Monthly Archives: April 2016

Friday Club

Up to Paul Bunyon territory with my GOM Girls.

Up to Paul Bunyon territory with my GOM Girls.

When I was in Junior High my Mother went back to working full-time.  She arranged her schedule (and also the schedule of the doctor she worked for) to allow her to commute with my Dad and his odd hours.  She also recognized she needed some time in the week for herself, and so she had Fridays off.

One of the things my Mom chose to do with those Fridays was get together with other Moms interested in the school district.  Mom was very involved, not just with PTA but with the school board, policy making, busing.  Politics in my house included campaigning for school board candidates.  This was how Friday Club was born.

Not much blooming this time of year, but these were sweet.

Not much blooming this time of year, but these were sweet.

This group of women would get together for lunch (while the kids were in school) and theoretically hang out until we right before we got home.  They were going to solve the problems of the day over coffee.  “Ban the Can”, “Computers in the Schools”, “Arts Funding vs Sports Funding” and eventually even school closings were all on the table at one point or another.

The longer Friday Club lasted the more likely it was that they were still sitting around the table sipping coffee when I walked in the door a little after 3pm.   I loved these women (we all did).  They were all Moms.  Some of them worked at least part-time.  They all had kids in the school district.  They were a range of ages and backgrounds.

I didn't set this up, honest!

I didn’t set this up, honest!

They were solid friends.  They talked about the problems they were having with their kids, their husbands, aging, working.  They had high tea for Princess Di’s wedding and mourned Pope John Paul (the first one).  They were there for each other when they turned 40, when they faced cancer, when they got divorced.

Because I was both quiet and well spoken I could be “unobtrusive” enough to listen in on the ends of those conversations.  I’d putter in the kitchen, or grab a book and sit in the corner.  Every once in a while the topic was something where my opinion was solicited.  What an honor to have these women listening to what I thought!

For me the North Woods also includes water

For me the North Woods also includes water

Over time the group disappeared.  People moved, got jobs, their kids grew up.  Many of those friendships persisted.  One of those women has been my Mom’s best long distance friend forever.  She died this year.  She was in the state last summer, but got sick enough that they couldn’t manage to connect.  Mom knew she’d never see her friend again.

We did not pick mushrooms for dinner.

We did not pick mushrooms for dinner.

I’ve mentioned my women’s group once or twice in this blog (Here’s one).  This weekend I had the opportunity to take some of them up to the “North Woods” and then stop in for dinner with my parents.  Did I have sense enough to take a photo of my Mom with my GOM Girls?  No.  But it was a brilliant day.

We all had fun.  It was a good road trip, perfect weather.  We went to Deep Portage Nature Center and had the place pretty much to ourselves.  Mom and Dad went all out for dinner.  We had a fancy pasta with brie and cherry tomatoes.  Salad with two kinds of homemade dressing.  Dad made his bread and also made popovers.  There was a clamor for leftovers to take home and sent bars as a treat in the car.

My Mom was exhausted (not a surprise) but also really thrilled.  She said, “It’s Friday Club!  They’re all so different, but it’s clear they all are supportive.”  She got to sit in on the edges of the conversation, and was honored when her opinion was asked for.  She got to host the ladies, and she got a little help with clean up as well.

It’s a memory I’ll cherish.  It was a fun day for me.  For her it was priceless.  For me to be able to bring this gift full circle was truly an honor and a privilege.

 

Colors

Hyacinth

Hyacinth

We’re getting the spring greening early, but now I’m starting to see the colors coming as well.   It’s been so lovely Orion and I took a walk to get his haircut.  (We usually drive.)  Quite the adventure.

magnolia

magnolia

I had the opportunity to notice the flowers are starting to bloom.  My hyacinths popped as promised.  (So has the little bleeding heart.)  The magnolia at the end of the neighborhood is blooming.  (I know that seems late for those of you who live in places where magnolias are native.  But they are a light-sensitive bloomer and we finally have enough!)

The utility companies are planting in living color!

The utility companies are planting in living color!

Unfortunately those aren’t the only colors that have started popping up!   It looks like there will be a lot of sewer repair.  I’ve run into cones on the highways as well.  The second season (road construction) is also getting an early start this year.

I took Orion and his new haircut to the hardware store to look at paint.  Another way to procrastinate is to get ahead of yourself.  I don’t have a contractor yet.  I don’t have the loan I need from the bank.  But I’m looking at colors and cabinets.  It’s just more fun!

Orion with his summer haircut and "possibilities".

Orion with his summer haircut and “possibilities”.

Procrastination

12969427_1087938171226430_1176227532_nThere’s a blog that’s been spinning around in my head for the past week.  It just won’t seem to come out.  I’ve had time to work at it, and have found plenty of other things to do instead.   I have tried to make it coalesce in my head, and have found myself dozing in my chair.

Now it’s Monday and I’ve got, nothing.  The problem with procrastination is that it adds stress to what’s usually already a stressful situation.  It anticipates things will get easier, but there is no basis in empiric evidence.

I’ve been putting off getting Orion a haircut.  I keep thinking it will be nice enough to walk.  Then it snows.  This week there are temps predicted in the 70’s.  (There are also temps predicted in the 30’s).  If I wait, will that happen on the day when I have time?  Will I feel up to it physically?  Will I have overbooked myself?

I’m trying to get through my list of things “to do” without putting things off so long.  Inevitably something slips through.  I don’t get enough sleep and something falls off the list.  I get stuck in traffic and time runs short.  I am faced with something that HAS to be done RIGHT NOW and so the thing that’s been put off gets put off again.

What happens the most often is that I just plain forget.  I get so used to putting something off that it not only drops off the list, it drops off my radar.  This week that was Orion’s weekend program.  Orion at Samba

He loves going on Weekend Ventures.  They’ve changed their notification system for registering.  I no longer have a piece of paper lying around that I have to keep moving (and therefore am continually reminded).  I get an email and in less than a day it’s no longer on my screen.  Out of sight, out of mind.  I didn’t do it IMMEDIATELY and now I hope I’m not too late!

Hi’s and Low’s

Hyacinth ripe and waiting for another sunny day

Hyacinth ripe and waiting for another sunny day

It’s spring in Minnesota.  We’ve had unseasonable warmth and a very early spring this year.  But the weather is still unstable.  Yesterday there were highs approaching 70.  Today we can expect it to stay in the 30’s.   The weatherman is talking about snow.

Snow isn’t unusual in April.  It just seems unexpected after a warm week like last week.  I’ve started taking some planting risks with cold friendly seeds.  I’ve put in some peas.  I’ve set in some radish.  I’ve even sprinkled a little spinach about.

Onion's wintered over are coming up like gangbusters!

Onion’s wintered over are coming up like gangbusters!

I found some onion sets that wintered in my garage.  I’m tucking them in as I dig up preparing beds.   It would ordinarily be too early.  But when I look at my volunteers I have to think I’m being reasonable.

It’s cold today, and promises to be all week.  I’m hoping to get out in the yard again but my priorities are still in the house preparing for contractors.  I’m not sure how much I can or should plant, not just because of the weather.  I don’t know how much damage this construction project will do to my yard.

I swear the bleeding heart wasn't showing yesterday.

I swear the bleeding heart wasn’t showing yesterday.

Things are popping up all over.   As I sit bundled up waiting for the snow to fall I’ll take that as a hopeful sign.  It may be slow going, but the seasons do turn.  Likewise with this remodeling project, right now I’m waiting for contractors to write up proposals with actual numbers.  I can’t hurry it along, but I trust it’s still moving forward.

The strawberry bed still needs some serious work

The strawberry bed still needs some serious work

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