Saturday, March 19, 2011

Personal Ramblings on a Saturday morning....

I am sitting in Starbucks writing this post trying to make good on a promise that I made to myself over two weeks ago.  In short, I know that I need to exercise and walking is my preferred form.  I know that I want to write more, but I find that I am too distracted at home.  So, I want to try to combine the two into one (hopefully) manageable routine.  There is a Starbucks exactly 1.1 miles from my home.  My plan is to walk there - have a cup of coffee and do some writing or brainstorming or journaling - and then walk the 1.1 miles home.  In addition, I thought during this Lenten season I would use this time to listen to praise and worship music, rather than my usual Coldplay.  My drive for efficiency is in high gear - can you tell?!

On Wednesday the temperature was in the high 60s and I thought it would be a good day to start this new routine.  I set out on my first walk - but the traffic was bad and waiting for the crosswalk seemed to take forever, so I went a different route.  On Thursday the temperature had risen to nearly 80 degrees; I felt adventurous and went a totally different direction.  Yesterday was too busy to take a walk (or at least that is what I told myself).  Today is the first day that I actually took the walk with the expressed destination.  the temperature was far from ideal, however:  40 degrees with a wind of at least 20 mile per hour.  I was fighting it the whole way.  But I was determined.

So here I am, sitting with my skinny cinnamon dolce latte, writing a blog post about my spring break - such as it was.  I will warn you in advance - this is nothing but a bunch of rambling thoughts and probably not of much interest to anyone.

On Monday I went to a quilt store with a friend.  Since I had done so well with my Bitty Baby quilt, I thought I might like to try something bigger.  And I did.  I am now in the midst of trying to quilt a 50x50 throw for the baby to lay on.  I have cut out all the fabric (a little scary - and time consuming) and have actually pieced 4 of the 25 blocks.  I am rolling along - ha!  I am doing the piecing by hand - mostly because I am afraid of the sewing machine, but also because hand piecing is portable and I can take it with me anywhere.  I do plan to put the entire quilt together on my mother's machine, but that is probably a few months (years....) away.

And speaking of Mom....while in the quilt shop I received a phone call from the hospice nurse.  She relayed Mom's vital signs and said a number of other disconcerting things.  Finally I asked her if "eminent" would be an appropriate word.  She said that it would be a very good word to use.  Ok - so my plan goes into motion. I email all pertinent parties, and I go to visit Mom for what I think might be the last time.

On Tuesday I visited her again for what I thought would be the last time.  On Wednesday the hospice nurse said that she must be holding on for some reason - for some unfinished business.  Could I ask everyone to call Mom and say their final good-bye.  So on Wednesday night another email is sent.

On Wednesday night I wrote Mom a 3 page letter because....well....I tend to say things better in writing than I do in person.  On Thursday I read Mom the letter.  By Thursday afternoon all pertinent parties had called and spoken with her one last time.

On Friday I visited Mom and the hospice nurse came to check her out. She told me that any breath could be her last.  I stayed and read Mom scripture after scripture.  Finally I said good-bye - thinking that it was for the last time.  I waited on pins and needles all night for the phone to ring.

And now I sit here in Starbucks preparing to go see Mom again "for the last time" - but fully expecting to see her tomorrow as well.  I am mentally and physically exhausted and I must be prepared to teach the hardest two months of the year starting Monday.  Spring break was anything but rejuvenating.  My new mantra has now become:  May 23 --- May 23 --- May 23.  By that date I will lose a mother - become a grandmother - have my youngest graduate high school - and then I can collapse!

On another note....I had my first art class this week!  I have been attracted to mixed media art for quite sometime and a friend of mine has offered to help me learn how to express myself in a new way.  We met for about two hours on Monday night - talking a lot and instructing a little.  She has an idea for me to try to do a series of four paintings:  Molly the daughter - Molly the mother - Molly the grandmother - and Molly the person. My "portfolio" will be a 12x12 scrapbook - which I will fill with 12x12 trimmed Artist paper.  This will allow me to create a fairly large project that can be shown to others, or kept private (somehow canvas paintings on a wall are far too public for me).  I have already found the pad of paper - I plan to use a Michael's coupon this week to find the scrapbook - and I have started collecting memorabilia, photographs, and iconography to use for each of the paintings.  I probably can't start the actual projects until after the magic May 23 date -- but I can collect, brainstorm, and reflect a lot between now and then.

I hope that in this season of spring breaks you are all experiencing warmer weather, budding flowers, and renewal of spirits.


