Tag Archives: pregnancy announcement

The Solstice and the Stowaway – PART 2


(cont’d from Part 1) . . .

The next morning I took a second test and then crept back to bed.  Randy rolled over and hugged me more tightly than usual.  He opened his eyes to look at me and I could see the fresh perspective on his face – he was a quite different man than the night before.

“I’m happy.” He said simply.  We laid in bed a while whispering all our thoughts and fears and joys.  We decided to tell my mom and dad as soon as we found a quiet moment.

We told my parents the brand new news a few hours before the family Christmas party in between setting out platters of food and restocking the beer.  “This means that next Christmas we’re gonna have a baby around!” said my mother as tears lit up her blue eyes.  As my family gathered for the party I know I must have been glowing the way they say that pregnant ladies do.  I lingered in hugs, looked everyone in the eyes, listened deeply and enjoyed this rare evening with the joyful secret of my little stowaway.

The day before we made the journey to Buffalo a sad thing happened.  My grandfather – Edward Otto Zindle Sr passed away.  He was my last remaining grandparent and I always felt that in him was the seed of my musical ability.  He was an entertainer – never publicly or professionally, just naturally – and he was always singing and telling jokes and stories with his harmonica to accompany him.  Since my grandmother passed away a few years ago he just hasn’t been the same and his health had been on a slow spiral downward.  There was always a certain weariness about him, even underneath the jokes, but a shadow had overtaken him in the last few years and he didn’t seem to want to shake it anymore.

My family is rather complicated and remarkably smaller than when I was a child.  The last few Christmases have been the first in history that the Zindles didn’t gather to sing, eat and laugh.  This was a great loss for me as I always treasured those family gatherings.  My grandmother was a feisty Irish mother of nine children.  She always joked that she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but she loved music and she was an instigator.  She loved our traditional sing-along as much as I did, which is no surprise because her children all sang so beautifully, in layers of harmony.  They would call out song requests, laughing at the lyrics somebody messed up, hamming up the “5th day of Christmas”, braving the high notes in “O Holy Night”, and adding every silly quip to Rudolph’s story.   Grandpa could pick out any tune by ear and he would echo the melody on his harmonica. The Zindle family voices are so earthy and sweet – the sound of them harmonizing together is like no other sound I’ve heard.  For me, it’s the vibrating resonant sound of home.  This is where I learned the communion of music – to harmonize, perform and laugh in an environment of love.  This only ever happened once a year and it has been years since the last time.  But this year because of my grandfather’s passing, the family decided to set aside their busy lives and petty quarrels to cross the distance and gather together once again.

“Harmony – it’s not about what’s lasting or permanent.  It’s about individual voices coming together for a moment.  And that moment lasts the length of a breath.” (From ‘House of Cards”)

I was so grateful to spend the first few days of knowing in Buffalo soaking in the love and music of my family.  I was trying to take it in slowly – to not allow my life to flash before my eyes in a dizzying vertigo.  No Christmas gift I could receive could compare to this precious treasure I had been given, this news that would change everything.  All my bells were ringing.

Later, to tell the story in a much simpler way, I wrote a song for my baby called “Carry You Along”.

Check out my recent post where I shared the song via video.

The Solstice and the Stowaway – PART 1


It was the Winter Solstice, 2012 – the changing of the guard to welcome winter with her harsh white crown.  We were visiting my family in my hometown of Buffalo, NY, and while my parents were at work we ran around town to finish our last bit of Christmas shopping.  The first snowfall of the year on the first day of winter is a snapshot of poetic coincidence and the scenery seemed so perfect and pure in every direction, covering the twisted barren trees and gray rooftops with a sparkle of newness.

We stopped at many places as we checked off our shopping list, enchanted by the lacy white flurries dancing all around us.  We ducked into a drug store and while Randy picked out a few gifts for my stocking I picked up a pregnancy test.

