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Go Ahead And Ask. I Know You Want To.

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Purple dinosaur roams the Secret Garden. Essential.

Just where the hell have I been? My last post, aside from the lame January Home page update, was September 2014!!!! Holy tomato, Batman. Sure, I’ve been dipping my toes in the Facebook social pool over the past few months. Just a few lines and a photo or ten, nothing much really.

And, no ma’am/sir, I have not been tucked away in a cozy writer’s retreat tapping out The Great American Novel. I haven’t been off saving the world, one family member or friend at a time either. I haven’t been busy raising a family, promoting a book, working for a living or chairing ten committees.

Nope, that’s you guys. Man, you people have been BUSY!

During my 9-month people-phobia I have had a very limited itinerary; Maggie (the beach cave/home), the Secret Garden, the beach, the post office, the smoke shop and the grocery store. Did you catch that? Yes, I started smoking again, and I’m un-boyfriended too. I suppose I wasn’t ready for either one, despite how great they both (not smoking and boyfriend) were while they lasted. I WILL give quitting another try though.

I spent a month or so in Centralia with my 3-year-old grandson, Cameron, while his mom worked some crazy hours. It was good to be with their little family and it was also good to be back to my beach cave. Cora and Nola came back with me and we spent a fun weekend in the garden and at the beach and marina. The girls made some awesome beach art. Then my Sara, Jon and Cameron came to get them. We had a yummy BBQ in the Secret Garden, they unburdened me of lots of garden goodies, and then they all headed back home.

Aside from beach combing and gardening, I’ve been dabbling in painting and crafting. I spend a lot of time researching and charting my family genealogy. I have so many interests, I don’t think I’ve spent one minute of my life bored. Reading and writing have always been a huge part of my life, but not so much these past nine months.

I watch movies on Netflix sometimes. Last night I watched On Golden Pond. I loved Katharine Hepburn, the lake, the fishing and especially, the loons. The family dynamics were familiar and bittersweet.

I still write weekly postcards to my grandson, Hunter, and every few weeks to my Nola, Cora and Cameron. Other friends and family get snail mail from me occasionally. I sent my adult children, Sara and Jon, “Where’s Waldo” postcards a few weeks ago.

I’m usually up all night and sleep 4-6 hours during the day. I catch the birds singing their dawn chorus at 4:30 A.M. and the often-spectacular sunrise show. At night I get the beach sunset, moon and stars.

I still cry at the drop of a…it was a sock a couple days ago. I was rearranging something and a catch-all basket fell to the floor. As I bent to gather everything I saw a toddler-sized sock. Whether the sock was my grandson Tiven’s, who died in 2013, or his brother Hunter’s, whom I haven’t seen in almost 2 years and who is being moved to the other side of the country this week, it was heart-wrenching. I still avoid the cubby under my bed where I stored their shells, beads, drawings and toys. Hunter’s bright orange toothbrush catches me off guard sometimes.

Since Paul died in 2009, then my cat, my sister, my grandson, 2 aunts, an uncle and several friends, I haven’t moved forward much. I’ve spent a lot of time in Alaska with my parents and siblings, and I’m trying to build strong bonds with Sara’s 3 children.  Most of my adult friendships are on the phone or online.

The Secret Garden and my camera keep me going, as does sharing what I find that amazes me. Publicly, I try to add a kind word or humor when I can. If not, I say nothing.

In the back room of my friend’s garage, are floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall totes. Two households (both mine, both gone) of STUFF. If I could, I would pay for someone to take it all away. That’s not going to happen. My goal is to sell, toss or give away all of it by the end of the summer. Baby steps. I’ll start with 20 minutes a day. Let’s see how that goes. Wish me luck.

So my first blog post in a long time and a goal and plan to unburden myself from my STUFF. Maybe I am moving forward a bit 🙂

Thanks for reading if you made it this far,

Patti

P.S. This was written the last full week in June. Real progress being made on my goal; 6 or 7 empty totes! Grandson moved to undisclosed location, so I’ve decorated an antique box and keep adding his weekly postcards and a few treasures that I find.

