A Rainbow and Remembering-9/11/01

A rainbow appeared over Manhattan yesterday. The headline that circulated noted that it was the eve of the 14th anniversary, adding to the wonder and sentiment.

Between reminders to floss and the last-minute comedy routines, I found myself wondering, what was he doing fourteen years ago tonight?

Was it like any other Monday or did he discover a great restaurant on his way home? Did he finish a book or begin one? Did he go for a run? Did he see a rainbow?

And in the morning, did he hesitate? Did he stop for coffee? What if the line had been longer? Did he know how much he was loved?

What if?

I thought of my friend’s husband. He lost his father in WTC. I thought of the life he has built, the way he has honored his father, his beautiful family. If his father could see what he has accomplished, in response to and despite the loss, what a gift it would be for both of them.

I thought of our lives before that day. The freedom we took for granted, the security. How we can mark the change as a nation, how those are gifts some have never known.

I thought about our choices. The ones we make that lead us to places we never dreamed. The choices that close and open doors. The choices with far-reaching blessings or consequences.

And I thought about our responses. Our response as a nation in the days after, our responses now, still raw for so many. The grief doesn’t lose its grip.

For me, there are different aspects of grief today.  There was a tragedy that impacted thousands and changed our country, difficult enough on its own.  There is a deeply personal loss, separate but inextricable. Heart-wrenching details and too many questions. His name, etched in stone, is one of thousands. For those who knew him, one of a kind.

On the eve of September 11th, we went to bed, like any other night. No one could have predicted how our lives would change. Choices, unfathomable choices were made. Heroic responses led to heroic loss. And we would never be the same. We will never forget.

Each year I share this post written for my dear friend.  He lived a life with certainty. He was blessed with a family that loved and supported him. He had an unshakable faith, a drive to live a life of purpose, a heart open and ready to share.

I may never know how he spent his last evening, his last moments, but I can say, how he lived his life. He loved well, lived well, and will always be missed.


Grief and Gratitude

The light here begins to change in September. It softens a bit, reflecting off the leaves. The fauna seems to let out a collective sigh of relief from the harsh Texas summer. And yet, for me, it now comes with a heaviness that wasn’t there eleven years ago. A mixture of grief and gratitude.

For most people, September 11th, 2001 was a night where sleep was fitful and hard to come by. On top of the horror that the entire nation experienced, I was awaiting news of a dear friend. Jason had last been seen that morning, getting on the subway on his way to the North Tower. He had recently begun his job as a Bond Trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. I called his phone repeatedly throughout the day, leaving message after message. Unaware of the location of his new job, I was completely caught off-guard when I got a phone call that evening saying that he was missing. I chose to hope for the best. I knew the chaos the entire city was facing. I chose to believe I would hear his sweet voice again. And I have, but only in my dreams.

In one of the few moments of rest that night, Jason came to me in a dream. He kissed me on the cheek and told me he would always look out for me. And I believe, in many ways, he has.


I met Jason at Wheaton College but our friendship didn’t really blossom until after I left. At first we connected through letters, and then we found ourselves both living in Austin. Even when he left to begin a career in Chicago, we would fly back and forth to spend time together. Although we were usually in dating relationships with others, we each looked to one another for advice, encouragement, and a safe place to be. Jason had found the perfect balance of listening without judgment, but pointing you to the truth. And when you needed to laugh, he knew just where to insert the under-the-breath comment. He was truly one of the most Christ-like men I have known. His integrity and compassion impacted so many. With his wisdom and wit, he was a steadfast source of comfort for all who were fortunate enough to call him a friend.

Jason lived life to the fullest. He ran a marathon, learned to barefoot ski, and would drop everything to help a friend. In a paper written for his Senior thesis, Jason penned the following words. “If we could realize daily the brevity of our lives, our definitions of success would take on a more eternal scope…I would hope that I would not be the one…from whom God would have to wipe away remorseful tears.”

Grief is a funny thing. It ebbs and flows. At times it is overwhelming, and then you realize that you’re living lighter. And then you almost feel guilty that it is gone, for now. The cliché tells us that time heals wounds. I wouldn’t agree with that statement. Grief has to be tackled and embraced, absorbed and freed.

For years, I found myself retreating to mourn in solitude. I didn’t know what to do with the loss I felt. If you are a spouse, a parent, or a child, the gravity of the loss is widely understood. As it should be. But what about dear friends? How do you explain that loss? Did I have the right to still be grieving?

