Waiting for pizza

My husband is on his way home with pizza. Cheese, no doubt. I’ve preheated the oven, so now I wait. Not that I’m terribly hungry considering the Girl Scout cookies I just munched. The kids are building houses and gardens in Minecraft.

So I stare out the window at the gray sky and the grayish snow patches in my yard which will soon be turning to its usual mucky spring puddle. I’ve been waiting for spring, too.

My puppy waits at the back door for someone to either open it and let her in or come out and play with her. Play with her means chasing her around the yard while she carries a toy in her mouth. She’s not a fetcher, but she is a tugger and a runner. Sometimes she scratches at the door, if sitting there isn’t working, but mostly, she sits with her nose at the door waiting, waiting.

I don’t often wait well. If I’m at a coffee shop with a book or pen and paper waiting for a friend, I could wait all day. But if I’m stuck, if my next move is dependent on someone else’s move, like getting picked up at the airport or scheduling plans or doing projects, I don’t wait well at all. Luckily, I’m hardly ever at the airport. Unluckily, those other two happen a lot. No getting around it, plans and projects will happen and people will drop the ball (sometimes me) and I will be impatient, anxious, irritated.

Who said, “God give me patience and give it to me now”? Yeah, that would be good.

Well, the pizza is cooking, the pup has run off some steam, and I’ve written a post.

Write with me: I’m patient when… or I’m impatient when…


Winter, winter, go away


It was 7 degrees this morning when my marathon-training hubby went out for his 13 mile run. He’s a brave one. Plus, he’s got extra-special underclothes for super-cold days. I stayed in bed until it hit double digits.

I need spring to be here. But since it’s coming slowly, slowly, I try to remember what winter is for:


Thanks to Cindy at The Socratic Project for posting my meditation/rant on winter.

Moms and Daughters writing together

Roxanne Sadovsky is calling all mothers and daughters to join her for a writing together retreat brunch!

Mother-Daughter Writing Retreat Brunch

Saturday May 4, 2013

10 am-3 pm


Do you know what your mother’s favorite color is? What does your daughter like most about work or school? Does she prefer to go barefoot? What are her wildest dreams? Am I really turning into her?

When was the last time you spent some quality time with mom? Join other mothers, daughters, granddaughters, stepmothers, and in-laws in any combination on a special retreat dedicated to nurturing, reconnecting, and celebrating the maternal bond.  Whether you seek a day of creative fun with other mothers and daughters as you discover new ways of building a more meaningful relationship, or simply a few relaxing hours to wax nostalgic about old stories and memories, you’ll discover how writing together connects mothers and daughters of all ages, backgrounds, generations, and legends. All are welcome!

For more info, email Rox at rox@writingwithrox.com or check our her website: http://writingwithrox.blogspot.com/p/retreats.html

Retreat from community

As I mentioned to a friend yesterday, I feel like someone has kicked the puzzle of my life and loosened some pieces. The writing piece, the yoga piece, the strength training piece, the running piece, the eating healthy food in reasonable amounts piece. Detached and scattered about willy-nilly. Luckily, the central pieces concerning husband, kids, and home are secure.

Still, without those other pieces, I start to disassemble. Slowly, but surely, I get cranky, sad, sleepy, exhausted, and anxious. I know where that heads if I don’t take care of myself and start putting those pieces back into place.

Communities are vital and all the social interaction can be exciting and fulfilling. But sometimes, especially for an introvert, being in community is overwhelming and exhausting, not at all restorative. Even when that community is only one’s immediate family, the need to get away is powerful. Time and space out of community is often essential to refresh the resources needed to return as a positive participant in communities.

When a quiet evening reading a book in a coffee shop isn’t enough, I go on retreat to a hermitage. I go to the woods to a one-room cabin with no plumbing or electricity. Gas heats the room and the tea kettle. I sit in a rocking chair, a knit blanket over my legs, cup of tea in hand,  looking out a picture window at the trees, squirrels, and occasional deer. I listen only to the wind and my body. Walk when I want to walk, eat when I am hungry, sleep when I am tired, write when I am compelled. Gaze out the window for hours, if I so choose. No time, but the sun. No obligations, but to be present.

For four days and three nights, I will remain in silence and solitude. If I cross paths with anyone, we will nod and continue on our way. This is desert time. The only noise will be the clattering in my mind the first day, after which, I will relearn stillness. I will relearn patience. I will relearn kindness.

Silence, solitude, stillness. I long for these as water. Soon. Soon.

A feverish post

Tucked at the bottom of the definition of community I posted earlier, was this definition:

5. a. A group of organisms interacting with one another and with the environment in a specific region. b. The region occupied by a group of interacting organisms.

Well, a community of bacteria and/or viruses has set up camp in my sinuses. Actually, they seem to have built houses and settled in. I’m doing my best to evict the microscopic &%^$ers.
I had no idea sinus infections could be this debilitating. Misery loves company: tell me your story of a sinus infection or being astoundingly sick.

Regularly scheduled programming to resume this week

A math equation:

3 days off school + 5 days at home with ill son + 1 broken fridge + 1 new fridge + 1 weekend writing retreat + 2 conferences + 2 school arts performances + 1 nasty head cold = 0 blog posts

Hence (a fav word of my high school math teacher), blogging about building community will resume this week.

Posts to look forward to:

Legacy, my grandparents and their communities

Writing with the MOMS Club (and 8 young children)

Intuitive writing and music-making, a retreat to remember

What isn’t necessary

What is community and how to build it are essential questions. So is asking what isn’t necessary for community to form. Sure, all the things I will mention can be helpful for building community, but I don’t consider them necessary.

Liking your neighbor is not necessary. Either the one who lives next door or the one on the other side of the world. Liking someone is a feeling, one that is deeply personal and subjective. It is difficult and a waste of time to try to wrangle ourselves into liking every person. Is it easier to act on behalf of someone we like? Of course. But to build a strong, thriving community, we must act on something deeper than our personal preferences.

Money is not necessary for community to form. A nod to a neighbor walking her dog, a kind word to a child, a smile at a barista brewing our coffee cost us nothing, but they go a long way toward building a sense of community. A lavish party or an evening at home playing board games with family? Community grows at both.

Proximity isn’t necessary. As I draw away from social media and focus on those around me, I’m inclined to say that being physically near someone is necessary, but I know it is not. A good friend of mine met her future husband online via blogs. I’ve participated in discussion boards with people from around the world and I felt more community there that at a dinner party. Reading books fosters a sense of community. Proximity is a huge part of community, but perhaps not necessary, at least not on the beginning.

Exhaustive details are not necessary for community. When did we start thinking that we have to know everything about everybody to consider them friends? If you asked me what I know about my Wednesday morning writing group, I would say I know their souls through their words, even though I don’t know their addresses, where they went to high school, or what they ate for supper.

If we don’t need any of the above to build strong, deep communities, what is essential?

One possibility: “…it is only kindness that makes sense anymore…” Naomi Shihab Nye, from her poem Kindness.