THE GRAVE of Miss Ethyl May Cottage


It was the first time she opened her eyes, and as she looked out past the sand and the waves and then beyond to the horizon, everything she saw was new, and the brightness of it all caught her by surprise. Immediately the sparkle of sunlight glistening on the waves captured her attention, and she stood there to take it in just in the same way as any young girl would who was beautiful and proud and polished. She waited a second, and then intentionally took her first deep breath and as she did, it filled all of her with salty ocean air.

Happiness flooded every nook and cranny that was in her soul, but for those who know her today, well they could only IMAGINE the experience she had at that time nearly one hundred years ago. They took their own moment to glance out to the horizon, just as she had done that first time long ago, and they tried to capture what she must have seen over the years for themselves. As they listened intently to the lull of the surf re-telling her stories, they turned back to glance at her once again and observed what she looks like now, lackluster with worn skin, and they tried to comprehend the life she had led.

Her story unfolds some more, and images of pinafores and pantaloons pulled up high just above the knees are conjured up like pictures in the minds of all of those who would listen. As other 

young girls twirled parasols along the beach, sometimes cars would
pass her way and park just within sight of her, and she would watch 
as picnics were laid out on the sand on warm days of summer in front of her. As she unfurled the years in memories of what life was like when she was young, a wind catches a piece of her and she is back once more into the present day. Time has been a hunter and she can feel its ravages within her bones, and the creaks and whines of abuse have made her look haggard. She sags in all the wrong places and her strength is now diminished. She cannot remember the last time someone sat on her lap or caressed her.

This past summer she was beginning to realize that time had finally passed her by and the images of what she saw as she looked out onto the horizon were far different from those of her youth. She shook and could not believe that the pantaloons and parasols she could still remember had since been replaced with bronzer and something they called thongs. Somehow it had happened that no one even saw her anymore, it was like she was invisible. The laughter she heard coming up off the beach was like an echo and it didn't stop to say hello any longer it just ran past her. Most everyone noticed the new gal next door, but they thought of her as old and out of step with the times. Raindrop 
tears filled her now and nothing was comforting. Splinters and shards of glass replaced her once smooth heart.

One day, a few weeks back she heard the thunder of a truck coming up her driveway, and as she turned around she felt even weaker in her knees, as the vibration caused her to falter. A nice young man walked towards her and looked to see if there was anything he could do for her, but in the end they both knew it was nearly time. 

He patted her rough skin and looked out at the beach and beyond just like all of the others who came by had done. He was looking to see what she had seen for all these years and as he walked off leaving her alone, he turned back towards her for a second and under his breath he said  "well old girl" I'll see you tomorrow!

I stopped by myself 
to say good-bye to this great lady. I thought 
that maybe I'd still have some time and more days to wave in her direction each time I drove by her, but this time it seemed different and the thought crossed my mind that someday she would be gone. Turning the steering wheel of my car to the right I pulled up into her driveway. Quietly I opened the door and got out for Irecognized the familiarity of her frail body. She was now beaten down because the years have taken their toll on her and there was hardly any sparkle left in her soul. I took some pictures of her and tried to listen once more to her stories, and then tears trickled down my cheeks too, because I sensed it might be the last time I would see her.


As I drove by this morning I looked in her direction and foreboding the inevitable.....she was gone. I hadn't expected that they would take her on a rainy day so I hadn't gone by the day before. Maybe that was good, because to see her being carried off would have had left her without dignity. Quietly they took her, close-mouthed like a thief when no one was watching, and now all that remains.... is HER GRAVE.

"she looked out past the sand and waves and then beyond the 
horizon"


"she cannot remember the last time someone sat on her lap"


"lackluster and worn skin"


"the laughter off the beach was like an echo and no longer stopped to say hello"



"Well old girl I'll see you tomorrow"




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To the Depths of the Sea



The hum of the computer tower was often ignored, as was the sound of the furnace.  Today it was different and the sounds were deafening because the computer tower was right beside her, and the whirring furnace kept her company from behind the door in the next room. Except for those constant white noises, silence hung heavy everywhere else. The occasional rumble of tires on the wet road, or of the stories competing to be told in her head broke the cadence and she was pulled back into the present moment of time that she occupied.

Her breathing was slow and rhythmic as she contemplated the sensations of comfort that surrounded her now. After years of figuring out where she needed to be, she realized at this moment she had everything she needed, and none of what she didn't need. 

Sitting alone with her thoughts she began the lazy journey of daydreaming. In and out her thoughts swam from consciousness to dreamlike bliss, picking up one idea just as the previous one was released to float away. She felt completely peaceful.  As she entered into  consciousness once more and for just a second,  her thoughts landed anew on the contentment she felt. She acknowledged the gratitude she had for having everything she needed....then as she became more cognizant as the minutes ticked by, she questioned that last dream state thought "of having everything she needed" and was more astonished to recall that she had "everything" today, except for a gnawing pining.

It was during these enchanting journeys that she was often times caught off guard, and this was going to be one of those times. The notion rang in her head again....and the words "everything except!" reverberated in her heart.

She recognized the desires she longed for weren't of material goods, or money, or recognition. The things she wanted were the longing romance of the old voices in her everyday life! Of course the memories were stored in her mind, and she could recall them when ever she needed to, but every now and then the hole in her heart seemed to open up wide like the blow hole of a whale. Most often the hole was closed tightly so she could dive deep into her life, and forget about what lay just above the surface full of emotions. She sank into the depths of the cold ocean, living in a place that could not touch her heart.  But each time she took a moment to surface for air, she could feel the rush of pain just there on the brink, it was like water filling an abyss, flooding in as she gasped to hold the pressure back.

Sometimes she could no longer stay below the surface living her life, and as she raced upward and head~on into the emotions that raged like a storm above her, she would violently catch her breath just before she gulped in the pain ~and then it would happen. She had no more strength to hold it back and she had no choice but to succumb to the inevitability of taking all of the hurt upon her and facing the reality that what she once had, was now gone. ~FOREVER gone!

Holidays are a time of grief and sadness and even despair for many of us. The sights of glitter and shine, and the sounds of laughter and carols, sometime conflict with what we are feeling on the inside. I cannot pretend to know what you personally feel, but for some of us as we age,  it is the loss of childhood. The emptiness we feel when those memories of our youth  don't jive with what we try to accomplish for those children we have stewardship over now. Others have loss of magical Christmases from years gone by that seem layered with dust! For so many of us it is the loss of our parents. We ache to hear them tell us once more how lovely we have made their Christmas, and how much they love us! Sadly for some there is the loss that is so unbearable during this season, and that is the loss of their own child.

