Thursday, October 31, 2013

a little bit of journaling: October 31, 2013

noticing: So many leaves have fallen with the recent rain and wind we've had this week. Time to get out and get to it with the raking. Our yard is so big and I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed with it all. Sometimes the trees don't seem to drop their leaves right up until the time the snow starts to fall.

Yesterday, I looked out the back door window onto the deck and saw a flash of blue. Just a fleeting glimpse as a blue jay flew off to the sky.  It is a rarity to see these birds in the yard. Enough for an out loud gasp of delight.

eating: I made a really nice corn and sweet potato chowder last night. For breakfast, I finished off the Masoor Dal (Indian spiced lentils with coconut milk and kale) and rice I made the other night. Not your typical breakfast, but sounded good to me this morning.

wearing: going to change in a bit into my Peter Pan costume I'll wear to Isaac's school Halloween parade this afternoon. 

celebrating: I'm feeling so happy these days. I've worked so hard this month with taking my huge licensing exam, finishing up school, getting my licensing paperwork all done (I'm official now!) my business cards/gift cards ordered, and the 150 "Introduction to the Massage Therapy Practice of Emily Crofts" cards I'm sending out to family, friends, acquaintances, and neighbors. 

Last night I gave a massage to a neighbor friend; it being my first official time being paid. Leaving me feeling awkward, wonderful, and grateful all at the same time.

My business website is up, too. (I'll link to it at the side bar of this blog soon.) It was a big, big job and I'm so glad it's finally done. Go here and check it out, friends!

smiling: The other day Isaac and I walked all over the neighborhood delivering those cards. He was such a willing helper and I was so grateful for his help walking and walking, going door to door. Happy, too, that he held my hand as we walked. Happy to take him for ice cream afterwards. (Happy that I've found a place with soy or rice milk ice cream and sweetened with agave.) 

Smiling and happy as we went in to order our treats (we were the only customers at the time.) and could hear classical music being played on the overhead speakers. Surprised, I asked the teen-age boy who was the only one working if he chose the music. He answered yes with a shy smile, and said that he loves it. That he plays the piano and violin. I shared with him how that reminded me of my oldest son and his own teenage music tastes. So differing from all his peers. This boy and I went on conversing about our shared love of Baroque and Bach. Wonderful.

outing: Took Sam yesterday after school to get a haircut. He wanted a flat top as basketball season is here. I took him to a real barbershop in the older part of town. It was Gary's favorite place to go before he went on his mission to Finland. If you can picture Floyd's Mayberry barbershop, this would come close. The older gentleman was so sweet, totally remembered all about Gary, and gave Sam a total legit vintage flat top. I told Sam that these old time barbers are a dying breed. (This man, if you can believe it, raised nine kids being a barber.) We agreed he should go back.

reading: finishing up The Samurai's Garden. So loving all this free time I'm having now for my reading.

viewing: Eliza and I stayed up Sunday night watching Osama , a Middle Eastern foreign film. I've watched it (at Gary's recommendation) a few other times, and I wanted to share it with Eliza. Very beautiful and very moving film. (Be prepared with tissues at the end.)

feeling: a release from so many pressures hanging over me. Feeling grateful. Feeling at ease like I haven't experienced in such a long time.

Monday, October 28, 2013

home views on this rainy autumn night

It's so nice to have us all back together in the evenings. Oh, man, I can't tell you how nice it is. We had our own little party tonight. Take out pizza. Pumpkin guts all over the kitchen table. Monster Mash and Dead Man's Party in the background to give it all a festive flair. Cider simmering on the stove. And donuts, too.

It's nights like these I hold in my heart.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Every morning-- at least the mornings I do go running-- I go past this little lane. Lately, it's taken my breath away with the changing leaves and the light shining through the trees just so. I've kept telling myself I need to go back with my camera one morning and try to capture it. I'm so glad I did today. 

I love this time of year so much. I'm not sure if I can explain it, but sometimes I just want to weep or sigh out loud for the beauty of it all. Like a longing or fleetingness to it that touches my soul in such a sweet and moving way. 

Take for instance last Saturday afternoon when I was driving Sam and Isaac over to my parents, and the leaves were fluttering down so slowly and there was a warm, mellow golden-ness to the way the sunlight shown down. The musty, damp smell in the air-- which I just love-- that only comes in the autumn time. Noticing a yard especially covered with leaves and recalling my own childhood memories of raking the piles and piles we'd later jump into. (That was the goal of the chore!) 

I took myself out to lunch on Monday up in the big city after I went and applied for my massage therapy license. Took my time meandering around a never before visited bookstore, too. Out again to lunch this afternoon with my dear friend. A cherished friend that is my mother's age. Her wanting to celebrate my graduation with me. After leaving the restaurant, we went on a drive as she wanted to share with me some of her favorite autumn roadside delights. I'm so grateful to have the gift of true friendship in my life.

