Archive for November, 2009

keeping up

The hurrieder I go the behinder I get.

That’s what’s happening in my house today. I have been doing tons and tons of writing lately. Oh, you say you didn’t see those posts? Well, the writing I’ve been doing isn’t the fun stuff that you see on havenlife. I’m writing a brief for our upcoming case. The brief is due on November 23, but reality says it has to be sent by noon on Saturday because ….

Next week is our anniversary getaway!!!!! 25…25…..25…repeated three times–25 Years married; more than half my life; married longer than single….married! And we’re celebrating next week!

But in the meantime, I’ve got to keep up with all that has to be done this week; preparing for women’s ministry event Saturday night, preparing for a funeral service Sunday, preparing the house for my being gone and mom running things for the duration….

Hopefully, I’ll nose into the lead enough to pack some bags!

Hang in there with me as I get through this very chaotic week, settle in for a relaxing week, and then return to pick up where I lfet off!


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preparing for yesterday

I have to start someplace besides yesterday. Yesterday overshadows everything right now, so I will step back further.

We’re fortunate when we know that something big is about to happen. That allows us time to prepare for the moment. It matters not if the moment is going to be great or awful, the prelude sets the stage. Our prelude was an attempt at creating memories to carry us when the moment became overwhelming.

Several weeks ago, we decided to go tag a tree. Normally early in December, we cut down our Christmas tree, decorate it accompanied by the requisite Christmas music, and savor the experience over a chili supper. But this year isn’t normal, or maybe it’s a new normal. We certainly couldn’t bring a live tree home in October, but we could preserve some of the tradition.

So on that chilly Friday, we bundled up our family plus one, grabbed our doggies and headed out to the farm. At this time of year, the farm is a pumpkin patch offering assorted decorations for fall. The mammoth barn contains a snack area, a huge apple crate full of Jonagold apples for sale individually or by the bushel, and a tricycle track. Numerous bikes, wagons, and big wheels sit in anticipation of the weekend rush of pumpkin pickers to descend on the farm. There is also an amazing “sand” pit where playful children can shovel, bulldoze, and pile dried corn–autumn’s sand.

Our outing skipped right over Halloween and Thanksgiving to Christmas. We got a map, found the Frasier furs and headed out, armed with our red name tags and a long piece of neon orange marking tape. Spirits high, knee-deep wet grass, we plunged into the field in search of “the tree.” While the experience lacked in the mood of Christmas, the autumn scenery was beautiful. It wasn’t long before our doggies made it known that this excursion was not their idea of fun. They were soon scooped up and zipped into Bud’s and Alethia’s coats, where their shivering subsided.

Dampness began to settle in as I listened to the shouts of “What about this one?” and “That looks like Bullwinkle!” No one really seemed willing to choose a tree and end the experience. I would choose a tree and invariably it would be declared a dud. Traipsing along, I noticed that my jeans were wet almost to my knees and Karissa was starting to shiver. It was obvious that we needed to make a decision.

I pointed to a tree asking “What about this one?” One by one the kids walked around the tree deliberating as they went. “Not too fat, not too short, not too tall, straight trunk, nice top for the angel to rest on, plenty of greenery at the bottom….yeah.” And upon Titus’ declaration, we found our tree. We broke the orange ribbon into pieces and tied them onto the tree and added the name tags. Success!

Back at home, each one enjoying hot pizza and anticipating the fresh baked brownies, we were all content. Our tradition was preserved in a new way and our need to fortify ourselves for the coming moment was fulfilled.

Titus’ departure could have been overwhelming, but the memory of this pleasant prelude now outshines the dreariness that was yesterday.

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This entry, preparing for yesterday, by Linda A. Baker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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trainee reporting

I know that you’re waiting for a posting from this significant day –when this moment is less raw, I will share it.


Ok, so here we all all these many months later.  That day seemed bigger than life that day.

In many ways it was a “regular” morning.  The girls prepared for school.   Bud began breakfast.  But it seemed Titus wasn’t aware that we needed some morning time with him.  The girls need the normalcy of having their brother with them one for one more breakfast.

So, we roused brother.  I think he knew that he was about to enter the sleep deprivation tunnel and he was trying to stock up.  Since it doesn’t actually work that way, we only felt a little bit bad about dragging him to the table.

But once he got there he was fine.  Bud had perpetuated “the tradition”.  There were apple turnovers for breakfast!  And according to tradition, each on was written with a name or nick name or other little phrase.

We enjoyed this time together greatly!  The girls have good memories of the morning, even though we all felt the weight of the impending separation.

Later, as we left, we went through Alfred and picked up Erinnae.  This day was weighing heavily upon her.  Even though she was not home consistently to see Titus, having settled into a college routine, they were still incredibly close.  Being 13 months apart, they’ve only ever known life with each other.

So she wanted to go to the recruiter’s office too.  Well, she didn’t want any of us to go; but if it had to happen, she wanted to be there.

We arrived, unloaded his stuff.  And being the “dude” that he was, he didn’t really seem to want us to wait around with him.  There were other guys there, waiting outside for the bus, so we went into the lobby.  We hugged, my tears started, Titus had that watery-eyed look himself, Erinnae was having a hard time holding it together.  We finally were able to leave.  As I looked back in the mirror, I saw Titus come out of the building to wait for the bus with the other guys.  I saw a simple gesture — thumb to the eye, wipe, down to the pant leg, wipe… and I cried.

Then I had to leave Erinnae off at class.  That was almost as hard.  I knew her heart was breaking; the first ties of childhood tearing away.  There’s not much a mother can do to mend that.  So as we parted I cried with her some more.

And I returned home…knowing that things had changed permanently.  Walking into the door, I knew that Titus would never “live here” again.  Thankfully, there would be visits and vacations.  But yes, truly he had made that step out into independence and adulthood.


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