Friday afternoon blues

Friday afternoon switchovers are exhausting. After trying various mid weekend switchover times, Patrick and I decided on Friday afternoon. This helps not break up the weekend.

One of my kiddos tells me they would rather be at dads house. Dads house is better. I”ve learned that this is the Friday afternoon blues, exhaustion. And to not take anything said seriously.

I let them know, ‘that hurts my feelings’. And then let it go. Can’t hold onto words which I know they don’t mean. They are doing their best and I am doing my best.

Every family has low moments of the week. Even when there are two adults in the house, there are hard times in every family, I remind myself.  Every family is unique.

Friday 3:30 pm. School pick up. Then paper route.

Then kids watch a movie together as I prepare dinner.  I am gentle as possible with myself.  Love, forgive, love some more, forgive some more…

The kids sleep in till 7:30 on Saturday mornings. Almost 11 hours of sleep. Much needed sleep makes everything better on Saturday morning.



Letting Go

Flying into Anchorage, I never tire of the majestic views. Even though I was born and raised here, the scenery always takes my breath away. The  land, the trees  have turned significantly more yellow, brown, orange in the 10 days I was away. There are extensive mud flats in Turnagain arm from the outing tide. Its grey and cloudy  and yet all just so dang gorgeous.

This morning I unpack my bags.  North Carolina beach sand, so fine in nature coats my books, clothes. I hear the light sound of sand dropping into my bag as I unravel white athletic socks. I dust off the light layer of sand on my yoga blocks. The next time I do yoga, I know it will feel different.  New. Because things inside me have shifted from my week in North Carolina.

Before I put my yoga gear back in my yoga room, I light a small wrapped batch of sage that I bought in North Carolina. Around the room I swirl the sage, small tiny curls of smoke into every corner. It helps clear out any old energies from spaces.

I went to class thinking I would learn lots about the asanas, or yoga poses. What I ended up learning was that the best learning has to be felt, has to sink into your being. Change your existence or perspective in positive ways… Which is what happened in North Carolina.

I left the retreat with a better sense of my breath, of my foot steps on the earth. I’ve slowed down some and can feel myself better letting go of things that no longer serve me in life.  Taking a few more pauses throughout my day. Checking in a bit more with myself. I learned that that asanas are just a small part of yoga, what the western culture thinks of yoga. I’m being gentle with myself to digest it all in time. No rush at all.

It is nearly 8 AM and very dark outside. The start of fall was 2 days ago.  A time when nature lets go and begins to ready for winter. Suddenly Fall is very much upon us.  My favorite season of the year.

A Pause

Raleigh, NC airport.

Getting my bearings after  going through TSA and having my water bottle taken away.  There is an unusually big crowd at a gate directly in front of security. People surround a big window overlooking an airplane.  Standing on chairs, iPhones out. A quiet crowd. What could be causing such a pause in this crowd, I wonder.

Maneuvering my way through the group, I catch slivers of images between the onlookers. Military personnel in color guard uniform. A few men in suits standing on the hot tarmac. I catch an image through someones iPhone.

A hearse waiting next to the jet.

Silent crowd, people watching. A sniffle behind me.

As someone moves aside, my view clears. A lady in black and red dress with sunglasses on stands on the tarmac near the color guard. I can’t help but assume it is the wife of the deceased.

Casket comes rolling down the belt from the plane. The color guard carries the casket draped with an American Flag  to the hearse. The casket slides in.

Pause. Color guard does a formal  military salute.

Eyes on the casket and the hearse. Door closes.

Hazard lights on, the hearse slowly pulls away.

I pause.

Nothing feels the same.

Life is so brutal. So raw. So beautiful. So fragile.

Nothing feels the same.



Half baked ice cream. A fusion of cookie dough and brownie ice cream in a chocolate dipped cone.  Ben and Jerry’s in Emerald Isle North Carolina. Just the smell of warm cookies, (or maybe its freshly made cones?) takes me back to Ithaca College days. The small Ben and Jerry’s in the downtown plaza which I frequented so many times, with the employees wearing the tie dye shirts and so many colors abounded even on dark grey days.

“Is there a Girl Scout badge for this? Making our way to Ben and Jerry’s?” my friend Isha teased me. I had shared stories about Girl Scout leading earlier in the day. With google phone directions we made our way from our beach house/PT class site through a neighborhood to the store then walked back along the beach. We joked that we thought we would be doing lots of yoga and not have any sugar this week and be in super good shape when we got home. Haha!

Cones, smiles. It was  2 mile walk home in the dark with the surf pounding the shore that I enjoyed the most. Somehow I never tire of beautiful waves along the shore. Coming from Kodiak Alaska these could be old news to me. But no.   This surf pounding on the shore sings life into me. Here the surf is a remnant of either hurricane Jose or Hurricane Irma off in the distance.  Larger than normal waves, nonetheless.

