Saturday, December 29, 2012


I have this favorite jacket that Mr. O has been trying to get me to throw out for years.  Since we got married, really.  I picked it up on clearance from some cheapy, teen-oriented store at the mall for seven dollars. SEVEN.  How could I pass that up?  It definitely wasn't made to last, but I like the color and it is one of the most comfortable things I have ever owned.  In addition to these virtues, I wore it the summer I spent in Scotland, so I’m pretty sentimentally attached.  I love my jacket.

It pains me to admit it, but Mr. O is right.  It’s been looking a bit shabby (“ratty,” he calls it) for quite some time now.  Every time I consider throwing it away the soppy, emotional part of me takes over—I have so many good memories were made wearing this coat.  It is a reminder of many, many wonderful adventures.  I haven't wanted to replace it.  But the fabric is fraying and the lining is torn and the zipper on the left pocket is broken.  A trip through the washing machine would probably finish my beloved jacket all together.

My favorite day with this jacket: a self-guided walking tour of the Lake District.  When some locals suggested that it would be impossible for my friends and me to walk from the shores of Lake Windermere all the way to the home of Beatrix Potter, we took it as a personal challenge and tromped through the English countryside for an entire day, much of it in pouring rain.  I have never at any other point in my life been so entirely, thoroughly, joyfully soaked.  Beatrix Potter’s garden is lovely in the rain. 
Memories aside, it is time to say goodbye. I bought new jacket.  I was finally won over by a (discounted) blue and grey beauty in Target.  Will I miss my old jacket?  Definitely.  But I am glad to have a new one.

me and my jacket on the island of Orkney, Scotland  
(also pictured: favorite pair of earrings that have gone missing)  

What about you?  I’m sure I’m not the only one to ever have a hard time parting with a worn-out piece of clothing.  I would love to hear about yours!   

Saturday, December 8, 2012


I have spent the past couple of months adjusting to the idea of my family growing from two children to three. They have been months of dry heaving and exhaustion punctuated by The Buster and Miss Meatball's steadily increasing penchant for getting into things they shouldn't.  Miss Meatball is part monkey and The Buster is the brute squad; they are a mischief match made in heaven (or possibly somewhere a bit warmer...I'm not actually sure which).  Just when I felt like I'd started to get a handle on things, it is time for more adjustment.      

I went to the doctor on Friday for what was supposed to be a routine visit, a welcome-to-my-second-trimester-of-pregnancy with my weight measured, blood pressure taken, and the opportunity to listen to baby's heartbeat.  Except when the doctor pressed the Doppler device to my stomach, the only sound it picked up was the rushing of my own blood.  She sent me in for an ultrasound.  I could see the baby on the screen, see its tiny head and spine, but I didn't see a heartbeat.  I didn't see a heartbeat and the ultrasound technician didn't say any of the normal "and here is baby's head" types of things.  She didn't say anything.  And I knew exactly what was going on, that pretty soon I would be sitting back in the exam room waiting to hear about Options and Procedures because sometime in the last few days, the heart of my unborn child stopped beating.  

The doctor was kind.  The nurses were kind.  Everyone was kind.  You want people to be kind in situations like this.  You expect them to say sympathetic things and to give half-smiles in that sort of you-poor-thing way.  

The doctor called it a “tragedy.”  Her word choice pulled me away from my search for another tissue.  Tragedy is one of those words I don't like to hear tossed around.  Tragedy means Anitigone's punishment for burying her dead brother, Oedipus gouging out his own eyes, Horatio left alone at the play's end.  I feel that tragedy, at its very core, carries with it a degree of hopelessness and futility that does not apply to me right now.  Tragedy is the wrong word.  I'm not sure what the right word is, though.  Loss, perhaps.  Or a kind of acute, almost quantum grief where I mourn for possibilities and might-have-beens.  My heart hurts, and although I know it will mend, right now I feel raw, exposed.   

I need to adjust.