Category Archives: blue funks

The Privilege of being Busy

Our last blog was Sept. 22 because that’s just before Jack went to Boston on a holiday with beloved friends. I stayed home because I’m going to a conference that starts Monday and somebody needed to watch Bruce, the cats, and the chickens on our sweet little homestead.

It’s gonna be okay

On Monday the garbage disposal went out. No problem, I can bail the sink.

On Tuesday, driving home from a meeting two hours away, my vehicle began making horrible sounds and got left in a town an hour away. A friend drove me home. (Thanks Donnamarie and it’s a wonderful thing to have friends who will make round trips for you.) Neighbors across the street, fighting their own battles with serious health issues, took time out to run over and let our doggie Bruce out because I was stranded so long. It was unexpected, catching up with Donnamarie after not seeing her for over a year. So pleasant, even if the ride was forced by difficult circumstances.

On Wednesday I drove our farm truck to an awards ceremony in a posh location. I resisted the urge to park my sheep-smelling vehicle in valet, but oh it was a temptation. I went to the posh location because one of our volunteers at the Inman Village Community Nourishment Project was receiving an award for being awesome and running a food program over the summer when we didn’t have any student volunteers to do it.

On Thursday I sent query letters on my first serious piece of fiction to four agents, and covered our garden in prep for winter. And had ice cream for supper, in a waffle cone.

Today I am headed back to Inman in a rental–they didn’t have one Wednesday which is why I drove the farm truck–to run our monthly outreach of free food, fun crafts, and listening to questions the Inman Village residents have about access to services. And hopefully answer them. I was able to get the rental because another beloved friend picked me up at home and took me to the rental place, despite being up to her eyebrows in care needs for her own extended family, including three elders and an accident-prone brother. It was lovely to catch up with Nora, in forced circumstances again, but we sat in the rental lot and talked for 15 minutes, just filling each other in on grace under pressure, aka Adulting 101.

Everything that happened this week was hard, and everything is based on something wonderful and resulted in something wonderful. I have a back-up vehicle. We have awesome volunteers. I can afford a garbage disposal, and chickens on my little one-acre homestead. My husband got to spend a week with dearly beloved friends from his home country. Covering the garden started with annoyance at wind gusts and curious chickens trapping themselves under the tarp, and ended with me laughing so hard I had to sit down as the chickens danced with the fluttering plastic.

Gratitude is an amazing framework. Not comparison, not denying our feelings, but being grateful for what we have.

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Filed under between books, blue funks, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Uncategorized

A Beautiful, Brief Community

Decisions were made.

The early morning water class I joined in January attracted five women. We circled in the shallow end of the pool and did the pendulum swing, rockette kick, and cross country skis to the soft music of a CD so memorized we sang the lyrics of Jesse’s Girl while doing jumping jacks.

deep

And we talked to each other. In January we were five individuals keeping New Year’s resolutions. By February we were allies, chatting nine to the dozens as our fearless instructor Kim deftly inserted “inside ankle” between discussions.

One was a retired teacher, widowed. One took care of her Alzheimer’s mother, who thought her daughter was a rival for her husband (who was married to the daughter, not the mom). One was navigating family trauma, the pillar to which the rest clung as they tried to sort things out.

By March, we needed each other. The morning class became the high point of my exercise week. On other days I cycled strong (350 calories burned per class!) Zumba-ed with laughter and sweat, kick boxed shouting names at the bag. It was all nice, but the reward was going to that Tuesday morning women’s swimming circle.

In April, we were notified that low attendance would lead to changes. In May, the class was just like every other thing the gym does. The spontaneous community that moved from skimming the surface to deep water became an aquatics aerobics class where the music pumped as we were urged to give it our all.

A different kind of give, the one the gym is set up for. Mission drift, increased class attendance, all that had to be taken into account. The gym is there so people can exercise. Decisions were made, in keeping with its mission and presumably its financial needs.

But oh, what I would give to have that quiet Tuesday morning community back, five women swinging in time to the rhythm of our shared life stories, unparalleled strength, giving it our all in the most true sense of those words.

Nothing golden can stay. Sometimes, nothing aqua blue can stay. Life goes on.

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Filed under blue funks, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch