Monday, March 27, 2017

my room



Months passed before I realized the florescent stars that our son strategically placed about the room, twinkle above my head.  Each night I slip into bed, lay my head on the pillow and say a prayer or two with my eyes closed.  What else have I missed in the darkness?
  
Early mornings when the room fills with sun, three  cats  routinely lounge on the bed, doze and wake to watch the birds light on the feeder.  Every plant in the house is pushed against the south-facing window.  The red geranium is in bloom, a few petals loosened and lay on a leaf.   Narcissus bulbs forced propped against small rocks in antique pottery stand tall and green with a delicate array of white flowers.  Books are piled near the bed. Another stack sits near a chair, close to the window.  Here, I  watch the birds feed, read or sip tea. I sew.  I knit.   I write.  I contemplate life. I pray here.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Short Selfie


A few pounds and born early
Make for a "hopeless case."
My mother prayed to St. Jude.
I lived.

As a kid I got car sick, 
Preferring the shade of forest trees,
Splashing in the salty sea or
Alone in a field
Fingers pink with wild berries-
I ate them as I picked.

I sing with the radio
Often the wrong words.
Baking pies is not my thing,
Picnics are.

I have slept
Floating in the middle of a lake,
Watching the stars fall.

War scares me.
I am not afraid of the dark.
Reading five books at once
Makes me nuts.
I like naps
And I consider myself 
Among the few 
Lucky enough to have found
True Love.

(Inspired by and Adapted from: A Short Collective Biography-Amy Krouse Rosenthal found in Textbook)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dreams




Sitting in the heat of the sun, I plucked plump blackberries popping them into my mouth one by one. Savoring.   Biting into the seeds, the flavor burst through my mouth.

I must partake of the bounties offered to me in this life.  I mindfully accept and if need be will reach for what there is breathing in gratitude aware that I am nourished and supported.

A striped multi-colored hat umbrella sits on my head.

I roll over and think:  Playfulness and joy is part of living.  Life will bring rain, but make the best of it.

Jerry is packing for a trip alone to Florida to stay with a friend.  He is sick.  It is clear that this is his journey.  I want to come, but a man in a van passing out flyers for trash removal takes my attention away and I yearn to return to Jerry who is slowly packing the car.  I remember I just want to be with him for however long we have.  I am unsure he will make the journey.  There is anxiety.  I have no choice, but to let him go.

I had no choice.  Presently the details of my life distract me.   The kids.  The house.  Cooking.  Filing.  Dust bunnies.  Crunching the snow beneath my feet.  Listening to the birds sing.  Blessings on this earth continue without Jerry.  He wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Island Guru



Living here on this
Island for nearly 40 years,
I still don't know which mountain is which.
You knew.
I didn't have to remember.
I had you.

I carried the notion
That you would
Live
Forever.
The ageless,
The tireless
Workhorse.

This summer
I will
Climb each
Summit,
And with each step,
I will remember you,
My Island Guru.

Post Script:  My husband and I purchased, renovated and opened the second B and B in Bar Harbor in 1984 and named it The Cove Farm Inn.  Bed and Breakfasts  were the rage.  It was the perfect fit for my husband.  As a native of Bar Harbor, he explored every nook and cranny of the island from the time he was a young boy until this past summer of 2016.  He shared his passion of MDI and Acadia National Park with the guests we welcomed from all over the world. He was referred to as "The Island Guru."  Visitors returned year after year.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Clinomania



Clinomania (n) an excessive desire to stay in bed.

Most days, I bound out of bed ready for a new day.  Not today.  Sleeping for ten hours did nothing to allay my fatigue.  Under the weight of comforters and blankets, I begin to thumb through the reasons for my lack of energy and either disregard or verify each as a possible cause.

Maybe I'm coming down with something?  I swallow hard-no sore throat. No headache either.  My stomach is OK, too.  I guess I am alright.  Just tired.  Wait, it's my thyroid.  It is true, I blame everything on my thyroid.  No.  Just tired, that's all.

