connections, coping, courage, family, friends, home, life goes on, memories, neighbors, road trip

And then it hits you…

While you’ve been concentrating on all the people you love, the ones that you are heading north to see, there are people here that you love and are leaving behind.  There will be heartfelt goodbyes to say here.  Neighbors who I’ve been blessed to know, and who have helped me feel secure in this first ever time of my life in which I’ve lived alone.  But not as alone as I might have felt if not for them.  And my photography friends, I will see their adventures in photography online, and look forward to being out shooting with them again before too long.  And then there are my coworkers, who were my sounding board as I went through this biggest challenge of my life.  I thought of myself as alone these past four years, but I see now that I haven’t really been alone at all.

I sent a note to a friend’s mother to apologize after sneaking away without saying goodbye.  I told her how much I have always hated saying goodbye.  She sent back a note and said that in her family they say Auf Weidersehen, ‘until we meet again’.   Yes, that’s it exactly, it’s only goodbye for now, until we meet again.

12-8lizardbomb
These flowers were over a week old and still looked great so I took their picture.  It was only then that I saw the lizard photo bomb.
12-8campfire
Winter camping in Florida is just what I needed last night…
coping, faith, finding my way, home, life, life goes on, photography, road trip

Oh where is my hairbrush…

Not a question but a song.  A song that I had found myself singing several days in a row as I searched for my missing hairbrush. That it disappeared in the chaos which is my life at the moment isn’t surprising, but I found myself surprised to be singing that song at all.  It was so familiar, but I couldn’t place where it was from. But after I thought about it for a bit I realized, Veggie Tales!  And now I sing it frequently, substituting the name of the missing item du jour.  And something is always missing.  Eventually the last puzzle piece will fall into place, and I’d be willing to bet that I won’t realize it for a second.  That that was it, it’s time to go.  Lately I find myself wishing for life to get back to normal.  I wonder how long it will take me to recognize my new normal, whatever that turns out to be…

blessings, connections, coping, courage, death, eavesdropping, grief, healing, life, moments, strangers

Dilly dilly…

I took myself out for a quesadilla burger last night.  I’d been thinking about them for a week or two, and since burgers are the Monday special at Appleby’s, and I had stayed home and cleaned the house most of the day, and all the pots, pans, dishes, and silverware are at the mobile, it seemed like the thing to do.

The parking lot was quite full, so I hoped there would be a seat available at the bar, and there was.  It was empty actually, I was surprised.  And as I sat there enjoying my burger a mother and daughter came in and sat a little bit away from me at the bar.  I couldn’t help but hear their conversation and it became obvious that the daughter was there to support the mother who had just lost her husband.  It was a brand new situation for them, should she ‘have something’ here, or was it okay to just do it ‘back home’ was a topic.  The Mom and Dad had apparently frequented Appleby’s.  Mom said that if her Michael had seen that they had ordered breadsticks with Alfredo sauce he’d have shaken his head.  She told the bartender that she didn’t know if she could bring herself to come there without him, but she decided that she could do it while her daughter was with her this first time.  I related to them so much, to the two or three days that my son stayed with me in the aftermath of Charley’s death, until I kicked him out, sort of.  I felt connected to them, though they had no clue and we hadn’t spoken a word to each other.

And then it was time to leave.  I had switched to a bigger purse because I’m carrying more with me back and forth, and I love that purse but I can never find anything in it. Like my wallet, but it simply wasn’t there.  This had never happened to me before and I wondered why I wasn’t in a total panic, but I wasn’t, and I quietly (I thought) told the young gal who was bartending that I was embarrassed, and asked if I could give her a check.  She said no, it’s fine, just stop by another time and take care of it.  As I asked for the check I heard the mother say, “We’ll take care of it.”  I looked over and she was in tears.  She thanked me.  She said that her husband would have loved this, it was perfect, it was just the thing he loved to do.  And while this wasn’t my finest moment I felt so calm as I saw what this moment was for her.  I thanked them, hugged them, and told them that my son and I had spent this same time together four years ago.  And Mom thanked me again, said her husband would be so pleased with this, and asked that the next time I go out and have a drink, to please raise my glass to Michael and say, “Dilly dilly.”  And I will…

coping, finding my way, leap of faith, life goes on, perseverance, photography, simple things

