A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

…a little girl sat in a darkened movie theater and watched a beautiful girl in white stand up to the bad guy dressed in black with a respiratory issue, talk back to the skinny-jowled Grand Moff Tarkin, wittily refer to the Wookie as a walking carpet and then go toe-to-toe with the cocky Han Solo.

That little girl then listened, over and over and over, to the cassette tapes of the movie, played the board game and dreamed of being the girl in white–standing up to the bullies in the world, fighting for the little guys, being stronger and smarter than the “rescuing heroes.”

That little girl grew up, went out into the world and made her way, always remembering the beautiful girl in white with the quick tongue and strong character.

The young woman had a loyal Golden Retriever, Sundance, who faithfully sat and watched the movies with her, when they were finally available on VHS tapes, continually marveling at the strengths of the heroine in white.

Along came a new little girl, introduced to the heroine in white by the little girl from long ago, now a mommy.

And the cycle began again.

Today’s little girl is growing up in a world where women are expected to be the heroine, where it’s normal for a woman to cheekily stand up to the bad guy in black and to then figure out how to rescue not just herself, but the band of inept males who came to rescue her in the first place.  Today’s little girl assumes that women are the ones who do the rescuing, lead the Rebellion, command the fleet and save the galaxy.

The world lost a shining light this morning.  The world lost a female heroine who was, yes, so much more than the beautiful woman in white fighting for the Rebellion against the evil Empire, but who will forever be remembered as Princess Leia Organa.

Carrie Fisher was a force unto herself, who enchanted a generation of youngsters, both girls and boys alike, as the fierce, cheeky, bright, beautiful, strong, brave Princess Leia.  That generation went on to share her with their children, whose girls now grow up assuming women just are Princess Leia…fierce, cheeky, bright, beautiful, strong and brave.

My heart is heavy with sadness this night.  I’ve cried many tears this day because this loss is so much more than the death of an actress.  Princess Leia was, is, a phenomenon in her own right.  Yes, Star Wars and all it entails is, well, I’m not sure how exactly to categorize it.  It is a thing.  A phenomenon I suppose.  But Princess Leia aka Carrie Fisher was a phenomenon within the phenomenon.  Enough of that word.  I suppose I should dig out the thesaurus.  Princess Leia just was.  And Carrie Fisher made her so.

Anyone who knows me knows what a Star Wars fanatic I am.  I am incredibly blessed that my dearest, most precious daughter picked up Sundance’s mantle and now shares this obsession with me.  We have “Star Wars weekends” in which we watch all of the movies, in order.  Quoting as we go.  It drives the dear husband bananas.  He doesn’t get it.

But he’s not a girl.  And the heroine, the beautiful girl in white, wasn’t for him.  Or the rest of the boys.  She was for us, the girls.  She was a force of nature, a force to be reckoned with, a force for good in the galaxy.

And now she is no more, except as captured, forever, on the screen.

May the Force be with you, always, Carrie Fisher.  May you find peace and calm wherever you may be this night.  Thank you for all of the wonderful things you’ve done throughout your much too short life–advocating for those with depression, baring your soul regarding your demons, living with the persona of Princess Leia that was larger than your own life.

May the Force be with us all as we venture forth into the coming days.  The scrappy Rebels fighting against the evil Empire once more.



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So “that” happened. Way to go America.

WARNING:  Foul language will be encountered, should you choose to proceed.

Wow.  Just wow.  It’s taken me several days now to try to sort the jumble of words in my brain.  And I’m not really sure I’ve accomplished much more than this: WTF America?

Seriously.  WTflippingF.

I’m having such a difficult time squaring this circle.  I’m fairly certain I’m not alone, but I find no solace in that thought.  I find no comfort knowing that others are sharing this pain.

And pain it is.  I’ve seen this compared to grief, loss, anger, disappointment, disbelief that the unimaginable has occurred, etc, etc, etc.  (And all I have running through my brain is the soundtrack from Hamilton, an American musical: “It’s Quiet Uptown.”  “…he’s dealing with the unimaginable…”)

I’m also fairly certain I’ve been through Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief about 27 times.  Up and back down again, over and over and over.  Like a bad record.

