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EDDD 21: Travels To Alaska Home, Tangled In Ribbons

“Travel brings power and love back into your life.” ― Rumi

It’s funny, but I think that you like the truth better than any tale I could weave, and I can weave some fanciful ones. But, surely it is the real heart and real emotion that we need the most…

Whether it’s, “Oh, my gosh, I never knew!”

or, “That’s just how I feel too!”

The best and worse of me, resounds in you. P.H. 2013

I just wrote that for you:>)

Traveling home is very different, on many levels, to each of us. It also changes with the reasons that we go home. Since 2007, there has been a different reason each time that I traveled home. My late husband, Paul, came up with the money for a ticket, and then insisted that I go that first time. The visit was initially to see my dad, who had a health scare, but then, also to make up with a family that I had distanced myself from for too many years. That was good. And hard. And it lightened my heart to have my reading, gardening, rolling- with- laughter mom back in my life.

Another visit to the north was a casual one, almost a vacation. Fishing in Homer with #1, a sister who took me everywhere when I was little, says I was HER baby! A long-time friend of hers verified the news. I made up with a sister that I hadn’t seen or spoken to in at least eight years, and made headway with another. I helped dad with his yard sales and listened raptly to tales from his childhood in Kentucky. I loved the way his faded southern accent peeked in and out of his reminiscing. Of course, mom and I reveled in working the garden together, and I, in watching her dance in front of the green house in her jammies, to the loud music coming from within. Joy.

In 2012, my visit was filled with pain and heart-ripping sorrow. My direct sorrow was laced with regret. The sister I had reunited with just eight months earlier, the sister who had been sending care packages of craft ideas and love ever since, the sister I’d been sharing texts and long-missed phone calls with, was gone. The gratefulness that we DID connect, didn’t come until much later. My secondary sorrow was the torture of witnessing how the loss hit my parents; the death of one of their seven, a crushing blow.

Then, too, the twin to my lost sister, their birthday is tomorrow, lost her literal other half. There are just no words for the pain I felt she must be suffering. Still suffers. Another sister was a close business and personal buddy with our lost one. Another sister was out of the country. The brothers stood by, strong shoulders for our tears. My heart tore in painful strips of crumpled, tear-stained ribbon. I tried to capture and identify my pain and soothe it, but the ribbons flew in all directions; my parents, our twin, each sibling, even dear friends who fed and flowered us so well. A tattered ribbon of pain from my husband’s death flew in, and tangled with the rest.

Our (now) single twin flew home, soon after the beautiful memorial, into the loving and healing arms of her husband and son in Arizona. When I flew back to my beach a few weeks later, the ribbons of pain flew behind the jet and tangled between my feet as I disembarked. They knotted in my hair as I walked the beach, searching for my lost loved ones. A little over a month later, a phone call; my mother is in the hospital, and so, I packed my ribbons of pain for another flight to Alaska.

The ribbons of pain were no longer filling every space in my parents home. But as I cared for mom, cooked, cleaned and organized, the ribbons fell from every drawer, cupboard and closet; still there, but moved aside to make room for daily living. The ribbons filled pillows that we rested our heads on each night. We used them to wipe away the tears that flowed, unbidden, from our eyes. I was there for over 4 months, which allowed special time with the four siblings who live near.

Eight months after the return to my Washington beach, I lost my 3 year-old grandson and the fresh ribbons of pain, added to the others, almost smothered me. My mother’s sister died October 1st, adding still another tangle of ribbons. I feel them right now. Those ribbons of pain make it hard to open Maggie’s door; my little RV cave is packed with them. I am safe, as long as I keep them away from my nose and mouth. I’ve accidentally swallowed a few and they almost choked me.

Mom is having hip surgery January 3rd, and a brother is having a potpourri of surgeries in the next few months. I fly out on the 2nd and spend the day in Juneau, the capital city that I have never been to. I look forward to walking up to the huge Mendenhall Glacier, that presents its blueish glory, just a few miles from the airport. There are other wonders close by that I hope to explore. Are you excited to see the photos? I am too! If you have a friend in Juneau who can give me a quick tour between 2 and 6 that day, please let me know.

