Yoga Class!

I have an opportunity to substitute teach for the lovely Jen Grant on January 28, 2017.

I will be at the Trail2Wellness Spa in East Burke from 9-10 am, offering a gentle yoga class.

Cost is $15.00. Please join me!

The Blessings of our Children

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my youngest son as he prepares to celebrate his 32nd birthday. At a recent gathering I chatted with a young father about his toddler and what he has in store over the next few years. This young man spoke tenderly of his excitement at the creativity and inquisitiveness that he knew his young son was about to embark upon, and his musings took me by the hand and down a path of reflections of my Asa as a young child.

Over his 32 years he has given me an abundance of precious moments, but as a toddler he had me laughing with not only humor but amazement, and crying with joy and wonder. In my walk down that reflective path I recalled the period of time when I was in graduate school and writing papers often. We had an electric typewriter, which three-year-old Asa was infatuated with. In between my paper writing, Asa would want to do his own writing, so I would make a big show of putting a blank paper into the typewriter and let him ‘write’. He would tap tap tap on the keys for several minutes, and then whip the page out enthusiastically while shouting “Read it to me, read it to me!” So, I would look carefully at his page of typographical gibberish and make up a story, pretending to read it as if they were words he had actually typed on the page. He sat spellbound, listening to what he believed he had created himself. Pleased with himself, he would want to write again, and again, and again. Each time, over several days, he fell for my innocent deceptions. And then one day. . .the tables turned. Again, he sat tap tap tapping on the keys, creating a new masterpiece. On this day he excitedly pulled the page from the typewriter asking me to “Read it, read it!” Again, I began to ‘read’ his story as I made up my own silly bit of fiction to entertain him. This time, however, he chubby little face looked so disappointed. I couldn’t imagine why this story, not much varied from so many others I’d made up recently should not please him. When I asked him what was the matter he blubbered, “That’s not what I wrote!” Oh, no, I thought. Now what will I do? “Oh my goodness, I guess Mommy forgot how to read, so you will have to read it to me,” I squealed. “I can’t wait to hear your story.” He hesitated, not sure he could trust me, while I held my breath, hoping he’d fall for this new deception. After a few seconds he took the paper, smiled confidently and began to read his story.

On occasion, Asa the toddler would have a spell of naughtiness – or perhaps I would have a spell of impatience – and I would send him to his room. He would get as far as the stairs and begin to dawdle, watching my every move. I would catch his eye and say, “You had better get going,” in that threatening way that only mothers can do. He would move up a step or two, every so slowly, still watching my every move. “I’m going to count to 3 and you had better be up in your room by the time I get to three,” I would threaten. Then he would take another excruciatingly slow step upward or just turn away as if he couldn’t hear me. That’s when I would begin the count. . .one. . .two. . .
And honestly, it was so comical to watch him that by now I couldn’t really even remember why I’d felt the need for him to go to his room, but a parent couldn’t back down could she? I couldn’t let him think I didn’t mean it, could I? “. . .and a quarter,” I would say, adding in “I’m almost there, you better get moving mister.” Trying to sound stern, like I meant it though at this point I really only wanted to avoid laughing out loud and blowing my whole stern mother act. “Two and a half. . .” And though I’m sure he knew nothing of fractions at his tender age, whenever I’d get to two and three quarters he would race up the stairs into his room.

Between the ages of four and five years Asa had a vivid imagination which included many imaginary friends. On one occasion when we were stopping at McDonalds I prepared to close the truck door behind me when he said, “Wait, wait, my friends aren’t all out yet!” At this point I was use to his references to ‘friends’ that I knew only existed in his mind, so I apologized and waited patiently as he ‘watched’ his friends get out of the truck and chatted with each one amicably. It seemed to be taking quite a bit of time, so finally I asked, “How many friends did you bring with us today?” His matter-of-fact reply was, “26.” Wow, I thought, beginning to wonder how it might go if he insisted on getting Happy Meals for all 26. He must has sensed my concern because he quickly added, “Don’t worry Mom, they already ate.”

These are only a few of the moments that make the years of child rearing the best years of my life. For me there were countless memories of raising boys that make me laugh, and cry, and feel so much pride that I’m sure my heart will burst from my chest. I think of these precious memories often, but especially now, as I wait to hear the news of a new grandchild, likely to be born on the same day his or her dad was born. Though it’s been 32 years since he was born, my heart is no less full of love and excitement at remembering. And this year my heart overflows with love and hope for this new blessing who is sure to bring Asa his own precious moments of parenting that will be with him forever.

I wish you the happiest of birthdays Asa and baby Smedley, and much joy as you embark on this new adventure together!

The Neighborhood

I know, I know! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I miss it and I miss you all! Now that I have had a week from work and made it through the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I found time to go out and take some photos and process a few for your viewing pleasure. I do hope you enjoy my neighborhood as much as I do!

Chapel View

Chapel View


Mountain View sunset

Mountain View sunset


Christmas Snow

Christmas Snow


Vermont Winter

Vermont Winter


Clubhouse trees

Clubhouse trees


Snowstorm

Snowstorm


Sugarhouse Road

Sugarhouse Road


Kupetz Home

Kupetz Home


Snowfall

Snowfall


Clubhouse Trees 2

Clubhouse Trees 2


Kelly Farm

Kelly Farm


Warmth in Winter

Warmth in Winter


Winter Home

Winter Home

Who Would Have Thought

Over the past few months my life has taken some turns that I never planned on; never really thought about. Life goes that way sometimes, no matter how much you plan, set goals, anticipate what will come, other things just sometimes happen that cause you to shift your plans, change your goals, or rethink about what will come next.

