Category Archives: Photography & Art

Of Love and Uncertainty

I haven’t mused from the laundromat for a while – and that’s been odd.  My weekends have been filled, to my delight.

When I DO go, I do try to be there when my laundry lady is there also.  She told me I was missed.

I believe her, because I miss her too.  The routine – the ‘regulars’.  But I wouldn’t trade another Sunday there for what I have now.

 

I’ll start with this, I’ve been so happy lately that even my son, (who has moved again across country and who I haven’t seen since January 6th of this year) has commented on it.

Keep in mind, our chats have been minimal and our communications brief.  So, it’s a pretty big deal that he sees a change in me.

My heart is more peaceful, my anxiety lessened.  I smile more – I treasure moments no matter how fleeting.  I’ve been exploring, forcing myself out of my comfort zone.  Doing things to make someone else happy and in making the effort, found myself happier too.

Life has taken a turn and whether it’s for a reason, a season or a lifetime – I’m just very glad it happened.

And yet, I still find myself waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’.

As if I’m not worthy of a happy ending.  Or, just so used to not expecting one that the possibility is absurd.

I think the more I let go and the more I trust that I can pinch myself and not wake up, the less I’ll be waiting for things to go wrong.

I’m still also painfully aware at how brief and unpredictable life can be.

I’ll be participating in a 3K walk to benefit my sweet friend with stage 4 cancer on Saturday.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not think of her.

Every visit is cherished.

I find myself wanting to curl up next to her and just … be.  Of course, it hurts her too much to move or be bumped or even to hug.  So, her toes are mine.  I gently rub her feet in some attempt to offer comfort where I know I can’t.

I think I’ve been living for her lately too.

Pushing myself with the ever-present thought, ‘She would LOVE to be able to do this!’  I’m not just talking about adventures.  It’s the little things like,  getting out of bed, standing in the shower, dressing myself.  Standing in line at a store!  (I WILL give you the lecture if I hear you complain you know – “You realize there are some people who would give ANYTHING to be in this line?!”)

I  especially thought of her when it was finally cool enough to join the man who has my heart in the desert.  She would have given anything to sit where I sat after navigating a climb.  She would have been in just as much awe of the view as I was and welcoming the sweet sleepiness that was sure to follow that night.

So there it is.

My life at the moment.

Filled with hope and also with impending sadness.

Certainty and uncertainty.

Immense joy knowing that I am capable of such love now and willing to offer it with no expectations.

To them both.

Knowing that losing either of them is going to break my heart.  And yet, knowing them for however long I have makes it most definitely worth it.

 

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Musings from the Laundromat: Conquering Hermit Status & KISS edition.

It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve sat at the laundromat.  Not for lack of trying.  Came 2 weeks ago – but no one showed.  But today, I’m here and in a show of solidarity, the WIFI is actually working!

So!  Let’s catch you up.

I’ve been ‘peopling’ in an effort to throw myself out of the house and beat this anxiety/agoraphobia stuff.

Last Saturday night I was to attend my bosses house for a small party with dinner and drinks.

Let’s just say, it ended with me bleeding and spending the week applying neosporin to the scrape above my cut and swollen upper lip.  May or may not have fractured my nose too – Super tender and I woke up last night to it bleeding again.

But, as they say, if you’re going to have too many beverages, it should be at your bosses house.

Said NO ONE EVER!

I called my boss in the morning and was assured I wasn’t inappropriate and that everyone had a great time.  The ‘incident’ occurred when she and I were outside waiting for my taxi.

She left me unattended for a brief moment to flag said taxi down, in which time, I managed to get out of my chair, lose my balance, break a fall with my face and stand up again.  See, this is why they hired me!  Excellent time management!

*Sigh*

Last night was a long anticipated concert that my mum managed to get tickets for.

KISS.

Now, I don’t know all of their songs, I’m not going to lie.  But the ones I know, I enjoy.  And KISS is such an iconic band that you really have to say “YES! I would love to see them” when asked.

She had 2 tickets, and with my bird out of the nest I didn’t really have anyone to take.

She decided to give the other ticket to a friend of hers who really wanted to go.  Then didn’t.

I met up with her at a casino she was staying at and received my ticket.

She mentioned that the other guy wasn’t going – but that she would walk with me to the venue.  (There’s no parking at this particular event center – it’s either take a shuttle or hoof it.)

