Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Life Un-Planned / Empty Nest Repost #6

All day Saturday and on into the night, the wind blew. Trees rustled and shook the rain falling in sheets off their leaves. It whooshed and whipped about, hovering just below a whistle or a howl. Except for a short break when the sun and sky sweetly shone, it has rained since. It is still raining. On and on and on. The air feels moist. Traffic is snarled. The light is soft and muted and gray.

Downstairs, like the rain outside, the pounding has barely ceased. At least for the past couple of eight hour work days. The percussion section that has set up shop in my home is interesting, varied, loud. Drum. Glockenspiel. Crash symbol. Gong. Wood block. They are all included. Not very talented as musicians if you ask me, but there is an organic sound of work that I don't mind at all. I admit that I'm making the best of my imagination while hammer-claws rip off cabinets or boards, and pieces of wood, metal, tools or nails are dropped at erratic intervals. Bang, bang bang. Thud. Crash. Woosh. Bang. If they could just coordinate the sounds a bit during this demolition work, they might actually sound good together.

One of the workers decided to have a cigarette just inside the garage in order to stay safe and dry and out of the nasty elements. Tobacco smoke traveled up and through my open window, something my system doesn't tolerate well. I was trying to get a few things done and needed to go ask him to please move down the driveway. Nicely. Within a few minutes I had descended the stairs once again to let him know (nicely) that I was having a difficult time concentrating. Tunes blasting at outrageous decibels were coming from a portable stereo placed where a brown couch used to be. They didn't complement the sounds already echoing and bouncing off of the empty walls, ceiling and subfloor. "Sorry", I say. "You'll have to turn that off." 

I in no way feel sorry for myself amidst this upheaval. Even during the jarring, unpredictable and discordant noises going on downstairs. Even after the reality of being relegated upstairs for a few weeks has set in (along with two dogs whose eyes ask how I could possibly allow any of this to go on). Even after the slight glitch that was discovered this morning (a noticeable 'dip' in the sub-floor), that needs to be fixed and will set us back a day and a few more dollars. Even after stepping into an uncovered vent, twisting my ankle, getting my foot stuck, frightening the pup and the contractor, breaking a nail and feeling slightly embarrassed.

I in no way feel sorry for myself. This is something I signed up for. Planned for. Saved money for. I am what caused this demolition to happen. (Well............Marc and I are.) Not a hurricane or a windstorm or a flood or a blizzard. We knew the date when parts of our home would be torn away, when they would be built back again and who would do it. It's a happy inconvenience at most, not a disaster. 

Last week I  wrote about Where I Live and a bit about preparing for this project. This was before mega-storm 'Sandy' demolished so much of the East Coast. Before so many were tossed about by life un-planned. Before they evacuated or became stranded. Before they lost many things......or everything. Before they found out that they needed to rebuild, but first needed to figure out where or when or how or who. To those affected by this recent disaster, those who were faced with the unexpected and with devastation...... my thoughts and prayers are with you. 

Wishing you all peaceful days ahead.



Below is a link to #7 in my Empty Nest re-posts: On paying attention......On appreciating them for a whole bunch of reasons when they come home. 



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Where I Live and Empty Nest Repost #5 late I am with this post. Many, many things going on here at Home. I'm finishing up a few, getting a few under control, and moving forward with others........and that makes me feel lighter. More relaxed. I don't like leaving a task or a job undone. Don't like beginning something I'm interested in or excited about without having time to work on it. 

I have to say that I'm the kind of person who enjoys a desk that's cleared off and organized before I begin the the fact that the main floor of our house will be torn apart......stripped to its bare-nakedness beginning Monday, seems like it should bother me. But there is a plan and I have general outline of what to expect; what to look forward to. I've been given a time frame regarding completion and even though I know that time frame may tend to wander back or forth on the's good to know 'something'. 

Removing everything down to the bones of where we do most of our our daily living has taken time and care and thought and work. After several days of it, I am tired and aching and sore......and thankful to be nearly done. I have stepped on and off chairs in order to reach far back into high places, heaved and stacked boxes, and carried plates and dishes and books from here to there.......a more intense workout than any I've had in quite awhile.

The preparation phase has been hefty with memory as well. In the rifling and sorting, in the keeping and the discarding, the donating and recycling and wrapping for safe-keeping, I've found 27 years of marriage and twenty-five years of children. Eighteen years of life in this this community. 50-something years of life held in cupboards and drawers and closets and rooms.

