photographer in the family, I don’t appear in most of the photos on my computer. But I was determined. Is it a bit narcissistic to post pictures of yourself? Sure, but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do to post. Here are seven decades of Older Eyes: (more…)
Late last night, I received an email from our realtor that someone had made an offer on our Little House in the Desert. Just the fact that the house has a name should tell you that it was more than a house to us. It was a home away from home, even though we didn’t spend more than the equivalent of a month or two there each year. In this Little House, we got to be there for the birth of our three grandchildren. My wife, Muri, and I adopted both our children at about ten weeks old, so holding a baby … a grandchild yet … shortly after birth was a new miracle to us. In the ten years that our daughter’s family lived there, it was Nana and Papa’s house, a place where the grandkids could come for a night or two … or the whole family could come for dinner. Then, the grandkids moved to Utah with their parents and the Little House went on the market. The offer we received last night was the first offer in eight months and it was substantially below our asking price. We went to bed wondering whether we should even counter but I awoke to a second email. Our realtor had done what a good realtor should do … she convinced the buyer to consider a much more reasonable price. Tonight, we are under contract. By the end of June, our Little House will be someone elses.
Perhaps the high point of our visit to Utah last week was getting to see our granddaughter, Savannah … aka Savy … perform with her cheer squad, the Elite Academy Heat. The competition was held in the massive Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake on a huge, multimedia stage in a room as large as an airplane hangar. The official word was that no video taping was allowed but can anyone really prevent parents from video recording their kids in an age when nearly every device can record videos? Before each performance, a group of parents from the team performing would make its way to the front of the stage to take pictures and videos. I decided to do the same for Savy’s. I’d brought my Panasonic Lumix camera, which takes very good videos and offers the choice of a viewfinder or the view screen as a means of seeing what I’m recording. As Savy’s team was announced, I moved to the edge of the stage and decided to use the viewfinder because that usually allows me to hold the camera more steady (at the expense of a tiny-tiny image). (more…)
Yesterday was Departure Day for our eleven day visit with our daughter, son-in-law and three grandkids. That is the most time we have ever spent under their roof, which to some may not seem like a big deal, but for my wife, Muri, and I it was. We are a strong-willed bunch, from the the oldest (that would be moi) to the youngest (that would be sweet but strong-willed Savy girl). Muri and I have always needed alone time (that would be quiet alone time) even from each other, a need that seems to get greater as we age. That is hard to come by in a house with three beautiful, rambunctious and chatty children, not to mention their chatty mother. And we all know how seniors love their routines, don’t we? And how they get grouchy when their routines are interrupted or unavailable. So, in spite of how anxious we were to see those grandkids, we approached the week with some trepidation. Did my daughter and son-in-law felt the same way? You’ll have to ask them. (more…)