I'm so grateful to provide three massages this week. The joy and fulfillment I receive in being able to really make a direct impact in a person's life in such an immediate and tangible way. Even if it's for the hour that we spend in the session together. Forming relationships with these clients is something I delight in.

And then opening up the mailbox just now and letting out an out loud shout of delight and pure joy when I saw Jane's familiar hand on that airmail envelope sent over two weeks ago from across the sea. The wide smile that even I was conscious of as I began to excitedly tear into it. The smiles and even tears that came to my eyes, seeing her beautiful face in the snapshot she included. Having news sent just to me (yes! just to me!) about all the interesting things she's eating. Hearing about her 6:00 am morning runs out to the neighboring rice paddies, and her description of the upcoming harvest, and how "it's funny, the paddies smell like the smell of a rice cooker's steam-- like rice! The best smell ever..." 

And as I now reflect on so much of what I take and find delight in, isn't it amazing that so many of those feelings of pure joy also bring the warm tears to my eyes. 

I guess for me, they go hand in hand.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


we lay there
just us
snuggled on the bed
late this afternoon
(that languid time)
between after-school and dinner preps,
him with his Nancy Drew
and me almost finished with an old favorite.

and soon i started to drift
(no surprise there)
and as i did,
i could feel him get up to kneel beside me,
tucking in the blanket on all sides of me,
bundling me up into my own little cocoon.

and even in my dozing,
i smiled inside,
aware and
so touched that he would care
for me enough
to want to nurture me this way.
(it's so nice to be nurtured.)

so i found myself in the mood,
giving back to him and the rest
(nurturing in my own way)
a candlelight supper
of an apple-cinnamon baked oatmeal.

simple and cozy.
and just right
for tonight.

Friday, October 18, 2013

graduation day: a culmination, a celebration

the smile on my face says it all, I guess.

at last.
this day
a culmination.

of past hopes and dreams and aspirations.
of years in soul-searching. 
of finally finding my niche 
of what more it is that
these hands and this heart can give.

and so began this year in my life:

of late nights in long lecture and silent observation.
of colored pencils and muscle labeling.
of re-entering the realm
of test taking and grade point averages.
of endless sheets and towels
and bolsters and lotion holsters.
of CPR dummies and pathologies.
of what camaraderie and true friendship means.
of laughter and tears.
of hopes and fears.
of late night drives home in thoughtful introspection.
of quiet afternoons and hours and hours of solitude. 
and deep study and memorization tricks.

of rising-before-dawn mornings.
of patient, yet eager clients
waiting all lined up there in a row.

of sore, knotted muscles for them 
and sore knotted muscles for me.
and the wonder in discovering an understanding
of compassion and trust
in ways I'd never expected nor experienced before.

and now today--
as I cross this threshold,
leaving the past behind me
with fond memories  
and feelings of deepest gratitude,

I take these first steps
through this wide open door 
to a place where opportunity and service 
and even more soul-stretching

the slow, yet wonderful distillation upon my soul--
this wonderful awe-struck realization
that I really can do whatever it is that I put my mind to.

and future.

and so I celebrate.

we all celebrate...

these parents who always knew 
I could do anything I put my mind to.
who always believed in me
in childhood, in youth, and now even in adulthood.

these instructors and mentors 
who instilled a passion and lighted a fire 
in my heart for this work.
whose genuine care for their students 
will never be forgotten.

these classmates who joined me on this journey.
for the special and unique bond we shared.
knowing we were there for each other.
and will be there for each other.


these loved ones 
near and far.
who were so proud,
and listened,
and supported,
and sacrificed,
and cheered,
and encouraged,
and believed,
and loved,

all along the way.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

gratitude sunday

for rainy days.

for his making a slam dunk for the first time ever.
(my foot and his slide.)
he's tall enough, don't you think?

pumpkin everything.
(it's that time of year.)

him so happy in finland.
her so happy in taiwan.

(they're both living their dreams.)

for hosting a houseful today.

for baby feet.

to see my brother so happy.
(he's such a good dad.)

for these people right here.
fellow classmates who i love with all my heart.

for all the time we spent together.
for all we shared and learned together.
for the closeness and trust we developed.
my second family.

for the 105 clients i worked with at my clinic internship.
this time coming to an end yesterday.
such mixed emotions.
each body and soul
teaching me more than they'll ever know.

for this goal of mine attained.
a 4.0
cumulative grade point average
 (one year straight.)
such tears.
such relief
such amazement.
such joy.

i did it.
i really did it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

welcome, october

i've waited all year long for your return.
you're my favorite.
i love you so.