|Bearded iris 'Coral Charmer' matching the gentle sunset outside the studio window.|
Yeah. My posts have been sketchy. At best.
But here's the deal. The last - say - four years have had more than their share of crappiness.
First steps to end a 40-year marriage, a decision I decided to keep to myself while I tried to make sense of who the hell I am, really. Loss of my dad and the courageous, continuing readjustment of my mom. Older son permanently relocated across the Pacific Ocean. A friend who decided not to be anymore. And another who needed to take her own pain across the continent. A student population that becomes heavier and heavier with immature, disruptive students. A future ex that drops into a severe depression, with possible dementia (due to advanced age or heavy anti-depressives, I don't know, but how does one escape?) The collapse of my SUV (I've been without a car since November of 2012) And now, my younger son relocates to Nashville, to make his dreams come true.
Through it all I've continued my exploration of a new, exciting way of thinking and believing and have managed to hold onto my optimism and hopefulness. I believe it completely counterproductive to use this space to wallow in the dark spaces.
But sometimes, this is a lonesome place to be. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, desperate to hit the road and be there just for me for a change. And so I avoid this place.
Or I share something that moves me, or gives you a hint of where I am.
And then get to wallow in thankfulness that I have you all in my life. Because sometimes-often-usually, someone picks up on something I throw out and reaches out. And I feel loved and comforted and so appreciative of my extended family of friends and relatives.
And so, for you, here is where I am right now.
I'm more excited than I can possibly communicate that my younger son is where he is today. He left for Nashville on March 13 and yesterday, April 12, played his first performance as drummer for an 'up and coming' new Country Western singer Carolyn Mescher. Their tour takes them through Texas, New Mexico, back to California, Reno, Wyoming and to Kansas. One of those necessary, fling-this-exposure-as-far-as-they-can-reach expeditions.
What's been most exciting is watching how everything has fallen together for them, for my son.
And for me. I don't believe in coincidence, and so it was thrilling for me to learn that one of their California performances is EXACTLY where I planned to be on that day at that time.
I'm taking a little roadtrip this Friday. I desperately need to get out of Southern California-Ventura County-Camarillo for a while, even if just for a few hours. One of my facebook friends, a fellow gardener who also shares a love of Big Sur, took a trip there last weekend and posted a zillion pictures that gave me the desire - no, desperation - to see the coast again. Except for my monthly Disneyland trips with my Mom and a rare visit to LA or a nursery in Orange County or Santa Barbara I haven't been anywhere for my soul for about five years.
I am in the deepest appreciation to my uncle (and aunt) for the loan of one of their 'extra' cars. They delivered it this weekend. It's a giant Chevy Tahoe, and it feels like freedom. I'm sure it's gonna suck gas like I won't believe, and I really don't intend to drive it that much. I mean, I plan to continue to walk the mile to work and back most days, and to limit my trips as much as possible. I really needed it for an event in the summer (and the prep for it this spring). But this weekend I used it for a nursery tour and it didn't take but half a minute to decide to use it for my road trip.
I hate the car I borrow. Not that I'm not grateful to be able to do so, but it's a tiny little thing, usually filthy. Hard to get in and out of with my arthritic knees. It was so great to be able to SEE all around me in this behemoth, and to just slide in and out with so little effort.
I'm still hopeful to be able to buy my own car sooner rather than later. I have my down payment, but some joint account credit issues may delay my purchase. Again, not going to wallow, but this may be pushing some issues.
Anyway, I plan to leave Friday morning about 6:00 am for a drive up the Central Coast. Santa Barbara, Gaviota, Morro Bay, Cayucos (and the elephant seals), to Cambria. Want to take my break at a fabulous nursery there, then continue up the Pacific Coast Highway (1) along my beloved Big Sur. Can't wait to walk the new view walk created when they built the new tunnels. My plan is to get to Carmel, maybe visit the Carmel Valley Nursery or the Barnyard for old times' sake, then turn around and come back down the same highway. On the way home my plan was to head through the Santa Ynez Valley for dinner at Mattei's Tavern in Los Olivos. But, as I mentioned, my son's tour brings him to the Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez that night, so I'll be enjoying an Angus beef burger on sourdough with some good Country music that night. Hoping some of his local friends will find their way up there, too.
