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Posts Tagged ‘rain’

A big thank you to Leslie for sending along this idea!

“List ten things you love and ten things you hate. Celebrate the former and ‘kill’ the latter by writing about them.”

It probably says something about my personality that when I first read this suggestion I wondered how I would only come up with ten things that I hate.  I am the kind of person for whom a lot of things rub me the wrong way.  Maybe I’ll have to do that part of the writing prompt more than one time!

Okay, so here it goes!

I love

1) I love the smell in the air after it rains.  Sometimes I stand outside my front door and just inhale.  I try not to think to much about what my neighbours must think of me.

2) I love getting mail from friends.  I have a couple of great people in my life who send me cards sometimes and I hope they know how much I love them.  I love to see my name hand written on the outside of an envelope when I open my mail box.  I love that someone took the time to pick out a card they thought I would like, write something sweet inside, riffle through their purse to find a stamp, and walk to the mail box to send it off to me.  That says love to me.

3) I love watching the previews in the movie theatre.  I love getting lost in the little stories and picking out which ones I want to see next.  I can’t be friends with anyone who doesn’t want to be there in time to watch the previews.  Sorry.  Deal breaker.

4) I love walking through the office supply aisle at Target.  I love looking at all of the different colour Post-It notes and thinking about all the places I would post them.  I love flipping through the journals, running my hands over the untouched pages and hearing the crack of the unopened spine.  I imagine all of the things I would write in there.

5) I love when my hubby or one of my kids reaches out to hold my hand, all on their own, just because they want to.  The way they do it without even looking because they know that my hand will be there, just where they expect it to be, whenever they need it.

6) I love being in the car by myself on a warm Spring day, the windows cracked, the radio just a little bit louder than necessary, singing off-key to some cheesy boy-band song.  I love feeling grown-up enough to have a car that I can drive and somewhere to go, without having to be an adult, shushing the kids in the back so I can hear the latest traffic report.

7) I love the first sip of a cup of tea.  No matter if it’s first thing on a cold morning, driving to the train station, or last thing on a summer night, listening to the rain bounce off the roof.  The first sip always makes me stop, close my eyes, and just enjoy.  Suddenly I’m eight years old again, home sick from school with my mom and sharing a cup while she lets me watch As The World Turns, feeling so special and loved.

8) I love bubble baths, the hotter and bubblier the better.  There’s just something about sliding down into that hot water and feeling the worries and tension just soak from my body that makes everything seem easier.  I’m sure none of the world’s problems have ever been solved in a bubble bath, but I’m just as sure that none of them were made any worse.

9) I love the feeling when I finish an amazing book and I just want to tell everyone I know to go and read it.  And then I want to sit in a room filled with those people and talk about all the things we loved about it.  I love getting to the last page and being glad to have reached the end but also totally devastated because it means I can no longer live in the world the book created for me and have to, instead, return to real life.

10) I love candles.  I used to buy them and then leave them in my closet to collect dust because I thought it was decadent to burn them.  I don’t think that anymore.  I light a candle almost every night after dinner, whenever I have a bubble bath, and some nights while I read a few pages before I go to sleep.  Something about the smell – I especially love any of the scented ones that smell like baked goods – just relaxes me and forces me to take a moment just to breath and quiet the commentary in my head.  I burn them all the time and when it has been burned all it can, I don’t feel guilty about having used it up, instead I celebrate the fact that it means I get to go pick out a new one.

I hate

1) I hate folding laundry.  I don’t mind putting the stuff in the washing machine and can usually remember to move it from the washer to the dryer but when I hear the buzzer go to tell me it’s time to fold, I can’t help but say a few bad words.  How does everything that goes into the machine right-side out come out of the dryer inside out?  Why are there always socks missing?  I mean seriously, where do they go???  And perhaps the worse part is that I know, as I stand there folding shirt after shirt, I know it’s not the end.  I still have to put them all away.  Hatred, pure hatred.

2) I hate people who walk slowly.  I am a fast walker and I’m not saying that everyone needs to walk as quickly as I do but really, if you can’t keep up can you at least move over to the side??  I don’t care if I don’t even have anywhere to go, I still need to get there quickly!

3) I hate french toast.  I hate that everyone acts surprised when I say I hate french toast, like I just said I hate babies or sunshine.  I don’t like bread dipped in egg okay?  If I wanted eggs and toast I would cook them separately, not together in the same pan, smushed together.  Get over it.

4) I hate the way people order non-fat lattes at Starbucks and then ask for whipped cream.  Really??  You didn’t want all of the fat in your latte, you’d prefer to just add it on top?  Give yourself (and all of us) a break and just treat yourself.  Go full fat once in awhile and don’t make apologies.  It will stop those of us in line behind you from having to roll our eyes at you.