Author: Patti Hall

Writer, daughter, sister, mom, niece, grani, and friend. Works-in-progress; 3 children's books, some poetry and a memoir series, "Souvenirs from My Heart." Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the beach, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy. I am a widow (2009), lost my sis in 2012, my aunt and a precious grandson in 2013.

32 thoughts on “Go Ahead And Ask. I Know You Want To.

  1. So happy for the update. Sometimes we just need time to be with ourselves. It’s so hard to remain the strong one in the family when things are falling apart. Everybody needs some time to reflect and reabsorb the energy that keeps us going. I finished a novel last year, but am not satisfied with it enough to publish. Working on another, but I’ve gotten an editor (I hope) and coach. They are both crime novels. Maybe one day I’ll be ready to throw my written words out there again with the courage I had with RC&R. That courage was naive, and learned courage is much stronger. I’ve been rather absent from my own blog since my dad died in April (family issues, long, painful story), but getting around to visiting others and try to comment when I can. Mostly writing and editing…and learning. Love and hugs. We’ve missed you. The pics on FB are absolutely stunning. You have an artist’s eye for certain.

    • Oh, Susan, what a wonderful first comment! I have checked in with your blog a couple of times and caught up a bit. Whatever kind of bravery it was, I’m glad you published it and I hope the help you get lends some courage to do it again. Death of a loved one is so hard and it is so sad that others worsen it with other issues. I know that the whole thing has added burdens you didn’t need on top of the loss of your dad. I am so sorry for your loss. Love and hugs back and thank you about the photos and for missing me 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart and your pain. It’s important to be genuine, I believe it leads to healing for everyone you touch. I knew you would be an important person in my life, even if we don’t see each other. Your strong spirit is an inspiration.

    • I’m a lucky woman to have such friends. We’ll see each other again. I’m still blown away about how you decide you’re going to do something tough and you forge ahead with such courage. Everything I’ve seen in you reflects your own strength. Thank you tenfold for the kind words. I feel like printing them out and hanging them in front of me. Warm hugs.

  3. I wondered what happened to Patti? Then I got hacked while on vacation and home a day early to clean out my spam folder and get my e-life reorganized when I find the answer here. More than a month after I had that thought. Where did she go?

    My update. I saw you could quit smoking, move across country, reconnect with family and so I did, too. You inspire. Try again.

    • It’s on my agenda, and as soon as I find my agenda, I will. (Try again) I did know that you moved and was so surprised. I missed the in-between part of how the heck that happened. I’ll have to go find out. Thank you for stopping by and I love your update.

  4. I started reading your post with pleasure, happy to see you here again. I had been worried about your absence and then when you started posting photos on Facebook, I reassured myself that if you could post photos, then you must be okay. But as I read this post, my throat tighten. So much loss in your life, and now a grandson moved out of your reach. Whatever the story with Hunter, I hope he knows that he has a grandmother who would spoil the hell out of him given half a chance. If he doesn’t know it now, he will someday and that box you’re saving for him will be priceless.

    I love that you are never bored and that you follow your interests whatever they happen to be at the time. Still stuck with my day job, I often fight competing desires to write, read, knit, quilt, and just be still.

    You do have a keen eye and your photos are beautiful and uplifting. I love seeing them on Facebook. And I love knowing you’re out there just living your life 🙂

    • You ladies are making me cry! Love love love your new hair, by the way. Life seems to throw so many things at us that we can’t do anything about. Hunter knows my love for him and some day I believe he will find me.
      I greatly admire that you stick with the day job and find time to write and create and socialize. I do hope you get to drop the day job and kick back soon.
      Your compliments mean a lot to me and, damn, I have some fine friends! 🙂

      • Thanks for the compliment about my hair. I am loving it. After almost two months, I’m still getting compliments 🙂 Best part of gray hair is I only wash it once a week so the color lasts longer 😉 You do have fine friends, and deservedly so.

  5. Nice to have you back, Patti, though I’ve seen you peeking through the holes on Facebook. I applaud your writing weekly postcards to little grand-people. Ask then to keep them, then you’ll have a diary of your life without trying too much. 😉

    Take care of yourself and come visit me sometimes. our photography is still breath-taking!