I’ll be back to my beach in mid-May and I’ve promised to visit Mrs. M soon after. She’s doing well, by the way, and is doing outpatient PT now. I also have a long list of family and friends to visit on my return. Those ribbons that I’ve been writing about? They have been keeping me inside the sorrow of those lost loved ones, and not allowing me room to be with the loved ones who are alive. I know that. I’ve decided to drop them out the airplane on my way back from Alaska:>)

“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.”
― Charles Dickens

Here’s a beach sunset from a few days ago. Enjoy, please:>)

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Peace Out,

Patti

Every Damn Day? Who’s idea was this anyway? The culprit can be found here: Every Damn Day December at http://treatmentofvisions.com/2013/11/26/evdadadec/


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What Will Superman Do Now? Garden Shift from Woods to Beach

Dead Phone Booth, Westport, WA Phall Photo 2013

Dead Phone Booth, Westport, WA
Phall Photo 2013

Do you have any phone booth memories? I took this photo in Westport, WA a few days ago and it actually made me sad to see this moldy decrepit phone booth.  It is one more ending of things that we have grown used to in our lives. Remember the fad in the 70’s; college kids stuffing themselves into a phone booth? How about all the books and movies with phone booths as props, or even as main characters? RIP phone booths everywhere, I’ll miss you.

Speaking of missing…I have barely been online for the last few days and I miss you all!  You have become part of my routine since late March and it was tough being away. I’ve spent the time well, saying goodbye to another loved place. I’ve been doing hard labor, with the help of two friends. We’ve been moving what was left of my garden from the home that my late husband and I shared.

As most of you know, I ran away from home over 3 years ago. We had a beautiful yard and garden when Paul was diagnosed with leukemia in July 2009. We had a load of fresh topsoil and were beginning to remove the grass and fill the yard with trails and flowers. We had healed in some of the perennials. There is now a huge tree in their place. Grass and thistles 3-4 feet high. Three saplings grow in my raised bed garden. Much of our yard art was stolen.  Over 4  years of abandonment.

The first day was mainly clearing paths and discovering what was left to salvage. Elephant bamboo, blackberries, and ivy were taking over and the grape arbor was completely hidden. It took a chain saw to get to the pond and my shade garden in the back corner, where I had been making a memorial garden for my husband’s late wife. She was a wonderful person who died of cancer in the mid-80’s; I wanted Paul and his adult children to have a special place to “visit” her. I almost cried when I found a tiny yellow plant that smells delicious. It survived! My wild ginger still struggled on, my mondo grass and a hosta. It was like finding treasure in a sunken ship, while mourning the loss of the ship and some of the passengers.

Everything we salvaged went to a friend’s house, where I am building a new garden. I live in my little Maggie home on the property, so it isn’t my land, but I will be outside creating a magical space, and I will enjoy it until I settle into a home of my own.  So much was lost, yet I can take what’s left and make a spot of beauty near my beach.

August is a difficult month and I hope this garden project will make it easier; hard work usually does. Paul was born in August and he died in August, 11 days before his birthday. We celebrated our anniversary of meeting again in August.  His memorial was also in August. The bright side shines too. Ever since I ran away to the beach and met Mermaid Carol, she hovers over me in August, taking tender care of me. One of my best friend’s, Gwen, was born in August, and last, but in no way least, I gave birth to a wonderful red-headed boy 24 years ago in August.

Here’s hoping that the sun shines on the best side of your life this month:>)

Patti

 


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Writer’s Journal; Missing Alaska, My Home Away From Home

Calm evening, Peterson Bay, Homer, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2011

Calm, cloudy evening, Peterson Bay, Homer, Alaska
PHALL PHOTO 2011

A soothing place for a morning cup of coffee. The Peterson Bay home of sis Sharon & Captain Honey.
A soothing place for a morning cup of coffee.
The Peterson Bay blueberry haven of sis Sharon & Captain Honey. PHALL PHOTO 2011

Homesick for Alaska and my peeps there.

I am writing! Get off me:>) If FB was never invented I would be writing more, but I am writing.

* Shared children’s stories w/new blog friend and we cross-edited. Done

* Read blog friend’s published book and will write up review this week.

*Promoting my blog site and “gutsy story” all over social media. Ongoing.

*Wrote essay for Chicken Soup submission. Being edited by two friends. Re-Write in progress.

*Socially involved with an incredible group of writers on WP blogs and commenting on many others.

*In the itchy-finger stage of writing for pay, on a site I was invited to join.

*Oh, yay, and 11 days left of Camp NNWM and am confident I will finish, although need to work harder at the shaping.

* Posting serial of Postcards on this site.

* My head is overflowing with stories, poetry and ideas for memoir series.

*Mr. I.V. Poley immortalized by inclusion in a story here: http://neverendingstorydepository.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/ionia-the-super-hero/

There must be more, but I need a nap now.

Stay tuned,

Patti