Saturday, October 19, 2019

What my Mama never taught me


My Mama never taught me about "spring cleaning." She never pulled out bins of winter gloves and hats for my brother and I to go through and figure out what fit us after a long year in bins in the attic. 

(We also lived in a mobile home so there wasn't an attic. I used that word for effect.) 

We never tried on coats. Snow pants. Boots. 

We didn't spend panicked days when the weather moved from Summer to Winter and skipped Fall trying to make sure we didn't freeze.

My Mama didn't teach me any of this. I had no idea that when I had children I would spend so much time trying to get my kids warm and not spend a fortune doing it.

My Mama didn't teach me because ...

I grew up in Fort Lauderdale. 

While I love the seasons and seeing the weather change, having to have two wardrobes (for each person!) is simply crazy. 

In Florida we simply pulled out our hoodies. 

Done.

Ready for winter!

My only consolation?

This isn't Minnesota. 

 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

We Bought a Farm: Growing


Our farm is growing. 

The labor pains are sometimes a challenge.

But oh to see what has been in John's mind,

 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

We Bought a Farm: Fall has arrived


The first beginnings of colored trees are popping up in our tree line. 
The air is getting cooler. 
Crisper. 
And the kids are clamoring for more time outside. 
Eating dinner on our front porch. 
Donning a hat for morning chores. 

Hello fall.

 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday Truth


What do you see?


This photo hangs in our home. And I often wonder what people see when they see this photo?

This woman spent an entire pregnancy so depressed and ill during that she was often passively suicidal. She managed to sleep each evening by taking an Ambien every three hours so that she could get rest despite the nausea. She and her husband were little more than doctor and patient for the entire pregnancy.

The last six weeks she lived with her parents in Florida while her husband was back in the Azores. Her three children with her. Trying to function. Doing what was necessary. But watching everything as if from outside her body.

Her other three children were cared for but not cherished. The oldest commented that he wondered if he'd ever see his Mommy smile again. His Mommy was hanging on for dear life

But this photo. This photo! When I look at it, I see: 

happiness
serenity
peace
tranquility

And I wasn't feeling any of that.

I was feeling:

relief
worry
doubt
fear
guilt

When you watch people's pictures on Facebook fly around and think to yourself, "Oh I wish I had what they have ..." 

Please remember. 

It's just a picture.

A picture doesn't capture the soul. It doesn't capture feelings. It doesn't tell the whole story.

Oh sometimes it gets close. And I am in no way slighting photographers on the gift of their art. But we need to remember that it isn't always what you see. Unless you were intimately involved with me, you didn't know. And even then, I didn't tell many that I felt like dying even though life was growing inside me. 

(And to those who stood close by during this time: thank you!)

I have since continued to battle and anxiety and depression off and on. There are occasions when I have been able to fight it without medication as I had to do while pregnant. There have been other occasions when I have turned to medicine to help me. 

I manage my mental health well, but it's there. It's hard. I have many friends right now struggling themselves. They may look fine to everyone else. And even evoke feeling of jealousy from friends who think they have it altogether.

But they may not have it altogether at all

Love your people.

Check on your people.

Know that what you see on the outside isn't always what is flying around on the inside.

Sometimes a picture doesn't say nearly enough words.
 

Monday, October 14, 2019

In John's first life ....


.... he was an artist. While we were dating, he drew this of me. When he pulled it out last week and Sidge saw it he said, "Wow! I mean that looks more like Mom like mom even looks."

We need to get this one framed in our house for sure.