Wednesday, November 2, 2011

For Julian, Because He Is

I am a Beatles fan.  I am not shy about it.  I cut my radio-listening teeth on the Beatles.  I love them.  Ringo  singing "Good Night," which John wrote to his son, Julian, used to move me to tears. 

My grandson-yes, I will have a grandson in early Spring-will be named Julian.  I plan to sing him this song.

I am over the moon.
Listen Here

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Aftermath

I'm on the verge of tears much of the day lately.  Connecting with my Younger Daughter's birth mother has stirred up all kinds of feelings.  Hearing my grandbaby's heartbeat, and subsequently seeing her/him waving and kicking on the ultrasound have made me so vulnerable.

The main thing that has been running around in my head is the connection between mothers and their birth children.  My Older Daughter has always been so grateful to the cosmos for bringing us together.  She and I are kindred spirits in so many ways, it has just seemed to both of us that it was some fluke of nature that another woman conceived and gave birth to her.  But obviously, it was not.  Finding YD's birth mother has pushed my thoughts to OD's first mother, too.  I think of what a profound gift I was given.  I wonder if her heart hurts.  Always, on Mother's Day and on OD's birthday, I cry for her.  They are tears of gratitude and deep sorrow, because I know that the fact that my daughter is amazing, loving, brilliant, sweet, hard-working, and beautiful has little to do with me.  Most of her traits are genetic.  I take great pride in her achievements, because I know I have had a part in her confidence, optimism, and desire to succeed, but without the raw material to work with, I could not have done whatever I did.

OD is studying Social Work now.  We talked today after one of her classes about the loss felt by the birth mother in adoption.  She said she never really thought about it that way;  that she thought always of the choice, not the loss.  I explained that having now been to the doctor appointments with her sister, I can fully realize what D. might have felt, facing the choice she did.   While it's true that hers was a voluntary placement for adoption, it doesn't make the act any less consequential.  Monumental. 

Nothing could diminish my feelings for my children.  The fact that I did not give birth to them does not in any way negate our connection, or my importance to them.   I have always held that there is no difference in the love, but now I know how wrong I was.  I see Younger Daughter's birth mother and listen to her talk about her loss.  I watch my Younger Daughter's reaction when she sees her baby on the screen.  Hell, I see my OWN reaction.  I hear the pain in my Older Daughter's voice when she realizes that her birth mother may have really suffered.  I have never down-played the role of the birth mother in the adoption triad, but until recently I couldn't feel the difference in the loveI don't think their birth mothers love them more than I do, or better than I do, or even more deeply than I do.  But it's different.  And I'm humbled.  So I cry.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Life Changing

I awoke that morning with a feeling of anticipation, excitement, and joy.   I didn't know what to expect.  The World's Best Bleeding Heart Attorney and I dressed for a long day of driving and visiting with many of my family members.  On our annual pilgrimage to their part of the world, which is always chock full of amazingly warm, enjoyable, rejuvenating visits, this day on the ocean with my brother and his family never disappoints.  The food is always incredible (my sister-in-law is a fabulous cook), we always discuss movies, tell stories, and enjoy the entertainment provided by the littlest members of our family.   Our arrival at their home this year would come on the heels of this morning-one that dawned bright and clear, with the promise of ocean breezes urging us out of our nest and onto the road.  Before we got to their house, we had an appointment.

We pulled into the parking lot.  I saw it.  A late model Japanese car, sparkling in the fall sunlight, clean as a whistle and empty. The Attorney and I got out of our rental car, closed the doors in unison, and headed for the heavy, glass double door.  Each of us grabbed a handle, and threw open our side.  Another set of doors, and we were in.  My eyes scanned the room, and immediately settled upon a face so familiar, yet so unique.  A huge smile, a happy wave.  I knew her immediately.  We walked quickly toward one another, I dropped my purse and my camera bag on the table near her, and we embraced for a long, long time.  We would step back and look in each others eyes, and hug again, tears streaming down both of our faces.  Then the same process with the Attorney.  I sat next to her in the booth, the Attorney went to get us coffee.  I pulled out the laptop and started showing her pictures of my daughter.  Her daughter.  OUR daughter.

After 16 years of mystery, and only 10 days since we found each other,  I was there, in a little town in the middle of nowhere, eating breakfast with my daughter's birth mother. 

