Good as New – Medillia’s Lament

Art by Shane Chick

Art by Shane Chick

“Damn rocks got the best of her.  I’ll get her back as good as new though.” The old man winked at John, then returned to the side of the boat.  John said nothing; he stood in his spot cemented by his surroundings.  They were like nothing he had ever seen.  The gulls circled overhead, screeching as they dive bombed the cove, pecking at crabs and clam shells.   Medillia’s Lament, The Novel

 

Jody and I have had numerous conversations about the characters and setting for Medillia’s Lament, the Novel.  One that sticks out in my mind was our incessant bantering back and forth of what we thought Clarence’s lobster boat would be like as it rested in the cover desperately needing repair.  I live and write from a small town in Maine, with boundless creativity and artists galore, I happened upon this piece that a friend created.  With Shane’s permission, I have included an image of his carving to help illustrate the boat in this post, hopefully it might even end up on the cover.  When Jody saw the image he exclaimed, “that’s it.”

It’s funny how life seems to bring you what you need when you need it, as if we and our experiences are a series of dots just waiting to be connected.

To see more of Shane’s amazing work, please visit his gallery on Etsy.  Click here!

 



  • Muck this – A New Family

    silver foxMy cage was officially rattled this week, to the point in which I veered away from my keyboard and sharing my thoughts with the world.  I’ve written about life being messy for years on end, sharing specifics and making generalizations about the human existence and emotions that churn within us all.  When I first began writing, I promised myself above all I would be honest with what I put forth, if I was going to share then what I shared would be heart felt and not contrived in order to get more likes and or shares.  My life has become one that I have always dreamed of living, so much so that I had tricked myself into believing and feeling rest assured that my baggage had officially been unpacked and checked at the door of a local good will store.  Since I met Kyle, I can honestly say that I believed this to be true, I had conquered my childhood and young adult dramas and finally let them go.

    A series of small events, misfires and trivial life moments, led up to my finally discovering three white hairs atop my head at age forty two on my way to the a long overdue dentist appointment.  At the moment I’ve always felt most vulnerable, I laid back against the dental chair with my mouth wide open, as the tears began to flow.  My childhood had found a way to rear its ugly head in my fairy tale like life I now live at our farm in Maine.  Embarrassed I wiped away the tears that had formed in the corner of my eyes, tried to dismiss where they were coming from and unsuccessfully pushed them aside, playing my current life images in a steady stream across the backs of my eye lids.  To no avail, the tears quickened and my face flushed as my dentist entered the hygienist’s room, and asked me how I’ve been.  A woman I’ve come to know and adore since I was in high school, had opened the safety valve to the vivid memories and emotions I’ve always referred to as my childhood stuff.

    This week I walked to the edge of the cliff, paused and peered over as my feet were securely fastened to the earth beneath me, and for the first time in my life, reflected on what had brought me there instead of waiting for something or someone to talk me down.  I shared with two people that I had hit a wall, Kyle and my partner in crime at work.  I emptied out the details, what had lead up to the frantic moment and every emotion it contained, held for me to feel, own, and reexamine as whether or not I still wanted to call my own.  Since coming clean, a series of  serendipitous moments have transpired and led me to place I want to call my own, a place I choose to be, not one in which feels as though it was forced upon me to endure and muddle through.

    I left work today just as the snow flurries had ended and headed home to muck out a much needed stall for Comet and Jingle.  Kyle had been home earlier for an appointment and left me a note and a cup of Aroma Joe’s coffee on the island.  I picked up the piece of notebook paper and felt his words fill my cup inside.  I smiled and put it down.  I placed the cup of coffee in the microwave and hit one minute.  The tempest had subsided and my emotions seemed to be held at bay, normal quickly approached and a gentle calm had settled within my mind and heart.  I grabbed my coffee and headed out to the barn.  I opened the stall, holy shit, the goats had avoided being outside during the frigid temperatures of the previous week and I had my work cut out for me.   I pulled the blue Jackson wheel barrow around to the back of the barn and grabbed the double shovel.  Ruby and the goats jumped at my side, happy to have me in the barn.  I felt grounded as I mucked the stall and carried loads of shit out to our compost pile in the pasture.  Life is messy, its chaotic fast paced demands that tug us while we all come to grips with what we learned and experienced as children, is what each of us must face daily.

    We all have our own stuff, our own shit if you will.  It’s in the way we muck out our stalls that determines how we make our way through life and how messy it will truly get for each of us.

    To read more about A New Family, click here!

     



  • Soaking up vitamin D – A New Family

    photo by Kyle Weaver

    photo by Kyle Weaver

    Ruby looked up from her sleeping spot on the couch next to me as I was writing this morning.  Her ears lifted as she heard the foreign sounds of Spring coming from our side yard.  “I can’t wait till Ruby meets Spring.” I shared with Kyle.  The birds chirped and the gaggle of turkeys returned to our hill this morning, making Spring seam inevitable.

