after the break, un-well

I sit
Sucking down the bad humors of sickness
Illness, an all-encompassing ache
Heavy lidded, I survey my space
Encroaching pressures, a claustrophobic nightmare
Head pulsing in rhythmic pings
I wince
Thank God for health
When simple moments of stillness are simple, unnoticed pauses
And not overwhelmed seconds of strained release of focus
Agony consumes

before beginning

Restless
Crowded room, melee of conversation
Fervent communication increasing with the minutes
Excitement, energy bouncing between strangers grouped within
Shifting bodies occupy uncomfortable seats
And then, a single call for silence
All activity ceased.

Awake end

In my dream there was only us two
You and I
No worries
No stress
Nothing but plush white bedding and soft luxurious pillows
We lay together
Hands, legs intertwined
Silent but for the deep breathing of contentment
The future but a promise of sunshine
The past already distant on the horizon
When I wake, the image disappears
Try as I may to close my eyes –
To will myself back into bliss –
I fail in conjuring our heaven.
Awakened to reality alone
Its scratchy blankets and cold sheets
Incessant pressures smother me.

livestock

‘As well for the coowe as for the bull’ - John Heywood

Bull out to pasture, collecting fill
Calves frolic lightly, suckling at will
Cow stands at ready, awaiting desire
Long hours repass motherhood thus transpires
He surveys his claim, proudly content
But little further exertions are expend’
She looks to the horizon forlornly
When calves grow, she may free
He is praised for little more
Than donating his gene, herd ensure-d
But she works endlessly without cease
No respite, less praised, no release

Accepting opportunities: Viscaya editorial shoot

We finally had an uneventful travel to a destination, if you consider uneventful arriving at the right airport on time for agent ticketing, getting seated next to my 11-year-old instead of across the plane, and being given Group One boarding (which for stowing carry on luggage is absolutely essential). I noted as Chi struggled with an open bag of extra items that I might need to be more conscientious of her packing methods. This was made more clear as I observed her slightly stained jeans and her spare pair of too short jeans dangling out of her bag. And it was confirmed when the bag exploded inside the TSA scanner and blocked the conveyer belt’s rollers from spinning. I might have been a bit snappy about the whole thing, hurrying the poor girl along with orders she hardly had time to process before I spat the next. In true Chi fashion, though, she took it all in stride and didn’t bother to contain her bubbling excitement about the trip.

I learned quickly that sitting behind the bulk head is not ideal. There’s no space to stow the things too personal and important to put in an overhead compartment – one I can hardly reach without precariously leaning forward, stretching out my arms, and standing on a seat on tip toes. It is also not ideal to pack all of the diapers and wipes needed for a non-stop trip with a toddler in a bag not kept in close proximity. [oh my goodness, the smells that child can create!] Despite this inconvenient lack of storage, the good thing about this particular row of seats is that it offers ample leg room. Certainly, I don’t have need to stretch far, but I could let Ri toddle between Chi and I as she pulled out magazines to mumble-”read” before releasing them to the floor and then opened barf bags to moan and hum into. She also made frien-emies of the first class flight attendant as she insisted on playing peek-a-boo with the drawn curtain separating us coach flyers from the more important passengers.

 

Ri updown hotel

Chi sat at the window, watching endless clouds appear and disappear, and searching for land as the plane climbed into the air and descended back to land. A smile cemented itself to her face. It grew bigger when the attendant gifted us headphones for watching the in-flight television. It didn’t waiver when she fought with Ri who tenaciously attacked the cords and yanked them out of the socket repeatedly so as to make enjoying the program impossible.

We arrived with little incident to Miami International, one of the largest airports I’ve ever had the displeasure of walking through to reach the exit. It took us nearly half an hour to reach the rental car shuttle to our off-site service (awesomely located two minutes from our hotel). Outside, the temperatures overpowered our winter-weary bodies. Heat – glorious heat – at last! And… humidity, I noted with dismay as my flat ironed hair drew in tight to my scalp.

Once in our rental – a lovely Volkswagen with ultra powerful breaks that rocked us to stillness with the lightest of taps – we ventured to the hotel, checked in early, and perused the brochures from the lobby for adventure.

After reading several awful reviews of disgruntled travelers, we decided against two local marine and land animal attractions.  I just couldn’t justify paying out money for places where past visitors reported ill-treated living creatures haphazardly placed about the parks for us to gawk at.  I’m no PETA fanatic, but I don’t want to contribute to abuse by pretending I accept mediocre owners mishandling their charges for a quick payload.  Remember that circus with the dog relentlessly biting the pony it was placed on?

I gave Chi ultimate choice, and she picked for us to go to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

 

frozen: our eternal winter

March? Umm…Think you forgot something when you arrived.

The kids and I are pretty much done with snow, ice, and freezing rain. We’re thinking about visiting Punxsutawney Phil and pulling him out for a shadow searching redo. Six more weeks of winter? Plubbbbbbggghhhh! If that Pennsylvania critter does this again, he’s gonna disappear from this earth.

Yesterday we woke to a white roofed neighborhood. We watched as plows unsuccessfully tried to scrape up the ice covering our street. We heard the snow blowers working overtime on the sidewalks trying in vain to eliminate the sidewalk hinderances. There was no need to get up early. Schools called cancelation early.  We treated it as a day of rest, enjoying elongated naps with lazy luxury.

Today, our street was ready for ice skating. I elected not to risk breaking limbs and willed sunshine to melt our rink away.  By early evening I finally risked venturing outside, kids in tow. Rico found a lingering slick spot, clinging to the van door as his legs split and he flailed about. We dared to continue anyway, willing the van to grip the roads. Tuesday is Ikea kids free day and the kids have to eat, right?

Tomorrow we’re delayed two hours -long enough for the sun to rise and students to decide the day not worth coming. And yet? We’ll journey out with business as usual and hope for no more winter woes.

March? Get it together. Turn up!

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