Saturday, January 29, 2005

Well, its been awhile since I've stopped in, so I thought I would use the Tubby Time (aka, Raelin and Papa tub, Mama ignores the dinner dishes and surfs the web) to catch up a bit.

For those that follow the weather and other fascinating things that like that, you might have noticed that it's been FUCKING FREEZING here. Many a days it has barely gotten into the double digits. The blue skies are a bit of a tease, but I'll take them over FUCKING FREEZING and FRIGGING CLOUDY all at once. Take note: this blog may often be about children, but its certainly not for your children. Today, however, was a balmy 25! Yes, that's 25! And if you don't live in a place that gets colder than, say, 45, you think I'm off my rocker to use balmy and 25 F in the same sentence, but it's true. Once you've lived through a winter here you would be amazed at how your body adjusts and it becomes quite conceivable to go out and get the mail in slippers and a t-shirt when the thermometer budges over 30 F.

If you don't follow the weather you're probably a bit bored by now, so I'll move onto more exciting things. Like... um.... what we did today in the weather!

I have discovered that I get pretty grumpy about the winter when I'm inside. But once I am bundled up and working up a sweat lugging Raelin and all of her bundles around outside, it's actually quite pleasant. No matter that sometimes the wind feels like fingernails raking across my face. The air is fresh and I'm alive!! I'm serious. I could quite happily tromp around our frozen lake and snowshoe the golf course in the single digits for... well, as long as Raelin will stand it in the backpack. Winter follies are fun and not for the feint of comfort, but invigorating none the less. Next weekend are the Toboggan Race Championships at our local ski hill. They have an actual wood toboggan run, and folks spend valuable life energy creating toboggans to race. It is said to be great fun and merriment, and you can catch all the icy details here after next weekend, as it is a big event on our calendar (nudging out spending yet another weekend sucked into the West Wing and changing the sheets).

In other news..

I spent 3 hours today doing my monthly co-op hours. I moved from a city that practically has as natural food grocery store for every household to one where there are 2, each of which is scarcely larger than my house. Shortly after we moved here, the closest one, Good Tern Coop finished a pretty new building just a 5 minute drive from our house. And for 3 volunteer hours a month, we get 15% off. Considering that I manage to do 90% of our shopping there I have figured that I make the equivalent of $15 an hour. Not bad!!

I love our Coop. I know all the employees (i think there are 6) and they know me and Raelin. I love that there is a small sunroom with tables to have soup or a sandwich, or browse their lending library. It's a place to sit and nurse your baby or toddler, or chill while your child plays in the kid's corner, a large mural-painted walled off area with a little wooden kitchen, basket of books, box of donated toys and occasionally a random box of cereal pilfired from the shelves, undetected.

(actually, I've never seen a pilfired box of cereal in there, but I like the image of it and hey- I'm not there 24-7 and given that I have first hand knowledge of toddler behavior and inparticular Purley O's addiction, I'd say it's a likely scenario.)

But you know what the best thing is about the Coop? It's that for 3 uninterrupted hours I get to do mundane, yet productive and necessary tasks and- get this- finish them.

No! you say, I can't believe it!
It's true!! I assure you.

And not only that, some of those tasks are cleaning- like wiping off shelves, or arranging things in neat rows. And when I'm done? you guessed it! They stay that way.

Please believe me when I tell you that this is valuable and purposeful time for me. I talk to adults in complete sentences that rarely repeat what has just been said to me AND I finish multiple tasks all the while drinking a free cup of organic decaf coffee that is mine, all mine. It's almost too good to be true.

This might come off in a way that leads the reader to think that I am looking down on the opposite, which is my daily reality: rarely finishing a task before being pulled to do something else, talking in short phrases that usually end as a question and more or less mimics the one who is talking to me, and trying desperately to guard my coffee. But, you have it all wrong. I do not look down or begrudge these things. Instead, I have cultivated a deep- nay- spiritual appreciation for all that is simple and uncomplicated: bagging bulk dates, weighing out chunks of feta cheese, pilfiring chocolate covered ginger nuggets from the bulk bin. These are simple gifts from my Coop that are lovely indeed, and in some ways, more valuable that %15 off.

The Coop keeps me connected. I meet people in the community. We chat. We bag and weigh. We say good bye, and perhaps not see each other again, but perhaps we do. It's easy- no commitments, no weird vibe or expectation. Just 3 simple, uncomplicated hours that finish where they start, everytime.


Blogger e said...

oh sure, you think maine is cheap, but at least we don't have to run our heat all the time, do we? plus, sometimes the ground shakes for free! some motels you need to pay a whole quarter for that magic fingers effect.

3:26 PM  
Blogger jason s said...

You mean it's a whole 25 degrees!? Wow. I was just in 30 degree weather for two weeks, only it was 30 degrees celcius and I was lying on the beach nearly nekkid. I'm guessing the other good thing about the coop is that your customers don't poop their pants while you're on the toilet. Or maybe they do .. I haven't been to Maine for awhile, I forget how it works there.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Bartlebee said...

you had me laughing out loud while reading this. thanks!

9:10 PM  
Blogger keldog said...

thanks for that reminder, e. I often forget some of the more endearing things about living on the other coast ;) and you who were in really warm weather? that's an image i *didn't* need.

providing laughter? that's my job! right under butt wiper and boo-boo kisser :)

6:38 PM  
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