Monday, August 30, 2010

The Long Good-bye

Here in Minnesota there is something known as the "long good-bye," a term coined by Garrison Keillor in a monologue many years back.  Listening to him describe it is terribly funny---the guests decide to leave and the hosts say, "how about a little more pie..." the conversation moves to the coat closet area, then out to the front steps.  Finally they are all standing around the car and the guests finally get the car started.  Last words are said as the car is driving away. 
I know the whole scenario, as I'm from Minnesota, and Garrison described the reality of our "long good-byes."
Two years ago my eldest started college on-line.  That was a milestone, and it was the beginning of the "long good-bye" for us.  After homeschooling him from first grade on I was making the break!  Last year he attended the local community college full time, worked multiple hours as a life guard at the YMCA, and enjoyed a energetic social calendar.  Really, I didn't see him much!
Yesterday we drove away with him up to college in northern Minnesota.  We left him there, happily ensconced in his new dormitory, raring to begin a new life.
And the long good-bye just wasn't enough for me!  Today I am weeping when I should be dancing.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Year's Worth of Work

This past weekend, along with many other events at Corgi Hollows, I finished my son's Aran fisherman's sweater.  It took about a year to do.  Last year I did one for son number two, and in the photos it shows a turtle neck----not a popular feature, apparently.    Before I redo that neck I decided to show both of these sweaters together before one of them leaves for college this coming Sunday.  Yes, the time has come to say "Onward" to my firstborn.  Soon I might be seeing him in his ROTC uniform and I can't imagine what that will do to me!  I'm so happy he's doing so well.
The beautiful bedspread (it is a full size) is the work of my Grandma Bessie.  She did over 20 of these in her lifetime, and each spread took about a year to make.  I have one, as I am the youngest of her grand-daughters.  It is a treasure.  As I was knitting the sweaters (and I have two more to make) I thought of Grandma Bessie many times.  I know what it's like to work on a project seemingly endlessly.  She won the grand sweepstakes prize at the Minnesota State Fair one year.  The story goes that someone she'd given the spread to entered it in her name for the crochet class, and low and behold, she took the top honor!   You can see why!  Her work was beautiful. 
She died when I was seven, but I still have fond memories of her and her quiet insistence that I finish one project before I began another.  A good life lesson.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Listening to the cello with night sounds

My son is playing a mournful song on his cello right now and it's late.  It's gorgeous, but heart aching.  Since last week we've been in various stages of getting used to our new situation, and I think it is rather like the sharp intake of breath you take when entering the pool----it's perhaps not so pleasant at first, but then you acclimate and breathe more normally.   I'm still breathing unnaturally, figuratively of course.  There's grief and loss and expectation and some fear.  I must admit that the conditions we are facing are anything but severe, and I am so grateful for that!  The unknown has always disturbed.  We like the friendly familiar and the predictable, even when we hope for adventure.
The comings and goings at Corgi Hollows are too many to report, and the activity frenzy helps keep the spirits up.  Perhaps next week the true colors of our lives may emerge from the gray of our change.
As always, God has blessed us exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all that we could imagine.  I hope we are strengthened by His hand to face whatever is to come!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Transitions

So it happened!  My talented, intelligent, multi-gifted, knowledgeable husband had his last morning at the company he worked for 12 years.  It came with little surprise since the said company is downsizing out of existence in the next year.   Still, today marks the day he won't be off to work in the morning for awhile.

Pray for us.  This is a relatively gentle beginning to the dreaded "unemployment" we all hear about these days.  Yet it feels unnatural for us already.

Earthquakes hit in so many forms.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Excitement in City Hall!

I would say that a miracle occurred today for us.  The second reading and proposed passing of an ordinance banning bees in our city was tabled and postponed for further discussion. 
The next task is to educate the city officials about bees.
This should take place by August 17, the next work shop for the council.  My husband will have the honor of pointing out other city ordinances and their acceptance of beekeeping.  He will need to show all the evidence that bees are endangered and needing particular attention and safe-guards against banning them.
I am hoping that the general direction this ordinance was taking will be altered for good.

