Monday, April 26, 2010

Pushing My Limits

Each of us has our areas that are our strengths. I know that I can plan and organize. Few things are too overwhelming in this area unless they come too many at one time then that can overwhelm but in a different way. I know I can accomplish the task, I just have to figure out how to be super organized. I also know how to interact with others, especially in an individual, personal way. Even with hard problems, this is usually more satisfying than challenging. For me, my strengths are head and emotional connections but I have never felt very secure in the physical part of me. I always have wondered if this would have been different for me if I would have been a teenager during a time when girls sports were available like they are today. I was a tall teenager and I think I would have had athletic skill but there wasn't girls sports during my high school time. Girls could be cheerleaders or on the drill team. I did love dance, but never felt secure in that are either. So I spent the next 30+ years developing my head. I can pull off smart beyond my actual ability and I have confidence in this area of head. So what do you do when the man you love not only has the strength of head but also confidence in the physical. He wants to hike, walk through the backwoods, carry a pack across desert canyons. He does go to some beautiful places and I do enjoy time with him, so I decide to try "pushing my limits."

We planned this hike for quite sometime. We even found the other couple to trade cars at each side of the river. We would start in Harris Wash on the west side of the Escalante River. They would start in Silver Falls on the east side of the river. We would hike the 16+ miles across, meeting in the middle. We started putting together the things we would need to take for this over night hike. I overthink every possible scenario, therefore, planning too many clothes for me to pack in my backpack, too much food for two days. I'm nervous for days before. I plan and plan because that is my strength. I don't know my body well enough to know if I will be able to meet the task. I don't know if it gets too hard if I will be able to find what I need to finish. The middle of a sandstone canyon without water and a two hour drive to the nearest town, is not the place you want to find out you don't quite have it. My husband can compensate a bit, slow down, move some of my load to his, but he can't carry me back to the car and he sure doesn't want to hear me cry outloud, the whining is almost more than he can take. The beauty of the places we go and the enjoyment of going together, forces me to take on the challenge. I go, scared to death. I go in search of the limits of this body that would have been so much easier to test 30 years ago. I go to prove to myself that I can do this too. And it is always incredibly beautiful and it is time well spent with the man that I love. And I will go again because I have that thing that helps women forget what having that first baby was like and then we have another. And I will put too much stuff in the backpack, and I will cause my stomach to gurgle with nerves, and I will plan with every possible solution at least for the problems I have planned for, and I will find out the boundaries of this 50+ body. And maybe I will love this body even more than I did when it was young and firm.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm thinking about quilts today since I'm working with Sheree on trying to put together a video presentation about quilts that will be shown at both the Escalante Heritage Day and the Boulder Heritage Festival. I have collected some pictures of old quilts and taken a lot of pictures of the process of putting together a quilt that I did for my son's wedding. I also have my sister and her husband busy tying one of the quilts they did this winter. The quilt picture I have posted was the camp quilt that I received from my Grandma Roundy for my wedding. I love this quilt because it is so much of the time period it was created. If you looked at it, you would know I was married in the seventies because all the pieces are made of polyester. If you knew my Uncle Claron during that time, you would recognize many of the shirts Aunt Ruby made for him. It is tied with a crowfoot stitch and my Grandpa said that it was so warm you could just put it in the room with you. This tradition of giving a quilt for a marriage is long standing in my family. I'm not much of a quilter (yet) but I still feel compelled to get the quilt done for the wedding. A camp quilt is easier since it doesn't have to be perfect. When babies are born, that's also the time of the quilt. My sister just finished 6 or 7 baby quilts for Haiti children. Her husband is great at the tying. I have one picture of him that says "Real Men Quilt." I love that because he is a real man that has no qualms about quilting. I haven't done baby quilts but I usually crochet around flannel blankets. My grandma made beautiful quilts. I have a beautiful tricot quilt she made and also a pieced quilt that she made for my wedding in addition to the camp quilt. My step mom also gave me one of Grandma's old pieced quilts that I dearly love. The hardest part with quilts is that they are too beautiful to use so they end up in a cedar chest waiting for the next generation to own them. I think I might put them out and enjoy them if I didn't have dogs. Maybe after the dogs are gone, I will enjoy my quilts. I also have a quilt that my Grandma King made that was on my Mom's twin bed when she was growing up. That is an interesting quilt. I always loved quilts my Aunt Ann made for graduations, weddings, and babies. Her quilts were useful and get used. Every quilt has it's own story, I'm sure. Maybe I'll start working on those quilt stories. I'm thinking we will have the quilt display on Friday of the Festival and the Saddles on Saturday, both are so impressive. And then let the stories begin. Tell me your quilt story.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Poetry and Dreams

