Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Motivates You?

At Hebrew school, my daughters' class was asked, "Why are you here? What motivates you to come to Hebrew school?"

One girl said, "So my parents can go on dates while I'm here for 2 hours."

Another said, "So my mom can clean without us in her way."

My daughters both said, "So we can teach our parents because they've forgotten all the Hebrew they ever learned."

At the end of class they added, "And so we can read Torah."

Nice save, kids. And hey, thanks for not throwing us under the bus like your friends did with their parents.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The World Is Wonderfully Bizarre
(or at least our closet is)

Remember that little girl who taped a note to her closet for us to find? Well, curiosity (and my daughters) got the better of me. I found that little girl (now an adult) and have been chatting with her a little bit.

Get this: Her husband is in the military and she has twin girls.

Should I remind you that MY husband was in the military and we have twin girls?

Isn't the world wonderfully bizarre sometimes? I love it!

In the course of our chatting, I've learned some of the stories of this house. See, this is why I prefer older houses to new ones. Old homes have souls. They have stories to tell.

True, sometimes it may not seem so romantic. Sometimes, old homes just have issues that leave you muttering under your breath.

Why in the hell is that wall there? Who thought eggplant purple was a good color for a bathroom? In what world was a tree a good idea right there? Those bears on the wallpaper are terrifying. How in the world did the last owners sleep with scary bears glaring at them every night?

For every ugly wall color, baffling shrub placement or murderous bears on wall borders, there's a story. These are stories that new owners may never know, but that those who made them will never forget. From now on, whenever I find myself wanting to ask, "Why in the world did they do THAT," I think I'm going to simply announce, "I bet there's a story behind that."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Letters From the Past
Tucked Inside the Closet

Yesterday, while getting ready for bed, Girl2 came to me and said, "There's an envelope taped to the wall inside our closet. Should I take it down?" She did and I opened it.

In the envelope was a letter from the girl who last lived in this house. I knew there was a young teenage girl here, but we never met her. Based on the handwriting and the letter itself, she was about 12 or 13 at the time.

She wrote about how this house had a lot of happy memories for her and a lot of bad as well. She wrote about how she hoped the new owners would enjoy it and how she hoped we would take care of her house.

This absolutely made my daughters' weekend. I thought it was pretty neat too. We've lived in this house for 8 years. How have we managed to miss that all this time? I'm glad we did, though. I'm glad it was my daughters who found it when they were old enough to appreciate it. How neat is that! This is the stuff of those sappy pre-teen novels.

Although, I must say, that note from a little girl written nearly a decade ago has me wandering our halls looking at our home with new eyes.

We planned to move years ago, but weren't able to for various reasons. Then, we were supposed to be gone this past summer, but the economy made that impossible. We find ourselves complaining about how we can't wait to move out. We have a long list of things we want (more than one bathroom would be phenomenal). We have wander-lust. We want out. We're anxious to move on. This house has become a relic from our past to which we're shackled long after it has outgrown its usefulness.

Since reading that letter, though, I find myself walking the halls and wondering if that little girl, now a woman, would recognize anything in this house. We've put so much work, so much time, so much love into this place. This was our first home.

All of our children took their first steps in this house. My children's heights are marked on the inside of the foyer closet door. My youngest was born in this house. A big "Welcome Home," banner was stuck in this front yard when Dh returned from his deployments. Hell, it was in the back office of this house where I started this blog 4 years ago.

Being a military family, we never felt at home. We moved from rental to rental, but those places were never, "Home." Some of them weren't even comfortable. This place, though, this has always felt like home. That's a huge deal, particularly to someone who lived for 20 years in the same house where four generations of her family had lived. There was never any doubt that that house was home and ever since I left, I found myself searching in vain for somewhere else that would have that same comfortable quality. This place was exactly that.

I want to thank that little girl for her note, not only because it excited my children, but also because it made me look at this house with new eyes. We're still ready to move on, but I can better appreciate that this house has a soul all its own. It was here before us. It was here for us and hopefully, it will prove to be not just a house, but a home for someone in the future.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

My weekly weight loss update (a few days late and a few pounds short)

Sorry I'm late with my posting this week. With Pesach and the news about my friend's mom, I've been so busy.

This week, I was 140.8. I have now lost 10% of my starting body weight. My goal was to be under 140 by Wednesday and maybe, just maybe, that will actually happen. I'm not sure, though, because that weight was at the end of the week, not my usual mid-week weigh-in. Plus I've splurged a little bit since then. I'm going to get lots of walking in tomorrow and Tuesday and then we shall see where that takes me.

The weather is so gorgeous lately. I'm going to grab the opportunity to be out in the sun as much as possible. I'm hoping I can start working in the garden soon. I'm not much of a gardener, but it's great exercise plus then we can grow our own healthy pesticide-free veggies. Plus it's always a homeschool lesson for the kids.

Tomorrow is another big meal night, but we're keeping it simple (fish, green beans [yes, we eat kitiniyot. Dh and I are Ashekenazi, but I'm Sephardic too, so Passover is the one time of year I pretend that other side doesn't exist] and mushrooms) and we'll have a little K for P wine.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can hit that weight goal by Wednesday. Of course, I have a scheduled lunch date with friends that day. We're going out for Chinese to celebrate the end of Pesach and the return of chametz. It's not even bread I'm craving (I'm actually hoping to stay pretty low-carb even after Pesach has "passed over"). It's the sushi and soy sauce. Yum!

Friday, April 02, 2010

More Bad News

Do you remember that friend's mother I mentioned? The one who was diagnosed with cancer, was unresponsive to chemo and was moved to hospice care? She passed away last night. I've known this woman since I was five years old. I absolutely cannot wrap my mind around this.

Baruch dayan he'emet