Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
spent last night at The Farm. We got up this morning, Tom fixed a huge Solstice breakfast, and these two, Eliza, her friend, Shelby, and I had a wonderful time talking around the table in our PJ's. Later, the boys and I hung out for a while before they took off for another friend's home. So good to see these two...so good to sense their happiness...so good to chuckle with them... I love Chintu's grin in this photo.
Lori (right) & her sister,Whitney...
Just having arrived from Maui, Lori (no sleep in the last two days) and her sister stopped by to say hi on their way to buy their mom an alligator saw. When LoriBeth enters the house, laughter and the stories begin. Can't wait to sit down and spend some extended time with this girl. Another farm kid's at home now, and it's really feeling like the holidays are moving into full swing...
Eliza & Shelby..(no photo available)
Eliza and Shelby were out until 12:30 AM last evening and finally got to sleep around 3:00 AM. When Lori arrived around 2:30 PM today, these two had not gotten out of their PJ's, washed their faces, or combed their hair. I do have a group shot of the four girls together, but as a favor to E. & S., I'll save it in the family archives.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
December 20, 2007
For the first time in a good while, morning has broken with bright sun in the sky, frost-covered grass twinkling in the light, and a flawless blue sky. I’m at home with two purring kittens who snooze on the computer table as I write and two corgis who long for a walk in the back field…..a silent, peaceful winter morning on Solstice Eve.
In a nutshell, here’s a look back at 2007 with the Wilders and farm family….
Eliza started the year with a nasty bout of mono that zapped her for a good three weeks. Fortunately, she’s rebounded and is the picture of health now. With as much objectivity as a very proud mom can muster, Eliza’s beauty and grace on the field as a color guard member with the high school band was amazing. Her band placed in the top third of the competing bands at Grand Nationals in Indianapolis in November, and she was delighted! Long phone calls, weekends with friends, and extended computer conversations on IM every night haven’t impacted her school work, thank goodness. Academically and socially, she’s at the top of her class. :0) Driving on her own is just around the corner! (And that means looking for a job is in the new future,)
Samuel has only one more semester to go until he’s an official college graduate. Appalachian State has been the perfect fit for him, and as he looks toward graduate school in the next few years, I’m confident he’ll be well prepared. He wants to be a novelist; reading and writing are his passions, so I foresee work in creative writing on the graduate level. However, after four years of intense academic demands, a couple of years off seem like a heck of a good idea. Thoughts at the moment are that he’ll stay around the Boone area, do some writing / traveling, etc., and take some time to breathe and play. Employment at The Gap has confirmed that work in retail is NOT the career he chooses to pursue although he was recently named Gap Employee of the Month. (The recipient of the award receives the honor of having his/her photo posted on the wall in the employees' station for a month--Samuel posed for his with greasy hair styled in a comb-over.)
The Philadelphia contingent of the farm family thrives as well. Isabella’s in 2nd grade, and Bobbi’s yoga/pilates/gyro/massage business has grown tremendously. Never one to let a moment pass by without living it to the fullest, Bob’s recently taken up the tuba and plays in a neighborhood band for peace. Isabella recently sang a solo in the school Winter Holidays pageant and stole the show with her on the spot choreography. (For those of you who know Bobbi, Isabella’s her clone!)
I continue to teach at the local community college, direct the arts and humanities series there, and keep up on the farm. The barn’s still standing, and there’s new siding on the house. Despite the summer’s drought, I had a huge and fairly successful garden and some rather spectacular flowers. Plans for the coming year include taking a break from my adjunct position at Marietta College to work on a Student Activities Manual for the Conexiones series at Prentice Hall. Something tells me I’ve jumped from the skillet into the fire, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can graduate from the activities manual into a more lucrative position with the company. That certainly bodes well for thoughts of retirement in the next 5 – 10 years. And, I continue to faithfully work with human rights issues in Cuba. (Hopefully one of these days, the Christmas letter will include an invitation to come visit me on the beaches of the island…don’t hold your breath, however!)
I think the family vote for the Highlight of 2007 award would go to our vacation week at the beach in Avalon, NJ in June. Samuel, Eliza, Joe Davis, and I drove to Philadelphia, met Bobbi and Isabella, and headed off to the shore where we completely relaxed for a week, played lots of bocci ball, cooked up some good food, rode the cheesy rides in Ocean City, hung out in our unique beach garb every day, and laughed, laughed, laughed.
As I reflect back on the last 12 months, once again I am in awe of life. Here at The Farm, we’re all happy, well, and thriving. What a blessing! We’ve laughed much, much more than we’ve cried; we’ve made wonderful memories; we’ve honored those who have moved into the world of spirit; and we’ve rejoiced at the good news of births, engagements, degrees completed, new jobs, etc. for our beloved ones. Our extended farm family remains close, and their love always vibrates in the house.
So, our wish to all from The Farm this holiday season: be merry, imagine, and rejoice as we move into the New Year.
Peace & infinite love, to all….
Monday, December 17, 2007
It's amazing to me to think my blog has been viewed 1,000+ times, but then I realize half of those hits have to be mine! :0) :0) Anyway, we've hit the 1,000 benchmark, and it's time to celebrate. Pull out the champagne!
Several years back when life got more than just a little crazy, I totally stopped journaling / writing / drawing / sketching, etc. I just couldn't get my pen / pencils to the paper anymore. As I'm about to reach my 2nd year anniversary with the blog, I'm writing again, and I find I really enjoy chronicling farm news, random thoughts, and observations on "how the world turns." I've figured out how to get my photos posted again. I'm an all round happy camper!
