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Hello

Welcome! Lenkaland shares my adventures in creative photography, raising kind children, writing, living with chronic illness, raising a daughter with dyslexia, and swimming with mermaids. Hope you have a nice stay!

I drop things.  Little things like pens or spoons that clatter on the counter.  Or toys.  Or X-Box controllers.

And I drop things that better not break.  Like phones.  And X-Box controllers.  And coffee mugs.

Most things can be cleaned up.  And I pay attention to the really valuable stuff.  Like my children.  I've never dropped them :)

I have sensory issues.  I think that I have a good grip when I don't, or that I'm holding tight enough when I'm not.  I feel the thing, but I don't hold it right, and I don't even realize until it's already falling.  Friends get frustrated sometimes.  Mostly because they don't know.  I've heard, "Oh, too much coffee today, huh?"  And "butterfingers."  And "pay attention." (that one mostly when I was younger).

And I've learned to be okay with dropped things.  Except when I drop something like this

No, I didn't drop the pumpkin.  Not really.  But it is whole and pretty three days after Halloween.  I dropped the plan to carve on Sunday.  I just couldn't.  Hold.  It.  Together.  The plan crumbled.  And I stand in the clutter after falling.  Wondering, should I even bother picking this up and putting it back together?  Or let our homegrown pumpkin that we cared for all summer, just waiting for Halloween glory, just let this pumpkin quietly rot . . . and hope the kids don't notice.

Hope they won't remember.  Mama dropped the ball.

Except those are Ian's little fingers, his shadow-hand pointing to our prize pumpkin.  The kids love the pumpkin.

I've had more bad days than good days these past few weeks.  Ongoing chronic health issues between doctor appointments.  Difficulty sleeping.  Added responsibilities.  All a recipe for flare ups.  My feet are crazy-roaring these days.  I'm tired all day, and then at night I zing awake.  I wondered if my restless evenings happened because I allow myself two pain medications a day.  One in the morning, when I do my chores or work in a flurry before it wears off, and another in the evening after dinner.

I found that I woke up feeling better if I took something for the pain overnight.  Even though I could sleep through the pain (most of the time), I woke up pretty miserable without overnight pain meds.  First steps hurt  a lot.  With help, I sleep better and I get a few hours in the morning before the bone-deep arthritis ache turns ugly.  And the cold is coming . . . yikes.

Regardless, my schedule means this little window between 9-11pm is golden.  Pain muted.  House quiet.  Oh, the creative ideas clamoring for attention!  I give myself curfews but I still lie in bed reading or watching mind-numbing television.

I just realized, writing this, that my schedule means that my family gets me as one relief-time wears off and before another relief-time arrives (late afternoon-evening).  Hmm . . . doesn't sound fair to them.  Have to think about that :)

Anyway, about dropping pumpkins . . . I feel bad.  And not because I had to scale back.  Life is about compromise and process over product and all that good stuff.  But I feel bad because I really wanted to carve pumpkins.  I wanted the goopy fingers and crooked grin, the candle flame and overnight magic of Jack-O-Lanterns.  And I could say he's a Day of the Dead pumpkin, I suppose, I could get creative.  But I'm also angry that I missed the moment.  Those lost moments get to me.  The ones dropped because I am too tired, or not strong enough.

Some days I feel like my life is Humpty Dumpty at my feet and I'll never put it all together again.

I can't catch everything.  Do everything.  Be everything.  No one can.  And it's easy to blame illness and challenges.  But the reality is that we all make compromises or we end up as scary robot-people chasing after what life should be like instead of noticing here and now.

So our pumpkin may be a harvest Jack-O-Lantern.  Take a breath.  And be okay with that.  Yes, our family may have memories of Halloween without Jack, but we'll also have memories of laughing and trick-or-treating and spending real time together.  That matters.

And when you drop lots of things like I drop lots of things, you hold onto what matters.  You pay attention.  Because dropping things isn't as important as holding on when it really counts . . . :)

Happy Ian

I know he's blurry, but he's happy . . . and he rarely stops moving these days :)

Autumn Leaves

Leaves changing in our backyard.

We are the leaves.  We are the tree.  We change.  We stay the same.

Happy Autumn!

Whoo's There?

Anika's World Premiere Music Video . . . until Ian Stage-Dives on the Camera