Talking Out Loud: Feeling Sorry For Myself

My throat is scratchy, every time I swallow it’s like a science experiment. I feel cold even though I am under three blankets. Oh wait, I shouldn’t be surprised, we’re back from our short vacation in the sun.

We are anticipating a snowstorm with wind and ice and I’m sure the clouds can just feel me smoldering with anger and resentment, like a fire just beginning to spread quickly.

The Universe can feel that I don’t want to live here anymore, the Winters are too tough for my aches and pain, Fibromyalgia has never been my friend but it is becoming my worst enemy.

I hate having to confirm a lunch date with my best friend in the morning although she totally understands.  Will I be okay for getting up and out of bed? Can I dress myself and drive my car and meet her over salads sipping strong, strong coffee? I have NO energy and NO short-term memory. That is excruciatingly embarrassing to me, that is the worst part.

I will know that only tomorrow morning and even that is iffy. I can deal with this chronic pain disease much more easily in the Spring, Summer, even Fall but Winter? Oh, Winter is the devil of all evil, to me. He’s that bratty, bad boy, the one every grade school had who tried to make other kids’ lives unbearable, the bad boy brat that succeeded in torturing a grade.

Way back, when I was a child, we never had a “No Bullying Allowed” rule. We just had the town bully and everyone knew who he was. I can picture his face so easily in my mind as he grabbed my winter hat and threw it around the bus to taunt me.

Now, we are all grown-up, the bullies, the kids, those of us who care for our grown-up children and parents and dogs. We face problems every single day. The stress and tension are finally catching up with me.

I don’t smile much anymore. It’s tough enough to get out of my warm, comfortable bed with my dog lying beside me. Sometimes, I choose not to get out of bed. I’m okay with that.

Please, I don’t need platitudes or well wishes, I just need circumstances to change. I need a sign, I’ve been patient. Until now.

Yes, I will ask the Angels for help.

I will ask anyone for help. But, so far, nothing has worked. I’m so very tired. I want to curl up in my bed until I see that it is Spring. Things will change in the Spring, for the better. We will make it change, not now, not during the bleak, gray darkness of Winter.

The new us, starts in the Spring, 2015.

 

 

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The Absence Of Color


I always thought I hated Winter with such a passion just because of the harsh, brutal temperatures, the raw wind and the mountains of snow and the biggest evil, ice. For someone with no balance looking down at a sheet of ice and having nothing to hold to grip, is pure terror. Those reasons alone are enough to hate Winter but I figured out recently there was something else that I hadn’t put into words before.

 

English: A digital photo that used to be in co...

 

Winter is gray, black and white, while the other seasons are filled with vivid colors in various things. I miss the bright bunch of wildflowers popping up in the meadow, multi-colored and alive, the rich crimson of roses trailing down a newly painted white trellis. The bright green of a neighbor’s lawn, glossy and spiked like army soldiers standing at attention.

 

Nate, our neighbor, spends hours on his lawn, every Spring, Summer and Fall to make sure that each blade of grass is equal. I know that in the Winter he is just longing to be outside, as much as I am. I have dubbed him “The Mayor,” the unofficial mayor of our little neighborhood.

 

It’s a very long Winter here, the snow will start falling any day now and it will last, at least, until late April. I don’t like it but I have no choice so this year I am accepting it, not fighting with it. Moaning and groaning about it hasn’t helped before and it only makes ME feel worse so why bother? I will keep myself happy doing something else, I will learn to bake or cook new things. Maybe, I will write a book.

I guess after the long Winter I appreciate the Spring even more. Oh, when the first bud of a purple crocus  pops up, sometimes even through the snow we know the end of Winter is near. Soon the budding yellow leaves of a forsythia bush in our backyard will slowly begin to show themselves and I cut some stalks to bring inside the house. I put them in a tall, dark blue vase, the only one I will use, loving the contrast of dark blue and yellow. They stand proudly waiting to burst, happiness from the outside proud to bring us joy inside our home.

In the Spring and Summer the sun is out shining brightly against a baby blue sky. Colorful birds sing to each other, we listen to their songs, we watch their beautiful, petite bodies flash in front of our eyes with different colors. I will try hard to let the absence of color in the outside world not strip the color of my world as well. I’m sure I can do it, it will be fine. I’m looking at Winter with a different attitude. I’ll find color inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Yellow Friday #4 Daffodils

Near where I live there is a field of daffodils that bloom every year. I wait months for these beautiful flowers to bloom, I drive by, even if it is out of my way, to watch them pop up, fully bloom, slowly fade away.

