making application


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Yesterday, the sun rose although we needed the bathroom light to brush teeth close to 7:00 o’clock.  Two hours later, there was dim light in the distance to the north and all else was dark. We had wind and shaken new leaves falling.  Storm.  Thunder rolled in.  I sat with legs over the arm of my leather overstuffed chair, a pillow at my back so very aware of the moment and its passing.  Six weeks minus one day.  Are Madison storms  different from the storms on the east coast?  I think so although I don’t remember how.  I remember our first Indiana thunder storms — fierce and furious.  Storm drains filling so quickly and rushing so fast.  Cheshire in First Grade in the south of town and us stuck midtown Bloomington.  No cell phones then (except on tv), all we could do was wait. I don’t remember what storms were like in NYC or Jersey.  Or Boston for that matter.

I will make comparisons.

With renewed vigor, curious about what we could find, Cheshire visited 4 apartment yesterday after her work day.  The last place she saw in the north of Newton, is the first floor of an owner occupied two-family, heavily wood-worked, excellent stove, 3-bedroom house.  The fireplace may work and there is a place for our desks and Julia’s art supplies.  I am making application.  Perhaps we have found the new home.  The school—it is Newton North—I will do some writing to PTB in the next month and then much more when we arrive.  Perhaps that beautiful building will serve Julia well, if not, I will ask for transfer to South.  Yes, more questions that I am trying to love.

moving van in 6 weeks from today



“No, no, there is no going back.
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.:

Wendell Berry’s words are in my bones. Indeed!  I have done this before —picking up my stuff, going someplace else, starting again, but never before have I so observed the process.  Never before was there so many balls being juggled with the hope that I can catch them all when gravity kicks in.  Never before has it been so bittersweet and hard.  I bleed bit by bit from Madison every day.  

I am almost the tiny man in a midair jump in the tiny painting that I have on my bedside.  There is no guarantee that he was land on solid ground.  I am not yet in the air but I am no longer on solid and familiar ground either.   Continue reading

night to remember


Night to Remember is a prom-like experience designed to celebrate kids, teens and adults with special needs. Participation is completely free of charge, and includes dresses, tuxedos, make-up, hairstyling, jewelry, corsages and boutonnières, limo rides, a walk down the carpet with a cheering crowd, photography, a gift bag, snacks and a night of dancing!  It truly is a night to remember!”

It takes awhile to get ready at home, including a quick dye of her lightened hair to  match her dress.  Then I insisted on the tradition mom pictures at home.

Continue reading

on sunday



Muta, the cat, wants to sit on my chest as I type.  He wants to lick my fingers and get closer.  He purrs very loudly.  I’ve put him down twice.  There is little time for reflection right now and I should not let this go.  Still, is it Muta who really knows what I need?

Yesterday, I drove to the burbs of Chicago to see Julia’s Optometrist and Cognitive Therapist.  Dr. Z’s staff did a batch of eye tests with something akin to computer games, replacing some of the more traditional looking testings. Using a computer allows for a record of the tracings of Julia’s eye movements as she reads or follows directions like looking reft to right as quickly as she was able. The results are startling. I wish I could compare it to my own eye movement tracings to Julia’s.  Of course, just seeing Julia’s results and having them explained are enlightening.   The testing provide some of the why’s of Julia’s challenges.   Continue reading



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a3288989-70cb-4510-a4d7-ae7eed0af2a6.jpegAnother liminal stage of this unexpected life.  Ah, nothing like a perfect word.  (Thank you, Anne, for giving it to me.)

First note, when we moved to Madison twelve years ago, it was to be our permanent home.  David and I had given up an east coast replant and saw Madison as the just about perfect midwest place to be for-almost-ever.  Okay, there were the winters (100 inches of snow our first winter here) but other than that, it has been pretty perfect place for the three of us.  Continue reading

just today’s scribbles


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So much change, so fast, none of it bad but all of it pushing over the edges of comfort.  I start and scribble and then leave it.  And then, change again, making what I scribbled about before irrelevant.  Compassion, especially for myself, is my current practice.  I need to go to the gym, pamper myself some, we need to go to the movies and indulge in ice cream.  I can understand Julia’s ups and downs; I need to understand my own.  

Julia, by the way, has good and bad days, needs to check every day that we are taking all of her books and stuffed toys, and that she will finish the school year at West High, but she is doing pretty splendidly.  

Right now, I am always tired.  Transition is exhausting. Continue reading

a few days in and around boston



Spring break.  Tuesday through Saturday.  Boston environs.  Pictures now, reflections later.


First morning in Boston and first Dunkin’ Donut.

The cutest apartment in all of Boston!  A carriage house to a very beautiful old Victorian.  No, I didn’t get it.  I didn’t even get inside to look at it.  The rude RE agent cancelled our appointment after I arrived.  We did, however, climb stairs and peek in windows.  Universe, I’m putting you on notice that this apartment’s twin is my wish list.  Please. Continue reading

rubricon crossings



Done and done!*

House sold.

Nineteen viewings and an open house beginning Friday evening and ending Monday around 5:15.  Rather unintentionally, I met the buyers just before I left the open house on Sunday. I showed them the garage and we talked a bit about the gardens. I hear they stayed for the entire 2-hour open house.  Monday morning, they came for a second viewing at 8 am and just before midnight the house was theirs. Continue reading

show home




Art by Duy Huyn

Strangers are walking through my house.  My very clean and pristine house.  My almost not-my house. They did it yesterday for hours and hours and we stayed away.  They did it yesterday with their Real Estate agents and no one with any connection to the house was there.  

I know it’s done that way.  I’ve done it.  Still, it’s creepy.

Today, open house.  My agent is there.  Much more comfort knowing that she can . . . . I’m not sure what?  Protect?  Defend?  Make sure it is safe?  Direct traffic. Continue reading

the pace of change


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Not at all what the house looks like today, but my favorite picture of my home.

House on sale today.  The listing.

The House: Staged.  Stripped of it finery.  My finery.  Even the periwinkle walls of my bedroom are bleached white.  Adorned with ersatz tchotchkes and fake ferns.  Upstairs hall echos when I call up to Julia in the morning.  The ethos of the house is a disturbing dream of a home I have abandoned but not left.  Dali or Esher-like?

Me: tired, grumpy, stressed. Discovering how home is rooted in the art on my walls and the books on their shelves. Terrified that the pace of change is picking up. Yes, I know, I pushed that stone down the hill. Continue reading