I’ve done everything I know how to do when it comes to taking care of myself and self-helping myself through a difficult, to put it mildly, time.

I’ve been lotus-sitting, deep-breathing and mandala-coloring.  There is nothing I haven’t tried in the last several days.  Well, I haven’t smoked any marijuana.  Nor gone sky-diving.

I’ve burned all of my expensive smelly candles in an attempt at aromatherapy.  I’ve been crossword-puzzling, Sudoku-ing and My Little Pony playing.

I’ve been standing next to my table top water fountain trying to get in tune with the trickling water sounds.  I’ve gone outside to feed the birds, talk to the birds, watch the birds.  I’ve loved on the dogs, thrown balls for the dogs, brushed the dogs, fed the dogs, cleaned up after the dogs.

I’ve cleaned the house.  I’ve let the dirt accumulate on the floor.  I’ve looked at the bathrooms, trying to get up the energy to clean them, then said, “WTF” and walked away.

I’ve read articles on how we need to “understand Trump supporters” and promptly threw up in my mouth a little bit.

I’ve read articles on how we must resist.  And stand up and fight.  How?  What?

I’ve read columns on impending doom, global calamity.  I’ve had friends (Trump-supporting friends mind you) text me and tell me that it’s all going to be just fine.  And don’t I know that? And don’t I know that I’m old enough to know that and wise enough to know that?  (I ended the conversation.)

I’ve cried.  I’ve reassured my daughter while she was crying.  I’ve had my husband reassure me.

I’ve read horrendous posts about the violence being perpetrated against all those people deemed “other” by Trump supporters.

I’ve watched our dear, esteemed President Obama sit grimly in the Oval Office and shake the hand of the man who tried to delegitimize his presidency for years (and then denied doing so).  A man who President O knows, in his heart of hearts, is not just temperamentally unfit, but completely, wholly, undeniably unfit to hold the highest office in the land.  And President Obama had to do this for the sake of this nation.  Can you even imagine how that must have felt?  I cannot.

I’ve listened to jazz music, Hamilton the musical, watched White Christmas (because, Bing Crosby).  All in an attempt to distract myself from the searing, white-hot, gut-wrenching, life-upending pain of this week.

Remember the earthquake and tsunami in Japan?  And how it actually caused the earth’s axis to get all wobbly.

Yeah.  We’re bat-shit crazy wobbly here in America.  And that will soon translate to the rest of the world as well.

I’ve read articles ranging from saying that “all will be well, don’t worry” to articles spelling impending global economic collapse.

I’ve read theories stating that Campaign Trump is so much different from President Trump.  And then theories that he’ll be impeached by his own party cause they only ever wanted Mike Pence (which is a whole other story for another day…another nightmare to try to wake up from…that dude is one bad hombre).  And the final consensus?

Who the fuck knows what is going to happen.

WTflippingF America?

I told you to choose well.  I told you to choose light, not dark.  That meant choosing good not evil, happy thoughts not fear.  That meant choosing to love your neighbor, not rip off their hijabs and beat the crap out of them.  That meant not teaching your middle school children how to chant “build that wall” in the cafeteria at a middle school in Michigan.  That meant not scrawling on a wall in Durham, NC “Black lives don’t matter and neither does your votes.”  (Nice grammar there graffiti dudes.  Learn to speak and write correctly please.)

Choosing well does not mean yelling at someone speaking Spanish, in a personal conversation on her phone, and then when she tells you she speaks four languages, telling her to “fuck off.”

Choosing well does not mean telling a black person they have to sit at the back of the bus because we have a new president now.

All of these things have happened in the few short days since this country elected a racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, bullying, narcissistic megalomaniac.

And do you know what his response has been?

A tweet about the protests being “so unfair” because we had “an open election.”

Yet just three short weeks ago (seems like a lifetime ago) this same demagogue was complaining about rigged elections.

Things that make me bat-shit crazy, off-my-rocker, nuts0-insanely mad.

Way to go America.  Nice fucking job.

