This blog post belongs to the points in my life which have recently been happening and should be (?) shared with the public via blogger. I love today's social society.
Yesterday, Lydia called our mum to wish her a very happy birthday. After these were delivered and received, Mum mentioned that our newly married sister, Hannah Ives, was looking for a play pen to put the baby in while she was working the garden next Spring.
"Oh," says Lydia. There was a brief silence. Then, "Are they... expecting?"
"You didn't know?" Mum asked.
"No," replied Lydia.
"We thought you knew!" Mum said.
"No, we did not," replied Lydia.
"Well, she's due in March sometime," Mum informed.
I was at work at that point and Lydia wanted to text me but Jesse wouldn't let her because he wanted to see my reaction to the news. (He was also gloating in anticipation about referring to Lydia's and my 3 year old sister, "Aunty Sara.") So when I get home, Lydia waves a notebook in my face that had a big note written in it "Hannah is expecting sometime in March." I flipped, of course. Lydia and I have begun calling each other "Aunty Lydia" and "Aunty Naomi"... and we're wondering what on earth to give her that will be the greatest help. And we're wondering how visits are to be arranged and how to spoil Hannah and baby. Oh such a excitement!
I had wanted to wish Mum a happy birthday as well, so I phoned her and expressed my desire for her to have a lovely birthday. Then, I asked to speak to Marty.
"So," says my sister, "I'm... um... making a cake. Because... um... we all forgot it was Mum's birthday. Except maybe Dad. Anyways, Mum got off the phone with Lydia and said, 'That was Lydia wishing me a happy birthday' and we're all like, 'It's your birthday?!'"
It was a red letter day for communication among the Holter offspring.
Insomnia has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. So were night terrors. As I grew older, it seemed to get worse and better, depending on what was happening in my life at the time. When I left home, I slept better than I had in years. But when my husband and I began to share a bed at night, the first months were filled with me screaming frantically and trying to rid myself of whatever or whoever stalked my dreams. I would wake up sweating and struggling in the blankets, but there was one thing that came to my consciousness very quickly: Jesse. He would hold me close, smooth my hair on my head, whisper in my ear... soon these instances diminished and now, I have them very rarely. It's because of him. I still struggle with sleeplessness. But when insomnia invades those dark hours, what used to be a curse is now a blessing. I lay awake, listening to my lover breathe. He sleeps so soundly, yet he would be awake in a moment if I needed him. I no longer fear the night. Precious are the moments of silence I share in the presence of my beloved.
This morning, we slept until past 10 and got up to make a brunch. Since the house was still cold from the night, we opened blinds and curtains to allow the sun's warmth inside. Jesse's cat, Snow, has a decidedly annoying habit of always wanting to be inside and outside, depending, of course, on what side of the door he is on. No sooner have we let him out, he wants back in and vice versa. Lydia seems to enjoy spoiling him by opening the door at his wish but we are not so kind. This morning, however, I opened the door wide, letting the sun into the kitchen while I made potato pancakes. The breeze mixed with the sunlight and the sound of the falling leaves made it a most delightful experience for us humans. Snow, on the other hand, was flabbergasted. Should he be in or out? Should he sit on the doorstep? Should he pace? Or should he sit? What would show his dignity best in this difficult situation? In the end, he sat on the rug just inside the door and glared at the openness until we shut the door.
There was a party the other night celebrating numerous birthdays. It was a pot luck affair and I decided we were going to make use of the remnants of the roasted chicken we'd had on Wednesday. At my request, Jesse went to the garden and dug potatoes, carrots and an onion. He was also supposed to find basil and garlic but he couldn't locate them. He even got out his phone and googled what they were supposed to look like. (I love this man.) I was just on my way home from work so when he called me to ask for my assistance, I met him in the garden 7.25 minutes later. There was no garlic; apparently, it had all been harvested. But the basil and oregano were both there and flourishing. There is something remarkable about growing and harvesting fresh herbs. They add such delicate, full bodied flavor to a dish. In this case, I tore the basil leaves up and stripped the oregano from it's stems before adding it to the chopped meat.
