Thursday, August 20, 2015

Changing of the Season

Whoa! I feel cold in the bakery this morning! I guess it isn't really cold, but 60's feel different than 80's. Reminds me that fall is my favorite season and surely she making ready for her journey to Alpine.

Maggie drove away yesterday after tearful hugs and prayers of blessing. My tears! We will see her again for a few hours on Friday, getting her installed in the dorm. We will get Patrick situated and then come back home to a house that is steadily emptying out.

I was a little testy with Patrick at one point yesterday afternoon, then realized I was sad, and needed to cry. So I did. And ran errands on my bike and sought comfort in a chili relleno burrito made by the nice lady at El Patio. Yes, it was comforting! I told myself that feelings of grief are not shameful, but rather lovely and natural considering the sweet relationship I have with my kids.

Patrick and I sat outside for our dinner last night and talked about important things. We watched the chickens scratch for bugs and eat grass. Little girls, not so little any more, were all out clothes shopping in El Paso, using hard earned funds, seeking their bargains. Thomas was at his apt, probably enjoying tv or the computer. The house does not feel sad at all knowing that former inhabitants are now off and about, growing up. It must be used to that pattern, as the Turners, who built the place had their own blended family with five kids who all went their different directions, too. The house knows that kids come back for holidays and family celebrations, and as the years pass bring partners and babies and new stories to share.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

It is August. Past mid-August, and time to say farewell to Maggie and Patrick. We head to Austin as soon as the bakery closes Thursday evening. Actually, we drive to Mom and Daddy's, camp out all over their house, eat a great big, Daddy breakfast, then go to install the two. One in his second year on the campus of University of Texas. The other a few miles south, St. Edwards University.

I am so proud of these kids. They worked so hard, each getting tons of academic awards and grants making it possible for them to get accepted to wonderful universities. Their running discipline has taught them endurance that pays off in many areas. Their work helping on the farm, volunteering here around Alpine, all the meaningful relationships, have been excellent means to prepare them for this next step in their journey.

To tell you the truth, my worries about how they will adapt are next to nothing.

That said, sending off these children who are growing into adult friends makes my heart tender. Ouch. Right about the time we grow able to converse about meaningful things, we are able to understand and appreciate each others differences, off they go. And I lose friends, not to mention amazing help!

I remember the last scene in Nanny McPhee, one of our favorite kids movies. Saying farewell is a tender thing indeed.

How will we manage, our new family dynamic? Rose and Nora and myself, with Thomas coming over several times a week for dinner and dishwasher duty in the bakery? I think we will manage just fine, and probably the girls and I will move into a lovely new way, more time to enjoy one another, less laundry, fewer shoes scattered around the house.

Holidays will become more and more precious as college kids come home and share stories and new philosophies and grand ideas and failures. And we will sit around the table and talk and talk and revel in the truth that family, even when scattered, is still family. We know each others stories, regrets and rewards and love each other deeply.

And just think! Someday it will be just me, and think of how much more time I will have for writing! (I realized a few months ago that my margin had been eaten up, my hours were filled up to beyond normal human capacity. The things that give me joy, like solitary hikes, gardening, writing, were having to be shoved to the side because I was overinvolved. All good stuff. Church leadership, work, friends, kids. I have taken up extra jobs. The bakery continues. I am so thankful that I have options and control over my life. I let go the leadership positions, some of the social stuff, sold the car, ride to shop and odd jobs on my bike, have taken up meditation, and am getting more rest. I am feeling better than I have in a very long time. Somehow that makes me think that writing will happen more naturally because it is definitely a sign of mental health and balance for me. I love the discipline that my monthly food column offers. It is fun developing seasonal recipes and rooting for the local food movement. But there is something about this blog community that keeps me grounded. You guys who read so loyally are amazing. The encouragement you give me is priceless. Thank you!!! More on the journey soon... )


Gardens in May are bright and tender and full of promise. June and July, the picture of vibrant fertility. August rolls around a bit tired, somewhat bedraggled, just about played out around the edges as the heat and the squash bugs take their toll.


The tomatoes and peppers just keep on coming. Ratty green bean vines and squash vines get pulled and manure and straw are spread. Once again a beautiful canvas, ready for garden artists to exercise faith again, trusting that cooler weather awaits and with that swiss chard, spinach, ruffly green and pink lettuces, giant kale and turnips and carrots.