Thursday, April 10, 2008


Here are James's pictures of the wildflowers along our route. You can't see them bloomwise, but you'll have to trust me that they were beautiful. Ronni, if you are near Houston, there are literally thousands of them along 465 once you get out of the city.

Today was James's parent/teacher conference. This year, I have gone to each of them with a sense of dread. I was never this way. I always walked in confident that all was well, that he was keeping up with class, that he was a good kid. Well, he still is and I am just a worrywart I guess. Waiting for things to get worse. I was greeted with many anecdotes about how getting detail out of him in writing exercises is like pulling teeth, how he has a great dry sense of humor, how he is friendly and the teacher loves having him in class because he is "teachable". James, I confess, kicks up such a fuss about going to school (he always has) that I worry, in his grief, he will give up. But he hasn't I am beginning to think that he plays the "I don't wanna go mama..." game to make me feel bad because he always comes home with so many stories of the fun he has had. I am grateful, this year, that he has a male teacher. He has taken extra time with James. Talking about his interests and telling him stories. He, too, has a sense of humor that ranges somewere between the Sahara and a sidewalk in LA around August, but James gets him so all is good. As reward for his hard work we went to the book fair. He picked out three books... One on airplanes (of course), one on WWII (of course) and The Guiness Book of World Records (which I loved as a kid too). He wanted a book of Playstation Cheats, but I vetoed it because my one "thing" is the book must be of educational type. I will even allow Captain Underpants, but $7 to learn how to circumvent a video game? Nope.

Nicole has 1 month and 4 days left of school and I cannot believe it. I don't think she can either. I still haven't ordered her senior pictures. I just now thought of it as I was typing this. Also, I am in trouble because James has a field trip (overnighter to Mackinac) the night of her senior prom. I cannot be in two places at once so, as I've already been told, I'll be letting down one of the kids whichever one I don't attend. I wouldn't let James go without me or another family member so I'm doubling hating the single parenting thing tonight.

Tonight was also Sandcastles. Sometimes I can just "stare into space" myself through. Other times the reason I am there, and the not wanting to have the reason to be there hit so hard I can barely breathe. Tonight, another woman was talking about her troubles with her in-laws so it was easy to just stare.

I have a new hobby...rubber band ball creating. It's not much, but it's something and great stress relief. It was actually something James started up and grew bored with after a bag of bands. I continued on up to an 8 pound ball (I know, because I measured)accompanied by a lot of laughter from my children. Yes, I am lame. No, I don't have a life anymore.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Random photographs...and Musings

I'm not in a very wordy mood tonight (but that could change once this gets going) and yet I find so much comfort here that I figured I could take a few moments and share a few pictures of our recent trip with you all...or, given the destination, should I say ya'll??

Goggle Boy and/or the Creature of His Cousin's Pool emerges from the depths during a late night swim:

Aunt M and Cousin in law S out for a late night dinner. Are you catching the pattern here? Too much to do, not enough time. They both had sangria, and I was jealous. I took a sip of S's and then Aunt M's (I suddenly feel like Dorothy) just to make it even. They are nectar, I tell you.

Tab Hunter (aka James) strikes a pose. When he was 3, and lounging on the steps of another pool, my girlfriend nicknamed him Tab. Perhaps a future in goofy beach/pool party movies for him? Arrrrghhh.

The kids, happily together, at the WWII plane expo that Uncle R. took them to. They were giving rides in the B-24 for $360. What a bargain for the total enjoyment of watching one's child fly in a 60-70-ish year old plane. I passed on that one. FlyBoy was not too happy. While they were doing this we were checking out the model homes that appear to have taken over the NW Houston landscape. They are gorgeous homes at 1/2 to 1/3 the price of what they would be here. Blew. My. Mind.

And, because all good things must come to an end, the beginning of the ride home. I was grateful at this point to have Aunt M. in the car. She kept James occupied by providing his new puppet with a voice and an alter ego. It was so good to here him giggle again. The ride home was a bit unsettling because the monotony of it all tends to make one think to much about things one would be better off not thinking. And then, on the second day, was the dream. But, all in all, it was good to get away to a place where no memories wait to torture. The only time it gets me (and it did get me one morning) was times when I was talking to R. Leonard adored his cousin R. and they were more like brothers than his real brother. To see us all around the table without the one who should be there made me misty quite a few times.

And since we were talking about sangria above...OMG, I finally found a beer (I can only take occasional sips these days) that is enjoyable (and this coming from the daughter of a man who made his "fortune" in the beer industry. It's a beer with clamato and lime in it. I think it's called "Chelada"... Sounds gross but tasted good...for a beer.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Texas Wildflowers

How amazing are those highways in Texas? How could all you Texan bloggers keep the wildflowers a secret? Or maybe you haven't and I just miss your posts... Blue bonnets waving goodbye to us, mixed among daisies and those giant,thorny clover looking flowers, and paintbrushes... I just wanted to stop the car and sit and gaze at them. We had a schedule to keep though, and all I could do was catch as many of them with my eyes as James took several blurry, whizzy pictures out the window. I was going to share them, but blogger is not letting me post pictures.

