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When Lexie was very young we lived in a home with an utterly useless fence along the driveway. You’ve seen them, those fences that crop up but serve no purpose as they fence nothing in or out. Just a short run of split rails meant to give a “country feel” to the yard. There was no real gate, just a gap between the two sections allowing the path from the front door to pass through. One day she was trying to convey some thought that included the exact location of something outside and she repeated, “It’s by the fence door!”

Doors in life can that opaque. I remembered this when a customer drove up and walked toward the store. Korey commented, “Oh you know that guy, he has something to do with music and he will want to refill his Butternut Squash Seed Oil.” I did recognize him and indeed he is a loyal consumer of that particular oil, but it was the music part of the description I  focused on. With three events planned before the Grand Opening of the café, small details like – we need live music – have crept into my addled brain. Sure enough, this gentleman is the organizer for a major music festival in the region. We chatted for some time about possible acts, how to book them and what his organization could do to help us. Apparently there is a lot more red tape involved with new copyright law,  than simply hiring a band. The conversation took an odd turn to his other passion, foster homes and children.

I have harbored a thought that there is at least one more thing I can do personally, to make the world a better place for someone else. Foster parenting is one option I have been secretly weighing. I certainly can’t take on a baby or toddler at this point in life. Perhaps there is an older child who has been dealt a bad hand and just needs one last stopping off place before launching into the world?

Following the conversation I played a little game with myself. Back in the days I was contemplating motherhood, I would stop in the middle of the day and purposely think, “What if I were a mother right now? How would my life be different?”

Of course, I could never answer that question adequately; I had no prior experience. So today I took moments to ask again, though somewhat differently this time. “If I shake up my world and commit to changing my comfortable routine for another human what will it be like? Do I have the ability to put my selfishness aside and give up my alone time for that kind of commitment?” I once again, find I have no adequate answer.

More important to me is the “fence door” that appeared in the form of a good customer; a person I never knew existed a few short months ago. Ready access to help and resources for work related needs and a new network opening up. I mentioned I need a graphic artist, he wrote down a name and showed me a poster this person just finished for his company.  Suddenly, lots of puzzle pieces are falling into place, or perhaps it is fence doors appearing…

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14 comments on “Fence Doors

  1. Touring NH says:

    You have much to give, but so many foster children come with an enormous amount of baggage. I’m not saying it is a bad idea, but it is something you truly need to do some soul searching about. I can’t imagine what it would be like being responsible for another child/teen.

    1. I can’t either Laura, but I feel strongly about giving. It’s very selfish of me really, but at the very least I will explore the options. There are classes involved that should give me a sense of if I can handle it at this stage of life…

  2. Doppleganger says:

    Perhaps an exchange student? Someone with parents and some insight on how they “work” if you need it?

    1. Ah, there is a good alternative, Doppleganger and one I shall investigate. I think that might “open lots of doors” as well!

  3. Chris F says:

    I considered the same idea, but decided that an older parent is one burden and an older foster parent is something else entirely…no matter how well-intentioned. These kids DO come with baggage and it takes a young spirit and younger bones sometimes to cope with those. But there
    is a lot of need for “big brother-big sister”. Might think on that.

    1. Thank you Chris. I hadn’t even thought of that option. I will do some research. You are right about the “older parent” angle. I don’t think I can “parent” again though the need to reach out and offer a safe haven is strong.

  4. Life has a way of sorting things out, usually for the better. I’m glad to see that It’s happening in Peterborough.

    1. I really love this town, Allen. Even with all its warts and growing pains, it is a unique place where I feel I belong. Thank you!

  5. cheryl622014 says:

    Fence doors… useful …and timely. Thank you to the generations.

    1. Thanks Cheryl! Funny how kids view the world…

  6. Marie Keates says:

    If I k ew how hard being a parent was I’d never have done it. If I hadn’t though I’d have missed the best parts of my life. I’m not sure I could go back to being a full time parent again though, now mine are grown and mostly gone. I love the picture of the store door with your ghostly reflection too.

    1. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, Marie but also the most rewarding. You are the only one to comment on the door reflection. We needed a shot of the door for the sign and I never realized I was a “ghostly reflection” until after I took it!

  7. gabpile says:

    Do it. There are children with baggage everywhere. Fostering teens is worth it. Go for it. They need you.

    1. Thank You Gabpile. I don’t want to be a “negative stop” on their way so am giving it lots of careful thought.

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