Forest Through.

Empty nest – what empty nest?

Our nest has people.  Some are not-quite mine, some (when they visit) are very much mine.  Our nest is not empty.  There is a dog here, and a man and a teenboy.  And me.  Not empty.


But, it is not full, either.

There’s an essay going around social media by a parent, whose son is going off to college.  Toddler to young man in a blink – that sort of thing.  It’s a tearjerker (no, I am not going to read it; my spawn left for college last fall, 2016.  I’m a veteran empty nester compared to many of my friends.)  Don’t be fooled:  a year in and it still hurts.  I miss her like crazy, in between worrying about her health, safety and welfare.  We never stop doing that, the worrying, the parenting-feeling-stuff.  The willingness to be needed, and hope that they call us when they do need us (and to check-in when they don’t).

It’s a weird between-chapters place to be, made weirder by my own life upheaval just over one year ago.  Mid-August, Mr. Virginia and I passed the one-year mark of my move to be with him.  A year living together went quickly, and was a lot of fun.  Eight months after I moved here, we bought a house together.  Eight.  Months.  We are almost fully moved out of his house and in to this new, shared space… .  Our work keeps us busy, tired, and the last thing we wish to do with any free time is go back to ‘the other house’ and load the cars.  It needs to get done – we know this.


Scrounging-around somewhat-empty-nesting I am uncomfortably perched on the fence between being needed and being completely and utterly without purpose. I feel lost and a bit dissatisfied at work, which, normally, I adore (try as I might to feel worthy and belonging), and feigning interest in any hobby or creativity. (Crochet ain’t doing it, sorry; neither is looking at other people’s maker ideas on Pinterest. Nope.)  I need something and I have a feeling it’s not outside of me, like a child or a job or someone’s touch.


While I do believe opportunities are on the way, perhaps, I am simply not ready.  To be honest, Mr. Virginia asked me earlier this evening if I was happy.  (This, a sign of worry and caring, which I may never get used to.  He is an excellent partner.) I told him that I was not very interesting nor intriguing these days, and would he mind me as a boring partner for a while?  He said he would not mind.  I also told him that, yes, in general, I am quite happy.  (It’s just smothered by a steaming pile of angst, right now.)

What I am is frustrated with the whole reinvent yourself when you move thing.
Or maybe it’s not feeling like a useful person or the lack of creative brilliance, or that I am no longer someone’s long-distance desire but their in-the-next-room squeeze.  Nah, that latter is nothing to whine about. *smile*

Whatever is missing – rather, whatever the “blah” antidote is – is probably right in front of me, so big and tall and obvious that – whatever it is I need to see – I’m too close to see it properly.  What does one do, then? Take a step back.

And, then, a few steps more.

When the ‘aha!’ moment finally happens, I will let you know.  Until then, all I’m seeing is a lot of tree bark and no forest.




Unapologetic Season. [Poem]

August, the Sunday of the summer months.

Suspending the start of autumn, an air of distracted denial in these late summer days.

Our activities hum
similarly round in their tune.

Bring in the fruits for winter’s cellar and holiday cheer.
Relearn tying shoes and making lunch.
End earlier to rise earlier
Summer’s growth spurt in hand-me-downs to the delight of youngers
Beat the rugs, weed the garden, inhale the sun
Latecomer hydrangea, frilled and elegant
unapologetic in size, boldly confident this summer has no end

I pull on the salmon shorts those
embroidered with navy lobsters (the only lobsters I’ve had this season)
button a favorite lightweight chambray shirt
the footbed leather always cool to my soles
as the dog writhes and wiggles her welcome and
release out the back door.

It is, thankfully, summer, still.

Written August 30, 2014.

A Day Off… Aug. 25, 2017

Funny. Today’s horoscope said I have lots of focus and drive (in fact, almost too much), and feel compelled to use that flow to get a lot done for myself.

Currently, my imagination is FULL of focus (on 15 different projects and tasks, and in my mind, I am doing them all at once, with stellar results).

The path of least resistance would be, of course, to finish getting dressed and simply begin something – anything.  But, no.

“Simply begin” sounds so perfectly simple, doesn’t it? Yet, it feels, today, tidally overwhelming and as if beginning, even with the smallest movement, one might risk drowning. I believe that is a sign of stress or burnout or, dare I say, boredom?  Some conversation I was part of long ago defined procrastination, stalling, not-beginning as a form of perfectionism.

Rather than begin anything (since, today, that is somehow weighted with expectation of brilliant conclusions replete with finish line, applause and accomplishment that push against my confidence), i choose to wander aimlessly from idea to idea and hope to land upon something satisfying.

Including writing sentences that last a full paragraph. That just might do, for today.


