Saturday, March 20, 2010

The ides of March

Author's Note: Ides can actually refer to any month because it simply means the middle of the month- and since I'm late posting this blog, it just made sense to use as a title, because it IS the middle of March.

Wow. I truly believe this year is flying by at a very rapid pace. Ok, I might say that all the time, but it's already mid-March and there is much up in the air.

The beginning of this year, my family was waiting for the birth of my newest granddaugther, Mackenzie, who was due in February. I flew up to Denver to assist my daughter and her family and had planned to stay for two weeks. On Feb. 3rd, I arrived, just in time to celebrate Morgan's birthday, who is Lori's first child. Got there in time as well to visit hubby Rick's new office and to pick up my other granddaughter, Preslee, at her school.

We dropped off birthday cupcakes for Morgan's class and I bet the treat was very much appreciated at the end of the day. The weather there was cool and breezy but very tolerable. After rounding up the family at the end of the day, we set off to eat at Olive Garden to do more celebrating of Morgan's birthday.

The whole time sitting there, Lori kept grimacing, as her tummy would tighten. Contractions were coming on but not staying long. So then we head home to get some sleep. Around 1:30 in the morning, the couple knocks on my door to let me know they are on their way to the hospital. I decide to stay behind with the girls and we sleep (or try to) the rest of the wee morning.

After breakfast, we trekked over to the hospital, which was a beautiful place. The nursing staff was terrific and very caring and gave Lori all the attention she needed to deliver the most beautiful little baby.

Mackenzie was born at 12:18 mountain time on February 4th.

Needless to say, the rest of the two weeks flew by too. I had a blast helping out as I could: walking Morgan to the bus stop and back after school. Attending the basketball games for both girls. (By the way, they are awesome players!) And just doing a lot of one to one woman bonding with my eldest girl and holding that new baby.

There is nothing in the world like holding a newborn close to you. (The softness of their heads, especially hers since she was born with lots of black hair!) Just feeling such soft skin upon your own and listening to them breathe. I truly appreciated watching Lori with her new baby, since I totally missed out the time she had spent with Morgan as a baby. In fact, I didn't "meet" Morgan for the first time until she was around 18 months old.
And Daddy Rick was very attentive, to both mom and new baby. He's an awesome dad and husband. It was a privilege to spend time with their family. So these moments were very special to me and will live on in my memory forever.

I got some exercise while I was there too. Lori's house has stairs, to the 2nd floor and to the basement. And those walks to the bus stop helped my legs tighten up. The altitude is a higher elevation in Colorado and that certainly made me breathe a bit more exuberantly as I burned up calories. Overall, I came home losing about 6 lbs. But it doesn't take long to get back into the swing of things again. And now we are into the Ides of March.....

Our co-written book, Our Written Voices, produced with a few members from my online writing group, The Written Voice, will be getting some publicity in the near future in New Hampshire. Paula Rockwell is a co-author and currently I am assisting with preparations for a book signing. It's important that these events come off looking professional and successful as Paula will be our greatest representative. One book signing will take place at her local library. The other will be one that the folks at David's House will do in July, to really publicize this book to the media and their guests.

Naturally, Paula is excited and nervous. I have volunteered to make up business cards and author posters. I have rallied up our Written Voice Members to donate books. Along displaying these at the table, she will also be raffling off a gift basket. All proceeds will go to David's House. Paula has first hand experience using their facility when her daughter was in the hospital. Her personal story will be a huge factor to draw in attention.

There are other things taking up my time, other than the usual routine. I have a family picnic coming up on April 10th, which will consist of the younger five siblings of my natural mother. I was adopted and there is so much to learn about myself from these two brothers and three sisters who plan to come, along with their children and grandchildren. We will attempt to give each a poster to jot down their family tree, beginning with Guadalupe, our natural mother. It will be interesting to see the result, but most importantly, it will be a way to trace out our next generations already in progress. Then the attempt will be, while we are gathered, to trace backwards the names of relatives before us. I have heard some of the history, but still there are questions and secrets. Sometimes conversations stir up cobwebs to bring those memories to the surface.

I never took an interest in genealogy before, but just listening to some family history does stir up the heart. My natural mother had several children; about 17 total, if my math is correct. I have learned there were twins born who died in infancy. They are in an unmarked grave at Hillcrest Cemetery here in Temple. My sister Mary told me that one uncle scratched the names on the blank nameplates indicating where they were laid to rest. Hillcrest is north of town and one weekend, Mary and I plan to take a walk about in a place she feels they may be buried. It would be wonderful to find it, although the chances are very slim. I found a website that listed all the buried folks in that particular cemetery and there were several infants listed with no names and no other indication of who they might be. I do know these sisters were named Dora and Ophelia. I'm unsure of their ages at the time of their demise, but my heart is stirred up that they are buried that way and we may never know where.

So with this picnic, stories are sure to surface and I will try my best to write it all down in notes. We will have a barbecue and all the 2nd cousins will have a chance to mingle, to know each other better. Which is always the intention whenever families reunite. When I was a kid and once attended something like this, I know my interest in it wasn't the greatest. I was too busy eating food and playing on nearby playgrounds. But now, as an older adult, I realize why these events are important. So much is passed on and the family is made stronger because of it. Obviously, my oldest daughter and her family will not be able to attend this, due to being out of state. Hopefully this is something we can set up annually and maybe one day, she and hubby can attend with the children.

So with all of this in the air, along with the past Saint Patrick's Day, which was my stepdad's birthday, there was/is a lot in the air. I've been busy getting things in order and getting prepared. And I know this is just the beginning: looking forward to other grandchildren's birthdays, Easter, anniversaries, and my youngest daughter's graduation party and grad day itself - but wait... that's all in the next three months! Whew! Yes, the Ides of March has hit my household and are going by way too fast. Certainly too, those warm spring breezes filtering in the windows are surfacing a lot of excitement.

So c/ya next time and as always, God bless. :)