The last time I lived alone was in 1975, thanks to my friend Carol who was in charge of the resident apartments at college during the summer of that same year. And I loved it. I was never lonely, never bored. It didn’t hurt that a bunch of my guy friends lived upstairs just in case I got worried about some weird noise. I could always bang on the ceiling for help (unless, of course, the weird noise was coming from them).
Now, 40 years later, here I am, living alone and loving it. I never get lonely, and I never get bored. I have to wonder if it’s because I grew up in such a large family where there was no such thing as privacy, much less being alone in the house (save for the one time two car loads left for church, each assuming I was in the other car; but that didn’t last long enough). Perhaps had I been an only child or in a much smaller family being alone might not seem so appealing.
I remember having horses when I was young. And just to find somewhere quiet to read, I would go to the stable, climb on Clancy backward, lay on my tummy resting my book on his butt, and read to my heart’s content listening to him munch on hay while slowly moving around his stall. It is one of my most perfect memories.
I sort of feel like that now. I feel content.
And I look forward to sharing my little “condo of contentment” with whomever would like to visit.
You know how people like to make “BEST” lists, such as BEST VIEW FROM A SHOWER (has to be Kevin’s former home in the foothills of the Rockies), or BEST OPENING LINE IN A BOOK. Or how about BEST SUPERHEROES WHO DON’T HAVE SUPERPOWERS (probably not at the top of YOUR lists). And even though it only lasted five days, including travel, my new “BEST” list will now include “BEST VACATION EVER!“ . I spent time at what I call the Enchanted House – Kevin and Savanna’s place – deep in the woods at Shanty Creek Resort (BEST SETTING FOR A HOME). I knitted with my ImagKnit knitters, visited with my good friends Sarah and Lynzie, and then finally I was surrounded by loads of family – I think we counted 65! I was able to spend quality time with all my kids, spouses, and grandkids. My mom held my granddaughter while I enjoyed watching my other grandkids swimming in the lake. We played games, ate great food, listened to stories, sang around the campfire. But the absolute highlight of my trip was playing Euchre with Drew, Meg, and Kevin. I wish it could have gone on for hours, listening to them banter back and forth, falling into those same roles as oldest, youngest, and only girl. And even though I knew it might be years before it would happen again, it was just wonderful…the whole day, the whole trip. It was THE BEST!
My niece Lauren was able to get an OT internship at Brook’s Rehab here in Palm Coast to finish up her Master’s program. Her mom and her sister Jessie drove down with her from Michigan in early May arriving Friday, and she was to start work (with no pay!) the following Monday. After getting her all set up in her room and bathroom, and after a couple fun days at the beach, she took her mom and sister to the airport to become part of our family, if only for a few months.
She took to Florida like she was born here. She figured out pretty quickly that on the two days she worked in Ormond Beach, she was out early enough to hit the gym, running on the treadmill while watching the ocean, then she’d head to the beach to work on her tan. She had two longer days in Palm Coast and one day in St. Augustine. She did homework at night, wrote and received letters, received care packages, went to the gym, and went to the beach either with us or without us as often as she could.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see someone enjoy our area as much as I do. Lauren enjoyed the area! During her first month of boogie-boarding, every wave brought a woop and a squeal of delight.(See video below.) She was a natural! She’d put her board, chair, and beach bag in her car when she left for work, and when she walked in the door at night, I could tell if she’d been to the ocean. She and Thom would go even if I didn’t feel like it. The only thing that might get her out of the water is when Thom would say, “Uh-oh…” To her, that meant he saw something in the water that she didn’t want to know about.
My mom always says fish and company smell after three days. Not true. Lauren was a pleasure since day one. She has a wonderful disposition. She cooked, cleaned her area and patted the dogs.She’d watch tv with us, scrapbook on the table, or have coffee with us on the lanai. She’d say really funny things. She is highly disciplined and would get herself to the gym even when she’d rather not. She bought her share of groceries, though we didn’t want her to. Her sense of humor and genuine surprise and delight were so much fun to experience.
She says she’d love to get a job down here. I can only hope. I understand why her mom and dad want her back home so badly. She is a wonderful young woman.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been a cat person. I love the softness of them, the calmness, their purrs, their kneads, their attitude. Kittens are among the most entertaining baby animals I can think of (aside from, say, baby monkeys), and if there were a way to keep them little, I’d probably invest in it! My last cat had us for 15 years before she died of natural causes.
Sadie the day I rescued her
With Thom’s allergies, though, it’s the first time in my life I haven’t had a cat, and I do miss it. Instead, we have two dogs: Sadie, whom I rescued in 2005, and Doug, Thom’s rescue in 2013.
They say a rescued dog knows it’s rescued and is grateful. I don’t know about that. What I do know is that timid, sweet Sadie rescued me. And it is I who am eternally grateful. She got me through a very difficult time in my life and shared my days at the shop where she received tons of love and belly rubs from my knitters. She doesn’t leave my side when I’m home. If I’m gone for several days, she won’t eat; she stays in her crate, desolate until I return. It’s been 10 years since we met. She has slowed down a bit. I see the beginnings of cataracts in her eyes when she looks at me. She spends most of her day sleeping while I’m at work. But when I walk in the door at night, she comes to greet me, tail wagging, sniffing all around to see where I’ve been all day. She stays nearby, follows me from room to room, nudges me for a stroke while I’m knitting and is currently laying at my feet. She is simply the sweetest animal. What you see in this photo is who she is. It is this face looking out from the newspaper that compelled me to go to the shelter that day where I fell in love and was rescued.
My friend Sarah made me this colorful pot years ago. It’s traveled with me from Michigan to Florida. We’ve planted several things in it since, and while not all were successful, some were and have been replanted in the ground. It currently sits outside our lanai waiting. At first, it held only the dirt left over from the previous dweller. Now that it’s spring, it’s becoming full of green, unidentified leaves waiting, perhaps, for another chance to grow something beautiful.
But Mother Nature had other ideas. While we were waiting, a pair of wrens (we think) created an amazing nest neatly tucked beneath the foliage in preparation for their springtime babies. We witnessed them taking turns bringing twigs, hair, and moss into the pot, taking their time to piece together a most beautiful little home.
And then we didn’t see them for days. We’d had a pretty heavy rainfall, and later when we checked, the pot looked flooded and we assumed the worst.
But this morning Thom saw them enter the top of the pot once more. And this is what we found:
I’m not sure why birds build nests so close to humans. Last year we found one in our garage under a lamp shade. The little birds had found a hole in the screen and decided to take advantage, perhaps, of being out of the weather. I remember some robins had built a nest atop the garage door opener in my parents’ home. (They parked outside for several weeks, much to my dad’s chagrin.)
We will try not to disturb these hidden gems as they develop and hatch. God knows it’s hard enough to raise a family without adding noisy neighbors to the mix! We did tuck the pot under the eave to hopefully prevent it from filling with water during the next storm. That’s all we can do. Mother Nature will take care of the rest.