I am thinking, today (and I say today because tomorrow it will be completely different I am sure) of new countertops and bay windows (in case of a sale) and tattoos, and how much anti-depressants don't help (Cymbalta=wicked bad dreams and Lexapro leaves a horrid taste in my mouth), and the things I "meant to" do today. All the while a report sits here, half finished on my desk. AND, I typed loosing, instead of losing on Tessie's blog today...and am mortified. Why won't Blogger let us idiots edit our posts??? So there it is.

Good night all... Maybe pictures tomorrow. Sleep well.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I Dreamt of You...

And I've been trying so hard not to. I don't want those precious moments with you...the ones that will drift away, revealing the nightmare when I awaken. But, on Saturday, you were there-in my dream. God how that hurt to wake from.

It was so real, Leonard. It was Friday, 4:18 (I know, I looked at the clock) and you walked in the door. I was stunned and then thrilled and then full of questions. How did you get home? (I had sold your truck) You got a ride from a friend. Only I don't remember hugging you or getting the kisses that I've read that so many widows receive in their dreams. You were worried. What would we do about the life insurance? The SSI...all those things that really wouldn't matter if I could only have you back. Somehow, in the space of you and my dream, I got two jobs at two salons (I haven't used my license for pay in years) and was so very happy to have you back. I got confirmation that yes...yes it was all just a horrible, very long nightmare... Only it was when I woke up that I realized the nightmare was real, and the dream contributed to the pain. We (Aunt Marie, James and I) were at the hotel. I took a walk outside and leaned against a rail, trying to picture you standing across from me; where would I be looking up to-what space- if I was gazing into your beautiful eyes. I said the things I would say (just normal things) if you were really here. But you aren't, and you won't ever be. Why can't I feel you anymore? You weren't really even you in that dream...

And then I turned and saw an SUV. On the back of the truck was a sticker... the kind that usually say "Polaris" or "Dodge Boy" or something and it said, in 8 inch letters, LEONARD. I wonder what that meant.

The only thing I'm sure of is that I miss you so much. I long for you. I need you. I love you...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Back Home (?)

We made it back to Michigan at about 6 PM tonight. I really missed being able to blog daily (connections were too spotty to be able to complete an entry) and it feels good to be back.

James had a wonderful time with his cousins and also meeting cousins he had never met before in San Antonio. My Uncle N. is a Lt.Col (ret.) in the USAF so he got to see all three San Antonio bases up close and personal. We visited Brooks, Lackland and Randolph... James was most excited about Lackland, due to it being a maintenance base and the fact that there were 12 C-5 Galaxies on the ground and one in the air. My uncle was very impressed with how much plane knowledge one little 9 year old boy could hold. He also drove us by two of the missions and we had dinner on the Riverwalk. I was able to see my cousin P. all three days, and she is really so very strong. One would be astounded to know that she has daily radiation treatments and just finished chemo. It was also a very sad time. I had to relive those days, and all the days after, for those who were not able to come up last August and-as it always does- it tossed me right back into those feelings again. Not that they ever leave, I just sometimes get really good at pretending I am someone that I am not.

It was so nice to have Leonard's Aunt M. along for the ride down. She is very entertaining and kept James in giggles for most of the ride there and back. We found out she is hilarious in making up voices and actions for the new puppet that I bought James in Old Town Spring. She touched on issues concerning my mother-in-law and all I could say was that it wasn't a major part of my life anymore (the incesant troubles seem so trivial in the wake of it all). She also asked me to recount what happened. Freshening the hurt, but sometimes (especially lately) I need to talk about it. I feel him slipping away from the memories of people. I can't stop it but I can't handle it either.

We looked at a ton of model houses while there. Aunt M. is a real estate agent and I am an appraiser so it is interesting to see what new houses go for, what they have and don't have as opposed to ours. What they are, in Texas, are amazing for the money... Which brought about another round of "you should move here's" from family. Only, right now, I am lost... I feel as if my place anywhere is gone. The missing has become intense again and it feels, each time, as if it takes a little bit more out of me. Me, scrambling to find something to hold on to. This evening, at home, has been one of tears and hastily wiped eyes, gulped front of a little boy who so wants me to just be "normal" again... Only what, and where is that? So, here I am...back here...what used to be (but doesn't feel like) home anymore.

James and Uncle N.-happily looking over James's military airplane book. Uncle N. was delighted with his fascination with James's fascination with his military career... and a new bond is formed---