Then last year, on the tenth anniversary, I chose to plan the Austin 9/11 Walk to try to bring people of all faiths together and remember. I chose to work and walk for Jason. This past Spring, I returned to his memorial at our college campus and processed with another dear friend. I cried and laughed and mourned. I have found more healing in the “doing” than I was able to in all of the previous years. No one can tell you how and when to grieve. It is a unique path for each of us, but one that must be walked.

My birthday fell the weekend before that Tuesday. He always called or sent flowers. He forgot to call. I knew that he had moved to New York to see where things could go with a girl. But for him to forget to call, I knew things must have been getting serious with her. I had to process, “Was I okay with this?” “Of course,” I thought, “If he is happy, that is all I want for him.” I decided that I would give him two days to call, or I was going to give him a hard time. That time never came. This Spring, as I was praying about the grief I still felt, I felt like God was saying to me, “You were willing to give him up before as long as he was happy. He is with me and he is very happy.” There is comfort in that thought.

So as September approached this year, I noticed that I felt a little lighter. I noticed that the gratitude for my time with him, and for all he taught me, outweighed the grief of the loss. We all have a choice. To dwell in sadness and fear or to move through it. It is easy to see how Jason became the man he did. In an article published shortly after his death, his mother said, “My choice is to be bitter and angry or to go on and make the world a better place. I know what Jason would tell me.” Thank you, Jason, for making me a better person and the world a better place.

Jason Douglas Oswald 12/18/72-9/11/01











Sweet Freedom!

I’m free!  I’m free!  I’m free!  After 7 1/2 years, over 8 if you count gestation, I am no longer beholden 24 hours a day.  I can write without interruption.  I can make a lunch date and stick to it.  I can go to the bathroom without mediation.  I’m free!

Ok, so I know some moms are really struggling today.  I did too. But when I say it feels different this time, I mean it feels AWESOME.  I mean setting the alarm for 6:15 means a jump towards peace, not punishment.

Before you judge, let me say this. My son was READY.  More than ready.  He didn’t want us to walk him in for the first day of Kindergarten ready. My sweet boy makes the energizer bunny look lazy.  He makes Ann Coulter look wishy-washy.  He is two parts Houdini and one part Evil Knievel.  I love that boy with every part of my being.  I will miss having my buddy around. But we are both ready.

This past summer I likened myself to being at mile 26 of the marathon.   I have trained, I have bled, I have had the runner’s highs and the bloody nipples. I’ve stumbled and there have been tears. But, I have crossed the finish line of the 24/7 race.  Now, I will be able to catch my breath, take a nice jog with them every afternoon and have the space and energy to dance.

This summer we spent time with my dear friend.  Her boys have grown and she was magical with mine. I was lamenting that she is so much better with them than I am, than I want to be.  She said, “They’re not my kids.” And she’s right.  A fresh perspective, a clean slate, clarity.  It is good for all of us; it is good for our children.  My child will benefit from his and her teacher. Your child will benefit from his or her teacher. Our children are in good hands and will, hopefully flourish.

I was the crazy mom who kept my kids with me as long as possible.  I don’t regret that decision and grateful that my husband and I chose to sacrifice in some areas so I could do so, but it did make me a little loopy and more than a little grumpy some days.  It did take a toll on my social life and writing aspirations and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

But, I’m (relatively) free now.

Free to enjoy the time I have with them.  Free to wander the aisles of the grocery store at my own pace.  Free to write when inspired and rest when fatigued.  I will have more of me to give when they are home because I have the chance to restore, explore, reflect, and grow.

Take heart, mamas with the balled up tissues and empty car seat.  It gets better. It won’t always feel like you left part of your heart.  Ok, maybe it will, but when you drop your youngest, you will have the time and space to fill your own. And when you pick them up at the end of the day, your hearts will still beat together, just with a little more strength.



Top 9 Reasons I’m Over Top 10 Lists

9) Why does it have to be 10?  Who decided that 10 is the magic number for a list? And how can I write a “Top 10” if that is what I’m ranting about? That would make me a hypocrite.

8) There was a time when I would have put Richard Marx on my Top 10.  Is this list supposed to quantify all-time or just this week? No one clarifies this very important distinction. Curious minds need to know.

7) The powers that be say to catch a reader’s attention with a Top 10 list.  If what you have to say isn’t interesting enough on its own, why would I want to read 10 things?