Thank you, Mary Ann, for getting me started, and deep appreciation to those who take the time to visit Namasté from time to time! Stay tuned...
Thursday, December 13, 2007
On this date in history fifty years ago, my sister, Myra Shook, was born in Watauga Hospital in Boone, NC.
I have three vivid memories associated with her birth. The first is an image of my mother within a week of Myra's arrival. It must have been the annual Christmas Program at the First Presbyterian Church, and I can see my mom standing up on a little stage with the Nursery Class. She was leading the little kids in singing a Christmas song, and I remember thinking her tummy looked really, really huge.
The night before Myra was born, I remember seeing Mom, who I recognize now was in the early stages of labor, reclining back on the end of the sofa in the den of our house on Stansbury Circle. She told me she just might have to go to the hospital later on. And sure enough, the next morning, Myra was born.
And, I have a "feeling memory" of holding Myra by myself for the first time. I knew I wouldn't drop her and I didn't need help holding her. I'm not sure if I held her at the hospital or once she got home. I just remember how neat it felt to hold my little sister. I remember talking about having a new baby sister in Miss Putnam's 1st grade class.
December 13, 1985
Twenty-two years ago today, Samuel was born at 7:20 AM (give or take a few minutes) in Marietta Memorial Hospital. His dad actually delivered him after only five hours of painless labor and birth. From the moment of his conception, I knew I was going to have a son, and Myra, aka Tita, announced the moment she found out I was pregnant that he would be born on her birthday. They've always been two Sagitarrian peas in a pod.
Always referenced as Basil prior to his arrival, Samuel entered the world with ease. By noon of the day he was born, his dad, Bobbi, and I had him at home in front of a fire in our big room. Penny, our dalmatian/blue tick hound and without a doubt the most unintelligent animal to live at the farm, guarded his bed faithfully, as he and I spent every day of his first 2 months together.
I spent part of the afternoon today going through old photos, and some of the ones with Samuel with his blanket clothespinned around his chin with Batman ears stuck on his head are priceless! I also was browsing through my photo folder on my computer and took at look back at our Summer 2007 beach trip, admiring the young man he's become. I can hardly believe the little guy who loved to play with Red Wolf, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Power Rangers will graduate from college in 6 months. I have a fine, loving, fun son. I love him, infinitely so...
December 13, 2007
Tonight, I had Christmas Dinner with Nellie Carr, my friend Sharon's mom, at The Inn (an assisted care facility) here in Marietta. The highlight of the evening was holding Mom Carr's hand while the resident choir sang every Christmas Carol one can imagine. As I watched the older folk in reindeer head bands with jingle bells in hand sing, I felt real Christmas joy, unlike I have in a long time. It was obvious the little choir had rehearsed quite a bit, and they were proud of their efforts. (I imagine every one of the choir members had been a member of his/her church choir at some point in time.) Joy, spunk, and big smiles radiated from each of their faces. It was a special, special evening.
DECEMBER 13, 2007...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TITA AND SAMUEL...¡FELICES FIESTAS A TODOS!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Their wedding date has been set for June 5th in Minnesota! Both will finish out the year at Webb School in CA before tying the knot and heading off to teach abroad. Although Betsey will be away for New Year's Eve, Brett will be here to keep an eye on the pesto pizzas I traditionally forget about once they hit the oven and carry on his tradition as fire tender and the tosser of the last year's tree on the New Year's Bonfire. On a personal note, I delight that the Universe has brought two such amazing and wonderful people together! Betsy's a farm natural--a member of the farm family from the moment she met Brett. Thanks, Brett, for bringing her into our lives!Following Brett and Betsy's visit, Eliza and I got to spend three wonderful days last week with...
Caroline & Joe
These guys have been on a helluva ride this past year and have weathered some of life's most intense moments with extraordinary grace, patience, acceptance, and love. Who would have thought this time last year that Joe would have been diagnosed with throat cancer in May, undergone weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, and returned to his work and shows by early December of this year? With Caroline as his caretaker and greatest support, Joe is back on this feet and well on the mend. I am so, so grateful for having time to hang out with Caro and Joe, for I am always inspired and energized by their presence. They always lighten my heart as they share the gift and blessings of years of friendship and remind me it's possible to find a soulmate out there somewhere.
This weekend, two of Eliza's friends, Kaitlynn and Shelby, have been here at the farm. I don't have photos, but suffice to say, it was two nights of slumber party, lots of junk food, and play. It was great!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Woman in Green Beret
Barbie's Mannequin Cousin
She Comes with a Price
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Another success story of the day has to do with Eliza's hair. Last night we put henna on it, and in contrast to our attempts with commercial chemical dyes that produced bright and very obviously purple hair rather than the deep red we anticipated, the henna has added a very lovely touch to her long, thick, beautiful hair. In today's sunlight, her had glistened with a very natural-looking reddish glow. I'm feeling like a real beautician! Call for an appointment!
The greatest celebration today, however, is my father's birthday....87 years old!! I called to wish him a happy day, but between his inability to hear and the difficulty he has holding the phone, I'm not sure he got the message. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAPA!!!! I LOVE YOU and hope your day has been one of happy memories and a win for Appalachian in the play-offs! I know seeing the Mountaineers (not WVU, ASU, that is) move to the next level toward the championships again would make you very, very happy!