I cannot give wisdom or solace to erase the sadness of all who are hurting, I can only give acknowledgement. I can say I see it, and I can say I see you! 


I hope we all can come to the place where the smile we put on our faces will send a ray of hope to those who are hurting. I wish for that smile to convey hope and compassion, in order to open the window of your soul,  allowing unconditional love and comfort to those who hurt so deeply so they may feel enough peace to lean on you. 

As she was yanked back to the present she let the tears fall, took a deep breath and then felt a smile come across her lips. She shook her head in acceptance and the thought of her parents and how they looked on Christmas Eve in the mid seventies crossed her mind. She picked herself up off the chair as the bell to the clothes dryer chimed....... her daydream was over, and she missed them so.

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THE FIRST RAINDROP



   Like a poppy seed hitting her face, she felt the first raindrop flick just above her eyebrow. The sun still shone  brightly, but the white cotton clouds had collected bottom edges of gray by now, and she thought it would not be long before she would feel another ping. 

   Each footstep led her way from the edge of the surf where the tumble of briny green water had saturated and compacted the sand. Hypnotized by the rhythmic motion of the tide she watched it over and over again, as it came in and out. Each time the flats drained their water, she noticed the curves of wetness that remained as they turned from the color of coffee to the color of linen. 

   Continuing to move up the beach she felt the hard-packed sand quickly change to sugar sand, and her feet sank into it deeply. The muscles in her calves were working harder now as her torso bent forward to dig into the warm sand. Her pace began to slow a bit as she came upon the rocky deposits that the sea had left behind each time it retreated back to the ocean. It was at this transition that smoothed shards of glass, in blue and green and amber, could be found during treasure hunts for sea-glass. This time however, there was no time to stop for the clouds had moved in, and the golden sun had disappeared behind them. 

   As the wind began to stir up another raindrop hit her cheek, reminding her that a quick summer squall was about to ensue. A rumble in the distance warned of the possibility for thunder and maybe some lightening too. Soon, drops became  sprinkles a sure sign that the storm was imminent. Just as her foot hit the bottom step of the porch the skies opened up in a torrent....

Sometimes God is like a summer squall.  The torrent may take hours, or days, or even years to finally come, but when you look back you can remember that very first drop when He tried to catch your attention. Even if you ignored that nudge to pursue the things that mattered most to you at the time, He continued to poke you. The next time was not just with a drop, but a sprinkle.

The easy path of life will always be interrupted, as the walk we live becomes laborious and we begin to stumble on the rocks in front of us. Oftentimes we cannot recognize that the easy journey has begun to turn, because we have relied solely on ourselves. We think we can do it all, until that one day when we find ourselves on the brink of a full blown storm. 

Wouldn't it be comforting to know that we are prepared, and that our footing is in that perfect place of shelter each and every moment, of each and every day.  What signs do we need in order to become aware of that safety? They are all around for us to recognize if we would just slow down so we can become aware of the changing clouds. I hope you won't ignore that first drop for too long, for a torrent is sure to come.

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GOOD and EVIL


Stepping out of the door and onto the porch she expected a chill but was pleasantly surprised when she felt the humidity, and even at 6:00 a.m she knew it would be another mild fall day. It was still dark, but the purple horizon sent a message for a beautiful sunrise to come. She started the car and was on her way to the train station.

Each day begins anew and it is solely up to us to determine what kind of day it will be. Sometimes we are in the rush of routine and never get to appreciate each and every moment of that routine. Once and a while when we are not looking, something happens to make us STOP and FEEL what life is all about!  


Returning home she placed the cup of hot coffee and keys on the counter beside the stack of papers that had not been put away the day before. She contemplated the free day that lay ahea d and decided in a second that she would do something productive. She   had already made a point not to check her tablet for it sapped so much energy and wasted so much time. The sun had risen by now and a golden hue filtered trough the curtains and made the entire house glow in warmth. Dishes still sat in the drainer from last night's dinner and as she dried them with the white and red striped linen cloth, she thought about re organizing the closet that still had no door on it. It was in plain sight for all to see and so if it was neat and orderly she could at least live with the fact that the door still needed to be ordered.

Her fingers felt the smooth nob on her new kitchen cabinets, when she flipped the loop of the towel over it to dry, as she began walking to the closet. The four small plastic tackle boxes filled with odds and ends like screws, and nails and thumb tacks and picture hangers were on a shelf in disarray, and as she moved one box in order to to stack the next, a third one fell and broke open. It  caused an eruption and hundreds of tiny tidbits scattered instantaneously across the  entire floor as she muttered,  "REALLY?"

Right then she did something she had never done before, she let her hands fall to her side with a slap on her thighs, and she began to laugh. Getting on her knees, which was no longer an easy nor comfortable position to take, she began to sort the nails from the tacks, and the screws from the safety pins, and she thought to herself safety pins? How do these items even go together?  Sifting through the hundreds of pieces that fell, her mind drifted to one of her grand-daughter's school papers she had seen the day before. It had rows of lions and dinosaurs on it.  The assignment was to pick out the ones that were different from the rest. She chuckled to herself remembering an assignment just like that, one that she had done herself in first grade, and she heard herself say out loud 

I guess that is why we learned that lesson, for days like this! 


When her task was done, she finished organizing the closet and then went  to the next room where she would store some misplaced games in a chest. As she lifted the chest's lid a book fell to the floor. Grabbing for the book that had been hidden in plain site, she held it in her hand as she remembered that just yesterday she  had contemplated throwing it out because she knew the secrets it held.

That is when she felt her throat start to close up and tears well in her eyes.  She left the chest open and taking the book along with her, she sat down at the kitchen table. Opening it she read the first entry, it was straightforward and she thought to herself, maybe I will keep it a little longer and see what happens as I continue  to write in it. She picked up the pen and began with the date.  Taking a deep breath she began to write....

Sometimes when you are unaware, a story will play out for you during the day, and you can chose to ignore it or embrace it. It starts off innocent enough and then all of a sudden you are standing at that beautiful place that Robert Frost describes. For me it is a dirt path filled with fallen leaves ankle high all around my feet. I see the sun filtering through the branches, still holding on to straggling leaves that the wind has not yet blown down to the ground. The picture conjured up on its own merit is innocent and even in  the words of Robert Frost it doesn't seem ominous, just a road less traveled! But when that obstacle arises in your life it can become something much more sinister. It can become the battle between  good and evil. Even when you have learned the good lesson and have been practicing that lesson, the deception and seduction of evil can taste so sweet, and become overwhelming to ignore. You can justify in your head the route each path will lead you, but you know the truth of which one you NEED to choose. So what happens when you deliberately go against that ? I can't answer that for you, it is in your own conscience to decide!  Pin It Now!

