What is new in your life?  I have been asked this question by various family members multiple times in the past few days of my life, and depending on who is asking, my answer changes.

My first response is usually “nothing.”

Then, depending on how well I know the person, I’ll follow up with:  Well, have you heard our big news?  Particularly since I seem to be the only one in the family with good news.

After answering questions about due dates and whether or not Bear wants a brother or a sister, we usually talk about my grandmother.  She has about a week left at the rehabilitation facility and then we hope that she will be well enough to move back to the assisted living facility where she was living before she broke her hip and had the strokes.  When I have spoken to her, she sounds upbeat, and my dad says that you cannot tell by looking at her that she has had a stroke.  She thinks that rehabilitation has also helped her wrist, which she broke after her back surgery last year.  The physical therapists are not working on her wrist, despite that it has not regained much mobility, but in some way, the physical act of walking with her new walker is requiring her to use her wrist more, and she says that this is a good thing.  I say, find rainbows wherever you can.

Conversation also often turns to my brother who recently moved home to help my father manage the family farm.  After his short marriage ended and learning that his ex-wife had quickly moved on to someone else, my brother re-evaluated what he wanted out of life and moved home.  His first harvest since returning has just now ended, and although I don’t frequently talk with my brother about his feelings, he seems happy enough.  Either this, or he is trying to convince everyone of this by posting humorous picture after humorous picture of harvest on Facebook.  My family seems to want confirmation of his happiness from me, so I always tell them what they want to hear.  I hope that what I say is true.

So far, it seems that very few of my extended family know about the divorce that I wrote about in my last post, and I am glad.  It seems too new and feelings are still too raw to talk about it in general conversation.  I spoke with the person in the middle of it today, and she still is in shock.  Because the divorce is uncontested, it is on the fast-track to finalization, and in a few short weeks, her marriage will be no more.  She told me this morning about how educational it has been to learn about her own finances and how good she feels about the idea of selling her house and starting over.  I am not certain that she completely believes it, but again, if she can find the rainbow in this, then we will all cling to it.

I thought about how I just want my family to happy as I took my morning walk today.  As I walked, I surveyed the damage of a strong storm from the night before.  Large tree limbs – almost as big as small trees – blocked one street near my house.  In other places, I could see the charred, blackened wood where lightening had forcefully removed entire sections of trees.  Small limbs and debris covered the streets everywhere that I walked.

As we returned from lunch this afternoon, someone had already chopped up the tree limbs blocking the street and had stacked them neatly in someone’s lawn waiting for the city to pick them up.  Electricians were working on the street lights outside of our neighborhood to make them functional again.  Somehow, the debris that had covered everything this morning was already gone as though someone had run a vacuum sweeper down our street.  I suspect that by tomorrow morning the only evidence of the storm will be the burn marks and bare spots on trees from the lightning strikes.

I hope that sometime in the near future, when someone asks about my family, that my answer will look like those trees.  Although the storm has come and left its mark, quickly enough, one cannot tell at first glance that anything was once wrong.