September 2, 2010

pretty flower

Pretty flower
do you know what this is?

I imagine the stork flying high above pointy roofs, through the clouds, and during my fall from his pouch to my parents (probably through the chimney, you know how cartoons are) I traveled through time and although I was meant for an era long ago, I landed here.

At least that's how I feel when I tie my apron, and make a gigantic pot of minestrone soup, chopping vegetables, stirring, spicing, with Glenn Miller and Charlie Parker playing in the kitchen.

I visited my grandparents yesterday and felt the overwhelming (and I truly mean, I felt something come over me, physically) need to have them come live with me. All this talk of moving to an assisted living facility is exciting for them. But it doesn't seem right to me. In another day, another age, family would all be together. And imagine what a blessing it would be for my children to be influenced by the love of their great grandparents in our home, too. I think about those Longhouses of the Native Americans- how a whole BIG family would live together, how I really kind of think it was meant to be. Who came up with the idea of us all separating out and away from each other anyway? I also think maybe that stork meant to drop me off in a whole other country as well...

They aren't going to come live with us (at least I don't think so) but they are welcome to, even though I know it would be so much work- and a little insane (by selfish worldly standards)- it feels right in my heart. I already thought of the blog post title if they did: "We're expecting! (But it's not what you think.)"

Oh PS, that pretty flower is the bottom half of a celery stalk.

photo taken with my iPhone, Hipstamatic app, John S, blank film.


  1. I LOVE how your eye sees things. Makes me jealous that my mind doesn't take me to some of the places you get to go, atleast not on my own. Luckily, I get to read your beautiful writing (and see your beautiful pictures), so I get a glimpse. I too wish the generations stuck together, and your post reminds me of not too long ago when my grandmother moved into assisted living housing. But she loves it there, so i try to remember that. I wished she could hav lived with us, and if our home was more equipped for her to love here (like bedroom/bathroom on a ground level), I would have had her here in a heartbeat. I know how you feel.


  2. isn't how crazy how much our society has drifted away from raising our own kids and caring for our own parents? it's hard to imagine squeezing two extra adults in our already 5 people in 1000 sq ft home...but I feel you what a neat thing for my kids to grow up with THEIR stories.

  3. I've just entered the learning curve of a multigenerational home. We bought a new home specifically including my in-laws and my husband's oldest niece into our household. We've been in the house about two weeks now.

    I admit, some things really frustrate me. Some things are also a huge blessing. I keep telling myself to be patient and focus on allowing us time to adjust, and things will fall into place.

    This was the best choice for all of us, and yes some people think we are insane or saints -niether of which is true.

    You never know what the future may hold when you are open to change.

  4. Oh how this sings to me. So much has changed as the decades roll by. I, too, wish that families embraced all the generations more. Instead of seeing the older generation as a burden, they embraced them as a special treat and wealth of knowledge.


    Celery flowers :)

  5. crazy- that looks like a black velvet painting!
    I would love for my grandma to live with me too- but you know, the setting isn't quite right :) I think she'll be moving to an assisted living apartment in Valpo this month- and I'm so very happy- this is a huge improvement for her.

    oh, and the other day I was making lentil stew to Benny Goodman! if you move to 1940, can we be neighbors?

  6. We lived with my parents for 4 months last year while transitioning between houses. I thought it would be awful but in the end I felt like "THIS is how this is supposed to be!" Raising kids in a community of family is how it's supposed to be done. I have fantasies of my grandparents or parents or sister moving in with me. Or next door or around the corner. We can dream, right?

  7. I LOVE the direction you have taken your blog. thanks for sharing. what a beautiful post.

  8. My husband grew up (in Albania) with his grandmother living with his parents and him in their 1 BR apartment.

    His parents now live a few miles from us. But when they are 'older', they'll most likely be moving in with us. And something about that just seems right.

  9. One of my best memories was of my stepdad's mom. We called her Gaga and she grew up in England from 1918 until she was an adult with three kids. She had amazing stories of living in London during the bombings of WWII and working as a volunteer nurse during the wars. She would sit on our back porch in an old rocking chair we had and tell me story after story while I curled up on the floor by her feet and listened, totally entranced. I hope my kids can have that same experience with my parents one day.

  10. I do hope that even if they don't come there that they will be close because I find it awesome that your grandparents are still around and able to spend time with you and the kids. What I wouldn't give for that.

