Unraveling

Not exactly scarf weather

RIGHT: Hematoma Scarf (14 days)
LEFT: Anemia Scarf (4 days)

The day after MIM’s birthday, though I had yet to get him a present, I sent him to the craft store to buy me yarn. I was on my back in bed with my suddenly severely swollen leg elevated on a stack of pillows. “Just buy me something soft and puffy, like Kathryn’s sample yarn,” I instructed, handing him the small ball Kathryn had left the night before after she’d taught me how to knit.Read More »

Dropped Birthdays, Dropped Stitches

Matt Ryan’s 5-year-old, birthday-saving Facebook post: “Rick got his full loaf shrimp po boy from the Louisiana Market on the corner of Carondelet and Louisiana”

For the first time in 30 years, I forgot the Man I Married’s birthday. Instead of my bringing him breakfast in bed and wishing him a Happy Birthday, he brought a cup of tea to me in my downstairs recovery room—an office now filled with medical equipment. Whereupon I greeted him with a graphic recap of the results of the prescription laxative suppository I’d finally given a chance–through desperation–at 8:00 the night before, thinking I’d be feeling lighter by bedtime. Instead, I read an entire novel overnight on the cold throne, feeling like I’d eaten nothing but peanut shells for the past two weeks rather than having ingested and injected massive cocktails of opioids with a side of morphine.Read More »

Long-term Marriage

The Man I Married and I met 29 years ago on a street corner: a random occurrence that shaped the rest of my life. I was waiting for the Walk light, and he crossed on the Don’t walk. Nothing much has changed. We got married 51 weeks later. We’ve been together for over half my life.

Swans, like those raised on The Brady Bunch, live and mate in family groups and keep the same mate for a lifetime.

At first, long-term marriage looks like this:

swans (24)
Hubba hubba

Then sometimes it looks like this:

Not speaking
“You put my delicates in the dryer on high AGAIN?”

Often it looks like this:

Heading mostly in the same direction
Heading mostly in the same direction

I used to want this:

Checking out guys at the bar
Checking out guys at the bar

Now I just want this:

Alone for some peace and quiet
Alone for some peace and quiet

What I have is this:

Happy Valentine's Day from our family of three
Juvelines are grey, in swans and in human males who’ve been given charge of their own laundry

I’ll take it and count myself lucky.

* * * * *

Image Credits:

All photos by Jennifer D. Munro.

Land: A Toy!

2013:

A gated community!
Gated community!

Ah! My first writing retreat since becoming a mother five years prior. Alone in a cabin in the woods for four days with nothing but my notebook and pens, laptop, and books. Creaking trees outside. No television, no internet, no cell phone service, no mail delivery. No neighbors in sight. I would use this quiet time to cogitate, meditate, create—no interruptions, no chaos, no needs other than those of my own stomach and an occasional wash under my arms. Just my own unfettered thoughts and ideas to run amok without time restrictions or crises.

I wasn’t going to blow it this time, as I had the year before when a friend had lent me her house for two nights near an out-of-town teaching gig, and I’d been so guilt-wracked that I gave myself the shingles. I’d learned my lesson. Why did I not think I deserved this and that the boys wouldn’t burn the house down without me around? Scratch that. If the house burned down, it wouldn’t help if I were there, although they’d probably forget about the safety ladders.Read More »

Well, I Never!

Rhino Head and the U-Haul, New Orleans-bound
Rhino Head and the biggest U-Haul truck available, New Orleans-bound

For years now, I’ve had three “non-goals”: things I strive never to do in my life. Since I always forget at least one item on my list of rules, and I’ve lately added two, I finally had to write the list down:

  • Never sue anyone.
  • Never divorce.
  • Never rent a storage locker.
  • Never use a hash tag.
  • Never use a drive-through.

Read More »