Saturday, October 22, 2011


"Let's just go ahead and change everything all at once" was my husband's response to my idea for a new job, as if we hadn't been through enough lately.

"Okay" I said.

But really, his support was unwavering, encouraging, trusting, and it is with great faith and I admit a bit of fear that I step out into a new venture.

The flower and food-filled good-bye yesterday was more than I expected and I choked back some tears amidst the hugs, cards and well-wishes.

Over the past few months I've been amassing a collection of post-its with quote after quote from one source or another, they're pasted all about the shelves around my desk, and these days I focus in on just one...

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.  ~James Thurber

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Together again

And so ended 6 1/2 months of nearly single motherhood.  Just like that, with a graduation, from the training academy that took my husband away from us week after week after week, changing his status from resident father to weekend visitor.  It was not easy.  It was not fun.  It is not something we will repeat or look back upon fondly.  We are ALL glad it's over.  He steps out into a new career at midlife now and we watch and wait and hope it was all worth it.  We trust and have faith that it was.

To celebrate a dateless 6+ months we hit the water.  I tried my best to veg completely out and forget all but my name.

I knitted a little.

I zoned out to music.

I tried to see how many different ways I could photograph a fishing rod.

I enjoyed the Levi's scenery and the company of their occupant.

He, on the other hand tuned 'in' to trying to catch bait so he could catch bigger fish.  An endless quest, the thrill of which escapes me.  But, I drove him up and back and all around and here and there and everywhere chasing fish until finally....

...he netted the mother lode.

Which is always the case.  There is nothing for quite some time and then one netful is more than one man can use.

But none of that really matters.  The point was the getting away to a favorite spot.  The point was hours alone, in the car, the boat, lunch together at a restaurant with boat slips for parking spots.  The celebration was life together again, saying goodnight face to face and goodmorning the same way instead of via text messages. We're really beyond all that.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Almost there

That he left behind an old Chinese fortune that he'd been carrying around in his wallet for months for me to find was not a surprise. 

That life with him just keeps getting better and better is.  Who knew this is how it's supposed to work out?

It reads:

Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.

What I needed, when I needed it.  Love at it's best.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yes, I still knit

A much needed office clean out uncovers all sorts of little goodies like these hats, among other knitted gems.  People used to wonder and ask me all the time, how I had the time to "make all this stuff".  I now wonder that myself.  How in the world.

I've slowed down and moved on to other things, but the knitting hasn't gone away completely.

I'm in the midst of a custom order, two hats, one with a Porsche, the other with a Holstein cow, not kidding.  People know what they want.

I'm making raglan-sleeved sweater for daughter #3 with plans for one for daughter #2 right after.

Will there be one for myself?  That remains the unanswered question.

The nice part now is there's no pressure.  No shows, no market, no late nights.  My own pace, on my time, what little there is of it.

These past six months have been some of the most difficult, knitting if anything should be a comfort rather than another added stressor.  I know I will look back and it will all make so much more sense than right now when I'm still standing right on top of it.  Looking forward.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Number 3

 I think it must be hard sometimes, to be the youngest, to be the littlest of three.  I've always joked she's not only my littlest but my loudest, ensuring she never gets forgotten.  But more than that she makes her presence known much before the other two.

She is glued to me, sitting at my feet as I type, talking incessantly until I remind her the 300th time to focus on homework.  It is nothing I planned for, but then all of this has been so unexpected in so many ways.

She melted down yesterday twice, consumed with tears over her sister's piano lessons, the focus on someone else besides her.  And while on the one hand I have to remember the egocentricities of the child mind, how all life is somehow about her at every moment in time, I couldn't pass up the teaching moment with a long, deep snuggle in a big oversized chair, while thumbing through magazines for distraction.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why not?

"Are those the mushrooms over by the barn" asked my middle daughter.

"Yep." I said.

"Why'd you take pictures of them?"

"Why not?"

"Oh yeah, good point."

(she would be my artist.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hittin' the trail

I laced up my running shoes again after taking a couple of weeks off to nurse a little injury.  I'm surprised I could start again so soon and hope my ambition doesn't get the best of me.  There was a sudden "POP!" and a hobble, and fire and loss of use and that sudden feeling of old that accompanies injury.  I really hate it.

"Your body is trying to tell you something" a good friend offered as he shared his marathon training stories and weekly mileage.

"Said the preacher to the choir," I thought and kept to myself.  Frustrated.  Old.

I'd only just bought these shoes, my favorite kind that I buy year after year so I could throw my trashed ones out.  I had just started having racing visions for the first time, but now....

Time will tell.  Time and ice and perseverance and a whole lotta stretching beforehand.  I'm just glad to be back out there on my trail.

