Saturday, May 28, 2022

Man Haters Club

We don't really hate men, it's just what my cousin's husband calls our Friday night pottery group...

I missed Man Haters Club last week because I was out with Covid and this week's gathering was set to be cancelled due to a patio project at my cousin's house, but rain cancelled the patio project instead. I was selfishly relieved. It was a small gathering this week; three cousins, a friend, and myself. 

I've thrown a few bowls but feel pretty lost lately when it comes to the wheel. I've built a few boxes, fashioned a few figures, and more recently put together a few houses. I have to say, the houses are fun. I need to find and area to specialize in, so I can sell something particular, but I'm still working in that direction.

I've finally found a group that I feel a part of, although there's still that voice in the back of my head that wants to tell me, "They simply tolerate you..." Lies. Lies that have floated around in my head for longer than I can remember. I'm working on telling myself something different.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Two In One


My busy week was followed by a sick week. Went to the chiropractor again last Monday and came out feeling suddenly congested. Returned home from work on Tuesday and went right upstairs to bed. Thought I was fighting a sinus infection/allergies. Went to work Wednesday all the time wanting to pull over and go to sleep on the side of the road. Stayed the day even though I felt like I should have stayed home. Started coughing Wednesday evening... Tested positive. (insert eye roll.) Slept most of Thursday, was much better by Friday, went to the parade on Saturday where we sat socially distanced from other festival goers. Stayed home from church Sunday, returned to work masked on Monday. No clue where I picked it up. It doesn't really matter.


I had a bit of a relapse this week and found my emotional balance a bit off. I was tired, teary, and feeling defeated. Identifying and calming emotional triggers is a continual process that typically has to do with home and family.

My elder daughter's mom in law passed away last week. She had been sick for years and her death did not take anyone by surprise. Still, the finality is jolting. There was a small, family graveside service this Monday. I wasn't given a time or invitation to that and that is okay. We were, however, invited to calling hours at my daughter's home from 3-6 pm on Monday afternoon. I had already been out of work due to illness on Thursday and Friday, and taking time off on Monday was not feasible anyway. 

It was 4:20 pm by the time I was able to stop and offer my hugs and condolences and I had a 5 pm appointment with the chiropractor again. The counter in Beth's kitchen was covered with partially eaten cakes and desserts. I had decided to take a cookie on my way out when a former church acquaintance offered, "Kathy made the cheesecake." Kathy. Sweet, beautiful Kathy... I took a piece of cheesecake with a large, red strawberry on top and went to my chiropractor appointment relieved not to have run into either Kathy or the Cabinetmaker, but the trigger had already been set and the emotional dominoes started to topple...

"Home." What is home and where is it? (I'd already been struggling with this question and had asked my friend Dan, "So is home a place or a feeling?" and he had later responded with a quote from e.e. cummings that "showed up in his newsfeed.") Once upon a time "Home" was on the farm with my kids and the Cabinetmaker. Even though life was far from perfect, there was a sense of belonging. I had no idea at the time just how far from perfect life actually was. It took me two years post disclosure, and a friend who said, "I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you that the longer you wait the harder its going to be," for me to act on the boundary I knew had to be enforced. If I didn't have the strength and courage to take a stand on this one, I didn't have any strength or courage at all. I set a date and started to put things in order. It was agonizing. I moved away from everything that I loved. Later the Cabinetmake would say, "I've cost you everything you loved and held dear," and he was right. Nothing mattered more than taking that stand against the unthinkable. I had to do it. To leave it undone would have rendered me complicit.

So, I looked around at the place I had loved and called home for 16 years. I considered the man who I had decided to love 36 years prior, and wondered how I could ever explain any of it to anyone, much less my grandchildren who were too young to take in the truth, and when that Saturday in July came, I packed the necessities into the back of my Mazda5 and drove away while James stood sobbing in the driveway. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. harder by far than getting married, moving 2000 miles from home, and having a baby at 17 years old.

I came back to my childhood home, but the home of my childhood was no longer occupied by my parents. Instead it had become the home of my younger daughter and her family. It's been five years now since I moved into the little attic bedroom and although it feels so much more like home than it did when I first returned, the slowly healing heart still has moments when it aches and bleeds and longs to once again belong. 

(This showed up in my newsfeed as I was pondering the e.e cummings quote.)

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Life Gets Busy Sometimes

It was a very busy week. Beside working I had something going on each and every evening along with Saturday morning...