(No, I’m not signing off here with my usual “Blessings be” because at this moment, I’m in the anger stage.  I expect I’ll get out of it soon, as I’ve been cycling in and out since Tuesday night.  I’ll be compassionate again soon.  I promise.)

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I had the craziest dream last night.

Then I woke up this morning and see that it wasn’t a bad dream at all.  It really happened.

And all I have to say is: “America, do you realize what you’ve done?”

I wrote yesterday that I hoped America chose well.  I hoped that America would choose to embrace the light.  I hoped America would choose inclusivity and hope and love.

Then I watched video feed of Trump supporters jumping up and down and maniacally shouting “lock her up, lock her up” when another state was called for Trump.

That’s not choosing love, people.  That’s not choosing hope.  That’s not choosing inclusivity or tolerance or the higher ground or selflessness or looking out for others or…I am fast running out of words.

And you know it’s bad when I run out of words.

Gracelyn was inconsolable last night.  She’s seen through Donald Trump from the beginning.  I didn’t even have to say anything.  All she did was listen to his words.  And his voice.  She decided early on what she thought of him.  And she learned early on what his plans (if they could be called that) are for the country.

So when it was almost over last night, she began crying and asked me “what are we going to do?”

I decided then and there I needed to be the adult in the room (because, you know, really, who else was it going to be?  Hobbes the tiger that was also there?) and I wiped away her tears, wrapped my arms around her tightly and told her that “we will all be ok, it will all be ok.”

I lied.  To my dearest, most precious daughter.

Because I do not truly believe it will be ok.  I do not think this will end well for us. I do not think America’s best days are coming.  I think we, and I have to say this collectively, have given the keys to the country to a misogynistic, racist, bullying megalomaniac.  And to any Republicans in the supposed checks and balances part of the government, I would wish you luck.  Any thought that you will be able to control Donald Trump is folderol.  Truly.  Simply that.  He is a loose cannon.  You created this.  You will have to deal with it.

More comforting of the daughter this morning as she woke up and started crying when she realized, as I did, that last night was not a bad dream.  I told her we have two choices:

Choice A would be to wallow in the sadness and despair and embrace the dark and the hate


Choice B would be to accept the outcome of last night, pick ourselves up, and head out with our heads held high and putting love out there at every opportunity.  (This being the only real choice.)

I guess I did have some words after all.  Not feeling too much happiness or hopefulness this morning, but we must put the best foot forward and believe that we can carry on, trying to be good examples of all that is right with this country.

Blessings be.

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Absolute distinction: self-love candidate or love thy neighbor candidate? Choose well America.


I couldn’t sleep, so am up early at the computer trying to organize the tumbling words in my cabeza.  I’ve got the jitters.  And unfortunately, not the caffeine-induced kind.  I wish I still got that buzz from the first cup of coffee.  I’m constantly searching for that long diminished kick I used to get.  A testament to the addiction-type characteristics in my lineage.  Yay me.

I read during my morning meditation, as I was trying to soothe my frazzled nerve endings, something that I thought was so appropriate for this morning.  Coincidental?  I’m not sure I believe in coincidences.

I realized I might should share what I read ,and then my thoughts on the words.

The passage began by making a distinction between self-love and love of self.  I thought to myself “Self, those sound like one and the same.  What’s the big diff?”

But then I read further and I began to see the light, shall we say?

Self-love was defined as the source of hostility and arrogance.  Hmmm.  Self-love is a very large ego around which the world, and everything in it, must revolve.  Hmmmm.  I was beginning to think I knew someone that might resemble this description.

I kept reading.  The passage then stated: “ It is the mark of a mind which is closed to real feeling for others.”

Wow.  Just wow.  Do I even need to connect the dots?  I really don’t want to type his name anymore, because of the visceral pain I get inside when I think of the umpteen nasty (yes, nasty) things he has said and done.  But truly, Donald J Trump is full of self-love, if only because truly, what little mind he does have is completely and utterly closed to real feeling for others.

Now, I realize that I cannot know what is inside his mind.  And perhaps he does feel something for others.  Real feelings for someone other than himself.  But.  But.  His actions and his words don’t really parlay that thought into reality.

However, it is not right for me to assume I know what is in anyone’s head.  That is none of my business.

