Fountains of My Mind

Thoughts creep and swirl in twisted formation.  Some stick on the goo of old brain cells, while others moan from the crippling chains placed by jailers.  Thoughts become alphabetic forms that push and shove to form words of expression.  Words ooze ever so slowly from the mind to the fingertips.  Cobwebs form at the spout of the fountain as the words creep at a snail-like pace to the opening.

At times the fountain is locked up tight and not willing to produce a single drop in the thirsty bucket.  The webs thicken and the spout corrodes from outside elements.  Darkness permeates the area and the words groan from within the fountain begging to be set free.

A pin light forms.  Slowly, ever so slowly, the tangled words are released and sentences begin to form and grow.  Stronger now, they burst through the muck and the sludge and race forward with determination and m0xie.  The light grows larger, and the string of words race to the light.  At train wreck speed full sentences begin to tumble from the spout into the thirsty bucket.

At first the bucket seems to toss them aside and reject them, as if in protest to the long, dark, thirsty nights.  Soon, it gives way to resentment and opens its arms to the freshness and clarity the sentences have to offer.  It builds a reserve of ideas and thoughts within its confines, producing light and hope with every drop from the spout.

When the bucket is full and the cobwebs washed away, the fountain shuts down as quickly as it began to flow.  The bucket continues to hold the light, but is soon replaced with another dark thirsty bucket to await inspiration and the next unchaining of creative thoughts and words to be set free to the light.

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

When we were young, I loved homecomings.  Occasionally, my husband went away for work-related reasons or to visit extended family when I wasn’t able to go with him.  Sometimes I visited extended family when my husband had to stay home and work.  Homecomings were always fun.  We appreciated each other just a little more after being apart for a bit.

It has been quite a while since we’ve been away from each other, and 18 months ago we became empty-nesters so we spend a lot of time together.  Two weeks ago I left him at home while I went to help my oldest daughter.  I came home yesterday.  After 36 years, homecomings are much more sweet.  It’s more than just renewed appreciation now — it’s like adding super glue to the cement that holds us together.

I’m glad I went to help my daughter, and I would do it again in a heartbeat — but today my heart is full and there’s no place like home.  Counting my blessings.

In Granny Mode

I’m in granny mode this week, helping my daughter out in Southern California.  One of my duties this week has been to transport the children to school in the morning (a one-hour drive in L.A. traffic).  All has gone relatively well this week with the commute with the exception of getting lost on my way home the first day.

Commute time is also time for the children to finish breakfast they are slow to eat at home, and time for the first grader’s sustained reading practice.  One morning reading didn’t appeal to him, so Granny began harmonizing with a John Denver CD.  It only took two songs before he cried “uncle” and began to read to me.

This morning was an “adventure.”  The commute itself went quite well.  We learned about the Moray Eel as my grandson combined sustained reading with research for his eel project.  I parked in the school parking lot 15 minutes prior to the start of school and began to unload the children.  The 2-year-old’s car seat buckle stuck.  At first I thought it was my arthritis, but soon realized that there was a definite problem with the mechanism itself.

I’m not one to panic in a crisis situation.  I believe in “working the problem.”  In the back of my mind, however, I was aware that at some point my granddaughter may begin to panic — and that would be bad. The thought crossed my mind that one of my own children always remains calm in a crisis, one is marginal, and two of them go into instant panic mode.  One of the two who panics is the mother to my granddaughter who was stuck in the car seat.

This experience was “genetics” versus “environmental.”  These two grandchildren are adopted.  We have laughed at how much they are like my daughter and son-in-law.  It appears that “environmental” plays a large part in their personalities.  This morning, however, I am extremely grateful to learn that my little sweet pea must have inherited a “calm” gene from one of her birth parents.

I flagged down another grandmother who was delivering her children to school.  I explained the problem and told her that I had come to the conclusion it was mechanical as opposed to arthritic.  She made several attempts to release sweet pea and came to the same conclusion.  I decided that if we unhooked everything except the “stuck” portion, we might be able to pull her body out far enough to release her stuck left leg.  I lifted sweet pea under her arms, as the other Granny tried to release her leg.  We soon learned that the only thing we were going to succeed in doing was to break the kid’s leg.

I carry a pair of scissors in the glove compartment of my car to trim the grass around my stepson’s grave when we take flowers to the cemetery.  I knew that if the kid started to panic, I had the option of cutting the strap, but car seats are expensive!  That would have to be a “last resort” option.

My helper decided that since school was about to start, she should run the older kids inside and try to get some “younger” help for me with the car seat.  I didn’t want to leave the “stuck” child alone.  Suddenly, for whatever reason, the buckle disengaged, and I was able to retrieve sweet pea just as a young father was coming to rescue me.  I checked the kid into school with 5 minutes to spare.

The moral of the story is:  When the kid eats a frosty (or anything sticky) in the car, cleanse the seat belt mechanism prior to sending Granny on a mission.  🙂