The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Monday, August 27, 2007

GSIU Weeks #33 and 34

Gotta Step it Up these past 2 weeks has been about finding balance and taking a few steps back. In the 2 weeks between the kids coming home from camp and son #1 going off to college, I spent time at home. I cooked meals for the 4 of us to share. I took son #1 shopping (multiple times), we went out for dinner, we went to a Yankee game, I nagged son #1 to clean out his room (I was not too successful on this one). I hemmed 3 pairs of pants, I washed and folded many loads of laundry (how many T-shirts does a college kid need?), I packed his clothes. I didn't worry about when I was going to the gym ( I didn't go) and I took off a couple of days from work to get everything done without being all stressed out. It was the right thing to do and it felt good. Son #2 will be back in school next week and I will be back at the gym and finding ways to Step it Up.

Cutting the Cord

On Saturday, DH and I deposited son #1 in his dorm room at the University of Delaware. It was a loooooong day. The traffic on I-95 was horrendous so it took us longer than expected to get there. When we finally arrived and got out of the car, it was 97 degrees. I kid you not. We carried all his belongings up 2 flights of stairs to his hot and stuffy room. His roommate (who seems like a perfectly normal friendly young man) had already arrived and gotten set up, so he and his family were able to step back and let us cram more stuff into their little room. He had to “gather” with his freshman family at 5:00, so we didn’t have a whole lot of time to help him get things together. It was probably better this way, so I didn’t have the opportunity to linger and avoid the inevitable final hug and goodbye. So at 4:55, the cord was cut. Holy shit, where has the time gone? It can’t possibly be 13 years since I had to bribe him with chocolate milk to get him out of bed on his first day of kindergarten. Or over 18 years since the obstetrician said “it’s a boy!” and I said “I know” because even though I didn’t know, I knew.

I expected to cry a good portion of the ride home, but I didn’t. The cord has been stretching tighter and gotten very frayed, so the final cut was less painful than I anticipated. But despite being exhausted when we finally got home, I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking of all the things I could have done for him, but didn’t have the time, or wondering what he was doing, and just thinking about how exciting this is. And I just plain miss him. There is definitely a little hole, a piece missing somewhere in my soul. I don’ think that will ever go away, I just have to get better at dealing with it. And I know my DH is experiencing something different. As much as he loves son #1, and I’m sure misses having him around, there was no cord connecting them.

I was fine on Sunday, maybe a little tired from not getting too much sleep. In the evening, I sent an email off to him, suggesting that he put his trunk in his closet instead of under his bed. Even though the cord has been cut, I’m still his mother!

Monday, August 20, 2007


One of the members of the bike club, Judy, has a home on a beautiful lake in nearby Putnam County. Every year she hosts a bike club event at her home. On Saturday morning, we had rides for all levels which started at the nearby middle school and ended at Judy's house. We ask for $10 and the club picks up the rest of the costs for all the food, drinks, snacks, and paper goods. This year the party fell on the same dates as the anniversary of Woodstock, and so that became the theme. We called this event Judystock. Now, the demographics of the club are definitely skewed toward the older end, so we had more than a few members who were actually at Woodstock. And those of us who were a little too young (myself included) certainly grew up with the music and the attitude. We are the Woodstock generation. So for a few hours, we listened to the music, wore tie-dyed T-shirts, played in the summer sun, and ate some good food! There was no mud and no psychodelics but nobody seemed to mind. We had fun and spent a few hours away from all our adult responsibilities. I hung around til the bitter end, helping Judy clean up and pack up all the leftovers. I took home a bag of food which fed my family that evening, so I was able to stretch out the feeling of being a free spirit for a little while longer. It left me with a laid back feeling that lasted through Sunday. I didn't rush off anywhere, not even to the gym. I spent the day taking care of things around the house, cooking, reading, and just not getting all wound up about having to get things done. It was rather pleasant!

Monday, August 13, 2007

GSIU Week #32

Week #32 brought me to Hamilton NY for a 2 day meeting. I decided to drive up there a day early and bring my bike. When I got there, I stopped at the bike shop in town and asked for some guidance in planning a ride. The owner explained that Hamilton is at the top of a valley. The roads heading north, east and west bring you into the hills. He suggested a 20 mile route that went mostly south. I told him I didn't mind hills, but he really didn't know those roads very well, anyway. I decided that I did not bring my bike 190 miles to ride a flat 20 miles. So when I got on my bike, I headed east, into the hills, with beautiful farms and vistas. I watched my heart rate climb as I climbed and then I got to enjoy the wind as I descended into town. Then I rode the flat 20 and it was a really beautiful ride and it wasn't all that flat anyway! I must admit that I had an ice cream cone when I was done, but at least I stepped it up by embracing the hills. It was a great 27 miles.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Frittata

I belong to the Purple Dragon Food Coop. Every 2 weeks, I pick up a basket of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. This time of year, most of it is local and terrific and plentiful. So July's Local Food Challenge has been easy. In addition to using local food, I challenged myself to prepare some new foods, to dig into some cookbooks and come up with some new ways to eat all these wonderful foods, and I discovered The Frittata. I had to make a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy a skillet that could go in the oven, but it was worth the investment because I am in love with The Frittata. The first one had loads of greens like swiss chard and cilantro and fresh tomatoes and onions and wonderful salty feta cheese. The second one had roasted potatoes and then roasted vegetables like peppers and zucchini and a custard with cream cheese and then cheddar cheese and olives. It wasn't "light" but it was outrageously delicious. DH and I ate frittata for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I put a few slices in the freezer that will find their way into my lunchbag. The great thing about The Frittata is that you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand and probably any cheese, too. Change up the spices to give it a different accent. It's a vegetarian's local food dream come true. Recipes abound, just ask google and you too can come to love The Frittata.

Friday, August 03, 2007

A Note from DH

DH went out of town for a few days. He left me a little note, stuck to a package of toilet paper. It said,
"I'll miss you. Here is toilet paper for our bathroom. The newspapers go out tomorrow. Love."

What a guy. How did I ever get along in this world without him. Obviously, without toilet paper and never remembering the recycling. Seriously, one of the reasons I love him is because he is just the right mix of romantic and pragmatic.