RSS Feed

Category Archives: family

March, 2016 Walkdoc

Posted on
WoodNeck

WoodNeck

IMG_0839

IMG_0841

IMG_0852

Surf Drive

IMG_0870

IMG_0874

IMG_0870

Nobska

Nobska

      IMG_0328

 

 

Half Way to 124 Years Old

Posted on

This week I celebrated my 62nd birthday or, as I prefer to say, I’m half way to 124 years old. It was the best birthday yet. Hubby and I got up at 4:45 AM and made our way at 5:06 AM to the beach with the best easterly facing view: Manauhant.

IMG_5655

What a great way to begin a new year of life!

It was twilight as we hit the beach with chairs and assorted snacks. I was surprised at how light it was and the sun hadn’t yet shown a sliver.

IMG_5659

To the west was the setting moon– a big peachy pizza pie slipping down the horizon. I love the juxtaposition.

IMG_5668

We were the only ones on the beach — loved the solitude.

We sat in our sweatpants and sweatshirts, sipping a thermos of hot black coffee and watched the sky turn colors.  First a warm pink then a lighter, brighter yellow.

IMG_5673

The clouds were placed perfectly to give added reflection. Before long the top slice of the sun appeared. It was like a surprise gift–so much better than expected. Little by little it rose to meet or make the day.

IMG_5680

It made my day! I tried to capture some of it on camera, but didn’t want to to miss being in the moment.

Before I knew it, the ball of fire was in full view and quite impressive. For that half hour, our world stopped and all that we focused on was the rising sun.

IMG_5696

It was like magic. I have no doubt that the ancients were convinced that it was divine or quite extraordinary. I did a few Sun Salutations because it seemed like the normal, right thing to do. And thus began my sixty second year.

We spent the whole day at the beach, with lots of quiet time before the rest of the world awoke and put on their swimsuits. There was time to gab and talk about everything I wanted to do this year. We nibbled goodies from the cooler and had our books to read, pads of paper to write on, my knitting was often in hand and now a bit sandy.  That’s OK, the kids will love winter hats with bits of beach sand in the pattern.

IMG_5711

The quiet simplicity of it all was the best. Seagulls visited because David fed them bagels.

IMG_5723

Pretty shells and sea glass found their way into my beach bag to maybe become jewelry. We kept finding clouds shaped like punctuation marks or animals in the sky.

IMG_5732

As the day moved on and the sun was overhead, we took several dips to cool off and start the process of warming up all over again. With a beach bouquet and ginger molasses cookies in hand, we celebrated, and I loved every minute of it.

IMG_5733

 

 

WalkDoc June 15, 2014

Posted on

IMG_0670

photo

IMG_4772

IMG_4828

IMG_4770

IMG_4830

Zoey

Posted on
Zoey

Zoey

This past week was a tough one. We had a surrendered cat at the shelter that seemed to be uncomfortable and looked like she was in pain. A visit to one vet yielded some, but not much, comfort to both me and the cat. The kitty, Zoey, was a very pretty black cat with very sad eyes. Every day the gang at the shelter would check in to see if Zoey ate, pooped, moved around, or maybe even played a bit. A week went by and there wasn’t much improvement. She did eat and took her meds, but things just didn’t seem right.

On Thursday we decided a second opinion was in order. I carefully wrapped her like a little furry burrito in soft blankets and gently put her in the carrier. She meowed once as if to warn me to be careful because she hurt. While walking to the car, it started to snow and she looked out of the carrier and checked out the white flakes. Her pretty black coat was sprinkled with snow—and I think she liked it. She laid down and purred.

Once at the vet’s office, Zoey checked out the big dog that was leaving and looked the other way. She had bigger fish to fry. Little Zoey remained quiet and relatively peaceful. I talked softly to her and let her know we were going to see a vet who I hoped could make her feel better. Dr. Lucy entered the room and paid attention to both of us… me and Zoey. She picked up that Zoey was in pain and did not do anything to make it worse. She asked questions, collected the history and then she connected the dots.

