Tag Archives: how I spent my summer vacation

Under the Oregon Stars, a State of Being

Moonless Meteors and the Milky Way Image Credit & Copyright: Petr Horálek courtesy NASA

Moonless Meteors and the Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright: Petr Horálek courtesy NASA

In fragile folding chairs we sit watching the fire, listening to the music of the surf. We form a circle of people bound by blood somewhat, but in reality bound by that strongest of cements—love. Some are children of my body, given to me as gifts from the universe. Others are the children of my heart, given to me when I married their father.

All are my children—mine, do you hear me? Each one is my precious, my dearest earthly treasure, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love them with all the meddling, coddling love a Cancerian brings to motherhood.

I think about how it hurt to see these people grow to adulthood and leave the nest, but over and above the sense of loss at their fledging I was proud that I was a part of their lives.  They are who they are, separate from me, better, and unique.

As it should be.

We are blessed to have a family where love is thicker than blood, and if you cut one of us, we all bleed red. It is the friendship, the camaraderie, the need to be with each other that forges this blended family.

Our genetics may differ but we are the unit of us—a family united widely by marriage, closely by adoption, yes, some by birth. We are a melange of “inlaws and outlaws,” and that is okay. New spouses enter the group under duress and with trepidation, but soon  find themselves at ease, and we all make new memories.

There are many passports into this family, and blood is only a small part of it. Sometimes we go a while apart but memories of lazy summer vacations and stressed-out Christmases, and the challenge of making Thanksgiving menus work for everyone (even the vegan) draw us back together. Dietary dramas fade when unconditional love is applied to the injury.

That connection, these traditions, this path that leads us to each other is the core of a state of being that is hard to define, a concept we call family.

We are not all around this fire tonight. In low voices we talk about how we miss those who couldn’t make the journey this year. We laugh about their youthful antics and how we miss them. We understand well how being an adult means you can’t get time off when you want it, even for a traditional week of family rest and renewal.

Beneath the Oregon stars, my grandchildren run wild and the dunes echo with their laughter. Tonight I am contented, blessed in a way everyone should be.


Filed under Humor, Publishing, writer, writing

Alien Abduction or How I Spent my Summer Vacation

©Anthony May Photography, courtesy of seattle pi

©Anthony May Photography, courtesy of seattle pi

The days are shorter, but still warm and oh, so humid. The dry days of August have waved goodbye, and the monsoons of the Pacific Northwest fall have once again made their presence felt…three weeks ahead of schedule. Lightning flashes across the sky and thunder rolls, shaking the house and waking the occupants, who turn in their bed and hug each other for comfort.

The mornings are dark, and the kitchen feels warm and safe. The coffeemaker gurgles to a finish and I feel a sense of sadness, once again feeling as if I somehow missed the summer this year.

My husband walks quickly out to the old Forester and leaps in as nimbly as any strong old man might, dodging the wind and rain. He drives away through the dark, in the pouring rain.  I, faced with the dark house and a mountain of work in my office,  feel somehow abandoned by the gods of weather.

how-to-play-gin-rummy-1Where were the card games at my sister’s house that normally make the summers so much fun? How did the entire summer go by without even one game of San Felipe Rummy?

We didn’t have many dinners on the back porch. I don’t recall sitting in the pool more than once.

I don’t recall having my morning coffee on the back porch and that is something I look forward to all winter.

Was I abducted by aliens? Thinking logically, I must doubt that theory. My blog posts and work calendar all indicate I was here, apparently doing what I was supposed to be doing, but I don’t recall enjoying the rare bursts of sunshine that turn the summer skies a magical shade of blue here in Olympia.

clouds ms clipartI was here, because I definitely published a novella, Tales From the Dreamtime, a collection of three short stories, and I think it’s my best work yet. I’ve made a great deal of headway on various editing projects for private clients, and I have made headway on my own work. I wrote two posts a week for this blog, some of which I think are rather good posts.  I read at least two books a week all summer, and blogged about them on Best In Fantasy.  All these are proof I was here, but how did I miss the summer?

Both my mind and my Google Calendar say I was not abducted.

Nevertheless, I believe at least my mind was taken elsewhere, because summer has come and gone, and I have no recollection of it.

The rain pounds on the roof, and rattles the gutters. It flattens the grass and the flowers,  and thunder rolls down our little valley. The rain is our identity, and our curse: the one thing we can count on.

A patch of blue becomes a jewel, a treasure in the eye of the beholder.


Filed under Adventure, Books, Fantasy, Food, Humor, Literature, Uncategorized, Vegan, writing