Friday, May 28, 2010

Two Decades

Two decades.

Tonight marks 20 years since my first date with my husband. Not too shabby, is it? I think this is worth a posting in and of itself....

On May 28, 1990, I had just returned home from my freshman year at Austin College. During that year, I was dating a guy - a few years ahead of me - who had some pretty screwed up ideas about relationships and how to treat women. So...I was done with relationships in my mind. At least for a while.

But a friend of mine (whom I used to date occasionally but was really just a good friend) told me to come to his house and he'd have some of his friends over. He figured I'd meet a couple of his friends who might be fun dates and he'd get me back in the game - so to speak.

Well - within 15 minutes of arriving at my friend's house I saw my future husband and although it sounds cheesy...I really did see him across a crowded room and our eyes locked. I'm not sure - but I MIGHT have even heard Some Enchanted Evening in the back of my mind as I looked at him.

The rest is history.

I'd decided to break from my traditional Southern upbringing and call a boy on the phone for the first time ever...and I kept bugging my friend to give me this guy's phone number. He finally called me and told me that he didn't NEED to give me his number because the boy had asked for my number. Sure enough - he called me and invited me out. (Whew. My southern propriety was preserved.) I was terribly awkward during our first date, as evidenced by the fact that I stuck a straw up my nose while trying (quite unsuccessfully) to flirt - but even that didn't ruin it.

A few years later I walked down the aisle. In a REALLY HEAVY wedding dress.

But the real anniversary, in my mind, is May 28, 1990, when I went to Executive Surf Club in Corpus Christi with the future father of my children and the man who diligently and faithfully worked at a minimum wage job to put me through law school.

Twenty years is a long time. It hasn't all been a bed of roses. But it's been one heck of a ride and I couldn't be more grateful that he's put up with me for this long. I love you, David.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Today I submitted my resignation at work and it was a great feeling. I have my work cut out for me over the next year, but it all centers around finding myself and staying focused on my priorities.

I was going to blog about my priorities but I'm just plain worn out. I've had asthma for almost three solid weeks now - my physical exhaustion and the emotional release (shamat...) of finally letting go of a toxic environment means that I've got nothing left tonight.

So instead I'll just say that I hope I haven't lost too many of my blog-buddies from neglect over the last few months, and I promise I'm coming back. Not tonight, though. Tonight I'll be watching Glee, then falling blissfully and completely asleep.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Shamat Hebrew for "to release."

About four or five years ago, my husband gave me The Five Books of Moses - it's a new translation (well, new when he gave it to me) by Robert Alter - he tried to capture not only the literal meaning of the Hebrew but the lyrical sense of it as well. It's a rather impressive work and I hadn't opened it in a long time.

I ended up in Exodus, Chapter 23 and the footnote for "But in the seventh you shall let it go and let it lie fallow, and your people's indigent may eat of it, and what is left, the beast of the field will eat" (Ex. 23:11) taught me the word shamat.

I rather love the feel of that word and if there's one thing I must do, it is shamat.

Let it go.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Emily Dickinson

What does it mean when I read an Emily Dickinson poem that I could have sworn was one I wrote in Junior High?

If I can stop one heart from breaking, 
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

I'm quite serious. As I read this in the book of poetry I recently bought my 11-year-old, I remembered it overwhelmingly and could have sworn it was one of the many poems I scrawled onto scraps of paper during seventh grade. I was quite surprised when I saw Ms. Dickinson listed as the author. Presumably she didn't steal my work, but I was still taken aback.

I suppose the fact that the poem reads "unto his nest again" instead of "into her nest again" should have been my first clue that the poem was Emily's, and not mine. Clearly, however, she and I share a certain spirit. (No surprise to anyone who knows me - right, Megan?) And I must say that it's healthier for me to focus on this poem instead of I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died, which was my particular poetic obsession during college.

Nevertheless - I tip my hat to the Lady in White and her poetry. It took me almost four decades to come back to this poem and recognize that it summarizes my life purpose perfectly.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Campout Art

After leaving for work on Friday morning, I didn't make it back home until lunchtime on Mother's Day because it was Girl Scout campout weekend with our troop. Luckily, it wasn't the "roughing it" kind of campout. We had bunks and a fridge, not to mention showers and lavatories. (Whew....)

I spent a significant amount of time last night fighting with our fire (or lack thereof) and, therefore, ended up smelling quite smoky and having some free time available for artistic pursuits.

My daughter was playing with the charcoal first and made the big black mark on the rock. I started playing around with it after she left and ended up making the lady's face, the tree, the funky "thought waves" (or whatever those are coming off of her) and the few birds up in the lefthand corner of the rock. I was much more impressed with my art than others were, but sometimes we just have to happy with the fact that we impressed ourselves. Don't we? (By the way - may I just point out that I tried to use shades of grey to add depth to the drawing on the left side? If you look closely, you might notice that side of the stone is darker because I took charcoal powder and tried to make clouds, or sky or shadows or something like that.)

The mother/daughter campout was a splendid way to spend Mother's Day weekend and I appreciated my Sunday bubble bath even more than normal once I made it into the warm water today.

Of course, then I opened up my Mother's Day present from my son. He'd spent days working on a book for me and it's lovely. But the first two pages talk about how I don't like it when his room is messy (that one has a picture of him telling me "sorry") and that I don't like it when he and his sister are silly.


Obviously, I have a long way to go in the mother department. But I'm closer than I used to be!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Promoting Geekdom

I did my part today to promote Geekdom and all things nerdy. As it turns out, the first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day and, of course, what kind of mom would I be if I didn't take my seven-year-old son to Austin Books and Comics at 8 a.m. in the morning so we could get our 10 free comic books?

A crummy mom, that's what I'd be. And I'm all about being a great mom. So....the two of us headed down Lamar bright and early to stand in line with my kind of people (i.e. smart guys with quirky senses of humor who tend to get very passionate about odd issues) and other parents of small children who also wanted to expose their kiddos to great culture. (A shout out to the other Jennifer and her little man who found us in line!)

We weren't alone as we waited in the long line for our swag. The Hulk made an appearance...

My youngest was beyond thrilled by his free new comic books (especially the G.I. Joe book). Between the ride in the car, the reading during breakfast at Galaxy Cafe, and the 30 minutes on the couch once he returned home - I bet he spent at least an hour reading comic books today. Way to go comic culture, for getting my first grader excited about reading for an hour on a Saturday morning!