    P.S. Love the 'flower'

  11. Okay, a picture of celery, first line mention of the stork, last line inclusion of "We're expecting..." and a Mama distractedly reading while trying to keep her 2 year old from stapling himself in the forehead? I was soooooo excited for you! I'd be excited if your grandparents came to live with you too, though and I know exactly what you mean about the wrong era/wrong country thing. I swear I was supposed to be an old-fashioned Italian.

    Love the picture and the thoughts!

  12. It makes me happy to know that you would want to take them in and care for them. It would be a lot of work taking care of generations. I wish more family members felt like you do. It's good to know that I won't have to live in a nursing home and i will have you to take care of me if I need someone. Thanks for visiting them and making their day a little brighter.

  13. Lovely post and picture.

    You may have been dropped in the wrong time in the wrong place, but kudos to you for knowing who you are.

    I think it's lovely you want your grandparents to come live with you... completely lovely.

  14. Beauty is everywhere. That photo is amazing.

    I try not to think too hard about my parent's future because (a) I'm selfish and (b) I will cross that bridge when it comes. But now that they are in their late 70s I need to consider the where and how. Perfect world would say with me but unfortunately the perfect world isn't where we live. Times have changed and I'm not sure it's for the better.

  15. my friend and I were just talking about how long ago families and friends lived together. It like the saying "it takes a community to raise a child" that was the community everyone in one house!

  16. I love your eyes and your heart. But by now, you know this.

    xo e.

  17. I feel the very same way about family and the elderly. It is so terribly sad how quickly many elderly people dwindle away and die because they no longer feel useful or "have life". Being in a household where they can contribute to the "society" is so helpful to their well being, not to mention those in the household as well. Surely it would take adjusting to and there would be difficulties, but, as with having children, the adjustments and difficulties are far outweighed by the joys that come along with the presence. There is so much to be said about this, but I just don't have the time today. I love the celery shot, by the way. I thought it might be a small head of lettuce or something, so you totally got me ;)

  18. Wow...I totally did NOT see that as celery until you said so. Cool!

  19. I think living with extended family could be such a good experience for your kids. I lived next door to my grandmother and felt I could talk to her about many things. We also had a connection to the grandparents on my dad's side of the family and that continued for awhile even after my dad died. Those were good experiences and unfortunately, because we lived quite a distance from Terry's grandparents as well as aunts and uncles, he doesn't have the connection to extended family that I had.

  20. We are blessed to have my husband's grandmother living with us. Papa died the year we got married and were building a house. We invited her and never looked back...{well almost never}. It does have it's difficulties but I know it is a blessing!

  21. LOVE the celery stalk rose! Gorgeousness!

    And it is so interesting how we have altered the seasons of life with the older generation, how some cultures venerate them as sages and include them as valued members of the household. My husband's Grammy was one of my dearest friends. She passed two years ago at the age of 96--and I still miss the days she would spend at the house with me, making chicken dumplings, loving on my kids. She lived her last few years with my in-laws and while there were some trying days, there was also tremendous blessing.

    I love your tender heart.


  22. i love that picture. I'm going to try that.

    I agree that I would want to take in my grandparents/parents whomever may need it, becuase that's what I feel is right.


  23. Mmm. I think I'll be writing a whole post to comment on this one ;)

  24. I so would not have called the celery flower. You have an eye for beauty, for sure.

    And I totally agree with you about living with extended family - we were not meant to be in our own little houses. HOWEVER, I also can't see moving in with my mother-in-law. I think maybe it's easier if you grow up in a big and busy multi-generational home. Maybe?

  25. You probably did live in the time of Glenn Miller in a previous life.

  26. I'd have to say, you are definitely a soul that's just more enlightened-seen more, loved more-than the average Joe. But I'm so thankful you were dropped HERE, in this time and place....otherwise, we wouldn't get to experience the joy of knowing you and your family :)

    And wanting your grandparents with you instead of assisted living? I'm right there with you. My grandparents are more than just grandparents: they are like secondary parental figures, my lifelines as a child.
    I want to create a co-op/communal living situation with my family. Where we all live on a huge piece of property, preferably in the mountains in Oregon, and share chores and eat dinner together every night. I envision it as this amazing existence of warmth and security and

  27. I thought that flower was a green bell pepper at first glance. Very cool.

    Also - I love your beautiful, selfless, family-oriented heart.


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