6) Is it ascending or descending?  Is it like a 3rd degree burn or the 1st place winner?

5) How does one decide what makes the cut?  It is torture!  I was once tagged to write my top 10 books.  How am I supposed to narrow it down to 10?

4) And on the contrary, sometimes you only have 6 all-time favorites and then you have to throw in a few consolatory choices.  They are nowhere near as good as the others and yet they made the same list.

3) Because the only people who are going to read your Top 10 list are the last 10 people who YOU read and liked and commented on.

2) Because it is the rare list that can compete with King Letterman.

And the number one reason I am over Top 10 lists…

1) Because the number 1 is never as witty as number 3 or 4.  It is always a letdown.

This list was not written in any scientific manner but in an early morning daze.  Some were pre-coffee, some post.  Thoughts and Opinions are my own.  Which means this list is, for all intents and purposes, useless.

Now, please take this with a grain of salt. I will still likely read and enjoy any lists that my fellow writers create.  But only if you read mine first. Happy Friday!


Lately The Drunken Cyclist has been writing a Friday rant or rave which I have enjoyed.  Although he is much better at it, I decided to follow his lead. Thanks for the inspiration, Jeff.  You have a place on my top 10.

Gifts that Matter on Mother’s Day

My favorites gifts have always been those which cannot be wrapped. They are gifts that say, “I see you.  I am listening.” They may or may not come on any appointed day, but their value is intrinsic and enduring.

I have been in several stores this week and, everywhere you look, there are marketing sections centered around Mother’s Day.  I watched the crowds swell in front of the card section yesterday as I made a return.  Pre-made bouquets line the checkout lines and I shudder to think of the jewelry store budgets. To what end?

Most mothers that I know, mine included, just want extra hugs and a day off from dishes.  We love the handmade cards from our children and the gratitude and care from our spouses, but that is all we need. (And some pink bubbles don’t hurt.)

But I know that I am one of the lucky ones.  Anne Lamott posted a rant on her Facebook page yesterday about the holiday.  And while her stance is more extreme than mine, it solidified some of the notions I have been having this week.  I have been acutely aware of the pain that accompanies this, and many holidays, for people I love dearly.

I have friends that have lost mothers in recent years; the pain, which is always there, is magnified.

I have other friends who had mothers that they did not want to celebrate, the disappointment palpable.

I have friends that see the window of opportunity closing.  They wanted to have children but are now understanding that age is working against them.

I have friends that have lost children, in pregnancy and years later. I cannot imagine the hole that will never be filled.

I have watched the avoidance, the cues, the attempts to put on a happy face from those that have not been able to have children, despite years of trying.

One woman I love more than life told me, “It is a sadness that never really goes away…people ask you ask the time, do you have kids? And you always have to answer no…it hurts a little every time.

To all of these friends, I see you and I am listening.

I am grateful, beyond words, for a mother worth celebrating. She goes out of her way to make sure that people feel seen and heard.

Despite an impossible list of things to do, she would stop and talk with the butcher about his health problems.

Despite a dwindling checking account, she would buy groceries for the person struggling.

She would stop and pray with the person she just met in line at the bank and ask the teller about her new grandchild.

She was a mom to all of my friends, the queen of field trips and extra hugs.

She listened to the lonely, cried with the broken, rejoiced with relieved.

I see it in my siblings; I aspire to be like her.  Mom, we saw, we listened.

George McDonald said, “If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give.

This Mother’s Day, I am so grateful for the gifts my mother gave me.  I am grateful for the children I have been given. I am grateful for my friends and family.  I want you to know that you are seen, you are loved, and I am listening.



Training for #WBC14

Tomorrow is the day!  I’m so excited to be heading out to Santa Barbara county to meet and learn from some of the top wine writers.  But, I’ve got to say, I’ve been feeling a little out of my league.  So what is a girl to do?  Well, some training, of course.  And how does a SAHM find time for training with the littles out of school?  Well, put them to work, of course.

This is how a SAHM prepares for Wine Bloggers Conference 2014. 

WARNING: self-deprecating silliness follows.  No child-labor was exploited.  No alcohol was consumed.  Just some packing procrastination.



Now, it may be a little late to join my training program, (my trainers are really exclusive) but I won’t judge your techniques if you don’t judge my video production skills.

