Manic

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A couple of days ago I finished a 10 yard run of towels and took them off of the loom, hemmed, washed and folded them all in one afternoon.  This never happens, I have things I have yet to finish from last year.

When I near the end of one project I’m always moving on to the next and my excitement may get in the way of the finishing part.  That’s my theory anyway.  I’m in wedding present mode and asked one of my nieces if there was anything in particular I could make her that would be useful.  She asked for a specific type of towel.  I asked what colors and she said something to the effect of light shining through ferns.  She is an amazing artist and thinking about projects for her pushes me creatively.

I found a modification of an old draft that I modified further and worked up half a warp yesterday hoping this came close to ferns.  As I was winding it I decided to call it “A Walk in the Woods” because it had the colors I envisioned when I walk onto the fern lined path headed into the wood lot in the back forty.

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Today I’ll finish winding the warp and possibly get it onto the loom.

Right now I’m in that creative manic mode that seems to really set in after a loss.  When my mother died I made quilts and rag dolls – lots of them.  I gave most of them away to my friends.  Again, it’s the process, not the product.  Weaving seems to be what’s on the agenda right now although I do have a knitting project going as well as needle felting, rug hooking and, oh yeah, the gardens.

This time around though there’s a different sort of feel – like time is getting short and there’s still so much I want to do.  Maybe it’s that generational shift that comes when you lose your last parent.  Maybe it’s the realization that if you’re lucky you have a quarter of your life left to go and who knows how productive all of it will be.

Most of the time I don’t really think about it but on those days when all I can think about is the project I’m planning and working on to the point of no sleep it does make me wonder.  I think some of it is a distraction, maybe a defense to fight off the depression that could take over or the overwhelming sadness at moments.  What’s the saying? “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”.  I just have to keep going, keep creating.

Spring Has Sprung

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The signs are all there now, the crocuses are blossoming, random garlic is coming up.  I say random because I didn’t plant any last fall so there must have been bulbs that I missed.  A pleasant surprise.  The leaves are coming out on my strawberries which I had given up for lost since they had been totally taken over last year.  I figured it being their first year they had been choked out.  It gives me an opportunity to weed all around them and mulch, we’ll see what happens.  No asparagus yet but the rhubarb is coming out of the ground.

The robins are back and I have to tell you there is nothing like hearing their sweet, sweet song.  I always forget how much I miss it until I hear it. There is no more obvious a harbinger of spring for me.

Sugaring is over, the last boil was this past Sunday.  I was afraid I was going to miss it altogether and had threatened to boil syrup on the stove to make sugar just so I could smell it.  The syrup made over the weekend was my favorite, dark and robust as the grading system now tells you.  If I’m going to eat maple syrup I want it to really taste like maple.

Things here are coming back down to a new normal.  Everything was in place so the transfer of property was seamless.  My father’s name has been taken off of everything.  The utilities don’t make anything easy to transfer but in my mind I figure if it all takes a month that’s okay.

Dad’s memorial service is next week.  The last thing to be taken care of.  Looking through hundreds of photographs over the past few days has given me a greater understanding of what it means to have a good life.  Sometimes he didn’t see it but he was charmed.

We all need to look through our lives like they are photographs I think.  We only take pictures of the good things.  The big family events – births, weddings, graduations.  Vacations or jobs well finished.  When it all comes right down to it it’s the little moments that make up that whole grand life. When I go I want someone to look at the snapshots and say, “Wow, her life was pretty great.” I know I feel as though it has been and I think it’s because I can drop the bad stuff by the wayside.

Live for the moment, don’t dwell on the past, you can’t change any of it.  Just remember all of the little gifts because that is what a good life is made of.

Wise Words

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I visited with an old friend the other day.  I see her much more often now that I am in Rowe than I ever saw of her in the past 35 years or so that we’ve known each other.  She has gone through some major life changes in the past few months.  She is a wise woman.  We talked about others that we know who are dealing with life changes of their own (myself included).  Some are retiring and moving away from the place that has been their home for over 50 years.  Others are taking care of aging parents, their children are moving out or they’re recovering from the loss of a loved one.