Soup is very satisfying on every count. I enjoy all soups, though chicken and turkey are favorites. To make chicken soup, you must have chicken, chicken broth, a variety of vegetables, herbs and creativity. I suppose that is my favorite thing about soup: you can use your imagination. Good soup is an art. When we were eating my soup later that evening, I held a potato aloft on my spoon and announced proudly, "This vegetable was in the ground 3 hours ago."
Lydia snorted, as wise sisters always do and asked me to refrain from bragging. "What?" she calmly said, "Like you weren't raised eating fresh vegetables." True, but it felt good knowing my abilities as a hard working farm girl are still lurking under the surface.
There have been some people wondering about my spiritual well being. I appreciate your concern. I need the prayers. My search for Truth goes on and on every moment of each day. I do not claim to be well versed in Truth and Love. In fact, my lack of knowledge both frightens and thrills. I am fearful because I understand only a little of the depths to which I can plunge. God help me. But I am elated by circumstance because I can grow and learn. This is not the end; I can go on. My latest epiphany is that before I can forgive others, I must forgive myself, as God forgives and loves me. Because, guess what?! I hold endless grudges against myself and my past or future actions. I cannot exist this way. Do you ever have trouble forgiving yourself? There is a moment in which we see ourselves through the eyes of Eternity.
My piano schedule has filled dramatically. In fact, I am teaching 4 days per week instead of the usual 3. So far, 17 students. Lydia is also teaching (in my kitchen!) so we will be able to compare notes and ideas. I am looking forward to another great year of students. As I've mentioned before, my students broaden my horizons; at times, it is their genius and it is their ignorance combined which allows me to understand music more fully. My free moments are spent studying, scheduling, practicing...
Politics: I was raised to ignore them. In actuality, both parties usually annoy me to no end, so I chose to follow the ignorance. But ignorance does not make our world any better. My husband and his family are heavily involved with politics so when I began falling in love with Jesse, I sought to understand what was so interesting about two parties saying, "We're better. They're lying. We'll do this. See what they've done to the economy? You should elect us." The fact of the matter is, politicians talk down to people because people want to be talked down to. There are some free thinking, strong individuals who actually see outside off the box. But many people will vote for THEIR party, regardless of policy (or, the lack thereof). They will quote bold statements which have no basis in Truth because their party's politician said it. They want someone to blame so they blame whoever is in power. There are times we are not worthy of freedom. The most frightening thing? Great evil can be put into power through ignorance. Goodbye, freedom.
In regards to the Obama/Romney election, we were watching "West Wing". In this particular episode, President Bartlett was talking to Josh Lyman about economy, power and broken promises. His words were very timely given present circumstances and I wanted to share them here:
"There was a man named Canute, one of the great Viking kings of the 11th century. He wanted his people to be aware of his limitations, so he led them down to the sea and he commanded the tide to roll out. It didn’t.
"Who gave us the notion that Presidents can move the economy like a play-toy? That we can do more than talk it up or smooth over the rough spots? It’s a lie. What we really owe that union is the truth." -- (Jed Bartlett) West Wing, Season 5, Episode 19 "Talking Points"
September 10th, 2011, we stood in front of an audience and proclaimed our commitment to each other. We had already made an everlasting commitment to each other on November 5th, 2010 but there were many who needed to witness our union. It was the best wedding we have ever attended... not just because it was our own (my goodness, if I could have passed the stress off to someone else...) but because it was a party where all could feel comfortable with who they were. There was good company, good music, good food... and most of all, so much love.
They say the first year is the hardest. I say, if this is so, then I am looking forward to the years to come. We have had our rocky points (like, for instance, Jesse was ignoring me and I wanted attention... so I poured a cup of cold water over his head) and sometimes, one of us will get annoyed at the other. But our friendship has never wavered, nor our respect for the other. There is such freedom to be who we are as individuals, yet someone there to lean on. I never thought I would ever meet such a kindred spirit. Even from the first moment of conversation, we felt a deep connection. I fought it at first because I was frightened; but it only grew stronger and more insistent. I know that God had a hand in this union.
Regarding items of varying sizes and importance that float through my life: God, Jesse, Lydia, The Cat. Oh my... I'm going to be an aunt. :-D They have all been duly noted upon. Enjoy, dear readers. May the future be brightest and may Truth be an amazement.