You may wonder if they look alike.  See for yourself.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fast Forward

...she read the letter very slowly, very carefully.  We saw her eyes land on each word.  The enormity of the unfolding situation was evident on her young face.  When she finished reading, the letter lay open, face up in her lap.  Her head was down, her eyes fixed on the paper, but no longer scanning.   After several minutes, the tears began to fall, plop-plop-plopping on the open palms that I have held and caressed so many times in the last 16 years.  It was impossible to tell what she was thinking, but it was clear that there was a lot going on inside her head, despite the stillness of expression.  We were all silent, as if to pay reverence to this once-in-a-lifetime moment. 

Jazzman slowly, carefully, wrapped his long arm around her tiny shoulders and pulled her gently closer to his heart.  I spoke.

"Are you ok?"  (nearly imperceptible nod)
"Did we do the right thing?"  (again)
"Can you talk about what you're feeling?"  (tiny shake, conveying "not yet.")
More silence.

I began to worry that they would leave.  It seemed important to me and The Attorney that the four of us stay together until she was able to feel comfortable again.  We offered to take them out to eat because food is my drug we thought it would be a nice transition and she said she would love to have dinner with us.   At the restaurant, she opened up and the thoughts, questions, and ideas came tumbling out like so many clowns from a tiny circus car.  Why?  When?  What about my birth-father?  Siblings?  The food took forever at a place where service is usually their signature trait.  During the wait, my phone rang.  It was her first mother.  I could spend a lot of words and space on how we got from the letter in the mail to the phone call, but it's not important.  What's important right now is maternity.

My daughter is pregnant.
She has been happily reunited thanks to the USPS and phone with her birth mother.
She is more deeply connected with us than ever.
I am fulfilled.  And at peace.  And thrilled.


...to be continued...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Of Letters and Serendipity

(Stick with me here-it's a long one.)

It is not unlike me to write a letter.  I love receiving "snail" mail, I love stamps and stationery and pens.  How the pen feels on the paper is very important to me, and I have been known to throw out a beautiful note card on which I have started writing to a friend simply because it doesn't feel right.

Before the advent of email, I had written many a letter informing people of momentous events in my life: the arrivals of my daughters, the death of my father, my own job changes, moves, and changes of outlooks, opinions, or feelings.

Since June of 1995, when my second precious child came into my life, I have dreamed for her of letters exchanged with her birth family.  Her first family.  The circumstances around her adoption are details that are hers only to share, but they are very different from those of Older Daughter, whom I was able to bring home in infancy.  Younger Daughter was three when I got her.  A whole different world.

The missing puzzle piece in her life has been monumental.  "Who do I look like?"  "Why did this happen?"  "Am I somehow to blame?"  "How different would my life have been?"  These questions have colored her view of her reality.

Three weeks ago or so, Younger Daughter and her long-time boyfriend, whom we love, respect, and thank for his kindness to YD, came home to visit on a Sunday afternoon.  They're expecting a baby.  The Attorney and I were not terribly surprised, and I must say we took it with amazing grace.  YD said she had known for a couple of weeks, but was afraid to tell us, because she was afraid we would be angry or disappointed.  While the timing is less than ideal, we were neither.  We went through the practicalities of it:  what about college (she's a sophomore), housing (he shares an apartment with his sister), and money (they don't really have any)?  When we got done with those obligatory issues, we moved straight into how exciting it would be to be grandparents, what we wanted to be called (me-Grammy, The Attorney-Grandma) and what we could do to help.  We are eschewing any negativity and celebrating a new life with the bundle that will arrive in early March, we think.

How does this relate to letter writing?  The very week that we heard about the baby, I found, after years of searching, a possible clue as to the whereabouts of YD's birth mom.  I sat down and carefully crafted a very short letter to her.  It included no identifying information, to eliminate the possibility of a misstep in making the connection with the right person.

"Dear _________"
I am writing to you to let you know that in 1995 I adopted a child through _________.  If you are the birth mother of a child who was adopted then, or if you have contact with her, and you are interested in having information about the child, please send me a letter with any information that will help me make sure you are the right person.  If you are unrelated to this child, or you do not wish to have contact, please disregard this and accept my apologies for any intrusion."
In Peace,
Yankee Transferred
Address

Yesterday, I received this in the mail:
"Dear Yankee Transferred,

I received your letter on 9/9/2011.  My name is ____________ and I live in ___________. I am the mother of Younger Daughter.  I gave birth to her in _______hospital.  I have her birth certificate which I have kept in my safe for 19 years.  The reason you ended up with her is because I couldn't take care of her due to ____________.  God has been very good to me, He pulled me out of that situation and has stayed with me so that I could experience this very day.  Please tell her she can contact me at any time.  I have prayed for this day for 19 years.  Thank you for contacting me.
Thank you again,
Birth Mother

We asked Younger Daughter and Jazz Man to come over last night.  When they got there, we told them that we have tried her whole life to give her everything she needed and wanted, and we always knew that there was one thing that we had been unable to give her.  We handed her the letter.

