Re-emerging

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“Bless me Father for I have sinned…”   It’s been six months since my last post.

I have struggled on many fronts, though the lessons learned have ultimately brought unexpected joys and self-knowledge. I stopped publishing because I began to feel raw and vulnerable. There was too much of me out there, as well as others whose lives touched mine.

“Try another voice? Dial it back from reality?” the suggestions only brought a sense of defeat – a stilted story of someone else. Don’t get me wrong; I adore fiction and devour at least one novel a week. I, however, can never produce fiction. So I have not stopped writing. My journals overflow with more than 4000 words a month. The editing is woefully lacking and I question whether anyone else would find solace in the words.

How does one reinvent, reemerge, recover lost ground? One thought is to compose a letter, a pen-pal style missive once a month to those who kindly support me and have an interest in my writing. If recipients were those I knew is some capacity,  and I could feel more comfortable sharing my intimate view of life, perhaps many needs could be met and the dilemma would be solved.

Thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Alice

Useless Spring Chores

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It’s 25°s cooler today than the day before, still a balmy 68° but overcast and humid. In the distance, through the woods comes the muffled sound of a lawn mower as a neighbor begins the weekly ritual of trying to create a green space out of granite. The Ravens murmur to each other as they silently swoop overhead and the crickets thrum as they will for their short lives.

New and repaired screens are installed, final three pots are planted with saucy yellow flowers and the garage is swept. My list grows shorter and I take a break to step out onto the freshly stained, front deck and admire my little homestead. Splashes of color are appearing amid the overgrown patches I consider my gardens.

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I’m not sure what tree is shedding these blooms, I suspect the giant oaks, but like the leaves in Fall, suddenly they are carpeting all the clean spaces.

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They cling to spider webs and dance in the slightest breeze.

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They curl around the corners of every chair and table, leaving a dusty mustard-colored silt. I grabbed a broom and made a stab at ridding the deck of them. It was like pushing snow. The broom clogged and I immediately lost interest. A useless spring task indeed. I think I will just wait for the rain to wash them away…

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And so it goes in July…

Night #1 of Staycation 2017

Friday night, kick back with movies on the couch as the thunderstorms rage.

N.B. “In America” is a monumental film

Day 1 – Saturday

Run the usual errands then read in the sun, there may have been some napping happening too.

A stiff breeze, the wind chimes dancing and all the birds calling for rain.

Another thunderstorm is brewing…

If I’m lucky it will drown the inevitable fireworks.

Day 2 of Staycation – Sunday

What do you do on vacation? Read, write, nap, cook, eat and repeat. To change the venue up a bit, I moved the grill to the deck off the kitchen.

Alice LOVES staycations:

  • Extra bones and time together
  • Lots of together time in a familiar place
  • Freedom to roam from back to front decks and follow the sun
  • Did I mention time together?

Returned to Mountain Brook Reservoir for a brief kayak. Today I pretended to be a sailboat; tacking around the pond with the wind choosing my direction. I followed a herd? flock? of 18 Canada Geese for a while as they traversed the open water. I was part of the flock…

Day 3 of Staycation – Monday

Alice watched a frenzy of cleaning – toys and bones disappeared, the floors were slippery, wet and apparently “OFF LIMITS!!” She retreated to the quiet of the front deck. Just as suddenly, it all ceased. The cleanliness program came to an abrupt halt when I realized that if I was going to ride today it had to be right now.

A Scarlet Tanager caught my eye as Night and I walked peacefully down the trail. It was so spectacular, I had to look it up in my bird books when I got home. The Mountain Laurel is in full dress – pink, deep dusty rose, stark white and all hues in between.

I love this time of year when the Mare is sleek and buff. Spring brings the awkward, unattractive stage of shedding. Polar Fleece is the layer I have shed down to after a winter of layers. Polar Fleece + wintry horse hair = itch.

My mad dash to get to the barn (along with the cleaning frenzy) was brought on by two requests to show the house from 12:30 to 5pm. Alice and I would be nomads for hours. What happened to STAY as in enjoy your own home?

After my ride, the final push on cleaning commenced. Alice avoided me. I packed a picnic of homemade Gazpacho soup, fresh fruit salad and crackers. With a quick stop for water and the NY Times we were on our way.

We settled at a table in the shade next to MacDowell Dam; I with my lunch and newspaper, Alice with a fresh marrow bone I so thoughtfully  packed for her. There was a lovely breeze and thankfully very few other folks around. Those who did appear respected our privacy; they were distant enough to merit our attention only briefly.

We circled around town then headed north to Washington. With 2.5 hours to kill perhaps a visit to the Lake Cottage would fill our time. It’s been years since I have driven down that dirt road on the 4th of July weekend. Ghosts of past celebrations seeped into my mood and I couldn’t manage more than a quick stop to let Alice stretch her legs and have a drink. Some memories are best left alone.

Finally, driving on fumes as the gas gauge lit up, we arrived back in our neighborhood. We parked at the Wapak Trail where we walk every morning. Alice was pleased to get out and pee someplace familiar.

It was good to come home. I grilled swordfish and made a green salad for my dinner. Alice was equally pleased with her usual cup of kibble. A Flicker sat in the tree above the deck and boisterously called his mate. Alice reclaimed her bones and toys. I danced with abandon to a Trace Bundy guitar solo and felt lucky to be staycationing in such a wonderful place.

Staycation Day #4 – The Fourth of July

Never make plans that are too constricting. A quick jaunt to the barn became a lovely long walk with four other riders. Not our usual fare but Night and I saw a different side of going out into the woods. It was Tuesday, “fuel for the truck” day as I focus on not using more than a tank per week. What I really should be doing for the Truck is washing, waxing and cleaning the interior. Poor Truck. Alice and I are on vacation at the moment, it’s just not your turn…

 

And so it goes…

“I miss your bees!”

“I miss them too…”

So began my conversation with a neighbor. I told him about the bear, just a roly-poly yearling I found in the backyard this morning. He said his garden was doing really well this year despite the lack of neighborhood pollinators. He has the week off. Bought himself a power washer and the plan is to wash and stain his house. I told him about my almost-buyer and my mold.

Home ownership. There have been three showing in the last three days. Should have been four but one was a no-show. Two seem interested, at least they asked follow-up questions on utility rates and building permits. I worry when I don’t have lookers. I worry when the lookers might be buyers. This is nothing but worry.  Alice and I drive the back roads slowly, stopping to admire the streams and rock outcroppings. There is nothing good about being kicked out of your home for hours at a time while unknown people are perusing your life. Some complain about things like the kitchen. I love my funky, Mexican-inspired kitchen, but it is not for everyone. On the other hand, I have turned out amazing feasts in that stilted space. Many will attest to my culinary talents.

I was collecting flowers for the showings this morning, wandering around the house with scissors and blooms in hand. As I rounded the corner of the garage,  Boo-boo the bear was hefting his butt over the deck railing. Skeedles was dancing in a circle pointing and silently miming some sign for danger. There be bears and these woods…

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In the Pink

Sixty-two…

The Inspector. If you are the buyer, his job is to strip your dream naked and point out every pimple, wart, and blemish. You have already arranged your furniture and pictured yourself sipping coffee early in the morning on the deck, listening to the birds and watching the sun rise.

If you are the seller, his job is to reduce the financial return you thought you would receive for loving, caring and ultimately giving up this home.

We have all ridden in this particular rodeo before, the dream is painted with all the changes you will make and the bones of the house support your vision despite the small bits of mold and rot.

After 12 years I am closing the chapter on this address. While there were things I knew would raise red flags with the home inspection, there are also hidden sores that break my heart (and checkbook) before I can move on. I suppose if I had a partner in my life, someone to be the voice of reason when I’m ready to pull out the 410 and exercise my right to bear arms, this would be slightly easier. Alice is not the voice of reason and Skeedles disappears with depressing regularity.

On the flip side. As I pursue the next address to put on my Christmas cards, my honed sense of what can go wrong with a house allows me to temper my expectations. I’m still operating on the concept that my next home hasn’t presented itself to me. The options at the moment are

  • an antique charmer with a wood stove, a killer view and fun kitchen but lots of years of minimal maintenance.
  • the straw bale house, bright and airy with environmental comfort but lacking my creature comforts of closets, a fireplace and a 10 minute commute.
  • a lake house with a wood stove and, well, a lake, and a 20 minute commute .
  • a tiny “walk through’ house, close to work, within walking distance to shopping, dining but with less privacy and nature.
  • a log cabin that doesn’t want pets just 5 miles from our current home.

As a newly minted renter, I am looking for a long-term situation. This is good. I’m ‘mature’ and responsible both fiscally and in my lifestyle. That is good. Now to come to a decision. For the first time in fifteen months I have some feeling of control over my immediate future.

Poof!

And just like that my Happy disappeared. It walked out the door when my realtor called at 10:00 on Friday morning – my 62nd birthday. The potential buyers ‘walked’ on the sale of my house. I crashed and burned on the steps outside the office as Sean was bringing me a box of decadent cupcakes.

So why does this feel familiar? What part of this emotion seems to taunt me with thoughts I have failed? I go back to my diaries (it was a better alternative to sitting in the middle of the living room with a gas can and a match) and I search for another “Chapter” and how it unfolded.

Though I have no lengthy entries from the period, except brief notes on the threshold of misery and the extreme happiness beyond. I do remember that particular real estate living hell. Jeff and I sold the house in Littleton and had an offer in on a farm in West Swanzey, NH. The speed bumps and road signs were blaring “Danger” but we were blind to them and the NH farm became a disaster of nightmare proportions. Ultimately we had 30 days to find a house/home/barn for two daughters, two dogs, a cat and three horses.

The farm in Lunenburg emerged and for the next 18 years it was the best move I have ever made. Childhoods were lived, milestones were passed and lessons of life were learned.

Indeed, my heart broke and I wept at the set-back this time around. Being unable to see how this would “All turn out for the best!” I chose to ignore the fact that I was now back to the beginning with no house sale.  The next day I was scheduled to look at a house way off in the back country that seemed to hit every mark on my list. If you gave me a piece of land, far up atop a hill, and I built exactly half of this house, that was it. Smaller space but perfect in every other way from the walk-out deck off the kitchen and living room, to the spacious loft and cathedral ceilings. This newer rental was in need of a good cleaning but not much else. Due to my sudden loss of a timeline for moving, I let it go.

All this is bringing me closer to finding what is next. All this is a very Therapeutic Misadventure…

Queen of the Stage…

At this point I am the Queen of house showings. After more than 15 months of living with my house on the market, I have it down to a science and a routine.

I’ve reduced the hours it takes to ‘stage’ the house and know exactly what order to execute the items on my list:

  1. Fresh flowers in not just the obvious but also surprising little places.
  2. A gentle scent, not overpowering air freshener, but a hint of pine and holidays – picture your Christmas tree here!
  3. Background music that isn’t “Muzac” but something unobtrusive and simple – piano or classic guitar solo.
  4. All personal hygiene items removed and any signs of daily life such as the coffee maker stowed. “Imagine making your coffee and strolling out to the deck in your robe as the birds awaken with song.”
  5. Hide all of Alice’s bones and toys. Put blankets/sheets covering furniture out of sight.
  6. Lastly, wash the kitchen floor and turn on the lights in every room. Sparkling floors, No dark corners and a slight smell of ‘just cleaned’ prevail.

Now that the inspections have shown the dark underbelly of what needs repair, I am focused on how to hook the next owner into seeing where they will put their own touches on this home. Tomorrow is the first showing since the deal went south and though it pains me to begin all over again, I know how to do this…

In the Pink!

It’s the Pink season for the house. Though the garden looks like a jungle at the moment, I know the next color to explode into the walkway is yellow. Right now, the last of the Peonies are imploding as a deep, burgundy rose takes center stage.

Flat water paddling

I took myself on a solo kayak this morning. The day was warm with a good breeze and high clouds, perfect for flat-water paddling. One of the perks I have working for the Chamber is access to creative projects that not only feed my mind as I work through them but provide invaluable bits of information for feeding my soul later. I’m writing and producing a Relocation magazine for the Contoocook Valley and one of the resource guides/tables I’ve worked on is where to go for outdoor recreation. Golf, hiking, skiing, boating, fishing and other pursuits are listed for those newcomers to the area.  The boating category allowed me to tap into my personal experience of kayaking the region while adding new spots to try to my list. One of those was Mountain Brook Reservoir in Jaffrey. Who know there it was there?

Bostonpaddler.com had some interesting notes that helped me find the remote launch site. Though he/she must have traversed a different part of the pond as the spectral views of Mt. Monadnock were not forthcoming on my little journey.

A deeply rutted and narrow dirt road lead to the sandy boat launch with minimal parking to the side. It was an easy put-in though the lake/reservoir was not the crystal clear, granite strewn pond I prefer. Boston kayaker.com provided and excellent map so I set out to circle the island and explore the Northwest corners.

The beauty for me of flat-water paddling is that feeling of sinking into the boat, wearing it like a second skin and playing with the nuances of weight and focus.  While these were all critical on the river paddle I took two weekends ago, the river had a steady current and obstacles to be navigated. The river was like riding a cross-country course in equine terms while the flat-water pond held the elegance and subtly of a dressage test.

