Posts Tagged ‘oregon’

feeling life

It’s been a while since I visited my mom’s grave, so I wanted to visit it while in town last weekend.

As my hours left in town shrank into minutes on Saturday, I found I didn’t really want to visit Mom’s grave. I’d already felt my mom in a dozen sweet moments of life outside the cemetery in my family’s three days in town. Trying to find her in the cemetery, which she only ever visited in death, felt like holding on to the wrong thing.

My husband, sons, and I left town without visiting her grave.

I feared I’d get back to SoCal and kick myself, but no: I’d felt her life wherever I went in town, and that sweetness didn’t leave me just because I left town.

Categories: Death, Family, Love Tags: , , ,

those who can

A few evenings ago, I sat with hometown friends and reflected aloud upon my all-time least favorite saying:

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.

“Spoken like someone who’s never had to effectively communicate anything complex. Ever,” I said.

I was about to expand on this when I noticed tears in a teacher friend’s eyes.

“I love you, Debbie,” she replied.

As my boys and I drive back toward our SoCal home, I think how hard it is to communicate effectively even without layers of regulations constraining you. And I think:

Those who are skilled at communicating complexity to kids often teach. Those who are aggrieved about being unskilled, bitch about those with skill.

Here’s, then, to those who not only can reach kids, but do.

cousins laughing

When I left my hometown, I was virtually certain I’d never return for more than a few days at a time.

When I left my hometown, I wasn’t a parent.

Now, I have two little ones.

Now, I watch them

play with their cousins

(some are cousins

by love and blood;

all are cousins by love

between once-famil-ies

now famil-y)

and hear their

peals of laughter

as they disappear

this way and that

and feel the joy

flowing out of them,

to be here with family,

and I wish

we did not

have to


This time, we’ll make the long drive back to Los Angeles.

But it may well be that there’ll be no drive back the next time we arrive, or the time after next.

That someday I’ll miss the SoCal sunshine … but that such missing will be a small trade to make to not-miss my siblings, or their kids, or the sounds of cousins laughing.

Three Things Thursday: Ponies, unicorns, and better things still

The sound of home

In the back seat of my sister’s car,
I lie
Next to my baby,
Snoring as he (finally) rests well
After a journey small to big people,
But enormous to the littlest ones


When the air becomes warm,
So thick I feel I could choke on it,
I open the rear door
To let in some air

Still in the car,
But the world feels so much larger

The cool Oregon breeze
Sings songs that make trees dance
As far as I can hear.
I watch their revelry
(Beyond my big red sandals)
And cherish
The sound
Of home


Categories: Family, Reflections, Travel Tags: , , ,

I Don’t Want A Minivan

“You don’t want a minivan?” asked my new manager’s manager, R.

“Uuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaggaaaalllllgaaaal,” I replied in my best impersonation of a zombie.

“Why don’t you want a minivan?”

What I wanted to say: “I’ve already written about that on my blog! Go read that–it’ll just take a minute or two–and then let’s revisit this conversation!” Read more…

I will remember

My baby son sleeps on the floor next to me. I should be asleep, too, but I’m too full of wonder to sleep.

What will my baby son remember about his short first trip to Oregon? Probably very little.

But I will remember.

I will remember standing in the airport security line with him strapped to my chest. Realizing he is the same age my older son was when we flew north to say goodbye to my dying mom 4.5 years ago, and saying thanks that this time I flew for celebration, not farewell.

I will remember sitting in a hotel bathroom and whispering–so as to not wake the baby–about my brother-in-law’s first days of med school.

I will remember trying to wrangle my just-younger sister’s two kids in a strange city.
Read more…

%d bloggers like this: