Sunday, September 25, 2016

Home

After a nice little vacation I am home again. And that feels good.

I went away expecting to continue blogging from where I was, but when I tried to get onto my blog to write, it seems I had forgotten the password. I wasn't able to access and therefore couldn't write. I had plenty to say, but no way to say it. Hrmph! What good is a blog if you can't actually write in it? All this time, the true purpose of this blog was for my own satisfaction - the joy of writing. Needless to say, I was surprised that anyone bothered to read it!

I spend the past week at my daughter's house in Pennsylvania. It was such a great respite from my life right now I can't even tell you. I'm sure I talked too much (for her liking) about what's going on in my life, but it was therapeutic to get away from here and be able to talk to someone. Way too many people at home have advice and counsel that may or may not be helpful. They mean well, but....

I try to keep my personal information to a minimum unless I'm talking with a good friend or family member. If I'm not offering information, don't bother digging around for it. Unless you hear it from me you aren't hearing the truth, and unless I offer it, you're not going to hear it. And so it goes! Ha!

Pennsylvania is beautiful and healing, miles of rolling farmland and Amish farmers out in their fields while their children play on rudimentary playgrounds outside little school houses. Its picturesque and tends to make the burdens of modern life take a back seat to dreams of simpler things. It has the same affect that the ocean does on my soul. And its a nice change.

So, after an early drive back this morning I'm here now. Hopefully I'm not so out of the habit I won't remember to blog now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sad days

I've been trying really hard to make my blogs as uplifting and happy as I can lately. I realize that no one wants to read sad prose or hear about someone else's trials when we all have plenty of our own.

Truthfully the days are largely good ones now. It seems as though the good ones outweigh the bad ones for sure. But when the bad ones come, they are brutal. Perhaps that's because its like being pulled back down into a dark pit that you thought you had escaped from, worse because it all comes back with a bang when I want it to go away for good. I'm not sure why it is, but it seems as though these dark days are just so dark.

And I'm tired of them. I want more joy in my life. And I want more laughs and more fun things. I'm tired of worrying about money and old age and illness and loneliness and all the other things that haunt me right now. I'm tired of it all and I want to know joy again.

Perhaps if I'd never known so much joy it wouldn't be so hard. But I was lucky. Joy was mine. I don't know if it ever will be again, at least not the way it was. But I know today I'm not feeling it and I just can't pretend.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Clutter

I am on a mission to get rid of clutter in my house.

I turned over a new leaf in high school and began to live a clutter-free life which I learned to enjoy tremendously. I had everything neatly put in its place and loved seeing a neat and tidy room when I went to it at night.

Then I got married and the man I married was not a terribly neat person. I didn't want to be a nag and I didn't want to sound like his mother so I cajoled and prodded as gently as I could to accomplish enough to live with, like dirty clothes going into the hamper, but there were many things I gave up in the name of peace and happiness in my marriage. Silly me! What I thought was a happy and fulfilling marriage for both of us turned out to not be so and now I look back and wish I had pushed a little harder and a little longer to accomplish the truly neat spaces I crave.

So, I've begun to clean out the spaces that haunt me: the front entrance, the closets (one by one) and the other hidden spaces which I've always let go for the sake of calm in my house. No longer do I need to worry about anyone else's clutter or compulsive buying - I can get rid of the things I don't need and reorganize what's left.

I'm not in a terrible hurry though. After all, its taken over thirty years in this house to get to the place we are now, so I can't expect things to change overnight. But my guess is that a year from now, the place may be unrecognizable - at least behind all the doors. Now that's something to be happy about!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Small pleasures

Sometimes in life its the simplest, smallest things that give us the most pleasure. A case in point:

A few years back we bought a cheap floor lamp at Ikea for the corner of our living room by the couch. It lasted for a short while but the past year or so it hasn't worked, yet it remained in place, a now dark corner of my main space.

These past few months since I've been alone in my house I've rarely had the television on, preferring instead to spend my nights alone reading novels or informational books. I've always loved to read but haven't been able to do much of it in recent years because I have no good space to go for peace and quiet in my house and when someone else is here its nice to be where they are, enjoying the companionship. Because my companion likes television, that's what was usually the mode of entertainment. So now that I'm back to solo living, the books have taken over a prominent place in my life. And thus the problem. Darkness falling earlier and earlier and no good light to read by in the comfy corner.

So this week I made a trip to shop for a new lamp. I decided to go for a table lamp, which takes up space on the table but is easier to deal with since the floor space in inaccessible for my short arms if I should need to unplug or otherwise deal with that type of lamp.

