Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I didn't mean to be gone so long, but I've been gone. My daughter-in-law is in India so I am filling in as Memere in Residence. It's been years since I've risen at 6:00 a.m. to make school lunches, see to homework and folders and backpacks, planned dinners around after school activities and kept to a demanding time schedule that includes walking a dog at regular intervals. Our dogs were simply let out to run about and do their business. When my kids were young there were leash laws only in towns and when I was a child, not even there. Until the first of February, 2014, I'd never held warm dog poop in a plastic covered hand.

Finding time for the computer between the care of two kids, loads of laundry, meal prep, and dog walking has been challenging. Not to mention that the computer is not an Apple so finding my way around the screen has been an adventure, too. At the moment the dog is sleeping at one end of the sofa and I'm at the other, typing. It's all good for the next five minutes.

It's been a cold snowy February so far and if the weathermen are right, it will be snowier before the week is out. A foot of snow last Wednesday closed area schools for the day. At one point during the storm I looked out the window and could barely make out the neighbor's house a dozen feet away. Used to being surrounded by woods and fields and comparative silence, living in a large town has presented me with a different view of life altogether. Streetlights shine in the windows at night. The sound of traffic is ever-present, people and dogs walk by constantly. Driving is a challenge. My small car is lost among the giant SUVs driven by moms with cell phones glued to their ears.

The days are hurrying by. Many of my friends are anxious to see the backside of winter but I like the cold and snow and wind. Already the daylight has lengthened appreciably and the sun is warm on my face. Though it was only 8 degrees this morning when we woke and there are icicles hanging from the swing seats, the eaves, and the muffler of my car, by mid-morning the temperature has risen into the 20s. Yesterday the dog and I startled a flock of fat robins in the back yard.

No photos for this post. I remembered my camera but not the cord. But you can picture Bella, her fur the color of cocoa powder, her tail tucked under her legs, curled at one end of the sofa, asleep in a splash of sunshine, see the trampled snow in the backyard speckled with robins and the ubiquitous squirrels, notice how the houses cluster along the edges of the streets, garbage pails lining the sidewalks like sentinels. The wind chimes on the front porch tinkle in the breeze, somewhere a car horn blares. The furnace kicks on and a rush of hot air comes up from the floor vents. The ice cube maker coughs. All is well.


Brian Miller said...

smiles...caring for kids can be all consuming, that is for sure....they say we will get 5-8 inches of snow starting tomorrow...maybe enough to sled...that would be nice...if we are to be stuck in winter....smiles.

Tabor said...

Taking the place as head of household for our children is a hard and wonderful time. We love it, but it is hard to shift that vehicle in a higher gear, is it not?

Ruth D~ said...

Such contentment you convey in just being where you are in that moment. Although I'm sure you're bracing for the next onslaught of demands.

Friko said...

Don’t forget to stop and look at the small things, the things you described in your previous post.

Children give you so little time to stop and wonder, unless you follow their gaze and wonder with them.

Kerry said...

I can picture you quite well, Pauline. How nice that you can fit into a new routine so well, even to the point of using poop bags. That's a lot to ask from those of us that remember a different era!
India! I hope that your daughter is having a really good trip.

Out on the prairie said...

Sounds like you had some fun

Reya Mellicker said...

What a beautiful post. You are living large, Pauline. I salute you! L'chaim!

Marc Leavitt said...


Your joy in helping out will last
As your present becomes your past.
Your pleasure's real and quite sublime,
Despite the winter's chilly clime.

Pauline said...

Brian - snow on the way here, too. The kids are hoping for a second snow day in two weeks!

Tabor - the old saying, "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" applies here, though I've lost two pounds chasing after the dog and navigating three flights of stairs several times daily!

Ruth, I've been practicing contentment for the last couple of years. It beats anxiety all to pieces ;)

Friko - you've given me impetus for my next post. I love the small things.

Kerry - DIL is studying Iyengar yoga to be able to teach it at her yoga studio here in town. It's a month-long course.

OOTP - will be having fun till the end of the month ;)

Thanks, Reya. I'm living fast, that's for sure.

Marc - the snow doth fall, the kids doth play; the dog doth poop; so goes my day!

Hilary said...

No pictures? I'm certain I saw them. Your descriptions are always such beautiful illustrations. Oh there were pictures.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can see it all, because you are such an amazing writer. You don't need a camera. But welcome to my world, trying to fit blogging/writing/photography in with starting a new career and (for some reason) still taking care of a household of 4. Sigh. I cherish it, though.Your post was worth losing sleep over, as usual. Thanks for checking in!

Pauline said...

Thank you, Hilary. We've become so visually oriented as a digital society that my posts feel bare without photos!

Barbara, thank you, too. You know what it's like to be busy, I see!