Validation…

When I was newly divorced, give or take 40 years ago, I drove my ex-husband and his then girlfriend now wife, crazy.  I called him.  A lot.  No, not to fix a plumbing leak or anything.  I called because I found the day-to-day responsibility of raising the kids to be a bit overwhelming.  We were a Navy family, living far away from all family, and having few friends.  No one else knew my kids well besides him.  And what if I dropped dead?  He would have to take the kids on immediately and I wanted him to know where they were ‘at’.  I needed to feel that he was up to speed with them. So when an issue had come up and I had handled it I would call him, tell him what had happened and how I had handled it, and he would always tell me I had handled it just right and he wouldn’t have changed anything.  If a divorce can be a good thing then we had a good divorce.  I needed validation.

Which all came to mind this morning when my soft-boiled eggs turned out perfectly.  I must still be seeking validation because I get quite pleased with myself when that happens, and I feel like the universe has given me a little pat on the back.  And then I won my very first game of solitaire this morning.  I have a solitaire-playing friend who suggested that my shuffling skills aren’t the greatest, but I choose to be encouraged that my life-changes that are underway have me on the right track.  In spades!  I’ll take validation any way I can get it.

coping, courage, finding my way, life, life goes on, old dogs new tricks, photography, progress

Moving forward…

I have been telling myself that I’m very lucky to be in the midst of what might be the longest ever move in history.  Not in miles, it’s 14 miles between houses.  But the fact that I have access to both houses means that for several weeks now I’ve been moving boxes, and taking pictures off the wall and loading them into the car, and boxing up dishes, and driving them to the new place, and then unloading them.  It ought to feel like I’m getting somewhere, but I’m not sure that it does quite yet.  Consequently I have lined up movers for what, for them, will be the easiest, fastest move in history.  They’ll only be moving the biggest, heaviest, pieces that won’t fit in the car even if I could carry them myself.  I signed documents online to set this up, page after page of electronic signatures.  Heaven knows what exactly I signed.  And then I read the fine print.  All the things the home owner is responsible for, and that failure to live up to your responsibilities will result in a higher-than-quoted bill.  And so I will place the mattresses in mattress bags, turns out uHaul had them, and somehow wrap the biggest TV in such a way that it meets their expectations.  But what really had me scratching my head was the insistence that the homeowner shrink-wrap any leather furniture.  So my leather recliner, which I love, will have to be shrink- wrapped by me.  But again, it was uHaul to the rescue.  I’ll bet that if I had called them for advice in the first place they could have handled the whole thing.  But little by little things are moving along.  Physically, of course, but what’s more exciting is that my life is moving forward…

a second look, birds, coping, Florida wildlife, home, life goes on, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, progress, technology

Why now?

Why has the urge to write again become so irresistible at this particular moment in time?  I already have too much to do, what with downsizing again, and getting ready to head up north as soon as I can organize myself to hit the road.  I remember when we tried to pin-point when exactly we could see the changes in my MIL that would herald her onset of Alzheimer’s.  And I thought it was the move she made at almost exactly my age.  She was living in an apartment temporarily, and had most of her things stored at her daughter’s house, so when she seemed scattered it was quite understandable.  But she never was quite herself again.  Not that I think I’m diagnosable, but right now I have one foot in my house and the other one out the door, and that seemed like the perfect time to go out and buy the heavy duty tripod and Gimbal head for my camera.  The better to take advantage of my last days of heading out the back door to see what I could see out back.  And in anticipation of the photos of snowy landscapes I see in my future.  In this case I was happy I had invested in the tripod when an Anhinga was the backyard visitor yesterday.  Or was it the day before…11-8anhinga211-8anhinga311-8ibis1The Ibis are out back daily, and in large numbers, so I mostly ignore them.  But this guy caught my eye…