Thank you to everyone for your very kind and encouraging comments on my last post. The Dafter really is a special person, and although I can’t take credit for that, I am extremely proud of her.
Predictably enough, the morning after her birthday party she woke with a stonking cold. This got worse, and the past two weeks have been an anxious time. I remember the days when coming down with a cold was an inconvenience. But when your child’s health already hangs on such a slender thread, it is a major threat. I will do another post updating you on where she is with her ME/CFS, but suffice to say we have all been working very hard to do everything we can to avoid yet another winter relapse, and to keep her from slipping behind at school. Fingers still tightly crossed.
There have been other things on my mind as well – it seems to be a time of people being unwell and dying. A man in the prime of his life is on a ventilator with pneumonia. Yesterday was the funeral of Michael’s beloved professor; the lovely locum minister of our church, who fell ill six weeks after retiring in September, is not long for this world. And my dear friend Roobeedoo has lost her First Love, after years of battling his cancer with him. I have tried to support her as best I can from here. I have been so focused on keeping my heart positive for all these things, that I haven’t been able to knit much. (Gasp!) Instead, I have found great solace in puzzling:
As I’ve written here before, I find doing jigsaw puzzles very healing. Another worry has been sorting out what the Dafter will be able to do next year. There are not very many options for courses at college if you are only able to concentrate for an hour and a half a day. Michael and I have been meeting with people, and the Dafter has visited one college, which she found quite exhausting. Doing a puzzle reminds me that things will work out. It’s not possible to sort everything out all at once. Certain pieces have to fit into place before other pieces will find their spot. But if you just keep plugging away, the picture will emerge.
The other thing that Thomas Kinkade’s paintings remind me of is how different the pieces seem when they are isolated, compared to when they are in the right place. I think I’m looking for a peachy-yellow piece, and in fact what I thought was more of a rose is exactly right. Life is like that too: we can’t see everything for what it is, all at once.
I have been so distracted that for the first time in 28 years, I clean forgot to honour our tradition of buying spring flowers for our wedding anniversary. I just couldn’t believe it when Michael mentioned it to me! I think partly this was because normally I am longing for some spring colour at this point in the winter, and I eagerly await the joy of picking out our flowers. But this winter has been so mild that I’ve found the very early appearance of spring flowers in the garden somewhat disturbing. “Go back! It’s not time yet!” I want to say to them.
But perhaps it’s partly that we now live in the tropical south rather than in Aberdeen. I was reassured when a friend there told me he’d been out to have a close look at his garden, and there is certainly no sign whatsoever of anything coming up yet. Glad to hear it!
This past Tuesday, the Dafter managed an hour of school, and then as the sun was out, she decided to come out into the garden for a bit, and paint her nails:
Soon she couldn’t feel her fingers, so went into the summerhouse, but she and Tilly and I had an enjoyable half-an-hour outside.
I had a grand time clipping back dying crocosmia and cleaning out leaves from the little pond. Miss Tilly is very much a fair-weather-garden cat. Some raindrops fell just as I snapped this photo of her venturing out from the porch – I caught her in mid-veer as she darted back under shelter!
She has had some very cosy and happy times inside, though:
Alongside worries and sad things, of course there have been many good things happening. For one, the Dafter now seems to be getting better, and for that I am hugely grateful. This past week one of my dearest friends from Aberdeen was down in Glasgow and we had a lovely catch-up together. Choir and church have been a joy. And look at the beautiful gift that Michael gave me for our anniversary:
When running an errand in an unfamiliar part of town, he’d stumbled on a car boot sale, and found this lovely Caithness glass vase for me. I think one can never have enough small vases. It’s so satisfying to bring just a single bloom inside from the garden.
And soon we enter the season of Lent. As Easter is early this year, Shrove Tuesday is this coming week. I’m looking forwards to buckwheat pancakes (galettes) for main course, and crêpes for dessert! The Dafter’s IBS is beginning to settle down with help from the FODMAP diet which she began in August. Last night she said to me, “Good news! I can eat cream crackers with Nutella!” That really is excellent news. So maybe a wheat-flour pancake with Nutella will be possible. We’ll see!
Thank you for your friendship, and for reading. I wish you all a very good weekend!