So. I haven’t been tweeting much these days (in case you haven’t noticed).
Here’s the deal, tweeps.
I did some thinking. Came to some much needed conclusions.
You see, I have already proved that I can condemn like nobody’s business. You all know that I can snark better than almost anyone. I can call out. And it’s a verified fact that I can get down in the dirt with the best (worst?) of them and throw some mean verbal punches.
And, in doing so, I can get bunches of likes. Scads of retweets. (Retweet still sounds like Elmer Fudd exhorting you to turn back, btw).
I can get tons of traction.
But you know what I can’t get?

Raise awareness? Bullshit.
All my internet sniping can raise is my blood pressure.
It’s nothing more than a bunch of little old ladies nattering about the new neighbors.
Whose mind am I going to change?
And, what freaking business is it of mine what other people’s minds are set on anyway?
Is kvetching about this group or that politician really going to change anything?
Is jumping up and down and hollering going to cause political parties or groups to suddenly see what I or anyone else perceives as the “error of their ways”?
Hell no it’s not.
Don’t get me wrong – some of you are masters at sharing your opinions. It’s your life’s work (some of you) and you’re damned excellent at verbalizing the angst and channeling the rage.
I’m tired of it.
I’m tired of the division.
I’m weary of the animosity.
I’m saddened to watch the sides further entrenching in their positions because of the verbal attacks.
There’s just no “there” there in all of that anger for me.
There’s no fight, no “great cause” worthy of my pulling out my soapbox and raising my tattered little banner for.
No. I take that back.
The cause worth my time, my attention, my banner raising is the human condition.
The sameness at the very core of each of our beings.
That spark of humanity, that bit of joy and love within each heart.
So instead of condemnation, I now choose compassion.
Rather than snark, I finally choose serenity.
Rather than calling out, I far prefer to choose lifting up.
From now on, I’m now using the power of the Boomity for good, not evil.
Join me?
I have cookies.

The Anniversary

So. Yesterday, August 26th, should have been my 23rd wedding anniversary. When we first married, I truly believed that he and I were going to grow ridiculously old together. You know – like those doddering cute old couples you see oh so slowly walking through the mall, still holding hands.

As most all of you know, fate had other ideas. I steeled myself for yesterday, knowing it would be my first August 26th as a widow. I prepared myself for a flood of tears, a total boo-hoo day.

It didn’t happen.

Instead I found myself thankful. Thankful that Sid (aka Wyatt to his online friends) somehow found the inner strength to will himself to live past a terminal diagnosis to share what would be our last anniversary together with me last year.

Thankful beyond comprehension that I had almost a quarter of a century with him.

Thankful that I’ve been blessed by such an awesome outpouring of love from so many people in the months leading up to and well past his death.

And, I really don’t know how to say this without sounding callous, I’m not only thankful that he is no longer in such miserable, excruciating, soul-wracking, ungodly pain, but I’m also thankful that I no longer have to stand by helplessly being unable to do anything to ameliorate it. Perhaps the worst feeling in the world is to witness the suffering of someone you love and not be able to ease it, to take it away, to make it all better somehow.

My modus operandi in life has always kind of been that I’m the one who smooths everything out, who finds the answers, who ferrets out the solutions. I’ve always been the one who makes everything all better.

The last chapter in our marriage was one that no matter how much I tried, how much I wished, I simply could not fix. His long illnesses had taken their inexorable toll on his weakened body. I had to witness helplessly as his strength diminished rapidly, until finally, the virile energetic man I’d started my married life with was now frail, scared and in pain.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful for the strengths I learned during his very long illness. The necessity to step in and run the household, the business, make the repairs. The need to be the strong shoulder to lean on, when I’d have much preferred to be the one doing the leaning. Those strengths are ones that I somehow know will serve me well in the future.

And I’m thankful – so wondrously thankful for those close to me who reached out yesterday to make sure I was okay. I spent hours talking on the phone to one of my “best friends I’ve never met” yesterday instead of having the pity party I’d anticipated. We talked about everything from death to houses to careers to neighbors to pets to religion to food to politics.

The time flew by. Just as in many ways my 22 year marriage flew by in retrospect.