Poor Zoey had spinal lymphoma. The diagnosis was “no prognosis”. This is the first time I’ve ever been in this situation—I didn’t expect it at all. I thought I was going to leave with a magic bullet, and Zoey would be well and happy. I can’t explain the feeling in my chest… it’s like everything dropped to the floor—or a hole got blown through me from front to back… The vet said this is a very painful condition that moves throughout the body quickly. Zoey’s pain was unrelenting, and there was nothing I could do except… well you know where this is going….

I made a few quick calls to my hubby who could miraculously understand and support me through my sobbing, and to my partners at the shelter—all best friends who are both compassionate and wise. I thought about taking her home with me for the night, but transporting her back and forth would only prolong her agony. For Zoey’s sake, it had to be sooner rather than later. David said he’d be there asap—but a half hour was too long to have her in pain. So, it was time, and Dr. Lucy helped both Zoey and me through the process of releasing Zoey from this miserable condition.

I’m always surprised when strength shows up in the midst of a shitstorm. Zoey had been given something to help her relax, and I pet her gently and talked to her and held her close. What do you say to a dying cat? Well, I sang “I love you a bushel and a peck.” Her eyes were open and she looked at me, and I cuddled her in my arms. While I was fumbling to do the next “right” thing in this situation, I told her Papa Stan who spent hours with her at the shelter said hello and wished he could be here, but he was in spirit. In the whirlwind of anxiety, sadness and fear, I thought of my Dad and told Zoey that he would be waiting for her. He loved cats—he had green eyes and freckles—and she’d recognize him. He’d play with her and be with her forever “up there.” She cuddled up closer. I let her know that my dad sings too, so she better get ready for “Five foot Two, Eyes of Blue, And oh my baby what I wouldn’t do, Has anybody seen my girl”. And yes, I sang it to her.

When it was time for the final injection, Zoey was at peace. She kept eye contact and had the most peaceful look on her face. No more sad eyes, no more tense body. She was at rest. I held to the bitter end, but it wasn’t so bitter. It was sweet and restful and right. She got more kisses and hugs and was set free. I will miss her, and she taught me more than she’ll ever know.

On the drive home, the snow seemed so other-worldly. I realized that this was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. I also realized that my Dad is still such a strong, supportive force in life. He’s always there for me… always. I can see him with Zoey in his lap amidst the clouds. She’s purring and he’s singing to her.

Walk doc January 29, 2014

Bird Snow Fort

Bird Snow Fort

 

Pink, White and Gray

Pink, White and Gray

 

Those eyes.

Those eyes.

 

Melts my heart.

Melts my heart.

Orna-momentos

Putting up the Christmas tree is always a family event with us. We wait until the girls arrive and then “do the honors.” The ornament boxes are not those containerized egg crates from the Container Store; no, instead they’re wine boxes loaded to the brim with all kinds of treasures.

In many ways, it’s a hanging scrapbook. Every trinket has a story and memories attached. We relive them one by one. Here are a few of my favorites:

Snowman- 1972

Snowman- 1972

This snowman harkens back to our first Christmas in our own apartment. It was 1972, we lived in Brighton, and bought a tiny little tree. It looked anemic so we added wooden ornaments that we hand painted and hung along with pine cones that we found by the Chestnut Hill Reservoir.

Oldie, but Goodie

Oldie, but Goodie

This Oldie, but Goodie dates back to my childhood. I think I remember entire sets of these hand blown beauties. It’s like a little jewel, and so fragile that I’m surprised it lasted all of these years.

Glass Bells

Glass Bells

We’ve gone through several sets of these glass bells. I love them because they’re pretty to look at, they move gently, reflect the light and even make a soft sound. Small children and cats are attracted to them too– that’s why we’ve gone through several sets! They’re now placed on the top half of the tree. Bella looks, but can’t touch or swat.

Domaine Chandon cork

Domaine Chandon cork

There’s always an assortment of “found objects”, like the Domaine Chandon cork from a fabulous winery we visited years ago. There used to be a dog biscuit wrapped with a bow in honor of Major, the dog across the street, but the biscuit didn’t survive the test of time.

