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Is This the Twilight of My Life?

December 2009

The clear blue skies I long to catch a glimpse of in the wintertime are covered in a thick, gray blanket of ice fog this year. For the last seven days, there has been no sky, no mountains, no end to my street. Cold, dark Alaskan winters seclude many residents indoors, especially this Texas girl. I won’t see any sign of my neighbors again, other than the warm glow of lights from the windows of their homes, until May, but even the wildlife seems to be in hiding. The ravens that I love to listen to and watch are few this season, showing up only on Thursdays to peck holes in the trash bags lined up in the streets. The moose sightings have been rare this winter, too.

However, if I step outside into the fog and look up, the air glitters and I am showered with shimmery crystals. If I look closely at the trees, there is much beauty to be found on the frost that has become a part of the branches. The ravens dance around the feasts they find lying on the curbs that will keep them full during the long winter months. The moose I have spotted are not lonely; they wander with friends and family. I’ve learned over the last year that life’s challenges may at first appear bleak, but if we embrace what we already have and trust what we cannot clearly see, there are beacons of hope and peace and pleasant surprises enveloped within even the densest of fogs.

In June, the kids and I took one trip out of state together to visit our family and friends in Texas. We were there for just over two weeks. We lounged outdoors as much as possible, mostly in the pool. We wore significantly less clothing, no socks and put on shoes only when we had to. We caught up with close friends, visited the zoo, went shopping, and indulged in kolaches, barbecue, Sonic, Chick-Fil-A, Olive Garden, and Fuddruckers. We spent a memorable weekend with my sister’s family, as well.

My daughter is my bright, beautiful girl. She wants to dress like Mommy. She wants to be like Mommy. At times, she wants to be The Mommy, especially where her brother is concerned. She is four, going on teenager, and continues to attend the afternoon program at the preschool, excelling in phonics. She can write, is starting to read short books on her own and enjoys twice a week Spanish lessons at school. She still keeps me on my toes, physically and mentally always on the go. She made the choice to continue with dance classes over gymnastics this year and performed in her first dance recital on a stage in May. She can’t wait to do it again. This summer, she attended several camps including music camp and cheerleading camp. Like her Mommy, she enjoys technology. It’s incredible watching what she can do on a computer.

My son is two years old. He is my shadow. Wherever I go, he goes. He’s a lively child with a large vocabulary and glowing personality. He loves trains, trucks, music and dancing. He’s often found walking around the house with a crown on his head calling himself “Pretzel Man,” a reference to a contortionist performer who clearly made an impact on him from last season’s America’s Got Talent. My son and I started parent~child gymnastics classes this summer at Aurora Kids and he is eager to attend class each week. For his birthday, I bought him a set of golf clubs in the hopes that he would quit using my kitchen utensils as “hockey sticks.” And with those new golf clubs, he started off our Christmas season with a bang. He took a shiny bauble off of the tree because, of course, it looked like a ball, or “puck,” a less foreign object for an Alaskan child. He then took a golf club and whacked the ornament against the fireplace where it shattered into a million pieces. Part of me was impressed. The other part of me knew I had a lot to teach my son this holiday season...and perhaps I should have opted for child locks on my kitchen utensil drawers instead of golf clubs.

I am still a stay-at-home Mommy for the two most special gifts in the world. I love every minute I have with them. They are my light, my world. I did make a solo trip to Seattle in August, though, to visit a friend. I stayed for a whole week learning the hard lesson that we’re not in college anymore, but those all-night talks were worth every lost minute of sleep. We hung out, toured Seattle, visited with another friend of mine for over 27 years and we made a Twilight road trip. Yeah, Twilight, as in the vampire/werewolf books. I’ll admit, I’m a fan[atic]. I got to venture to Forks, La Push, the Hoh Rainforest and Port Angeles. La Push was the highlight of the trip for me, probably because I’m partial to nice warm werewolves…er…beaches. Warm beaches!

Thanksgiving was very special this year. It was the first year I’ve ever spent at a friend’s house - a Friendsgiving! Mom, the kids and I had an absolutely lovely time sharing Thanksgiving with a group of Americans and Brits, all wonderfully kind people. It was a holiday I won't soon forget. It meant a lot to me and made me even more thankful for my two extraordinary children, amazing family, and close friends.

No matter the challenges in life, I know that the fog will lift, the skies will be blue again and the next future will be radiant.

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