In this last week, the dreams are battering me, one after another, each strong and filled with potential meaning. As the dreams come, so do the poems. Arriving one after another. So since all my writing is coming in poetry, it probably should appear here as well. (brand new hot off the press)

Boulder Love Poem

This place has always held me,
from the cradle of sandstone to each rock,
each curve on the road, to the tops of towering ledges.
They have witnessed those who came before me,
each generation linking one to another
to culminate in me.
At fourteen, I was drunk with this place.
Overwhelmed by all it possessed,
maybe it was that time of life when I could not control
the effect or I may have chosen
not to ignore it. I was madly in love,
the passion of place consumed me like a fire,
threatening to destroy me with intensity.
I was released from the hold just a little
when I found the one who would become my husband,
sharing my desire between place and man.
I learned moderation of this place,
small doses, a weekend, a week,
creeping up to three weeks and a month.
I would once again be dragged back
to the edge of desire, to sit on a sandstone peak,
wade in Calf Creek or allow the sun
to hike across my body while I leaned on a rock
at the edge of Grass Lake.
As I ride my fifties, I am embolden,
for the children are raised and a retirement check
arrives each month. I have lived a good life.
I return bravely to sleep night after night
on the banks of Boulder Creek.
I invite the beautiful of snow on Maggie’s Ledge,
to burn my eyes. My legs carry me
to each entrance of the Escalante River.
I embrace Upper Falls as winter breaks to spring,
allowing myself to fall so deeply in love
that I should be afraid. I will never escape
something this beautiful.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Next Generation of Mothers

Tonight my only daughter returns to work after having her own little daughter just 3 months ago. I'm so glad she had the three months with her daughter. Her last child was born before she was ready and pushed her to adulthood. This tiny girl came when she wanted her most and was ready with a marriage, health insurance, and a means to support her. Even in this time of preparation, the day comes when Mom returns to work. I remember going back to work when she was just almost 6 months old. I had enjoyed my time with her but I had also made her unwilling to drink from a bottle so I would race to the sitter's house down the street from the school I worked at and feed her at lunch. She also moved to cereals and other foods sooner so she could get through the day. We had a glorious time after school, sitting in the rocker and reconnecting with a little nursing time. I went back to work sooner with my son, but the sitter was his Dad, so that felt like a good time for them. I still raced to where ever he was for the next several months to have a quick feed during the lunch hour. He was so easy because he could eat both sides in a matter of minutes and send me back to work.

My son-in-law has duty tonight with his tiny daughter who is spending her first night without her mom. It will be good for both of them to learn how to meet each others needs. But I know that tonight my daughter is fretting on the 3rd floor of the Medical Center. Wishing she was home with her daughter and wondering if she still knows how to be the nurse those patients on the 3rd floor need. On the news tonight, they talked about the scientific research on the benefits of breastfeeding for 6 months but yet even in the best of circumstances, 3 months is what mom and baby get. In this time of health care debate, I wish we were further along the debate to be talking about getting at least those 6 months that they are finding to be so critical. I hope my daughter can find a way to keep the breastfeeding going beyond this go back to work time. I hope that we can become a nation that can adapt to what we find is most important for babies and for helping mom's to make it work. Good luck my daughter and kisses to Dad and baby tonight!!