Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I was given a poem about spiders once, rather off-handedly on the back of a piece of scrap paper. Poetry is wonderful, especially the unexpected kind. This particular one made a metaphor of old spiders hatching many babies as stories being spread over time, and in the end thousands of tiny spiders spread their stories through a village. Quite romantic in way, if you aren't totally paralyzed by the mere idea of an 8 legged creature. Don't even mention the time that I slept on and lived with a couch infested with Black Widows, I was born this way. Needless to say I was frustrated with the beauty of the poem, but kept it because I really wanted to overcome my squeamishness and appreciate that beauty more fully. Years went by, I lost the poem, many things changed, and I had a baby. A short time after his birth, I remembered the poem one morning while assessing the new mileage on my body in a mirror. It was a quick assessment, and a quick thought of the poem's take on age and motherhood, and then, of course, spiders. I shuddered, donned my robe, and returned to the wonder and craziness that was our new life with baby. The same night I found 3 baby spiders on my baby. Shudder. I looked in his bed and found more. I looked at the wall. There were more. Somewhere in there my mom entered the room, as she was taking care of us at the time. She found more. I may have screamed a little, but not enough to scare my baby. We looked up. There were hundreds of little spiders crawling on the ceiling over the bed I shared with my precious little baby. My mom was amazing. I remember her moving furniture, standing on the bed with a vacuum cleaner hose, and pulling a silk cloth from the ceiling that could have been filled with more spiders. She was so brave and managed to completely eradicate or scare the 100's of spiders out the window, and thus save my son & I from immanent doom. I don't remember if I slept that night or stared at the ceiling. We never figured out where they came from or where they were going, and it never happened again.

So in my excitement to leave this place, finish this adventure, and embark upon the next I'm attempting to put it all in perspective. It's hard for me to completely recognize the beauty of a place until I've left it, and over the last few moves I've tried to get over this, to be more patient, relish, and observe it's beauties while I'm in it, rather than look back. So while I was feeling particularly down the other day, longing to be home in the states again, I tried to focus on the beauty of this experience and find a metaphor I could use to describe it. The spider poem came to mind. I don't know why, I've read and loved a lot of poetry about location and identity, but no, nothing that appropriate would do for my brain. Spiders came to mind. Then I thought this experience was quite a lot like being paid a million dollars-well make that a billion or some other grand reward-to get into a bathtub full of spiders and out really quickly. That sounds awful, and our experience has been far from awful. It's been a wonderful growing experience, and we've been blessed with many opportunities and will benefit for the rest of our lives in ways I have trouble relating. That is just where the stream of consciousness went.

I guess to me, facing the challenge of a bathtub full of spiders is extremely scary, but leaving that tub would give me an amazing reward I cannot describe.
****Please do not Fed Ex me a bathtub full of spiders****
I imagine looking over the edge of the tub would be frightening, would those spiders bite? Would they crush under my weight? They're most definitely going to crawl...Then I would cringe, close my eyes, and jump in. And OUT. The out part is most important here, because spiders crawl quickly (probably their most scary talent in my opinion) and cling. I would have to shake out my hair, brush myself off, and check my shoulders. Then Joy! It would be over. I did it. I would have a billion dollars or some grand reward. But I would have to keep checking my shoulders to see what remained.

I'm thrilled to be leaving next week, but I'm a little scared. We're leaving with a huge reward, but I'll have to keep checking over my shoulders.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

He's almost 3

Prior to this photo session we had the following exchange when we moved the big chair and found a couple of old toy parts.

"How did my stuff get under here, Mommy?"
"What stuff? Oh those things. I don't know? How did they get under there, Thomas?"
"This is a problem, Mommy. A PROBLEM."

I find this hilarious, for some odd reason. Happy Weekend!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Our Stove

So we've rounded the bend and are in the final stretch! It's JUNE (sung in a high pitched falsetto, if you're wondering) and two weeks to pack our stuff and head back to the states. I just can't stop smiling. No, that's not true, hormones man. Don't mess with the crazy pregnant lady weeping over EVERYTHING, because she's, "just so happy." Seriously, the morning (translate=all day) sickness, swollen large feet, headaches, emotional roller-coaster, and what-have-you were not expected when I first viewed the double lines on my positive pee stick. I panicked, but for completely different reasons.
I didn't start this post to whine. I started to sing a couple of songs of gratitude to the Czech Republic, or well our adventure here. First, the people who garden in their underwear or serve sausages wearing speedos & cowboy hats (seriously, it happened) make me smile. If you had to live through the ridiculous winter here, I bet the first thing you would do would be to shed your crusty wool sweaters and roll in your yard too. There's no average profile of the semi-nude gardener. They come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and thank you to the young black lace bra and white mini skirt we saw gardening while we rode the bus the other day. Way to go with a simple pony-tail and minimal make-up. Way to take a risk, because you really have a great youthful body & women here have a hard time going with the "less is more" look. Semi and full nudity seems to be located in just about any housing location, and that's what strikes me. Nudity is not an issue for me. Dude, whatever, I'm a figure sculptor, but in my life, it has always been accompanied by a sense of family, privacy, and in my adult life, the wafting scent of pachouli. So back to what strikes me, makes me rubber-neck. The display of comfortable nudity in the housing development environment. It just blows my mind to see the brand new row homes one just like the next, with their 4 foot pools, matching trim, 2.5 kids, and competitive lawn mowing, adorned with comfortably nude and semi nude people going about their suburban business.

Next, our nuclear power plant, I mean our old stove and old thin pots make me smile. It's ability to only cook on rip roarin' hot makes great fried potatoes. I now know how to pull off a mean batch of fried potatoes. While I've had more time to cook here as a full-time-stay-at-home Mom, you would think I would have done much more experimentation in the kitchen and added more to my repertoire than a mean batch of potatoes. Chad entered the kitchen a bit during our stay here, so did Thomas (of course he made bubble soup in the sink. The attempts were a family affair. I think it was because Chad was forced to join us at home most nights and take weekends since businesses and his school studio access were not available 24/7. Czech's know how to schedule holidays. There were other reasons (enter crazy morning sick preggo lady a few months back), and the random availability of anything vegetarian, but the stove was a challenge. Most people have this stove here, and I think that's why soup and goulash are so very popular and souffle, not so much. We spent many strange meals together here (remember when Mom tried to feed us soup and toast with mustard for dinner?), and I will always smile while thinking back to our first attempts trying to get the stove to work like we think a stove should together. Chad discovered a rice making method on this stove and I will never forget his plastic bottle strainer. It was the most romantic pot of rice ever.