Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween 2020

 A few years ago, Rick read his Halloween column for the local radio station.  They played it on air again today.  I have tried to share it on my blog today, but alas I lack the skills that Rick had.

The station is Jasper's Oldies, 101.5 FM, 1240 WJLX.  It was shared on the DJ's Facebook page.  His name is Brett Elmore, maybe you can give it a listen.  It sure was nice to hear Rick's voice.  

It has been a most beautiful crisp fall day.  The sky is as blue as any I have seen, even those west of the Rockies.  When I played the radio program, the dogs ears perked up.  They thought Rick had come home.

I have found the best way for me to deal with the grief is work until I am exhausted and then cry until there are no more tears.  Those are my days and for now, that's the best I can do.

I am about to hang the plastic on the screen porch to convert it into my green room.  Temps are falling this week.

Ya'll have a Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2020

I Am Still Here/Peace

 Last week was one of the toughest.  I went to the cemetery for the first time since Rick's burial.

I went to choose our grave marker.  It's just a flat slab of grey granite with our names, dates of birth and his date of death and also his military service.  I did ok at the office, there were a few tears but I maintained.  On the way out, I visited the grave and even then I maintained.

But then a couple of days later, monsoonal rains came.  I can't complain about the rain, it was needed and appreciated.  But in the midst of all the tears falling from the sky, grief  slammed its best shot my way.

I lay on the couch, under a down comforter surrounded by the three dogs and the sobs began.  The sobs turned into some sort of guttural groans, I went into the fetal position and all three dogs tried to lick the tears from my face.  I cried for everything lost.

I am not writing this for sympathy but hoping to help anyone out there who is grieving, you are not alone.

Maybe you are like me, and you are physically alone and trying your best to make it through a pandemic and the loss of someone you love.  Maybe you have lost your job, your way of life, your health, your home, family.  Whatever your loss is, it's ok to grieve and remind yourself there is no time line.

What helps me?  Time outdoors.  Even in those monsoonal rains, I suited up in my rain gear and walked. At one point, I took off my raincoat and just let the rain wash over me.  Nature has been my soothing balm, my stress relief, my comfort.  Nature has heard my questions, seen my tears, anger, sadness, heard my laughter, and answered my silence.  Hearing birds sing, seeing the sky whether it's blue or grey, feeling the sun on my face reminds me I am still here, for whatever reason, I am still here.  The leaves are changing, there are still flowers blooming and I am still here.  At  night, I see the stars, the moon and they remind me as well, I am still here.

Now, I am trying to figure out why I am still here, what purpose do I serve.  I know there are answers and they will come in time.  Maybe for now, I am still here just to remind kind, be kind, be kind.

Occasionally Rick made garden stones.  He had made one for the fern garden out front, one for the bird feeder area and his last was for my heirloom garden.  The photo shows his last.  I like to think it was his last  message.


Saturday, October 17, 2020


 Streams of golden light filled my living room this morning as I sat and watched the sun come up. A hot mug of coffee warmed my hands, the temps had dropped to 40 degrees last night and Taz sat next to me.

I read a message from a former student, it was a message I needed to see this morning.  I needed that reminder that I had helped someone in the past and they didn't forget.

This isolation is unlike anything I have ever experienced, this grief is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  Together they have created a perfect storm and I am fighting to survive.

Yesterday was three months.  Will I ever stop counting the days, the weeks, the months?  Who am I kidding, will I ever stop counting the moments that Rick has been gone.

Before I get out of bed each morning I make myself think of three things I am grateful for.  I do the the same thing before I go to sleep each night.  I remind myself to take deep breaths and I spend as much time as I can outside.

The guitars sit and taunt me, my paints whisper open us up, they wait, I wait.  I did repaint my front doors this week, just a refresher of the vibrant purple that says I'm still here.

What words of transformation can I give you all today?  Be kind, be kind, be kind.  Wear your masks, wash your hands, keep your distance, vote.  Be kind, be kind, be kind.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

A Visit

 A good friend came to check on me today.  She had texted me a couple of times, voicing her concern about me.  Today she came by to check on me.  It is one of those friendships where we go for years without seeing each other, but we know we are there whenever needed.  We worked together for several years and working with her was always fun.  We walked down to the barn, visited the chickens, she took pictures of the bee garden and snapped a photo of Kodak and me.

