Friday, January 20, 2012


Bleak midwinter outside.  Temperature in the teens and pale gray skies.  Our rug samples arrived ten days ago and are supposed to be returned in four more.  We haven't yet been able to see how the colors look in sunlight.  The furnace guy is here for what must be our 27th annual inspection ~ of the TWO furnaces we now run in our updated system.

We moved into this house 28 years ago this week-end.  It was 16 degrees out that day as well; by the time we finished, having opened and closed the front door all day, the thermostat in the front hall had settled in at 55.  I was pregnant and, although I did not yet know that we would be having twins, I was already suffering from the all-day-all-night morning (?) sickness that would mark most of that pregnancy and all of the next one.  My husband set up the bed, and I crawled into it, pulled some sleeping bags over my head, and got up again in about March.

Now I sleep in the living room, since my present condition precludes lying down on a bed.  I woke up about 4:00 this morning and remained curled up in my recliner, wide awake, for a couple of hours.  A friend's husband died yesterday, and there will be a funeral mass next week.  Tomorrow is the church service for the young pastor who was killed earlier this week.  I prayed for both families and wondered, Do they know the love of God this morning?  My own experience of God during such times is consistently one of absence, but rumor has it that mine is not the universal one.

This living room was the site of such energy and joy during the years in which our children were small.  We struggled so to keep this old house warm, but they ran around gleefully in their bare feet, sipped hot chocolate in front of the fire, and curled up on the couch with the cat for hours of reading aloud.

Tonight my son and I are going to hear the Cleveland Orchestra; his ordination gift to me.  When we selected the concert weeks ago, we hoped that I would be physically healed enough to enjoy it, and I am.  The other things, the memories and the losses, all swirl around us.   We are, as Richard Rohr describes it, "falling upward."  And Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 is the exact right piece of music.


  1. I hope the music was balm for both of you. (((r)))

  2. Such a lovely piece of music. Hope you both enjoyed it.
    I really loved the images of your house through the years.... such a home.

    Have a good weekend. Sending you love and prayers for healing.

  3. The music... beautiful. Your story brings back memories of our family when we lived in an old house and it was so hard to keep warm.