open invitation

I'm bracing myself for a three-and-a-half-week stint taking care of Calvin mostly by myself. Today is his last day of summer school which, though it's a measly three-hour day, four-day week, one-month session, is something that helps sustain my relative sanity in that it gives me time to walk the dog, tend to the garden and write a little bit before my high-maintenance child comes home on the bus at 11:30 a.m.

Michael is working diligently on photo submissions and on his next publication (he is the most prolific artist I know), and is already busy with administrative duties as head of the art department at the college. Even so, he helps me in the early mornings and evenings, and cooks all of our dinners. But the days are long, monotonous, not altogether fulfilling, and perhaps even a little lonely. I'll do my best to take Calvin places he knows like the grocer, the health food store, the donut shop, the coffee shop and, now, the gelato store, which pretty much define the physical parameters of my entire world. I wish he enjoyed and tolerated new places more than he does and would walk further without balking and dropping down. I've got to continue pushing his boundaries . . . and mine; we've got to grow.

But in case we are housebound due to seizures and/or malaise, this is an open invitation for friends to drop in for a cup of strong coffee or an early-evening cocktail and/or to join me and Calvin (in his stroller) while I walk the dog. I make a mean cup o' joe, and the garden—though the lawn looks and feels like straw—is lovely this time of year, especially in the morning and early evening around five p.m.

Please come on by.

Photo by Michael Kolster


  1. If my daughter who is 14 and I didn't live in AZ we'd come by! Then again she doesn't go to new places, our narrow world is equal in number to yours and if we did manage to get there her limit would be minutes at best. I feel the push to expand but then I work up the nerve to try and when we get somewhere it's tantrums, stomach aches, sudden auras and several days of recover mentally frantically sucking her pacifier and holding her blanket.

    So I crush meds, change diapers during monthly periods, and care for my teen as if she was a young toddler, and wonder if the attempt to do this plus expand our repertoire is even worth it.

    I feel sad this time of year with the start of a new school year. There are no intellectual leaps, no reading no writing. If we did not eat play dough we get a star! What's more though, I mourn for myself it's 14 years since I had a first day of school ( I was a teacher before this) .

    My girl is my world. I am so lucky she is here. Lucky we are not in the hospital anymore. Lucky to have two service dogs. Lucky to receive her hugs. So, so lucky....I thank you for your beautiful posts. You and Calvin are terrific!

  2. dear andie, it sounds like we are living in parallel universes. hang tough. xo

  3. I'll hop a plane.. so wish I could be there to help. Still looking for musical toys. C

  4. Oh, I wish! I'd love to get to know you two. And some coffee.