I’m one of “those people” who buy e-books when they strike my fancy. A few months back, I saw a post about a quasi-spiritual, sort of “New Age” book about “things the recently departed want you to know”. I thought to myself “I should order that”. So I did. But when I got to the order page, I received a message saying “You’ve already purchased this e-book”. The message went on to inform me that I had purchased the e-book on October 21, 2014 – two years to the day before my husband passed away. Somehow, in the sudden need for and purchase of a new computer shortly before he died, I neglected to reinstall the viewer that the e-book was on.

Once I got over the shock of the date coincidence (at the time I bought the e-book, hubby was doing reasonably well. I still have no idea why I’d even purchased it, to be honest. But, I had).

As I read through the book, parts of it were, to me, a little “out there”, but other chapters brought me great comfort. The overriding theme was that (stick with me here, gang) we are all here to learn what we need to learn. The chapter that spoke to my heart the most was about one whose lesson to learn before “crossing over” was that they would be loved unconditionally while they were “here”, no matter what. I’d like to think that was the gift I was able to give to my husband especially as his illnesses progressed and as the end of his life drew near. Because, I did love him without condition – in spite of his pain – despite the limitations. And that very strong love is why I anticipated a much sadder anniversary than I experienced.

But as I sit here on the day after what could have been, I’m still tremendously thankful, overwhelmingly grateful, and quite amazingly, at peace.

And that peace, gentle readers, is what I sincerely wish for each and every one of you this day.


The August of My Life

August. Here in Colorado, the deep azure blue of May, June and July has been replaced by a lighter, softer blue – as if to prepare the world for cooler weather in the weeks and months to come. As I was out in the yard with my dogs this morning, I felt a coolness to the breeze that hadn’t been there before. The fluffy billowing marshmallow-like clouds that are the hallmark of summer had seemingly overnight turned into the wispy cirrus clouds of autumn.

When I was a little girl, August was always a magical time. The Colorado State Fair is always held in the last week of August and ending around Labor Day. And this was the month that mama would gather us all up and go shopping for school clothes for the upcoming school year. Little did I know that she would max out her Montgomery Wards credit card on those trips – I just saw it as a bounty of beautiful, crisp new dresses that lovingly landed in my closet waiting to be chosen for that exciting first wearing in my new grade. I’d be so eager to meet new teachers and classmates that I could hardly wait for the first day of class – especially when I had “graduated” to an even higher grade in a brand new school.

August also marked the end of our summer freedom to laze in the backyard and watch the clouds, riding our bikes through the hills, engaging in neighborhood water fights, family vacations to far off places – all would much too soon morph into homework, class schedules, Halloween, Thanksgiving.

The leaves that gave us shade to lounge in the cool green grass would soon fall from the trees – indeed the grass itself would turn brown and dormant, waiting to be covered by blanket after blanket of snow.

The gentle warm breezes of summer would be supplanted by the cold north winds of winter. If we were fortunate enough to have an “Indian Summer”, the bone chilling winter winds would wait much later in the year to make their appearance. But the cold winds would inevitably come nonetheless.

Now that I’m (much) older, it has occurred to me that I really am in the August of my life. The deep passions and excited discoveries and “first days” of my younger years have been, well, softened into a somewhat calm acceptance of who I am becoming.

Yet, at the same time, I’m entering yet another kind of school year. One of learning new skills, meeting new people, embarking on a new graduation to a different environment. This blog, my new, still evolving website indulging my lifelong affection for writing and cooking and sharing are all steps in my matriculation into that different life.

While I feel some pangs of sadness at saying goodbye to some of the people and situations and lifestyles that were part of my life’s spring and summer, at this stage I am once again feeling the excitement of meeting new teachers, sharing with new “classmates”. The thrill of learning is still strong within me as I enter into this August time of life. And oh, the lessons to come fill me with a sense of wonder. The childlike joy of realizing new talents, the exuberance of sharing, and the gratitude for oh so patient teachers – all give me hope for this daring new season.

My wish for you, gentle reader, is that no matter what season of life you are in, is that you too will be trying on “new clothes” as it were – that you will all revel in new pleasures, that you will never stop learning or sharing… and I can’t wait to meet you all.