In other happy news, my older son and his wife and MY GRANDSON are coming home for a visit this summer. The tickets are purchased, the dates are set. A whole month starting the second week in July. I have much to do to make this place safe for an almost-three-year-old, but it's a joyful project. I am exerting considerable restraint. It is not my place to plan out their visit - tempting as it may be - so I content myself with the occasional suggestion. So far they don't seem to mind.
I'm very excited, of course, that Disneyland is high on their list. My challenge there will be to find the balance between planning for optimum enjoyment versus taking over the day. I think my experience will contribute toward making my grandson's first visit fun and memorable (for the adults, anyway) but his parents know him best and will have the final say. Or, rather, the baby will have the final say.
For now, I'm starting the process of finding a stroller and high chair to borrow. I'm inclined to buy the car seat for safety's sake, but will wait until closer to arrival to make sure it fits correctly.
My first Spring Break project is to replace the dangerous decking around the side of the house. I completely replaced all the decking fifteen years ago and, not too surprisingly, some of it needs it again. It's bad enough when I - who KNOW where the pitfalls are - step through something. I don't want my grandson getting hurt on a loose board. Because of other activities and commitments this break, my nine days is now down to four to get this project done. If it goes easily it will only take two, so help me think positive.
I really do love this kind of work and appreciate the loan of this car. With the small car, I wouldn't even be able to bring home a decent 2X4. Now, once I get everything up (which is the hardest part), I should be able to bring home everything I need easily.
|Bearded Iris 'Varga Girl' came home with me yesterday.|
I had such a nice weekend nursery tripping. On Saturday I participated in a native flower arranging contest (which was lots of fun) at my favorite local nursery, Matilija Nursery in Moorpark, CA. but the best part of the morning was being with gardeners and getting to meet my facebook garden friend, his husband and their beagle, Daisy. They were just as I'd imagined them to be - and he gives GREAT hugs. One of the highlights of this event was a presentation by a pair of local Monarch experts. I didn't really learn anything new, but it was quite moving to watch the others as they saw the caterpillars for the first time and had a newly emerged butterfly perch on their hand before taking flight. It was great to see so many people get excited about helping these beautiful creatures as their habitats disappear.
I am pretty well-stocked with milkweed with more seedlings to pot up this break, but I did use my participant's gift certificate to get some more bearded iris. I have one bed designated for these plants, but the ones I bought yesterday are destined for outside my studio window. I look forward to cleaning that space and re-arranging the tables to have a space for sunset-colored flowers right outside my sunrise-colored studio.
After a lovely morning at Matilija, I got acquainted with my borrowed car by driving the infamous Grimes Canyon to Fillmore and Otto & Sons Nursery. I was looking for heirloom tomatoes at their annual TOMATOMANIA event (really hoping to have some fruit by July and the kids' visit, but I got a lesson in heirlooms and may need to pick up some hybrids, too, just to get fruit by then. We'll see.) I picked a half-dozen varieties as well as a zucchini, some cilantro and a couple of pots of heirloom watermelon. I'm not confident that we get hot enough weather for watermelon, but I am desperate to taste a REAL watermelon so am going to give them a try.
I also got a couple of roses. I'm going back to this nursery in a couple of weeks for their annual Rose Days sale, but when I saw a Weeks miniature called "Coffeebean" that looked like a tiny version of their "Hot Cocoa" that I love, I had to have it.
I have no control.
Getting on bedtime. I'm looking forward to crawling into my comfy bed.
Please don't worry about me - all is well. I often get a surprise smack by lonesomeness or anxiety and more often confusion, and since I refuse to live there, I refuse to write there, too and so you don't see me here so often. But, really, it is all coming together in perfect timing.
I believe that.
It will all be good.