My life is altered.  My brain does not function as it once did.  CS Lewis describes, "... it feels like being mildly drunk or concussed...I find it hard to take in what anyone says." I understand this all too well-this grief.

No, I am unable to function as I once did.  I often ask for help feeling like I am hoisting my widow-status for service.  I find that I have trouble carrying loads of wood up the cellar stairs, so I don't think I ought to try to replace the washer in the basement with another in storage.  I need my boys.  Having always had a fear of chopping off multiple fingers and toes, I won't handle a hatchet or an axe, either. I call on a family friend who is a real Maine Lumberjack.  Physical challenges abound, but so do the intellectual ones.   Sometimes, I trip over my words when I speak. I often have to ask for things to be repeated as my brain can only take so much information in.  Rather than become victim to despair, I recognize that this is grief.  No one expects me to be fixed.  Things will get better in time.  Right now I need to be gentle.  I need to treat myself as I would a dear friend. Tonight after a hot shower, I think I will put myself to bed with a good book and a cup of chamomile tea.  I have an excessive desire to go to bed and stay there. That is more than alright.

The Whisperer

"Did you smell it? Did you?" It was all the buzz at school.  The radius of aroma was far reaching, but there was no evidence of the source.  They say that smell activates memory...

                                Jerry is in the middle.  The youngest boy of three.


"Get that thing out of here. Now!"  I imagined his father barking from his chair, CB in hand.  Jerry  would catch skunks by the tail, putting his hand over the gland.  He claims that prevented them from spraying.   Dangling head down (picture the swaying),  I imagine the skunk was lulled to sleep or too shocked and scared to move, I don't know.  The rough and tumble tow headed boy, my husband was once a skunk whisperer.

I can't remember why he stopped catching skunks, but I have my guesses.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Running

                                                                          Winter Sea

I didn't always like it.  I wanted a life beyond work and bed.  Some cold nights we were snuggled under the layers of covers soon after we ate and the dishwasher was loaded. When I begged him to stay up he responded, "I work hard; I'm tired.  My work is physical...'Night."

Sighing, I hugged him a bit tighter, wrapping my arm around his torso and forcing myself to sleep, when all I wanted to do was get up and play Parcheesi or sit at either end of the couch and stare at each other.  Nothing was worse than coaxing your body to sleep when it isn't ready.  My husband was indeed weary. Instead,  I listened to his even snoring, our bodies fitting perfectly together and soon we were both asleep.

Jerry's passing at the end of October allowed me a few months to prepare for the sometimes brutal impact of a New England winter especially on the coast.  Towns have been shut down for weeks with no electricity and roads impassable-a glare of ice.  Winds can gust to hurricane force.  Access to food, gas and medical services under these conditions can be a challenge.  Jerry loved storms.  He prepared as much as he would prepare for a storm. He knew where the shovel was, the candle and matches sat on the counter and a jugs of water either for flushing or for drinking was handy.  I never worried about salting the steps, clearing the steps, paths or our long bumpy driveway.  During storms, I read or knitted.  He did all the work.  So an approximate six weeks lapse between fall and winter helped me to ease into all the responsibilities that come with winter. I now do the work of two and all the while think of all that Jerry did to make life easy for me.  I do the laundry, dishes, meals, clean up and take care of the dogs and cats. I tend to the wood stove, finances and shopping.  I run from about 5:30 am until 11 pm. I am exhausted despite help too from family and friends.

Tonight, it is just after 8, my eyes close, my chin touches my chest and the book nearly drops out of my hand.  I think back to our early evening, winter cuddles.   I never imagined that this would be his last winter; the last winter of fending off his wife's cold feet and finally relenting-warming them, his body a furnace. How glorious it would be to return, if only for a few seconds;to feel the curve of his shoulders, run my fingers through his hair, and to inhale his familiar scent. I would like to sleep too.

Instead, now I play multi-roles.  You understand.  I am grateful.  And I am plain exhausted.