Monday, August 15, 2011

On, In, and Around Mondays: When the Compass Tilts

nymph woman

"It's a beautiful place," I told my girls. "Antiques, flowers, classical music. A painted chess board in the sitting room."

They were intrigued.

"The tea is delicious. And the breakfast is simple but elegant."

They were ready to go.

"Because I made the reservations late, they actually threw in a room just for you girls. You'll have your own."

It would be our follow-up vacation to last week's few days in New York City. This time we'd go back to Manhattan, but to a quieter place. A place I love and wanted to share with my girls.


"She's going in for a bypass."

I got the call. We turned our car north, instead of hopping on a train south.


"We'll go to the hotel with the fun breakfast," I told the girls. (Holiday Inn Express!) "It has a pool, remember? We'll be together. You'll see your cousins."

(Bypass, six-way. It was a silent heart attack. She's a good candidate for surgery.)

faux walls

I canceled the antiques, the tea, the chess table. I embraced the visits, the drive, the thought of being, perhaps, a comfort to my mother.


The girls got an unexpected invitation to my Aunt's house. "You'll love it," I told them. "It's, I don't know how to describe it. It's whimsical. It's eclectic. It's like your own personal art museum."


My Aunt taught the girls a glass-painting and transfer technique. They had cream-cheese and jelly sandwiches together. They explored the gardens and played with the collie dog.

art lesson

I spent days with my mother. More than I have in years. We began in silence, as she slept and recovered. But soon she regained her color, her voice. We spoke of her growing-up times. How had I missed that she grew up on a farm? We talked about how they ate duck eggs and walked the orchards in spring. "There's nothing like the smell of all those blossoms," she told me.

I felt I'd been propelled back in time. And somehow, forward.

self portrait w child

The days passed. We turned our car back to the south. The girls, for the first time in a long time, sang together. A round.

serene fields

Artwork and Home shots taken at the house of Gail Nadeau, by L.L. Barkat.


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...

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Blogger David Rupert said...

I love how you captured time in this piece. Yesterday is catapulted by today, with an eye on tomorrow.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Shanda said...

This was so beautifully written: whimsical! It was like your girls were in fairy land while you were transported back in time. I loved it.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

What I wouldn't give for an invitation to Gail Nadeau's house! It looks like a dream. And your photos capture the mood perfectly. And just who is that beautiful young lady in that first photo?

I'm glad your mom is feeling better. I'm glad you had this time together. What a gift to be treated to the singing on the way home. Round and all.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

Beautiful. I love how your words made the place you were taking your girls special, yet when your plans went awry it wasn't second best is was just different. That's what mommas do -- create excitement and peace -- two different words yet entwined and tied with a bow of joy.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Simply Darlene said...

This is beautiful... in so many ways. It speaks of hearts that are open to unscripted love.

Prayers for your ma.


12:25 PM  
Blogger Brandee Shafer said...

Crazy how quickly we can find ourselves headed in the opposite direction of that in which we'd intended. I'm so thankful that we never have to inform Jesus of our change in plans: that he goes with us no matter what, or when. I'm thankful you had the time with your loved ones...even if you were doing something other that what you'd expected. I hope for your mother's continued healing.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

What joy when life interrupted is filled with such unexpected blessing. I'm so glad your Mom is recovering well.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

Okay, my link is up. As usual, my link to your site works, but trying to link to you from my site, didn't work. Hope somebody shows me what I'm doing wrong.

I'm happy that your mother seems to be getting better. Bypass surgery is very serious and takes a prolonged recovery, but after the healing is finished the prognosis for feeling better is usually quite good.

I guess we all need to receive the gift of God (the power to let him ease us into peace and as much
unflappableness as possible) when our plans get changed, when we hear distressing news. It's a matter of trusting Him -- which is easier said than done, I know.

"May blessings and peace be yours, sent to you from God our Father and Jesus Christ his Son... Long ago, before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own, through what Christ would do for us. He decided then to make us holy in his sight -- we who stand before him covered with his love." (fm Eph. ch 1, TLB)

3:27 PM  
Blogger Patricia said...

More than anything... I am so very thankful you had that time with your mom. What a privilege to be on sacred ground with her.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Overby said...

iLike your auntie. iLove you. iPray for you mother. charmed by your girls. caring across the miles.

7:32 PM  
Blogger a joyful noise said...

Adjusting and grasping the flexibility of the moment, you did the right thing to turn north so that you could spend time with your mother. Your girls had an adventure even though it was not the one first planned. You and your girls were enjoying life as it comes with all the twists and turns.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is a lot of change to take in all at once.
and yet, a lot of the past to catch up on.
that first photo is just beautiful.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam said...

Thank you for giving us a peak into some very beautiful moments!

1:03 AM  
Blogger Deidra said...

The embrace of the unexpected. Now that is a gift. Wow. You lead well in all things.

Holding all of this - all of you - gently in my hand...

4:31 PM  
Blogger a joyful noise said...

Is there a requirement to add a post to your In and Around on MOnday? I have followed directions but all attempts have failed, and finally I am giving up. Sorry!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Connie said...

Echoing David's comment...Each image and phrase intrigued,beginning with the lovely first photo.

Praying that your mama continues to heal...

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Kathleen Basi said...

So beautiful. Thank you for this. I wish I had something more profound to say, but I just wanted you to know how lovely this piece was.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Anne Lang Bundy said...

What comfort you've painted here, in the images of words, camera, and love.

11:22 AM  

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