Saturday, December 18, 2010

A chance to breathe

I have been neglecting you, dear readers.  I have not even had time to come up for air.  9 to 5 really amounts to 7 to 6:30, and whatever time I have left I try to spend in precious allotments to each of my children.  My husband has been gracefully, adeptly taking up the slack I am evermore conscious of, and I thank him and try to show my appreciation.  He is a rock and a saint and I could not do this without him.

My email is backed up, 3 accounts worth, Christmas cards yet unwritten, presents ordered by Amazon.  Calls I need to make, friends I've neglected, organization projects in disarray pile around me like old newspapers.

I need to breathe.   My husband is off with the kids next week, and he suggested we go to our cabin for a few days.  So, we packed up, drove through the high desert and forests to the Mogollon Rim, and arrived close to midnight at our cabin in Pinetop-Lakeside.

I awoke to 6-story tall Ponderosa Pines dusted with powdery snow after the best sleep I've had in years.   The air is chilly so we congregate around the fire.  The dogs pile on the kids, each being grateful for the other's warmth.  We consider the options of the day's activities, but already I can tell it will be a lazy day with time stretching in all directions.  Perhaps it is something about the old trees, which make me feel child-like and feel more than I reason.  Distances challenge me here.  I am always surprised by how long, how far, and how slow a walk can be.

2 or 3 summers ago, before I resumed my Russian degree and Peter was finishing his Master's degree, we took the kids and had the luxury of staying here for the whole summer.  The kids learned how to bike, fish and swim in our town which some say is like "Mayberry".  It was the most beautiful time of my life, and whenever I am stressed, I return here, if only in happy memory.

I think about the tradeoff of time vs money.  How much we give up of one to have the other.   I realize, sadly, that our blossom time as a family is behind us, and now we are, each of us, caught up in the schedules and musts as we race toward our respective futures.

But here in our lovely cabin, time stops.    

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