Friday, September 22, 2006

Coup D'Etat

There was a coup in my carpool this morning. Rebels threatened to overthrow the control of my Eddie Bauer Expedition. Historians will call it the "Eddie Bauer Rebellion".
Pulling into the school morning line, we knew instantly that we might be late. The traffic lady was blowing her whistle and waving her arms, just not at us. Lines of cars were moving, just not ours. And the car's digital clock ticked on. And Eddie Bauer's 6 teenage passengers became more agitated.
Having been late two a.m.'s previous and having been assigned tardy detentions, I admit I didn't blame them.
But the "unspeakable" was spoken.
"When she (the whistle-blowing director, not me the driver) isn't looking, " they whispered, "we could jump out and run through the middle school parking lot!" The plan was formed. Grabbing their athletic bags, backpacks, lunch sacks, and band instruments, they prepared for their escape.
"No!" I pleaded, "You can't do that! If everyone jumped out and a made a dash it would be mass chaos, danger, and confusion. But, worst of all, the director lady would blow her whistle at ME!" The shame. The social embarrassment.
"What are they going to do?" the main revolutionista sneered with eyes of steely determination scanning the perimeter, hand firmly gripping the door latch, "make YOU go to detention? I won't be late again." (Note to self: Pray harder for God to give this 17 year old his own car.)
Twelve eyes pierced through the back of my head. Air of tension. Clock is ticking. Who would reign supreme in this Eddie Bauer rebellion? Desperately, I searched my mom- files for a weapon that could end this coup.
Aha! It came. "If you pull the latch on that door and jump out of this car...." I had to utter a threat I never imagined I would ever hear myself speak. " will NOT go squirrel hunting this weekend." There I had said it.
Touche. End of revolt. I reign supreme. With a deathblow to their leader, the war had ended. And the would-be revolutionistas made it on time. A blood vow was taken to never be that late again. But, should there be a next-time, I don't know if I will be able to hold them back.
But, then again, there is always deer season....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Season is Changing

Life is fluid like a mountain stream. We desperately try to make it more like the river stones over which the water flows - smooth and stable, but our attempts are feeble. Life continues; unstoppable. The seasons change, and I feel the change coming now.
It's now cool in the mornings, cool enough for a sweatshirt. I see some yellow leaves popping up on a nearby tree. My summer zinnias are looking weary of blooming. A change is coming.
My dad is walking quite a bit slower these days. My youngest son is dreaming of the deep voice we expect will arrive any week now. My oldest has his eyes set toward college, and he spent last weekend out-of-town hunting with a buddy - no adults. Wow. What a far place from watching him ride away on his training wheeled bike - out of my reach where if he fell I wouldn't be able to catch him. I remember being afraid that day because I could see him, but I couldn't touch him. Kinda like a mama bird watching from a distance as her baby bird flies. I know training wheels aren't like flying, but it seemed so extreme and risky at the time. Would he remember to look for cars as he had been taught?
The season is changing. In a blink there will be one, maybe two less plates at the Thanksgiving table. Just a few turns of the calendar pages and my hunter won't be leaving his stinky socks in the bathroom, in the hallway, on his bedroom floor.
Life is flowing swiftly. Time truly waits for no man. Today I won't be who I was yesterday. Every glance in the morning mirror reflects a wrinkle that wasn't quite there the day before.The season is changing, and, like a mountain stream, the season's change can not be stopped.
(Added January 2009) P.S. Thanksgiving 2008, in fact, did bring two empty plates to the family table. One, was my Cadet's and the other my dad's. My dad suffered a stroke September 2008 and died from complications December 12,2008. The season has changed. Carpe Diem.

Friday, September 8, 2006

I Still Love Mail

Tangible mail. Paper mail. Mail you can hold in your hand. Mail you can stick in a desk drawer, store in the attic, or smell. Mail with real stamps.
I love to know my postman's name - mine is Calvin. And I still like the title "postman" rather than "mail carrier".
I anticipate that time in the day when my dogs announce the delivery, when I cease from activity, sit on the porch and sort through the mail.
It's mostly junk, but catalogs are worth a quick peruse before arriving at their final destination in the bathroom. Total trash: circular file. The rest is sorted by family names. My pile is stacked similarly to the way in which I eat - least desirable to best. A handwritten note on interesting stationery will always go straight to the bottom to be opened last like savoring a chocolate creme brule after a tasty meal.
It's not something about which we speak aloud, but there is a bit of competitiveness between my husband and I regarding mailtime. A twinge of disappointment comes if he gets to the mail first. I actually enjoy the total experience- squeaky metal mailbox lid, reaching down into the unknown retrieving whatever lies within.
Home after an out-of-town trip, mail opening comes before unpacking the car.
E-mail is great, and I use it. But nothing could ever replace a handwritten note. Pen and paper still best expresses heartfelt emotion, gratitude, appreciation, love, and friendship. There's a sense of permanence to it. Paper mail will never be replaced