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Showing posts from 2012

Summer Solstice

It was a Wednesday night, and Dave and I had just finished eating a late dinner in the living room.  As the end credits scrolled across the television screen, I lay back on the couch.

Long orange light slid across the kitchen floor - it was just before sunset, the night of the summer solstice.  Dave stood up, thanked me for making dinner, and went down to the basement to work.

The DVD looped back to the menu, so I rose to eject the disc - season one of The Simpsons, the third disc of three.  I reached for the plastic rental cover and popped it back into place with the two others.

I walked toward the basement stairs.  "Be back in a minute - don't lock me out!" I called down to Dave.  I heard the soft thunk of something mechanical.  "OK," he called back.  Discs in hand, I slipped into sandals and opened the front door.

It was a beautiful night, and a thin summer humidity cooled by the evening wrapped wide ribbons around my ankles, calves and arms.  I struck acro…

Wheel and Lever

Switch and Cranks

Graffiti Train

LeVeque Tower

Queen Anne's Lace

Mulberries

Daisies

Supreme Court of Ohio

9 Years on Norwood

Today is my work-from-home day.  It's the day I am supposed to be productive with the writing side of my life. I had planned to sit down and work on transcription, to work on the nuts-and-bolts information for my next freelance article.  But when the time came to sit down to my computer, I just ... couldn't.

I am usually able to push past the working-at-home reticence, but when I put my hands against it to shove it aside, I felt this panicked desire to cry.

And that's when I thought - maybe tonight is a bigger deal than I thought it would be.

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I am 25. From the time I was born to the summer I was 10, I lived on 13th Avenue in a half-double with my parents and siblings.  In the summer of 1997, my parents bought a house on Norwood Street.  I lived in that house until the September of 2006.  By then, I was 19 and had made the decision to move out into another half-double just north of OSU campus with 6 other girls my age.  I gave my fathe…

Scioto Mile Banister

Rugged Cityscape

Rich Street Bridge

Downtown Apartment Mural

Loading Zone

Wedding Window Display

Marriage: Courage and Commitment

I firmly believe that the most enduring of marriages are made of people who are, not the best matched, but who are the most committed fighters.

Marriage isn't about finding the perfectly compatible person, even though compatibility has a helpful place.  It's much more about finding a good person to fight for who will fight for you, too.

That fighting?  That bloody-nosed refusal to lay down and quit?  That's what commitment looks like.

Commitment, real and long term, takes a rough strength.  Pledging vows is easy in the heat of infatuation; "In sickness and in health" is an easy promise in the midst of health and youth.

It is a harder vow to hold when it is ugly and overweight, tired and sick and irritated.  It's harder to hold to when it is aging and angry, insecure and emotional.

It's hard to stay when you want to leave.

It's hard to still commit when it's no longer easy.

But, in a marriage, we promised to commit then, too: in weakness, in sickn…

Yellow Train Mural

Decorative Moldings

Yukon Building

Orange Lilies

White Rose Trellis

Depression II: Relational Graces

Even in the best of times, depression is heavy.

Therefore, when additional bad stuff arises, such as an illness or an injury, the extra weight can make life a lot more difficult.

But even in that, there are often extra graces for the bearing.

I wrote before about the small external graces that help hold up the heavy ceiling.  But there are important and specifically-relational graces that really shine during the extra-difficult times.  And sometimes, beyond all reasoning, those graces even come straight from the problems.

In a mishap a few weeks ago, Dave sustained three major scrapes - one the full length of his right forearm, a deep one on his left elbow, and a nasty one just below his right knee.  For two weeks, he was limping and wincing, slathered up with three tubes of Neosporin and fresh wrappings every morning, was in too much pain to shower without help, and took as many painkillers as the prescription bottle allowed.  He was miserable, and there was nothing to do but manage t…

Lamppost and Clover

Three Roses

Tree Tulip

Ferns and Fence

One Pink Rose

Pekinese Lilac Tree

Store Front Reflection

Marble and Paper

Freedom can be huge and terrifying.

Dave and I have been thinking about our freedom a lot, lately; it's becoming more and more clear just how open our future is right now.

Right now, our only clear objective is for him to finish school and get his Master's degree in hand.  Under the best of circumstances, that will happen in September, just four months from now.  And in September, we'll hit the edge of the map.

Uncharted freedom is not a place I really ever anticipated.  Frankly, I don't really know what to do with it.

In this generation, there seems to be an expected structure of life events: graduate from high school, go to college, start a career, get married, buy a house, make babies, and raise a family.

I am 25 and Dave is 28.  We have been together for 7 years, and married for 3 and a half.  I've finished college, and Dave is almost done with his schooling, too.  After that, he will, of course, begin applying for jobs, and we have no idea what job he will get…

Wet Pine Needles

Weeds in Gutter

Weed Blossoms in Pine Tree

Reaching Rose

Half-Brick, Half-Painting

Small Business Stories: Promoting in Person

I believe that every person who starts a business to do what they love will always and inevitably find themselves doing things they definitely do not love for that very same business.

I have resigned myself to the necessity of promotion.  What that meant today is that I smeared on eye liner, shoved on the tallest pair of heels I've worn since my wedding, and jumped in the car with a crumpled list of directions to retirement homes.
These non-writing errands were not the kind of things I had in mind when I started Memories in Print.  As hard to believe as it may be, I didn't have a burning ambition to walk across pitted parking lots in black pumps, to trade jokes with nursing home receptionists, or play awkward phone tag with activity directors at nursing homes.  But that's the stuff I did today.

When I started this, I did it for the people and the stories: for the chance to interview in great length and depth, for the joy of writing true and beautiful anecdotes, to learn a…

White House and Roses

May Sunlight

Seeded Dandelions and Unmowed Grass

Brick Wall, Tall Grass

Fence and Roses

Stones and Yellow Wildflowers

Depression I: Graces

My husband, Dave, is diagnosed with depression.

I, however, am not.

This difference, exacerbated by my self-starting oldest-child syndrome, makes Dave's depression nigh inscrutable to me.

But we are married, so we have to - we must - figure out how to talk about it.  It's been a rugged road, unpaved and pitted with mistakes and upsets.  But it is getting better, and it has been good for us.  And in the shmita we have come so far.

But it is still hard.  Heartbreaking.  Some moments are still right to the edge of screaming unbearable.

But we are fortunate, because those moments are the exception.  So much of what we have is summer night scooter rides, and eating dinner together on pine tray tables in the living room, and sharing Youtube videos of cats: bright torches staving off the night.

But when the darkness does come with all its weight, it is the tiny graces, pinprick stars on a sable sky, that revive me.

In relation to the depression, there are two things that continually …

Wild Yellow Daisies

Reaching Petunias

First Red Strawberry

Shmita

I turned 25 at the beginning of this week.
And I am full of hope.

Life has been kind to me in the past year, and for the most part has gifted me with a tremendous time of peace.

Peace is something I cannot remember having before, not like this.

The timeline of my life used to be determined by drama, by crises.  Time did not pass in minutes for me, it passed by events: divorces, remarriages, confrontations, and the like.

It started eleven years ago, on the week of my 14th birthday.  My parents' marital problems came bursting into the light and by October of that year, their marriage was done.  For the following ten years, it was events like that that marked my time; it was frantic living, fearful, frenetic, living from intensity to intensity.

But somewhere in the past year, peace stole in on slippered feet and started sleeping on my couch. 

I have just recently stopped tensing for the next blow.

But peace makes me anxious, because who I am if I am not fixing or saving something or…