I look forward to seeing them every year, the time that they are alive and fresh, as if they are smiling, is only a matter of a few days but I stop the car each day and I smile back every time I see them. The are on a hill with bright green, manicured grass and it looks like a perfect photograph. I tried once to photograph them but it was unsuccessful, you must need a wide-angle lens.

Yellow daffodils - floriade canberra

That’s okay, I have loved them for so many years that the picture I have of them lives in my heart. I am grateful for having been able to see this for the last 15 years. I look forward to seeing them again in the  Spring.

Yellow daffodils

 

 

 

 

Impatience, Impatiens

I’ve always considered myself a patient person, not always, mind you, but most of the time. I am certainly not patient or forgiving when I’m driving and someone cuts me off. I curse and hold up a finger. When our son was really young and asked what it meant I told him it meant “wait a minute.” He believed that for years.

I’m patient on supermarket lines, I’m patient with (most) people, I listen well, I like to think I’m a good, loyal friend. Indeed, I have high standards for myself and used to think everyone was like me but Life taught me that lesson the hard way several times over. How do you know differently if the way your family acts is the only way you know?

My friends are all very different from me but now what keeps us together is not lunch dates, meeting in the city on a weekend for brunch or long telephone calls but stupid text messages or IM’s.  I confuse them all the time as my adult children roll their eyes and grimace.

I hate that, text messages to say Happy Birthday, text messages to say Hello, text messages to find out how a surgery went, text messages to show your deepest sympathy and one death announcement I had to read about on Facebook. It’s all the norm now.

Of course, my adult children, think I am old-fashioned and nuts. Beside that the iPhone to me is a strange and complicated piece of equipment, why can’t we just use the phone as the phone was really intended? To talk. It doesn’t seem popular anymore except for those of us “oldies.”

I will ask my kids to call their grandparents and they will do that responsibly but they will say “they weren’t home, we will try again later.” “Did you leave a message” I ask? A reasonable question, I think, and they look at me like the dinosaur that I am and say with a scolding dismay “Mom, our generation doesn’t LEAVE messages, we just try again later.”

It’s no surprise that I’m not good with change but I try as best I can. Knowing I’m not good with change makes me try harder than most. At this point in our lives my husband and I are waiting for change to happen, waiting for a clue to point us in the right direction on what we should do and where we should go in the future for the next chapter in our lives.

My friends say that “I will know it when it happens” and I believe that is true, but it has been a very long time and being patient has been getting harder and harder. I need to relax, look within and wait for the Spring. I think things will start to get clearer then. If nothing else, the dreadful Winter, will be over and Life will begin anew.

 

Haiku Horizons, Drive

 

Guns - latest batch

Bloody, young faces

Drive by shooting, bullets fly

Cries of terror, blaze.

 

 

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Sunday drive, Spring flirts

Tango Kiss

Vibrant flowers tango, sing

Love blooms, sweet romance.

 

 

 

 

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and for a little fun:

 

Teenage fantasy

Control the power with style

1966 AMC Ambassador 990 convertible. A full-si...

I’ve got this, now drive.

 

 

 

 

 

Love, Like Birds

Cardinal

Cardinal (Photo credit: BlueRidgeKitties)

When I heard the cardinal sing its pretty song, for the first time in a very long time, I stopped dead in my tracks to listen. I was in a crowded parking lot but yes, I was being careful. What sound could be more important and more beautiful than that of a cardinal singing its sweet song after a relentless winter.(With no assurance that it is really over)

I happen to have a crush on cardinals more than other birds, I must admit.They have a special family memory for me. The handsome vibrant red male, his “wife” the beautiful, red-gray dancer singing from one to the other, always together like a comforting, well-balanced, special relationship. They look out for one another, they feed each other, they always communicate in song, first one than the other.

I know, we all know, it’s been too long a winter, we can’t change it but the sounds of cardinals and the perfect blue sky, the weather in the upper 40’s makes it seem like we are on vacation, somewhere South. It doesn’t take much to make us happy now.

