THE WRITE PLACE…

…to build a community. Share Patti Hall's journey …


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Transitions

The greenhouse and garden, Eagle River, AK PHALL PHOTO 2014

The greenhouse and garden, Eagle River, AK
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Almost SIX weeks, and you know what I’m talking about. But I don’t want to make a big deal about it. Well, okay, I do want to make a big deal about it. Just give me a paragraph or three and then I’ll shut up about it. At least for today. More than anything, I feel that giving up cigarettes (and the caffeine addiction) has given me more freedom. The biggest freedom, is the freedom to go after a healthier life style.

No matter how many times that I have attempted to quit in the past, I always remained a slave to cigarettes. Even if I went as long as eight months without one single drag off one single cigarette, I was still chained to the addiction. I thought about the lack of them, more than I thought about anything else. Secretly (and probably outwardly) the drama was intense. It went on almost every waking moment that I didn’t smoke. “Should I? Could I? I can’t. I won’t! Damn, I’m weak. Man, I’m strong. I can’t go one more minute. If I can make it one more hour, I can go to sleep.” The internal drama was intense, as I’m sure the external was. Poor family.

This time no one suffered; not me and not my parents. That’s how I knew that the addiction was broken. For awhile, I waited for the other shoe to drop. As hours, days and then weeks passed (6 of them!), I kept waiting for that slam/slap on the shoulder and a rousting voice saying, “Fooled ya! You are about to have the worst withdrawals in the history of cigarette/caffeine withdrawals!” It never came. One of my reasons for diet and exercise, was to head off any shoe-dropping slam/slap on the shoulder. If it came, I’d be ready with a healthy routine and a new excitement for living without the chains of addiction. So far, so good.

It may very well be an illusion, or even a delusion, but I honestly think that I’m out of the woods, and that the damn shoe could never be thrown THIS far out! (Knock on wood, or whatever superstition will keep that big bad shoe away.)

On the home front. Mom goes to her first Physical Therapy session today. She has been moving less and I’m hoping that they will pick up the slack and get her into a good routine to further her recovery from the hip replacement. Dad is still fighting a painful-sounding cough. Hopefully, this last batch of meds will help him.

The best thing about the Olympics these past few weeks, has been watching mom and dad enjoy them together. Whether, mom was laying with her feet in dad’s lap, or sitting up and holding hands with him, I had the best seat in the house. They cheered and gasped in awe together at the inspiring wins, losses and injuries, while I just smiled at the two of them.

The low carb diet is going well. Really. Today will be day 5 of my crazy idea of joining a gym…wait, that was mom’s crazy idea. I’m a little sore, but it has been fun. I kind of earned another free pass by story-telling. Yep, the membership woman loved the story of Kevin and I, so much, that she promised more free passes for my future visits. Cool.

I just stepped out and took some shots of the light pastel pink and blue sunrise. It is a balmy 14 degrees this morn. I’ll share a few photos from yesterday, then I have to get ready for my next yoga class. Yikes.

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Funny, I started writing this about the transition I will soon be dealing with; from living alone in Maggie (my cave at the beach) to living with my folks for the past 2 months in Alaska, to making a new life with Kevin in the foothills of the mountains. Somehow, I never got to that…maybe next time.

Peace,

Patti

PHALL PHOTO 2014

PHALL PHOTO 2014


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Quit This, Lose That; Once A Phoenix, Always A Phoenix

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Phoenix Rising from the fire and ashes.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

This time I want to keep the pretty feathers, please. Those ashes just don’t suit me.

You’re not the only one. It’s hard not to wonder if this blogger will ever get back to writing and get published. Even I wonder. With so many changes in such a short period, it will be tough to get back to my goal of publishing books. But, hey, if I can quit smoking, lose weight and make room for romance after several years of loss and heartache…well, I think anything is possible, don’t you? Especially since, not one of those monumental things, were on my To-Do list. In fact, they were all on my To-Ignore list.

The quit-smoking thing continues to stump us all. I have no idea how it happened. I remember being a bit miffed that there was never anywhere warm for me to smoke here (at my folks’ home in Alaska). I know that Kevin and I were talking about taking walks, hikes and other recreational activities, once I got back to Washington in the spring. I’d listened to several… um, let’s just be nice and say, concerns, yes, the folks had shared some concerns about my smoking.

They’d offered up pills, patches, fake smokes, and magic potions. No, wait, no magic potions, but it did seem like nonsense that I should need to…okay, maybe not nonsense, but why should I take the long route? I had a pack left at that point and when I smoked the last cigarette from it, I smoked my last cigarette. 5 weeks ago! Weird.

I think it was the next day that I quit my addiction to coffee. And, although I do have a mocha now and then, I’m no longer drinking caffeine from morning until night. I did not grow hair on my chest or cause bodily harm to others. The folks say that I haven’t even been a grouch. I feel calm and have had no gonna-die-if-I don’t-have-some nicotine-or-caffeine moments. No headaches either. It begs to be typed, so...WTF? It had to be Leslee magic.

Caves induce fat. Before I came to take care of mom in Alaska, I’d been hanging out alone in my cave for far too long. Aside from beach walks and/or photo excursions, there hadn’t been much motion or mobility. A bike ride through the neighborhood once in a while, a few minutes on the stationary bike, sure. In addition, I might have eaten an apple fritter or two. I think I understand now (after experimenting just a little) that even good chips are bad chips.

After I quit my serious addictions of cigarettes and caffeine, evil food was standing there, staring me in the face, “Look, you have nothing else to do with those hands and that mouth, come on over here… into the kitchen…” I caught on pretty quickly and started drinking lots of water and nibbling bunny food. Dad has pretty well given up enticing me with evil things to eat, although I think he still sneaks them when I’m not around.