After the Storm



Music played in the background as she worked on bills, and without notice she found herself getting lost in the memories contained in the scraps of paper and photographs that she tried to file away in the appropriate folders. At first she pushed away the desire to drown in those memories in order to get her work done, because it was nearly time to pick up nugget from school.

It was useless, because the words in the songs that she could hear behind her, began to draw her into a place of nostalgia! She drifted from one thought to the next, and let herself sink into those "other" times. The memories always felt sweet and soft and comforting,  and it had been a year or so since she had been there last.

Just like all the other times, when life brought her to this place unannounced and unexpected, she began the trip with a smile. Then, she felt her heart begin to beat just a little faster, and her hands moved slowly and deliberately to uncover the next piece that would unravel her thoughts, eventually leading her  in a new direction that would always end to finish a perfect puzzle.

 The journey switched, in the middle of a second  to the computer screen, and there she methodically checked out her favorite blogs. She took a minute to drop a line of thanks to her special cyber friend from 2008. Finally, continuing to peruse documents of novels half written, she stopped to reread them, even taking time to edit a few lines and then leaving them too, to remain unfinished. Moving next through photographs, she felt a tug to go back to the blogs and as she glanced at a list of titles that stood quietly in her "favorite places", she saw one that had not been opened in a very long time......then she knew.

It was time to go back and open the door. The Backyard Door!

I think I am returning from the dark side! I can see the sun shining just beyond the cloud! More Stories?

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ORGANZA



It is out of fashion now ....but it invokes such strong memories none the less.

It was her Sunday best!  She stood with her sister along side the full sized bed, and she watched as her dad was feigning to sleep. Her mom's smile lit up the room as she presented her 5 and 3 year old daughters, already dressed for church, to her husband. Her chin was down, but she raiswed her eyes to see if the dress she wore was met with the same excitement from her dad, that she had.


The rough tickle of the waist seam,  raw with crinoline and organza, scratched her soft skin. Even when it scratched, she was so enthralled with the smell of the ice blue, Dotted Swiss organza dress that she ignored the irritation. The super light fabric moved ever so easily in the spring breeze that was emanating through the screen window. She had practiced swirling in the living room over and over, so her smile was broad and she felt like a princess. As she waited for her father's reaction, she turned her face to the side so that her nose would bury deep into the puckered puff of her little sleeve. It smelled so good. It was at that very moment that she made a memory  to last a lifetime.

At 60 something I had the pleasure to purge my home, it was a challenge on a facebook post. Today, I was to empty my bedding stores! I knew it would be a challenge, not only for the amount of bedding I have "hoarded" over the years, but for the sake of having to let go of some of it too.  No, I do not have that dress any longer, but in my stash I found one lone organza ruffled curtain. I held it up to the light and watched as colors and swirls filtered through it.  I wanted to keep it, but I don't even have a single window that it would fit.  So, into the recycle bin it had to go. As I was ready to toss it, I took one last look and remembered that dress and wondered to myself, -could this smell like that. I slowly bunched it up in my hand, and raised it to my face. Not wanting to be disappointed, I steadied myself for the nuance of fragrance. Then, my face lit up and as I took that long deep sniff, a broad smile twinkled and I was transported once more to a day so very long ago. .......Tell me  now, can I  really let go and throw it into the recycle bin? What do you think I did? Pin It Now!

THE DESERT



Dry.....when all the tears have been cried and the words spoken the heart is dry. Like a desert it has ceased to flourish. The wind blows and transforms the landscape into ripples of itself  day after day, leaving behind hidden tracks. Changing over and over again, but still remaining the same in contour, and if you look carefully you can see that it has some sort of grace upon the landscape that transcends what is physical.

Mourning does that. Whether the loss of a love one is physical or mental, the pain is such that it leaves ripples even if covered over in smiles, steadily ticking of life minute by minute.  The hidden tracks are known only to the layer beneath the wind blown sands, and they remain constant there.

But, when you look carefully you can see the grace shine forth in the living! It comes to sooth the dry and replace it with supple elegance. Life is renewed in the freshness of grace. The glow emerges, and radiance blinds the desert like a hot orange sun rising over the dunes........life resumes.






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A Message to my Dad on Father's Day


~I made this card to symbolize me as a little girl in a bubble of protection at the seashore while my dad fished. A sweet memory I hold. I thought he would like the card......

Tears trickled quietly behind sunglasses following the contour of her face, dipping into the wrinkles and valleys like water in a twisting turning river bed. Trying not to take a gulp of air and begin the uncontrollable gasping sob, she controlled her breathing first by exhaling the hurt and then the anger. When she was finally able to breathe again the flood became too much to hold back and she desperately tried to blink away the salty water like windshield wipers on extra fast. She had been yelled at and chastised and invalidated just like when she was a child.

Her mind flitted from hurt to anger and her emotions flitted in unison to create bucket loads of sadness to words conjured in her mind not to be spoken out loud. Her silent dialogue between herself and a ghost did nothing to make the crying subside. It wasn't until her racing mind filled with spiritual answers of basically sucking it up- to the rationale of not doing it any longer wore her out, did she wipe her face. It was wetter than a warm day could dry and there were no napkins or tissues in the console so she made do. Looking in the mirror she saw what she had done to herself and realized the redness in her nose was there for the duration of the long quiet ride home. She sighed and knew in her heart that even though she never wanted to go back there she would return the next day and try again.

Dementia and Alzheimer's is not just a condition of the elderly it is a condition of a family. When first we begin to see changes we try to rationalize and in the beginning we can handle the issues that come up. Then one day you find yourself in a pit of despair not knowing what the right coarse of action is. Guilt, and exhaustion, and fear, and angst play out on stage for all to see except for the ones cast in the main role, for they are blind to see. 

The day is coming soon that we must awaken to the reality of what is happening to our family in order to transition into the next phase. Even when there is confused opposition we must realize that the safety and well fare of the one afflicted is paramount in order for ALL to regain a sense of wholeness.

~He took the card and turned it over and over in his hands, he was disappointed I hadn't thought enough of him to have brought a store bought card.


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THE BROOK


The folds of her cotton dress poofed in the breeze and came to slap the back of her leg as she strolled down the street with her babies following close behind. It was spring, and the weather had changed allowing her to take her newborn out to basque in the sunshine for the first time. Little shoes slid along the sandy covered edge of the road and began to kick up dust. Her little ducklings tried hard to keep up with her pace in a half run and half skip cantor. 