We find our house in the dark, make our way up the stairs, and find our class mates in convo on the deck enjoying each other and a glass of wine. After 6 miles of walking the beaches today, I retire to bed. To digest my day. Read and get ready for the next day of Medical Therapeutic Yoga class.


Click, click, click, ding.

Your piece  starts with an intro. “I am 10 and I live in two houses.  My parents are divorced.” The black words on the white page spell out your journey.

Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Ding.  (New line). Pause. The hunts and pecks coming from the old typewriter in your room are faster than I expected. In this year that I haven’t been living in the same house as you,  you’ve become faster.

It all started as we  stopped at a garage sale today.

I wanted to check out some bar bell weights  and a weight rack for sale. You cued in on a desk with a glass top and pull out drawer for a keyboard.

How much? You asked.

Then I asked the older man running the garage sale. $20. You were so excited for it, determined to get it for your room.  Part of me thought we could get something in much better shape, newer for $20 from Walmart. But then I loved how this was a garage sale and how fun it was to stop.  I went home, cleaned out the back of my car and brought the desk home.

With the desk in your room, you organized. Put things in their place, hung a To-do list on the wall.   On the next trip to dads’ house to get things, (this typical back and forth routine to retrieve clothes, shoes, books) you came out carrying your typewriter. The black, manual one you’ve been using for years on and off. The one you got as a Christmas gift 3 or 4 years ago. A big smile on your face and I open up the back hatch and in it goes to my house.

You show me some of your first paragraphs that you’ve typed here and it makes my heart dance to be able to see your writing.   Writing calms you and makes you settled. Just like mom.

When the clicks come from your room and Nora is reading, this house is as its best. Reading, writing being. You say you have more time, quiet to write here. That there is so much going on at dads house. Its quieter here to write, you  say.

Perhaps at one point in time this news would have made me sad. Or made me feel like the boring mom, or second best. But not now.

I’m glad to be a haven of quiet.



Express Lane

Tonight at Safeway the lines are long. I have a cart with several items; a brief scan of my cart  makes me think I can do the express lane. Super checker, Michaelangelo has just opened a lane. Yessss. With a million dollar  smile  and mad good checker skills, hes the lane to be in.

I slide my cart right over  and begin piling items on the conveyor. Two avocados, flour, chocolate chips, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips, creamer, milk…the items are adding up. Express lane is for 15 items or less. Mine is closer to 18 or 20. A subtle glance behind me reveals others have kept to the 15 item rule. The gal behind me smiles and says hi; I can’t remember where I know her from but she seems very happy to see me.

Michaelangelo starts scanning my items. “I’m a few items over.” I  note. He smiles, “Oh its ok.” He knows. He’s knows these details in the being of his checker soul. No one can sneak details like this past Michaelangelo.

“I figure its an average. Some visits I’m a few under, some a few over.  Kinda like item credit.”

He laughs. And flashes his genuine smile.  “I like that. An average.” as he nods his head in agreement. I look down at my cart. The bottom is full of bags of groceries.

As I leave Safeway against the tide of the incoming 5 pm shoppers, I’m filled with a sense of gratitude.  For the lady behind me who said hi several times and smiled. For Michaelangelo and his mad good checker skills and his sense of humor with my joke.

For people who are tuned in and present in the moment and enjoying it, not rushing forward.  People tuned into the world and not on autopilot thinking about whats next.

So many moments of kindness to hold onto. Even in the express lane.


Heart Shaped Rock

Childhood belongings, 3 sewing machines. Boxes of books on childbirth, infant sleeping, discipline, vaccines, nutrition. About 20 books on how to get your baby to sleep. Physical therapy books, hot packs, waiting room toys, a large model spine, stethescope. 3 sewing machines. Pictures of my kids in picture frames that were in the physical therapy clinic years ago.

These boxes, these things left to be unpacked  has  haunted me. Ok, well no ghosts have been involved so maybe haunted isn’t the right word. But its been hanging over my head. A sense that there is still unfinished work that needs to be done.  The final 10-15 boxes and my old sewing machines which need to be brought over to my house and now I am finally doing it.

The boxes are very temporary visitors in my garage,  guests for only a few days. Just long enough to sort into two piles: good will or throw away. or for a very small fraction of the things, keep.  I’ve been living my life without these things and won’t start now holding onto belongings.

Last winter I watched a documentary called The Minimalists. It followed two men who went through major life changes (i.e. death and divorce) and downsized their lives. Quit six figure jobs, sold their big houses, got rid of majority of their things. And in the process they found more happiness, mind space and heart space for connections and experiences with others.

One of the boxes of old clinic things was ridiculously heavy. At first I thought it was because of books. But I discovered a very large heart shaped rock inside it. My co-worker Kelsea collected heart shaped rocks.

Into my flower bed it went, visible right when I pull into my driveway. A  heart tucked amongst the other rocks and dark brown soil. Its new permanent home.