We began walking and I started to get a tad nervous about how large the event was.

The seat assignment on my ticket soothed me however, front and center, 6 rows back!

We approached my destination and she stood with me in the line for security.

“What are you going to do with the other ticket?”

“Oh, it’s claimed.”  She replied.

“Mum, you can go, I’ll be ok.  You need to get back and get the ticket to the person so they don’t miss the start.”

“It’s ok.”

She kept walking with me and suddenly we were both at security and she was being scanned.

“You’re coming with me?!?!!!”

SURPRISE!

Did NOT see that one coming.

“You owe me big time.  I’m sacrificing myself for this.”

As it turned out – she had a blast.  As did I.  Seats were amazing, show was fantastic.

“Which ones are the originals?”

“Which ones are my age?”

Lots of questions – then much standing and dancing and singing along.

 

 

 

 

 

A great deal of that confetti landed in my top – in my bra – in my purse and in my eye. LOL!

I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about Paul’s voice, but I’ll tell you that live he sounded amazing.  Of course he’s not going to sound like he did decades ago – but they all performed incredibly!

We walked back to her casino (and my car) hand in hand.

“Look at us – like when you were little – only, now I’m the small one.”

A small firecracker!  Who went to see a band she had no interest in seeing to spend time with me.

This getting out and about thing may leave me with bruises sometimes – but I’m conquering my fears and making memories.

I hope for many more.

Musings about the laundromat: Barking, Finding and Noticing edition.

Alarm was set for seven this morning, it needn’t have been.

I was rudely awakened by the persistent bark of the neighbor’s corgi.  Butters joined in and I dragged myself to my bedroom window.

Said corgi was staring at the side of my house and would not stop alerting.

I threw some ‘outside’ clothes on and headed out to see what the fracas was about.

A newly dug hole now exists leading to under my home.

*sigh*

This after a trap sat unsuccessfully for a week in the very same spot.  (Sans hole.)

I’m assuming my skunk is back.

I’m over caring.  As long as a) Skunks stay nocturnal and b) Nothing else moves in under there to startle it.

______________________________

Had a long day of napping yesterday and (without too much information, wishing I had an epidural)  so I was wide awake.

Headed out to the laundromat after a shower.

Laundry Lady: Hey!  I missed you last week.

Me: Yeah, I didn’t even have half a basket.

(OK, that works two ways lol.)

I tossed my items in the machine and took my usual spot.

This was only after I noticed a rock on the table.

My first thought, “Oh, now we’re claiming tables with place rocks?”

Second thought, “Wait – there’s another rock … Must investigate.”

My rock:

I turned it over to discover the purpose.

So!  There are now painted rocks hidden in our town and if you find one, you can post a photo of your find to the Facebook page – then re-hide it or keep it or leave it.

What a wonderful way to begin the morning though – with the word, “Joy.”

I was a little upset that once again the WIFI the laundromat boasts was not functioning again.

That was ok though, I came prepared with a book.

It’s taking me entirely too long to read, not because it isn’t good, it’s amazing!   It’s taking me too long because I’ve slowed down on my reading time (not good.)

There was a particular sentence I savored.

The scratching of the bushes no longer sounded cozy. Spindly fingers asked to be let in, dark figures flitted around the house and looked for a gap, a small opening to squeeze through” – Stefan Kiesbye (Knives, Forks, Scissors, Flames.)

I kept reading until it was time to check the wash.

That’s when I noticed my laundromat neighbor.

Not to be unkind, but only honest, the first thing I noticed was his ripeness.

Then, his table.  (Which, also had a rock.)

I set the book aside after seating myself again and observed.

I took all of him in.

His table, his stance, his belongings.

I make the assumption he was homeless.

I make it because he had a small bag of food items, a small bag of toiletries and because he removed his boots and stood bare footed to include his socks in the wash.

On his table, 17 cents – a small tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush, an insulated drinking vessel and some clean folded socks.

Yes, I felt some guilt sneaking this photo – but he’d disappeared into the bathroom to groom and I couldn’t let the moment pass.

My first thought now?  This man had everything he carried with him, and I was going to watch his stuff.

My second thought?  He was laundering his items and if anyone had a problem with that I was going into momma lion mode.

