the gap

635977508238477723918969241_o-MOM-HOLDING-HANDS-SON-facebookIn my journey thru motherhood, I have known my vocation…to watch over my girls, to provide for them, to keep them safe and ultimately to teach them to no longer need me.

We have traveled some rough roads, with potholes and massive construction detours and I have taken wrong turns at times, having to backtrack- and apologize or undo something I have done with the best intention. When there was no path, i have paused, let them catch up, and touching the top of my wrist to the small of my back, held out my hand and tucked their fingers into my palm. I have walked forward slowly, shielding them as best i could…but as they grew- I moved to the side more and more– until we were walking shoulder to shoulder.

And so we walked on touching, but as time passed and each grew strong, our paths began to move apart, barely noticeable at first, and always close enough to reach out and grab wrists- to tug one another close, if need be. And this was their adulthood for me and my girls for many seasons.

But there is a magical thing that happens. And if you are watching closely, you will see it unfold. In an unguarded moment, a person who loves them with a love as deep, yet different from mine, will step forward and touch their shoulder.  And soon my girl is walking close beside the other, their hands clasped together, heads bent toward one another as they share a joke. And i can feel the change – my girl no longer needs me in the way she has before. The gap between us that has widened as she has grown up- is closed by this one. They have stepped into my spot, and the gap has closed.

But here is the magic- when the one who steps into the gap accepts and even welcomes me,  my girl and I walk close again, with one more in our midst…and I can stand back… as they choose their direction.


note to self…

affirmationI smiled as I read the email that morning, especially the ending-

“smile and have a good day! You really ARE a rock star! Make a chiropractor appointment tho’, your neck has been hurting in the mornings…but mostly just enjoy your day!

Love you!”

Always makes me smile to get a note like that, especially from someone who knows me so well…

It was from me.

And really, when you come down to it, who knows me best?  its me…i know all my fears, my bad dreams, my hardest moments, my selfishness, and the things that piss me off- and sad to say, but we often know those things about ourselves better than we know our beauty, our creative abilities, our strength or how amazing we appear to others.

I have heard people talk about affirmations for years, and always thought they were hooey. But one day, when i was discouraged with my aging body, I decided to try them. Now the decision was important, but affirmations didn’t appear in my life for several months. I always thought I would artistically create wonderful affirming statements in funky fonts set against breathtaking photos, frame them and hang them artfully around my home. I didn’t. Often I thought about the concept, but that was all, a fleeting thought.

photo(4)Finally, having had the thought travel through my mind so often that it had its own path, I acted. Grabbing a nearby pad of post-its, I scrawled affirmations on them and stuck them all over my house. Affirmations on my mirror, my cupboard doors, my fridge, my hall closet doors… They were and are still everywhere.  They are about my strength, my future, my power, my body, my abilities. 

And here is the cool thing… they work.

The reason they work is that we have an automatic way of thinking about ourselves that we have developed since birth…coded messages and images that we remind ourselves of every time we are faced with a challenge, a decision or even a compliment.  Changing those thoughts takes practice, and repetition. Old dog, new tricks, you get the drift…

I have figured out that I would never let anyone speak to someone I love the way I was talking to myself…so I stopped.

Speak to yourself kindly…it makes a difference.


I have a new book to read.  Its by Mary Pipher- she is the therapist who wrote Reviving Ophelia, and I loved her straightforward frank manner regarding what she really thinks about how we, as a society, raise girls.  So when I found this book- to new therapists- at the local library, I was excited to get home and check it out.

I came in the apartment, dropped my stuff and headed for my favorite chair to curl up with this new book…aahhnnn….trouble focusing…retrieved my reading glasses (yes, my perfect vision has failed me- I don’t want to talk about it) from the bedroom and sat down once more…seemed to be having difficulty getting started, couldn’t see the book- rearranged myself in the chair…moved again and realized that my focus was being interrupted by a 20 pound cat named Grisham who kept putting himself in my line of sight.  I moved the offending cat to the side of me, offering him the other half of the chair.  This was totally insufficient…he needed to be on my lap, “ok, be on my lap…but can you sit down on my lap?”…he couldn’t.  So I moved my book to the side and began to read with him standing on my lap, and the book propped on the arm of the chair.  Immediately there was a wall of cat hair in my mouth as he jumped to occupy the spot on the arm of the chair between me and the book.  He didn’t need my lap, he needed my attention…

who needs yours?