As I read further, the love of self was defined as being reflective of a great wisdom handed down through the ages by several important figures.  It is prevalent in several religions, not just the Christian one, but encompasses the idea of loving your neighbor as yourself.  That could possibly be manipulated around to being full of self-aggrandizement and selfishness, but if one dissects down to the very base layer, one finds that one cannot truly love others until one has come to a place of perfect peace and contentment with oneself.  Whew, that was a lot of “ones and oneselfs.”  Eeks.

What I’m trying to so ineloquently say, or write, is that when we truly love and accept ourselves for who and what we are, then we can pass on to others that same love and care.  We can be aware of the value of others, because we are aware of the value of ourselves.  We can afford others we meet during our journey the dignity and respect they deserve when we operate from a place of “loving others as ourselves.”

Self-love is truly a lack of character.  A final sentence from this passage: “Self-love often wears a mask of false humility behind which we exaggerate our own importance, and justify the wrongs we do to others.”

Sounds just like Choice A above.  Sounds like exactly what he’s been doing for the last two years.  Heck, make that all of his adult life.  And maybe even before that.

This is not the voice of one who will speak for the little people.  This is not the voice to lead this outstanding nation into the future.

Please, America, I am imploring you to make the right choice today.  Our future as a nation depends upon it.  Our future as a humanity depends on it.  The future of this planet depends on it.

Blessings be.

(The above references come from a passage in the One Day At A Time book.)

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What a difference a year makes. Sort of. But not really.

I happened upon a post I wrote last year at this time.  October 30, 2015 to be exact.  I thought it would be interesting to see where exactly I was one year ago, and let me tell you what–it was like a time warp.  Everything has changed, yet nothing has changed.  I often feel that way, but here I have written proof.  I actually had to check the date I first wrote the words, and sure enough, it was one year ago.  Craziness.  Pure and utter craziness.

I suggest you read the post.  It’s titled “Well, really.”  Go on and read it now.  Then come back and finish this.  You’re going to pretty much have the gist of what I want to say anyway.  May as well get the CliffsNotes version.  https://madranchwife.com/2015/10/30/well-really/

Alrighty, back?

Let’s dive in.

First, let me tell you in case you don’t follow the zombies and Rick Grimes and the apocalyptic world he and his fellow inhabitants are trying to navigate, Glenn is dead.  Truly dead.  Not “mostly dead” a la the Man in Black in the Princess Bride (H/T to Billy Crystal…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9tAKLTktY0 ), but really dead.  I didn’t watch it.  I knew it was going to be horrendously violent, beyond belief.  And my sensitive self is so beaten down and up and sideways from this election cycle, that I didn’t have the heart to inflict any more damage on my psyche.  Thus, I read the Twitter feed after the premiere of the season, saw a few still photos and vowed then and there that I was truly done.  I quit TWD before.  Actually twice before.  The first time was when Beth was killed after a season spent building up to reuniting with her and saving her.  The second time was last fall when Glenn was supposedly toast.  But now, I am truly, most sincerely done as he is truly, most sincerely dead.  (Do I need to put in a link to the Munchkin mayor?  Good, I don’t have the time to find it right now.)  To the producers of TWD, here is my statement: you made me care, not once, not twice, but three times.  And not once, not twice, but three times you ripped out my heart and stomped all over it.  And I am done.  Period.  Finished.  Not going to watch anymore.  Now, some might say that the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior expecting different results.  And thus my actions and heartfelt feelings may be construed as insanity, but still.  Still.

OK.  Got that one out of the way.  Done with TWD.  They can all go be wacko birds and I’ve got nothing else to say.

Speaking of WACKO BIRDS.  Holy mother of god, sweet jesus, mary and joseph all rolled into one. I. Can’t. Even.

This election.  The Republican candidate.  Last year I spewed coffee on my keyboard as I contemplated the candidates for the esteemed title of Republican candidate.   I’ve spewed so much coffee in the ensuing year that I’ve had to make a rule to not hold a cup of coffee in my hand nor a swallow in my mouth as I open up my preferred site for news.  The poor spiffy MacBook simply cannot take any more coffee.