This photo breaks my heart a little – and was not intended.

A serendipitous snap of the camera.

I noticed.

I did.

And while all we shared was a brief smile, he shared more with me than he’ll ever know.

I chose to leave that rock at the table by the way – so that perhaps someone else could find ‘Joy’.

 

Musings from … Home. Peopling, policing and pushing myself edition.

I peopled yesterday.

Twice.

Let’s rewind.

Tuesday night, my heart decided to go into overdrive – not anxiety, but my ticker issues.  I reached out to one of my bosses who talked me through it.

I was terrified.  Especially when I began experiencing disassociation  and couldn’t form sentences correctly.  THEN began the anxiety attack.

Double whammy.

Wednesday morning, I couldn’t walk Butters.

(Who, by the way, is enjoying a cuddle day today – she’s been slowing up of late and walking stiffly.)

ANYWAY.

I was exhausted from the previous night.  Shaky, and experiencing the ‘anxiety/heart cough’.  Those who have anxiety know this.  It’s an involuntary action that seems to try to regulate the heart beat.

Called another boss and explained I needed time to get into work as I didn’t trust myself to get in the shower.  Dizzy, and felt like a new born lamb – wobbly on my feet.

Bottom line, ended up not going into work at all.  Rested a lot and recovered.

I get so frustrated with the anxiety.  I also get frustrated with the few people in my life who seem to think I choose to have these debilitating ‘spells’.

I do not choose this.

My heart is a horse of another color – and is pretty much managed with the digoxin.

Thing is though, because I do NOT choose the anxiety, I decided to put myself out there.  Out … There.  Eek.

_______________________________

O.K.  So, onto the good stuff.

Yesterday I had plans with one of my dearest friends.  We were going to have breakfast.

Simple enough no?  Driving is hard for me – when I go outside of my comfort route.

I did it though.

Had a lovely time and rented a delicious meal. Lol.

(I got the veggie skillet – but it was still greasy, so, you get the reference, I won’t go more into that.)

At one point, my friend said this:

Her: I’m a terrible friend.  I don’t call, I don’t visit.

Me: No you’re not!  I know you love me, and I don’t call or visit either!

And truly, that saying – about friends who pick up right where they leave off is so true.  I don’t question her love for me – and I hope she doesn’t question mine.

Actually, she can’t lol!  She still works at the bank where we met so many years ago and every time I leave, in front of the entire room I say, “Bye for now, I love you.”

And she says it back.

_______________________________

Part two of the day.

Movie with another amazing friend.

When I met this guy – I felt an immediate pull.  His aura is so genuine and lovely.  He has many hidden talents and his authenticity is worn on his sleeve.  I knew I adored him after just a few chats.  Felt maternal and very happy to have found such an amazing soul.

We had plans to see Beauty and the Beast.

This is where things get funny.

I met him in the lobby of the theater.

(Another thing I love about him, he’s an ‘on time’ or ‘early’ person, like me.)

We get tickets and drinks and eagerly head to the theater room.

As soon as we enter and turn the corner to see the seats, I notice the back row pretty much filled (ok, maybe 8) with teens.

One says, “Hey, can you get me a drink?”

I didn’t think much of it, my eyes were still adjusting to the light and I figured he was talking to someone else.

Nope.

He was not.

I ignored this and we chose a seat behind a mom and her two little ones.

Then when two more teens came in and sat further up, the ‘gangstas’ threw a flip flop down at the newcomers.

“Why you sitting down there?”

Now I’m alert.

My friend and I decided to take bathroom breaks one at a time before the movie.  He went first.

Well.

While he was gone – things escalated a tad.

Now, I may be anxious, but I also have my moments of courage.

The back row was in full swing and when I heard one of them loudly toss the word ‘fuck’ around I whipped my head in their direction.

Me: HEY! There are little kids here!

Him: My bad – did you get me my chili cheese fries?

(Teen giggles from the peanut gallery)

Oh NO he didn’t.  What the actual hell?

Me: You want me to stay here or am I going to have to get up?

Silence.

My friend returned shortly after and mentioned he’d advised the lobby that there were some degenerates needing discipline.  After I emptied my hamster bladder, I did the same.

When I sat back down, the irony of the entire situation occurred to me.

These wanna be thugs were thugging at Beauty and the Beast!