In handling each item I've rediscovered moments that shaped and indulgently taken advantage of opportunities to revisit parts of my life that normally I don't on a daily basis: A basket of handwritten notes.  A dainty collection of teacups and saucers. A china lady dressed in gold and white who holds a bouquet of flowers and was a precious gift given to my Mother from my Dad when I was born. (I placed her inside a glass doored bookcase upstairs, rather than risk wrapping her up at all.) There were elementary school lunch pails stashed in a cupboard I rarely open......apparently put there because I wasn't ready to pass them on. Champagne glasses, napkins printed with funny sentiments, Christmas mugs, Mom mugs, Dad mugs, kid mugs. Jars of jam, a snowman tea ball, cookie cutters, cheese knives and cookbooks with notes scrawled by my grown men as young children stuck inside.

This process has been a necessary one. There were certain things that without a doubt were falling apart; in need of repair. It's also been an opportunity......for in the culling and the paring down, we've made conscious choices to hold on to what is important; knowing what outlines and defines our years as separate beings, our years together....... the possibilities of the years ahead. 

Beginning Monday, I will have a comfy place to hang out upstairs.  I'll miss cooking and my kitchen. I'll miss working and writing and sitting at the big table where I watch our back yard......but changing things up a bit is good. It sparks imagination and spurs creativity. It causes one to reflect. It makes one decide and choose and know what is important.


The following is a link to the fifth in my series of reposts about the empty nest. I does me good to go back and read these. Reminds me a little about where I was. What I was thinking or feeling or doing at the point they were written. Where I am now. What I've learned.


Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Home...... and Empty Nest Revisited - 4

Home. For the past six months it seems as if I've been everywhere else but here. And when I have been here......I've either been thinking about or planning to be.......somewhere else. In other words, even when I've been home........there were times when I haven't REALLY been......home.

Now don't get me wrong. I feel fortunate to have been elsewhere. I have visited those that I love and those places that I love. I've had fun and exercised and engaged in meaningful conversations. I enjoyed a birthday dinner at my parents table and tried out a couple new restaurants with my boys. I've been windblown and listened to waves crash onto a rocky beach. Attended workshops and classes, and practiced and learned. And I've discovered a few things: New flavors. New towns. Things I am capable of that I didn't know before.  

But now that I'm back, I can feel my body breathing out the huge deep sigh of settling in. Deep down I'm a 'homebody'. Put me on our couch with my best blanket, a warm cup of something and a book or my knitting or the phone......and I'm good. I think I need some days filled with time spent looking out the window and into our back yard, the sound of laundry tumbling in the background, or the earthy scent of dinner simmering on the stove or baking in the oven. I need days to plan maintenance and repairs. Days in which to organize. 

Home. It's where I want to be right now. For a while.


 Here is a link to repost #4 about the 'Empty Nest':

  Almost There

Hope you enjoy it.......especially if you haven't read it before.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

From Beach to Mountain..... and Empty Nest Revisted - 3

Good Wednesday Morning!

Saturday I returned home from the Oregon Coast.......and tomorrow will be heading in the opposite direction. Switching gears from a focused week behind my camera to a few days focused on our youngest.

Within a weeks time, I will have traveled from sea level to a city built in an ancient lake. 
From work to play. From 'me' time to family time. From colorful beach towns to Rocky Mountain fall colors. From the muted tones of the Pacific horizon to a Saturday football stadium sea of maroon and silver. 

Last week was about raucous fall waves, windy beaches, working harbors, sea stacks, seabirds and sand. This weekend......about a raucous group of twenty year olds, music, listening, fun, football and food. 

For sure it will be about food! Reservations are secured at his favorite restaurant. Cookies are in the oven. Spicy marinated soba noodles packed in containers and ready to go. And I know we'll stop for a sandwich and cup of 'Hangover Stew' or enormous 'Mondo Burrito' at a couple of our favorite lunch places.

Last week I was anxious to find out what the ocean and it's coastline had in store for me. This week I'm looking forward to seeing what my son has in store. Finding out how he has planned our days. Living in his world for just a bit. Observing what he thinks is important and he expresses himself and what he is proud of.

Below is the link to the third in a series of re-posts about the 'Empty Nest'. It is an essay I wrote a while ago that was picked up by Mamalode by clicking on it you will be directed to their website.


Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

Warmly, Margaret

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Empty Nest Revisited - 2

Good Morning from Florence, Oregon. I'm spending time here, as well as in a couple of other places on the Oregon Coast, attending a photography workshop. What a great week! I've learned a lot and the weather and sunrise/sunset light has cooperated nicely. Photos to follow.....

As I mentioned last week, for the next few Wednesdays I will be revisiting some posts that have to do with sending my youngest off to college. Posts that were written as I faced a recently emptied nest. My hope is that others entering into a new or different phase in their lives will be able to relate to at least some of what I've written. That knowing about another persons journey helps and supports their own....whether that be a last child leaving home, a move, a job or relationship change.......or a change in how you view yourself or life that goes on around you. The following was written nearly two years ago, after we returned him back to school following a five week winter break.

Mother Nature Gets it......Right???

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.


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