So I started at TJ Maxx. It was disappointing to say the least. The prices were excellent - ranging from $29.99 to 59.99 - but the selection was poor and the only one that seemed appropriate for my space had a crack in the glass. So back in the car I went and headed back east to stop at Home Goods.

Home Goods had a wonderful section of lamps, as well as some scattered around the store in furniture settings. The only issue was that most were very modern, all lucite and silver, which although beautiful does not really fit into my traditional space. But then as a rounded a corner I saw one on the end of the aisle that I thought might do the trick. It was all white, but not a bright, modern white, more of a creamy traditional white. It had a nice traditional, almost ginger-jar shape, and it wasn't too tall and the shade was not too big around, which were issues I'd found with other ones I looked at. I kept walking around a few more minutes just to make sure I had seen everything and then went back and picked up the one I liked.

I love the way it looks in my living room and I've been reading by its light every night now. And it makes me so happy.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Main Beach

Last night I enjoyed a wonderful annual event at Main Beach. Every year in September the village government hosts both staff and board members (Planning Board, Zoning Board, Design Review Board) along with their spouses to a light dinner on the pavilion and its always a treat on a cool, late summer evening to sit there watching the ocean and being reminded what a great place this is to live. We dine on chili and soup, salad, cookies and fruit. The food is always delicious but even more the company is fun, and of course, the setting is divine.

As I sat last night chatting with a friend my eyes kept going to the water, a medium surf still churned up a bit since last weekend's storm. There was a rip in one area and the waves were breaking in two rows, one further out than the other, with lots of white water across the horizon. As the spray bounced off the face and the foam moved up the sand I remember thinking "There may be other equally beautiful places, but none any better than this". I'm sure living near the Grand Canyon is amazing and no doubt being able to visit the giant redwoods is fabulous too, but this is among the most beautiful places I think. The light at dusk is incredible, diffused through the sea spray and gifting everything with a unique glimmer in light of the fading sun.

I never fail to appreciate this place we call home and I'm always grateful to my ancestors who chose to settle here. I'm sure they did it more for the rich soil and potential bounty than they did for the light, but no doubt they enjoyed the same surf and sand that I do too. Its a place rich in history and beauty, and I love them both.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Early

After a lifetime of wanting to stay in bed when I wake up in the morning I find myself in the mindset of wanting to get up before down these days. This morning it was 5am and that is very early for me.

I did learn over the years to appreciate the morning. When I was young I loved sleeping in until late morning but so many years with an early bird husband and of course getting children off to school turned me in to more of a morning person. But still, I dragged myself out of the bed to walk at 6:15 in the morning, always wishing I had a few more minutes to luxuriate in my bed.

But now that I am alone I find I go to bed much earlier and I wake much earlier and its so much easier to get up than it is to lie there thinking about the issues in my life and pondering the sometimes impossible questions I'm facing. My brain wakes up and immediately goes into overtime and I just can not imagine going back to sleep. I am up for the day.

So here I am this morning fully dressed and ready for the day but the rest of the world is still asleep - at least the world that I need to tap into: stores and businesses, for instance. I can't even go to the dump before 7:00. So I sit and read the paper (if its arrived) or my most recent book. I plan out my day and I think too much.

But there are joys in the morning. The sunrises are often beautiful and the light that streams through the trees is enchanting. On the days I walk I love getting home, cleaning up and being dressed by 7:30. I don't feel as though I'm "burning daylight" as they say. No moments wasted at all.

And so this new day begins. Or I should say "began" since it did over an hour ago now. Hopefully its going to be a productive and happy one. I look forward to that...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Enlightened

I feel a bit more enlightened today. I think as I said I've turned a corner and although setbacks are happening pretty regularly, I think the days when I can look ahead are beginning to outnumber the days I look back. And that's helpful.

Of course its the days I'm in that are the hardest. Finding my way in the present is not easy after so many years. And although losing someone to death is incredibly hard, what I'm dealing with is pretty awful too. Because all our possessions are to be divided now, which means the things we spent a lifetime obtaining and working for are suddenly half of what they were. Worries about money that should not have been an issue suddenly are and nothing is easy at the moment. I didn't expect at this point in my life to have to be worrying about how to pay the bills.

I was pretty frugal years ago out of necessity and I know I can get there again, but in the most recent past its been so nice not to have to always count my pennies before deciding to get a new pair of jeans or some other thing I wanted. As much as I hate going back to that place, I know its doable. I'm trying not to think about the new couches I was hoping to get this fall or the repairs that need to be done upstairs. I know thinking about them will just make me angry and resentful and that's not very productive right now. Its only been just over two months and I can't expect miracles, but I would like to at least feel as though I'm making progress. So the anger is not helpful.

There are plenty of platitudes that talk about each day being a new beginning. I need new beginnings now so I hope that's true.