Suzy's Blog/July, 2007      Click for Suzy's Blog Summary

   
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  THE SHOWER

Suzy Smith
7/27/2007
     
Iím a depression baby with deeply ingrained issues about money. Save it, cautioned my economist father who exhaled financial responsibility. Know the other shoe will drop and the rain will fall, he cautioned. I sensed that character was defined by the number of things you can do without; which brings me to my shower where water has ceased to flow.

Who needs a new one? There is a perfectly functional one down the stairs, through the hall, the dining room and the downstairs bedroom. No big deal to get there, except on those rare occasions when I am caught in the buff in transit by an unexpected visitor looking in the window. There are worse things.

Years pass. The daily run to the shower has kept me thin. Naturally I ask, ďWhy?Ē when my husband suggests remodeling. I think about fiscal responsibility, impending disaster and loss of character. Enough already! How much time is left. Why not?

Oh Daddy, the rain is falling just as you promised, but, itís from my new, adjustable shower head with the personally programmed mix of hot and cold water and itís absolutely wonderful!
 

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  SEEING THINGS DIFFERENTLY

Suzy Smith
7/24/2007
     
George is sending pictures of delicately exquisite wildflowers growing in the mountains of Colorado. Most of the recent images concentrate on one flower, each taking your breath and worldly cares away. I realize as I pause to savor each picture, my world view is too all encompassing. I'm missing the details. In my garden, my eye takes in the landscape, how it all goes together or doesn't. I note the iceberg roses are beginning a second bloom, but when was the last time I looked closely at one flower?

Too often what I see is only what needs to be done, yet here and there small, beautiful things are happening. I overlook them in my haste to weed, feed, water and prune. I'm growing beautiful roses, but I don't stop to smell them.

I need to see things differently. Funny how a wildflower can make that happen.
 

     

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  DISCOVERING MY SISTER

Suzy Smith
7/12/2007
     
Six and a half years before I was born, my sister was leading our family on a merry chase. By three she was reading, going downtown on the bus by herself, playing little Bach pieces on the piano and falling out of windows. Our parents didnít know what had happened to them, but in their naivetť as first time parents, they assumed this was just how children were, a storm blowing through your life.

When she learned she was pregnant yet again, my Mother took to the sofa under a dark cloud, barely rising to keep the family functioning. Happily, I turned out to be the calm after the storm, so easy compared to what they were used to, they thought I might be retarded. In the assumptions families make about one another, I became the nice, but not so smart daughter, and my sister the daughter who was brilliant but difficult. We wore our labels well into adulthood, particularly since what we knew about one another often came through our parentís lens.

Once we entered the adult world, we saw one another sporadically, communicated via carbon copies of weekly letters sent to our parents, and occasionally talked on the phone. We were sisters, but considered ourselves very different until ÖÖ

I invited her to visit me in California while my husband was on a business trip. She accepted. We did the sights, one day crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to have lunch in Sausalito. Over her crab salad she tells me about a brilliant insight sheís had recently. As I listen, I think, hey, Iíve had the same thoughts, sheís no smarter than I am. Later, in the same conversation, I tell her about something nice Iíve done. She, having done something similar thinks, wow, Iím just as nice as she is. Those family monikers drop away and we are, we discover, not so different. We are THE BEST OF SISTERS.
 

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  KEEPING THE FAMILY TOGETHER

Suzy Smith
7/2/2007
     
As Sunday was changing to Monday, God awakened Margo insisting she rethink her role as Matriarch. During the week-end past, her family, Grandpa, adult children, and grown grandchildren worked together on a massive family project. That is, some worked and some didnít. That is why God came calling. Oh not to lead the slackers to enlightenment, it was Margo who sinned. She lost her temper.

As Margo tossed, turned and punched her pillow, she never considered her anger might be justified. No, she decided it was time she invented new descriptors for herself. She would be pragmatic, calm, organized, efficient and gay (defined as happy and full of fun) All things she already is with the exception of this momentary lapse of goodwill.

Iíve been there, punching my pillow, regretting my actions. Somewhere deep in our female psyches it is written that we Matriarchs keep smiling and pick up the slack in family matters. When things fall apart and we fall apart along with them, we assume itís our failure and vow to try harder next time. Has society laid this on us, or is it part of our genetic code? I donít know, but I do know, it helps keep families together.
 

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