Dancing with Doris was a good choice this summer.
I am pretty sure I found this somewhere on the net earlier this year. I may have even used it before! It is apt. My beat this summer has been interesting. Fall has arrived and I'm headed back to the states in a more than two weeks. I cannot worry about mom. She'll survive or not as the case may be. I cannot take charge, she'll resent me to bits if I do. I'd rather have (can't believe I am typing this!) a mess after death, than her angry with me while she lives.
Dancing with Doris was a good choice this summer.
Looking back at each summer I’ve been in Alaska is kind of funny. There have been so many changes and so much good growth within me, it is almost surprising. My normal months in the states consist of the same things over and over. The few things which let me escape the rut of my life come from Alaska. Or at least, the parts of me which have changed because of my summers in The Last Frontier.
I will always be forever grateful for Kel. Who asked me point blank why I hadn’t been home to see mom after daddy died. He made me reallise not having daddy at home didn’t mean I should stay away. He helped me embrace myself as a person and a woman in my own right. It was the summer before I turned 50. The next 50 years are already different!
Each summer there is a septic problem. I can only pray this has finally ceased with the newest system installed this year. They are never the same kinds of problems, though they involve the same peoples.
The clutter has also remained the same every year. I honestly cannot tell we threw so much ruined crap away last year. Boxes and boxes and bags and totes remain. The best part is, most of it is in containers now and not stacks.
After I got back to the states that first summer, I became incredibly depressed. I was on meds for a bit and was so sad inside. I craved the person I was when I was in Alaska. She was suppressed and it was horrible. I had a few experiences which were difficult to understand, but something wonderful happened again. My life line crossed with a wise friend who has given so much to me, I can’t even put it into words! In all the ways I’ve wandered, this person remains one who encourages me to be myself in all ways.
The second summer was so long. Second hand sewage is nasty! I was often depressed and several times wondered if I should just go away and die. Part of that may have been because I was so alone and having to bite my tongue about my mom. Her attitude about her daughter who was ‘going thru that change of life’ drove me bonkers. Part of it was probably because of the experiences I was having. Trusting a person and finding out they are an ass of the lowest type angered me. I also had sporadic internet. One of my bestest friends in the world got infrequent single four letter word texts from me more than often.
Returning to the states was better. I had friends who accepted me for myself and gave me time. Getting a chance to escape the confines of my world is lifesaving. Even when I get lost or break my car or end up in awkward situations! I began writing more, found new people who are similar to myself and like me, and began to find a small niche for myself.
These last months have brought changes I never imagined. Chemotherapy and other things have made me aware of how short life can be, how chemicals can change a person, and how precious people are. I have learned to let go of those special people, to realise when a life connects with mine, it is not forever, and to believe a bit more in myself.
I’m actually looking forward to going back to Oregon this fall. I’ll miss home like an ache in my soul, but I am ready to see how the Me I am now will react to the placid stream I normally exist in.
(there is a piece in "I'm Alive" which goes with this)
I wanted to bring this rock home and take it to Oregon with me, but it is much larger than the rocks I usually collect. I thought it would be fun to fill in the cracks with something colorful. However, it would have been somewhat silly. I'm not broken, I am cracked, I am not mended with a colorful seam. I could bring it back and leave it as it is, though--If I can find it when I visit the beach next, I might do that. It is also fun to turn it over and find not a smidge of a heart shape or even cracks! The other side is normal and well, a bit boring! Yes, I think I will look for it when I go back.
It IS a good sized, stone, though......
This is a longer edition of what I posted in my blessing blog. I'm still thankfully amazed!
I had a super odd experience today. I went down to Arness Dock to get a breath of fresh air and look for rocks. (you always look for rocks down there!) The tide had been a minus one, so there was a great deal of shore open. I had my camera, cell phone, and car keys. I talked to a couple who knew my parents, which was great fun. They not only knew mum and dad, the wife has relatives in Tillamook. Crazy. I continued on my way and didn’t go too terribly far, it was getting late. On my way back to the car, I sighted another cool rock, coal actually, and stopped to photograph it. As I stood, I realized I didn’t feel the keys. Panic set in. I looked around the ground, looked at the rising water, and scooted quickly back along the edge of the waves. I could see where my footsteps had come up from the waves. The rest of my tracks were under water. I walked the whole way, praying and searching. I got back to where I had started. Keyless.
There was a car parked, the driver was looking at the sea and he noticed I was in tears. He asked if anything was wrong. I told him what I had done. He asked if I needed a ride. I said, probably…but turned and left to look again. Nothing. I got back to where I started and noticed the man was gone. too. I reached for my phone to call my friend, Kelly. He is always up for a rescue. The first two calls didn't go The third call went through and I looked down and saw mom’s car keys! I hung up in shock. I had looked and looked and when I stopped depending on myself, I found what I had lost.
Usually, this summer, I’ve learned I need to depend on me. I have to do things alone. Today, I was in complete and utter despair. Fancy car keys can’t be created on the Kenai. You must go to an Anchorage dealership. I knew mom had a spare set, but oh…to have to tell her I had lost house and car keys. I didn’t know who to call for help, but I had a couple of options. And then, my phone failed. The relief I experienced when my call went through and I saw those keys was phenomenal. I closed my phone and picked them up off the ground and Kel called me back. As I chatted with him (he, too, was pretty impressed I found them right as my call went through), I set up my keys for a photo shoot. Finally, I was ready to leave and a truck pulled into the parking lot. I grinned at the driver and started to leave, but couldn’t. I went back. The poor man said I had made him a little nervous cuz I kept looking at him. I told him I wanted to thank him. Not that he had done anything, but he might have. He said he would have and he often got thanked for odd things. Turned out he was an Army Ranger. Or had been.