I envisioned myself as a green dragon-fly slipping over the surface and darting before the wind. A slight dip of one paddle behind would bring me dancing in a circle while a couple of strong pulls propelled me easily across the wide stretches of open water.

Closing out the month

June/Enuj closes out for me with only two days of possible earth-shattering surprises left to shock me. I take comfort in the small victories over things of which I have no control.

  • A nice note from the town clerk advising me that I have been voted in for three more years of board membership with the EDA. Perhaps this has replaced Hospice as my heart-felt volunteering?
  • The insurance is going to cover at least a part of what it will take to make this house salable. Mold removal will commence soon and the queen of stage will work her magic once again.
  • Today my birthday gift from Sean arrived at the Chamber…such a good boss. My business cards, printed on lovely soft brown recycled paper declare me the Director of Membership & Marketing of the Chamber. The other side heralds me as Director & Lead Mentor of AWE.

Identity, security, respect. There is no wage to replace these…

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Enuj – as in, this month is backwards as well

Selling my home is a peeling away of the layers of self. I feel vulnerable and exhilarated; I question my integrity – do I mention the tiny little downsides of living here? Though this particular process definitely is a Guinness World Record in patience, it is beginning to dawn on me that change is finally happening.

Unraveling and finding joy in knowing nothing remains the same and no matter how hard I have tried to imagine the future it has never been the image I held in my mind. Last weekend was three packed days of packing. I made many trips to the storage unit and tucked away out-of-season treasures. Winter coats, christmas decorations, garden sculptures and books went into limbo.  This weekend it was a relief not to have to keep the house in “showing ready’ condition and to take time to ride. Night and I went out alone on Saturday, though we met other riders in the apple orchard, enjoying the cool lushness of Spring.  Today it was a slow walk through the hills with a companion who would like to lease Night for three rides a week. I rode a farm pony and led the way, rewarded with how well Night took care of her rider. There were moments of slight confusion for Night when I wasn’t on her and she looked to me for reassurance. I think they will be good for each other.

The next six weeks will no doubt bring moments of stress and worry but for now, I have a plan.  I have another garden to curate and a next chapter to write.

Backyard in Spring

On another topic, I made myself stop working and indulged in reading a post by a blogger from my past. She wrote painfully and elegantly of the ebb and flow we all experience. And she wrapped it in the cloak of a question: Why do you write?

  • Because one of these days, I’ll get it right and rainbows will appear, Unicorns will dance in a spotlight of sunshine and bluebirds will be a choir singing Disney songs.
  • Because I owe something to the writers who take me away from the routine, bringing stories and people alive for me.
  • Because there is less pressure in simply writing than in writing and publishing
  • Because I may not remember this part of life as it really was…

 

Update on yam – that’s May spelled backwards

I’m seeing a trend here. My week days consist of 3 out of 5 early mornings. By 7am I am engaged with my new community. Each phase of life brings a new set of faces/personalities  – Single-Serving Friends, Hanni once called it. From the days at the Oil & Vinegar store, to my short-lived stint as a bank teller, and today at the Chamber of Commerce, my circle of comrades who share the day helps define who I am at the moment.

Two of this week’s early mornings were yard work at the Chamber. The building sits at the intersection of Routes 101 and 202. The irony of this is not lost on me as I gaze across the street at the empty lot that once held the house my Great Grandfather built. The small Cape-style house that has become the Chamber office boasts straggly gardens that suddenly burst into color. The pink azalea and bright patches of mixed daffodils literally sprang from weed-choked ancient bark mulch. I spent two mornings from 7am to 9am weeding, raking, loping vines and roots. A small crew of us made short work of the clean up. I felt good.

The other morning was a 7am set up for the monthly Breakfast Forum. I had a quick flashback to breakfast meetings when I worked in the real world. This was so much less formal and more relaxed. The Education Committee was presenting an update on the proposed Visual Arts Center. This was on the heels of a meeting the night before regarding the possibility of a community college coming to town. Numerous folks got up to speak in favor of both projects. Money will need to be raised on a grand scale.

Meanwhile on Tuesday evening the Selectmen met and voted to support the Scenic & Cultural Byways project. Full steam ahead on writing the application to the State.

The One Hundredth and forty-fifth running of the Kentucky Derby was this evening. Most people probably watched the fastest 2 minutes in sports history with an eye to the parade of hats and horses. Stunning, for me, was  the crisp, cleanliness of the winner when the rest of the field was buried in slick mud. My attention was on the jockeys who paraded past with a coating of earth and water, their horse peering out from a layer of slime that had to add a pound or two to these athletes.