Down the street they went, until they came to an unexpected turn to the left. Excitement showed on the little one's faces because they had never gone for a walk in that direction before. Carefully she looked for the opening in the woods that led to a path. The coolness of the trees, now in bud shadowed their route and birds chirped at their presence. The breeze followed and soon they could hear the rushing water of a full brook fresh from the thaws of winter and rains of spring. The wet leaves lay like carpet around the banks and purple flowers dotted the edge. It was a magical secret corner hidden from the everyday places the children were accustomed to. It was just perfect enough to become a memory for them. 

55 years later in early spring one of the children traveled that road looking for a particular dogwood tree on the opposite side of the street from that magical place. It was early spring gray and cool and the air was full of drizzle. She peered along the back edges of the woods in between worn houses and decaying garages. Maybe it was too early to see the dogwood flowers just yet. When she got to the top of the street she remembered that walk from long ago and smiled to herself as she looked left. Elderly housing now stands where her magic brook had once been. Dismissing the memory, she turned right and looked one last time down the row of yards to catch a glimpse of the tree, when all of a sudden.....

A brook! The perfect curves and color and force of water that had been in her memory for all of those years, was meandering in front of her but why? How? What? Had the memory she held all this time been wrong? How could it be that the color and depth and curves could be so perfect, but the location could be so totally wrong? She smiled when she realized the brook had actually been in her own backyard all this time. Just 30 feet from where she played everyday as a small child.  She now saw the entire picture. The housing had not been built over the brook, it never strayed it was always there. It was quietly hidden in the woods only to be in full view during the winter season. A time when the children would not be out in the woods! It was kept secret from the ducklings to protect them, with a little antidote added as a shield of sorts when that mother warned them not to go near the dogwwod tree for it was poisonous! Coincidentally it was just outside the banks of that brook! The very reason why she came today. She was looking to see if the tree in her memory was the kind of dogwood she knew as an adult gardener or was it some mystical poisonous tree that had been a secret, checked in her memory.

As she strolled those babies out for their walk on that sunny afternoon she wanted to make sure they had a beautiful spring memory to hold with them for a lifetime, but she didn't want to jeopardize their safety. She knew that brook would be a temptation therefore she took a route that would be long and safe and just a little bit boggled never knowing the truth would be learned by one of those children long after that magical time. 

 What a wonderful present all this time later mom! ~thank you! Pin It Now!

PICK A CHOCOLATE

The earth has turned around and faces the sun in a different perspective now, creating a new season. I notice it is dark today when I rise. Most winter mornings I linger in my bed for an extra 15 minutes, for my head does not comprehend the time, and darkness prevails by tricking my mind into thinking it is still all about sleep. Often I give in, close my eyes and wait until the sun rises just over the tree tops, or maybe I will catch the hue of the slightest blue peeking in through the edge of the shade that doesn't quite fit tightly against the window frame. But all good things come to an end and before I know it I have thrown back the comforter to start my day.

Today the darkness left no shadows, and the moon had set creating an abyss of light~lessness that almost hurt my eyes as they strained to see anything. For some reason my head was clear and I was done with rest. So I rose and began my day earlier than usual. Everything was easy and the quiet was welcoming. I could center my thoughts as I went through my routine. Finally, descending the stairs creaking beneath my bare feet, I flipped on the lamp beside my desk to read my messages that came in over night. Amongst the spam I find treasures from those who have sent me love notes while I slept. Some question something I have said or made, some are just sending a quick hello from across the country, or  maybe someone sends a note recapping the appointment they took my dad to on the day before.

Then, when I am done I sit quietly.

A thought comes into my head...."Life is like a box of chocolates", such a fabulous quote that is. I stare at the box of candy above and can easily see just how different each one is. A couple are similar except for a minor elimination of design or texture. They are much like our days, similar with insignificant changes to make them unique! Some of those days are as smooth as the silkiest chocolate with a poignant dash of color to make you pause and wonder why, and others are just like that special one of a kind chocolate heart that you treasure because you know there are few of them in comparisson to the rest. Each day is like those chocolates, you can see and feel each in a slightly different way, and picking the day you intend isn't always what you get, you can't quite tell what is on the inside until you taste it, but it will be filled with surprises! Some good, some plain and ordinary, some not so great, but filled none the less. Then, once in a while you  will have an experience that is special, the kind of day that comes deep from within your heart and just like the heart shaped candy it makes you smile.

........ and you wish that all your chocolates tasted like that!








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LETTING GO

Funny how it happens.....it isn't even a conscious thought ...it just happens.

Her patent leather shoes scuttled across the floor of her bedroom one last time. She didn't realize it would be the last time but it was, and she hadn't even given it another thought.

She was proud when she opened the box from beneath the Christmas Tree. She could tell from it's shape that is was something she had asked for. She unwrapped the green and red paper with faces of snowmen on it and removed the box lid. Her face brightened with a smile as her mother handed her the pennies that had been stowed away in the pocket of her chenille robe. She took them in her hand and fumbled just a tad as she slipped them into the slot of her new pennies loafers. She was 10 and felt like she was grown up because she didn't have to wear patent leather shoes anymore.

In an instant the passage of life happens. Over and over again little blips change forever the way a person lives and unless they are significant milestones those blips go unnoticed. The day you lay your doll down for the last time because you are too big to play with dolls, or the day you make that last entry into your childhood diary, or the moment your heart changes from that flirty girl to the responsible woman. It is the normal progression of living and it happens without a thought.

Then the day comes when you can see that path behind you, it is a time when you realize the path in front of you is shorter than that path behind. You hear it coming and you feel it's presence but it is like you cannot even believe it is upon you. Days and weeks and months go by and it it trying to catch up to you when all of a sudden it is walking beside you. It takes hold of your hand and a new sense of life embraces your heart. It is like reckoning with the fact that for one last time you will live as you did before, and then have to lay that down and begin living the rest of your life. You begin to nest again but in a different way. You empty out clutter and it feels good. You organize closets and it feels good and you carefully hold items that you cherished for reasons you barely remember and caress them in your hands and it feels good. Some of those items will be placed back in the crevices from which they came but others create a conflict within you. Now you have to decide to let go, one item at a time. It may take moments or days or even years but eventually they are all passed on before they are laid down and forgotten.

The bright peacock blue tea pot sits alone on the cold marble counter top and waits for it's purpose. It has been filled for the last time in these surroundings and will be passed on. Shiny and pristine without blemish or chips it continues on it's journey to heal hearts, comfort sorrows, rejoice in good news.

Funny how it happens....it isn't even a conscious thought.....it just happens.