As I left, I realized how thankful I was. My prayers had been answered and I was off the hook.
Incredible blessings from top to bottom. And I have some super cool rocks, too!
Mum loves these scented wax things she melts to make the house smell better. They make me sneeze and give me a headache. This batch is a linen scent. I don't like them at all and the flies don't seem to be bothered much by them either. (yes, there are always flies in the house)
Mum is also baking today. She made cinnamon rolls (they were not from 2012, the blue mix box expired June 2015--the monkey bread kit in the basement is from 2011) and a roast and biscuits. Guess what scent is the strongest one? I coff every time I go upstairs and I am not looking forward to dinner. The wax crap sneaks into everything and flavors it.
I don't want to go outside. If I go outside and get fresh air, it will be worse when I come inside.
To say I’m surprised would be a bit of an understatement. Let me ‘splain.
Mum belongs to an organization which is putting on an auction in a few weeks. They want donations, naturally. Mum decided to give them 3, what she calls, baskets. One is a small fabric box with 10 or 12 hot wheels and a portion of a kit to launch them. Another is a baby quilt she just finished, along with 7 storybooks associated with the quilt (monkeys), she bought a carryall for those. The last item was another quilt and stuffed animal gift for a baby. She hasn’t completed the last one, but the others were ready to go. She purchased ONE plastic gift bag cover for the lot. I admit, I didn’t look at the package that held the
plastic see thru bag until I opened it. I get how she didn’t realise there was only one in the bag. However, only one means I can wrap only one item.
Another frustrating thing is the carryall for the quilt. The contraption expands and is larger than I thought! I could have used it to cart a good portion of the clothes I brought with me to Alaska. OK, a small portion-- It is lightweight and expands like that darn foam crap you use to fill cracks. Somehow, I am supposed to neatly put the quilt and the books in this bag and then put them inside a different bag for display purposes. I already used all the ‘scrap’ stuffing paper in the container with the hot wheels. I could put a blanket and a crib sheet set inside this darn carryall and still have room for the quilt and books!
This is what gets me the most, though. In all the wrapping debris she has that I can find, there is no normal tissue paper (it is all Christmas). The only wrapping ribbon I’ve found is hot pink (it will work for the monkeys, but I cut apart a saved ribbon stash to get enough black to tie the hot wheels bag closed!). She does not have any more display gift bags. And I cannot find a hole punch to use on the photograph I took of the stuff that is inside the display bag. Mum was pissed cuz people were ‘rifling’ thru the things people had brought in. She insists they are screwing up the whole auction and they don’t know what they are doing. She was not asked to help, so it is none of her business, but she is pissed (most of those last three sentences are verbatim!). Anyway, because of that rudeness on the part of people visiting the center or working there, she wants everything sealed. So, I took photos of the items to put outside the bags. It won’t help a lot, but it gives mom a peace of mind as to keeping people from prying into the goods. But, I need a hole punch. Taping the photo to the bag is a little bit tacky. Although, tacky might be the name of the game. Shudder!
If I had known I didn’t have the items we needed, I could have gotten them on Wednesday when we went into town. I’m not sure what she’ll decide to do now. I guess we’ll not take these things in today and go shopping for more stuff. Go, figure.
In Alaska, red tends to belong to fish, not fall. Autumn on the Kenai is more of the golden variety. So, when you see red leaves glowing in the trees, you grab your camera! Alaskan Reds, from the lake!
If you see a fairy ring
In a field of grass,
Very lightly step around,
Tiptoe as you pass;
Last night fairies frolicked there,
And they're sleeping somewhere near.
If you see a tiny fay
Lying fast asleep,
Shut your eyes and run away,
Do not stay or peep;
And be sure you never tell,
Or you'll break a fairy spell.
But, William Shakespeare didn't tell us what to do if we found a fairy trail!
Clutter has been around me every time I’ve been home, since the visit my daddy died. He couldn't get in the basement to see how much stuff mom had added. He would have been shocked. One of the jobs I undertook this summer was the garage. I have been trying to arrange stuff so she can park her car this winter. It ‘fit’ last winter and then mom moved things. And then my sister brought in a couple of large items, to help organize mom’s stuff. NOTE: do NOT bring in stuff until you find you have room for the things you want to add. I wish she'd take them BACK!
One afternoon, Mom was throwing things away. Do you see the star on the blue scrap of fabric in the photo? Mom snatched it up and said, ‘trash!’ That was all she got rid of on this particular day. Oh, she had me add two more old patterns to boxes stashed in her car. I’m not sure what she is going to do with them, but she has them tidily boxed. Yesterday, she mentioned getting rid of some books. I would have been thrilled by this announcement. However, I had JUST moved those books to fill up boxes of books so the box would stack properly. I had asked her about them and she told me she was going to read them. She told me to keep them where she could get to them. They are in a marked box…under boxes of fabric she moved after I had arranged them.
Tales of words and cloth. A never ending story.
I grew up in Alaska, went to college in Portland, OR and ended up on the coast for 17 years before moving East. Am interested in many different things and am looking forward to sharing them with you!