Flitting from the Nest

Clump #220:  Get younger daughter off to trip; day 16 of 30-day challenge.

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So the clump of the day is hard to put into words.  How do measure the emotional weight of getting ready and saying goodbye to a child leaving for many months in Russia?  So many items checked off the list: things bought, appointments with all manner of doctors, banking and telephone details straightened out … the list continues to go on in the case of required books ordered nearly a month ago, and still nowhere to be found.

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I guess the one task I will document is the repair in the leg of her pajama shorts (yes, old as the hills and pilly) that our daughter had wanted to pack, but with a gaping hole she felt self conscious about:

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I realized when I found the thread to match the turquoise fabric that it was the same thread I had used to sew her Halloween costume when she was two years old.  <Pang>  Our older daughter was Pocahontas, and our younger daughter was Flit, Pocahontas’ hummingbird friend in the Disney film.  Our son was beyond the sway of his casting-director-older sister, and went as the white Power Ranger.

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Oh boy, why did I look back through the pictures to find this?!  Heart pain upon heart pain!  And adding maudlin to maudlin, now I just need to sew up the empty space in our lives.

Sweet Darlings

Clump #73:  Rake through and recycle old newspapers and spent tickets.

A recent whirlwind of delightful and surprising family visits caused me to let go of my newspaper-reading habit, and, like fall leaves, the papers accumulated into ever-growing piles.

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This was a bag of tickets my husband had been tabulating as the Fall Festival financial manager.  It implores: “please recycle me.”

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Okay, I will.  With the cardboard clementine box below, it reads: “Recycling Works, Darling.”

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Every time I drive through Lancaster County, PA to visit my mom, I’m buoyed by sights fascinating, beautiful, enjoyable, or all of the above.   For instance:

I adore this goose, and by extension, the person (I’m guessing woman?) who dresses her up in myriad outfits to suit the seasons.  Pictured, below, was today’s Halloween garb.  Maybe some day I’ll have the gumption to knock on the door and thank its owner and clothier in person.

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By contrast, this was the ensemble for late summer:

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Of course the visit with my mom, itself, is the main attraction, but I also love the feeling of getting out into the country.  Where else can you get big pumpkins for $2.00?

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I bought one, and this is what you find at the front wagon: the honor system.

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Last week I was snapping pictures of these adjoining houses with pumpkins over their doors.

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I thought I was being inconspicuous …

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when I noticed a piercing blue flower creeping over the sidewalk.  I tried, unsuccessfully, to get a clear image of it as it swayed to and fro in the wind …

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and suddenly a woman and her husband came out of the house.  To my great relief, instead of telling me to leave, the woman asked if I would like to have some of the plant.

I asked her if I could take a picture of her giving me the plant.  I didn’t have the nerve to say it might end up in a blog, so I didn’t photograph her face.

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I also failed to tell her that she, the goose-dresser lady, and the trusting pumpkin seller had strengthened my faith in mankind.