I wouldn’t say the trees are budding but they  also aren’t as buck naked as they used to look. They have the promise of blooming, of bringing life on a day like today. It was the beauty of the unexpected, the thing that happens that surprises you, not the droning ritual of a nasal forecaster.

The window of my car was open to let the breeze in, my radio turned up loud, of course the songs were just what I wanted to hear. Today was special, yesterday was freezing, I’m grateful for this moment in time. Spring isn’t here yet but I can see that it really will happen, someday soon.

Enhanced by ZemantaPhoto Credit: BlueRidgeKitties from Wikipedia

A Whisper Of Hope

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto: Taso de kafo. Français : Photo d’une tasse de caffé Español: Taza de café (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the longest Winter I have ever been through, today was like an unexpected present. I woke up to the smell of hot, strong coffee and a sky of blue. The temperatures were in the high 50’s and for those of us in the North East, it felt like we were at the beach.

It didn’t even matter that the temperature was supposed to drop dramatically tomorrow, I didn’t even care. Because what we were given was a look into the future, our bedraggled souls were given a treat, a tiny word that packs a punch: HOPE.

I was able to go out and walk by myself in town, stop by a shop and wave to a friend, I noticed things that I haven’t seen, having been locked up in my bedroom for months.  A young woman with very curly hair smiled at me and I smiled back, I held the door for a very appreciative young mom with twins, she smiled her thanks, I nodded and smiled back.

In one way, having children 21 months apart seems like a lifetime ago, now they are 19 and 21. I remember back to my double stroller, heavy, blue and white where my son and daughter sat and I pushed and pushed around the corner, meeting a good friend and her daughter.

Life goes by so quickly, even for my kids, they tell me, but sometimes the days are so long.

I came home today from a lovely dinner with my husband from a text message from my best friend, saying her uterine biopsy results were negative. I stood still, I was absolutely paralyzed with joy. And, I did what I usually do, whether I am sad or happy, I cried and thanked the Powers that Be.

I left a message for my friend, I’m not sure she will understand the words but she will get the emotion, my tears well up even now when I think about it. She’s been through too much already.

Spring is around the corner, I saw a red robin today and my husband bought me red tulips that we can plant once the ground is not frozen anymore.

Thank you for this day, for waking up to a sky of blue to finding an apple scone to eat with tomorrow’s coffee, for all my blood work out of my hands and the time in-between.

For a rare glimpse of what Springs looks like if we are patient.

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Yellow Magic Madness #49

English: View towards Bennachie from Darnabo C...

English: View towards Bennachie from Darnabo Croft Lovely custard yellow sunset – you can just pick out the top of Bennachie on the right hand horizon! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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As always, my favorite color: Yellow.
So peaceful, dreamy,
breathtaking.
I know it’s It’s going to be a long time
before I see my favorite color again,
in the meantime I have this image.

Welcome To St. Croix, As If

Old Danish Customs House, Christiansted

Old Danish Customs House, Christiansted (Photo credit:

Dear VERY KIND, RICH PERSON,

Is it May yet? I know, I’m daydreaming. I know it isn’t May, its dull, depressing, December and I know pretty much everyone is on vacation except for me and my family. I am grateful for what I have, truly. However, I am a tiny bit envious of all who are vacationing in warm climates while my chronic, painful bones tighten up. In my mind I am trying to conjure up some images that A) might torture me for months or B) give me the impetus to get through the ugly, soggy mushy yet cold winter. Either way, it’s something to do.

I just want to talk. I don’t believe in miracles, trust me, like I didn’t really believe I would win the lottery but it’s fun to think about so here we go: It’s only December and just because we had one day, sorry, two days with 20 more seconds of light it doesn’t mean it’s time to celebrate and dance barefoot in the grass with flowers entwined in our hair. It’s twenty bogus seconds, that’s it. But, we take what we are given, no, there are no hot dogs on the grill or s’mores from the barbecue just quite yet. Get inside, it’s freezing.

We eat tomatoes that look and taste like wax, they are not even orange-red but some pale combination of yellow and green and plastic, utterly tasteless. The fresh fruit that we long for in the summer has whittled down to apples, oranges, a few mangy grapes, drooping from their spines as if they were just begging to be put out of their misery. Do these grapes really look like they have the will to live? No, poor things, just put them in the back and don’t let us witness their slow, disintegrating death, it’s just too sad.

