Archive for Family

Lynn and Erik come to North Carolina

Posted in All posts, Life, Pig in a Poke with tags , on July 18, 2010 by Trina

Thursday was a sad day for me. I dropped my daughter and grandson off at the airport after a six day visit. We squeezed a lot into those six days including a  three day beach trip to Topsail Island. A couple of pictures from their visit are below. Go to my Facebook page to see more.

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Trina, Erik and Lynn

Now I have to catch up on everything I didn’t do while Lynn and Erik were here. I have 14 fiction submissions for Pig in a Poke to read as well as laundry and mundane errands. It was worth getting a little behind.

When Real Life Intervenes

Posted in All posts, Life, On writing with tags , , , , , , on September 11, 2008 by Trina

I have just returned from Binghamton, NY, where I’ve spent the last week helping my daughter find an apartment in my grandson’s school district. It’s been physically and emotionally exhausting, and I’ve had no energy to blog, finish my YA novel in progress or submit my work. Reading and surfing the net have been the extent of my activities other than apartment hunting. I did manage to read some of my favorite blogs. This post by Tess Gerritsen sums up how I feel: Sometimes Real Life Intervenes.

I had cut back my hours at my day job to 80%, giving me every Friday off, starting September fifth. I anticipated finally finishing my YA novel. I have only about ten more hours of work to finish, and I thought between Friday and the weekend, I would be done. However, when my daughter called Wednesday night, I put my writing on hold and flew to Binghamton to help her apartment hunt. She is going though a very necessary break up with her fiancé–due to irreconcilable differences–and she needed an apartment immediately.

I booked a hotel, where my daughter Lynn, my grandson Erik and I stayed. We called ad after ad, looked at apartment after apartment, with my eight-year-old grandson in tow. He was his normal gregarious and curious self, which didn’t help the hunt, but added some much needed humor to an otherwise arduous task.

We had nearly given up on finding an apartment in Erik’s school district. Then Monday night, after an apartment fell through that we had hoped to get, desperate, we called the number on a sign posted on the side of a building. It was the one. Today, Lynn and Erik are moving into a newly renovated apartment with new hardwood floors. It is everything we had hoped for in her price range and at the very edge of Erik’s school district.

I enjoyed watching how grown up Erik has become. He is a little scientist. He wants to know everything about everything. He spent some of the time uprooting moss in the courtyard of the hotel and replanting it to see if it would grow in various places. He told Lynn’s new landlord what he recently learned off the internet, that moss reproduces by spores. I now have a picture of moss sporophyte stems on my laptop computer, courtesy of Erik.

I actually had two days in the hotel to myself while Lynn went to her classes and Erik was in school. I went so far as to open the file containing my YA novel, scrolled to the last section I was editing, but I couldn’t concentrate. I thought about posting a blog, but simply couldn’t do that either. I was mentally fried. Instead, I ended up reading Diane Chamberlain’s book, BREAKING THE SILENCE. It was fascinating reading and helped me escape for a while.

Traveling is always tiring. I’ve never figured out what exactly makes it so. Is it the flights? Sitting in airports? Or just being away from home? Whatever the reason, it usually takes me a day or two to recover. My suitcase will be waiting for me to unpack once I get home from work today.

On days like these, I wish I had Katharine’s magic locket. I hope to escape to her world soon, but for the time being, I’m just trying to get through the day.

March: one year later

Posted in All posts, Life with tags , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2008 by Trina

Today is the one-year anniversary of my mother-in-law’s passing, so in her honor, I’m reposting March.

Sometimes, life has a way of reminding you that there’s nothing more important than being with the ones you love. I want to offer my sympathy to everyone who’s had a loved one pass away suddenly. And I want to thank friends and family who comforted my husband Harry and I. When your world is turned upside down in a minute, it is hard get beyond the emptiness to find a way even to grieve.

It’s been a long, hard week. I was too emotionally drained to work, even today, although I sat at my computer and pretended that I was able, while my mind drifted to the events of the past week. If I’m in a state of emotional overload that has left me exhausted, I can only imagine the grief that my husband is feeling.

Harry’s mother, Beulah M. “Snooks” Calhoun, passed away Monday morning, March 19, 2007, from a cerebral vascular accident, a stroke.

I met Harry’s father for the first time as we walked across the hospital parking lot late Saturday afternoon and then met Beulah Calhoun where she lay in a hospital bed, an oxygen tube in her nose. She opened her eyes and looked at my husband, made noises, but nothing that resembled words. She didn’t recognize her son. It is the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed, or ever hope to.

Days followed: funeral arrangements, the viewing, financial matters and family dinners. Each day ran into the next and ended with Harry and I falling into bed exhausted and numb. When we came home on Saturday, although we had been gone for not even a week, it felt like an eternity.

I noticed on the drive home from the airport that in our absence winter had departed. After the cold and rain in Connellsville, Pa, the sights and sounds of spring in North Carolina were a welcome sight. Tulips had broken ground, pushing through the hardy daffodils. Pink and red azaleas now dotted the hedges, seemingly overnight. The oaks hung heavy with seedpods and cottony dogwood flowers rained pink and white petals, joining maple seed airplanes on the recently cut grass. The sight of gold finches fighting for seed at the bird feeder made me cry. We were home.

Beulah’s loved ones describe her as being most happy out of doors, so I think it fitting to end this entry with “March,” written by Hal Borland. Although I never knew her in life, the narrative seems to fit the mother of my husband. So, in memory of Beulah Calhoun, whose funeral was held on the first day of spring, and for her son:

March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice. She knows when the first shadbush will blow, where the first violet will bloom, and she isn’t afraid of a salamander. She has whims and winning ways. She’s exasperating, lovable, a terror-on-wheels, too young to be reasoned with, too old to be spanked.

March is rain drenching as June and cold as January. It is mud and slush and the first green grass down along the brook. March gave its name, and not without reason, to the mad hare. March is the vernal equinox when, by the calculations of the stargazers, Spring arrives. Sometimes the equinox is cold and impersonal as a mathematical table, and sometimes it is warm and lively and spangled with crocuses. The equinox is fixed and immutable, but Spring is a movable feast that is spread only when sun and wind and all the elements of weather contrive to smile at the same time.

March is pussy willows. March is hepatica in bloom, and often it is arbutus. Sometimes it is anemones and bloodroot blossoms and even brave daffodils. March is a sleet storm pelting out of the north the day after you find the first violet bud. March is boys playing marbles and girls playing jacks and hopscotch. March once was sulphur and molasses; it still is dandelion greens and rock cress.

March is the gardener impatient to garden; it is the winter-weary sun seeker impatient for a case of Spring fever. March is February with a smile and April with a sniffle. March is a problem child with a twinkle in its eye.

Hal Borland: Sundial of the Seasons, 1964

Happy Holidays

Posted in All posts, Life with tags , , , , , , on December 24, 2007 by Trina
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