Friday, November 30, 2012

Her Uncomfortable Ignorance

"Marilla really did not know how to talk to the child, and her uncomfortable ignorance made her crisp and curt when she did not mean to be."
  (From chapter 4 of Anne of Green Gables,
 on Anne's first morning in Avonlea)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Ears on That CAT!

We do not own an electric can opener.  Our can opener is a quiet little hand-crank thing.  Last night I opened a can of tuna.  Athena was downstairs, at the other end of the house, asleep.  Maggie asked quietly, "Shall I call KKK?"  "No," I answered, also quietly, "wait until I open the other can of tuna."

Moments later, the cat arrives in the kitchen, meowing piteously and smooching up against our legs.

Really?  Did she smell it?  Mere moments later, that far away?  Has she learned that "KKK" usually means "Come and Get It!"?  Has she learned what t-u-n-a means?

My jaw dropped and we laughed.  I have no idea what drew her to the kitchen, but she knew.

Then today I was proofreading.  I ran across Pastor's commentary on John 10 ["My sheep hear My voice ...]. 
The voice of the shepherd is familiar to his sheep.  They have learned to know the voice as their source of food, drink, safety, and well-being.
Wow.   Can you even imagine listening to God as attentively as Athena listens for hints of tuna?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Argh!  I'm always using the home passwords at work, and now I'm trying to type work-passwords into the URL of the home computer.  My brain is overfull of passwords!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Last Tuesday the knot in my neck and the messed-up shoulder blade were giving me a royal headache -- a headache humongous enough that I (anti-pill gal that I am) ran for the bottle of pain killers.  Well, that's a lie.  I didn't run; I hurt too badly.  But I took drugs nonetheless.  At one point in the afternoon, Maggie walked into the living room to find me reading and lying on the couch, grimacing as the electric back massager pounded my back and neck.  She blurted out, "MOM!  You're lying on the couch, reading.  You haven't done that in years!"

Right.  I hadn't done that in years.

I wish I could. 

My friend Jane reads.  She reads even more than I used to once-upon-a-time.  Which means she now reads more in a week than I do in a year.  Every November and December, when my friends set out their reading goals and their reading challenges for the new year, I sigh and try not to be too jealous.  But this year, Jane has set up her own challenge which is small enough that it might be possible even for me

I think I'm going to gather a list of books.

The worst that can happen is that I fail to meet the challenge.

I hate promising things that I might not be able to keep.

So no promises that I'll succeed.

Nevertheless, I will begin compiling a list that might, possibly, maybe, be read.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gettin' Me a New Daughter

Paul proposed.
Mandy said yes.
This is a marvelous thing!

When Paul and Mandy were here visiting last month, she left her jacket.  Paul always leaves things when he visits.  When I discovered the shipping costs for the jacket, and when I discovered that she had other jackets, I decided to just hang onto it and give it back to her next time we see her.  A week later, when I had to move the jacket off the ironing board, a wild and wacky thought occurred to me: "What if we wouldn't see her again?  What if they broke up?  Boy, it would be awkward to return the jacket then."  But then I consoled myself.  Breaking up?  What a silly notion!!

I recently bought little presents for all the daughters.  I bought one for Mandy too.  Presumptuous of me, I know.  But it's all good:  in less than a day, Paul called with the news.  Yee haw!!

Pre-Verbal Learning

Liz posted this picture yesterday of the competition between the fire departments.  For those of you who don't live in small towns, it's kind of like football or a tug-of-war.  The barrel hangs high on a line between two poles, and the teams squirt water in an effort to send the barrel sliding all the way to the other team's pole.

Whenever I see these contests, I begin to ponder again how kids learn before they are verbal.   You see, many years ago, we attended a celebration in the twin cities of Tiffany and Shopiere.  One of the boys (I think it was Andrew) was too little to talk.  We petted goats.  We watched the parade.  We watched the firemen's contests.  Nice day.  Nothing notable.

A couple of years later, the munchkin-in-question was explaining to me how that contest worked, how the water from the hoses moved the barrel along the rope.  He had questions.  But he also had some pretty clear memories and was able to verbalize what had happened that day. 

I think in words.  I communicate with words.  I attach words to images and sounds and smells and feelings.  It still boggles my mind to consider how those memories (a half-lifetime past for Andrew) were stored, without words, without explanations, but just as images, and how they poured out in words once the words were accessible.