Weaving Through a December Tornado

Has your kitchen ever looked like this?

This was our kitchen two years ago. A blizzard was moving in with ice pelting the side of the house as I sprinted around that kitchen trying to finish off baking. I needed to get a Christmas box packed and delivered to the UPS terminal before the roads got any worse that day. Luckily, I made it without any mishaps on the road.

I’m back in the race again this month, only this year I added in several freelance assignments that have to be handed in by December 20th, travel to NW Iowa for a book signing on the 18th, moved up a writer’s group holiday gathering for the 11th, and volunteered to help with an additional holiday celebration on the 12th. I don’t have all of my shopping done yet either.

So last week while I was box diving, the name I have for the activity where I paw through rickety, bent-up boxes containing all sorts of saved shrapnel in the form of old letters, photograph albums, and corsage corpses, I turned up an envelope aged to the color of weak tea. Its postmark said: Lake Park, Iowa, November 17, 1976. It cost my mother thirteen cents to mail it.

Evidently I was dealing with headaches at the time. I don’t recall them but the opening paragraph in her letter reads like this:

      I think part of your headaches might be caused by frustration because you always have so much lined up for yourself to do and if it doesn’t get done, it bothers you. I wish that you would ease up on yourself. Take it from me–it just isn’t worth it in the long run. Just take care of your health and do what you can get done and forget about the rest. We are all going to leave this world with something left undone!

Reading that bit of advice from my mother smacks of synchronicity in light of the approaching hoard of activity. The trick is to weave. It helps to have a laptop sitting on the kitchen table. While I’m waiting for a pan of something to bake, I can be drafting from my materials spread around me. I think my mother would be proud to know I’ve learned to avoid that fretting part that probably gave me those headaches a long time ago, and just get on with the weaving part.

I didn’t turn down the writing jobs because I didn’t want to miss out on any opportunities or income.

I didn’t shy away from throwing a party last week because I treasure time with friends that I don’t see very often.

I hired someone else to dust and clean the house while I enjoyed working on the article assignments and baking delicious, fun things for my guests.

And there isn’t even a glimmer of a headache in sight. Weaving is a good thing.

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6 thoughts on “Weaving Through a December Tornado

  1. Growing up in small town America, knowing, remembering, and admiring your mom. I marvel at her wisdom. I’m betting you appreciate her words of wisdom more today then you did then. The craziness of our busy lives and this season with so much going on makes me think, I too, need to just slow down and realize the reason for the season. You, my dear, have accomplished much since leaving our little town. The picture on your notepad was beautiful, the article magnificent and the memories of those who touch our lives and seem to come alive when by accident, we are reminded of who we are because of their influence!! Write on my friend!!

    • Thanks, Kel. And definitely—remember to slow down and enjoy the Season. It’s going by way too fast again.

      Did you notice that the roadway in the new WordPress header is that of Trapper’s State Park? Deb commented on it. We love snapping winter time photos up in that area. Especially since they seem to get “more” winter up that way than we do down here.

      Stay in touch.

  2. A more appropriate message there couldn’t be as we near the Santa Lucia day. I imagine that she was able to weave too in order to get the rolls ready and the coffee in time to awaken those she loved during this busy time of year.

  3. There almost seems to be some irony in that the headaches of old are now “handled” by the same frenetic activities and “doing them well”. It seems to me you have mastered chaos, and indeed moved it into “an art form”. What ever your status at this moment relating to being “ready for the holidays” and keeping up with the writing, just know you are now officially “an accomplished woman” who exemplifies the best in women. Type A’s, Superwomen, and just plain “I am woman types.” Accept it as your destiny, Rebecca, and take joy in your accomplishments. We’re only here a few short years (under a hundred) so “git ‘er done”.

    • You and I firmly believe in getting it done, while we can, don’t we?

      I have seen the end scenes in the nursing home for loved ones, and it has reinforced my belief that we need to go out kicking and screaming–” . . . but I have one more page to write!” 😀

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