Truthfully, part of it is anger.  At myself, for giving up a precious day off, yesterday, to help another in distress.  While working on saying “no” more often, I say “yes” when, were I in the other’s place, would hope for help. This fellow was begging for help and since no one else offered after a week of asking, I helped.

My sister said it was “kind hearted” of me to help.  Maybe, but it was the right thing to do, regardless of how tired I feel today, on my one day off…which I really should not whittle away complaining about thing, should I?  That would defeat the whole day.  And that is just now how I want to feel, defeated.

Off to dress and see what’s what.

Tongue Tithed.

Is there a word that just plain annoys you?

My friend and I had a discussion the other day and they confessed (a bit too enthusiastically) that “moist”, “gleaming” and “awesome” are their peeve words. To each their own.

Mine are the overuse and lack of respect from “guys”.  “Hey, guys!” is used by everyone under a certain age for, what once was, ‘ladies and gentlemen’ or ‘folks.’  For me, the all-too-casual ‘guys’ is the language equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.  Another, fast approaching irksome, is the candy-coated “y’all”, especially when used by an otherwise educated person and/or former northerners who have transplanted themselves anywhere south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

Call me jaded but “Really??” flares through my self-talk. “You’re a native New Yorker/New Jersian/Brooklynite. That “y’all” is fake and you know it. Cut the crap, buster.” No mercy, I know.  

Having attended college in the very center of the country, cinched in the heart of the Bible Belt, “y’all” is not unfamiliar to my ear; the span of then-to-now is 30-something years, so it has been a while since that smooshed together vernacular of familiarity and address was commonplace in language I heard daily. Heard daily, not spoke. Now living in Virginia, I would not slur “y’all” the same way I would not volley “youze guys” when I lived in the metro-tri-state north.

My mother in law, RIP, referred to two or more together as “you people.”  This never failed to remind me of angry, annoyed casting directors at cattle calls and group dance auditions. “You people: step ball-change stage right – triple time!!” and the herd would count off ‘5678’ and tap in over-zealous, leotarded herd unison.

Despite a grandfather from Iowa and a grandmother from Little Rock, both of whom attended college, neither said “y’all” – as far as I can reckon.

August 13, 2016.

Dump (last few wine bottles from garden project).
Break the fast.
Weird here without the dog.
Weird without WiFi…but, whatever.
Radio all day.
Bag hanging clothes. Box last few breakables, pack odds and ends.
Break down sofa.
Rapid and merciless assessment of garage (not much packing, mostly organizing).

Confirm start date of new job (Tuesday?)
Moving truck: Monday.

Too damn hot to cry.
Too damn tired not to.

Autumn: 40 days.

Hustle, hustle.

Idiots On the Way.

Yesterday, during the early part of my shift, a guest shared a strange thing that happened on her recent trip to the Vatican.  Yes, the Vatican, in Rome, Italy.  Where the Pope hang out.

While there, another tourist attempted – and succeeded – to break the jaw off a famous and valuable dog statue in the Vatican.  (Really?  The jaw?  Thieving goals have hit an all-time low.)  However, Vatican security was quick to apprehend the vandal and that was that.  She went on to say that the Italian police officer muttered something in his native language, which translates to, “The mother of stupidity is always pregnant.”

I love – LOVE – this phrase, and promptly shared it with nearly all my teammates throughout the day.  (A couple did not quite grasp the brilliance of the thing, but the others did.)

And that was yesterday’s sparkling gem of the day.  Just thought I’d share. 😉





August 9, 2013. (Journal)

If Saturday is the last day of any week, then Sunday is the start.
That said, this has been (is still) a rather nice week, in all the weeks of this year.
A little travel, a little cooking, a little exploration (some unintentional, some very intended). One plot came to a close while ideas spring forth from those embers into potential for next year and beyond. Other ideas on different subjects begin to form and shape – it is amazing what a little shared time and conversation will produce.
My child, (a junior already?!) gathers steam to begin one of her favorite summer-into-October activities  Monday; returning as a Section Co-Leader; she could not be more proud or enthusiastic. It is uplifting to watch your children invest themselves, then reap the rewards of something so meaningful as music – or writing or science or medical training or law or chess or math or dance – regardless of “the thing”, their joy and expansion far outweigh all the driving and odd-hour dinners and late nights of homework. Happy kid = happy parent.
As for us, tomorrow, ‘good morning’ turns into ‘see you soon’, and we part for an unknown time; rails bending in two directions. One to the land, one to the water (in poetic essences. In reality one will rest while the other drives home.) Not that I’m counting but there are only three months and 18 days until Thanksgiving. (110 days for you pencil-sharpeners.) By then, the fruits will be harvested and the menu plannedI .  be happily ensconced in my new job (pending), and tucked-in with storm windows and blankets versus summer screens and single cotton sheets.
Happy Week End, and Happy Week Beginning.