And yes, this has been written while looking between the four legs of my feline, who likes to sit on my chest…or my keyboard.

Lovin’ Amy

Journi received a pink teddy bear among her shower gifts before she was born.  Thru the course of the past year, the bear became a favorite along with a stuffed ape that was named April and it seemed only fitting to name the bear Amy.  Amy has gone everywhere with Journi, on trips and to the sitter, outside to play and down for naptime.  She has been washed countless times and is close to being potty trained these days.  As Journi has entered an age when she is pretending, Amy is her companion.  She practices dressing Amy, reading to Amy and giving Amy snacks.

Today when I came home, Journi was toting our momma kitty around, much to the irritation of the cat who finally wrestled her way free.  Journi thought this was hilarious and went looking for the cat again.  After some time, she came back with Amy in her arms.  She told me in her toddler voice that “Amy not momma kitty…Amy is just Amy.” At this she wrapped her arms around Amy, buried her nose in Amy’s neck with a sigh and rocked her back and forth.

“amy is just amy”… i would do well to remember this, that when i am feeling less than, because i think i am not open enough, or too emotional, not creative enough or too fat, not tech savvy enough or too messy of a housekeeper… that Pat is just Pat, and it is enough…

that there is unconditional love in the world, and you are enough…you are you, and that’s enough.

Love the one you’re with

Did I tell you about the Farmer’s Market!?  Last week i was out and about doing a bit of garage saling, and came across a sign – itty bitty sign- for the Farmers Market here in town.  I thought maybe there might be vegetables, and i LOVE homegrown veggies.  There wasn’t.  But what there was was a little collection of a few souls braving a chilly Saturday morning selling their wares.  There was Herb- selling home made scones and bread, Sarah- selling fiber and handspun yarn- and a wonderful woman (whose name escapes me at the moment) selling home made jams and jellies.  I spent a bit of time talking to Sarah, telling her i learned how to spin last winter, of course buying over $30 of fiber, and asking if the market was open to anyone.  She explained that for the small price of $20, one could set up and sell handmade crafts.

Many years ago I used to sell at many craft fairs- paying up to $300 for a booth fee. There are ins and outs to this game, such as picking the right fair, and time of year, bringing the right merchandise, and gauging your competitors.  I gave up the craft fair circuit, deciding the cost and difficulty of traveling- often with children- didn’t pay in the long run.

But here was an opportunity, right down the street, for $20/week…no travel required…i didn’t have to pack pots for a trip equal to a covered wagon voyage over the Rockies…and only 4 hours of time, not an entire weekend eaten up in travel and sitting.

this could work.

So i finished glazing a load of pots, threw them into the kiln and fired on Thursday, hoping to unload on Friday and take them to the market on Saturday.  It sortof worked out that way.  My kiln didn’t fire the way i was hoping- a pyrometer malfunction late at night left me firing blind til 3am.  The pots were …eh…OK.  Not my best work, but I had a challenge and i was determined to take something to the Saturday morning soiree.

I persevered.  Priced pots, packed them and procured my bags/newspapers and a money box.  Got a table, figured out a way to display and packed the car.

Saturday morning found me sitting in the sun, drinking coffee out of a thermos, eating one of Herb’s home made scones, and chatting with Sarah.  The buying crowd was scant, preferring fresh rhubarb (from Mr. Gordon at the end of the market) and Herb’s bread to pottery.  I sold one mug, which paid for my booth fee.

but you know what? I had a fabulous time!

connecting with people that are willing to come out on a Saturday morning to buy a scone or look at pottery was invigorating!  when i used to do big fairs, it was about the money and could i recoup my booth fee? Could i deal with the fact that a guy next to me who was selling plywood cutouts of women bending over in the garden was selling out, while i was only managing to unload low dollar items?  Was I going to clear enough inventory to make room for Christmas items for the next fair?  It really all came down to money- and it soured me on fairs.

this on the other hand was about sunshine, scones and simply sitting and enjoying the day… i have grown.


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