Her teapot steeped in boiling water one last time. She didn't realize it would be the last time, and she hadn't even given it a second thought.......until now. Pin It Now!

IN AN INSTANT

 

Her eyes were still sleepy when her father woke her and  she fought the light in them when she saw that it was still dark inside her room. Her dad was excited and rushed she and her sister into the kitchen of their second floor apartment. The lights were off but the room glowed in red. She could not figure out why until her mom said look girls there is a big fire downtown and you can see it all the way up here at our house. She felt butterflies in her stomach because she had never seen anything like it before.

The next day the family piled into their pick up truck and drove down the street to town. There were lots of people gathered on the side walk. As they neared the intersection Dad looked at Mom and said oh no it is the Panther Rubber. That was the factory in town where they made soles for shoes. Her eyes grew wide as they passed it by and she saw the charred wooden structure standing against the blue sky like a monster. Then she heard her mother say that a young fireman had been hurt and was in the hospital. She began to cry.

Decades later the sun shone in her eyes as she waited for the owner to help her with a request for custom moulding. The workroom was empty now and clean. The twelve pane windows hung high in the loft and streamed sunlight onto the now quiet tables. The wood was worn and hollowed out on one end where workers stood for eight or ten hours crafting mill work. She could see dust particles floating in the beams of sunlight when her thoughts were disrupted. We don't make moulding here any more miss, he said. Her heart sank because she had always ordered unusual pieces of wood intricately molded to fit her turn of the century decor from them. "What?" she replied. "I am retiring and no one wants to do this type of work anymore. I wanted to sell the shop to someone who loved to work with their hands but I got no offers. Do you know I have worked here since I was twelve!" He began to reminisce about his days of work and she could see the picture he painted for her. She could see the older men teaching him the craft. Her throat began to choke up because she was sentimental and loved the stories of those times.

That story came to mind as she drove the district of town that had rows of warehouses lined up along the railway. Some were made of brick and some were wooden and all with stories that were silenced now from years of neglect. She came to ferret out the story she had heard the night before on the 11:00 news. BREAKING NEWS: a fire was burning in the city. She quickly got out of bed and looked out the window to see the orange glow and a smile came across her face as she remembered being five. She almost threw on her clothes to get in the car and fetch her grandchildren out of bed to experience what she had experienced as five. Then she thought better of it, for her daughter would surely think her crazy.

The sun was bright this particular morning and the air had a prelude of fall in it. The news called the building an abandoned warehouse. They reprted that the fire began around 10:30pm and quickly went to five alarms. It was big fire for this day and age when there are smoke detectors in almost every building. As she drove the mile from home  people were rushing off to work but she could see the red lights of firetrucks on the left. As she approached the intersection her heart sank. She felt sad at seeing the charred scraps of wood because she recognized that building, it was the old Batson Millworks Building. That lovely old wooden building from the early 1900's where the ghosts of carpenters have been released. It will all be forgotten now. She eyed one 12 paned window still in tact along the sidewalk and wanted to jump out of her car to rescue it....for no one will remember what it was like to have the sunbeams stream through it onto the heavy wooden floors as the whir of saw blades hummed and the men began their work day. Pin It Now!

The end of a day


The sun sits a little lower in the sky behind a humid haze.  Streaming into the window it casts a shadow brightly on the wall. In a few minutes it will be on my face and finally shine in my eye as the end of day approaches. The blue of evening commences, bringing with it cooler temps and heavy quiet.

A new baby's mom walks in exhaustion, an old man sits in boredom and confusion beside his bed, an upbeat mom- to- be worries about the days ahead, and I listen to it all through the chirps of birds outside my windowsill.

Saddness comes into my heart as I struggle to sift the diamonds out of the silt of the day. I peer intently into the sludge trying to see what was beautiful. Then I find a baby's face serene in sleep. The rosy blush of color on an old mans cheeks. The upbeat conversation of a mother to be, and the chorus of birds, and breezes rustling in the leaves make me smile.

The rays of sun, shine on the wall of life through the blues of living and all is right as night settles in~ all is right where it is supposed to be. Pin It Now!

Lonesome Highway


The television light peeked through the crack in my door, and I could hear the muttering of words and music as I tossed and turned in my bed. Nothing was comfortable. The covers did not comfort me but challenged my legs instead, and tangled them up as I moved restlessly about trying to find the spot that would lull me to sleep. I would scrunch my pillow and make a nest in the corner against the wall and finally somehow without me even knowing I would be asleep until the break of day.

I distinctly remember having some rare but difficult times trying to fall asleep when I was a child of sevenish. Maybe it was because I feared my parents would die, or maybe I had a test in school or maybe it was because my parents bickered during dinner time, no matter the reason it was always unsettling because it was out of the ordinary.

I thought of that as I drove through the quiet towns this particular night. Never crossing the path of another vehicle, left with the woeful lyrics of a country song playing in my head I traversed from town to town in a big box pattern listening to my thoughts. I was tired but could not sleep so I got out of my tangled bed and dressed and went for a ride. I watched as the clock ticked away from 2:15 to 3:30 and then 4:00. I peered into the homes that had a single soft glow above the kitchen sink, and wondered if the occupant had fallen asleep with the tv on when a lonely blue haze cast it's light from the windows dotting an otherwise black surrounding, or were they struggling with the after midnight hours tonight too.

I drove by the homes I lived in, and the homes my peeps live in now, and the cemeteries, and ponds, and eateries all dark and eerie. Then, I felt quiet. My mind was not running and my thoughts had stilled themselves. Before I knew it I did not feel the tangle mess of the day and I was ready to drift off to sleep. I turned onto my street and quietly returned to my home, shut off the lights, climbed the stairs, pulled up the covers just as the birds began to chirp first one, then two and then.......and then ........, and I dreamed. Pin It Now!

Monday Morning Gray



When morning breaks and the children stir from their beds the sky is milky, and and the breeze is heavy. Rain is on it's way, and the contrast from the weekend just past is significant. Gone are the white puffy clouds that sailed on a bright blue canvas overhead. Gone are the bright eyes and shrieks of laughter that punctuated the days between smiles filled with humor. Gone are the tickles and jokes and glances of love between parent and child, young and old, older and brand new!

This day is filled with heavy, salty, gray air and brings with it a slower tempo. The effort to function is significant and just like the scratchy throats, puffy eyes, aching arms and legs that have to recoup from a weekend of fun, it seems that the universe needs to do the same. Happy Monday! Pin It Now!

