Writers’ Tea 2013
April 7, 2013
3:00 – 6:00 pm
The Links at Union Vale
Reservations Required – Deadline: March 31, 2013 www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org
Myra Young Armstead – “Freedom’s Garden”
Wendy Maragh Taylor – “This Part Of The Sky”
Jacqueline Sweeney - Selected Poems
Featured Writers: Meet three Hudson Valley authors who will share stories from their books, poems and their lives. The authors will be available before the tea for questions and with their books for purchase and signing.
High Tea: We will be welcomed with champagne, light drinks and hors d’oeuvres as we arrive and browse the silent auction items. The writers’ presentations will be accompanied by tea, scones, assorted tea sandwiches and petite desserts.
Silent Auction: A silent auction of hand-crafted items and services donated by our members, local businesses and craftsmen. Checks or cash only.
Reservations Required – Deadline: March 31, 2013. For more information and to register, go to: AAUW Poughkeepsie
A literary benefit for the AAUW Scholarship Funds, Community Initiatives and Events.
The first time I left baby after giving birth was when I had my six-week follow-up doctor’s appointment. Daddy and baby stayed home. We were very nervous – nursing every couple of hours made it a bit challenging for me to leave her side, and it took me awhile to get used to a pump. I started with a manual one, quickly realizing my baby would starve with the drips and drabs that finally came out. When I was done, there was little more than an ounce. “Is that normal?” I asked the lactation specialist during my call; it was preparation for going to my appointment and leaving baby without her source. I decided it was best to get an electric pump. Not wanting to spend a fortune and feeling no need to have a designer bag to carry it in, I settled on a basic one. Finally, I had enough ounces of milk for baby that made me feel more comfortable going off to my appointment – though I had to hide myself away to lull the pump’s gnawing sound, which had awakened baby twice. With a few bottles secured in the fridge, I kissed them both and nervously headed out to my appointment.
The great thing about evening appointments is that there is no wait – well, such has been my experience. They were ready for me when I walked in and I was done, in and out, in less than half an hour. I called home to check in and let my husband know I was on my way back. I was still a little anxious that baby might have made it through the ounces already, or worse, she would continue to refuse the bottle. We had just started to introduce it and she was not having it. The source, and no substitute, is all she wanted.
”She’s still asleep,” my husband said. “All three bottles are in the fridge.”
”Did you check to make sure she’s okay? You know, that she’s breathing?” I responded, a bit concerned. Between the drive there and the appointment, I had been gone for about an hour, and, baby was already asleep when I left.
”Yes, she’s fine.”
“Okay, well, I’m on my way.”
“Take your time … we’re just fine.”
Apparently, that was all I needed to hear – his words freed me. My mind raced with thoughts of what I could use the time to do. I decided to make a slight detour. I called in an order and headed to one of my favorite restaurants. Once I arrived and picked up the food, I called home yet again.
”Baby is still sleeping,” my husband said once more.
There in my parked car, listening to Celtic Hymns, I thoroughly enjoyed mouthfuls of Ginger Stir-Fry Tofu and Veggies. I savored every taste and am sure I said, “Mmm,” out loud with every bite. Then, all of a sudden, I heard a baby’s cry – or, so I thought. It might have been just outside on the street; it might have been a violin screech from the CD; perhaps, it was the fact that I was listening to the music baby was born to – I had it playing softly in the background throughout my labor, and remembered the nurse and midwife coaching me near the end to breathe and push to the ebbs and flow of the music. Either way, I felt a tremendous amount of guilt wash over me. What if baby was up and crying, refusing to drink from the bottle and needing her source. There I was sitting in a parked car on the side of the road, eating my take out Thai food and listening to music.
