Tag Archives: Feathers

“I am thankful for magical days.”

27 Nov

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

In my life, it has also been marked with special moments and memories.

I remember Thanksgivings as a child, of course; helping to stir the mashed potatoes and the little mouse characters that my Nanny would set out on the table each year.

And then, as I got older, it was coming home from college to be with my family.

I remember being 21 and sharing my first Thanksgiving with my husband (who was then my boyfriend) as we both silently acknowledged this thing–this thing that meant that we were already on the road to being each others’ family.

Thanksgiving when I was 24, my husband called me into the other room at my Aunt’s house and said, “I want to have a baby.”

I will never forget that moment. I type the words with tears in my eyes.

The very next Thanksgiving day we were lazy, staying in bed to watch the parades on TV and my husband felt my growing baby, inside my belly, kick for the very first time. I was 19 weeks pregnant with our daughter.

And as we grew and grew, Thanksgiving became a tradition that we shared with our little girl. It was that day, 4 years ago, that she had her first bagel. It was blueberry. Tiny flurries fell from the sky, and we held her up to the window of our little former house to show her the first glimpse of snow.

Four years ago on Thanksgiving I also quoted my dear childhood babysitter, now a beautiful mother, as her words touched me:

“We don’t give thanks because we are happy. We are happy because we give thanks.”

And then there were other Thanksgivings. And some were lovely. And others…not so much.

But today, how could I spend the morning by being anything but supremely thankful?

My son woke me up at 6, as I heard him from his room. As I carried him downstairs for his morning milk, I noticed the softness of his skin. I am falling more in love with him each day.

Fifteen minutes later I heard small footsteps coming down the stairs, and before I saw her, I heard her voice:

“Wow! Look at the snow!”

Magic. My daughter still brings me magic.

In fact, in school, when they were asked to decorate a feather (!!!) with what they were thankful for,

she said “I am thankful for magical days.”

And right now it isn’t quite light out. My kids are sharing an apple and playing together with Mr. Potato Head, and Lola is sleeping, curled up beside me,

I am not going to begin to list the things for which I am thankful; not yet, anyway. I am still rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

But I can say that I am thankful that this morning, when I heard my son cry, my husband, still 90% asleep, pulled the covers up around my shoulders so that they would be covered and warm. I am thankful that I am that loved.

And for these two. I am happy because I am giving thanks.

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For the love of music.

23 Nov

This morning, one of my cherished new friends sent this video to me, to help chase some of my sick babies blues away.

She didn’t know that The Beach Boys concert with my family was my favorite concert ever. EVER.

She didn’t know that “God only knows what I’d be without you.” is the phrase that I use to describe how I feel about my husband.

She just knew that it was beautiful and that it featured a feather prominently.

And this brings me to tears; the friendship, the music, all of it.

I hope you enjoy.

“In Our Time” and on my night table.

15 Nov

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

-T.S. Eliot, one of my favorites.

Last night before bed I scanned my night table for my glasses, and took a minute to note what I keep there, next to me, as I sleep.

I don’t have much, but everything is meaningful. I have one of my crystals (of course).

I have a mirrored frame, containing a small piece of art that reads “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

In the far back corner, hidden behind a silver carved wood box, I have a feather or two and (don’t judge me, please) my lucky purple underwear, folded and twisted up into a tiny little knot. Unidentifiable to anyone but me. My protection symbols. Ok. I know it’s weird. Whatever.

I have a photograph of Ernest Hemingway, older and bearded, writing at his desk.

And tucked away, behind it all, I have a few pieces from the hospital. They remind me of where I have been, where I no longer wish to be, and where I hope to go.

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The pins are from a night earlier in my stay, when I was doing a partial hospitalization outpatient program and staying in a beautiful local boutique hotel. My dear, kind, amazing friend came up one night to sleep over with me, so that I would not be alone. Since my hospital was located a few miles from a lovely, quintessential college town, I met my girl at 6:30 that night, once my program for the day had ended, and we spent the evening walking around, through the college apparel shops, the pharmacy, clothing stores and savoring every second in their real, actual book store. We don’t have many (if any) of those around anymore. I must have lingered in the far back right corner between Hemingway and Fitzgerald for a good 10 minutes, just running my hands across the spines of “in Our Time” and “A Farewell to Arms” and “An Immoveable Feast”, like I wanted to inhale them.

At the checkout counter, they had these silly little pins for $1 each. We each picked out a couple, and I keep mine by my bed, because they make me smile. They make me think of this time of great transformation, but also of my great fortune to have a friend who would drive all the way to another state, after a long day of work, to spend 12 hours in a hotel room with me, just so that I wouldn’t have to sleep by myself.

There is also a beaded bracelet, that I accidentally made too big during a Sunday morning art therapy session while I was inpatient. I remember stringing each bead on carefully, knowing, as I did it, that I wold save this simple, silly little craft forever.

I guess subconsciously I keep these things, this strange collage of items, in the place that is closest to me as I rest,

hoping for healing, protection and guidance;

that somehow some of the powers of the crystals, and the safety of the feathers and the weight of the hospital stay and the wisdom of Hemingway and the reminder of eternal love will seep into me during slumber.

Hey, who knows how these things work.