...to be continued...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flower Girl and New York Boy

My Younger Daughter has been BFF with Flower Girl since 2002.  They were 10.  It is a friendship that none of us really understands;  they are worlds apart in most ways.   Yet, it endures, and we all love that it does.  Flower Girl's boyfriend, NYBoy is just as great as she is.  Here they are, enjoying a swim on a hot Tennessee Sunday.
I love having them around.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rest Stop Kitsch

Yes, I bought a shot glass.  And a key chain.  And a hand towel. And Real! Handmade! Earrings!

No, I did not buy any of these.  Sad, but true.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cowboys And

Rest Area Parking Lot Art

   
Wooden Guyz



My photos are not going to be chronological.  We stopped in a rest area at a tacky souvenir shop that boasted Brand! New! Bathrooms!  And that's what it had.  Gorgeous, clean, large-stall, attended, rest rooms.  My phone was in my pocket.  I was afraid it was falling out so I took it out, laid it on a paper towel in the stall, and promptly left it there.

32 miles down the road, I said, "Uh...I'm sorry.  I left my phone there."
Back we went, and there it was, at the register, waiting for me.  Lucky.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Slacking

I have some photos to post.  Not as many as I'd like, as this has been the pedal-to-the-metal version of a cross-country trip, and, well, we have been driving too hard, too fast, for too long to stop and take pictures.  Tonight we are here.  My friend is in her new home, and I am...doing this:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cross-Country Road Trip, Day One

Today I'm off with my dear friend, Gladys Beatrice, on the first leg of our cross-country trip.  I am hoping for wi-fi hot spots along the way, but since we are traveling with a dog, and low-budget, I make no promises.  Stay tuned for photos whenever I get connected.

I'll be 60 in January.  I'm calling this trip my 60th birthday kick-off.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What I'm Currently Working On

My volunteer gigs are all so different:  A daycare for kids who are HIV+, the local literacy council, the animal shelter, and an architectural preservation organization.  The boards where I currently serve are comprised of such varied types, and each board has its own collective personality.  One of them has what I would call a Cadillac budget, one a shoestring, and the other one, well...we're working on a budget.  Each one draws out of me another part of my passion.

Where the daycare, the shelter, and the literacy organization all appeal to the humanitarian in me, the architectural preservation group awakens my sense of wonder about the beauty in my city, and prods my creative self to move.  One of our fund raisers is a project where artists/craftspeople/musicians/builders/plain-folks-like-me take a salvaged door (or in my case, a window) and make whatever we want out of it.  Over the years, there have been amazing creations:  musical instruments, cabinetry, furniture.  I decided, not surprisingly, to do something with photos.  I am calling my piece, "A Dozen Reasons To Preserve" and have used 12 of my photographs of my city.  Neither of the shots of the finished piece are very good-I had to shoot them inside at night just to get the pictures taken-the project is due tomorrow.  But the pictures below will give you an idea of the thing.  These are the original window, half done, and finished.

Rough Window Before

Painted Window During

Finished Window, No Flash
Finished Window, With Flash

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Silver Friendship Anniversary

