Nor’easter!


So this is a Nor’easter! Our first real snow storm of the season hit yesterday, dumping about a foot of snow. John and I made it home in time to get to the supermarket and enjoy a quiet night in. Shoveled the front walk. An hour 1/2 later, daughter Kristin shoveled it again. Set the alarm for 6:30. Hit the snooze button twice and then the call came from Nancy S. (Music Director, a/k/a “Boss” or “Sarge” or “She Who Must Be Obeyed.” No church today! Send out an e-mail to the ringers and singers!! Whoo Hoo! Opened the front door to see what you see above.

Ah well, I will miss singing, but it’s kind of nice to be up early and get some KNITTING in! Happy surprise – Janet Szabo’s book – the I Hate to Finish Sweaters Guide to Finishing Sweaters – came in yesterday. However, no one picked up yesterday’s mail until Betsy came in (very late) last night. So there it was on the kitchen table just waiting for me to tear into it. Finished the first chapter already. The timing could not have been better – have a sweater to finish for my “big girl” Madison – our oldest grand. Will upload a pic when it’s done:)

It’s funny. Here in MD people “piss and moan” about the weather all the time, but it’s really not that bad. I went to college in VT and remember some pretty serious winter weather. Ms. Szabo, author of the above-mentioned book, resides in MT! Now THERE is some heavy duty snow! I have been so spoiled living in MD that I forget how used to the snow I got (back in my younger college days – you know, when a person is invincible?)

We have the makings for our usual Sunday dinner, but I doubt Danny, Tori and Dori, Donald and the kids will make it today. I would rather they all stayed home and played it safe for a day. Kristin spent the night last night, so she’ll be here, which is nice. Betsy has to work at 3:30. Hope the roads are clear by then. Don’t know if JoAnna is working today. Brie is off.
OK, enough blabbing – time to knit!
YES!

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PHNOW

That's how my little brothers (who are now in their forties, LOL) used to say SNOW. Through their noses. Don't ask.

Have spent the day doing a very little bit of shoveling, knitting, drinking coffee, and sitting here by the computer e-conversing with family and friends. Not too shabby. No choir today. But there will definitely be work tomorrow, so I am enjoying this while I can:)
Bye for now……

A Series of Strange Coincidences:) or G-L-O-R-I-A

This was a week of strange occurrences, as always happens when a loved one dies. Monday night, John’s sister, “GG” called on behalf of his other sister and brother-in-law, Holli and Brian. Brian’s mother, age 81, whose health had been declining this past year, had died that evening, surrounded by her loving family and their prayers for her. She was kept pain free, peaceful and surrounded by love. The door to her room had been shut firmly by Brian, her son. With him and Holli were her daughter, Pam, along with other family members. Her breathing slowed down to nothing. When she took her last breath, the door opened. Everyone thought the nurse was coming in to check on her. No nurse. We all believe it was her husband, John, come to take her soul “home” with him to Heaven (15 years after his death).
John and I felt we should be there for Brian. He was wonderful to John’s Mom when she lived with him and Holli. Holli jokingly used to call him “Saint Brian.” I think he got that characteristic from his mother. Strangely, John, who usually digs his heels in and balks at changes, promptly got online and arranged for the hotel room and time off from work.
Taking his lead, I did the same. Ann covered my hearings for me Thurs. PM and Fri. all day. I even e-mailed my “other boss” Nancy (Music Director) and asked what I should practice for Sunday. We have all been getting ready for the Vivaldi Gloria and have been doing bits of it during Communion the past few Sundays. I have been teasingly singing the old rock song, G-L-O-R-I-A during choir practice and so brought along the CD and music for practicing in the car, should John lose his mind and let me do so (never happened).
Right when we were about to leave for NY thursday afternoon, I realized I had left the sheet music in the house, and ran in and got it. As I got into the car, laying the music on the dashboard, I realized Brian’s Mom’s name is/was GLORIA. Told John it would be appropriate to listen to it on the way up. No go.
At the funeral, Father Frank (now a monsignor) used her name to say that her life had given glory to God. True that. Mrs. Smith was a lovely, quiet and kind woman. Her grandchildren remembered her with fondness at the eulogy Holli and Brian’s son, Jamie, delivered. Max, Pam’s husband and Gloria’s Jewish son-in-law, prayed in Hebrew at her gravesite, yarmulka and all. It was a beautiful remembrance of a woman whose heart was big enough to bring into her family people who did not share the same faith as hers. Not that this would be difficult with someone as wonderful and loving as Max!
Mrs. Gloria Smith was buried at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, LI, NY. My mother was buried there also. When I heard that, I had the strangest feeling that visiting her grave was one of the purposes of my trip! Called the office from my cell phone while in the car waiting in the funeral procession. Section 19, Range E, No. 82 was the location. After Mrs. Smith was laid to rest, John and I slipped over to that part of the cemetery and visited. At first we couldn’t find it, but there it was! Here’s a picture:
It’s a beautiful stone, replacing the old one that was destroyed or stolen when her grave was moved from St. Johns EC in Cold Spring Harbor to Holy Rood in Westbury. I felt bad not to have brought flowers, but I didn’t know we’d be going there! (John’s sister Holli later said she’d put flowers there. It’s silly, but somehow that was so comforting. I must be getting old.) John and I stayed and said the Our Father, (Episcopal style with the “for thine is the Kingdom” part) and a Hail Mary. Told “her” she could stop rolling now. My mom always had a sense of humor:) We left the graveyard, but I felt like I should have stayed a few minutes longer.
Late last night, I finally took a look at my e-mail. One of my brothers is going through a hellacious time right now. His e-mail worried me. I sent him a couple of text messages (for some reason, I can’t send e-mails from my phone – gotta check that out!). Crazy thinking time here – was she/is she worried about Rob?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big one for graveyards. In fact, I intend to be cremated when my time comes. If there’s a bodily resurrection, God can do it with or without a corpse in the ground, for Heaven’s sake. It’s the soul that matters. Which is why this stuff intrigues me. I didn’t expect to feel that way. It blindsided me. Hmm.
The snow is coming down right now for what looks like will be the first and last snow storm of this winter, I hope. We may not even have church tomorrow, let alone choir. But I will take some time to practice Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis (#2) from the Gloria and pray for Robearskin…..
still hoping to complete the cable vest, Madison’s sweater, Ruby’s sweater and the FLAK (Aran knitalong) sponsored by Big Sky Knitting (Janet Szabo’s website) – one for John and one for me:) Got to remember to send Holli those knitting books….
Ah well, for now I’m enjoying being INSIDE while the snow is OUTSIDE and sipping on a glass of cabernet, sending out e-mails, practicing music and KNITTING:)
Life, at least for now, is good…….

