Monday, March 29, 2010

First Passover together

Passover begins tonight. Ruth and Chris and Liam have gone to celebrate Seder with friends they met in the neighborhood - the mom initially interested in Liam's Wee Rider bike seat. WE will have min-seders together on several of the nights of Passover this year, making the holiday our own, as we have tended to do in the past. Today was special for me because we rempoved hametz(puffed up food) from the house as a family. Ruth looked up specifioc rules on the computer, Chris read labels while fixing lunch, Liam and I filled boxes. We aren't super Orthodox, just moved the boxes into the garage and covered them with a sheet. Traditionally we would have sold them to someone not Jewish for a penny or a dollar and restocked after Passover, but we settled for a lesser level of observance. It felt good to do what we did together, as a family, as a household. It felt really different than making the pantry ready alone has in past years. I like being one of a family keeping a tradition.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Yesterday was one of those magic days - so much got done in such an atmosphere of love and sweetness. You can't count on days like that. Co-housing doesn't produce them, but I do think it makes them more frequent, easier to come by. Components of my great day were Liam's dancing and spinning, his smile and look of recognition aimed straight at me, his freely offered hugs and kisses, Ruth's astute advice regarding my very challenging family history cataloging, rewarding physical work with Ruth in the garden and yard. It is just so much easier to get things done with good natured company. She raked the leaves from K.K's life oak and I put them in the wheel barrow and rolled them (with Liam's help so conscienciously given) to the various compost and mulch locations. We bought and planted a yellow jasmine. Simple things, but so pleasing and restoring.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


For real now, it is spring - blossoms everywhere. We celebrated Ruth's birthday. Spring break came and went quickly, fun with play in the park, Bob home, baseball games and movies and symphony. Chris has been cooking rutabaga, which is delicious and, to my surprise, yellow when cooked by itself. We're thinking about house changes, maybe a front deck, trying to be sensible about money. A deck would be nice for entertaining and to give us more space for not so much money. Liam loves to be outdoors, so a deck would be good for him too. Decisions are hard. A triumph is that Ruth and I pulled all the beggars' tick weeds out of the yard before they had a chance to make burrs.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Everybody home

We're settling in for spring break with Bob home. It is so good - a little hectic and crowded, but so good. I do hope that we get our money together to do some enlarging before we are all here all the time. It would be easier not to have to be meticulously neat to avoid losing track of things just because there are still too many things in the space we have when all of us are here. However, the advantage of community, connection, and shared work over ride being a little cramped. We have more personal space, and an extra bathroom, on the family members who shared my grandparent's house before I was born and throughought my ifetime, and so much comfort and luxury on most of the world's people.

A highlight last night was that Bob and I hung out with Ruth and Liam throughout playtime before bed, and he and Bob played and played with balls and blocks (including a wooden ring from Bob's boyhood block collection). It's just so much fun to see Liam develop relationships with each of us, say our names, seek us our - and he's a hoot besides, just so alert and full of fun. His signing and talking are coming along amazingly, making real, if basic, conversations very possible.

And Chris has introduced me to a fun new word "nips and taddies" and to the delicious root vegetables casserole it labels - turnips, rutabagas, ptotatoes - Yum!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Innocence - a lesson learned from cohousing


Wide blue eyes focus
on hot oven door.
Curious, you stretch
tiny hand toward warmth.
Your Mama stops you fast.
Not safe. Not for you.
Walk away.
You hear her fear.
Obey. One year old, you know
not all exploration is safe.
You can be hurt. You practice
trust, check adult eyes for
confirmation before you
dash down a hill, laughing.
Innocence is necessarily brief.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I'm at a writers' retreat in Palm Springs with dear friends - good work, good companionship, and great warm weather. It's odd though being away from our home and family. In recent years when I traveled I just left an empty house, had to deal with who fed the cats and brought in the mail, but didn't have a sense of being away from home, family, people I loved. NowI think about family life going on in the house while I'm gone, and it's sweet. I think I'm even a little homesick, just enough that it feels good.