Kate's Mummified Marshmallow Angel

Kate’s Mummified Marshmallow Angel

And then we have artistic creations from our beloved children: Kate’s mummified marshmallow/pine cone angel as well as Molly’s hand stitched, colorwork paper mitten. Gotta love them!

Molly's Mitten

Molly’s Marvelous Color Work Mitten

There are a few “store bought” ornaments, but they usually represent some family memory. David is the man flying the airplane.

Flying Daddio

Flying Daddio

And then there’s me and my hubby. I love that the bed is small and we’re cuddled close. Enough said 🙂

US

US

Lastly, it wouldn’t be our tree if there wasn’t something irreverent and unexpected–in cross stitch, no less!

Merry Everything, Happy Always!

Merry Everything, Happy Always!

Gifts

It’s not surprising that most of the gifts I give this season are hand knits, food or books. It’s how I roll. What does surprise me is how, although I really intend to give gifts that please my “giftees,” many of these goodies deliver delightful, unintended consequences to me.

My daughter Molly is passionate and compassionate about animals and how they should be treated. I have been making woolen socks for her for several years. This year she mentioned how she’d like to make sure the sheep that provided the wool for her socks and shawl were well treated. In my hunt to find yarn from happy sheep, I discovered Naushon Island, just off the coast of Woods Hole. That’s where happy sheep graze, live well, and make the most beautiful, sheepy smelling, wholesome yarn.  Naushon wool is a treat- yes, a gift—to knit. It smells sooooo good, feels so sturdy, and the natural color is a rich mocha that I loved.  To find enough of this yarn to make a shawl for Molly that is big enough to wrap up in while reading a good book, I made friends with the folks at Woods Hole Historical Society who sold me the last ten skeins of the season. This gift is the gift that keeps on giving. I got enough yarn to make myself a sweater—after the holidays.

Kate has been the recipient of many of my hand knit hats. I knit them all year round, and can seldom wait for a holiday to give them to her.  She wears them to work and in the office; they are  stacked on her desk like a sculpture. One particular hat consistently brings her good luck(a color work hat that was a challenge to make!)  She wears this hat at meetings and wears it with style.

No cookie cutter daughters in this family! Now that’s a real gift, Molly and Kate.

In the past I have made several ill fitting, weird sweaters for my poor husband.  He would wear them, but the look on his face always told me that he was being kind and that maybe this was not meant to be. But I still wanted to knit for him… Last winter, he needed a pair of mittens after we had already left the house. I had an extra pair of fingerless mitts in my coat pocket. He slipped them on and liked that they were lightweight, warm, and he could drive wearing them. He actually wanted them… But he is colorblind and didn’t realize that my purple mitts weren’t blue and weren’t very becoming on a physicist.  So I was thrilled to cast on a pair for him in black tweed and that led to a few hats, including a Fibonacci hat. Who knows where it will lead—but definitely not to a sweater.  This gift taught me to “let it go.” Amen!

Some gifts send important messages that I may or may not “get” at the time. When I was in high school, I knitted a pullover sweater for my boyfriend, until recently known as “Tom Ferguson I Hate Him”. He dumped me three weeks before the Senior Prom—boo hoo. Anyhow…I’m over that.  Here’s the unintended message in the sweater I made for him: the neck wanted to choke him (so did I) and his head was too big to fit through it (fat head…just saying). It’s too bad I didn’t hear the sweater speaking to me six months prior to the break up—it certainly tried to communicate.

And one of my most recent gifts is a knitting bag I made for a friend who has a sick kid and needs something to help with the stress. I made it out of organza, filled it with a skein of mink yarn (yes, it was humanly harvested) and a cute little pouch to keep knitting supplies. When I gave it to her at knit night, I confessed that I did purchase a box of salted dark chocolate caramels and put them in her bag… However… I ate them all. The best part of it all was that she laughed out loud about my scoffing the candy and giggled about it later. That’s exactly what I hoped to accomplish with my gift—but it wasn’t the bag, the yarn or the extras that made it happen.

So, as I’m finishing up the last of my Christmas gifting, I wonder what will happen with the other items I’m giving and, therefore, getting.  Is it better to give than to receive? Maybe both, Merry Christmas!

photo