Thursday, November 25, 2010


Wrote a piece about gratitude for mistakes this morning while I was supposed to be attending to the sermon. I carefully folded the scribbled-on bulletin and filed it in my purse for later, continued musings. And now I can't find it. Hate it when that happens. Wasted 30 minutes looking for it. I'm not good at letting things go.

Here's the place where I compose a lithe, possibly poetic sentence or two about letting go and mistakes and gratitude. Except there simply is not one lithe phrase left in my head this evening. after a lovely but long day of receiving and giving Thanks, complete with the obligatory groaning table surrounded by loved ones.

It was a homely and homey meal, spectacular only in its absolute lack of meticulous timing on my part. I'm a scatterbrained soul, ready to leap off any trail, squirrel-like, after a shiny bauble. Thus I usually deconstruct the feast into a chart so I don't lose track of anything.

I usually lose track of something anyways. This could involve burning, or forgetting in the microwave, or just plain for getting to make something. You'll be surprised to hear that it often involves a green vegetable. But not today. No chart, yet the food arrived on the table all of a warm, yummy piece at just the right moment--even the green beans.

If I wasn't so tired, this is another place where I'd string together something coherent about past meals not being any less sweeter for my mistakes,
how amusing some of them turned out to be, how much I learned from each one. And maybe some bon mot about how the mistakes weren't nearly as important as having people I love around the table.

Then maybe I'd curve around to talk about how most of the people I love are full of mistakes and, for the most part, learning from them. Mistakes make them interesting. People who live mistake-free aren't really living. They are focused on making it through each tiny moment without screwing up. Such a narrow and small way to live.

Which explains why I find myself living that way oh so often? Now, if I weren't floating on an l-tryptophan sleepwave, enhanced by a semi-sweet dry Riesling, I'd explore the irony of admiring others for living, nay thriving, through mistakes yet continuing to live in the "please God, let me not screw up and if I do so I will hate myself forever" mode.

But I am tired. And, instead of scrabbling for words, I'm going to play a few rounds of Scrabble and go to sleep, grateful for dear friends, family, forgiveness, mistakes, and pumpkin pie.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

black shoes and brown puddles

I got up this morning to a lovely fall day: beautiful blue skies delicately decorated with a still-healthy smattering of yellow leaves, sun shining through them. While I'm worshiping out my window, my eyes are caught by a discordant color. Brown. Brown puddles.

Brown puddles do not belong in this picture. Brown puddles particularly do not belong on my kitchen floor. My brain refuses to process brown puddles.

OK. Denial is short-lived; it's not my usual coping mechanism and it definitely doesn't remove brown puddles. So let's move to self-pity: really, God? Really?

First, C has a violent intestinal virus (think bodily fluids here and I'll spare you the details.) Then he has an intestinal blockage (ditto) and has to hang in the hospital.

Back at the ranch, I wake up to find yet another large man in gray making retching noises at the bathroom door. Momentarily dislocated from reality, I wonder if my husband walked home from the hospital in the middle of the night.

Nope. This would be J experiencing the aforementioned violent intestinal virus. Bodily fluids were extant. On beige carpet. I needed to clean immediately and be at the hospital to hear a doctor's report at the same time. I cried. It didn't help.

You know how people always say, "If you need help, just call. Anytime! Anything!" No one really ever expects that you actually WILL call them. For the most part, people just say this to be nice, don't they? And certainly no one really ever expects that you actually will call them for help with cleaning up bodily fluids before breakfast.

But your best friends will do this for you. And you will--absolutely--do this for them. I am blessed with a number of these friends. Thanks to T, I got to the hospital on time with an undamaged beige carpet.

A few days pass. Many other things pass, of the type we are not describing in detail. And then I wake up to brown puddles all over the house. No men in gray were involved, only a little furry puppy pie who apparently had a rough night.

I did not call T to help me with this third round of bodily fluids. I'm sure she's pleased.

But, really, God. Did my dog need to excrete brown puddles all over my cute relatively new and expensive black shoes? Really? Does leather recover from extended contact with brown puddles?

All are now healthy. Good fortune is duly noted and experienced as blessings. But I'm still a little bent out of shape over the cute shoes.