Super Bowl whoopee f’in dooo!

I am so not a football fan – but I love the fact that we get together and John makes it a party. John has always made everything a party. Thank God the kids have such a wonderful father. Who knows how they would have turned out without him!

Dori’s working tonight, so I don’t know if Donald and the kids will be coming over. I missed seeing them yesterday afternoon, but talked with Mads on the phone. What a hoot!
Today, I’m going to do my best to get at least one load of wash done, LOL! Maybe even clean the downstairs bathroom – must be a holiday:)I want to practice flute while I’m down in the basement doing wash – that way no one barfs upstairs. Also want to get back to SJEC to see the Army Field Band and Nancy S. (our music director who is an amazing organist) play. It’s only an hour and won’t interfere with tonight’s festivities. Although I think John is working tonight for some reason??? (Center Club?? – I should pay better attention!)

The knitting on Madison’s sweater is progressing, but I am worried it will be too big. Might have to felt it to get it the right size – or wait until she grows:) Have 1 1/2 sleeves to go.
Hopefully there will be enough yarn to do one for Ruber Duber, too. Got the cutest buttons for the neck opening – it’s sort of a modified pullover.

John doesn’t know it, but I’m knitting an Aran sweater for him. Just need to get his measurements:) Already have the wool. It’s kind of a nice grey with blue and red flecks in it. He’ll say he doesn’t like it, but if it fits him, he just might think it’s cool. I still owe Danny another sweater – last one I knit him he was about 4 years old. Come to think of it, I owe everyone in the family a sweater. Hmm think of the Christmas card possibilities NOT.;)

Well, this has been a boring entry. Let’s see, work is busy, but we have help, so that is wonderful. Since I last wrote, Kelly quit and now Ann is taking over her cases. I think we have a good team and hopefully this year will be a little less insane than the last 3.

This week I turn 52 – and I feel physically better than I have in a long time. Lost about 45 pounds so far – am cautiously optimistic I will keep it up. If not, it’s surgery ’cause I’m sick of being a tub of lard.

On the sad side, it’s coming up on the first anniversary of the death of two of my clients. One died of natural causes, a victim of severe birth defects. Her parents had her in care to deal with the extreme medical costs. They invited me to her funeral service and the foster mother actually did one of the readings. Tamika is at peace. R., however, was abused by his mother and died from his injuries. I think his mother got 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Blechhhhh. We will never know if his baby brother died from abuse or just SIDS. His little face is a constant reminder to me to be vigilant, although I don’t know what we could have done differently. I know the angels in heaven are giving him the love he didn’t get on earth.

Yesterday, I was the lead mediator in a neighbor/land dispute. We had a rough start, but after consulting with the director, my co-mediator and I started to see the process begin to work. It never fails to energize me when that happens. The two hours we initially set for the process was over before I knew. And always, the less of “me” I put into the process, the more it works. It seems learning to be mediator is more about getting out of the way of the process that it is about leading it. We will all hopefully meet again and continue toward resolution. Making peace – it is the best feeling in the world.

On that happy note – until next time:)