Monday, December 31

Happy New Year

I love gray days. The times in between. Plain, ordinary, days.

Tuesday, November 1

Checking in

It's been a long time since I've done any socializing, blogging or anything else. I've buried myself in work. Fortunately, there was a lot of work that needed to be done so I was making some progress on that front while I was waiting to get energy for the rest of my life.

My nephew has moved back out after four or five months. He was doing so well but keeps trying to make the old relationship work. It was nice having him here but next time, I think I'll come up with another way of helping him without having him move in. I have a tendency to forget to take care of me.

It's been six months since Dan's passing so I guess it's natural that I'm starting to come around. I visited the doctor last week (after putting it off for a couple months, dreading getting yelled at) and found that all of my heart-related numbers are good. She suggested that I spend the next three months thinking about what I want things to look like and then, next dr visit, we'll come up with a plan for getting me back on track. Something about getting a 3-month pass that energized me. I started thinking of how good it would feel to show a bit of weight loss when I go back in January.

Tonight I'm going to a friend's house to celebrate my birthday (the one that was in July) so I guess I'm starting to come around. And, over the week-end, I started cleaning out a storage room, defrosted the freezer, and started sorting through Christmas decorations. And I looked up a guy on Facebook, a guy from high school who had emailed me a couple years ago. Gotta say, he's cute still at 62 and looks rather cuddly. Hmmm.

Just thinking before hitting publish. My thought is that I had trouble letting go of Dan when he was going in and out of recovery, even after he moved out. And grieving can also be a way of holding on, more than just getting over the loss. So I'm going to work on managing my thoughts. Look forward. Think forward. Plan ahead. Give the rear-view mirror a rest.

Sunday, July 10

Checking in

Today was a good day. I got up early (before the heat reached 103 degrees) and weeded some flower beds. Nothing like that for making a person feel better.

And then my nephew and I went to church. (I think I mentioned earlier that he's moved back in with me.) Neither of us had done that in awhile so we each did it for the other. Was nice, calming, centering. Felt good to do something new and something for each other.

I'm focusing on helping my nephew get acquainted with St. Louis and concentrating on creating a routine for us. So guess it goes without saying that I'm feeling much better. Taking steps.

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 11


I've been thinking about the need to go with the flow sometimes, floating, accepting, feeling and not resisting. Trusting that whatever is underneath my spirit will hold me up. Remembering that this, too, shall pass. Remembering to breathe in and out while it's passing. To smell the rain. Feel the breeze. Relax into the rise and fall. Because this, too, is life.

And so I was reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver:
Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them --

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided --
and that one wears an orange blight --
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away --
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled --
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing --
that the light is everything -- that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.
- Mary Oliver

It rained this morning. Green leaves are shiny. Happy Saturday.

Thursday, June 9


I'm not sure what the official name for the stage of grief that I find myself in is called. But I'm ready for Dan to come back.

I mean, I did the funeral and the packing up of the stuff and the crying after the funeral.

And I did the "I can't believe he's gone" and the "I wish I'd been kinder, nicer, better" round of discussions with friends and family.

And the stage where I kinda forgot he was gone and in the back of my mind while focusing on other work, I'd construct these conversations with him, like you do with a live person that you're fighting with. I'd do my side of the conversation and then imagine his response, how he'd stay sober if I had him move back in, and I'd feel better thinking I'd figured it out and then that stream of thoughts would move to the upper most part of my thinking and, boom, it would hit me. Doesn't matter what persuasive position I pose to him in my mind, the man is gone.

But now I've decided I'm finished with grieving. Dan can come back now.

Tuesday, May 10


I've been checking out photos of trees, trying to decide what kind of tree to plant in the front yard in the place where my golden rain tree used to be. I think I'll get either a mimosa, a river birch, or another golden rain tree. But, in the process of looking, I came across this photo that reminded me of my favorite tree on the farm where I grew up.

It was a solitary oak in the fenceline between two terraced fields of wheat. It was older and larger than the one in this photo but you get the idea. I'd lie down in its shade with my dog and tell the dog and the tree all of my little girl troubles. Loved that tree.

It's no longer standing there, of course, but I think of it when I see a beautiful tree standing alone. It was the first tree that I fell in love with. And then I loved my golden rain tree. It's been gone now about five years. Guess I'm ready to try another one.

Thursday, May 5

Mother's Day

This photo reminds me of my mom, of all the days when we'd work in the yard together. She'd plant gladioli bulbs or thin out the iris beds, and I'd plant nasturtium and marigold seeds. And listen to my mom talking about growing up, meeting my dad, and working in Philadelphia while she waited for him to return from WWII. So my plan for Sunday is to work out in the yard, pull some weeds, trim edging, and make a place for nasturium to grow...