(I skipped the present situation regarding Spanish lessons.  We’re sort of in the same place, plodding ahead one new word or phrase at a time.  Someday we might be fluent.  Might be.)

Last year at this time Ben Carson was doing well.  I say that TOTALLY tongue-in-cheek.  Whatever the hell that means.  And Rubio had won a debate.  Jeb! was still in the running. Cruz was making hay.  And there was NO mention of the Trumpster.  At least in my post, so that means he was sort of just there, but not in any really threatening kind of way.

I wrote then: “If you want to be respected by the majority of Americans as being of sane and right mind, then put forth respectable candidates that are of a sane and right mind.”

Which obviously, obviously, noone bothered to listen to.  Not a one.  Instead, we’ve got Donald J. Trump as the stellar example of the GOP.

I. Can’t. Even.

Benghazi was a thing a year ago.  A $20 million thing.  And now we have emails, emails and more emails.  That aren’t even Hillary’s damn emails!  But the gist is the same.  FAKE scandals.  Scandalous, scurrilous, salacious scandals.

I don’t even have a high enough eyeroll anymore.  I have no more words.  I can’t even formulate a coherent sentence about the sheer insanity that is ensuing ONE WEEK OUT from the election.

In some less blood-pressure-raising news, we still don’t have snow.  I was lamenting this to someone last week, saying that we should have had snow by now.  The grass, what little there is left, is SO dry.  I can’t even rake up the leaves as I might permanently damage what little grass is left.  It did snow about an inch or two last week, but it’s long gone.  We did drive to Steamboat last week with a little bit of snow flurries flurrying, but I had the cold weather bag in the car!!!  I had an appointment to get the snow tires on last Friday, but was laid flat by a migraine, so had to cancel.  Thank the Goddess for a compassionate, caring, intelligent, competent little girl who rubbed my neck, packed her lunch, made her breakfast and did her schoolwork as I lay there until I could get vertical.

And finally.  In one more of the I. Can’t. Even. stories of the day.

Paul Ryan again rears his elegantly, perfectly coiffed head with the piercing blue eyes, making you think he’s just the boy next door.  But he’s not.  Do NOT be fooled by those eyes.  The man is a snake.  But then that is slightly disparaging to snakes.  And snakes aren’t all bad.

Well, whatever.  The man is not the saint some would make him out to be.  Catholic or not.  Today he admitted he voted for Donald J. Trump…LAST WEEK.  Smarmy, sleazy little man couldn’t even admit it when he did it.  He was caught and had to give an answer, so he was forced to fess up.  Ha. He hemmed and hawed and gave some cockamamie excuse, knowing full well that he has shown no support of the Republican nominee for the last several months (as well he shouldn’t, given the absolute disgusting nature of the nominee), but caved and voted for him.  Nice morals there, Speaker Ryan.  Yessiree bob.  You are one fine example of a Catholic boy.  Way to support the lying, narcissistic, misogynistic bully that you all have as the fine pillar and example of GOP values.

Whew.  Another rant.

But!  But!  Starting tomorrow afternoon, XM Radio will once again begin with a dedicated Christmas music station.

Praise the heavens.  Thanks be to the Goddess.  Glory on high.  And all the other folderol that one may utter to demonstrate supreme and utter happiness and delight.  Now I can listen to something else besides Andrea Mitchell and her annoying voice about EMAILS.

I go to sleep tonight knowing that tomorrow I have something to look forward to.  Isn’t that special?

Blessings be.


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Embrace the light or cower in the dark?

I posted this essay on the Daily Kos website Wednesday morning.  Later I realized that perhaps I should put it here as well.

I moved away from blog posts that were my usual partisan writings for several reasons.  The first was the fire.  It consumed me for several weeks, months really, and not in a good way.  Luckily our house and immediate surroundings were not consumed (poor choice of words above, really, if you think about it), but it was all I could think about for a long time.  The trajectory of our life took off in a direction this summer that I’m just now lassoing back into some semblance of an orbit.

Second, well, truth be told, this election season has been emotionally draining.  As if it is sucking the life spirit out of all of us…like the Dementors in Harry Potter’s world.   It’s all quite depressing actually leading me to wonder where our humanity has gone.  Civility.  Common courtesy.  Decency.  Morality.

I could go on and on-finding more and more abstractions that are being trampled.  Lest you think I’ve decided to turn a deaf ear and avoid all things political, rest assured I am just as much addicted to the political machinations as I have always been.  I simply haven’t known how to write about it.

I listened to parts of a Donald Trump rally/speech/appearance on Monday morning.  It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but the satellite radio station I’ve been listening to maybe felt they needed to give him equal air time.  So as not to be construed as biased?  I suppose.  Either way, I have come to the conclusion that I am a political junkie.  I crave the information—almost to the point of ignoring family members to listen to the latest “breaking news” coming off the wire.

I know.  This is not healthy.  I have attempted to go cold-turkey and not open up the computer or simply change the radio station.  I listen to some jazz music to soothe my troubled heart and mind.  Eventually the siren call of the political punditry becomes too much to resist.  I scramble to the radio to change the station, to get my fix.  It’s like the first sip of coffee in the morning.

Monday morning I realized the listening was harming my psyche.  The Donald Trump speech, though I use that term loosely as I’m not exactly sure what it was, was frightening.  Screed.  That’s what it was—a screeched screed by a scaremonger intent on painting the bleakest, darkest, most terrifying picture of this country that I live in.  As I listened, I found my heart beating a bit faster, my stomach seeming to churn, my head beginning to pound.  I was amazed at the visceral reactions his words and voice were causing.  I dropped a bottle of cinnamon spice which spilled all over the counter.  I snapped at the adorable English Springer Spaniel Aengus to get out of the kitchen.  (He shouldn’t be there, but he didn’t need to be yelled at.)  I was short with the darling daughter when she asked for help with a math problem.  I even had the fleeting thought that I should find a pitchfork and torch and join the crazed mob hanging on his every spittle-filled word.  Sort of like the villagers following Gaston to rid themselves of the Beast.

When I finally realized what was happening, blessedly, the radio station had moved on to other profound political positry.  I felt as if there was a dark blanket dropped over me, suffocating me, blocking out the light.  Donald Trump painted such a depressing picture of America, of life.  The words spewed forth from his mouth spoke to such horridness that my entire demeanor had taken a hit.  Equally dispiriting were the cheers from the mass of people he was trying to agitate.  It took several minutes for me to get out from under the spell of his demagoguery.  I shook my head and said to myself: “Self, you know this is not the way of this country.  You know his words are empty and black and meaningless.  You know there is light out there.  You know the sun is shining and the sky is blue and the leaves are brilliantly gold.”

I took a deep breath, loved on my darling daughter, played tug-of-war with Aengus and went outside to breathe in the fresh scent of those fallen leaves.

Later that afternoon, I stumbled across a video of a flash mob dancing in the streets.  Wearing pantsuits!!  The Pantsuit Power flash mobs in New York City and North Carolina were full of light and smiles and happy, happy people.  I showed my dearest, darling daughter and we whooped and pumped our fists in the air and danced together in the office.  There were no angry mobs shouting “lock her up.”  There were no angry faces, no spewing of filth.  There was no demagogue spewing demagoguery, whining about rigged elections.  There were simply happy, happy people, laughing and smiling, taking videos and pictures and enjoying the sunshine.   (Truly, you should click the link below, turn up the volume and dance!  I dare you not to dance.)


What a difference.  The starkness of the contrast was jaw-dropping to me.  Cower in the darkness of the demagogue or embrace the light?

I choose the sun.  I choose the happy.  I choose the light.   Let us find a way to pass that message on to everyone we meet today.

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The passage of time.

I know.  My bittersweet sentiments are nothing new.  I write about this every fall.

I get melancholy that another year is coming to a close, made more obvious by the changing angle of the sun, the dropping of the ambient air temperature, the formation of little ice crystals on the ground cover.  Yes, also made obvious in a thousand shades of gold, orange and red splattered across the hillsides and in our own backyard.