My brain wakes up when I run.  I write in my head as I go.  Sometimes it is prayer.  Yesterday, I asked for forgiveness, for the ways in which I am hurtful, yet do not see it.  A good run.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

If only

We pulled the music back out yesterday, me and the kids, a whole great big stack of it.  Mostly things I can't believe I used to play, case in point, the piece above.  I used to play it flawlessly, without a thought, without thinking it was any big deal at all.  Only now do I realize what I once had because I've lost it all.  All that breath, all the tone, only the memory of how to play the notes still lingers, indelible in my brain and fingers from so many years of playing. 

But the music will be with me forever, stirring in my head, I am drawn to it, I rise and fall with the melodies, they bring back memories and feelings long forgotten.

Frustrated and dissapointed I picked up the guitar instead, a softer, gentler sound and deep.  My fingertips are numb today from plucking along with youtube, and I marvel at how easy it is now to access a simple lesson.  I am not good.  I am a novice with an ear.  It's a place to start.

The girls marched around the house the rest of the afternoon with the mouthpiece of my flute, trying to see if they could produce a sound other than a squawk, surprised that their mother knew how to do more than make dinner, do laundry and apply band aids.  And I have come to know myself in a different way too, regarding something I never took the time to look back very closely upon but knowing always that it was there, this other side, this other world.

So now I try something new, it's never too late they say, but of course what I'd really love to be able to do is play like this...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting it out

The hurricane came through last weekend and we hunkered down, trying to remember when the last time it was that we gave ourselves an excuse to stay in, cuddle up, be lazy and just be with one another.

The dogs were one, unaffected

and two, worried sick, though you can't tell it here, it's one of his more serene moments but if you look closely you might detect a hint of worry around the eyes.

He made it just fine and tried to have a big game of chase at 9 p.m. with guilty party number one above when I took them out to use the facilities while the wind still whipped and rain blew sideways.  It wasn't one of his most clear moments, but even dogs go a little bonkers after being cooped up all day inside.

The power went out.  The cable, phone, internet went out.  Things got quiet.  There were some bedtime tears only from one of the three kids all tucked into the same bed, lined up in a row, just how they wanted it.  A night to remember.  By morning one had ended up on the couch.

And as usual the weather the day after a hurricane is some of the prettiest ever.  We managed not to lose any trees, even those with a serious lean created in 2003 from Isabel.

Then there's the yard waste, country style.  This amount is minimal and just from up right around the house.  Could have been much worse.

Every hurricane we have I eye the giant old oaks that tower right around the house and hope the day they decide to fall I am not sitting inside waiting for them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Right Right Here

Before, life seemed to be one great big jumbled mess, where highs and lows were nearly indistinguishable, mostly because, well, things were a mess and the highs (if there were any) were cloudy, shrouded with ambiguity and certain to take a turn for the worse.  I'm talking a long time ago, when I didn't know any better, when I took what came because that's what I knew and because I had no choice in the matter.

But step by step I've come to know more, to know better, to be able to reason and pick apart the good from the bad and steer my course in the direction of the former, toward what feels right, and soothing to the soul. 

Since this change in practice, the contrast in light and dark becomes so much more easy to detect, especially when they are juxtaposed, one right practically on top of the other.

Last night he had our full attention.  This son of a bluegrass legend, a former Grand Old Opry guest, a traveler, wanderer, a hall-of-famer, this humble son who said he only could pick out a few tunes had us spellbound and in awe and fully entertained for an evening in our living room.  A special, unexpected gift.

But just as life seems so right, so right now, new, fresh, forward-moving and free, I am reminded that I have chains to the past.  It only takes a phonecall.  However, this un-jumbled life is so much more clear.  It's easy to see which road to take, which way my heart naturally now needs to go.  It's home, and this is where I'll stay.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flash Forward

It's a strange thing to meet your future self, but that's just what I did the other day.  She was a patient at the hospital and we only had a couple of encounters but we wasted no time getting straight to the heart of the matter.

She began with a 20 minute rant about the gross injustice, inappropriateness and insult of arrogance, egoism and abject criticism that had been unfortunately thrust upon her the day before and I listened and listened and felt every bit of her pain and frustration.  I liked her instantly.

It was strange, our similarities, I knew them straight away and had the eerie feeling I was somehow looking into the mirror, flash forward 30 years or so.

We kept on the next day.  She told me about her sheep, her wool, her knitting, her art, wonderful life with its troubles, the parts that have made her so strong, so resilient.  We shared.

"You know, you're just like me,"  she said.  "Oh, maybe that's too presumptuous, honey.  I'm sorry, you may not want to be like me, but I think we have alot in common."

"No,"  I said, "I already felt that connection yesterday, I think we're on the same page.  Funny."

"I think we were somehow supposed to meet.  I really mean that, honey.  You've really made my time here so much better.  Thank you."

Some days have the potential to be just that surreal when I least expect it, usually when I need it most, and they remind me what I'm doing there in the first place.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boat Days and a Little Americana

Give us the chance and we would spend every day this way.  Sometimes we feel very far from home.