Movie was amazing, I cried the minute the iconic ballroom scene began.  I remember thinking, “good thing Emma Watson has had so much experience acting with things that aren’t actually there.”

Then I had another thought, “what if wannabe thug has an older brother with a gun?”

But I did the right thing.

After all, this little Princess was there too. (Face blurred on purpose)

My friend and I left the movie and promised to see more together and after a hug said “Bye for now.”

Peopling worked out.

And today, with not even half a load of laundry, I stayed home loving on my pup, leaving only to grocery shop and pick up medicine.  And on the way home … Teared up a little at such a lovely weekend.

Of Cords – Extension and Umbilical

My current status …

I’ve been pretty, um, I want to say ’emotional’ but, truth be told I’ve been a completely withdrawn, passive aggressive bitch.  Not just to my son.

It’s as if I want people not to like me so that it will be easy to wean myself off of them.

There’s four pretty significant things getting me down lately – but I’ll just speak on this one.

How to drive home January 6th 2017, not see my son’s car outside of our home and not completely shatter.

Let me clarify again, I am very happy for him.  I am very proud that he’s leaping headfirst into the world.  I am terrified of his 27 hour trek across the States however.

And fuck!  I’m going to miss my kid!!!!!!!

He is the only person I know or have ever met that can make me laugh every single day!  The only person I can be completely myself around and be certain I’ll be loved.

 

Obviously my bitchy depressed mode hasn’t gone unnoticed by him.

Evidenced by, not only my attitude, but the fact that in spite of hosting Thanksgiving this year, I hadn’t one shred of Christmas up.

I’m usually the eager Christmas beaver, wanting to festoon my home as soon as it is socially acceptable.  Not this year.   I had no joy.  No excitement.  I also spent the whole 4 1/2 days, other than Thanksgiving day, in my room.

This past Sunday, after the laundromat, I shrugged back into my pajamas and settled in to continue my very important 4 day activity … being horizontal while attending my Netflix pity party binge.

In walks my son.

Him: Let’s go to Oatman for lunch.   My treat.

Me:  I don’t want to go to Oatman.  I was going to take a nap.

Him: OK, I’m going to get ready, then we’ll go to Oatman.

Me:  Nic … I really don’t want to go anywhere.

Him: OK, we’ll go to the Hualapai’s instead.

Me: No!  That’s too far!

Him: OK, Oatman it is.

 

He left.  And I lay with remote in hand – 3 day old pajamas and a body awash in guilt.

The countdown has begun for the end of this chapter with my favorite person.   And I have been pushing him away instead of making each moment count.

I got up.

Ran a brush through my hair.

Swiped my eyelashes with mascara – colored my pale lips.

Dressed warmly – the gray skies were threatening to water our desert.

And found him.

And off we went.

And the moment we began driving my spirits lifted.  I was already laughing before we reached our highway.

We encountered a burro blockage as we approached our destination.

nic-burro

 

nic-more-burro

 

Burro was not budging.

The closer we came to Oatman, the more the burros.  Here was our escort.

 

We parked and sauntered into the town we’ve spent so much time together.

Stopped in all the old familiar places.  Enjoyed the warmth of an old fireplace as we ate lunch.

And then …

And then it occurred to me this might be the last time we did so together … alone.

My heart ached.

nic-oatman

 

nic-feeding

 

And as if on cue, as my eyes welled, the skies opened – and we walked in the rain.  Unfazed by it.  We have that in common – our love for the rain.

We took our time heading for the car.

Took our time driving.

Stopped.  Enjoyed more time in the rain.

 

nic-and-i

 

I can honestly say the day ranked up there … one of the top 10 days I’ve ever spent with my baby.  My ‘baby’ who has become man enough to understand and to put up with my mood swings.  Man enough to know that I needed that nudge.

I put our small tree up.

I’ve yet to find an extension cord in order to light it, but it’s a significant beginning.

And as for my sweet son and his upcoming departure?  His significant beginning?   I’m learning there’s no need for the cord that once joined us.

He’ll continue to make me laugh – from afar.

He won’t stop loving me nor I him.

It will be a slow process for me – learning how to live in a home he no longer shares with me.

And it will be an exciting and strengthening process for him … learning how to ‘adult’ and not having to share a home with me.