Tomorrow I will do the unfathomable and join a gym. Mom is making me. We’re getting our hair cut and styled too (like that will make my gym pain any better). Did I tell you that mom “did” my hair and put makeup on me the other day, to take a picture of me? Guess who it was for? Right you are! I hope body tattoos and weird piercings aren’t part of this crazy ritual. I keep telling her that we have seen each other!

Don’t worry about her, she’s just excited for us. Whatever I am on the outside, I’m still me on the inside. Mom knows that :>)

It looks like I might be home by mid-March. Not May, as planned. May is waaaayyyy too far away. Yeah, the romance thing. Mom figures that Kevin and I have talked more than most couples who have known each other for years. Hey, we have a lot of catching up to do…38 years is a long stretch. Not only that, but we’re making plans. To be together.

As far as the writing goes, this will be my next great challenge: How to finish the chapters of the memoir about the love, illness and loss of my Paul, while I’m starting a new chapter in my life? There’s a lot to think about and it’s good to know that Kevin will be there for me and that many of you will offer up your thoughts and support as well.

Thank You,

Patti, who is not a mail order bride (at least I don’t think I am…wait, maybe he ordered me from mom? She has been acting weird.)


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Juneau Photos Finally Up

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It was a month, yesterday, that I went on a whirlwind photo tour of the Alaska State Capital city, Juneau. I sure hope that I get back there some SUNNY day:>) We still found some fun shots. I hope you enjoy. Thanks to my driver and new friends, Brian and his girlfriend, Kathy!

Here’s the link to phallphotos Juneau page: http://wp.me/P3J4Ab-9d


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My Peeps Are Romance Junkies!

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My Peeps Are Romance Junkies, except Elaine, but she did tell me I was a “love story tease.” And yes, Leslee, it’s the pizza guy:>) I’m taking dear Harula’s advice and beginning this post with the romance, so there’s to be no mutiny on this ship! :>)

Just to recap; Kevin and I had our first date at age 15, Kevin’s brother and my sister married a few years later (still happily married), Kevin’s mother was against any of her sons hanging out with my family, Kevin tried to catch my airplane before I left Alaska, he missed by 15 minutes, we never saw each other again–for 38 years, we spent this New Year’s Eve together in his Washington home, I left for Alaska 1 day later, Kevin and I have both recently added “In a relationship” to our Facebook profile.

Over the years, Kevin’s mother had a change of heart towards my family, and my sis in particular. They are now very close, which is why sis sent me to help her mother-in-law (Kevin’s mother & my Mrs. M) break out of the physical rehab center. When I returned home, following my second week of staying with Mrs. M, I got a private message from her youngest son, Kevin. He wanted to know how things went with his mom.

At least that’s how he began the conversation. I’m pretty sure he was more curious about the girl he took out on his first date. No matter the pretense (or not) of that first PM conversation, it has continued (every single day), since that first day. We’ve stayed connected by phone, email, private FB message, and that short 24-hours in person. Yes, we’re 15 again, but what do we have to lose?

It’s amazing how romantic a guy can be when courting from 2,369 miles away. We “talk” on and off every day on FB private messages, in between the life we are leading in person in Alaska and Washington. He calls me every evening at the same time, and we usually talk until one or both of us goes to bed.

Every morning I log onto Facebook and start my day with a sweet message and a link to a romantic Youtube song from Kevin. He recently started taking walks with his camera almost every day. That means I also get a private photologue of his walks, along with his cool and funny narrative about what he is seeing. Yep, 15, for sure and loving it.

2,369 miles apart, and we are planning a vegetable garden, composting and there’s even talk of raising chickens together. Ahhhh. We are both working on our health; eating better, walking more and I quit smoking (in case you forgot). Kevin leans towards logic (logically romantic) and that’s how he came up with us calling ourselves boyfriend/girlfriend.  Either way, we are 54 going on 15, maybe 16 at the most.

My return ticket is for May. How in the world will we make it 4 more months? Will we? Or will my mom think our romance is more important than my help in her garden? She’s so engrossed in this, that she is ready to send me home, now that she can get around better with her walker. We still don’t know if I will be needed if my brother has surgery…

Did you happen to notice that I’ve written a lot about what everyone else is thinking and doing, however I haven’t said much about my own thinking or doing? I just noticed. To remedy this slip, I guess I have to tell on myself. Damn. It’s so much easier and funner to tell on everyone else.

So, yes, I was curious about Kevin. And although, the details are foggy, I’ve always felt a little flutter when Kevin’s name was brought up by my sis or my brother-in-law.

And yes, I did tell Mrs. M. that I would come see her, and that I’d probably go see Kevin when I came back in May. Okay, so I couldn’t wait until May! The more we private-messaged, the more I wanted to meet him. He made me laugh and smile so much that I even made it through the dreaded holidays. I loved his humor, his vocabulary and the way that he could laugh at himself. Yes, I said vocabulary.

You all know me, so you know that I’ve also stressed about coming out of my cave and everything that goes along with that. As a friend pointed out, what about my solitude that I so enjoy? Hmmm. I think the tides are turning and solitude may have to take a lesser role for now. It seems that being with others is the main meal and solitude will be the dessert.

A million more doubts fill my mind (more about me, than Kevin) but I am trying to set them aside as we get to know each other over the internet and phone. I’m just going to put on the cruise control and enjoy being 15 again, like I never did back then:>)

Peace,

Patti

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