  1. I am so proud of your quilting, Molly! Especially hand piecing (which I would never have the patience to do!!!). That is going to be a gorgeous quilt :)

    So sorry to hear about the stuff with your mom - so hard, and emotionally draining. Sending good thoughts your way.

  2. All this waiting has been interesting, hasn't it? If nothing else, it has pointed out to me just how much I love a plan, to look at my calendar and think I know where I'll be on a specific date (like California this weekend where I am not). But life (and death) has its own plan, I guess:) Hang in there!

    "Molly the daughter - Molly the mother - Molly the grandmother - and Molly the person" - this gave me chills! I hope you'll be willing to share some of your experience and (fingers crossed) the results with us:) What a beautiful exploration! And I LOVE your quilt squares - you're good!

  3. Gosh. It never rains but it pours, I guess. You are certainly going through more than your share right now.

    I think a daily walk to Starbucks if an excellent idea. Not just for times like this, but for all time. Get your exercise, take a break, have some time to yourself to chill out or to deal with everything you have to deal with.

    I think I also have a Starbucks just about a mile away.

  4. Your world seems full of extreme highs and lows at the moment and I just hope you get some more time for you. Big hugsx

  5. I love the idea of the destination walks, with the "coffee break, journaling time" in between.

    I should really do that. Walking is something I've been planning to get back into, too, since going to the gym never seems to happen anymore! LOL

    Lately, the weather has been rainy, so I haven't walked yet. But my destination would be the Barnes & Noble, which has a Starbucks in it.

    We'll see how that goes....

    Hope everything works out with your mom.

  6. Beautiful quilting Molly! And a wonderful plan--I may mimic it.

    I think of you; teacher, writer, mother, daughter, soon-to-be-grandmother (!!) and it is hard not to cry. Perhaps the birth of her great-grandchild is the reason your mother is hanging pass the baton, in a way.
    Sending you good thoughts & hopes.
    Hang in, and hang on!

  7. It must be such a difficult time for you right now, Molly. It's good to have a project to focus on, and your new mixed media piece sounds so exciting!

  8. I'm so glad to hear that you're making time for yourself--even if it does involve exercising. I can't begin to imagine how difficult this week has been for you. My thoughts are prayers are with you and your family.

  9. Wow. Your weather is really erratic. And have you considered audiobooks for your walking? I find that really motivates me to go when I don't really want to.

    And your mom is really hanging in there. I hope she finds some peace soon.

  10. We can't walk anywhere where we live because the road to all the businesses is narrow and doesn't have any shoulders.

    I hope you and your mom find peace soon. My dad hung on like that for eight days even though we all said good bye and told him we'd take care of our mom. It was so painful to watch, so I know what you're going through. I'll keep you in my prayers.

  11. Molly, know that I'm thinking of you this week and in the weeks to come. You have a lot going on and I do understand when time is short for a loved one. You and I have spoken of these things before. Hugs to you - you are strong and capable. My friend, you'll get through all this. Prayers going up for you and your family. :-)

  12. You show you mom such honor, Molly, in your care for her. You and your family are in my prayers as I write. I applaud you all your projects and your stamina and determination. I wish you peace and strength.

  13. Such efficiency! Walking to Starbucks and writing... I'm impressed. Continued prayers as you go through this difficult time with your mother.

  14. I love your determination and the combination of coffee, walking, and writing. I wish my Starbucks was a bit closer to me instead of the 11 miles!!

    Your quilt blocks look great and hand sewing it tough. My MIL makes it look wonderful and easy!

    I'm praying for your Mom and hope that someone that has already passed in your family will come to lead her home. That is what happened to my Grandpa. He told everyone that my Grandma was right there waiting for him...and then he was gone.

    I hope that May 23rd comes quickly and know that things will fall into place for you Molly.

  15. Molly you continue to inspire as you find ways to be productive and creative in the midst of everything you have going on. My prayers continue to be with you and your family.

  16. Molly, may God bless you in this time of endings and beginnings - what a beautiful way to pass through Lent! And I thought my idea of playing Gregorian chant while I learned to meditate was fairly innovative....good luck with that writing and walking thing. I try it sometimes, but I'm so beat by the time I walk the mile and a half to Caribou Coffee, I just want the mocha cooler and forget the writing!

  17. I'm sorry to hear that things have been so stressful while dealing with your mother's illness. You always have so much going on and I'm continually amazed at how you are so productive. The series of paintings sounds wonderful.

  18. Such efficiency! Walk to Starbucks and write ..I'm impressed. continue to pray that you get through this difficult time with her mother. ..


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