I resisted the urge to feel guilty. “Time alone is important – for mother and baby,” I said out loud. I took a deep breath and remembered that baby was home with her father – a very capable and think-on-his-feet kind of man. And, there was plenty of milk for her to drink if she was hungry. After six weeks of sleep deprivation, constant contact with baby and being house-bound, I needed a break. In fact, I deserved a break. And, I knew I would be more attentive and patient after the mini-retreat. So, I finished my meal – though, I did eat it twice as fast as when I had started. In fact, I’m not sure I tasted much of the last few bites. Still, I made myself stay and finish it.
I arrived home to find baby asleep and my husband, chin resting on his hands, leaned on a pillow on the side of the bassinette. An almost empty bottle was sitting on the side table. Thank God for good pumps and great daddy’s!
Life Works Lesson #15: Time for self is essential. Trust those around you to be okay without you.
One of the audience members at my recent presentation and book reading, and now a blog follower, shared the below with me. It’s quite thought-provoking and a must see. Take a look:
Life Works Lesson #15: Be careful of false notions based on only seeing/hearing one story out of many or one perspective.
Be well, WMT
Dutchess Community College
During my quiet reading time a few days ago, I came across a question: “What is your purpose?” It’s not the first time I’ve read, answered or even asked that question in some form. However, as the New Year begins, it’s a nice reminder of the importance of focus. The fact is, we can make ourselves quite busy with lots of activity – “dabbling,” as the reading went on to say, in many things but not doing a great job at the very thing we purpose to do. I had a reminder of that just a couple weeks ago. I missed a significant opportunity to move my book, This Part Of The Sky, to the next level. It wasn’t because I procrastinated or was unaware. No, it was simply because I wasn’t familiar with the process; it’s not my area of expertise. For some time now, I’ve been encouraged to involve those whose business it is to know about the process of publishing, marketing or moving a book forward. And yet, I’ve been so invested in doing things the way I want, making sure I won’t regret any part and, quite frankly, having a product I’m completely proud of, that I’ve been “dabbling” in far too many aspects of the process. So, now, while I focus on my expertise and purpose – writing and speaking about the subject of my writing – I’ve decided to turn over the other areas to those with said know-how. It’s a hard lesson to have learned – since the opportunity I’ve missed can’t be regained – but better now than after losing out again.
Life Works Lesson #14: Align your activity with your purpose – stay focused on your expertise and let others do the rest.
Be well, WMT
For Thanksgiving, baby was too young to travel and we were too exhausted to host guests. So, for the first time, we spent the day at home, without relatives or friends, and with less than a crowd. It was wonderful! We made a few dishes, ate when we were ready and didn’t deal with any traffic – in the house or on the road. Our first Thanksgiving as a three-some was a great time for my husband and me to take in the new arrival to our family. It was also a good opportunity to review all the other things we have to be grateful for. Taking the time to do that can be a real gift.
In fact, I recently read that UC Berkeley is spending $3.1 million to study just that – the power of gratitude. Years ago I attended a conference and heard a speaker from the Greater Good Science Center. I was certainly impressed by the research and am a supporter of the transforming power of gratitude in our lives. However, I have to admit I think a few million dollars is a bit much to spend on that research – given this country’s recession. Quite honestly, my first thought was, “There’s still that kind of money around to spend.” I know … it’s all previously designated funds – the story of our lives. But, I digress. As a part of the study, participants will go to an on-line site and keep a gratitude journal for a couple of weeks; and so, a “gratitude database” will be available for the university to study.
Hmm … it seems kind of obvious to me that an ungrateful person, who spends time complaining, not only will attract like-minded grumblers, but is unlikely to see what there is to be thankful for in life. On the other hand, when we take time to remind ourselves of the good things in our lives, we tend to be more contented, which often rubs off on those we come in contact with, and the world will be lovelier to live in. Don’t you think? Hey, let’s do our own research – free of charge. Start a gratitude journal and write in it every day. See what results show up in your life.
Life Works Lesson #13: An attitude of gratitude can transform your life. Make giving thanks a daily activity.
Be well, WMT