Monday, August 28, 2017


Childhood. Many of us remember when we were children. Some of us have wonderful memories of growing up in a loving home. I know I do.

I also have memories as far back as I can remember of being afraid of being separated from my mom. I never went to daycare and probably wasn't far from her until school began when I was five years old. My kindergarten class started in the afternoon and I remember the bus coming down my dirt road to pick me up. At least I have a movie of it occuring anyway.

Though I don't recall the bus ride vividly, I do remember crying in kindergarten from time to time because I missed my mom. I have memories of children being sick in the class and how upset that made me. I worried I would become sick too.

This fear seems to have followed me into adulthood. I would frequently ask my mom as I was growing up if I would be okay today as I left for school. She would always assure me that yes, I'd be okay... and then I knew I would be. And of course I was.

I have always needed reassurance.

Without her here, it's been tough. Sounds silly actually as I am in my 50's now, but we never really outgrow some of our needs. We become strong and able to reassure and help others, but we don't outgrow needing reassurance and comfort ourselves.

So it's okay. It's okay to admit that I'm fearful and need to be told things will be okay sometimes. It's okay to search for healthy ways to get that reassurance too. My doctor, my relationship with God, friends who know and love me....

But something will always be missing without having my mom here telling me .... I sure do miss her.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


I've been looking at properties for quite some time now.... wanting to downsize and move. My home at one time seemed right .... for Edd and I... but without him here.... after over five years without him...  it seems as though I'm rattling around in an empty shell of sorts. It's too big and doesn't seem to envelope me with comfort and simplicity and modesty.

Hard to explain in some ways since home isn't just a place for me. It's a feeling.

Home. It makes a social as well as a personal statement about ourselves, doesn't it? I think I try at every turn to get back to the way I felt as a child when home was much more than the actual walls and wood and shingles, but the sense of security and comfort and peace and safety.

Maybe I expect too much? Probably. But I keep looking. Searching.

I want a place that is smaller than I have now. More manageable. A little less to take care of and right for me as I move forward .... "to the foreshadowing chill of possible loneliness of old age." I'd love to be able to make changes if I'd like.. to make it more "me"... and be creative with the space. I'd like it to be full of visitors who enjoy its nooks and crannies too... but that joy seems to escape me somehow.

Oh, how life can get complex if we don't have the wisdom to reign it in when we need to. We try to do the best we can, don't we? But there is always something new to learn. Something we must re-think and evaluate anew.



My search continues.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

change of focus

When I spend time dwelling on things I can't control I'm doomed. 

Living alone is hard in that it is challenging to get out of your own head. 

But looking outside of myself, the bigger universe and how small I am, and finding joy in the 
little things... birds joyfully singing, white puffy clouds, a bubble bath, a loving memory, a child's hug or laugh, washing my hair, a fresh cup of morning coffee, writing a kind note, the smell of the earth after the rain, reading a quote of wisdom or hope ... fills me with the stillness and peace that I crave.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

a safe place

As I sit here with a homemade blueberry muffin and cup of coffee I think of how writing from my heart is my happy place... what people today call their jam. But expressing and going to that place in my heart where all the feely and deep things are has been a slippery slope. It's sometimes a place that's hard to sort out... and then when I do hit a sensitive spot I can flinch.

It seems I've been too much of a hyper-vigilant over thinker for too long now. I'm sometimes jumpy and often my faith has turned to fear. Loss and disappointment has left me hobbling along at times. Although I mostly function just fine, some parts may have to be urged along to catch up and get back in the program. I'll still manage to be in this dance of life, but might not know all the right moves or when the music starts and stops. But I haven't given up trying... to do better... as I learn to be better.

So today... as the storms come, real or imagined ... and the worries of life try to take over... I will find ways to be still. To find that place where peace and calm dwell. To seek it out... To seek out the One who knows me and loves me.... created me and kept me safe all these years. I will put my life in His hands and if I take it back again I'll be quickly reminded nothing good comes from that. I'll remember that it's not about trying hard all the time, it's often about letting go and surrendering. It's about finding the place where you know you're safe ... and can hopefully reach out a hand to encourage someone else find that place too.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

a distant memory

This was my dad's fruit tree "experiment" that didn't work out. About 45 years ago now.

He was always doing something interesting on our country property when I was growing up. We had chickens for a while and he constructed a coop and fenced yard for them. In the daytime they'd often be let out to forage outside of the coop's boundary. These were very healthy chickens and the epitome of happy and cage free!