Stunning to think I once spent my days among such beasts, (even on a very small-scale,) to the hard-won participation in a contest like the Derby. Mike Smith, the oldest jock in the contest at 51 is my longtime hero since the HBO series “Jockeys” back ten years ago. I also was an avid fan of “Weeds” but mostly because I think Mary Louise Parker is an unsung hero of Hollywood.

Yes, YAM, or May, depending on how you look at it is off to an auspicious start…

Application is in for the Byways project. Waiting on the ad sales sheet for the CURRENT magazine (your relocation guide to the Contoocook River Valley) and I am plodding along with the body copy. I have 12 towns to write about and 6 dedicated sections on subjects such as Healthcare, places of Worship, Recreation and Education in this corner of the State. It is a massive undertaking that affords me an intimate look at the history of the world where I choose to live.

As a sneak preview, I have written my Editor’s Note for the publication. I am thanking the three professional photographers who have donated their images to this project. I’ve chosen one photo from each to highlight my point here. The shots are all the same subject – Mt. Monadnock  – with a little different perspective… Here’s an excerpt of my draft:

The Photographers Perspective

Not only is Mt Monadnock the second most hiked mountain in the world, I would venture to guess it is probably one of the most photographed; particularly when Mother Nature dresses the region in glorious Autumn colors.

Perspective is key in choosing a lifestyle and the place to pursue your dreams. Just as everyone sees life a little differently, our three photographers capture the same scene with their own perspective.

What are you looking for in your new home? Close proximity to nature? Uncrowded recreational opportunities? Artists and cultural opportunities as your neighbors? Perhaps it is great schools and a community of like-minded folks?

Whatever your perspective, I believe you will find it here.

I am indebted to three professional photographers who donated their work to this publication.

The AWE – Advancing Women Entrepreneurs grant was finally approved by the USDA. We await the next step in the process, and of course the cash to move forward with plans. So many things to divert my attention from what isn’t going right in life.

Instead of coming home and collapsing on the couch for a quick nap before dinner, I am finding comfort in writing and creating. What was that favorite phrase of mine?

“It doesn’t matter what you do. It matters that you choose whatever way you work because it nourishes you and feels true.” *

This Time I Dance – Creating the Work You Love by Tama J. Kieves

I’m back. It is a day later and I’m marveling at the life that has popped despite our cooler than normal, rainy weather. I have three sizes of woodpeckers. They remind me of those nesting dolls; they could fit easily inside each other. Their markings are so similar yet their range of size is stunning. From the petite Downey woodpeckers to the bluejay-sized Hairy and finally the ‘Woody Woodpecker’ of them all the Pileated. Since I haven’t been able to catch a good shot of the three of them together, you will just have to trust me on this…

Mourning Doves have returned and serenade at sunrise and sunset with songs reminiscent of lazy days in the tropics when it was hot before the sun came up. Tree-toads are replaced at night with the barking of coyotes and the hoot of owls. I still need to patent my owl feeder idea…

 OK, this full moon is definitely not having the usual negative effects on me. The Full Flower Moon has found me sleeping soundly, waking refreshed and feeling more invigorated. Meeting a new real estate agent has brought me some hope in ending this drain on my energy. Seeing my home through someone else’s eyes, particularly someone who stands to gain financially in a transaction, is gratifying. I don’t know why this house hasn’t sold in a year, but perhaps as a wise friend once said, “It can’t happen until you know where you are going next.” Much as it will be a wrench, it is time to move on from this address.

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lirpa – that’s April backwards because that’s just how it is

Congratulations! In the contest of life called “You Couldn’t Catch a Break If It Hit You Over The Head And Landed In Your Lap” you have earned the title of Grand Champion!!

After all these months, this turning of the calendar and trip around the sun, a sure thing once again seemed to unfold. A project, so perfect for my creative salvation with its intense writing, photographing and marketing, was handed to me. I went to the EDA (the local Economic Development Authority) to ask for a partnership, a 60%-40% investment in creating a State of NH Scenic and Cultural Byway (a state sanctioned tourist route) in the Monadnock Region. The need was clear:

  1. The State contacted the Chamber suggesting we apply for it.
  2. This is the only corner of the State that has no Scenic & Cultural Route.
  3. The impending demolition and rebuilding of a bridge on a major route into town scheduled to begin in  late 2018 is projected to depress business severely in the downtown district.
  4. With a tourist route in place we could market our way through the crisis and control the traffic to benefit rather than bypass our fragile economy.
  5. I could do something so right and so fulfilling at a point where I most need to.