You see, one week before this day I was on stage for my big annual holiday show.  My regular monthly business was supposed to have happened before the show hit the stage that weekend, but it never did.  The show was sold out both nights and I was so wrapped up in the excited busy-ness of it all that I hardly noticed the sign.  But when a few days became a few more I began to worry and wonder.  I told my friend Shelly that I was late and she is a good friend, so she just asked me how I felt about it.  A good friend holds up a mirror when you really need to see the truth about yourself.  All I could say was “I don’t know” but tears were sneaking out of the corners of my eyes.

It was too much – too terrifying, too wonderful, too complex an emotion to explain. And it was too early to get excited – too soon to know for sure.  People have asked if Randy and I had been “trying” and I always say no, but what does that really mean?   We had been praying for God’s wisdom and timing because we could never seem to understand how a child could fit into our lives.  I wondered if the timing would ever be right, but in my heart it was what I truly wanted – it had been my secret Christmas wish.

I decided to wait one week to find out for sure if my season was indeed changing with the rest of the world.  Within that week I had tried on many frames of mind and emotion, but when the day finally arrived I was perfectly at peace with whatever the result.  Back at my parent’s house all our shopping was done, dinner was a memory washed from all the dishes, and long conversations had smoldered into goodnight kisses.  I slipped into the privy with a test in my pocket.  I was strangely calm even as I waited for the answer.  I brushed my teeth while the strange plastic device did its business.  When I was done brushing I casually looked over to see the word “PREGNANT” clearly printed in the display window.  I picked it up to look closer, my heart flipped a few times over and I took a steady breath.

Randy was in the bedroom reading, winding down to sleep, but I couldn’t wait to tell him.  I brought the test in with me so he could see the bold word himself.  I watched his face as a myriad of emotions shifted across it like a time-lapse photograph.  Shock was first, then confusion, questioning, then came a slight freak-out session when the timing dawned on him. “Wait! That’s the middle of festival season!  Erin, we can’t do this now!” he objected.  “Honey,” I said as I snuggled in close to him “It’s happening now.”  He held me close and kissed me on the forehead.  It was the biggest news he’s ever received and he needed to sleep on it, so I didn’t say anything more.

I can’t believe how well I slept that first night of knowing – how peacefully and fully engrossed in sleep I was.  It was like the first snow – a mystical flurry of beauty observed without a thought about the reality of winter and all the changes it would bring.   No reality yet – there would be time for that – but for now only this iridescent white blanket of newness covering the world within my view.

Check out 2 related posts:

Read more: “The Solstice and The Stowaway Part 2”

Here the story told more simply in a video  of a song:  “Carry You Along”

Carry You Along


Here are the lyrics:

Carry You Along   by Erin Zindle

Vs 1

It was the first day of winter and I knew for the first time

This would be the last winter before you

As the first winds of winter were moving us in new and strange directions

We were scared but we were happy too.

All my family came together – you were there, our little secret,

In a pocket on the inside of me.

So I sat in the middle of all their voices singing, soaking in every sweet harmony.


May these things find their way into your blood,

Into your deep memory of song

And only good things attend you – sweet dreams and beauty –

As I carry you along . . .

Vs 2

It was the first day of winter and the last of the older generation

Was being laid to rest.

The absence of my grandpa’s harmonica was a quiet lonely ache

Beneath all our cheerfulness.

But his quality of laughter and his jokes still echoed

In the mouths of all his corny sons.

I was grateful for my father and the roots of his humor

So I laughed at each and every one.



You’ll never know my grandma or my grandpa

Except for the stories I remember how to tell

But you are a part of this endless chain of harmony

And someday you will learn to sing it well

Vs 3

It was the first day of Springtime, you were kickin’ like a kick drum

And your father played his rhythm right along.

I couldn’t keep from singing for the joy of creation –

The beginning of a brand new song.


For the back story behind the song, check out the blog “The Solstice and The Stowaway”.