Thursday, October 2, 2014

Take a walk with me

Last blooms



Doug built this chair for a Christmas gift to me a couple of years ago.

The bird bath I bought in memory of mother.

Coleus I allowed to run wild

perspective

another view

steps fashioned from local limestone


everyone calls her the baby

the old man

the best chicken, ever - Ms Ella Fitzgerald

Doug built this years ago

heads bowed



property across the road

property across the road

at the end of our drive





When I walked out to my car, after work tonight, you could feel the winds of change blowing.  I walked about the property this evening, taking these photos, with temperatures of warm 83 degrees. We are expecting thunderstorms tonight which will take the temps down to 66 degrees. They are predicting an overnight low of 37 degrees on Saturday. The temps have been as low as 40 thus far, but we haven't hit the 30s, yet. Soon the fall rains will begin and with them, the leaves will come down. I hope we have some time to enjoy the changing colors before that happens.
In the summer, we are mostly outdoors. When we are in the house, we never go into the family room which we refer to as the fireplace room. We only use the fireplace room during the months we have fires going. I need to get to work cleaning the fireplace room as we may be in there soon. Before I do that, Doug will need to clean the chimney. When I sat down to write this post he walked in and said "time to batten down the hatches, right?" Usually we don't light the first fire until mid to late October. If it is cold enough to turn on the heat, we usually have a fire going. Our fireplace has an insert in it with a blower, but often we sit in the fireplace room with the door open basking in the heat.
Certain things ruin you. I've had a sunroof in my car for years now and can't imagine not having a sunroof. The same with a fireplace. I just can't imagine winter without being able to sit in front of the fire. In winter, evening after evening, Doug and I sit in there, surrounded by our two cats and our Corgi. Doug is usually dozing. I read or get on my laptop. As long as I don't have to be out on icy roads, I don't mind winter. I have a friend who teases me, but I always stock up the larder. She started teasing me about this years ago when I lived across the road from a grocery - telling me if I did run out of something, I could just walk to the grocery to fetch it. She loved to say "this isn't Little House on the Prairie!" Even so, I like the idea of stocking up - of being secure in knowing if I'm snowed in I can bake bread or a pie or cookies or make chili and all of the ingredients are at hand. I need to get to work laying in the food supplies for winter.  
We are considering finding new homes for the chickens. We are both tired of caring for them. We've kept chickens for four years now and this past year, we didn't get new chicks in the spring. I made the mistake of naming a few of my first batch - my Barred Rock, Ella Fitzgerald, my speckled Sussex, Marvella and my California white, Jenny-O. These girls probably don't even lay any longer, but it is hard to let them go. But neither of us want to hike out into the snow and break the ice or make certain the water heater is working.
October is my favorite month of the year and we've only just begun, so we aren't quite ready for snow. I love crisp leaves crunching underfoot, football games droning in the background, sweatshirts, warm cups in cold hands.
I hope you enjoyed walking with me about the property.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Everything is going to be o.k. (?)

Remember the 1965 version of  Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren and the song "in my own little corner, in my own little chair?" Well, this isn't a corner - it is more of a cubby - an awkward little space between two closets and here I sit. This was my daughter's chair - one of the Ikea Paong chair. I always loved to sit in the chair at her house and one visit, she sent it home with me. I still love it. So comfy. I sit in it, a place I go to hide, to be alone. A place to sit, watch movies, read or blog.
My poor blog. It has become a dark, sad place to go. People ask me if I am still blogging and I say "some - but you don't want to read it." I know everyone has to deal with their own grief in their own way. A lot of people don't want to hear about it - or think it should be over. The first year is hard - the year of firsts without her. And, it will never be over. When you lose someone you love, you just have to try to learn to live without them. The people who are the most understanding are those who have lost their mother, or had a similar painful loss.
Mother died in March and then my new granddaughter was born in June and then my son married in July and then I went to see my girls in the middle of August and ever since I returned home I just kind of fell off. I haven't been working out which isn't good. I'm not as cheerful and enthusiastic and happy as I normally am. I've made some bad decisions and I'm sure that is part of it all. It is kind of like when you go through a divorce - you feel crazy and you are grasping and trying to find something that will make it o.k. and for a long while, nothing really feels o.k.
Ever feel like the whole world is mad at you? I feel like that. And, it isn't the whole world - it is some people who will never understand how I feel about a certain subject. I stood up for myself and now things are a mess. I find myself wondering how or if things will ever get worked out. I have apologized, but was told it was "too late." It is never too late. What if people just didn't apologize? And I do know people like that who think "they will get over it." What do you do when you apologize and it isn't accepted? I was told my words were meaningless. My words are not meaningless. And even if the apology doesn't mean anything to the one who said that to me (who was not the person I apologized to), my apology is still there.
I find myself wishing I was Catholic. I don't even know too much about the Catholic faith, but I want to be absolved. I want to talk to a kindly old Father - someone like Father Tim in Jan Karon's books. (He is actually an Episcopalian.) I want a wrinkled, old, warm, soft hand, the skin on the back of the hand covered in liver spots, to pat mine and tell me everything will be o.k. I want to look into kindly clear blue eyes that are filled with care and love and understanding. I want someone to tell me what to do, how to fix this mess.
You know that smell in an old church? I love that smell. That Christmas eve, baby dedication, funeral, cold Easter morning smell. The smell of years of furniture polish rubbed into gleaming old wood, of wool coats in winter, of old pages in song books, of candles snuffed out and holiness. That is what holiness smells like to me. I want to slide into a pew and listen to a sermon of compassion and encouragement.  I want to sit in the congregation and feel that the minister is looking right at me and he knows what I'm going through.
I sound as if I am a pile of mush on the floor.I'm not. I go to work. I work hard. I am good at my job. I have this house clean, finally - prompted by a guest - I am a neat freak, but had not really cleaned probably since I lost mother. My house is clean. The pumpkins and gourds and mums are in place, the fall scented candles about the house. I keep moving. I keep walking, putting one foot in front of another. And I anticipate the next visit to my son's or daughter's and the happiness I feel in those visits -  a little hand in mine, a little girl yelling "grandma!" A baby making eye contact and smiling.
Some how, some way, everything is going to be o.k.
Maybe I'm not the only one who needs to hear those words.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Six months

I woke at 4:30 a.m. this morning. Today is the six month anniversary of my mother's death. Every month when the anniversary rolls around, I have difficulty sleeping. This morning I thought of mother, of sitting next to her hospital bed, holding her hand to my face, wishing I could just die right along with her. I asked God to just let me go - to let me go with her. Little did I know at the time that a part of me did go with her. I know this is true because of the hole that has been left behind.
This morning I thought of mother and life and death and relationships.

My alarm sounded at 6:15 a.m. and I got up and took my Welsh Pembroke Corgi, Chelsea, out for a walk. The air was dank. Rotting wet leaves cover the ground. The sky was the color of pewter with darker clouds mixed in. A rooster from a nearby farm sounded and our rooster seemingly answered.

I've thought of her all day. I sat this evening combing through photographs and although I had her all of these years, I already know there aren't enough photographs. I should have taken more.

I looked at my facebook page and started to write something but when I saw my post from yesterday, Little Bee's first day of Pre-K 3, I decided to leave what was positive and full of life and joyful and not mention the anniversary of mother's death.

I've thought of relationships with others. When you lose someone who is so precious, you realize the stupid stuff just doesn't matter. Life is too precious and short. I don't have time for stupidity - for stupid people and their stupid ideas.

I was fortunate to realize how precious my mother was while I still had her. Others have started to realize this since she has been gone. That is sad.

I feel sick and sad and tired and used up today.