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mother swan mothers day

The Mothers Day Post You May Not Like

mother swan mothers dayWell, here we are, another holiday to celebrate. Mother’s Day is upon us and it falls on a Sunday… oh yes, it always falls on a Sunday. Maybe that is so mothers everywhere can have a day of rest.

Nope, that’s not it.

I have four children, but Mothers Day has never been much different from any other day for me. I used to wish I had a caring husband who would work with the children to make my day special. I wished that for a few years, and then realized wishes don’t come true. Ya think?

I got gifts, and sometimes I got things I actually liked, needed or wanted. Once they were unwrapped, I made dinner. The day went on like any other.

But gifts were never what I really wanted for Mother’s Day. Like many mothers, I simply wanted a day off – a day for me. A day without meals to plan and cook. A day without dealing with the needs of the children. Without housework, walking the dog and feeding the cats. I used to dream of time for me, where I could sit and read a book, or do some drawing. That was the gift I craved. I would have accepted that gift any day of the year.

As I write this, imagining what Mothers everywhere are doing on their special day, the diversity of how they will celebrate is huge.

I can’t help but think of my own mother as well. She died of Alzheimers in 2008 so there will be no celebrating with her. She loved the attention, and believed the day was hers, no matter that her daughters were mothers too.

One year, my husband and I were invited out on a boat with some friends for a Mothers Day celebration. I asked my own mother to babysit and she never let me forget how I ruined her day by asking that.

I’ve been raising children for 40 years and I’m tired. I never got the gift of a caring husband who catered to my needs for a special day. But he’s out of my life, and that is an everyday gift I enjoy. My children are finally all grown, and they will wish me a happy day. That is enough.

Today I will stay off of Facebook and avoid reading the “I’m so blessed” posts where women will go on to brag about their fabulous husband and kids. Pictures will be shared where whole families celebrate all the moms with dinner out together. Oh I know it’s coming. Holidays – any holiday – is the time to show the world what a fantastic life you lead. I wonder if kids and husbands feel pressured to compete with other FaceBook posters?

Imagination is a wonderful thing. It’s how I come up with creations like the swan above.  I have some of those attributes, but not all.  My own mother had even fewer.

Mothers are not perfection, but if we try to be what our children need most, we succeed in giving the world the gift of more good people in it.  Sacrifice is a long-term commitment to carry on creating something we started.  From squealing baby to grown person, the trip is long and exhausting, and for some mothers, it’s a very lonely one.  In the end, I can say I did my mothering to the best of my ability.

Today, I am at peace.

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Moving Again, Taking a Time Out

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-32-52-amI began this blog with the hope of sharing my gardening experience, like so many normal people do.  But I am not normal.  Or should I say, my life is not normal.  By this time, I am probably a little off my rocker as well.

After closing on my new home just the other day, (it was delayed because of Hurricane Matthew, which didn’t surprise me a bit) I now have to face moving again.  I am not young.  There is a household of items to move, as well as a storage unit full.  It will be up to me and my two sons to do all the heavy lifting.  On the bright side, this keeps me fit.  I am stronger than the typical sixty-year old woman, for sure.

Recently I counted up the times I had moved in my life and came to the extraordinary number of 14.  I look forward to living in a nice home, and hopefully the last I will ever live in.  It’s not anything fabulous, but it will be comfortable.  Anyone who has moved to a new place knows that it takes time to get settled in, and I hate that I will have to waste more of my life doing that, one more time.

Many – no ALL – of my friends (or, past friends, I should say) are settled in life.  People my age own homes that are paid off.  They are not just now signing up for a 30-year mortgage!  They have fun.  Many of them spend time traveling and visiting their kids the grandkids.  They go to weddings, go out to dinner, have parties, take vacations, and share stories of their fantastic lives on their FaceBook pages.  They live.  They have normal lives.

They live the kind of life I always expected to have in my later years.  Why not expect that?  But, for me, it went the other way.  This is mainly why they are “past friends”.  I have nothing in common with my old friends these days.  And I can’t expect them to understand.  I only visit FaceBook because I have a Store Page there, for my business.  Yes, I will be working until I die.  No retirement and slowing down for me.

I accept my lot in life.  What else can I do?  My posts here have become depressing, even for me, so I apologize.  Soon, I hope to have some photos and info about building raised garden beds.  I plan to have a few on my new property.  That will make me feel more normal.  In the meantime, I will be packing.

Ending the Year With a Disaster

I’ve had a bad year. I’m not going further back than that, but these past months have been especially hard. After dealing with a drop in income and buying absolutely nothing extra for nearly three years, I was able to quickly sell my New Hampshire home and move back to Florida. I never wanted to come back here to live, but it’s more affordable. Also my older son is a firefighter here and my younger son is attending college here. It was my only option. Without money, there are few options in life.

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There will be no basement storage in Florida

I had a big yard sale, gave items away, and called a local shop to pick up lots of my furniture before we packed up the Penske truck and took the three day drive from New England to Florida. All of that was a tremendous effort, not to mention the packing, showing the house, and my sadness at having to leave – move again.

Since June my younger son and I have been living with my older son in his rental house in east central Florida. I dislike the area and hate the heat. But I am sucking it up, and trying to make the best of it. I know it’s foolish of me to hope for a better future, but when that is all there is, it can’t be helped. We began looking for a house to buy together right away. We found one and began the buying process.

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Yesterday we were scheduled to close on the house. Everyone has been watching the path of Hurricane Matthew and it seemed to be headed straight for the coast where my new home is located. I wondered at the wisdom of closing on a home the day before a major hurricane hits.

My worries were lessened when one hour before the closing I got a call from the Mortgage company saying there was a moratorium on closings! It had been delayed because of the storm’s approach.

Depending on the damage left behind by this storm, it may be a while before we can close and get ourselves moved in. The house is only a few miles from the beach, so it may get some damage – and then what? The nightmare goes on.

I say ending the year with a disaster, but really there are a few months to go. Time for even more fun to happen in my life.

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Standing in line at Publix with everyone buying food before the Hurricane.

The Pitfalls of House Hunting

When I bought my home in New Hampshire, I had bad credit (thanks to my ex-husband) and had to settle for the least horrible house I could afford. So when I began house-hunting in Florida I was looking forward to being able to choose a nice home. I pictured house-hunting as a fun opportunity. It didn’t really turn out that way.

Here are the problems I’ve run into.

Without a knowledgable friend or partner to lend advice, I am still on my own when it comes to discerning a good house from one that should be passed by. As is the case always, I am alone in my decisions. But not quite. My son and I are buying this house together so his thoughts had to be taken into consideration. He knows nothing about home buying and ownership, whereas I do. He is not looking at the possible problems, just the parts of the house he likes.

One house seemed really great, or should I say the land the house sat on was great. The house itself was not impressive. In fact it seemed a bit neglected. I didn’t want a house with problems, and I could foresee work. We went and looked at the place twice, and we loved the land, and location, but by the second visit, I knew I did not want to live in that house. And it was overpriced. Continue reading The Pitfalls of House Hunting