Thank you again to the sponsors and those who generously donated so that could be a part of this.  I hope I don’t lose my scholarship/credibility.  Santa Barbara, here comes trouble! Cheers!


“Congratulations, You’ve Been…”

This morning I heard the news that we lost a woman of incredible valor.   I’ve absorbed her words, envied her confidence, and admired the grace with which she conducted herself.  I had intended to share some news today, but it somehow felt inappropriate.  And then I read this quote shared on Oprah Winfrey’s site.   She said one of the best lessons that she learned from Dr. Angelou was this: “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”  It was then that I realized this was exactly the kind of news I should be sharing.

A few months ago, I applied for a scholarship to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara County.  A SAHM doesn’t exactly earn a salary, so it would hard to justify the expense, but I knew it was a unique learning opportunity.  I have connected with so many other writers online.  I have found mentors and support, encouragement and inspiration.

In August, I will have been writing for three years.  I have not yet acquired any certifications or attended any seminars.  I have yet to take it to the next level or monetize my blog.  With the changes in Facebook policies it seems my reach has lessened.   At times, it can feel as if what I am doing doesn’t really “count.”  But I want it to matter.  I want to build something of value, monetary or otherwise.  I want to reach beyond, to connect, to be seen.  And although my current schedule allows minimal time for exploration and writing, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  My children are growing and I want to grow with them.

Yesterday afternoon, I was beginning to write when I saw the email pop up in the corner.  “Congratulations! You have been…”  I couldn’t see the full subject line but I assumed it ended with a “…chosen to take a survey.”  Or “…have a chance to win a Carnival cruise.”  And then I saw the sender: Thea@WBC Scholarship.  Holy Moly!  What?  Me? How?  AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

So, I am going!  I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to meet so many I’ve long admired.  I’m so humbled to have been chosen.  I am so excited to drink good wine…I mean…have a break from my kids….I MEAN learn from all of the talented writers that will be there.  Truly.

Thank you Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Committee.  Thank you to all of you that donated so that I can be there.  Thank you to all of you that will be sharing your insight and wisdom.  Thank you for teaching what you’ve learned and giving of what you have.

I will be sharing more about the conference when it is in full swing and as I process.  Right now, I would love to hear from those of you that have been.  Tips?  Water, spit…anything else?  Ladies, what to wear? (Have to ask)  Friends, when and where will you arrive? depart?  Most importantly, when can we toast in person?  Yay!!!!

Many thanks to the corporate sponsors that have made this possible:

Rodney Strong WBC Scholarshiptercerophoto1


I Blinked and She’s Gone

I sent my baby to Kindergarten on Monday.

I sent my little girl to Kindergarten.

I sent THIS little bundle of love to Kindergarten.


How is that possible?  It was a blink ago, I promise.  It’s not that she is really “gone,” obviously, but it is the first of many steps in letting go.  You hear it all the time.  Cherish each day; it goes so fast.  But when you’re in the middle of it, it doesn’t feel fast.  The lonely nights from 1-5 am, feel like they’re never going to end.  The hour before my husband gets home seems to drag with the kind of steady defiance reserved for acts like putting their shoes on when I am in a hurry or picking up their rooms, one lego at a painful time.  And yet I took my baby to Kindergarten Monday.

She has always operated at her own pace.  Although my body and my midwife told me, “Any day now,” three weeks before her due date, she came twelve days late.  Although the moon was high, the house still and dark, she was hungry and restless.   While all infants were napping, she decided to announce her independence by fighting me for two hours, only to give in for thirty minute nap.

Those were long, tireless days.  Those days looked so different from what I had imagined.  I had a great track record with all babies up to that point.  But despite swaddling, coddling, despite being full, dry, bounced, walked, she would cry for hours in the early weeks for me.  Then her father would come home, pick her up and she was, of course, done.  But that was about all he could do for her, for me, because despite 4 types of pacifiers and 5 types of bottles, she was an “AintNothin’LiketheRealThing” kind of baby.  All mom, all the time.

I was deep in the darkness.   Deep in the fog.  Deep in the “WhatdidIdotomylife?-WhyisMyShirtWet?-WhyDoesn’tMyBabyLikeMe?-WillIEverSleepAgain? Blues.”  And then it was over.  She didn’t fit on my chest anymore.  She wanted to move and explore.  She started to sleep and have opinions and feed herself and then I dropped her off at Kindergarten.