    Kyle lifted Ruby to the window in the living room and told her to look at the giant birds.  Some had flown into the crab apple tree, while the other turkeys gathered below its branches pecking at the snow.  At first she didn’t see them, her hind legs hanging as Kyle held her under her front two legs.  Then without hesitation her ears perked up and her shoulders lunged towards the panes.  Her back paws scrambled to get traction in the air.  Kyle laughed and put her down on the couch.  Kyle asked where I thought the turkeys have been hanging out in the endless snow falls and frigid temps from the past month.  I shrugged, I hadn’t really thought about it. They’ve been South, like my mom, living away from a New England winter, perhaps basking in the sun and soaking up vitamin D.

     

     



  • A reunion of sorts – A New Family

    47619_1708222515313_2057032_nI found this picture this morning, scouring my laptop for an image that would represent the perfect seed for what I’ve been wanting to say, to share.   My life, a constant transformation, like everyone else has endured a series of changes which unpredictably have brought me to the place that I am.  When I found this picture of my childhood friends, I began thinking about all of the families I have been a part of over the years.  I was born into a family of seven, four siblings, a mother, and a father, but during the middle of first grade my parents moved us to a small lakeside community in western New Hampshire, Spofford.

    It was in Spofford and our neighboring town Chesterfield, that I experienced my first family that wasn’t blood related.  During countless hours of play, school, mischief, and drama I became embedded in friendships, some of which lasting a lifetime, and began to learn that family is just as much about who we surround ourselves with and form bonds of trusts in our daily lives, than anything else.  These women, who used to be girls, are in a large part responsible for shaping the person I have become today and for that I am grateful.

    As I look at this picture, I’m reminded of so many firsts shared with these girls, experiences that at the time seemed larger than life, more important than just about anything I could ever imagine.  Endless sleepovers where we discussed the most important of matters and often ended up in us daring one another to crazy acts of foolery, challenging each of us to our social limits.  We shared our deepest,darkest secrets and imagined our dreams for the future out loud, never truly believing we would ever get old. Hours of laughing till we cried, almost peeing our pants, while we passed the bag of Doritos around and dove into the bag of Oreos.  Then just like everyone else, we grew up. We grew in different directions, landing in different places in life, unable to hold onto our youth other than in our hearts and our mind.   Until this amazing thing called Facebook appeared out of nowhere and built a magical bridge from our present back to our childhoods, so that they may be relived and connected with what we only once imagined as our futures.

    I asked Kyle what he thought about having a reunion dinner with my childhood friends, dining alfresco underneath the stars and twinkle lights of our upper brick patio.  He smiled and said of course.  I imagined all of us getting together in my new life, our new families reuniting here at our farm in Maine, wondering if once again we would be able to find that sweet spot where we become lost in laughter, caught in the moment forgetting our pasts and our future.  I know we will.  So all of you Cavaliers, who spent our summers at Weirs Grove and our winters sliding down the ginormous mounds of snow pushed into heaps in front of Chesterfield School, wondering if you might be able to find your way to Maine this Spring when our snow has melted and the flowers have begun to leap out of the ground. Another reunion of sorts, to remind us all of how very far we’ve come and to celebrate everything it took for us to get here, is what I have in mind.



  • Iced over – A Little Lift

    iced

    photo by Kyle Weaver

    The mounds of snow that were dumped onto the farm and maneuvered into convenient banks to allow for our traffic patterns, both foot and car, have begun melting, freezing and then melting again.   Our perspective  in our space is constantly being asked to change, to adapt to what our land is demanding we do so, quietly without room for objection.  Simply another metaphor for our daily lives, illustrated so eloquently by nature in its beautiful unyielding force, it speaks to us, reminding us that at times we need only let go to move easily through our day.



  • Rat Dog – A New Family

     

    rubyrelaxedWhen two people come together and form a relationship, apparently so does their music.  Kyle has adjusted listening to the River and the alternative music it fills our cars and home with and I have been  reintroduced to groups that I have known existed for years but haven’t spent much time getting acquainted with.  He surprised me  last month with dinner and tickets to see Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt. We had a great evening and honestly I knew more of their songs than I had originally imagined.

    This morning Kyle reminded me that he is taking me to one of his all time favorite bands this week, Rat Dog.  With a major connection to the Dead, I’m sure I’ve never heard any of their songs.  I turned and looked over at him from my laptop and asked, “what does someone wear to a Rat Dog concert?”  Kyle and I share so many similarities, tastes, preferences, and how we like to spend time.  Music, not so much.  I’m open, willing to explore new avenues, sharing in something he seems to love and enjoy so very much.  He’s embraced everything in my life, it’s easy to do the same in his.

