Life isn't a straight line from beginning to end, and it seems the last couple of months have wandered all over the place. I have had to climb a few hills and pull myself out of some valleys, but I still seem to be standing above, looking out over the next part of my Path that lies ahead. At least as much as I can see. There has been laughter, and tears, and fun and pain. There has also been canning, and baking, and cake.
There should always be cake.
I have two beautiful niblets that I learn more and more have their own way of viewing things. I am not always patient and kind, but when I stop grumbling about them not doing the things that I want, I can listen to what they want. Sometimes, I see the person they will become, flashes of outlook on life and love. They won't necessarily believe I have been through a lot of what they are going through (Really, I swear I wasn't a grown up, even though I believed I acted like one since about age ten.), but I can try to help them see that what they are going through, they will leave behind. I can accept their view on what they do and don't do over my own.
Except for their rooms. They still have to clean them. I am tough that way.
Fall has brought us leaves. Leaves that make big piles to wade through and jump in and hide. Leaves that will cover my garden beds before the snow (or I guess I should say before a sticking snow, since we have already had our first), leaves that seem to dance when the wind blows.
It also brought us pumpkins. Honestly, I wasn't going to do them, but the niblets wanted them really bad. So I gave in. I was a bit concerned as I had never carved them before, but must say not only did I do a pretty good job, but it was fun.
More high was last weekend and attending the New England Webcomics Weekend with friends. We started it off Friday night with the "Pub Crawl", where everyone was on the hunt for stickers. Good thing that in Northampton, no one bats an eye to four people walking through the streets yelling, "STICKERS!"
Also, it seems that our version of a pub crawl includes food, the Catan dice game, and hot cocoa.
NEWW was a blast, and I have new art for my walls and a new appreciation for those who create these works.
I have two cats. Both have been with me forever, it seems. Longer than I have had my human children anyways. They have moved with me all over New York, to South Carolina and back, to Kansas and back. We have many miles of travel together.
My little cat, Juniper, has had a growth under her leg for several years. It would break open, drain, then come back. A couple months ago, it did the same thing. But this time, it didn't reform, and became an ugly mass. She was moving slower and looking skinnier too. So, I took her to the vet two weeks ago, fearing a surgery bill that would be more than I could handle. Instead I was told that she had some sort of tumor, that she had lost half her weight, that her kidneys had shut down and there really wasn't anything to do.
I brought her home that day. I explained to my niblets what was going on, and we cried and pet her and gave her as much love as we always had. Then last Monday I took her back to the vet for the last time.
This is the first pet I have had to put to sleep myself. It was thought about, but still hit with the Mack truck of unexpectedness that comes with news you really don't want to hear. My other cat is even older than she was (20 to her 16 years) and I wonder what I will be told the next time I bring him in. But that won't be for a while.
Last month I also hit the anniversary of the wedding I had last year. My spouse and I actually got together that day, and went for a drive to a reservoir we had walked and talked at many times before. We spoke of the present: what we were doing and where we are, we said how thankful we were to have known the love that we were given, and to say goodbye. It isn't easy to say goodbye, even when you believe you had already done it before. I guess it is something you can do over and over again.
What else do you do during the in-betweens? You get up in the morning, or sleep in. You go to work, get the children off to school, figure out meals and doctor appointments and scouts and church and free time (still trying to figure out that last one). You clean, you cook, you rake, you shop, you visit, you rest...every moment is filled by something. Because no matter what, Life just keeps moving you forward.
I have canned tomato sauce, ketchup and applesauce this year. Not complete successes where the tomatoes were concerned, but knowledge gained for the next season.
I pulled up the last of the plants in the garden. It wasn't everything I had hoped either, but I have the winter to plan, and re-plan and overplan and cut back on planning and then plan again, what next spring will give me. The flower bed was an unexpected joy, and I hope to continue adding to the beauty it brought this past summer.
I have been reading. Trying to keep up with the new books by authors and genres I enjoy, trying to discover ways to stretch my budget in cooking and making other ends meet. Also finding I don't have as much time to read as I wish, and have had to send books back to the library overdue and untouched. Sacrilege.
Same with knitting. I did finish one gift (a week late) and am working on a couple others. Also saw the sweater I made for my daughter actually fitting her for the first time since I made it three years ago.
I have been all over the map, mourning what has been, celebrating what might be. I live, I laugh, and I love. Life isn't perfect, but that isn't what I am looking for anyways. (Okay, except maybe in clean rooms. A mom can dream.)
Life is good, and that is enough.