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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

hello kitty!

This is a shout out to my Kitty. No, not a pet. Kitty is my mum. A nickname induced for reasons utterly lost on me. But still, it stuck.

Growing up, I looked forward to leaving the house for adventures. Overnighters, cross-country excursions, camp, or even school. Why? Because I got the coolest notes tucked into my belongings from my mum. I couldn't wait to unpack my bag just to see where she had secretly hidden another cardstock piece of paper. Through grade school, she would pack my lunch every day and nearly all of those days I would find a handwritten, sticker-bedazzled message waiting for me. The words were nearly always the same. "I love you!" "Have a good day at school!" "Remember who you are!" And always, always signed with her customary greeting of "oceans, mom". In Kitty language, oceans roughly translates to all that aloha does for Hawaiians.



When I moved out, as any of my past roommates can attest to, the notes never stopped. Filling my otherwise empty college mailbox were the same handwritten, sticker-bedazzled letters. "oceans, mom."

As my transition back into Midwestern life took place, I remember talking to my mum one night and sharing with her that I was sad to think that since I was living closer, I may not receive her notes anymore. I should have known better than to doubt her note-writing abilities. At least once a week since arriving in Columbus I'll come home from work to find a card smiling at me saying, "oceans, kitty."



Kitty has been sending me more frequent notes in recent months at the most opportune times. And these notes have been sustaining me through a great deal. I carry them with me. My mum has offered me insightful advice, buoyed my spirits, and reminded me of who I am. Tonight I came home to find a belated birthday card waiting for me boasting a Jane Austen quote. I smiled over the quote and wept over the love conveyed in my mum's message inside.

I have been horribly negligent in my note writing, and I fear in conveying to my mum, and my nonny, how incredible they are. Birthday cards get lost, Mother's Day gets postponed, but always my mum writes to me.



So tonight, Kitty, I have one thing to say to you.

oceans, engquist

Thursday, May 20, 2010

aquatic revelry

After a few days in Central California with the Nurse prepping for her wedding, I was sleep deprived, emotionally overloaded, and really really happy for my dear friend. That's when I slid out the back door, so to speak, and spent a few days with my grandmother in the East Bay.
"What do you want to do while you're here?" was her question for me. We only had a couple of days together. I had thought long and hard about this prior to her inquiry. A day in the city? No. Shopping? No. Theater? Maybe. Ocean? Ocean.
"I want to go to the ocean."
"We can do that."
A couple hours of public transportation and the parting of San Franciscan fog later, we were standing with our toes in the sand. The Pacific Ocean was lapping against the shore, the blue sky smiled upon us, and this midwestern girl asked herself one more question...
...Why do I live in Ohio?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

en dag

Wake
Rain
Drive
Fly
Dawn
Nap
Read
Desert
Nauseous
Run
Sit
Fly
Mountains
Snow
Hills
Green
Water
Bay
Ocean
City
Bridge
Bathroom
Friend
Drive
Food
Fun
Hair
Drive
Sister
Zebra
Sit
Sleep

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

fresh out of the oven

When I was about seven or eight, my parents took us on a trip to what I still consider to be heaven, Prince Edward Island. I was at that point in the peak of my obsession with Anne of Green Gables and felt like someone had just offered me the macdaddy of prizes. My parents being as awesome as they are devoted the trip to all things Anne. We saw Green Gables, walked through the haunted wood, and visited the White Sands Hotel. When we got to Charlottetown, we completed our visit with Anne of Green Gables: the Musical.

So, I'll be honest, this trip was awhile ago and I remember little to none of it. I remember the ferry ride to the island (now there's a bridge, how lame!), walking across the lawn in front of Green Gables, and a picnic in the forest along the coast. One of the few other things my fantasy-riddled memory has stored away is one scene from the musical. A few of the characters got together and sang about eating a healthy portion of humble pie. While I had heard the idiom prior to this experience, it was the first time I ever really understood the concept. In a few words, I took it to mean, "Suck up your pride." To my eight year-old mind, nothing could be more humbling than admitting to Rachel Lynde that you had done something wrong.

This early experience in a Canadian theater has been bubbling to the surface of my pensieve lately. Almost daily I find myself pulling another pie out of the oven and taking a heaping mouthful. I never realized what a challenge it was to ask for help. Sticking my needs on the back burner to be a friend to someone else. Admitting I'm doing alright. Striking up a conversation. Showing up at certain events. Making a phone call. Not making a phone call. Dealing with the mockery of buckeyes. Laughing. Crying. Painting. Cleaning. Make social engagements. Praying. Listening. Lately, all of these things require me to humble myself a bit further.

I don't remember any of the words to the song sung, nor the faces of the actors. I have a faint recollection of the sparse set. But more significantly to me today, I remember that feeling, of "sucking it up" and doing something. And Anne of Green Gables and how much I want to be her when I grow up. So rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub. Dish me up another slice of humble pie, and a date with Gilbert Blythe. Amen.