    Rootin’ for you, Patti!

  6. You were gone a looong time. Glad you’re back 🙂

  7. I made it that far. As for your smoking think of Woody Allen, “Quitting is easy. I’ve quit thousands of times.” :-))

    • Good, you made it. That was the first time I started up again so filled with regret. It was just so great not smoking! Hopefully coming back to life will inspire me. I hope all is well in your world and I’ll stop by your online place for a visit soon.

  8. Welcome back Patti. Yes, I’ve wondered where you’ve been, but saw you around FB so I know you were still with us but must have had other things to deal with. And it seems so! We all need to step away from the usual sometimes and reevaluate things. No worries, we’re still here. xo 🙂

  9. Thank you for the update!

  10. I loved the update, my dear. Your voice is always a welcome one, no matter how infrequent it may be. You were stretched pretty thin there for quite awhile…and I am as glad to hear that you took time for yourself as I am that you are poking your head out now and then. The snail mail that you sent me a while ago really gave me the shot of love and the emotional boost I needed. You may not be Superwoman, but you are Super-excellent-friend-and-cousin-woman. I love you to the moon and back, Patti. XOXO

    • Thank you, sweet cousin. It’s always so good to hear that the snail mail I sent was received with the intentions I sealed inside it. Your comment here released the same feelings back to me. xoxo

  11. Sweet, sad, and poignant. There is so much pain in life and you speak of it so gently and without bitterness. Thank you for turning yours to creativity and beauty.

    I was relieved when you re-emerged on FB. I was worried about you, as I told you at the time. The grandson at an undisclosed location breaks my heart, as I’m sure it does yours. Yet you find ways to connect to the rest of your family and turn sorrow into love. I’m sorry you started smoking. It took me a zillion times to quit in my thirties.

    I just got home from two weeks in CA with friends and my son. I felt so loved and filled up with companionship, so now the adjustment to the quiet introverted life. I’m grateful for Willow and butterflies. Sending you love, Patti.

    • Glad to have you back and I’m sure home is a welcome place for you. Of course, I look forward to the photos and stories you brought back with you.
      I always appreciate your comments here. There are negative feelings, however, I work hard to feel and express the beauty I find in the natural world.
      Yes, my heart is broken. He will find me though. I smile thinking about that.
      Your supercharge of love and companionship makes me smile too. Walks with Willow on that beautiful land…I’m sure you are both grateful for each other. Enjoy the blue moon. Love on the way to you also, Elaine 🙂

  12. Glad you’re back. Tough times for sure…hopefully you’re on the other side. I’ve found that one side isn’t all that different than the other but it’s still a step in the right direction. I don’t understand about your grandson but I hope things work out for both of you.

    • Sorry, I missed replying right away. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. I like the reality you stated about sides. So true. I don’t understand about my grandson either. He’s been moved by his foster parents, with no info about where.
      Take care.

  13. My dear Patti: Welcome back!! I’m so happy to have you back in the blogosphere!! I’ve come by a few times and shared some old posts and wondered when you’d come back. But Sweety, no rush!! You take your time and do as you said; baby steps. You know what I see when I read this? A survivor baby!!! A tough woman who knows what it takes to survive. It’s hard, but you have the heart, soul and courage to do it. I’m so sorry about Tivens. I wish I could give you something that would help. But in truth, nothing will take that pain away. For me it’s my Frankie. What I’ve learned is that it shouldn’t be forgotten. We just have to learn how to live with it and know that for a brief time how much they touched our lives. I’m not sure why you can’t keep in touch with Hunter. But I’ll send thoughts your way and hope that soon you will know where he’s at and will be able to communicate with him. Throw your love into those family members that you do have!!! And know that your friends in the blogosphere, love you dearly!!! Your secret garden….sounds deliciously magical!!! Perhaps one day, we can walk in your garden. Thinking of you always my dear. Natalie. ❤ xoxoxo

  14. Thanks, Natalie! You’re always so warm and cozy and comforting. I hope to walk the beach or the garden with you one of these days. I’m out of words, but know that I so appreciate all you do for me and others in this computer world. xoxoxox

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