One night I was walking home up to the house from a neighbor's (I had been babysitting) and heard a baaaaukkkkk that scared the daylights out of me! I had just walked past one of these little fruit trees that had a chicken roosting in it. She had failed to get back into the coop with the others to roost inside and flew into the tree for the night. A memory that has stayed with me.....

I was brought home from the hospital after my birth to this house. This was the home I grew up in. The one my memory returns to again and again. Though it has been inhabited by another family now for about 25 years, it will always be .....

.... my New Jersey home.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

life as it is

Real life doesn't always resemble a Hallmark card or Norman Rockwell picture. Not mine anyway. When I was younger I thought I knew it all. I thought I knew how to navigate my life and family in a way that would keep all bad influences out and I'd be able to control what my life would look like. I thought I could mold circumstances and people to ... yeah... basically be a picture-perfect family.

How could I be so naive?


On the outside it may have seemed all was fine, but it wasn't.

There was a divorce.

Then there was a new love that was everything ... Edd... How lucky... how BLESSED was I!! Beyond all expectations. But that wasn't to last when he got sick.... and had to leave.... (How I miss him! But that's another blog post.)

And I have a daughter who has struggled with drugs... for years ... and had a baby one year ago..... but has now been clean and sober for five months and that is a miracle in itself. My prayer is for her to continue for the rest of her life to learn and grow and mature.... to make up for all those stagnant insane years.....  This little grand baby is sweet and precious and it's hard to imagine the world without her.

Would I have chosen this one to come into the world at this time... and in this way? No.. but she is here now and deserves to be loved and cared for and .... to have a wonderful #1 birthday party tomorrow!!

Another daughter is divorced with a beautiful 20 month old daughter who is delightful and beautiful and adorable beyond words!! But there's been struggle.. and disappointment ... and pain. My daughter is awesome and a wonderful mother, hard worker and doing an amazing job.

Life. I sometimes handle things well, and other times feel like my emotions are being thrown around like clothes in the dryer... my heart isn't as resilient as it used to be.... if it ever was. I feel more fragile somehow. More vulnerable. I know now what loss feels like ... and I don't like it. I know I have little control over events and my faith has often turned to fear. Maybe that's the worst part of all.

But I am learning that all I can do is what I can do... I often can't nor could I ever make everything right... but I do have the ability to be kind and encouraging and offer my heart to others who need to know they are loved. To listen and be present. To love so someone knows and feels it. I fail though... often.... And I, all of us, need to have our own boundaries and know ourselves enough to be able to say no to things we can't handle... and let others handle their own problems. I can't save others... we just can't... as hard as it is to watch them struggle. We can offer a leg up though right? Sometimes we can.

But those who care... and are present... and kind.... and show compassion.... and let us know we have value.... they mean the world don't they?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

life with a dog... my dog

I've tried several times to add another dog to my home and family... besides Norman and I.. and each time I've come to the same conclusion.

I'm a one dog woman.

We are just in sync to the daily activities. He knows me. I know him. We coexist very well and are vaguely equivalent to an old married couple who just get each other.

When I leave to run errands he waits for me in the laundry room that connects to the garage, sleeping in another little bed there, listening for my return. He knows I always come home again....

He goes to bed when I do. Waits for the signals and recognizes when it's time to retreat to his little bed next to mine. I tuck him in and tell him what a good boy he is and give him extra pats and scratches.

When it's time to get up he follows me to the kitchen knowing he will go outside first before his breakfast. He looks up at me for direction every time... comes inside and then chows down before retreating back to the bedroom to watch me eat a light breakfast. He waits to see if he might get to lick the plate .... usually not.... but he's happy anyway jumping up on the bed when I finish.... to get a few pets and scratches.

When I exercise and do my yoga he joins me in the exercise room. He jumps up on the chair and takes a nap until I'm finished and then we go back downstairs. He likes to stay with the pack... however small our little pack is.... he and I.

He follows me into whatever room I'm in. If I'm busy, he takes a nap. If I go outside in the yard, he wants to come. He is ready to do whatever I want to do.

Dogs really are the greatest of companions.

I've enjoyed taking care of other dogs on a short term basis, and I've wished I could have a larger pack, but it just doesn't feel right and would be more than I could handle being the only human living here. I'm just one person without anyone else helping out.

And that's okay. Sometimes you have to try things out to know what you can do... and what you can't.

So ... it's me.... and Norman....

Norman helped fill the enormous void after Edd died. He helped fill the void after I lost Nicky, the dachshund before him. He is a dog that's always been full of life and energy. Sometimes too much energy... And he's aging now as dogs ... and all of us ... do. But he's still faithfully by my side... and he's earned my respect.