Monday- Chiropractor appointment
Tuesday- Helped my cousin with an evening pottery class not far from my work.
Wednesday- Therapist
Thursday- Picked up a futon mattress at Sleep City and took to to my son's new apartment.
Friday- Songbird Man-Haters Club (LOL! Pottery night)
Saturday- morning first aid/CPR class to renew my certificate for work

This morning I went back to church for the first time in three weeks. I was sick one Sunday and last week I spent the morning with my friend Gail. 

I'm finding that life very often takes us full circle. When I was born my parents were attending the Rochester Christian Reformed Church. When I was a year or two old, they became founding members of a new branch of the Christian Reformed Church in Webster. We attended there until I was 15 years old. This past winter I was told by a extended family member how much she enjoyed the pastor at her church. I started listening online and had begun to consider visiting in person when my friend Laura posted a link to a sermon. It was just the encouragement I needed to visit the Rochester Christian Reformed Church. (Sunday's message)

After church Laura and I went out to lunch and then took a ride down to the lake before going to get an ice cream cone at Brewster's. The weekend is coming to a close and this coming week "should" be a little more relaxing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Mother's Day

Many are the moments when I still find myself in disbelief at what has become of my family. Deep inside I know that it had been unraveling over the course of many years, I mean, I saw loose threads and frayed edges but I had no idea what was causing them. The fabric of our relationship had been damaged beyond repair, yet I kept trying to try the loose ends and patch holes. How was I to know the fabric itself was weak and rotted...

Another Mother's Day has come and gone. It was a beautiful day. Crisp and sunny. Cold and hot. I went out to breakfast with my friend Gail. The restaurant we intended to visit was overflowing, so we took a drive toward Williamson and each got a breakfast sandwich from a little donut shop on Route 104 before heading to her cottage on Lake Ontario. We spent the next few hours scouring the beach for bits of tumbled glass. We were not disappointed. It was a fabulous glass hunting day!

It was early afternoon when I headed back home. A few of my boys came over and we had a nice visit in the backyard before ordering a pizza. They packed a few pieces of furniture for one of them into the back of Ben's truck and headed out around 7 pm. I took Joe home to his apartment and returned home for a little bit of ice cream before heading upstairs. I had just climbed into bed when I heard a vehicle in the driveway and some voices. Soon I was being serenaded in song. "Happy Mother's Day to You..." It was Bethany and a few of my grands. So fun. I had a phone call from my faraway son in Florida. Only one of my children intentionally did not make contact. He's sending us a message. Or trying....

Forgiveness is a powerful tool and I used it many, many times. I used it when it was the right tool for the job, and I used it when I should have been using something much more powerful, but there was so much I didn't know... I can't go back and fix what was so very wrong. All I can do is make better choices today. One of those choices is to stand by the child who has decided to file a deposition against her dad. I stand firmly with her. Some thing are not okay and never will be okay. Today I have more information as to why we were disintegrating and I also have better information on how to respond. Forgiveness is still here, but it isn't the only tool in the box.

Monday, May 02, 2022


 I feel like I am in an almost constant state of expectation, except I don't know what I'm waiting for...

 Waiting. Waiting to go home. Waiting for someone to come home. I don't know if this longing will ever disappear. I remember days in the past of laying in bed next to James and feeling a sense of calm connected-ness, of taking my morning coffee out on the back porch on warm, spring mornings when the apple trees were in blossom and feeling peace, of curling up on the couch close to the wood stove during blustery, winter snowstorms and feeling like I belonged. Our kids, at least some of them, were still living at home. I kept the house neat and clean, did the laundry, and made dinner each night. I knew, for the most part, what to expect. And then everything changed.

It's not as though I made a hasty decision, or didn't count the cost... I remember looking around my house, my eyes falling upon the belongings that made it feel like home, and I asked myself if I was willing to leave all of this behind... Of course, thinking about leaving everything and actually doing it are two different things. I had an idea of where I was going, but in reality one never knows exactly how long a journey will take or what will transpire along the way. I moved out of my home and away from James with much fear and uncertainty, and all the courage I could putt together. I did what I had to do, and if given the chance to do it all over again, even though I left a giant piece of me behind, I would do the same.

I recently told a friend that although there are so many things I can now do on my own, the thought of being totally alone forever is terrifying. He said, "See, you really have to not dwell on that. For the simple reason that you don't know what forever is gonna bring. So you look forward to the next thing, right? you look forward to Friday nights throwing pots, you look forward to going to the lake and communing with nature..." And he's right, although there are moments when I can't see through the clouds to what is coming and I feel a little lost in the woods. In spite of myself, he does have a way of helping me to see things from a better perspective.

As a child I thought life must be easy for adults but it's not. Sometimes we just aren't going home and the one we're waiting for isn't going to come home either.