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.

Alone at Christmas? You’re Not Alone

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-8-35-58-amI’ve written before about how little family I have, and how holidays equal family. I mean, after all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Except for Easter. Which is all about the Easter Bunny. (Just kidding.)

This is what I have done to get ready for Christmas. Nearly nothing. I have not bought one gift. I bought two cards to send to my kids whom I won’t see. I bought a small turkey breast yesterday which my son may smoke on his grill, like he did on Thanksgiving.

For the first time in my life, the only tree I have is the same small one I bought years ago when we had lost our home and everything was packed away.  It was the first year we had no money, and I can’t even remember what I was able to buy for the kids. I liked that little tree and it came with me from house to house as I moved around New Hampshire.

After that first poor year, I was on my own and bought a larger fake tree because of my son. I still tried to make Christmas Christmassy for the sake of my kids, but I have never really been able to feel the same excitement I used to have. And eventually it simply became a dreaded chore. Continue reading “Alone at Christmas? You’re Not Alone”

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.

Remembering Life in New England

winter forest photography
My Backyard – Long Ago

This winter photography recently sold in my Zazzle store as a postcard. It seems fitting as a reminder of how far I’ve come. Since I am no longer living in the northeastern U.S., and back down in the humidity of Florida, this scene makes me a bit sad.  I was born in New England, and I love it there.

I took this winter photo back in 2007, and it reminds me of great hope and huge loss. After spending 27 years in the humid, bug-infested south, I was back home in New England and loving every moment of my first winter with snow in years. I took pictures every day I think. This is a scene from my back yard after a nice storm had passed. I say “nice” because it dropped a bunch of that sparkling white stuff I had been longing to play in and witness. I wanted a white Christmas, and New Hampshire nearly always cooperated in the eleven years I lived there.  I love the change of seasons and winter is part of it.  It’s a long season, but we are all in it together, and somehow get through the worst ones.

We had moved together as a family, but ultimately I ended up alone, with a son dependent upon me to provide a decent life. I couldn’t take a little boy away from his father, no matter how much that father lacked the qualities to actually be a father. So I stuck it out until my son graduated and wanted to move away. Then it was his choice. I did my part. But it wasn’t easy getting by alone in a place known for it’s costly living expenses. By the time I left my New Hampshire home, I had moved 5 times, finally settling into a little fixer-upper for my final years there.

The beautiful snow had lost it’s charm after the hellish winter of 2014-15. And my final winter had very little drama – or snow. It was okay with me.

I’ll never live in New England again, short of winning the lottery. I have some pictures left that remind me of the great hope in my heart when I moved there. The opportunity to spend time in such a beautiful place one last time, is what I will be thankful for. And I’ll visit when I can. But I may never see such a beautiful winter scene in person again. Nor will I walk in the deep snow and enjoy the silence of snowy woods. But I did it once. And that was good.