photo of  mud pot
Gas bubles move upward through hot mud in mudpots founf in the Microcasm, a mudpot area that makes up the southern end of the Pocket Basin Mudpots which are officallily known as the Mud Volcanoes, This is a large area of mud volcanoes ans mud pots along the eastern margin of the Pocket Basin Hydrothermal Explosion Crater in the fountain flats area of the Lower Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

There is a story that I sort of remember my grandmother telling me (or it might have been my mom, I can’t be sure. Memory is tricky, you know.) When her mother left England to come to this country, her mother (my grandmother’s grandmother if you’re trying to keep track) fainted in the train station when they said good-bye because she knew she’d never see her daughter again. All communication going forward would be by snail mail via ship.

When my grandmother left home, when she married my grandfather and moved to the wilds of Wyoming (from Utah), it must have felt far to her family. They traveled three days by train. Letters followed. Visits were possible, though challenging. Phone calls eventually became possible.

I grew up within a few miles of both of my grandmothers. Regular visits were possible, though both grandmothers had children and grandchildren that lived out of state. I know I felt a sense of following in others’ footsteps, a kinship with them when the hub’s job took us a 2-3 day drive from where I grew up.

My mom didn’t faint when we moved several states away. She wasn’t happy, but she didn’t faint. She knew she’d see us again. That we’d have phone calls and letters. And we could visit each other without the risk of a sea voyage type death.

As my Grandma Project shifts to long distance, I’ve found myself thinking about those leave takings, about going where life takes us. When we’re young, we think we’re striking out from our beginnings. Making our own pattern in the world. And we are but…there are patterns that emerge again and again. There are connections forged—across the miles and across time—patterns that pull us together. Patterns that can pull us apart if we are not careful. Patterns that can bubble up or form out of the chaos and challenge of day to day living.

photo of our grandbabies
Our grand-babies turn 1.

While I can appreciate those patterns—and learn important lessons from those who went before me, I’m find I’m grateful I don’t have to learn everything they did. That, no matter how far my children and grandchildren get from me, it is not far enough that I can’t stalk, er, visit them. And that we have face time, cell phones that take instant photos that can almost instantly be texted in a grandmotherly direction, flat rate long distance calling, and email.

And we have love. We have lots of love. 🙂

What patterns do you see in your life? In your past or in your family’s past? Do you find them forming in your life, too? All comments are entered into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). In a small, but persistent pattern, I announce a winner the first blog post of the new month. 🙂

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Perilously yours,


“With the enemy beckoning to stop Mel at every turn, she pens a fabulous read that shouldn’t be missed as she captivates the audience with suspense, romance and just the right edge until the final conclusion. The reader is transported into yesteryear during a time of war where our heroes should never be forgotten in a war that costs so many their precious lives and loves, in a heart-felt story that spins with much creativity.” Five hearts! The Romance Studio

Out of Time cover art
What happens when a twenty-first century woman on a mission to change the past meets a thoroughly 1940s man trying to stay alive in the hellish skies over war-torn Europe?

I had to highlight Out of Time today, because it is also about family and patterns.

You can buy it in digital and audio (used print editions also floating around) at most online booksellers.

Life Patterns
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3 thoughts on “Life Patterns

  • February 25, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Hi Pauline,

    I’m sure it is tough to say goodbye to those sweet little faces. What cuties! My parents and I have taken turns being overseas. They sure miss the grand babies but being able to watch them grow over Skype certainly has softened the blow. Matt tells me that you have found a lovely Victorian home. I am such a sucker for old homes. Take care, and best of luck being brave!

  • February 24, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Pauline, isn’t amazing how much we can communicate with anyone anywhere now? I know that doesn’t make it easier to be so far away from the grandbabies, but it does help. It’s hard to imagine what your grandmother went through! Lovely post!
    Diana Beebe recently posted…Do You Wanna Con?My Profile

    • February 24, 2014 at 10:51 am

      I think about my grandmothers, my mom, anxiously waiting for news and we can pop off a text/photo or FaceTime in a minute! SUCH a HUGE blessing! Thank you! I’m being very brave this week. We’ll see how I do next week. O.O
      Pauline Baird Jones recently posted…googlecd20eb13f78687f0My Profile

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