photos by son, Cory

I need people yet being around too many freezes me. I pull in, become numb from stress and it can take days to unwind and find my way back to myself. Even those closest to me; sons, daughter’s-in-law and grand-children. Taking them one at a time? No problem. All at once?

Love having everyone together because it is rare, yet…the stress of wanting it all to go perfectly caused stiffness that speaks in my shoulders, tendons like taut piano wires.

“I feel frozen,” I tell a dear friend, one who also suffered childhood sexual abuse traumas.

“I’m like that too after being around a lot of people,” she confides, and a burden drops from me like water falling off rock. Having feelings validated and understood is priceless, like my friend.

As the freeze begins to melt the tears come like soft rain, each drop bringing me back to myself, the land, the butterflies, the dappled light at my feet from the leaves overhead, the singsong of birds chanting lively along with the croaking of tree frogs and the tractor in the distance.

Though I love my family, keeping up with 30 year old’s is exhausting. But it is worth it and all did go perfectly, even walking the glen on hike after hike. Just give me a few more days of grass, breeze, quietness, and rest…

The Lake

Our little creek has swollen with the rains…

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Decaf works best for me, yet spiking it with caffeine seems to make it taste better. Yesterday the spiking was too heavy and the day got away from me. No way to find the wholeness continually searched for. What could have been a peaceful day was fraught with separateness unable to enter the dwelling of my body and stay there. My mind buzzed…all from a small amount of added caffeine. 

Doing what I do best, beating myself up, I bow my head over my burning hand on the counter and wept. I wept for the stupidity of pulling the crock pot over to the sink still plugged in. The hot bean liquid splashed all over my hand. And finally wept for the bag of chips I ate the day before and wanted to confess about but couldn’t till then, “All 6 ounces Samuel. I ate the whole bag!” 

He cleans up the mess and says, “So what.” 

Holding my hand under cold water, I watch as he eats out of his bag of chips. “I love this salsa,” he says, grabbing more chips.

We had shopped together, an unusual occurrence due to my extreme impatience. I knew better than buying myself chips, albeit baked, but thought skeptically that I could eat just small amounts at a time. He grabbed his bag of tortilla chips.

“No!” I said, when he pointed to the peanut butter stuffed pretzels. I cannot have junk around. I eat it!

Going over to the table I pick up his bag and look at the ounces. 12. He had eaten half a bag, same as me, but he wasn’t smashing his face in the cement like I had been doing. 

All the talk of self-love, self-compassion, self-forgiveness…where does it go? Every time I make a mistake, or mistakes, it comes smashing down, and it stays. 

“There’s always tomorrow,” he says. 

“And I’ll make more mistakes tomorrow!” I retort. 

Yet this morning I feel calm as the sun rises warming my face through the window. This part of me that is so hard on myself is staying. I need others who help me come out from the mire when I’m stuck, and luckily I have them…

my birthday surprise from Samuel





I have tried to train myself to different hours, going to bed later to wake later but it doesn’t work. I’m asleep by 10 pm awake at 5 am. That’s OK since much beauty awakens in the early morning and I thrive on it. It allows for much needed alone time since Samuel has retired. Even the best of mates need space… 

I await the grand-children and my son and daughter-in-law for egg dyeing and quiche later this morning… 






Picture 082

photo by patricia

Is that out of the head and into the spirit, the gut, the soul? That is a new way of living that brings wholeness. Getting there took determination, and my battle-scarred body, psyche and mind crave rest; a slower paced life that now unfolds.

And if I can do it, anybody can. But the work entailed? I can tell you, if I was asked to go back being 20, 30, or 40, … NO, I would not. 

I hung cloth diapers by the wood stove, yet found so much satisfaction keeping the ‘home fires’ burning while Samuel was working. The old enamel stove sat like a queen in the kitchen keeping me warm twice by it’s cooking and the energy expelled filling her. 

The less one has the more things are appreciated.

I sit by our coal stove now as my 64th birthday approaches in April and still feel the coziness of being warmed by a fire, the cat curled up by my feet. The door to the porch is slightly open as spring birds sing, geese honk down by the creek and ducks belt out a hello. As the gentle rain melts the last patches of snow, the morning doves once again make a nest atop the clematis vine clinging to the screen only feet away. 

The anticipation of spring shall hold me through until green comes to the trees and lawns. The breath goes deeper releasing tensions carried all winter. Ahh, spring…





Feeling down and scared over a GYN problem plus symptoms of the cold or flu coming on, Samuel walks through the door with a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day! This quiet man with few words always manages to bring tears to my eyes when reading the cards he picks out. I hugged and kissed him before he even took off his coat. When kindnesses come when your feeling down it means everything! And of course, I love flowers, especially in cold, wintry February.