Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where does the time go...

If you click on the song, Further to Fly by Paul Simon on the left there, I will tell you a story and what the song means to me.
When I was a soon to be junior in high school, we were doing a musical, Once Upon a Mattress. There were lots of us usuals from the theatre department working on it, but Rachel was gone away to France with the french class as they did in the summers. One day in late June, after rehearsals, I walked home (we lived about 1 block away) and my dad handed me the paper. There was a story about a boy who had been hit by a drunk driver earlier in the day, front page news. It appears that the driver fell asleep at the wheel with his grandkids in the back of the truck and veered off the road taking down the 11 year old boy on the bike. The police report said that the driver had been drinking since early in the morning and the boy had tried to go further off the road because he saw it coming. My dad asked if it could be the worst of what we were thinking.
That boy was Adam, Rachel's younger, and only, brother. My heart breaks even now even writing about it! He went to the hospital by ambulance and was in a vegetative state, just enough life to say goodbye to his family, Rachel excluded. Oh God, he was so young and OH, to get that call!!! I cannot even imagine, I do not want to! I cried then, like I am now. I tried calling their house just to check, hoping and praying that it wasn't true, please, don't let it be true!
There was such a strange vortex of time as time went on. A teacher on the France trip had to tell Rachel that her brother was gone and there was nothing that could be done. How surreal! She eventually made it back to the states to the rest of her grieving family. Later that summer there was a memorial in Lithia park in Ashland. People shared memories of Adam and tied a thought, prayer or otherwise to a balloon and let it go. Everyone released their balloons at the same time and let go of a piece of him that afternoon.
Time passed and the death took its toll on the family. How could anyone make sense of it. For the rest of it, it still loomed, but it was never quite so near us as them as they walked past his empty room and his things. When we were seniors, we do a project, write a paper and have a presentation. Rachel decided that she would choreograph a modern dance to Further to Fly (and 2 other songs), for a senior project, but also as part of her healing process. She asked a few fellow dancers to be in it with her, myself included. The words of the song are secondary to what it actually means emotionally for me, being a part of it. I don't remember if I was in any other of the dances, only this one. There was so much simplicity of pain and struggle and trying to let go and be at peace. If memory serves, the trio of dances were ended with I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan. It was an amazing experience and to this day I hope that it has helped her, I know that I will never forget...

I just went to look up dates or things about Adam's death and found a posting the local paper for today that is regarding Sara Joy, the youngest girl. It says that in 2002 she died in the hospital after complications over an overdose. His death hangs near and now hers. I did not know until now! I wish I had, I wish I knew where Rachel is and what she is doing. If anyone reads this and knows, please let me know! May Adam and Sara Joy rest in peace! My heart breaks again for the family.

Music for thought

Although the only traveling we did out of the country was when my grandma took us to France, my parents gave us the world. I was listening to the music I have chosen on my playlist and I thought to myself about how, in spite of our lack of funds, we still were able to have the entire world of culture through their influence. Through music and art, I have been to Africa, Spain, China, Australia, India, even the 1920s and how many people do you know that get to time travel? SOOO, many places! Through church, I practically go to Russia every week =) and have since I was a small child. So, thanks mom and dad, for keeping an open door to our cultural education that never could have happened inside the walls of any institution no matter how diverse. All of these things are a dear to my heart and I feel at home every time they are near. If me and my little family never make it out of the country together, I will be happy to say that we will still have the world at our fingertips!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I wish everyone could have a bus and lightrail to ride

So, lately Katherine and I have been public transportationists. We have been riding our local bus and light rail to get to those needed places around town. I will have to admit that, once you get the hang of it, it is actually really good. We have been using a bus/light rail pass for almost 2 months...the first month was a trial run and then this past month, Jay has put up his keys to the truck and has been riding his bike and driving the van to work. It has taken a little to get us in the swing of things, but we are in full swing now! Katherine really enjoys it and it is nice to not have to drive everywhere. I must say, things are pretty good.
It is an adventure every time, for example, Katherine and I went to get the van from Jay to pick up the girls for the sleep over on friday. Things were pretty normal, as we were arriving at our bus stop the rain started coming and the wind made it sideways. So Katherine hid in my skirt until the bus got there a couple minutes later and we jumped into warmth. Heather called me to see if they could come get us, so I explained we would be getting the van and, not to worry, we made it onto the bus without getting totally soaked. We made it to Centerpoint station (main transfer point) and immediately jumped onto our 130 bus that goes by Jay's work, something we have done a number of times already. The bus pulls out a minute later and we turn right instead of right, huh?!? I thought maybe we were picking up those on the loop and would pull back through and go our right way. When we passed out turn, I really started to wonder what was up. I overheard the driver telling another passenger that it was not a 'thru' line to the end destination. OOPS! Well, we had not passed Chambers yet, so as soon as we got to the intersection at Chambers and Alameda, we jumped ship and crossed over. We went down to the stop for the 153 that also stops by Jays work, but we have never taken and I had no clue if had just missed it! So we wait. Katherine starts weaving around like any 4 year old in the grass next to the stop, well, not much of a stop, it was a pole. I gave her a snack hoping it would slow her down and waited some more...this is when minutes feel like hours when you are trying to be somewhere at a certain time. I decided to call Jay and, of course, when he picked up, I saw the good ol' 153 rounding our corner right toward us and I told Jay we would be right there. WHEW! Disaster avoided! =) Adventure, nonetheless. Sort of fun craziness. In any case, it makes things exciting.
I s'pose I will write more later about our adventures in bus/rail land. Bye for now!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Tale of Two Plants

