Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Short Story

My husband and I had a camp out last night. It wasn't your normal camp out,though. There was no tent, campfire, marshmallows or sleeping bags...just a king size mattress hauled into the family room in front of the TV. It only seemed right considering all the other rooms are practically empty and we really wanted to watch King of Queens while relaxing horizontally.

 I think the seriousness of the moving deadline and the decisions that come with uprooting have beat us down. We hardly take time to eat, butt heads every few hours, and can never agree on what needs to be done next. We are different people.

We are monsters.

Monsters that still really, really love each other, but we aren't very nice. We don't even look very nice...rain soaked hair, grimy jeans, dirty fingernails and sore muscles...and who has time to slap on makeup and deodorant?

Or for that matter, blog? Well, this is therapy and I need it badly...

Anyhow, the simple act of camping out in the family room made everything seem bearable again. We laughed, we snuggled, we planned the day ahead, we shared our visions of the it's okay.

S'mores would have been nice, though...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Team Work

This whole moving thing has been quite a learning experience. And I've found out that it's a lot like math - I'm not very good at it. In fact, it brings out the worst in me. To make things even harder,  it appears to have the same effect on my husband. We have yelled at one another and argued more times in the past two weeks than we have in years. Now my throat is sore.

Packing, organizing, and cleaning can be so overwhelming when it has to be condensed into a short amount of time. I'm used to taking three days, seven coffee breaks, four naps, and sixteen treats just to clean the front closet! How on earth am I expected to unload this entire house, garage, and barn...stuff it all into boxes and bags ...and still pretend to be June Cleaver?

(Well, I never was June Cleaver, but I've come fairly close to Ma Kettle).

My husband keeps reminding me that I will have time to rest once we get to our new place. That I'll have a clean kitchen counter and fresh laundry again...that my bed will be made...I'll know where my shoes are and I'll really enjoy sleeping in as late as I want. It's hard to imagine after living in a house that looks as though the Tazmanian Devil tore through. Or a planet of cardboard-box aliens invaded. Or one that the Hoarders people skipped because it was teetering on borderline.

But I know he's right. It hasn't been any easier on him. Fried eggs and toast for dinner tonite. Hot dogs and frozen buns from Halloween last night...a tired wife that looks like some creature from the Hobbit...and no time to sit and watch the Discovery channel and snooze in his recliner.

We started on the barn/ garage today. Ugg.

But I really was surprised how much we accomplished. Still a lot to get done in a little bit of time, so we mustn't get discouraged. No matter how much mouse poop, spiders and snake skins we come across.

When all is said and done, my husband and I make a pretty good team. We work good together ...once we find our niche and shut our mouths.

It's 9 pm. Feels like 2 am. Knowing 5 am will come too soon.

Night all. Gotta go rest my yelling voice for tomorrow...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Place of Peace

Last night as I lay awake counting boxes and organizing the day ahead in my mind, I suddenly felt a place of peace. I realized that the prayers I have prayed for the past year have been answered. Over a year ago I told God I wanted to spend my days surrounded by nature, shed unneeded baggage for simplicity, fine tune my art, and enjoy life as it was meant to be. Now that He has answered my prayers, how can I possibly complain and grow weary with the experience? I have been so blessed.

I cried a bit this morning as I listened to the familiar birds outside my window and tried to memorize the pattern of the sunlight as it fell upon my bed. But my tears did not last long.

I tried to remember that in answering my prayers, he has also answered the prayers of the young couple buying our house. They are so excited to start a life here! How can I be so selfish to want my dream, but yet, not be willing to sacrifice what I have now? I'm ashamed to admit I'm holding onto material things...the very things I whispered to God that I wanted to let go of...the "things" that have choked my spirit with stress and responsibilities.

I am attempting to change my perspective. I am trying to imagine the joy of this couple as they play in the yard with their children, sit at the dining room table with Candyland, and celebrate birthdays and holidays within these walls.

She is expecting a child in August. How wonderful it must feel to pick out the right shade of blue for the walls! To prepare to bring a little pink baby into a soft warm bed at the end of the eventually know the sound and feel of the house key in the lock, the hum of the fridge, the way the winds whistles like music in the pine trees...the voice of sweet birds ...

and the sunlight as it falls upon the bed...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To Bloom Again

First off, let me apologize to all of you who have ever made a major move. I'm sorry I wasn't there for comfort, help, advise, rally...or put you out of your misery. I realize I've been so unsympathetic to those brave souls who have done this countless number of times...dug up their giant rootball of life and planted it elsewhere.

Yet, some things in life you must do alone. And, other than the occasional bark by my husband, it has been a solo experience. And a startling flashback of the past eighteen years in this house.

In order to pack properly, I must sift through memories that have been dormant in the closets of my heart forever. Pulling them out into the light makes them breathe again, recharge, become fragrant with forgotten scents... and soft with bittersweet tears. It has made the calendar of life come crushing down upon my head and has ticked away the years like a video on fast forward. Regrets become visible. Promises lay unkept. Youth is lost ...and nothing will ever be the same.

How can it be that these lopsided boxes with their ribbons of crooked tape be all that I am? Is my life actually reduced to piles of books, bins of paint, tubs of photos, and bags of clothing? Why do I bother to take this kind of luggage with me?  Why do I feel I must pack that wad of paper clips, the tube of suntan lotion, the old check books and worn slippers and too small belts? Why can't starting over really mean starting over?

But, then again, how could I possibly leave behind the things that compose my very soul? I will not, cannot, must not erase these years, this house, these things...just because my rootball needs a
transplant! These things are like layers of my Life. They are sewn into my skin, they are nourishment for my smiles, they will warm me on a cold winter night...they will comfort me in the last days of my life.

I realize that the human body is not made to accept excitement and stress at the same time. Blending both is a recipe for a nervous breakdown! I am so excited to move to the big woods, but my heart tries to grab onto the doorway of this house and refuses to go out. My memories flash so quickly before my eyes that I grow weary with the visions...I try to block them out...fight the good fight...persevere and continue forward.

Years ago when my dad passed away, we all knew his house would eventually be sold. I dug up a tulip bulb from my mom's flower bed to keep as a cherished memory of that house and that time in my life. He was buried in November. And I found myself digging a hole near my porch steps and burying that tulip in the cold ground, never really expecting it to ever bloom again.

But it did. Love is rich with strength and miracles. With faith, I know I will bloom again and my roots will grow thick and deep in a new place.

I stepped outside this morning. A yellow tulip blooms at the corner of my porch. A solitary flower
that I look upon with tears in my eyes.
"I love you, too, Dad," I say, "but it's time to go."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Don't Go Away

Sorry I've been AWOL! But we have sold our house and in the process of moving. I didn't realize how much junk  crap  treasure I have! I will be away from Blogland for a bit, but don't forget me! I'm definitely coming back!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I used to have a chalk board above my desk that held my most frequently used phone numbers. (That was back before fancy cell phones began holding your entire life within it's tiny shell.) My chalkboard was easy to use, economical to maintain, and readily available whenever I was home. But one drawback is that it was messy. Thick, coarse chalk sticks do not create the loveliest handwriting, nor do they print numbers in a soft flow. And even though I had a dime store eraser available, most times I crossed things out or smudged them with a spit-wet index finger.
While spring cleaning one year, I decided to do away with my chalk board. I had a brand new Rolodex that was just waiting to be alphabetically filled with addresses, phone numbers and additional contact resources. This nifty devise also held business cards and scraps of important notes. It soon made my blackboard obsolete.
So, I decided to wipe the chalkboard clean. I spritzed it with Windex and proceeded to remove all remants of my old fashioned communications system.
But, you know what? Everyday for almost 6 months, I kept glancing at the board whenever I needed a number. I even tried to view the board from different angles to see if those numbers were still faintly visible, hoping that they had somehow survived the final erasure. As convenient and modern as my new system was, I had difficulty making a simple change.
I 'm trying to do the same thing now, but with my life. Is it possible to start over in a new place with new things? Will I keep looking back, hoping to see things I've left behind? Will the new way work? Will I regret the decisions I am making for my future? Or will they finally become a part of me and be as natural as breathing?
I look at all my keepsakes and wonder if I should carefully fold them into a bubble wrapped nest and take them with me. Or should I pass them along to someone who would love them? Should I wipe my slate completely or partially? How will I choose what to keep and what to leave behind?
Just like my phone number system, I try to imagine eventually getting used to the new ways, new
place, new beginnings. It is all a matter of taking the leap...
And I hold this promise as comfort...

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ...