Monday, January 13, 2020


Three things stand out for me this morning: first -- how quickly routines can replace excitement, second -- how pretty even a light snowfall can be when there is no wind to shake everything off tree branches...

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... and finally -- how much paperwork remains to be done to get my mom properly transferred to another facility.

You can grouse about all that bureaucratic nonsense, but honestly, it's perfectly understandable why it needs to be done. I filled out pages upon pages of an application for my mom, but these are just my words. Everything I put into the forms now needs to be proven with supporting documents. Of course it does. I'm not surprised nor annoyed. Merely a tad overwhelmed by the enormity of the project.

Breakfast -- the more colorful parts of it...

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Afterwards, Ed jumps right into my task of gathering the needed receipts and statements. We spend the entire morning on this (and in the process, we unravel several puzzles in my mother's recent accounting; these need to be cleared up and... well, undone). By lunchtime, we're not even half finished. Tomorrow I'll have to chase down stuff on foot. But today, as the afternoon sets in, I need to quit.

Can we go skiing?
Do you think the recent snow has added a thick enough layer?
I do!

It's our first run this winter and oh, does it feel good to take a break from the paper mess!

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Ed first learned to ski when he met me. He's now solid on trails, but he can be wobbly on the hills and with icy conditions, I worry that he will someday end up in the lake or glued to a tree...

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Still, today he manages to stay upright and we have a splendid hour on an empty, quiet, calm, snowy trail, well groomed just minutes before we show up.

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I am back to a routine with the kids. I pick them up at school, I bring them to the farmhouse. I was thinking today that kids do best with a lot of routine in their lives and, depending on the personality, a small chunk of excitement and adventure. So a return to a regular schedule is good, even if the transition can be rocky.

Not so rocky for these two. When I pick them up, they are happy little guys, despite the multiple excitements this past weekend.

(Snowdrop and her friend of many years show me their friendship necklaces)

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Surely as we get older, our need for predictable routines grows. My mom's tolerance for adventure is near zero. Me, I'm still thrilled to have days of excitement. So long as the routines come back, the pace slackens again and the calm returns. Until the next adventure!

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At the farmhouse, the  grandkids are rarely demanding. We read a lot...

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There is always imaginative play...

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And oftentimes they get lost in art projects. They never "fight," and their default facial expression is a smile.

Nonetheless, by the end of this particular day, I'm tired, or at least ready for some downtime. Popcorn time. But it's not to be. Ed and I resume pulling documents, creating files, uploading them to the website that demands them on behalf of my mother.

Only much much later, after a supper of reheated leftovers, after many attempts to get one or another document upload correctly, do we put it all away for the day and exhale.

There may be more snow tonight. Quiet snow, A thin blanket of calm.