In the summer of 1986, I had just begun the steps to adopt for the first time.  I was single.  People frowned.  My family, true to form, believed in me and supported my idea.  My sisters have always been my greatest advocates.  If they have thought I was a total screwball with hair-brained ideas, they have never let on.  The first step I took in the adoption process, after meeting with an adoption consultant (there's a story there, too) was to sign up for The Conference on Single Parent Adoption, sponsored by an organization known as SPACE (Single Parents for Adoption of Children Everywhere.)  The conference was amazing!  I met many families,  and many prospective parents, and as I looked around at the 100+ people there, I realized that what I wanted to do was not only achievable, but not insane.
The organizer of the conference was a very funny, warm, smart woman who had adopted four children, all of whom were present.  Her only girl was 21, and her sons were 14, 11, and one.  I spent a lot of time talking to her, despite the fact that she was incredibly busy.  We clicked.  I loved her, and the feeling seemed mutual.  I didn't see her again until two years later, when my own Older Daughter was an infant and we attended the conference again.  And every two years, from then on,  we went, through the adoption of my Younger Daughter and right up through OD's first year of undergraduate school.  Gladys Beatrice, the conference leader and I became very close friends.  Down to the soul friends.  Our children grew up together;  in fact, our children refer to each other as brothers and sisters.  We weathered unspeakable difficulties together.    We have had laughing fits so hard we've had to pull the car over.  We spent hours and hours at the beach together, our children splashing in the lake while we sat in the shade and talked about everything there is.   My move from New England was hard on me and all my family and friends there, and GB is no exception.  But the friendship stands the test of time.  She turned 65 in November.  She retired.  And she's moving from my beloved Massachusetts to California for a million great reasons, and also just because she wants to.
When she called me about a month ago and asked if I wanted to drive across country with her, I didn't hesitate.  The Attorney agreed:  it had to happen.   So I'm packing a suitcase, flying to New England, and driving coast to coast with my friend.  It will be a wild trip, and we are taking the southern route so as to slide through my current home town so she can see The Attorney and my Younger Daughter.  We have cards, audio books, GPS, a laptop, 2 still cameras, and a video camera, and we are taking our Thelma and Louise trip, minus the seedy bars, lecherous cowboys, and flight off a cliff at the end.
Here we are in 2006.  It's not the greatest shot of either one of us, but you can see the joy we feel in being together.
I cannot wait. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fostering

When my kids both moved out, even with the amazing luxury of extra time with The Attorney, I found myself floundering a little.  It definitely was not that I was lost without them, but I missed the time suck rewarding activities that parenting teenagers brings.  For years, I have volunteered and sat on the board of Hope House and have really enjoyed it.  This June ended my tenure as Board President.  So I went looking for other things to do.  I am now on the board of Literacy Mid-South and Memphis Heritage.  I am also VP of my neighborhood association, where I have met several busy-bodies and complainers wonderful neighbors.  But the volunteering I do now that is by far the most difficult and the most gratifying is working at our city animal depository shelter.   Every year, over 15,000 cats,dogs, and other stray animals are dumped lovingly surrendered at our intake counter.  The Attorney is violently allergic to cats, so I cannot do much with them, but I play with, clean, walk, cuddle, train, talk to, and most importantly: foster dogs.  It started out innocently enough.  Our Younger Daughter found a puppy running on a busy street a couple of years ago.  Knowing that we are  suckers compassionate dog-lovers, she wagged that puppy home.  The sweet little doggie was about 8 weeks old.  We found her a home, and she moved along just in time to be a Christmas present for 4 sweet young boys whose mother works with me.  In the 3 weeks that we had her, she was house-trained, and knew "go to bed," "sit," and "stay."  Very smart dog.  And I loved fostering.  We got to have the fun of another thankless creature  canine companion to add to the 3 we already have, and we didn't have to keep her. 
Shortly after I started at the shelter, an outbreak of kennel cough required them to get several dogs out before they infected other dogs.  The shelter would have to euthanize them.  So I ran over and got a pair of litter-mates, Marley and Joy.  We nursed them back to health, and returned them to the shelter, from where they were subsequently adopted by 2 great families.  Within a couple of weeks, another plea went out.  Back I trotted, and got Abby.  Same story-back to health, back to the shelter, happily adopted.  And so on.  We are now up to our fifth dog.  I don't have still shots of all of them, but here are Abby, Buster, and Rusty.  Plus a video of Marley and Joy.   And I feel sure there will be more.
Abby

Buddy Hiding At The Shelter

Buddy, One Day Later At Home

Was Punkin, Then Rusty, Now Poncho

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where I'm From


I am from cameras, from Hellman's Mayonnaise and humor.  And from Scotties and Tuxedo cats named after authors.
 
I am from the Big yellow house, warm, honey-dipped and steeped in pool chlorine. 
 
I am from the peonies, the cardinals, and the black-capped chickadees.
 
I am from road trips and wiseasses, from Aida and He Who Must Be Obeyed. 
 
I am from the sarcastic and the compassionate.
 
From Democrat in Republican clothing and flat-out Republican
 
I am from recovering Catholics.
 
