Entries from March 1, 2008 - April 1, 2008
There is a gaggle of tween girls sleeping over tonight. They are congregating in my daughter’s bedroom for now. There is laughter, giggling and for some reason thumping coming from upstairs. The walls are shaking with their jokes and games.
Soon they will spill out in search of food and the Wii, taking over the living room. There will be prolonged discussions of which DVD’s to watch, how to set up the sleeping bags and which of the boys of their acquaintance is less gross than the others.
Even though it is too early for us to go to sleep, my husband is ensconced (hiding) in our bedroom. Too much pre-estrogen floating around the house for him. I will join him later after the girls have changed in to those flannel pants all the kids love to sleep in and settled down as much as they will settle down for the night. After giving my standard speech (no boys, booze or buzz), I will head into exile for the night to our bedroom.
There is no hope the girls will not stay up too late, raid the kitchen, talk and giggle until the sun rises.
As these girls gaggle around, one foot still in childhood, a toe in adulthood, there is something: energy, emotion, something emitting from this group.
I think it is joy.
Our family joined a CSA for the first time this year. CSA stands for Community Sustained Agriculture. We bought a share in a local farm in January. Selling shares allows the farmer some upfront money for seeds, fertilizer and other expenses. In effect, the farmer is selling some of the risk and some of the benefit from his future crop. In exchange for buying a share, starting in May, we will receive a box of fresh picked produce each week for 20 weeks.
Different CSA's have different membership requirements. Some, in addition to buying a share, require a certain number of hours of work on the farm. The required hours of work help keep the price of shares low. I do not do heat in the summer and I am willing to pay a little more to join a CSA with no work requirements. Some allow you to choose between full and half shares. Because half shares cost less, this is a good way to go if you have a small family or are not that into vegetables. A full share is usually enough produce to feed a family of four for a week. Our share works out to about $23 a week. This is a little more than what we currently spend at the grocery store, but the farm that we purchased a share from uses organic farming methods . We would be paying considerably more to buy similar organic produce at the grocery store.
I am looking forward to being part of a CSA because I love to cook. Recently one a family member has begun to eat a diet high in vegetables for health reasons. That means less wheat based baking and fewer meat based meals, and no pasta. It is boring cooking for that family member in particular and for the rest of us in general with what I can get at the store. I am really looking forward to the change of making interesting meals this summer with a box of seasonal, locally grown vegetables. It will be like getting a surprise box each week!
If you would like to know more about, CASs or see if there is a participating farm in your area check out www.localharvest.org
It is with delight I've been reading a slew of articles about the importance of exercising your brain as you grow older. Word games, puzzles, Sudoku - occupations that used to be considered wastes of time are, according to the experts, good for us. The general public can rest assured this is true because the experts have declared it to be so.
I am delighted to learn that all the time I've been playing games online to avoid doing what I should be doing has been good for me. If only the experts would declare that eating a whole chocolate bar will not only boost our immune systems, doing so will also help thin our thighs.
Here is my current time waster....I mean brain booster.
WORD JOLT at realaracade.com
I can get to level 17. Enjoy!
It happens to every mom with a teenage daughter. You love her to pieces but one day you look at her and realize how unfair it is that youth is wasted on the young. She doesn’t have the wisdom or experience to appreciate the advantage that youth gives to her. Oh, if we could just have the time back, to know what we know now…. we would savor life instead of carelessly letting time slip away. Then the though strikes, “My gosh, I am jealous of my daughter!”
My jealously is aroused most nights at 10:30. She fires up the coffee maker to enjoy a mug of fully caffeinated coffee before she goes…. to sleep.
My period was late. I was in semi- panic. Babies are delightful. In the fullness of time I am looking forward to snuggling with newborns, reading with toddlers and baking cookies for breakfast with someone special. Those times will be with my grand babies, and that time is still future.
My period was late and I thought my life was going to change forever. Even though it eventually did start, my life did change. In the recent past a missed period signaled the possibility of a major life shift, a new life coming into the world, a new normal unfolding over time in our home. It was so strange to realize that a missed period now signals something different. Women on the other side of menopause talk about freedom, new challenges in life, energy. Standing on this side, I see a lot of loss, loss of the possibility of the love between my husband and myself creating a new life, with all the challenges and joys that brings. Loss of control of my emotions, I was feeling angry and tense all the time. Loss of attractiveness, I fully intent to look fabulous into my 60's and, Lord willing, beyond. But a fabulous 60 year old just doesn’t look as good as a 30 year old.
The internal shift from young woman to older woman is a massive intellectual and emotional challenge. It was tempting to gaze back with longing for what was, what wasn’t, and what might have been. Society isn’t always kind to older women. Trophy wives are an example of how disposable we women are. A missed period now means hormone swings with nothing to show for it 9 months later. It is a pimple, with a hair in it, in a wrinkle. It means the person who will make the decision to hire me or not, is 30 years younger than I am. Part of the internal shift is realizing life, my life, is no longer all future. At some point, my life here, will be all past.
I do see glimmers, though, of an interesting, productive future:
...but will have sufficient courage so that now, as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Philippians 1
Saint Paul, writing from prison, facing the possibility of death, needed courage.
It takes courage to age with wisdom and grace, to mature from being a young woman to an older one. Courage can be drawn from many sources. As you face growing older, you better have a reliable source to draw from. When I am tempted to look back and long for what is past, I draw courage from the same source Paul did, from an abiding, dynamic relationship with Jesus.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3