Disorderly Calm



I felt a tear run down my face after I had succumbed to the pain in my chest. It was at the very same moment when I let go and I realized there was nothing I could do to make the situation better.  I clasped my cheeks in my hand and looked up at my calendar. A simple black and ivory sketch of  five lobster pots sitting against a weather worn shingled shack with a conglomeration of buoys hanging from rusted nails along it's facade caught my attention. I sighed and became distraught when I realized not every lobster pot had horizontal slats. Some of the pots had verticalal slats and it made me crazy.

I sat for a moment thinking of why that was so. I couldn't find the answer except that to know it was not important. The artist saw fit to make it such. It became my answer in my quietness and I realized that even as a mother I cannot fix everything. Sometimes other factors that I have no control over, create an upset. I have no business in trying to fix it and it is not important that I do. What is important is that my children learn for themselves the hard lessons in life that I cannot fix and clean their own house, and that I learn to let go of the not so neat situations and stop trying to place them all in a satin lined box where everything is safe and perfect! Sometimes rusty nails cause pain, and sometimes all the slats are not facing the same way....but in the end the ivory and black that create a story compliment one another to blend into a lovely sketch. Even if you get a splinter or two along the way trying to straighten it all out. Pin It Now!

A Father's Lesson never forgotten


Spring had come and my dad held my hand, I was about to turn 7 years old and it was the first time I had ever been able to walk to school even if it wasn't by myself. I felt like skipping and running and hopping and yet my dad held onto my hand tightly until we had crossed the busy street and veered down a quiet roadway. The street was lined with nicely painted homes each with neatly manicured lawns. I walked on the sidewalk and then felt my dad let go of my hand. Immediately I began to skip ahead of him. Not too far ahead of him but just enough ahead to make me feel like a big girl. I twirled and just as I came full circle I felt my foot leave the concrete and sink into the lush green lawn. At the same time I heard the stern voice of my father crack the glee and declare. "Donna, get off that lawn" I looked up to see his displeasure and although I knew it was an accident from carelessness I prepared for a scolding. "You must never ever walk on someone's lawn" he said "that is disrespectful and it is not your property, do you understand" he said. "yes daddy" I murmured and I never stepped foot on anyone's lawn again.

Even today I will carefully walk around a front yard and up a walk or driveway even if I have been invited by a friendly neighbor to chat instead of taking a quicker route that would have me walk on their property.

This experience from over 50 years ago keeps playing in my head today and has been playing in my head for a couple of weeks now. Let me begin.

I have lived in the house I live in now for thirteen years. During that time I have enjoyed the company of a lovely neighbor in a perfect neighborhood. It has been the best place I have ever lived, in fact even though it is in the city I prefer it over any of the numerous homes in which I have had the privilege to live.

That is until now.

A few months ago that home that belonged to my lovely neighbor sold. When she moved out  I was excited to meet the new neighbors who moved in. They were bustling to get unpacked when I first noticed items that were being neatly staged in the once unobstructed garage.  Pieces of neatly stacked used carpeting, worn wood, extra kitchen cabinet drawers from a previous home, milk crates with odds and ends and more milk crates and more milk crates still were being brought in to the garage until there was no more room except for the last decorative embellishment. A beautiful 2008 used calendar!

Now,  I always loved to move because it gave me a chance to purge my clutter and old stuff. In fact I think the 2008 calendar certainly would have been in my paper recyclables before I had come to a new home, but now it sits in a garage with all that stuff and it  has a new home leaving the cars to remain outside.

As days went by, more and more embellishments decorated the area around my neighbors home. Potted plants await spring, or so I surmise and they have been carefully left as close to my home as possible for me to enjoy. It seems so unfortunate for the people who own them not to be able to see them, for their view is obstructed from their windows by the beautiful hemlock hedge. The plant material and  bins and other yard ornamentation that adorn the exterior of the garage cannot be enjoyed by them. The garage door remains open daily and now things that do not fit inside stand guard like sentries. I do wish the left side door was either opened or closed instead of ajar. I am such a neat freak.

Christmas has come and gone but I must say it has been delightful this season. I would awaken each morning and peer out of my window with anticipation and excitement to see where the trailer has been moved to. It felt like I had my own personal Elf on a Shelf, for I never knew where it would end up! Sometimes it was behind a car, or beside a car, or in front of a car or even on the front lawn filled with yet more carpet scraps! It was and still is beautiful and fun for the kids too!

Yesterday, I was excited to see yet a new vehicle arrive. It was bright red like Santa's sleigh and filled with goodies! It had curved white grid work like the runners on a sleigh or antlers on a reindeer that perched high above the truck to hold even more items! I was overjoyed to learn that a new adult elf moved in to that home  adding to the people living now there. He made it a total of three adult families living in a single family home. Jolly good times I recon to be had by all.

I still hold true to the idea of being a friendly and considerate neighbor so, after the snowfall my hubby and I donned our winter apparel and grabbed some shovels and began to embark on our winter ritual. One throw of the white fluffy stuff over our shoulders after another finally paid off. As we continued to shovel, the young elf who is only 21, and his papa came out side to greet  us. They had great big friendly smiles on their faces and held cups of hot coffee in their mittened hands. They chatted with us the entire time, until we were finished shoveling, making the work go faster. Hubby and I straightened up, backs stiff and shoulders heavy and as we looked down the driveway at a job well done, we smiled knowingly at one another. We had shoveled the entire 150' driveway!

Oh did I forget to mention something. I told you we live in the city remember? But did I tell you this. We share a driveway!

I don't think the new neighbors realize that a shared driveway means  shared work and respect for each others property and boundaries too, for as we shoveled around their cars and trailer in order to get our own cars access to the roadway they did walk out of our way as not to impede our progress. Now I know why after 100 years why they wanted us to sign and agreement before they bought the house. They may have anticipated that we may have wanted to put up a privacy  fence and now we cannot!

It is going to be a different sort of New Year....I resolve to make myself happy one way or another!


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Happy Holiday Greeting

Click to play this Smilebox collage
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The World Did Not End



Wind howls outside my office window, battering rain against the panes of glass, but it doesn't touch me. I am secure in knowing from experience there is safety within the walls of my home.

I think about that statement as I reflect on all that 2012 brought with it and think about how simple those words can make my life.  This past year was filled with stories of my life, written here on this blog in prose that was filled with imagery and metaphors. We all have pain and hurt and experiences that we remember in our day to day hours. They creep in when we pick up toy from living room floors, and scrub bathrooms or sometimes even when we lay in the sun, but some of our stories are held deep within our hearts not to be shared until the grace of God opens up our voices.

