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Both of my kids left for college on Sunday. This is the third time I've gone through the experience of moving my kids from one home to another for a year away at school.

The first year, it was my son who left. When your firstborn leaves the nest, it is a sad day, a day you never imagined would arrive as quickly as it did.

Last year, my daughter joined him in flight, leaving our nest completely empty except for our two dogs. Having BOTH kids gone was an adjustment I was dreading.

This year, as the kids packed up to leave, I was sad, but not as sad as I've been in years past. Having made this extreme adjustment before -- from a house of four to a house of two -- I knew I would get through it. Afterall, I had survived this adjustment twice already.
My first day without the kids living here I spent the day cleaning: washing the carpets, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, and gathering up old clothes to take to Goodwill. Getting the house back into order brought me comfort for some strange reason. It reminded me that last year when both the kids left, I found my way into a new life, a life that included the house only getting as messy as I made it, date nights with the hubby, and not having to share the hot water, the car, or the washing machine.

A life that I kinda....liked.

I guess my massive cleaning efforts yesterday were my way of ushering out one way of life for another.

And you know what? It was okay. I was okay. My kids were okay. And we will all be okay again this time.

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A poem.

On the surface,
just words.

But go deeper
and find a message
interwoven
among the letters.

Something that begs to be said
without saying it.

A hint
a whisper
a revelation
an inkling
a story

All revealed through
a few very carefully chosen words
of a poem.


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Light breaks the night,
growing
minute
by
minute.

The darkness fades to dawn
taking with it
yesterday
and all its
stories.

First the pink,
then the orange,
then
finally
the yellow.

The birds awaken
and ride the sky,
singing
sweet
songs
of joy.

They understand.

A new start,
A new chance,
A new day.

I embrace the moment
and await the new stories
of today.



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BRING

Packing for vacation
is not fun.

I'm not done
until the suitcase
is stuffed so full
I have to sit on it
to get it zippered.

ziii..zi...ziiii..zipppp

I know I bring too much.

I know I will be made fun of.

I know I will not use half of what I bring.

But you never know
when you'll need that one thing
you chose to leave behind
even though there was extra room
in the suitcase.

So I bring it all.

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Powerless

We prepared the soil
churned it up
raked it out
pulled the weeds
with a merciless tug.

Lovingly
we dug the holes
placed the seeds
tucked them in
with a gentle pat.

We watered.

We waited.

Watered some more.


Still nothing.


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ephemeral = short-lived

like
a thought
   (why did I come in this room?)
a laugh
   (she said what?)
a scene
   (seven cardinals at the feeder)
a scent
   (lilacs in bloom under the bedroom window)
a sight
    (the sun dipping low in the evening sky)
a sound
   (soft whimpers escaping the dog's dream)
an action
   (a secret smile when he saw her)
a moment
   (walking out the door for the last time)

Writing
takes
the ephemeral
and makes it

permanent = forever.


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I want a puppy.

A soft, fury
bundle of love.

Who will get so excited
to see me come home
that she can't help but
spring,
spring,
spring
up and greet me.

Who will snuggle
with me on the sofa
and fall asleep.
Soft whimpers and sighs escaping
her dreams
as she nestles into me
and reaffirms that I am her person.

Who will bring me a ball
and beg with her eyes:
please throw it just
one
more
time.
        (I promise this will be the last time.)
Until it's not.

Who does puppy things
like
chase her tail
play tug-of-war
and wrestle with her toys.
Until she collapses
from her puppy exhaustion
and her sweet snores start again.

I want a puppy.



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I am not the kind of person who is comfortable asking a favor.

I am the one who DOES the favor,
the helper,
the doer.

If you are my friend and you ask for help
I will walk to the end of the earth for you.
To give you what you ask.
To help you with what you need.

What you ask will go at the top of my To Do List
and I will stop at nothing until I can cross it off.

But asking a favor?
          That is a completely different story.

I don't want to burden you.
Distract you.
Take your time.

I'm not sure why that is.


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Absorb is a funny word.

When I taught my 4th and 5th graders how to use prefixes and suffixes to increase their vocabulary and decode bigger words, we learned that 'ab-" means away. I liked to teach my students to use Memory Minders, small tricks to help us remember what something means,  and our Memory Minder for the word part 'ab-' was actually the word 'absorb,' to soak something up and away.

When I am ready a really good book and don't want to stop (to do something trivial like sleep), I wish I could put the book under my pillow and have my mind absorb its words overnight. Soak all that information into my head.

When I am practicing being mindful, I am trying to absorb all that is happening right at the moment. Trying to soak it all in.

For some reason, when I give the dog a bath, her fur does not absorb the water. It runs right off of her.

The wind was howling through the screen door in the kitchen the other afternoon and blew over the vase of flowers that Jeremy had given me for our anniversary. Water was running everywhere because the towel I was using did not want to absorb the water. Paper towels were more absorbant and did the trick.
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Lilac
I round the corner of the house
and without looking,
I am 100% sure it has finally blossomed.
The lilac bush.
It's sweet, dense scent wafts through the air,
tickling my nose,
reassuring me that
yes,
nature has come back to life.
I pick a few blooms
for Mom
so she knows this too.


Peony
The bud starts out
the size of a jawbreaker
Tiny and hard,
but holding a treasure within.
Days and weeks of spring sun pass
And the tiny jawbreaker grows into a gumball
stuck to the end of a stick.
The ants go to work.
Then bud bursts open
Revealing a pincushion of petals,
the color of bubblegum.
I pick a few
for the table
bringing nature's treats inside.

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