The sky, again, is white and black, sometimes blended into gray. I’m staring into my yellow pillow that I bought to conjure up what I remember as sun but it doesn’t do the trick. “Surround yourselves with things you love” is not always easy. I love the ocean and sand and seashells but even my globe filled with delightful seashells and sand does not make me feel like I am on vacation in St. Croix, or any of The Virgin Islands, Mexico, or anyplace warm. I’m woefully stuck in reality.

Most people are away for this long holiday break to places I’ve never heard of much less been to. Families with a lot of money book places far in advance so they have vacations to look forward to, I envy them. I rationalize my thinking: if this was my norm, flying somewhere every break, would I take it for granted? I admit, I wouldn’t mind finding out.

In my mind, I’m vacationing in St. Croix, or Jamaica, Hawaii or Australia. These old weary bones that ache constantly would just have to settle in for the long flight and suffer, knowing that in the end, I would see skies a beautiful shade of blue, silky, soft sand and walking on the water’s edge. My only goal is to worship and enjoy the natural elements of life. Given the chance, my family and I can be packed in ten minutes and we thank you so very much.

English: St Croix

English: St Croix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#FWF Kellie Elmore

Frühlingsblumen verschiedene Krokusse

Frühlingsblumen verschiedene Krokusse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Circle of Life: Death & Rebirth

This is the time for introspection, to put things in order not just for my house, but for me. My life lesson: I have clung to old friendships far too long, they are dead, like the crumpled crisp brown leaves on the yard. Friendships where I am the only one who is trying.  You can’t force a friendship and your real friends, your true friends are always there. “The past” is a nice memory not a basis for friendship.

It is the second week of November, I look out my window and see gray skies and naked trees. There is no more sun peeking from behind blue skies, I mourn the sunshine, the flowers, the bright, orange, red, yellow leaves of the Fall that used to embrace the trees. What was once my favorite season is now seen as the precursor to the worst season, Winter.

Winter is on its way, people are dismissive and say “add layers of clothing” as they stuff themselves into scarves and hats, mittens and feel warmer but not me and not anyone who shares the chronic illness of Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Disease. Those words taunt us, they are a  joke, a cruel comedy, a farce. Nothing helps, the winter chill goes through our bones and latches on like a one huge tick, sucking blood. We are always exhausted, we have no energy, we have what seems like the flu without the fever, every day of our lives. In the winter our bones and muscles are stiff, unyielding and painful.

Many times I don’t get dressed. My nightgown becomes my party dress and my pajamas serve as my jeans and sneakers. I know when I am in a ” Fibro Flare” when I cannot wear anything, that strains against my body. My body is bloated and the jeans make angry red imprints on my stomach even though they are the right size for me. If I have to be outside, as soon as I  come home I literally rip the tight, restricting clothing off, my bra, my pants and change into loose, soft pajama bottoms and a well-worn tee-shirt. It is only then I can breathe. To people with chronic pain, Winter is a slow death, a Tragedy.

After a long, bleak winter, when the temperatures get higher and we have weeks of rain, my body and mind change. My body hurts because of the dampness and the changing weather but my heart knows that soon I will see buds springing from the ground to show off the first fashions of Spring. One day out of the corner of my eye, I see several bright, green buds pushing their way from the deep, dark earth. It is the promise of Spring fulfilled, crocuses have pushed their way above ground: Hope. Once the crocuses have sprung forth, soon we will see the burst of color dancing before our eyes.  It is a ballet I love to watch.  I never get bored. In a matter of days the forsythia bush in my back yard has sprouted brilliant, bright yellow lights, buds and I know that we are safe and loved.

One day, the sun pulls out its lazy arms and stretches, beams its beautiful smile and soars to the top of a deep blue sky. It is officially Summer, It is time to Rejoice, to take advantage of every single day that we have been given, a reprieve, from pain, from gloominess, a treat. I enjoy the summer as much as I can. Even though extreme heat is not good for chronic pain patients, it is good for my soul to look outside and see the painting of flowers and sun and hear the laughter of children riding their bicycles in the neighborhood. The sun, makes me happy, it does affect my mood. It softens the world around us, like a soft, romantic filter on an otherwise hard life. I am grateful for the sun, every single day, it is time to Celebrate with friends: joyous laughter, food, children selling lemonade, dogs running around outside, people holding hands. This would be my final act.