Each night as I fall asleep I pray for a new beginning the next day; a new place from which to start. And, if nothing else, I can always rest easy knowing that, undoubtedly, Tulips are better than one.

strength and symbols and superstitions and salt.

23 May

It’s all about the little things; that’s what I’ve learned.

***

There are some things that are up in the air right now, and we are in a time where we feel a little unsettled. Part of this is obvious and tangible; we have a POD with the entire contents of our flooded basement taking up half of our driveway–but there are also other things, harder to pinpoint, that we are trying to work through. My husband woke up at 2am and could not go back to sleep, his mind was racing so.

So today, I thought that a little extra support in the form of my strength symbol was necessary.

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My family is extremely superstitious. We have our things. We don’t walk over the legs of another person. We don’t put shoes on a table. And my dad wears a rubber band on his wrist for good luck. Today my daughter found one and gave it to me. I’ll take it, I say.

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I got to spend a little time with one of my favorite people today. She reminded me to count my blessings. She reminded me to say, “I want a life that’s good.”

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With some things up in the air, I turned to one of my dad’s oldest superstitions of sorts: salt. He has always thrown salt over his shoulder as a way to symbolize things going in the direction that they should.

I did this today.

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I found a feather today, in an unexpected place, at an unexpected time. My strength symbol. I did not take it for granted.

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It’s the little things. The little things make all the difference.

My Nanny

18 May

I have written on this site, since it’s inception, about my Nanny.

My Nanny was my grandmother on my dad’s side. She was incredibly special to me, and I lost her when I was 13 years old after a furious 6 month battle with cancer.

She is why I have a thing for feathers and lucky pennies.

She taught me about art.

We used to go to museums and at the very end of our visit she would have me pick out the postcard of my very favorite piece of the day.

We used to sit on the big rocks by the pond by her house, next to waving cattails and resting geese, and would sketch our feelings with charcoal.

I would sleep over at her house and she would bring me breakfast in bed with her finest china plates and bowls and crystal glasses for my fresh squeezed juice.

My Nanny taught me about scones and Almondina cookies and Ikura sushi and champagne grapes.

She taught me about The Phantom of the Opera and Into the Woods.

I struggled a lot with my Nanny’s death. She was so young. We had so much more to see, and hear and taste and do and sketch together.

But what I struggle with the most is that she did not live to see me as an adult.

I think about how much she would love my husband; how she would appreciate his gentle way, his artistic abilities, his passion for food and his tenderness. She would have made him her fried chicken and mashed potatoes and would have smiled so contently as he licked his plate clean.

That makes me sad.

I wish my Nanny could see me as a grown woman. As a wife, as a mother. I wish she could see how I pack lunch for my husband and daughter every day, just like she did. How I cook dinner every night. How I eat biscotti and sing lullabies and teach.

But that sadness does not compare to how I feel about how she missed meeting my children.

She would love my children.

And not just because they would be her great-grandchildren, but she would love them for who they are.

My daughter: She would love my girl for her spirit, her feisty personality; how she is so gifted in the arts, both fine and performing; how she enamors strangers with her cuteness and spunk; She would laugh at how, like me, she never stops talking.

My son: She would love my boy for his sweetness; for his reddish hair; for his rolls of pudge and warm, coy smile and the twinkle in his eye; she would love how he eats with great gusto and would love cooking for him.

I do believe in angels. I believe that our loved ones, while maybe not watching every moment of our lives like a movie being projected in a theater, are around us, and weave in and out of our lives and consciousness throughout the years and the milestones and the moments.

Today my Nanny would be 80 years old.

If she were here, we would celebrate her with a cake from the Ultimate Bake Shoppe. We would put on music and I would tell my daughter to say, “Just a little bit of dah-ncing” in my Nanny’s way. We would give her handmade cards and maybe a pretty handkerchief or picture frame with photos of the kids.

We would snuggle up to her softness. We would say, “I love you.”

Today my Nanny would be 80 years old and I miss her very much.

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late

Wonderful and Featherful

11 Apr

You guys. Seriously, you rock. You’ve made my birthday so wonderful and you’ve filled it with amazing treats, feathers, and, most of all, words. You’ve shared your words with me today and each note, each word has meant something to me. So thank you.

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And I’m covered in feathers,

from my top

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All the way to the tips of my fingers

photo 3-15With a lil’ party mani to boot.

So thank you. I love you. And I love life today.

A tiny, little, amazing story.

9 Apr

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Today, as I unloaded from school pick up,

doing my normal routine of getting my daughter out of the passenger side of the car,

slinging her backpack over my shoulder,

walking her around the car to my side where I get her brother out in his incredibly heavy infant carrier,

when my daughter said, “Wait. I want to see my brother.”

And it stopped me in my tracks;

I got that incredible feeling of happiness and awe at my new team.

I thought about how I’ve never myself uttered those words.

So I decided I was going to blog about it.

And I brought them inside and I went to take him out of his carseat,

and she came up to him, stroked his arm, and starting to sing, this will be our year.

Smile for me, little one.

She sang all the words and he giggled and cooed.

And then, at that moment, a feather fell from the sky, onto the pile of us.

I swear to you.

After somewhat of a hard time  this week, I am comforted to know that my angels are

applauding my team, just as loudly, and just as clearly

as I am.