That is what happened this year. As Christmas approaches I remember being in third grade and chosen to be the Blessed Mother in a school holiday pageant. I was teased from then on about being so sweet and kind, after all who else would be chosen to be her. It was a tough role to live up to! My life did not parallel hers for one second. Deep down I did not feel sweet and kind because every blemish, however innocuous seemed dirty. She may have had the same feelings as a woman when she was chosen to be the mother of our Lord Jesus. Perhaps she held some secrets and then when the grace of God revealed her voice she was able to tell of her conception, and fears and wisdom and pain to share with all the world along with the stories from the apostles and Jesus himself.

God revealed my voice this year and I shouted all my stories over and over to anyone who would listen. I wrote the black and white history of my heart in a book that may never be published, but it will always be there for me to read and search out answers whenever I want to. It is not spiritual like the story of Mary, but it gave me such great healing. A lifetime of lies and secrets and hurts and injustices fled from my heart into an ocean deep enough to keep them where they could never hurt again.  I learned that by sharing those stories I released them into the expanse of the universe to help others, but most of all me.

It is 12/21/2012 and the world has not come to an end as pop culture predicted. The Mayan Calendar predicted and end to non time and a beginning of time, the end to hatred and the beginning of love, and end to lies and the beginning of truth, the end to sadness and the beginning of JOY.  I can see now that  the howling and labor pains of 2012 did not hurt me, but instead it gave me rebirth. I look forward to celebrating the commencement of 2013 and welcome the new lessons I will learn  in hopes that they will not be buried, but will be shared instead as experiences for others to learn from.


I reflect once again on the scene in the manger when Mary looks down at her son and feels no more pain of the hours the preceded that moment and I think about how labor pains bring great joy in the end. The work we do on the journey of our lives is like labor and that work will render up fruits that will always remain sweet, especially if you keep step in the light of Jesus.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Life!

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The Ending


there was a small child safe and content, with their head upon a pillow carefully listening for the words that would be recited in a soft flowing voice. Listening for the words that  began each time and  in the same way with..... Once Upon A Time ......they would settle in believing, YES knowing that there would be a happy ending.

The story begins and  it is ripe with visions of fairies and butterflies and the sound of flutes vulnerably weaving it's words down  a path through beauty and peace. It follows the magic of a beautiful butterfly, like a dream until it finds itself on the edge of  dusk and the lurking  forest. It continues its flight and  leads the participant into darkness and fright. Each grove of tall pines becomes a maze where the traveler feels trapped and confused. The heartbeat flutters until it becomes noticeable enough to cause the breath to wildly hasten it's inhale and exhale. Fear begins to ooze into the soul and mind transforming thoughts until nothing is real. Suddenly the chapter ends and the book cover is closed shut until the next time when the journey would continue. But for now it is time to sleep.

As they grew, the child remembered the lessons they had learned at bedtime story telling, and they mourned the losses of innocence. The soft sweet endings had been replaced with other scenarios. Some were haunting, some were instructive, some were unanswered for decades, and some just waited for the book to be reopened........

.........   in every Once Upon A Time the wretched witch, or bully, or demon, or troll is overthrown by a prince, or a spell, or an angel, or the huntsman and the story ends. Here too the darkness of the forest begins to lift in the dawn, and rays of sunshine filter through the trees until the child sees the unwavering safety of  home, and she realizes everyone lives happily ever after!


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THE GREEN THING



I saw this story the other day and it made me shake my head for many reasons. Some of which were, Arrogance, Ignorance, Political Correctness, Disrespect, Respect, but most of all Sadness. Enjoy and see what you feel.



Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't ...
good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."
The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or
 future generations."
She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day it had common sense.


Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truely recycled.
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in
 brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a
 health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled
 writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
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GLOWING


Did you know November is the grayest month of the season in the hemisphere in which I live? I read that little tidbit of info somewhere long ago,  probably in the Farmers Almanac to use on such an occassion as this. Well, then it should not have surprised me when I awoke this morning to see the fog across the golf course when I had expected sunshine! The unusual warmth of the morning  brought with it clouds, but I had overlooked the phenomenon there would be no sun to accompany the mild temperatures.
Almost all of the leaves have fallen here in New England, and they are littered across the still lush green lawns waiting for the last cleanup of the season.
As I stand at my sink and watch the squirrels scamper across the yard picking up the 'helicopter' seed pods from this years maple trees, I think to myslef how wonderful the cycle of nature is. It is the squirrels that forage through the leaves to find each pod to harvest for their winter stash. Those that are overlooked grow in the most obscure spots to be plucked out when it comes time to weed in the springtime. I simultaneously think of how I wanted to get a few " have a heart traps" to relocate the many squirrels that reside here only to realize that if I had done that, it would be I in the springtime plucking thousands of sprouts from unharvested seeds. Thank you Lord for letting me see just how important these little guys are. I'll let them stay. They make my life easier!
It was then that I turned to empty a receptacle in my pantry and I was met with a brilliant fireryglow of red. The last tree to drop it's leaves belongs to my neighbor next door. We always have to wait until after Thanksgiving to rake because it is so stubborn to drop. However like the squirrels it to does a job. On the gloomiest days of November it shines in radiant glory to cast an illumination in an otherwise sunles gray room! Again thank you God for the little nuances of the seasons that make me smile when I take a moment to notice!
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PERFECTION.....BEND or BREAK


I remember sitting at my desk crumpling a piece of yellow lined paper after I had made a mistake practicing my penmanship. We had learned the Palmer Method in first grade. In fact we learned to write cursive before we learned how to print which made it difficult for us to read at first! They only tried that way of teaching for one year! It proved not to be perfect!

We practiced that pennmanship ritual for hours each week on yellow lined paper and finally when it was perfect we got to write on white lined paper with ink. We strived for that accomplishment over and over until it was PERFECT.

That is just one instance of what "grew" me. Today I am working harder than ever to over come the need for perfection. In some ways I am embracing the idea because it certainly frees my spirit, but I still hold on with a pang to think that I am dumbing down and not trying my best.

I have been working on that for a few months now and today I was put to a trial.

Hurricane Sandy rolled in with close to 80 mile an hour winds yesterday and I sat in my front room looking out the picture window at my awesome perfectly shaped pear tree. It was being thrashed around and with each gust of wind I would hold my breath to see if it was safe. After the power went out, I left the house and returned a few hours later to see this. I was not on guard and did not wish the tree safely through the storm. It broke.

