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.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Out with the old

The afternoons are ripe for running again.  Sun just warm enough and wind so cool against my sweaty skin that I get goosebumps all over when it blows and I keep on going.  The day runs over and over and I leave little bits of it behind with each hop and leap over the twigs on my trail.  I squint at the sun and it sparkles through the blond tips of my eyelashes.  I clear my mind of mud and put in it's place what I'd like to go there instead.  I see smiling children with lightly tanned shoulders and sunbleached hair from a long summer.  Smiles brought forth by acceptance, healthy bodies from so much time and care spent.  My life's work up till now, the single most important contribution I will put forth and I am smiling.  I am grateful for life's gifts, those which I've been given and those which I have to give.  It's the connection between us I treasure most, without it I wouldn't have had even half a life.  One lucky girl.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I climbed the porch steps negotiating around two girls sitting smack in the middle of them shucking corn, grinning.

"We got crab and shrimp and corn and drumsticks and donuts!"  they cried.

"Sounds like Daddy went to the store" I said.  "He always gets the good stuff."

The little things never get old for them.  Bare feet.  The pleasure of long evenings, doing things differently sometimes, the way only Daddy can do them.  The summer comes to a close, school starts soon and they know the ambivalence of being eager for it to begin and so sorry to see summer go.

I am right there with them.  Every year.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Here's the part where I'm honest

I unclog the shower drain.  I clean the lint trap in the dryer every time I do a load.  I make sure the water filtration system is maintained every six months.  I recharge rechargeable batteries and refill soap bottles.  We don't run out.  There is always a supply of toilet paper and paper towels and clean underwear and socks.  The dishes don't pile up.  Most things are nauseatingly well-maintained except this summer for the gardens.  The veggies, the flowers and me, we've all gone dormant.

I go through waves of being hopelessly inadequate at giving myself permission for personal expression.  This might come as a surprise, for you see this whole self-taught-knitting-turned-blogger-dabbler-in-photography is quite the departure from my life long stifled self who was taught early on about shame, unimportance and punishment, the steep price to pay for straying.  I learned to hide and think I did it rather well.  But the achiever kept busy, in an understated sort of way, on the outskirts deflecting attention and the guilt lingered. 

The time has come to unclog my drains, to clear my filters and change the medium, to recharge the batteries and let go of perfection, shame, guilt, fear.  I'm breathing deep this week.  Lungs full of ocean air and sun so warm I can feel it's golden hue from inside out.

My frustration frustrates me and needs to go.  I hold myself back and listen to the voices that kept me clinging lifelessly to the lost.  What a beautiful change, and terrifying to finally let go.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I know my kids are different from one another.  Plain as day, easy to tell, no mistaking it.  But as something I'm as used to as my pudgy little toes, it still strikes me, how personalities are so present in pictures and how theirs are so vastly different.

Lookatmelookatmelookatme is the mantra of the littlest.  I practically lose the middle one to her own imagination where a story unfolds every second in an elaborate world inside her head to which only she belongs.

She listens to miss bossy bossy but usually the waves have a stronger pull.

There is shyness,

contemplation, plotting the next course of attack,

and watchmewatchmewatchme,

I'm about to get...


Sweet, happy,

and busy since day one.

They suffer until the end, only posing nicely because I promised them...

this.  (all but the third who sits in protest)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Rhythm

She looks for me.
She waits.
Pitiful as possible.

Some things I see only if I'm looking, and then only at the right time.  These flowers open only at night, and in morning are already beginning to close.

By midday, tight.

With scary looking seed pods.

The ancient apple tree.  ("...don't care 'bout spots on my apples, leave me the birds and the bees..." remember that song?  this tree reminds me of that)

I always know where I can find love, devotion,

and hate.  It's a princess-cat-I-used-to-be-a-stray-now-I'm-grumpy-leave-me-alone kind of thing.

But what I've turned to daily this summer has been the music. 

A definite favorite.