5) I hate fake.  I hate people who hide behind fake instead of letting the rest of us see what’s really going on with them.  If you want to pretend you’re happy all the time, loving every minute of being a wife, being a mother, being a friend, being a daughter, then that’s your own business but I don’t have to go along with it.  Fake is boring.  Fake isn’t even worth commenting on.  If you want to be real, if you want to share what’s really going on and what you’re really feeling then I will be here, every minute of the day, 2 in the morning, whatever.  I have all the time in the world if you want to be real; but I don’t have time for fake.

6) I hate feeling out of place.  I hate not knowing where to stand or what to wear or which words to say.  I hate feeling like I don’t know what’s going on, or wondering if I’m doing it all wrong.  I realize this is a horrible thing to hate because consistent with trying anything new is the idea that there is going to be a period of time when I don’t know what I’m doing, but I hate it nonetheless.

7) I hate being late.  I can literally feel the tension in my body as the clock ticks closer and closer to the time I’m supposed to be somewhere.  I usually end up feeling slightly ill if I end up arriving after the time I’m supposed to.  In conjunction with this, I hate it when other people are late.  I know there are justifiable and unavoidable reasons why people are sometimes delayed but it still completely irks me.

8) I hate feeling like I have let someone down.  I hate thinking that somewhere out there might be a friend who wonders if I care for them, or a loved one who wonders if I think of them at all.  I hate knowing that I can’t be there for someone when they need me, or that there’s something about me that makes others not want to share what they’re feeling.  Because sometimes I feel all of those things and I know it’s not a nice way to feel.

9) I hate pants that gape at the back.  I hate the fact that people who make pants can’t grasp the fact that 99% if women’s waists are smaller than their hips, whether the woman is a size 5 or a size 15.  Why can’t they get that?  Why can’t they make pants that fit?  If it’s a physical impossibility then why don’t they put those elastics in the waists of women’s pants that you can adjust, like they do with kids pants?  We can put people on the moon and make chewing gum that tastes like key lime pie but this, this we can’t do??

10) I hate radio call-in shows.  They physically make my skin crawl.  As soon as I hear the words “Dave from Oakville, you’re in the air” my throat starts to close up and my arms start to itch.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know what it is about them that I hate so much but I do.  And now they even have call-in shows on tv, as if just listening to them wasn’t enough, now we get to see them.  There’s one on tv now where people call in and ask a guy about buying a car.  So now Dave from Oakville wants to buy a 2005 Honda Civic and wants to know how much he should pay.  Oh the agony.

I have to say, this exercise was quite an eye-opener.  I thought it would be easy to come up with ten things I hate but it actually took me way more time than the ten things I love.  It was also interesting to actually sit for a minute and ask myself what I love.  No one ever really asks that, do they?  And yet is there really anything that says more about us as people than what we love.

Maybe next time I’m having tea with a friend I’ll ask them, and actually sit back and listen because if we really love someone, shouldn’t we also care about and nurture the things they love?  I mean people are usually more than willing to volunteer to tell us about the things they hate, I for one know that I share that information more than others probably wish I would, but how often do we talk about what we love?

Thanks again for sending this along Leslie, this was a great one!

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It has been a rainy summer where I am.  It kind of seems like spring, only I look at the calendar and realize it’s actually August.

We’ve had days where the rain has fallen from morning until night, and days where the sun is shining one minute, and the clouds roll in the next.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wondered where my umbrella is, but can count on one hand the number of times I’ve pulled out the sunscreen.

In a word, it’s been wet.

Growing up in a place where it rains A LOT has given me a certain appreciation for rainy weather.  I love to fall asleep to the sound of the rain beating down on the roof and I can still lose myself for hours watching the path of the drops down the window pane.

But what may seem like fun in November or March definitely loses its appeal in July and August.

And so I have been complaining about the weather, just like everyone else; choosing to focus on the downside and ignore the beauty.

Until one day in my garden when I saw this.

A little drop.

A little drop.

Maybe a rainy summer isn’t so bad after all.

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Today I’m having a bagel for dinner.

Today I got fitted for a mouth guard I have to wear when I sleep because apparently I clench my jaw so hard I have cracked three of my fillings.  This meant that today I spent twenty minutes in the dentist chair while a very friendly lady shoved a metal plate into my mouth that oozed purple goo.

Today I got to make another appointment to go back and pick up said mouthguard which I am supposed to wear every night when I sleep.

Today I had a flashback of being 13 and getting fitted for my retainer.

Today I realized that being a “grown up” is not really any better than being a teenager.

Today it rained.

Today it rained all day.

Today it rained so hard that the front of my pants got wet just walking to my car.

Today it was so windy the rain was falling sideways and my umbrella turned inside out.

Today I said some words I shouldn’t have.

Today I wore the wrong shoes.

Today the weatherman decided he was going to be right about the forecast, after having been wrong for the last 248 days in a row.

Today everyone else wore rain boots and I wore thin canvas shoes that were soaking wet before I even hit the door.

Today I left work early to make it in time for my above-mentioned appointment with the metal plate and the purple goo.

Today my car had other ideas.

Today the kids got to come to the dentist with mommy because daddy had to wait for the tow truck to tow mommy’s car from the train station parking lot to Canadian Tire.