My presentation and estimated budget for the project was not unreasonable and it would buy me desperately needed relief from emotional and financial discomfort. Not only was it unanimously accepted, the vote  increased the split of funding to 70% EDA, 30% Chamber of Commerce.  I took a deep breath and walked out into the raw April rain smiling so hard my cheeks cramped.

Seven hours later, I looked at the title of the email and thought, “Not funny George!” expecting a cruel joke followed by congratulatory support. It read, “Scenic By-way Vote Rescinded.” The reality of small town politics and its inherent lack of dedicated souls to fill the committees and boards of directors came rushing through the Internet. It seems the EDA vote was not legal as both George and I sit on the boards of  the EDA and the Chamber. A lesson in government states we should have recused ourselves from the vote. But it wouldn’t have mattered because without our votes there would not have been a quorum, so no vote could have occurred.

There is perhaps a work-around by going to the selectmen and getting their votes as the EDA is under their jurisdiction. Do I trust this news? Not even a little. I refuse to believe in the fairness of life at this point. My dreams have been shattered too many times. I have reduced, minimized, lower, tightened-my-proverbial-belt to the point of breaking. All my positive energy and stamina have been repaid with defeat. My knees are scraped, my nose is bleeding; I’ve run out of fight.

The new normal is furtive collecting of the flood of thoughts in journals with no plan of publishing. Shame? Perhaps, yet who have I really disappointed but myself? Certainly, I have not brought emotional distress or financial strain on anyone but Alice. While she notes a shift in my cheery attitude, (for a long time I stopped singing our silly songs to her). She is more affectionate in her own singular way. One would never compare Alice to a cuddly Golden Retriever. She and I share the end of the day, curled in complimentary commas in bed, but otherwise she is most comfortable shadowing me with little physical contact. We read each other’s expressions and live in our routine like an elderly married couple.

So where does one go from here? If you have no expectations, perhaps the best will happen? I keep thinking of the childhood rhyme “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” I will bloom again…

And so it goes…

A wise woman said to me “Perhaps your house hasn’t sold because your next home isn’t ready yet?” We were wandering the trails around the backside of Temple Mountain on horseback. The air had that gentle promise of spring, water gurgled below the surface of the snow, creating space for the earth to push up and soften. Indeed, paths open and directions become clear on their own schedule.

It has been a long slog. I try to end every day listening carefully to the positive small voice that tells me it will all be OK and I have done all I can for now. There are times in life when the timing of events is completely out of our control. It is best to give in to the small joys of the moment, ignoring the ‘elephant in the room’ anxieties.

Where have I been for the past six months? Every month I titled my journal entries:

  • When Inspiration Abounds
  • In the Beginning
  • The End is Near
  • Rhythm and Speed, Rhythm and Reason
  • Send my social security number to Bangalore India? Why, YES Please!
  • The Optimism of Uncertainty

I took a job at a bank. It was a decision born of desperation but it provided some respite from financial stress. Unfortunately, it is probably the only job I have ever held that had the potential to utterly eradicate every shred of self-worth I possess. My journals are full of raw emotion and fear.

My heart wrenched as one daughter moved back across the country to her new destiny, and the other brought my family together with a most magical wedding, renewing my faith in love. When the job proved too much for my soul, I threw all caution to the wind and left. My latest reincarnation on the employment front is to go back to my creative roots  and public service. I am back at the Chamber of Commerce where we have applied for a Grant to start a women’s entrepreneur network. AWE – Advancing Women Entrepreneurs, is a fledgling effort; full of hope and promise. A logo to design, marketing to consider, ideas spark and take hold.

The days are longer, warmer. I  leave home and return again in day light. The dark, short days and cold nights ending in a hurried dinner and early bed are gone. Windows are cracked open; my heart is lighter.

Five years ago I left a big, corporate job. I promised to write, to BE a writer. I self-published my memoir. I wrote my blog and I found ways to exist with less. This is hard, harder perhaps than anything I have done before because the luxury of years ahead to correct the course has been remove. Yet, the quiet voice eggs me on – do good, be good and it will be OK.

The re-emergence I wrote of has been hard-won. I’ve lived in my head for far too long;  but the comments and support from  readers have been the push I needed to start again, It would seem the world in general is telling me to follow my dream and write it down…

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My New Year’s Eve tradition of opening the Memory Jar…