We can rest easy tonight that the bees will be here for now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ordinances

Usually I don't post so frequently, especially when we are so extremely busy, but there is something that has come up at Corgi Hollows that needs much prayer fast---a general "crying out" to God.
Tomorrow evening there will be a council meeting for our city and a proposed ordinance is to ban any non-domestic creature from our city's backyards---including bees.  It is written in this time.
How could our city be so backward when Minneapolis in fact just repealed legislation banning bees?!
My heart was warmed when our neighbor from across the street knocked on our door and handed over an article from the local paper about the ordinance.
"Have you seen this?" he asked.  "NO!"  I cried-----"I can't believe it!"

"We'll go to the meeting with you to fight this," he told me.  I am so touched that our neighbor wants to help us.
Later that evening he emailed us a letter he had emailed to several city officials in protest of this act.
I guess the bees will have to go if they pass it tomorrow night, and that would be a sad day for Corgi Hollows.

My husband thinks the measure is "draconian," and poorly understood.  It appears to be an uninformed tin-type document downloaded from an overly zealous city management website.  There must be room for negotiation with such a blanket ordinance.
So we need prayer.  Prayer that there will be listening and forward looking officials who are sympathetic to current trends and realistic environmental issues.
PRAY WE CAN KEEP OUR BEES!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Brain Turmoil

I've had to look back at a few posts to remind myself to stay connected to what really matters, just to get through the ups and downs of each day.
My husband is preparing to go into full-swing job finding mode.  This doesn't fit comfortably, but we'll see how it wears. 
I am dealing with anxieties about my oldest child and his future---despite the great promise I have to smother the heart longings of loss as he leaves the nest and tries to make his path.  I know, I know---every mother MUST do it, and it's been done over and over.  I assert it remains HUGE in every loving mother's heart.
We are hosting a student from China right now.  He is a personable young man with great charm and fantastic English abilities.  I know he will do well.  He experienced our campfire with hot dogs and s'mores last evening.  He shared with us photos of his wife and family, all on his computer files.  He was able to link with her via Skype right away last night.  China is so close these days.  They can experience every thing together via the internet.  After ten years of hosting we have seen all sorts of communication worldwide, our present student is the first to be this connected, right away.  Progress.
I moved my oldest son's things to the storage area over the past weekend in preparation for his college departure.  It was all done in a rush, getting ready for our foreign guest.  I wonder if I will regret the hurried ejection of his personal effects when I'm missing him this fall.  Transitioning from one phase of his life to the next is monumental, and he seems to be behaving with grace.  All good.
We are all weary today.  Last week one of my brothers opened the New York Stock Exchange one morning, as his bank went to a public stock option.  That day was filled with news and media reports and excitement for him and his family.  We are not close, but there is a certain understanding.  I am glad for him.  Apparently he was in the neighborhood this weekend with his girlfriend, but we didn't get in touch.
We drove to Iowa for a family reunion.  We happened to have 3 dogs with us, as we were pet-sitting a friend's pooch.  The canines contributed to the on going mayhem.   A good time was had by all.
The next day a church family wedding took place, and how sweet it was!  There is nothing like a sacred ceremony that actually means something these days!  Too many people have a wedding just to throw a party for a relationship that has already had a conjugal beginning perhaps months or even years before.  Why bother?  This was a real covenant made between two faithful families, and the wedding was a real event.  The holy expectancy was real.  I'm so glad all of my children were able to be there and witness this.  I hope that they may have the same experience when (if) they marry.
Well, Midwest Living, the magazine, may come calling here in the near future to do a piece on backyard urban apiaries.  I guess I'd better clean up the yard and get mowing.  Maybe I'll get Margaret to  take a few snaps and post them on here first.  Copyright??
The bees seem to be doing really well.  It's August.  Summer is waning. Honey harvest soon.