For the past seven months I have not eaten meat. Anyone that has known me for many years, knows that I was a serious meat eater. I loved meat. Never did I think I would not eat meat for a stretch of seven months. About 15 years ago I was on the Atkins diet and lost about 30 pounds eating mainly meat and vegetables. I thought I was in heaven at the time. Despite what some people believed, after six months on the diet my cholesterol was lower than it had ever been. This year, after not eating meat for several months, my cholesterol was that low again. Who would have thought?

July 1, 2016 I became an education administrator. About 20 years ago, when I was teaching middle school, my principal gave me a pamphlet about a program to become an administrator. When I questioned her about it she said she thought I would make a great administrator. My response then was something along the lines of “NEVER. I love being a teacher.” Yet here I am living in the world of education administrators. Who would have thought?

Since April of 2012 I have been a blogger. I chose to blog because I like to write and blogging seemed like a way that I could write regularly. I love blogging. It gives me a sense of having a voice in the world, and I like that sense, even if it may be a bit misplaced. Lately my work has kept me so incredibly busy that I have not had much time to do many things I enjoy; like blogging. Who would have thought?

As you faithful readers of Sweetwater Lane know, I sell calendars each fall. This year I have struggled to sell them. It seems that people are not buying them as they have in the past. A fried came by recently to get the two she did order and mentioned that last year she had purchased four of them. She went on to say that while her daughter loved hers, she never hung it in her house. She observed that millenials are not hanging calendars in their homes, most likely because they rely on their phones. Who would have thought it? Personally, I can’t imagine not having a calendar hanging on the wall of my home. Actually two – one in the kitchen and one in the office. Sure, I use my phone to put meetings and appointments on the calendar, and love that it will remind me in advance, but I still want that calendar hanging in my home or office so I can occasionally check the date – write reminders on it – plan ahead. Or just enjoy the pictures on the calendar!

This got me thinking about other ways we use our phones in place of other things. My husband is an EMT and he said the younger generation takes out their phones to check heart rates of patients because none of them wear watches anymore. That made no sense to me because with a watch you can still use both hands while you time whatever it is you’re timing, but with a phone one hand is occupied so you are left with only one hand to do whatever needs to be done. Technology does not always make us smarter or more efficient. Who would have thought?

Thanksgiving Reflections

When I was a kid we spent a lot of Thanksgiving mornings traveling for hours to get to my aunt and uncle’s house in Massachusetts.

I hated traveling on holidays then and I still don’t like it much. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I enjoy cooking and all the other preparations that go into the holiday meal. Maybe because it’s like a mini vacation from school and it’s nice to be able to take the time to relax at home doing my own thing. Or nothing at all. Maybe it’s because riding for four hours in a car with my four siblings was chaotic at best and downright painful at worst. And that’s just one way. We still had to drive home again. It was definitely uncomfortable.

I remember one year I woke up on Thanksgiving morning to discover it had snowed a good 8-10 inches and I was ecstatic because I was absolutely positive that meant we couldn’t possible drive to Massachusetts. I didn’t even care if I had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. That was still better than four hours in the car ONE WAY! You can’t imagine my disappointment when my parents said, “Of course we’re going to Massachusetts! It’s just a little snow.” You also can’t imagine the fit I threw because I DID NOT WANT TO GO! I don’t recall all the details of my tantrum, but I can guess it was seriously overly dramatic and seriously annoying to my mother. But I didn’t care because I DID NOT WANT TO GO!

Sometimes we stayed overnight in Massachusetts and that was even worse. BORING! It’s not like we were going to Boston or anything good like that. My aunt and uncle lived in a big old farm-house in the middle of nowhere. At least nowhere I wanted to be. I already lived nowhere (or so I thought), so why would I want to go nowhere else? Obviously my parents were totally unconcerned with my feelings on the subject, because no matter how much I protested we kept driving to Massachusetts for Thanksgiving.

Since those preteen and teenage days filled with angst over nothing, I’ve come to understand a different perspective on Holiday traveling.

I am sure that staying home with five children and attempting to cook a full Thanksgiving dinner on her own for five kids (who tended toward picky self-centeredness) was not a pleasant idea. Actually, that was probably a downright torturous idea that my mother would have had to have been insane to entertain. So she didn’t entertain that thought, but a much more pleasant one. Going to a 17th century farmhouse, in the country, surrounded by relatives, to dine on a gourmet meal served in a traditional and formal way. What a lovely time that must have been for my mother. Her children were, for the most part, entertained by their cousins and she got to spend time with her sister and brother-in-law – no pressure. Smart woman, my mother.

While I still don’t want to travel during the holidays, I can look back on those days at my aunt and uncle’s house with fondness. Their home was lovely and sprawling, like going back to another century, when life was simple, the cookin’ was good and the blessings abundant. There were special tables for the kids to sit at and for many years that really was a special place to sit. Who wanted to sit with the grown ups anyway? And we spent hours and hours playing games with our cousins; checkers and Chinese checkers, Monopoly, Go Fish, Slap Jack, War, King’s Corners. . .

Today I applaud my mother for doing what was right for her. I’m guessing she knew it was right for all of us because that time with family cannot be replaced. As an educator I see firsthand how little time some children have with their families. So today, and everyday, I am thankful for a mother who often listened to her heart instead of her children and made good choices for us.

We will be home today, just the two of us, cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner. We are glad to have friends and family join us if they wish. They all know this. But they will make their own choices, ones that are right for them. To every member of our precious family, near or far, biological or of the larger world, know that we are thankful to be a part of your lives and we send you our love today and always.

New Year's Turkey

Karen and Dave