I’ve written about my desire to slow it all down, questioning how life can seem to rush by, at ever dizzying speeds.  I’ve railed against the onward march of all things.

And then I sit quietly in the moment and practice acceptance.

Acceptance of all things.

Acceptance of another year coming to a close.  Yes, it’s only October.  And yes, there are still a couple of months left in this year.  But we are on the down side of 2016, spinning ever closer to 2017.

Acceptance that our summer was not the summer we thought it was going to be.  Our summers are historically short, and when fires interfere and evacuations take place, the already truncated season is even more so.  Followed by a stint in the tractor out in the hayfield (more on that to follow) and all of a sudden, bam!  There was Labor Day Weekend.  And full-blown fall at our house.

Acceptance of the fact that my little girl is growing up.  I wrote about this summer when we both experienced her first overnight away from home.  (That night nearly laid me flat.  Luckily my mother answered the phone and helped me to remember to breathe.)

I’ve written about the various discussions we’ve had as she navigates this world–political, cultural, societal.  All discussions that demonstrate her evolving mind, her intellectual growth, her march onward into becoming the beautiful body and soul that she is capable of being.

I am sitting at the library while she is downstairs for a program on “Owls and other nocturnal animals” put on by a Steamboat organization called My Book Trails.  (www.mybooktrails.org) It’s a chance for her to meet other children her age and interact with them and the adults in charge.  She would also tell you it’s a great day because she doesn’t have to do her math lessons.

Today, though, I am overcome by nostalgia.  I have just watched a woman and a young girl–her daughter?–as they walk across the little foot bridge outside the library.  The woman is pushing a stroller and the little girl is lagging behind.  The woman stops the stroller and turns to the little girl, who runs into her arms, giggling.  The woman picks her up and swings her high into the air, laughing herself.  They hug.  And I look away, trying not to cry.

I miss my baby.  I miss the feeling of her smooth baby skin, the smell of her baby-ness.  I miss the screeching when she knew it made me laugh so hard I was crying.  Cause then she’d just keep going.  I miss the first time she reached up to touch my face.  I miss the feel of her in my arms, and over my shoulder.  I never, ever wanted to forget the sounds and smells and feel of her as a baby.  The memories are fading and I have to reach deeply to retrieve them.

I miss my little toddler.  I miss the little girl in the Belle dress signing the sign for “milk” to me, clucking the “lk” sound at the end of the word.  I miss the little girl telling me it’s Ba-rock O-bom-a on the television, with a little squeal at the end.  I miss the answer of “Joe Bi-den” when asked who Barack Obama works with.  I miss the 3 1/2-year-old who we took to Disneyland and who thought she was meeting the REAL Sleeping Beauty/Aurora.  Who very carefully and gently placed her hand on the princess’s face to feel if she was real or not.  I miss my 4-year-old  as we hiked up to the Eagle Catch for the first time, me worried she’d fall down the steep side and wondering what on earth possessed me to take her up there.  Her clambering to move faster.  I miss my 6-year-old  who exclaimed “MOM!  Can we do that again????” after we landed after paragliding off of the top of the mountain in Jackson Hole.  (No, we could not do that again…it broke the bank the one time.)  I miss the 6-year-old  who wore her Merida costume, complete with red wig and bow and arrows for 3 days at Disneyland, proudly playing the part.  I miss the 7-year-old as she bravely vanquished Darth Vader with a light saber at the Jedi Training Academy the next year in Disneyland.   I miss the little girl in the blue snowsuit falling backwards into the snow by the driveway, giggling.  I miss the little girl, valiantly learning to stand up on her cross-country skis as we skied down the driveway.  And the little girl in the black snowsuit in front of me as we sledded down the hill.  Now she goes herself and insists on her own sled.

There is so much else I miss.

But this I know:

I love my 9 1/2-year-old daughter with a passion that brings tears to my eyes.  I love her bright, inquisitive mind.  I love her curiosity.  I love her vocabulary that has me constantly on my toes.  I love her stubbornness as we butt heads on a daily basis.  I love her passion for things she believes in.

I would not trade the present for a day in the past.  I would not give up today for anything.  I would not change where we are now.




I just want more time.

Blessing be.




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