Since Rick died, Kodak and I now weigh about the same.  I didn't realize how big he was until she sent me the photo she took today.  I have to admit he and Hook were on their best behavior.  Actually Kodak liked Cherri so much I think he would have gone home with her.  And Taz, well she is always on her best behavior.

It's odd to hear someone else's voice in the house now.  I have become use to hearing my voice and the dogs barking and hearing another voice was strange.  Though Sam and Jordan and her parents come by, I am use to their voices I suppose.  Hearing Cherri, and  her laughter, brought back so many good memories that she and her husband and Rick and I shared.  Her visit was like a healing balm.

My friend asked how I was doing, that is the usual question most people ask me.  All I can tell them, I have cried every day since he died.  I get up every morning, make a list and just try to make it through the day and complete the list.  Cherri remarked today about how wonderful it was Rick died at home.  I know it might be weird to say this, but I believe he died the way he wanted to, here at home with me and the dogs, the place he loved, surrounded by those who loved him.  So yes, I suppose it was wonderful he died at home.  But those who love him, boy how we miss him.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Neighbor's Surprise

 A couple of evenings ago I heard the dogs barking.  I was in the laundry room folding clothes, but I could tell by the sound of their barks someone was in the yard.  I went to the front door and there stood my neighbor from across the street, trying to hang a most beautiful Halloween wreath on my front door.

She laughed and told me she had made it and was trying to surprise me but the dogs refused to be part of the surprise.  She and her husband moved in about a month before Rick died.  Rick and had gone over when they were moving in and introduced himself to her husband Mark.  We have not been lucky with neighbors in that house for a long time, but Rick told me when he came home that finally, we had good neighbors again after all these years.  Rick was right.  Gail and Mark have been so caring since Rick died.

When storms blew limbs and trees down in my yard about a week after Rick passed, they came over and moved them.  She is very artistic and crafty and has made me some of the sweetest gifts.  They have three grandchildren who come to visit them every weekend and you can hear those kids laugh the whole time they are there.

I spent today working on my plants, adding fresh potting soil, cutting back out of control growth, getting them ready to move to the screen/green porch in a couple of weeks.  I also transferred collard plants into containers ( I grew them from seeds) to acclimate for a week or so before I plant them in raised beds. It has been a busy day.  Missing Rick so much, these were activities that we shared and enjoyed.

Keeping an eye on the weather, there is another hurricane brewing in the Gulf.  We need rain but not floods and wind damage, will just have to wait and see  where and when this one comes in.

I hope your week started with kindness, stay well, and look for beauty and joy.


Friday, October 2, 2020

Full Moon Blues

 It was such a beautiful full moon last night.  Taz and I got up around 1:30 am and just sat on the deck for awhile taking in the beauty of the night sky.  These are the times I really miss Rick.

Working this small farm by myself is interesting.  I couldn't do it without the help of Sam, Jordan, my brother Ricky, my nephew Haven and friends.  Even with their help, there is much to do daily by myself. Before Rick passed, he had wanted to get  more hives and buy more property, I am so glad that did not happen.  

Jordan, Sam and I mulched the blueberry bushes yesterday with pine bark nuggets.  Another job off the list, not to be done again until spring.  Yesterday morning my brother Ricky and I picked up the nuggets at the local home center.  Nothing like loading a pickup before 8:00 am and working up a sweat in 50 degree weather.  I am so grateful  for Sam, Jordan and Ricky's help.  

Today a bit more to do with the blueberries and then some work inside the house.  The laundry room is about to be organized!

There have been some difficult times this week.  I thought I might be past the sobbing out loud stage, but I was wrong.  These waves come out of nowhere and often I have no clue  as to what triggers them.

A brand new month, the golden light of fall comes through my windows now.  There are bits of color in the woods.  Geese have honked as they flew south, but there are still some humming birds coming to the feeders.  The bee garden is still in a state of frenzy.  Nights are chilly, days are warm.  The weather is perfect and I miss drinking my morning coffee on the deck with Rick.