Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Last night while scrimmaging I had a big (somewhat embarrassing) fall on my butt. In derby we work to create muscle memory to fall on our knees (and our big cushy knee pads). But when I get to the jello legs phase of the evening (muscles fatigued, but still skating) I'm much more likely to lose my balance and fall on my ass. Especially if we are scrimmaging, I am jamming and not wanting to be outskated. Splat!

I did a quick inventory -- ouch, my butt hurts, I'm vibrating a little from the impact, but I can stand up and skate -- and was off again.

It struck me that I used to think when I fell I would be hurt and maybe broken and not be able to get up. I think that skating and practicing falling, and then falling because I lose my balance has taught me that it really is ok to fall. We don't automatically break into pieces, or get hurt, or become unable to get back up. I am, in fact, stronger than I might think. Maybe this has become metaphorical as well as physical. Maybe that's where the Rolling Lane is these days. Helping me fall and get back up again, taking the physical to the metaphorical.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The yard

Yesterday I took the girls to the my favorite place to buy plants: Hinsdale Nurseries (which of course is not in Hindsdale, but that's another story). That place is truly a candy store. They have more perennials, common and not, than I've ever seen. I don't even go see the acres of shrubs and trees, because I don't need any. Anyway, I needed a hosta for a specific spot (which of course, now I'm worried is too sunny), and came home with that, plus a whole lot of other stuff. I love that the girls want their own spot in the garden, which we've found. So after getting home, we planted their plants, plus the others I'd bought, and I thought about next steps in the garden (because there are always next steps in a garden).

When I first had a house I was afraid to do anything in the garden. I knew nothing about gardening. I tried a vegetable garden when I was 12 and got one 2 inch cucumber. I never tried again. So my first forays were in cutting things down and dividing hostas. I then moved on to very hesitantly planting perennials. When we moved to the house we live in now, it had 35 year old overgrown landscaping. No flowering plants (except for about 1000 old fashioned hostas lined up everywhere). It took 6 years, plus an addition to finally give me a yard I love. There is much of it I've done myself (a little every year) and then last year, with the addition at the back/side, we had professional landscaping done. Removed the hideous 8 foot yews in the front of the house and the very odd, little round yews at the side of the house. The woodland plants I had slowly been planting near the huge oak trees, now look like a woodland garden. The backyard which was grass and a huge sickly honeysuckle is getting close to my envisioned cozy courtyard feel. The little hardy geraniums I planted my first year here remind me of how I started back there.

And where I planted the girls garden behind my garage, well, what you don't see there is my biggest accomplishment of all. It was a jungle of 12 foot japanese evil evil invasive monster. It took me 3 years to get rid of it before I ever planted anything. I was out there every day for a couple of years, looking for new sprouts which I then attacked with round up. Religiously. I still have to do that in the spring, because it stills tries to pop up.

I love being outside, digging in the dirt, getting hot and sweaty. I love watering (feels kind of zen to me), and I love waiting for the flowers to start blooming (there's a lot of that right now: coreopsis, stella'oro daylilies, and the prairie plants like blazing star and coneflowers).

It has been a slow process of wanting to know more, getting out there and trying, and then feeling confident and proud of the results.

Hmmm. Sounds like a recipe for a contented life. Getting past the need for knowing it all, feeling like I'll ruin it by not doing it right. Feeling good about what I can do, rather than bad about what I can't. I think I'll go out in the yard and meditate on it all.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Before I had kids I wondered if I had enough energy to have kids. I still wonder that. I like naps (and I have napped since high school). I like sitting around and reading. I cannot do 14 things every day. One major event a day is enough for me. And going out at night? Well that's a herculean effort (several times a week at this point). So what's a mom with low energy to do besides getting a Latte every afternoon? Well there are still those naps (I can sleep for 15 minutes in the car with NPR on the radio and always wake up in time to pick up the girls from wherever they are). But man, I can give myself such a hard time about it. But maybe, just maybe I have some other qualities beside energy that are worthwhile. Maybe, just maybe, I could cut myself some slack. So I'm not manic. Maybe that isn't so weird after all. Maybe it isn't the be all end all. I'll dream upon it, during my next nap.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

OMG is May over yet?

What is it with May? Does it have to be quite so crazy? May and September, the parents' busy season. G's birthday and birthday party, 3 other birthday parties for the girls to go to (none closer than 10 miles away), a (long but excellent) piano recital, photos for Derby Lite by the lovely Elektrafire aka Brigette Sullivan of Outer Focus Photos , including "business" pics, league photos and individual shots, the American Cancer Society Walk and Roll, watching Derby Lite get on TV, 3 kids dr's appts (none closer than 10 miles away, during school of course), tons of school events (chorus concert, ice cream social, classroom thingies.....), etc. etc.

Oh and don't forget it's the planting season (I love gardening most next to skating). So I've got at least some of that done and two flats of vinca left to go. (Of course I think I need another field trip to my favorite nursery). Uh, when?

Ok and this doesn't cover parenting (play dates anyone?) , daily life (laundry is me) and Derby Lite business: have I mentioned G is going to middle school next year???

So, I am ready for summer, or something else. Is it June yet?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A little Dutch Boy

I haven't posted in a while, ok, a long while. I haven't felt like there has been much to say. But here I am. On the eve of another Walk and Roll, which has evolved from being a huge challenge to mostly just a lot of fun (and something to feel good about, because Derby Lite has raised almost $24,000 and I think it will get close to $25,0000 for the American Cancer Society)...but anyway, what does that have to do with a little Dutch boy?

Being a news junkie, this week, I heard about the lone survivor of a plane crash in Libya, an 8 year old boy. He is from the Netherlands, far away from home. It was both, like many news stories, interesting, but far away, and also very personal. It reminded me that I, too, woke, up in a hospital once far from home not knowing where I was or where my parents or my brother were. And I was 8 years old too. The situation was, of course, very different: I was in a car crash in Arkansas (I lived in New York), I got to see my mother and my brother within a day or so of when I woke up (I was out for about 24 hours), but I vividly remember when I first woke up and realized I was alone. My dad died in that car crash, and I knew something was wrong even before my mom told me about that. Kids know. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, but I knew something was.

So hearing about the story about the little Dutch boy, at first I thought it was just an amazing news story. One kid out of a whole planeful of people. But then I realized our world is smaller than we think and we have connections or similarities that aren't apparent at first glance. We are all the same. That little boy's life will change, I might actually understand one little bit of what he is going through. It will be harder than he thought (and he probably will understand way more about what is going on than the adults will realize). But it will still be his life. I hope he will be helped through this, and loved, and listened too.

And me? I grew up with my mom and my brother. I've taken paths and done things differently than might have happened otherwise (of course, I have no idea what "could have happened"), but it's ok, and I'm ok with where I've been and where I'm going. I wish the same for the little Dutch boy.

Hugs and kisses to all of you. Namaste.