When her brother was born, I held him on my chest, tucked under my chin, as long as he would fit.  I knew how quickly it would change.

When he started to toddle after her, I held him a little longer at bedtime.

When he mispronounces words, I am not so quick to correct him.  He’ll do it soon enough and I love how he says, “Capation” for vacation.

And when he nearly breaks me with his “three-ness,” I remember that I was there with her and that at four I realized that she actually had been listening.

I was talking with husband this summer about the cruel, or maybe kind, parenting phenomenon that allows you to look back fondly on stages that, while you were in them, almost broke you.  When they are infants, it is the lack of sleep.  Everything is foggy and turns into a game of Survivor.  But you always know where they are and they don’t argue about what’s for dinner.  When they are toddlers, there is danger lurking around every coffee table, but they don’t ask you for Monster High junk.  And I am in a pretty sweet spot right now.  They are relatively innocent and sweet.  They are curious and somewhat self-sufficient.  They still think I am great and make me laugh every day.  And just when I want to absorb (almost) every moment, I am sending her off.

I usually try to tie in something about wine, but how could I?  There is nothing I can say about wine this week.   Except that I’ve had some.  And that next week I’ll likely be able to look back and tell you about the ones I enjoyed.  But this week, I am missing my girl.  And I am excited for her.  And I am trying to absorb and enjoy this phase.  Because I am sure I will blink and be sending her to middle school, to high school, to college.  But that is more than I can even comprehend right now.

California 2013 408

Rosé Colored Glasses

When we began planning our trip to Northern California I had visions of my husband and I running off to vineyards, or I would take off on my own for the day. I’d head up the Silverado trail or 37 solo, windows down, music up and not a hair out-of-place when I arrived for my tasting appointment. But apparently I was looking ahead with rose-colored glasses.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. We watched the sea lions on the Lost Coast, hiked in the redwoods, and relaxed on the beach in Tahoe. But that has meant that I have had three, yes, three days to visit wineries. Two brief appointments with the hubs and two while the hubs tried to manage the littles during my brief tour and taste.

In Tahoe, we broke even with the reds and the blacks on our date night. We had better luck with the pinks. Since it is Wine Blogging Wednesday on the topic of dry roses, I’m riding shotgun and doing a quick write-up on our way back from the Sierras.

In a recent post I highlighted a few dry roses from Provence. Here are a couple of gems from Sonoma.

J Vineyards Vin Gris Made from Pinot Noir, this is a gorgeous wine. Pale salmon, but don’t let the color fool you. This wine starts with light red fruit, a hint of tart acid and it finishes long and strong. We paired it with salmon with herbs and lemon and it was delicious. ($20)


Gundlach Bundschu Tempranillo Rose This one is almost at the opposite end of the color spectrum; think hibiscus tea. Super rich in color and flavor. Ripe red fruit, floral and spicy notes. It is the wine I first wrote about when I kicked off this site with “Punt,” (excuse the pun). Versatile, fun, and delicious. ($22)


Earlier this summer I wrote about how I was going to put more energy into my family than my writing.  Even though the trip did not turn out like I was planning, it did serve as a test of my resolve to refocus.  It did provide my family with some wonderful memories, challenges, and learning opportunities.  My daughter will start Kindergarten shortly after we return.  I can come back to Sonoma and Napa, but I can’t get this time back.  I’d rather see things through her eyes than through any colored glasses.

We just crossed the Sonoma County line. We may need to make a quick stop at Gun Bun on the way back to my father-in-law’s. All this writing is making me thirsty.

Thanks to Lenn Thompson and Tim Elliot for bringing Wine Blogging Wednesday back with a great topic. Cheers!

Everything’s Coming up Rosés

I feel guilty buying wine when I have a closet full, but my closet is filled with mostly reds.  At this time of the year, I am into pink.  Or crisp, bright whites but that is another post. When dry Rosé started coming back on the scene a few years ago, I was a happy girl.  Love it.  Love, love, love.  A few years ago, it was a little more challenging to find one that was under $20 that didn’t have a bite, but that seems to be changing.  In the last few weeks I’ve had five, all under $20 and four out of five made it on my love list.

If you’ve tried one or two and aren’t sure if you like them, keep trying.  Depending on the region, the grapes, the style, they vary widely.  There are three main style of production.  And because I am writing on borrowed time (sick kids) I am going to quote from an article on Wikipedia.  It pains me, but if you read the previous post, you understand why.