When Stephanida (Stella) passed away, I had no real clue how to properly honor her memory, in an Orthodox fashion. I thought about cleaning the church in her name, so when I am there cleaning I try to remember her. Fr Boris told me to take 2 plants home that were given to her at her funeral. Since she had no surviving family, there was no one to take them. The mum-looking one, with pretty flowers inevitably died, sadly. I think it needed a re-potting and more time than I was able. The other, a leafy green one still lives, thankfully. I was at a loss when Fr Boris told me I should care for them in her memory, like, okee, no problem. Two things I have learned, how a plant keeps a memory and why I prefer the green one to the flowers anyway.
The plant itself cannot, per se, speak, but every time I water it, it makes me think fondly of Stella and her ways. I recall her funeral and the way I felt, in a nostalgic, reverent sort of way. I think of the people who would help her down from the choir to have communion (there is a step down). I think about singing next to her, the alto part totally figured out for her, she has been doing it long enough. I remember her face...
Now, I did like the flowers, they were quite pretty and white. Sort of mum-looking as it were, they all slowly died in spite of our efforts. I felt terrible! Nice way to honor a memory, just watch it whither away! Oh well, we could not help from going. The green, unassuming, large-leafed plant is still here, good as ever and probably bigger. It crossed my mind how much more moderate this green one seems. She is green, she does not ask for much, is not high maintenance...she just grows calmly and slowly. I had given thought to how this mirrors our spiritual lives, how we need to be moderate, not flashy. The flowers are all well and good, they are made to do that and so they do their job. I dunno, just a thought.
Gotta go! Mommyhood is sort of sounds like crying this time =)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Could I be a Tree?

I was just out walking the dog
I saw a tree
It made me think
Such radiant beauty
In the dark of night
Tall and straight
Thin and white trunk
Green and soft leaves
All reaching upward
To the sky
Our Creator watches over
The tree stretches out its life
Toward God
Always knowing our God

I am human
I have a choice
Every moment
I have a choice
Every breath
I have a choice
Where does my heart lie
Whom does my soul call
Which way do my eyes turn...

The calm of night
Whisper on the wind
Clear of sky
Bright little stars
Chilly, promising air
Tree follows Truth
Could I be a tree?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Strangers in society

We are an Eastern Orthodox christian, homeschooling, stay-at-home mom family. To a lot of people, we are strange. Just choose one of those things and we are already different than the majority, now couple them together and, Boy! Do we stand out! People don't always 'get us'. That is not really a problem, for us, but sometimes people are sort of hostile about one or all of those things that we choose to do. Why? We are not forcing anyone else to be like us, we are just trying to live our lives. Jay often brings up to me that for a lot of people to even consider what we are doing, they have to rethink what they are doing and must also consider that what they are doing may be wrong. Somehow we are threatening to their lifestyle through our silent statement of our life choices. I am not saying that anyone is wrong in their choices, we are all on our own journeys and paths, everyone has their own freewill. I suppose I just can't figure why it is so blatantly alarming for people.
We are Orthodox christians and in no way push it in anyone else's face. Whether or not anyone perceives us this way, we will never know.
We homeschool Katherine...well, school as most people think of it is not what we do. We do not sit down at a specified time to do studies of any sort, unless Katherine asks to do it, or we are reading a book. When she is a little bigger, she may have a bit more structure, but for now, she is learning just fine without a regimented day. She is naturally curious, as most kids tend to be, and she asks questions, so we answer her in age appropriate language to her satisfaction. Some days she has TONS of questions and others, not a one, outside of, "Please, could I have a chocolate?" We have routine without being strapped to a clock. She is always learning something new and I hope it stays that way. Our wish is not that she be sheltered from reality and the 'real' world, it is simply that she is able to be a child and grow up to be capable of living in this world, prepared. We just figure that she has already been home 'schooled' for the first few years of her life, why stop now? =)
We have chosen to have me stay at home as the mommy, something that we talked about YEARS ago when we were first dating. Jay always thought it was nice to have a parent at home (his mom) and so did I and I also watched a number of kids over the years and wanted to really be the mommy. For some reason, that is odd to people, as if I am squandering my potential on 'merely' raising our daughter (hope to someday be with more babies)...I am worth SO much more, that is the message out there. I can have my cake and eat it too, what could be better, right? How silly I am being making such a choice! The funny thing is that there are a lot of people who think that way. I am grateful to God (not as often as I should be) that I am married to a man who is not only supportive, but encouraging. He stands up for what we believe and stand for, he is a real man, a man for his family.
So, all in all, we are strange and happy with it. Most certainly, we will never be anything but Orthodox christian and we will have to trust God in the rest of our choices, that His mercy continue. Slava Bogu! Alleluia! Praise God!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Jay has a blog

For anyone interested, Jay now has a blog. He is a rambler, but that is nothing new. I just love him and think other's want to read his stuff. That is him...or you can click on "My Man" on my blogspot. Ciao!