I'm from Pennsylvania and New York and Canada, from fine French Food and too much wine.
From the Car People and the Loving People and the Dog Lovers.
 
I am from handmade photo albums filled with black and white pictures with ruffled edges and deep cracks.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Restaurant Recommendation-Thai in New Orleans

The Attorney and I went for Thai food in New Orleans.  That may sound bizarre, given all the Creole/French/Southern food available, but we did a little of a lot of things.  Basil Leaf is not in the French Quarter, but we had a car and it was an easy drive.  It came recommended to us.  We were not disappointed.  Behold the Shrimp Dumplings.  Pretty, and very tasty. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Us" Time

My love and I had grown accustomed to the empty nest.  Our Older Daughter, off in the cold but beautiful Midwest (go Wolverines!) for graduate school, visits occasionally.  Holidays.  Our Younger Daughter is in college (how is that possible?) in our home town, but living on campus.  Our life rhythm has changed;  much more volunteering on my part, less formal meals, more reading.  We miss the sounds, the fragrance, the laughter that our daughters and their friends brought to the house-ours has been the "go-to" house for many late nights, parties, games nights.  We miss the detritus of teenage girls, the visits of favorite local cousins, the anticipation of first dates, the sounds of strange things falling on the third floor.  "Was that the cue stick?  The futon?  WHAT WAS THAT??"
As much as we miss all of it, we sort of like just us.  Because YD is here for the summer, and her (fabulous, sweet, kind, calm) boyfriend a lot of the time, too, we haven't had the luxury of just shuffling downstairs, circling our hands around warm cups, and soaking in eachother's company.  So off to New Orleans we went.  And it was fabulous.  We read, we talked, we sang, we swam, we held hands and wandered around in the heat.  It was only 4 days, but it felt like a really nice, long treat.


 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Report From The Field: There Is More Work To Be Done

The World's Best Bleeding Heart Attorney and I had the opportunity to make use of a very generous offer from a family member:  use of her condo in the French Quarter.  We had not been to New Orleans since May of 2000, when we went there to exchange vows and rings.  In addition to having wonderful food, we did a lot of walking and a lot of driving.  We wanted to visit the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the areas most hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina.  Our desire to visit there was two-fold:  we wanted to see how much progress had been made, and we wanted to see the neighborhood where our Older Daughter worked building houses with Habitat for Humanity over her Spring Breaks during her undergraduate career at Excellent Women's College.  We have always been proud of her desire to help others, and her willingness to work hard.
What we found in the Ninth Ward was disheartening.  Progress has been made, undoubtedly.  Look at these houses.




But there is still SO much devastation.  So many houses that are completely demolished.  Where have the people gone?  What happened to them, and what are their stories?  And mostly, mostly...How is it possible that this kind of nightmare can take place in the United States, and almost six years later, the houses are still like this:



I have heard it said that perhaps these houses looked like this beforehand, or that it is the result of the "rampant looting" that took place in New Orleans after the storm.  I have heard people compare how the Japanese people reacted after their recent earthquake and tsunami to the people in the poor sections of New Orleans.  Words like "honor" and "courage" are used to describe the people in Japan, and words like "thugs" and "savages" describing the Americans.   I have also heard accounts from people who were there, in New Orleans, during and after Katrina.  People who worked in hospitals and rebuilding neighborhoods, people who rescued strangers from rushing water by boat, and helped airlift people from their roofs.  These people, not the armchair sociologists, have given accounts of courage, risk-taking, love, and cooperation that far outnumber the crimes.  As a country, we should be ashamed that this is the way one of the most beautiful cities in our nation still looks, six years hence.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Birthday Cards


Birthday Cards
Originally uploaded by Yankee T
Years ago, when I first adopted my Older Daughter and money became incredibly tight, I gave up purchasing three things for myself: wine, cut flowers, and greeting cards. Prior to that, I had been the Queen of the Card, with quite an investment in a drawer. Over time, as I became more financially stable, the wine and flowers re-entered my sphere, and although I still spent more than I should on note cards and stationery, because of the proliferation of e-greetings, my card-sending didn't really ever get back up to my old standards.
In 2010, I started anew. I tried, with some success, to send a birthday card to every family member and as many friends as possible.
I vow to do even better in 2011. As you can see, a card sender is also a card recipient. Here is this year's haul of birthday cards.
I love them, and I will hate taking them down.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Outdoor Art



St. Louis, a city that I had never visited before this past fall, is filled with outdoor sculpture.  I loved it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cities

I know I will not be able to post a photo a day that I have taken that day.  Right now I leave too early in the morning for work, and come home too tired.  So when I don't take one that day, I'll post from my archives.
This is St. Louis in October:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Re-Post, Preparation for Snow

In preparation for the snow we are supposed to get this weekend, I am re-posting photos of my favorite Memphis street in all four seasons.  I will be hard pressed not to go there on Monday and take another shot if we really do get the storm.  I will be one of the few on the road-native Memphians hide with the first flake.  
Which is your favorite of the four?