When rosé wine is the primary product, it is produced with the skin contact method. Black-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically one to three days.[3] The must is then pressed, and the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout fermentation (as with red wine making). The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color of the final wine.[4]

When a winemaker desires to impart more tannin and color to a red wine, some of the pink juice from the must can be removed at an early stage in what is known as the Saignée (from French bleeding) method. The red wine remaining in the vats is intensified as a result of the bleeding, because the volume of juice in the must is reduced, and the must involved in the maceration becomes more concentrated. The pink juice that is removed can be fermented separately to produce rosé.[5]

In other parts of the world, blending, the simple mixing of red wine to a white to impart color, is uncommon. This method is discouraged in most wine growing regions, especially in France, where it is forbidden by law, except for Champagne. Even in Champagne, several high-end producers do not use this method but rather the saignée method.[

Now for the fun part.  I tried three from France and two from Texas.  Here’s the lowdown.

1) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I really like Chateau de Campuget Costieres de Nimes Tradition Rose 2011.  Good structure and fruit, bright minerality. Fresh, fun, and fruity.  I’ve been feeling like that myself after a few sleepless nights. From the Rhone region, this wine is 70% Syrah, 30% Grenache.

2) From the Coteaux d’Aix in Provence, Bieler Père et Fils is making a lovely Rosé.  As they should.  This blend is 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 20% Cab.  Great mouthfeel, both soft and sturdy which I like in my pink friends.  The fruit and minerality is well-balanced.  At around $12, it is a steal.

3) Chateau Paradis 2011 (on sale for $15) This was an interesting one to compare with the Bieler.  I think the higher percentage of Grenache gave it a little more tannic bite.  A great food wine, but it seemed a little harsh after sipping on the previous wine.  I’d buy it again, but I’d serve it with , savory and herbal. Also from Coteaux d’Aix, it is 60% Grenache, 20%  of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

4) Becker Vineyards in Fredricksburg, Texas recently released their ode to the above region with their 2012 Provencal Rosé.  I really like this wine.  A Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre blend, this wine has earth and fruit.  Fuller bodied, lively, great for summer barbeques or more refined fare. You can find it in the 10-12 range.

5) The first Rosé I fell for made in Texas was from McPherson Cellars.  It is a little more fruit-forward than the others, but by no means sweet.  This is a great one to introduce someone to the drier style of pink, and Texas wines!  It retails for about $14 and is one of my favorites.

If you haven’t wandered down to the pink aisle yet, this gives to a place to start.  Now I want to hear from you.  Have you discovered any that I need to try?  Share them!

And a little pat on my back and disclaimer.  We’ve been fighting three kinds of funk in the last three weeks around here.  After two nights this week of 3-5 hours of interrupted sleep, I managed to write something, so you can’t get rid of me that easily.  I won’t say it’s my best work, but it works.  And since I wrote half of this with my son sitting in my lap, I neglected nothing.  I think that’s a win-win.  Cheers!

Just Like You, Mama

My dear friend in high school had a nick name for my mother, “Florabunda.”  She named her that because my mom has always had an affinity for flowers.  Many times along our cross-country trips we would hear, “Oh Gene! Look at the flowers.”  It became a family joke, but it is one thing I love about her.  She taught us the names of the wildflowers, the smell of the lilacs.  She taught us to pause and appreciate nature, the unique beauty of the regions, of ourselves.   This has been a crazy week, so I had no time to make it to the card store.  But another thing she taught us is that it is the gifts from the heart that mean the most.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

Heavy green leaves,

Encircle the delicate flowers

Subtle bells, white and pure

Beckon with soft allure

The Lily of the Valley grew

In patch beside our home

“Don’t they smell sweet?”

“Yes, Mama,” I think, “Just like you.”

Crimson and Yellow

The Maples alter their hue

Sharing their beauty

Changing the view

All around us

The leaves are changing

“Aren’t they beautiful?”

“Yes, Mama,” I think, “Just like you.”

We stand at the base

Looking up

The Sequoia tower

Majestically above

A growing family

Sprouting each day.

“Aren’t they strong?”

“Yes, Mama,” I think, “Just like you.”

A patchwork of color

The wildflowers spread

Beauty and light

All along their path

We drive along the

Empty road, taking it in

“Aren’t they amazing?”

“Yes, Mama,” I think, “Just like you.”