Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer's end

Around my house, summers are just nuts. We have five wonderful kids ranging in age from 16 to 21. For years we've teased about adopting a kid for that missing year, which would mean an eighteen year old this year.

This summer has been crazier than some.

My daughter, who has always lived with her mother, moved in and intends to graduate with us. My son, who just finished his pharmacy tech degree moved to his dad's, but has been back and forth a couple of times. My other son lived at dad's last year for the school year. He returned as well. My oldest daughter with the menagerie thought she was moving out, but she's not.

So we are a family in flux.

Our pets, bless their hearts, are as versed at being flexible as we are. Our Shih'tzu, Sheltie mix and Border Collie mix wait eagerly at the door, a mass of wagging dog bodies from short to tall, to see who will enter. Usually, they only get the people who left, but they never know.

So what does this have to do with summer's end? Could I please have a little while longer to enjoy? No, it doesn't work that way.

Noticing where the sun sits in the yard in the late afternoon, I know summer is winding down. If I close my eyes and think really hard, I can smell the way my high school smelled when you walked in the front doors. GO MOJO!!! I sang, so my high school memories are full of of the PHS choir and my friends there. And with my own kids in school, three of them have chosen to be in choir, as well. I've been an active choir parent for the past few years, so once again, we'll be at booster club meetings, busy with all things choral as fall and winter approach.

Summer's end brings the end of days so hot you do all your work in the morning so you can melt in the afternoon heat. The monkey grass blooms, the lantana is full of orange flowers, the sheer number of birds begins to thin, and the electric bill goes down.

Today I'm wistful. I'd like another six weeks this year because it seems like we just got into the groove of things, grilling, relaxing, enjoying. I'm not ready to let go of the summer things, yet they slip through my fingers like wisps of memory.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Google scam

I'm posting this in order to try and save anyone who reads this the trouble I've been through. Supposedly, Google will pay you to 'work from home.' A family member sent me this:

Here's their little blurb:

The billion dollar company has never opened it's doors to hire from the public before. As of January 2009 the company was worth approximately 220 billion dollars and is the most used internet search engine in the world.

Today they have openend their doors and will be hiring thousands of people to simply posting links from the comfort of their homes.

So, I read and clicked around to this site:

I paid the token fee (less than two dollars) and waited for someone to call me as per their instructions. They told me about three different things they were signing me up for and guaranteed me no money would be withdrawn from my checking account unless I later authorized it as a monthly withdrawal. Thus far, I've been charged $72 once and $39 twice for services I never received. Services I should never have been charged for.

Beware: it's a big, fat scam.

Somewhere in the middle of things

Our perceptions change as we age, which is a good thing, or should be. It means we're growing, learning, becoming. It means we're moving forward with time, learning our lessons.

I used to think life should be simpler. I thought if I worked hard enough at solving the current challenges in my life, there would be some reward, like time off for good behavior or something. But it didn't work that way.

Then I had children and once again thought there would be some clear beginning/middle/end to stages in my relationships with them, but that's not true either. I thought once they grew up, my job was done. Nope, not by a long shot. Our Border Collie had six pups five weeks ago. She's getting ready to toss them from the nest as I write this. Thank God things aren't like that for us or I'd be missing out on the wonderful transformation between childhood and adulthood. I wouldn't get to watch these amazing people I had the privilege of raising become their own persons.

Along the way, something wonderful happened. The endless daily crap we all endure doesn't bother me quite as much as it used to. Like a medical bill I forgot to pay, or we need a gazillion things from the grocery store and Wal-Mart just spent two months rearranging which means I can't find anything and shopping takes twice as long, or trying to figure out a night when everyone will be home so we can have a family dinner.

Maybe I was searching for clear beginnings and endings, like birthdays as a child. When I turned five, then six, I KNOW I could jump farther and higher. Birth, marriage, death, graduation, all those things are finite, but still only part of the process we call life. Maybe the reason I grew to expect clearly cut off points is simply because as a child, they seemed more evident.

A birthday! I'm seven! Seven year olds get to stay up until nine and ride their bikes across the street in the empty parking lot!

Graduation!, I'm no longer a high school student. I'm a young woman with freeeeeedommmmm!!!

Now, I could create some finite moments if I really wanted to. I could get another divorce. That would be finite, but it's certainly not something I'm interested in doing.

Sometimes I feel like I have too many plates spinning to keep up. If I could trade 'plates' with someone, I imagine, I'd want my own back pretty quickly. So, even though life is more about doing what I can today and letting the rest go, I think I'll stay where I am. The only finite moment on my original list left to experience is death, and I'm certainly not ready to go. I'm having the time of my life!