||[Jul. 16th, 2017|07:26 am]
My brother's family's last day in NC was yesterday.
The morning i had hoped to get somethings done outside, but saw a message from my sister. I'd sent her the news from the local farm store: all Guinea hen keets and a collection of annual plant starts were all free on Saturday morning. She was on her way over, and i got her to pick me up. The keets were all gone -- and, no, i dunno why baby Guinea hens are called keets -- but there were still plenty of plants. I picked up basil and peppers and flowers. I've no idea if they will thrive now that they are planted, but the peppers have not (yet) been nibbled by the deer, unlike the ones i've got.
Home to see Christine on her way out to a work meeting, and there wasn't much time before i would head to lunch. Hmm, i don't recall what i did. I was rattling around a bit, and i finally decided i was going to go, and if i was early i'd fiddle with my phone. I arrived as my parents and brother's family arrived, which was a little early. It turned out my brother hadn't told my sister WHEN to meet for lunch.
That morning, my sister had shared her anger and distress over some theorized and proven behaviors of my brother's boys. I hate being drawn into the child assessment space because, first of all, i've not raised kids. What i do know is: intimate family relationships are not easy to parse from the outside, parents often raise their kids in some reaction to how they were raised, and my sibs and I had plenty to react to. I also know that my brother's family's cultural context is alien to us. Some aspects of my brother's sons known behavior does indicate a bit less compassion for non-human life than i would prefer. On the other hand -- how compassionate is their milieu of global expats?
I could go on about not wanting to be drawn in and the the observations that i did make nonetheless. I'll just say my sister's kids are delights to be around, and my brother's are not so much. The conclusions i draw tend to be about the global executive class.
So, my brother didn't know about my sister's distress and her practicing (with me) expressing her concern. Somewhere along the way i have learned a little bit about boundary setting and expressing one's concerns in a way that helps solidify one's own boundaries but doesn't provoke. A sort of emotional aikido, i suppose. I had encouraged my sister to emphasize facts -- the observed absence of the rescued guppy, her emotional reaction to its absence -- not her extrapolation of violence.
I spent a little time worrying about the kid stuff compounded with my brother's fairly typical failure to communicate, wondering how poor my manners would be if i ordered the catch of the day (grouper) instead of a more modest dish (trout), and shared the story of the freebies and making seed tape with my parents.
I ended up getting the trout, and in the first bite i managed to do myself injury. The pelvic and pectoral fins had been left on, but i didn't see them. In my first bite, i felt something sharp and i realized i had swallowed a fin in the pointy-side first direction. I worried a bit about issues in the later parts of gastric system, but my sister simply said "Stomach acids are wonderful." I put it out of mind.
Home, I had a cup of coffee and realized that the fin had made its mark on my throat. Discomfort set in.
Summer thunder clouds periodically darkened the skies outside. The weather pattern is so familiar to here, but so different from what i experienced in California. I've found "partly cloudy" to be such an inadequate descriptor. In the shade of the tall clouds, it seemed comfortable enough outside, so i leashed Carrie and went to do some light work in the yard. When the sun poured through, i moved to shade. While it wasn't very hot, it was still dripping wet humid. Spending time bent over doesn't leave my digestive system feeling very good, but i can't not pull up weeds here in there. (When i mean to weed, i have a kneeling pad, which is a more agreeable position.)
The tasks i had and Carrie on leash worked well together. My kneeling under a dogwood and weeding the moss seemed particularly agreeable to Carrie. I held out hope that she might help me weed -- i've seen her try pulling up plants before -- but she just snuffled around.
Oh, i don't know why i am going on. Suffice it to say that despite a nap and a good nights sleep i am still tired. That yesterday evening my joints ached, my eyes itched, my psoriasis itched, my throat hurt, and going to bed i felt like a bundle of broken parts. This throat discomfort is just enough to make all the other usual discomforts clamor as well.
I think this was just an exhausting week. (I took a very long walk with my sister on Thursday night: that's probably why my ankle is aching.)
OK: i'm skipping Meeting this morning. I need the rest.