Thursday, January 6, 2011

head flappin'


head flappin'
Originally uploaded by Yankee T
Getting ready to sneeze, he was.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sketchbook Back Cover


Sketchbook Back Cover
Originally uploaded by Yankee T
I have been working on my sketchbook which must be postmarked January 15th. Here is the back cover. The theme of my book, as assigned to me, is "Down Your Street." These are my shoes. My book has some drawing, some writing, some stenciling, some photographs.
It's been a huge project, and I don't feel very talented, but it has forced me to get creative.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Egg On My Plate

In about 1979 or 1980, when I was living in Boston with a fabulous roommate who turned into such a good friend that my first daughter bears her name as a middle name, we went to an enormous outdoor flea market in Somerville.  There were table after table of all manner of  "fleas":  old car parts, post cards, clothes, tires...you get the picture.  At one table we found a fabulous deviled egg plate.  Instantly, I fell in love.  I think it was $5.00, well within my twenty-something's beginner travel agent budget.  I snatched it up.  I used that plate often, and took great pleasure in it every single time.  In 1989, I walked home from a neighborhood party with my precious egg plate in hand, tripped on my own stairs going up, and in an effort to save my just-walking one year old from doing a face-plant on brick, I sacrificed my egg plate which smashed to smithereens.  I was heart broken.  Several years later, maybe 10 or so, that same friend, the one with whom I had lived, brought me a wonderful deviled egg plate;  not the same, but also vintage, and also very cool.  And I loved it and treasured it.  It had belonged to her mother.
In November, her father died.  The day of his funeral, a rogue glass baking dish committed suicide by leaping from an upper cabinet in my house, and crashed down on the egg plate, breaking it in 2.  
What does any resourceful person do, when trying to recreate one's youth?  I leaped into action and checked EB*ay.  There I found many deviled egg plates, but alas, none just like the one from my friend's mother.  Lo and behold, however, the self-same plate that I had purchased in 1979.  My new old plate is pictured here.
I raise my deviled egg to my dear friend in toast.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Party Games


Party Games
Originally uploaded by Yankee T
My birthday comes on the heels of New Year. It's the 10th. Yesterday, The World's Best Bleeding Heart Attorney dragged out all the games to see what we would play, because I insist on games for my birthday.
What to choose, what to choose?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Last Day



I get  a lot of vacation at my job.  Along with the pleasure of working side-by-side with a mostly funny, cooperative group of people and having respect for my boss, my time off is probably my main pleasure at work.
This year, I really relaxed on my Christmas time off.  I read a lot, I hung out with the kids a lot, and I enjoyed the company of my friends and extended family.
My vacation was over on Tuesday.  Today my tree comes down.  Usually by this time I'm sick of it-the tree is often brown, the needles are all over, and it gives everyone an excuse for not carrying their stuff upstairs.
This year, the tree is still green and I know once it's down, my Older Daughter's return to grad school is imminent.  My Younger Daughter will be home from college for another week or so.  I'm sort of not liking the last day.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January to June 2010


January to June 2010
Originally uploaded by Yankee T
2010 was, for my family, a very good year, marked with much success and many changes. The World's Best Bleeding Heart Attorney ended her career at Juvenile Court, where for six years she represented the best interest of the child in dependency and neglect cases. Exhausting, draining work. On January 3, she hangs her shingle on her own practice. We are excited and apprehensive at once.
Both girls graduated and moved on in their academic careers. I passed the 10-year mark at my job, working for a company that has been very, very good to me, and which I never for granted, not for a second.

I made new blogging acquaintances, some of whom have suffered unspeakable losses. I hope with everything that is in me that Jackie, Katie, and Mandy find relief in the new year.

We look forward to 2011. My sketchbook project is coming along, and I am going to once again attempt blogging regularly. I wish everyone peace and tranquility in the upcoming year.

Bring it on!