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Love sounds like home

I don’t know when I got them, exactly; it seems to me that it was probably when I was pregnant with Chickadee or when she was very small. Something about how babies would find wind chimes soothing, I think. Back then I was all about Doing It Right and I was very busy strictly adhering to the Organic Twigs and Berries diet so that I could have the Perfect Healthy Baby. (Other things I was busy doing: Buying the Perfect Stroller, picking out the Perfect Crib Bedding, and driving myself Perfectly Batshit Insane worrying that I Would Somehow Mess Up The Perfect Baby.)

[Digression: My Perfect Baby is now an Perfectly Delightful, If Somewhat Premenstrual Tween. That Karma, she is a charming serving wench when it comes to thick wedges of humble pie, oh yes she is.]

Nevertheless: We got the set of wind chimes I deemed the most melodious*, after an hour spent poking various ones at the Nature Store. (more…)

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Love belongs

There’s an interesting study to be made of my decorating choices in my first marriage and the different sorts of items I place importance on, now, in this home. Everyone I know goes through that phase in early adulthood where you don’t so much “decorate” as “scavenge,” of course, but even once the money was there to be more deliberate about our furnishings, oh, what a different person I was back then.

Our dining room set was… sturdy. Yes. Oak, mostly. Official-looking. We rarely used it. The price was excellent, as I recall, and I talked about reupholstering the (uncomfortable) chairs at some point, but I never did it, even though we owned that set for many years. It weighed a ton. And although I had a few pangs of guilt about selling it before I moved—it had been a housewarming purchase from my parents—mostly I was relieved to be rid of it. (more…)

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Powerless over pie

Otto is a man of relatively few words when it comes to feelings. It’s not that he doesn’t HAVE them, or even that he won’t talk ABOUT them, if pressed, but despite his penchant for a good story, he is somewhat taciturn when it comes to attempting to quantify the changes of the last year-and-change. If, for example, you ask him what the biggest difference is? He will most often recall (usually while being bedtime-tackled by both kids, who are vying for the best hugging position) how in the beginning I would say, “Okay, kids, go say goodnight to Otto,” and Monkey would go give him a hug and say goodnight, yes; but Chickadee would stand in the doorway—arms crossed over her chest, chin jutting in defiance—and deadpan, “Goodnight to Otto,” before stomping upstairs.

And that was fine, of course, and serves as a great memory to remind us of how far we’ve come. Now when Otto gets home in the evenings WOE BETIDE HIM if he dares to hug or kiss me, first. “NO NO! HUG MEEEEEE!” she squeals, hanging from his shirt. “SAY HELLO TO MEEEEEE!” It’s a pity they haven’t warmed up to each other, no? (more…)

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Love changes everything

You’ll have to forgive me a bit of sappiness, today, but this is what happens when I’ve just been to what was perhaps the nicest wedding I’ve ever attended (I’m not counting my own, you understand). While MY “year of living changerously” can be said to have already lapsed, on this last trip I was struck several times by the enormity of such changes for others.

Then, of course, it occurred to me that EVERY year is a year of change, for nearly everyone. But the changes wrought by love are my very favorites. I’m feeling incredibly blessed, today, to have gotten to share in some of these changes with our family and friends. This is especially true because we all know that I have chronic foot-in-mouth disease, and I remain astonished that anyone ever lets me go anywhere with them. (Hey, if I hadn’t shouted, “I THINK YOU SHOULD PULL THOSE PANTS UP A LITTLE HIGHER, OTTO!” during the pre-wedding slideshow featuring my beloved as a child in polyester bell-bottoms up to his armpits, who would’ve?) (more…)

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No more pencils, no more books

Today is the last day of school, and that means my children have survived an entire year of learnin’ courtesy of the great state of Georgia, and the more things change, the more they stay the same.

For example, I was still scrambling around this morning putting together teacher gifts, just like every year.

And I was hacking up a watermelon for a class party, last night, while complaining about it. That didn’t used to happen until June, back up north, but BELIEVE ME, it happened.

And I promised my daughter pink hair (new, true) and completely failed to deliver (not new) just the way I am always a GIANT SUCKING DISAPPOINTMENT to my daughter. Oh, wait. Strictly speaking, I suppose my INABILITY TO DO ANYTHING RIGHT is not limited to the end of the school year.

Would you like to take a turn flogging me? My arm is getting tired. (more…)

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In spite of it all, love grows

Dear Otto,

Happy anniversary, darling! I know I’m a few days late. I’m sorry. This is rather representative of our entire relationship, though, that it somehow just doesn’t work out the way we thought it would, timing-wise. This is not to say that it doesn’t work out, just that planning has become something of a farce ’round here.

Nevertheless, we’ve made it an entire year. It’s official and everything—even our alumni magazine announced the news in its latest issue, so I guess you’re stuck with me now. Nineteen years behind us, one of them married, and do you know what? I still think it was the very smartest thing you ever did. (It was also the smartest thing that I ever did, but I have done so very many stupid things it really wasn’t much of a contest.) (more…)

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Sometimes love don’t come easy

Otto has one of these, and this morning I played with it for a while. I wanted to take a picture of something I love that feels like it’s hard to grasp, right now, because Lensbabies pictures always look like you’ve captured something fleeting.


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My marriage; let me show you it

I have often said that one of the advantages of having a (mostly) not-very-good and then a (towards the end) wholly-fucked-up marriage, the first time around, is that—despite being rather high-maintenance in general (shut up)—I am so profoundly grateful for everything Otto and I have, I’m really quite easy to keep happy on the marital front.

Why yes, I DID just say he’s SO LUCKY to have me.

And I am happier, and probably healthier, as a result. Which is probably the reason why a very pretty reader of mine thought of me when she got this little assignment for a tiny little magazine, and needed someone to interview about the benefits of marriage. I was happy to help her out, and it didn’t occur to me that it was any sort of big deal. (more…)

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OMG! Ice! Ice from the sky!

There is snow on my deck.

There is ice on the driveway.

I ask you: Did I not leave New England so that I’d no longer have to deal with this nonsense? I think I did.

(What’s that, Otto? Oh, yes, honey. Of course. I left to be with YOU. That was my only concern. True love led me away, and nothing else mattered. You’re right, darling. Love you!)

Nevertheless, last night brought a Great Big Georgia Storm and they didn’t even have the decency to close school, today. But then the children bickered over breakfast and I realized that sure, sleeping in after checking the news would’ve been lovely, but sending them off so that I can work in peace is pretty darn nice, too. (more…)

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Call me Mrs. Otto. . . repeatedly

There have been a few times in the last six months or so when I’ve loaded up the washing machine with clothing and have later walked past the laundry area (it’s sort of a closet off of the kitchen) and stepped in some water.

This is bad, because I never wear shoes in the house and it makes my sock all soppy. Oh, I guess it’s also bad because it would appear that the washing machine has a leak. EXCEPT! Except it doesn’t always do it. And it’s never a HUGE amount of water. Just every now and then—just often enough to drive a sane person crazy, what with the wondering if THIS TIME, IS IT REALLY BROKEN? or will it stop again?—there is some water.

Me, despite being incredibly cautious in nearly all ways, I am relatively unbothered by this phenomenon because it happens so rarely. Most of the time, the washer works and doesn’t leak. How serious could it be? Whatever. Otto, however, is not so lucky. (more…)

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