    Want to read more about A New Family? Click here!



  • It was on a string – A New Family

    boston tea party museumWe drove into Revere and took the Blue line to the Orange and then finally the Red Line into Boston yesterday.  Our friends invited the girls and I to the Children’s Museum, the home of the giant Hood milk bottle.  As six country folk finagled our way through the great underground maze, Erin and I wondered if you really could take the country out of the girl.  Arriving at South Station unscathed, we climbed the stairs to fresh air and found ourselves at the foot of the Federal Reserve building. Anna looked up and did a 360. Rain had been falling since early in the morning and a gray halo of clouds hung low, encircling the buildings somewhere between the tenth and twentieth floors.

    Countless times in Boston and most of the major cities in the United States and I still feel a sense of awe and a bit of trepidation when it comes to navigating my way through their series of mazes and obstacles planted throughout history and a need to support an evolving population.  The kids seemed comfortable in their own shoes walking the same paths that so many before had taken.  They were their own ingredient of our incredible culture penned the Great American Melting Pot,  Their feet touching down where some of the worlds most inspiring individuals placed theirs hundreds of years before them.boston turtles

    Hours passed as the kids explored, discovered, built, and created new memories with one another.  The museum was crowded and extremely warm making the damp, chilly air a welcomed treat as we bundled up and headed back underground with our Charlie passes, determined to return home to Maine.  Anna had left while we were getting our gear together out the large front glass doors to wait by the water.  When we joined her, she eagerly reported that they had just thrown tea into the harbor off the ship.  “Really? Into the water?” I asked.  “Mom.” she replied with a faint sense of annoyance, “it was on a string and they pulled it back on board after the skit was over.”  I looked across the harbor at the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum and made a mental note to bring Kyle and all of the kids back this Spring. Another nod to Mr. Hood for his mad inspiration in Junior High which seemed to have tethered me so tightly to that time in our Country’s history.

    Want to read more about A New Family? Click here!

     

     

     

     



  • Caught off guard – A New Family

    libsgunstockAaron brought us to the top of the mountain.  He rode with Anna in a couple chairs ahead of us while Libby and I shared a chair with a young girl, somewhere in her teens.  It was the tallest lift on the mountain, the kind in which you think you are at the top and then another peak appears out of nowhere and the lift suddenly takes a steep incline up.  Libby looked over at me her eyes as wide as they could possibly be underneath her bright fluorescent green goggles. She shrilled with excitement laced with a tiny bit of terror.  I wrapped my arm around her and pulled her in closer and made small talk,   Kyle was close to the base of the mountain skiing with Max and Sophie, I missed him but was excited at the opportunity to be with all three of my children at the top of Gunstock.

    The view was breathtaking, everyone smiled, I snapped a mental image of the moment.  I wondered how many times the four of us would be together like this, Aaron turned twenty this month and is on the verge of finding his own path away from us, at least for awhile.  Libs lifted her polls and tucked them under her arms, Anna started giving her little sister directions, Aaron told us he would go ahead and then stop and wait till we caught up.  Before we had begun, Libby took off like a bullet, the seven year old leading the charge.  Aaron and I strapped into our boards.  I waited till they had all begun down the trail, proud and in disbelief that I was the mom in the back watching her children.  Inside I still feel like I’m in my early twenties, much too young to have three children, two in double digits.

    Aaron took us over moguls, the girls laughed and giggled, I caught my breath as I unexpectedly caught air and then landed on my board without wiping out.  I felt exhilarated, adrenaline raced through my body surging along with the pure joy I was experiencing.  I heard Libby yell to Anna, “let’s wait for mom.”  Anna turned and looked back at me.  She smiled and told Libby, “she’s right behind you.”  Libby flashed me a warm smile and then took off ahead of us.  Aaron alerted us that we would need to get as much speed as possible on the next hill or we wouldn’t make it up the next pass.  For a moment fear caught me off guard. I had found my toe edge the last time we were at Gunstock, but I was still a novice in certain situations on my board.  I challenged my mind to back down and I just went for it, Goofy footed down the hill, picking up as much speed as I could.  Libby ran out of forward motion and had begun digging in with her polls to make it up the incline.  Shortly after her I unstrapped my back foot and waited for her then grabbed her polls and pulled her up to me, as Aaron and Anna waited for us.

    I’ve never felt so close to my own children as I do now blending into a new family with Kyle and his children.  I’m so very thankful for this place life has brought me.



  • I am living – A Little Lift

    Image -fitgreenandgorgeous.wordpress.com

    Image -fitgreenandgorgeous.wordpress.com

    As much as I would like to believe that I am the first one feeling these emotions, thinking these thoughts, and taking these actions, I must remember there have been countless others sharing in this joy, these challenges, and moving around similar obstacles.  I am only living from a fresh perspective, the point then must be that I am living.