 

She said “You need to learn to love your new life.”

 

Profound words those.  We are all hit with changes – some predictable, some not.  For me, the changes were seen and prepared for in the best way I knew how.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that are happening that I hadn’t anticipated.  When life changes are made (or happen) it can take a while to truly get the big picture of how those changes are going to affect you and yours.  It takes awhile to get into that new routine.

I confess to be floundering a bit here.  There’s so much to do and so many of the decisions have to be made in somewhat of a vacuum. The idea of being in a situation where I can work on producing the kind of life I only saw myself doing after “retirement” has been a bit overwhelming.  I think I thought I would have a more concrete idea of what I was going to do than I do.  Things are getting done, not necessarily in the time or way I thought they would.  I just have to roll with it.

In realizing that things are never what they seem or intended those words about learning to love my new life were exactly what I needed to hear.  Decisions were made based on the realities of my life whether good or bad – this is the way life is.  Learning to love it – working on loving it – is probably the most important thing I can do to have things be just as they should be.

 

 

 

How Things Change

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I don’t sleep much these days.  I wake up early in the morning (often very early).  I squint at the clock to see if it’s too outrageously early to get up.  My rule is if it’s before 4:30 AM I have to stay in bed.

Getting up really early affords you the opportunities to see the sun rise.  It seems like I take a photograph from the same spot looking out the living room window a lot but in doing so I’ve seen some amazing sunrises.  Yesterday was a perfectly clear beginning to a beautiful spring day.  Finally!  It has been one long winter.

With spring also comes some huge life changes for me (all of my family really).  After spending the past 30 years travelling from Enfield to Rowe and back I will be moving there full time in May.  Unfortunately I will be moving there without most of my significant others.  They will continue the weekend commute.

This was not an easy decision to come to.  Dad will be coming home and I will be staying with him.  Every single person that hears about it has asked me the exact same question, exact same words “So, how is this going to work?”  I tell them all the same thing – “I won’t know until I’m in it”.  You do what you have to do.

It seems as though everyone I know my age is dealing with the same issues that we are.  We are all caring for our aging parents in one way or another. I’m not sure most of them are living separate from their spouses for days at a time but our relationship is strong and we look at it as another thing to work through. I am fortunate that my father is pretty capable at this time.  His health has stabilized.  He’s pretty sharp as well.  Throwback Thursdays could take on a whole different tone with him telling me the stories behind the photos.

I think the loss of sleep comes when I wake up and start thinking about what I take with me and what I leave behind.  I look at it as leaving things behind because I will be leaving a large piece of my life in Enfield.  Don’t get me wrong, I will not miss Enfield for a minute.  I will miss my home, my bed, my furniture, my tchotche.  This is the part that has almost immobilized me.  I wander around the house at times and think “Should I take this?”  I packed a few things and brought them to Rowe at the beginning of the week.  When it came time to unpack the box I just wondered why I packed what I did.

My life has been so different in one place or the other.  I guess I didn’t realize how different each life was until I had to think about walking away from one.  I moved to Enfield when I married Bill. My kids were born and raised there.  They are grown and I went through the empty nest thing years ago but I will be leaving the Mom part of my life in Enfield – at least the biggest part. Not sure that makes sense – suffice it to say that this will probably be the biggest change I have ever made.

Time will tell.  I was horrified when my father was in rehab and then moved to assisted living.  I couldn’t imagine my health being bad enough for someone to move me away from a place I loved and had lived in for 50+ years without so much as a discussion.  I knew that if his health stabilized I would bring him back to Rowe.  He’s counting the days, for different reasons I’m sure.

I take comfort in the fact that I will be able to garden more, walk in the woods, sit and soak in the birdsong, play with Chester.  Compensation for being put into a somewhat difficult situation. I will also be able to see the sun rise from the same spot every single day.