Goodbye July

31 years ago today, my mom, who was 57 at the time, passed away.  31 years, that’s over 11,315 days, and I have thought about her and missed her on nearly every single one.  Excessive?  No, not really.  If you’ve lost someone you love, you know that’s just the way it is.  You also know that Kubler-Ross has ca-ca stains in her underwear.  Seriously, those stages?  They certainly aren’t linear.  They are more like a big Rubik’s cube, ever shifting, rising and falling, a force that you carry around.  Anger, sadness, happy memories, regrets, all there in one awkward bundle.  31 years, I’ve been holding my bundle.  Acceptance?  Did she really use that word?  HA.  Well, you get used to it.  Perhaps that is all you can hope for, and in this life, we can get used to a hell of a lot.  Meh.  I’m going to go get a massage.  Later in the day I will probably have a shot and a beer, listen to Eddy Arnold and cry like a baby.  It will feel good.  Let it all out.  Tomorrow?  Well that’s day 11,316.  I will get up, the sun will shine, I’ll make coffee and maybe paddle the lake, move along.   We all still miss you Mom.

July, what a month.  There were some good times, in the mountains there are always some good times.  Here, a few scenes…..

Blueberry field with a view
Picking?  or eating?


Lovely bus


It’s not an ocean but it will do

Goodbye July!

Let’s Catch Up…Over Coffee

I did try to give up coffee.  Really I did try.  I made it almost a month but honestly, I never popped out of that zombie stage and went through my days feeling like a grouchy sleepwalker.  Then I ran into a woman I know, an older and much wiser woman.  She told me she had had to give up coffee a few times and found the thing to do was to have “a little bit of coffee every day”.  Sounded so simple.  Sounded so Yoda-like.  Coffee, little bit you must have.  My brain latched on to it and I turned it over and over in my mind. I decided that if I was going to have coffee it would be really good coffee. And that I would make it at home.  So, I went back to my old coffee snob ways of grinding my own beans and paying attention to the details.  I got help online, of course, at stumptown.  The result has been some damn fine coffee.

So, let’s catch up….June was a month that brought a lot of sadness to our lives.  We took it in, moved along.   July opened with the promise of blue skies, warm sunny days, trips to the lake and summer plans.  We got to the raceway to watch some vintage auto racing.  We celebrated our 24th anniversary with a Dwight Yoakam concert and a Twin Peaks themed date night.  It was lovely.

But, on July 10, we learned the tragic news that a close friend of my son had passed away.  It has left all of us so saddened and heart broken.  I know that my son will always miss him.  It has become a part of him.  And it grieves me as a parent both to think that other parents are hurting (fathomless hurt) and that my own son and daughter have known such sorrow in their young lives.  I couldn’t keep it from them.  I couldn’t shield their eyes during that part of the movie or whisper so they wouldn’t hear.  We talk about it, grieve and move along.
One thing that I will say about finding peace in a tough time, is that the mountains seem to soothe all wounds.  I have walked out, to the top of the “hill”, many times, to seek answers to life’s sad questions.   I don’t really find an answer, but I do find some solace.  I find the larger picture and while it often makes no sense, I find beauty and peace, and that gives me the strength to go back down the mountain and face life’s sorrows and challenges. Stay strong, do not weaken…lace up your shoes, pull on your pack and move along.