“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” Khalil Gibran
The last few weeks I’ve spent lost in everyday details of a fairly busy life preparing to move. But to be honest, I have also found myself lost between hours, disconnecting myself from the altogether overwhelming list of “to dos”. Instead, because time is so short with Miss R, I have indulged us both in play and overnight stays whenever I can.
“Will you remember me?” I asked her over the new Moana Lego set just recently erected with her momma’s help. She tilted her head, the way she always does when her young mind puzzles through something. She nods and chirps, “of course.”
My heart hurts thinking about our soon to be separation.
I think ahead to summer vacation and the promised two weeks when my little family will join me in Texas. The “to dos” come crashing all around me and, instead of the momentary sadness of missing my grandchild, I focus on all the blessings life has bestowed upon me.
Gratitude swells within me. I have worked towards this move for awhile. For years I have yearned for warmer weather, a fresh start and new opportunities. I am so blessed and so grateful for this next chapter in my life. But, being human, I also recognize the sadness, the profound grief, of this imminent move.
My list of “to dos” is calling me. Guess its time to get busy before I get lost in the hours again.
“Honey, never forget you’re awesome… you’re just sitting in the wrong seat, on the wrong bus,” my girlfriend said, consoling me.
I’m banging on the door, begging the bus driver to stop so I don’t miss my stop. He ignores me and keeps driving. The more I beg to get off, the faster he drives. Stop after stop flies by. Thoughts of jumping flashes through my brain but just as quickly ugly images of bloody gashes and broken bones flashes through my mind, keeping me frozen in my seat.
Fear. An ugly companion.
The bus turns a corner. Slows. My heart leaps. Was now my chance? Can I get off now? Would he let me go now?
A new bus driver steps onboard, sits down and the bus races on ignoring my request to let me get off at my stop. Instead, her hooded eyes sternly staring at me from the rear windshield mirror, tells me I’m on the wrong bus (like I didn’t already know that -ugg). Her words harsh as stones, fire at me, reminding me I don’t belong in the seat assigned and there is no place for me on her bus and there are no stops for the likes of me.
The bus stops.
The doors open – to an empty dirt road.
I get off the bus. It drives away.
Fear greets me.
I look closer. Behind Fear sits Potential.
Stepping around Fear I embrace my Potential.
Thank you, D., for reminding me that there is always another bus on its way.
Miss R popped over for breakfast only the cupboards were a bit bare. My week was busy and left little time for shopping so off we went to enjoy a beautiful morning gathering necessary supplies. On our list – ingredients for cupcakes!
Sunshine has found its way North and with it a hint of spring seems to have slipped in as well. I’m hoping that this little tease will turn into the real thing. But Alaska’s weather is finicky and changes on a dime so it’s best to enjoy the good days when they arrive. And that’s exactly what we did.
I’ve been immersed this week in one of my most indulgent past times – reading. I almost had forgotten the pleasure I get from losing myself inside familiar pages read over and over again but always feeling new. Rediscovering favorites on my bookshelf has sort of derailed my plans to purge the shelves. Instead the books open on their own accord drawing me inside their worlds of adventure.
Time gets away.
But just one more evening, I promise myself, and then tomorrow I will take a stab at clearing out some of the shelves in preparation for my upcoming move.
A little known fact I have learned after living in the Last Frontier for over twenty five years is that when the winter sky is clear and brilliant blue the temperature is frigid. Saturday morning was no exception. The below zero temp rose to single digits as we made our way down to see the ice sculptures.
I explained to Miss R as we got our snow gear on that this was love, because this grandma absolutely hates the cold. Thank goodness this will be my last winter here (but that’s another story for another time). But a promise is a promise and it was time for an adventure! So off we went to explore Fur Rondy.
Snow Sculpture Competition
The snow sculptures are down in the Port of Anchorage across from the ULU Factory. A parking lot was converted to temporarily house the snowy artwork. The chilly temperature and icy cold drew people to the one and only food vendor like flies to honey.
With a hot chocolate and warm apple cider in hand we headed up the hill to the carnival.
Even in the arctic there is fun at the carnival. Miss R, impervious to the cold, was in high spirits as her and her mama went fishing – and won two squishy bears that found a home in my pocket for safe keeping. They now reside on my bookshelf keeping Miss R’s other toys company until she visits again.
A bit frozen (at least I was) we headed for home to warm up before I headed back out to 4th Avenue to meet C.
Running With Reindeer
For ten years folks have had the opportunity to run down 4th Avenue with reindeer. Yes, you too could dress up (or wear nothing at all) and run down frozen streets with a herd of reindeer. I had this new Nikon camera and figured it would be a good time to test it shooting racing, walking and snorting animals and humans alike. To be honest – this little Nikon does an OK job but it doesn’t compare to C’s Cannon and her new lens. But I’m an amateur and will continue to test the waters…you will have to let me know I do.
I’m amazed at the participation from the runners to the audience. The Anchorage streets were packed with people enjoying the festival. Despite the frozen chill in the air you wouldn’t know it by all the happy cheering people. This race, presented by the KWHL 106.5 Morning Show and Fur Rondy, raises funds for Toys for Tots. By the attendance I’m sure they raised a good sum for a great cause!
Going through an old file I stumbled upon my mothers papers, yellow and wrinkled from age. She’s been gone now for over 25 years and I still miss her. The loss of someone you love never goes away, it just becomes apart of you – ghostly memories that resurrect themselves, like now.
Slipping into her pages, I found this hand written draft she wrote an eon ago about me as a little girl. This is how my mother saw me.
Her words are written below.
Rene is an eight and one half year old girl of mixed blood – white European heritage – with 1/4 Cherokee, Seminole Indian. She weighs 50lbs, is 3 feet 6 inches tall, she wears a size 1 shoe in girls. She has hazel eyes, chestnut brown hair, a powder of big, brown freckles across her snub nose. Rene’s skin is medium light, tans very quickly and rarely sunburns, it is delicate in texture.
Rene slips from a merry little minx to serious studious Miss in a twinkling and in a minute more shes pouring over a trifle, screaching at her brothers or complaining over some imagined hurt to her vanity. She can sit still for an hour but most often she’s moving restlessly about the small apartment, out in the yard or talking for hours on the telephone.
This morning I asked her how old she was. She replayed eight. A moving insight. Most little girls her age would have said almost nine or eight and one half or eight and a half.
– Crystal Thomas Tuchel