A Perfect Day

I woke about 3am and just could not get back to sleep, which I credit to the menopause hormones. But since I was awake, might as well be productive. So I drank a pot of coffee, paid some on-line bills, checked to see if anyone had read my blog since I last posted and made up a menu for the week. So when 8am rolled around, I was ready to go shopping. But middle son’s track schedule said the time of the meet was TBA, and I had not gotten word of the departure time, so I woke him and found out the bus was leaving from the school at 12:45pm.

Back to sleep, dear son. I was off to Target and Shop N Save for stuff on The List. Then home again to pick up youngest son for his photo shoot for his free 8 x 10, courtesy of the orthodontist. And true to form for my kids….he was clean, but his shirt was a wrinkled mess. Picture taken, I dropped him at home and went on to the main grocery shop at Aldi, spent $80 and got groceries for the week.

Beloved daughter was awake by this point and we conferred about her plans for the day. She is off to assist a friend with a photo shoot for photography class, home for a couple hours and then off to Film Club this evening.

Middle son, also awake, had lunch with us: fresh sweet corn and grilled cheese sandwiches. Then to school for his bus trip to an indoor track meet. Here he is at state last year:

That's him in the red and black

Youngest son and I went shopping: tennis shoes, white dress shirt for musical performances, shorts, drum sticks. And one last grocery store on the way back to home. I got some gas for the lawn mower, and gave him a lesson in how it functions. Then he mowed and raked the yard

back yard

while I weeded the onion grass out of the phlox

front yard

I started a pot of vegetable and beef soup and while it simmered, beloved daughter and I started work on her Duck Tape Prom dress. I do not have photos today, but will when it is done. She was off to film club while youngest son and I ate soup for dinner. Then I drove him to a party at the Black Sheep Cafe (a non-alcoholic serving band venue) and I type this up for you all as I wait for beloved daughter to return, beloved middle son to call wanting a ride home from the track meet and beloved youngest son needing a ride between the party and going to see The Hunger Games with some other friends.

It will be a late night and I do not mind. One of the best lessons my beloved first son taught me is that this crazy-busy time is all too brief. In a couple of years, I will have plenty of time to myself: to nap, to pursue hobbies, to work ovetime if I like.

They will be grown and gone…and damn, they are a lot of fun while they are here.

Light in the Tunnel

This weekend, I have been putting together the College Tour for beloved daughter. This involves mostly logging onto various college websites and scheduling a campus visit. While I am at the website, I poke around a bit, see what tuition is this year and if they have a financial aid calculator. If they do, I plug-in our money numbers. I can not put the ACT and SAT test scores in yet, but those can affect the amount of money awarded also. Anyhoo, I have been very pleased to see what kind of financial aid beloved daughter might be able to pull off, and I am feeling a little less panicked about the year of austerity.

Which is a good thing because the washing machine just broke this morning.

Current Bucket List

I spend my work days with folks that have a terminal illness, some of these people are younger than me. Over the years, this has given me the idea that it’s not a good thing to put off until tomorrow what can joyfully be done today. Consequently, my bucket list tends to be short. If I want to do it, I find a way to may it happen.

Since taking my daughter to Paris a couple of years ago, I been working really hard at the paying job and raising-teenagers job and haven’t given the bucket list much thought.  After a conversation with a patient last week about his bucket lists I thought about what might be on mine, and what I might do to make them happen sooner, rather than later.

Current Bucket List (things I want to do before I die)

1) Go to High Tea

2) Do a 5-day silent retreat

3) Be in the path of a total solar eclipse of the sun

And here is my plan for making them happen:

1) I will be in St Louis and Chicago next month while taking beloved daughter on a college tour. I will do some research to find out where in those cities High Tea is served and work it into the itinerary.

2) The kids will be traveling with their dad three weeks this summer. I will take off work one of those weeks and have my silent retreat here at home. No money need be spent. Sure it would be cool to travel to another part of the country, stay at some fancy retreat center with beautiful views and prepared meals, but I’m pretty sure that the benefits of a silent retreat come from within. Isn’t that the whole point?

3) I remembered that the next total solar eclipse in North America was sometime this decade and I went to do a little research to find out where and when it will be, preparing myself mentally that I might have to travel across the length of the country to position myself in its path. Imagine my giddy excitement when I discovered that it is coming practically to my back yard.

So, for the cost of a tank of gas I can drive to southern Illinois to see it, and still be home for dinner. Cool.

What is on your Bucket List?