I sat today looking at it from every angle and my heart sank over and over to see it in some angles as imperfect. After all we chose this tree because it was so symmetrical and PERFECT! Now it isn't.  I wrestle with the idea of whether or not to cut it down, but then it will not match the size of the rest of the landscaping should I decide to replace it. But it isn't quite perfect now, so how can I leave it standing? Large areas of light shine through where the canopy once was full and lush. The squirrels are even perplexed looking for their abundance of miniature fruit to store for winter. They had thought they had enough to winter them over and now much of it is gone.

"PERFECT".  I wish I could let it go, but it is gnawing at me. I will work on it over the winter and revisit the tree next spring. Perhaps I will be grown by then into a more relaxed being and let this tree grow into a less perfect specimen too, as a reminder each time I look at it to remember that I can be a little less stringent and bend before I break! Pin It Now!

Little Things That Make Me Smile


Usually when I begin a story I try to remember an incident from my days as a child that reflects the same feelings I have today as an adult. Today as I sat in front of my keyboard I tried to remember what I felt like as a child when a small thing turned out better than I had expected and could not grasp a memory. So I am going to skip that part and delve right into the simple excitement from yesterday that made me smile when I realized WOW this is better than I expected!


All during my growing up years and especially my married years I have enjoyed and RELISHED in design and decorating. I began just by arranging and rearranging furniture in my home over and over to the point my husband always was nervous walking around the house at night for fear he would stumble on a piece of furniture that was not there the day before.

That luxury finally erupted even more when we bought homes, refurbished, renovated and restored them only to sell them a few months later and buy again! I loved it and got great satisfaction when things went better than right and great frustration when they did not.

It has been many years since I have engaged in that transformation mainly because I am in a home that I love and it is just how I want it to be....well almost. Now, instead of renovating and restoring it is all about maintaining. Things wear out and need fixing and that is where our money is being spent. Pretty much when we fix the things that need fixing they look just like they did before we fix them. So not too much excitement there. BUT YESTERDAY that all changed and I felt the blood tingle and rush to my brain in excitement when the brand new garage doors were lowered for their debut and I actually squealed when I saw them for the first time. There they were standing tall and proud and AWESOME. They finally were the cherry that was on top of the sundae and they matched so perfectly the house we had restored six years earlier. I was more than happy and I love them.

Ahhhhhhh, that feeling. I missed it but how sweet to have it once again. Oh, I looked at those doors one hundred times yesterday and it was the first thing I checked on when I got up this morning too! Then I remembered my mom's words form 1977 when she said to my husband. "You need to buy her a doll house or she is going to run you into the poor house."  Oh, Oh has my blood begun to boil once more! I think I will begin with a gallon of paint and some strap hinges! WINK! Pin It Now!

Ebb and Flow

When the tide comes in there is a point in which it is neither moving forward nor retreating backward. Just before the rhythm catches it up and moves it in the opposite direction, it lingers in a limbo of sorts. The peace of that limbo is exhilarating!

Then, as it commences to move forward, the flow rushes in once more lapping at the shoreline right where the seaweed had grabbed onto the sand. It was a last effort for the debris to remain there instead of being brought back out into the sea, but this time it will succumb to a stronger cycle and disappear. The tide covers over all that was beneath and it is forever changed.

Always moving, the waves roll forward and just before they reach the place where they will once again turn, they halt the surge for one last retreat before they surge ahead and crash into the boundaries taking back one more inch that was not taken the day before. The cycle begins again changing  the shore line and taking more and more until it will one day be gone. Then the sea will have its victory and revenge on all which bound it! Pin It Now!

OCTOBER MORNING


The orange yellow glow from lights breaking the gray cast on a rainy October day made her feel cozy and safe. Breakfast was already on the table and her feet dangled and swung freely under the chair for they were not quite able to touch the floor. She watched as her mother made lunches for school, and she listened as her two younger siblings chattered away still in their pajamas, for they were too young to be going to school and watched Captain Kangaroo instead.

As she climbed out of the taxi cab her foot hit the wet maple leaves in the parking lot. She walked along the edge of the curb, scuffing up the already beaten down leaves that had been run over with tires and walked on by shoes and she could smell them. She breathed in and loved it.

Climbing the eight granite steps to the school vestibule she saw remnants and pieces of leaves that had escaped from the soles of shoes to remain outside, but as she entered through the heavy green doors she saw one speckled orange and rust and yellow maple leaf on the ground, and she picked it up and put it in her coat pocket.

Six rows of eight desks, placed like soldiers on hardwood floors dressed the classroom. Over head were half as many rods holding milk glass globes illuminating the desks in a soft warm glow. A dreamy glow, the kind of glow that on a gray rainy morning could lull you to sleep, or at least a day dream or two. She loved to daydream, and although she could hold her own in class she was not a scholar, she was a dreamer!

TODAY, she showered and dressed and when she had finished she took her morning drive to the local coffee shop, Dunkin' Donuts to be literal. The wipers played a rhythm on the windshield and she drove back home. It was her usual routine at 6:30 in the morning. The rain had lessened to a soft drizzle and as she let her foot drop out of the car she felt the old familiar squish of wet maple leaves beneath it. She smiled and remembered a long ago school day, and as she closed the car door she stood for a moment letting the drizzle tickle her face and she took a deep breath in, it was the most wonderful fall smell, as she walked to the house she looked up at her kitchen windows illuminating that familiar safe glow! Then she sat down at her desk and turned on the lamp that lulled her into a daydream....


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A Look Back

I stared out the window remembering the days of being a young mother and thinking that was when I thought I lost myself. I used to be fun and happy and vibrant and on the go and waiting to go at a moments notice. Then, I did what all girls at that time who were my age did, and I got married. Not long after that, I had children which began a new chapter in my life. I can still see the days when I would wake up and not even lifting my head from the pillow I would close my eyes again and say to myself "not another day"! It just seemed so monotonous and run of the mill. The same routines and schedules with nothing new to look forward to. Then, when I couldn't stand it any longer I would clean. It became a sense of relief for me.

That was over 35 years ago. Now I stare out a new window, neat and clean with no noise in the background and no schedule to keep and I dream of those days that are behind me. They sped along so swiftly. It makes me think of the isolation that some young mothers have. They go about in their day to day routines feeling lost within themselves. What a shame that there is not a mentoring system for them from older moms who have been there and done that and can share how important their time right now is. A mentor who is not a family member, someone who will not judge but support,  a complete stranger that she could lean on. To hear a lesson that things don't need to be tidy and neat right now, for there will be years ahead of them when all that will be routine. How nice it would be to hear " let it go and be young at heart and play and nurture and enjoy", or "embrace the person you are for the person you left behind will be waiting ahead of you in the future to be at your beck and call when the schedules are gone and you long for them back again".

Standing at the window I realize you never lose yourself for real you just transform!


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