Today I said lots of words I probably shouldn’t have.

Today I felt like everything was going wrong.

Today before my son went to bed he gave me an invitation to his kindergarten graduation and, with his big eyes staring at me, asked “Mama, do you think you’ll be able to come?”

Today a lot of things went wrong…but not everything.

Today I will finish my bagel for dinner, and get things ready for tomorrow.

Tomorrow maybe things will go my way.

Tomorrow.

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The woman was walking quickly through the parking lot, her hand holding tightly to the hand of a little girl, probably 2 or 3 years old.  Although it was almost the end of December, a mere four days before Christmas, it was warm and wet, the ground dotted with puddles.  The girl was moving slowly, probably about as fast as her little legs could carry her but still not as fast as the woman wanted.  I could tell by watching her that the woman had an internal time clock running, one that was permanently set to “running behind” with a to-do list that probably still had a dozen things on it left to accomplish that day.

But the little girl didn’t care about any of that.  All she wanted to do was splash in the puddles.  

She was wearing boots, but not the kind you splash puddles with.  If they got wet, her feet would soon be soaked and I could tell that the woman was trying to do everything in her power to keep that from happening.

So she rushed the little girl along, admonishing her to please avoid the puddles and stay out of the mud.  

I could hear myself saying the exact same words because if I were her, and I had been her dozens of times, I would have said the exact same thing.  

But I wasn’t her.  Instead I had the decadent honour of shopping by myself, of being on no one else’s schedule but my own.  I too had a list to finish but without having to drag a child along with me I, unlike the woman I was watching, actually had a realistic hope of finishing everything.  And so I could watch from a distance.

And I wished she would just let the little girl jump in the puddle.  I wished she would hold her hand so she could jump extra high and splash extra hard, getting not only her own little boots wet but also the woman’s.  I wished she would throw her head back and laugh, taking a moment out of her busy day to enjoy the simple pleasure of holding a little hand, hearing a little laugh

But she didn’t and I couldn’t blame her at all.  If I would have been in her situation I would have done the exact same thing that she did.  I wouldn’t see that puddle as an opportunity, rather I would see it as an obstacle, a hinderance to my day.  I too would have missed the opportunity, caught up in the minutia of my day and not able to see the chance for a laugh, the chance to make a memory.

Sometimes I wish I could see myself from a distance, to see the things I do and hear the things I say because I know I often lack perspective.  But that day in that parking lot I was given the rare chance to do just that.  Because that woman was me, and that little girl was my daughter, and if I could go back to when she was that little I would let her jump in the puddles and I would laugh and jump with her.

Unfortunately I can’t go back, but there will always be puddles, and next time I will remember the woman, and the little girl.

And next time we’ll splash.

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It has been November for less than 12 hours but I can already feel it settling in. I can feel it in my shoulders as they stoop ever so slightly, in my face as my mouth turns down in the corners, and in my breath as it slows, tired from the very effort of inhaling and exhaling.

The November blahs have arrived. The depressing time between Halloween and Christmas when it’s too early to string the house in cheery twinkle lights and too late to pretend you’re just “sampling” the Halloween candy.

The colourful leaves that just last week looked so beautiful dotting the ground, now clump in wet piles, sticking to boots and tires, gumming up the works. They no longer look beautiful, now they just look like a mess.

The kids’ excitement at being back to school has long since worn off. I struggle to get them out of bed in the morning but can totally relate when they just want to snuggle down under the covers for a few more minutes. I wish I could pull back the blankets and climb in beside them, curling up beside their still-warm bodies and holding them close; drifting off to sleep for another hour.

It’s dark outside when I go to work. The street lights are still on, their reflection dancing off the rain drops on my windshield. If it weren’t so early I might be able to see the beauty in it. Maybe.

I go to work in the dark and come home at dusk. I sit in an office far away from any windows to the outside world. Sometimes it feels like I never see the sun. Then I realize that it feels that way because it’s true.

November has just begun and already I feel weighed down by the bulk of it. It stretches on, seemingly without end. No holidays to look forward to, no breaks from the usual routine. And in the absence of anything concrete, November becomes the month of “shoulds.”

I should get started on the Christmas shopping before things get too busy.

I should organize the closets and get rid of the old clothes.

I should give the house a good cleaning before the Christmas decorations go up in December.

I should go through the kids old toys and donate the ones they don’t play with anymore.

I should do something, anything, productive.

I should do something other than staring out the window, watching as the rain drops grow heavy on the glass and then fall, sliding down on their wayward journey to nowhere.
I should do anything other than watching the trees, now free from the weight of their leaves, bare branches swaying, waving.

I should appreciate this time, the calm before the holiday storm, because in my head I know it will be December all too soon. December, when the “shoulds” are replaced with “musts” and there is no time to contemplate the rain drops or the trees.

I should at least try; try to find the beauty in November; try to appreciate it for all it is and all it isn’t.

I will try.

(Sigh)

I will start tomorrow.

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