Pulling people into your peace | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | Jan 13, 2019

I sit in the big chair in the living room, holding my laptop. The computer makes it uncomfortably crowded for my Siamese cat Mocha to wedge in next to me, where she prefers to be. She gives up, and hops down to comb through her basket of toys.

She eventually locates her green felt mouse, hiding pitifully under layers of more fortunate toys; Mocha catches him with a claw and flings him across the room, then dashes to pounce and punish him. Eventually, after a great deal of flinging, dashing, pouncing and punishing, she loses interest and tosses the unfortunate toy onto the glass coffee table.

This evening, I replaced the evergreen arrangement on the coffee table with a bouquet of purple chrysanthemums. Christmas is behind us – even though some of us (that would include me) haven’t finished putting away decorations.

That task is going slowly. I am determined to pare down my collection, giving up items with no special meaning.

I took time admiring the sweet Nativity scene – chipped now, but still a treasure – which my grandma began for me when I was 4 years old. I lingered over ornaments that belonged to my mother or my grandmother.

I smiled at the metal clip-on holders for the wax candles on the trees of Grandma’s youth. I once suggested that many Christmas trees – and houses – must have caught fire. She said, “That didn’t happen at OUR house!” (Perhaps at the neighbors’?)

One joy of the holidays this year was Christmas day with my daughter Lisa’s family. It was a casual day, with a late brunch instead of a labor-intensive dinner. The children received plenty of toys, some featuring technology (and noise), but the most fun of the day was sitting around the dining table playing games.

Various combinations of family members played dominoes, Mastermind, Catopoly, and at least one other. Then we put the games aside and worked together on a big puzzle someone gave young Abby for Christmas – a puzzle featuring too many cats to count.

We snacked and talked and laughed – old-fashioned fun. I loved that day.

Then, last weekend, what seemed to me a perfect New Year’s gift: My West Seattle grandchildren now have access to a cellphone and can text their grandmother! Their parents changed phones and ended up with a third line – the Family Phone.

Adam texted me, saying only, “We have a phone now so I can text you.” I didn’t recognize the number and couldn’t think of anyone I knew who didn’t already have a phone.

Adam eventually called me to explain. We went through all the “I love you so much” and “I love you, too” and “I miss you all the time,” finally determining that we would hang up and then text each other during the Seahawks game.

Then I did a bad thing and left my phone turned off in my coat pocket for the first half of the game.

When finally I turned it on, I had 15 messages, ending with a pathetic one saying, “Grandma and I aren’t talking.” I responded instantly and our texting resumed. Later, my brother wondered whether I might tire of receiving eight text messages in a row, but I didn’t.

And I won’t.

As we begin 2019, I’ll share a guiding thought from poet Maya Angelou. “Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.”

 

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