Come on Irene

There is a certain easiness to living life off the grid.  The power is out as Hurricane Irene charges up against the coastline of North Carolina.  This certain easiness is highlighted with a quiet and peacefulness that comes when you are forced to turn off all electric devices.

I am in fact typing this on my laptop with the remaining charge that is left on it. 

Photo by Mama

My son is napping on the bed, with the freshly washed and dried white down comforter I was smart enough to wash and dry last night when electricity and modern conveniences, such as washers and dryers were ticking away with the midnight oil.  His body rests so peacefully.  My milk, his muse, for sweet mid-morning nap dreams.  His arms are outstretched and his calm poise pushes me up against this thick line of beauty. 

I wonder what his adulthood will be like, as he perhaps types an essay on what kind of electronic device. Perhaps it will type itself when his son is sleeping and he is watching peaceful as a parent.

I wonder will there even be energy and what kind.  Mother Nature, what will she have destroyed and what will she have restored.  The wind howls above me in my home. 

my porch - do you see the lizard in the negative space. those them lizards have been here weathering many storms since 1880

The sturdy wood of my historic home has been here since 1880 and has weathered many storms.  I wonder where my son will be when he is my age, 37, in the deep forest of adulthood, stained with poopy diapers, messy floors, and chaotic schedules that just don’t allow for scheduled order.

As I embrace motherhood today, I feel the warm arms of Mother Nature comfort me, and I acknowledge my own struggle. And accept that life does have its storms, just as nature does.

But today, there is peace. Peace as I watch Benjamin sleep and make tiny fairy movements with his toes, as if they are dancing in their own electric storm of beauty.  I am comforted that the fridge is full and food is ready.  My husband cooked lots of spaghetti, mac and cheese for Ben and a chicken marinara sauce so delicious you wouldn’t mind eating it cold.

Life off the grid seems appealing right now.  I hung the wet laundry, damp and stagnant from loss of power in the dryer.  I felt powerful and resourceful that I could get the days chores done without power, without the electric churn of modern conveniences such as vacuums and blenders and stoves.

My family, my power

I have the power of family: my husband, son, myself and two dogs, warming this house absent of artificial light.  The curtains are all open and natural light streams in.  Opening another view to reflect on my life.  Windows are open to allow the heavy, fast, surging breeze (if you can call it that – more like vortex sucking wind gusts but it does indeed whisk a breeze through the house).  A sound and movement like teams of witches on brooms, magical in their delighted fury. 

I sit here and pause.  Elegant in my own reflection, illuminated by my own mother muse: Mother Nature and her daughter Irene.

Love, Loss, and the Lessons of Letting Go

So I have been MIA for awhile.  I just have been not interested in writing lately.  I guess it might have been the past several weeks of blistering hot humid Southern triple digit weather in a house without AC (we do have three window units, but no central AC) or just a natural state of late summer stagnation.  I just have not been into writing lately. 

Toddler Boy

I guess I just can’t find the time to focus with a 15 month old or the time.  It’s like time is a lost sock, somewhere under a bed or hidden in a basket of unfolded laundry. I am trying to be more disciplined, but discipline and rigged schedules are not my style.  I also like to write when the emotion covers me and with a little toddler toddling around, I just can’t jump into the muse as I used to: two feet, head first into the deep end.  Instead, I have to plan it out.  Pack a diaper bag of a toddler nap, a quiet blanket of uninterrupted time, where there are no teething screams or toddler bonks from new found freedom of wheels that walk (feet). Or maybe I have just been lazy.  Just so you know, I am typing this with one hand, really two fingers (index and middle) while I nurse the boy to sleep.

So, I will just post some pictures today.  Hopefully as grad school gets started back up, I will be more moved to write. Let’s hope memo gets her muse back.  I have one more class and my thesis and I will graduate this semester.  So I better damn well find my muse again.

The update on a couple things I plan on writing about in the near future (promise) is about my mom. 

My beautiful redheaded mama I adore and love


Sometimes the most beautiful things must fly away; we simply can not catch them or contain them, but we can marvel when they are still, dancing in love before us.


She is still alive and I do talk to her on the phone.  Her health is declining (she has two slow growing brain tumors.  One on her brain stem and one on her cerebellum, both diagnosed in 2000.  She had brain surgery to put a shunt in in 2000.)  But she is still mentally present.  I can not tell you how I cringe every time the phone rings thinking it is a phone call telling me she has passed.  I also get so excited when I can hear her voice on the phone.  It lights up my heart.  And then when I hear her voice and can tell she is mentally with it, it makes me even happier.  I have some to terms with the fact that I can tell her I love her on the phone everyday and that is enough.  Although I would love to be close to her to visit every weekend.  She lives in Colorado at a nursing home near my sister.  I live  North Carolina. 

She can not get out of bed and has lost the ability to move about freely because she has been bed ridden for so long.  The nursing home staff did tell me that she does get in her wheelchair sometimes and goes down to the cafeteria to eat.  It is difficult to understand her as her speech is slurred sometimes.  And she is deaf in one ear, so our conversations are difficult.  I think the slurred speech may be an effect of the brain tumors.  But just hearing her voice makes everything better.  I can’t imagine not being able to hear her voice.  I think I have just tried to put it out of my mind how sad this makes me.  I have tried to distract myself with other things.  Mostly motherhood.  But I miss her so much and I just can’t explain how it tears me up to have to think about losing another parent.  It was bad enough losing my father.  I am grateful my sister is living close by to my mom’s nursing home.  My heart does go out to my sister though, as it is very hard on her to see our mother decline.  It has been a long and slow process.

Another loss is one of my closest friends in the whole world moved away.  I was lucky enough to have Susanna live in the same town as me.  We both moved to the same town in Eastern North Carolina where we worked at the same school.  She lived here for five years.  Even though we didn’t see each other every week, knowing she was just across town, able to have a face to face coffee date was a treasure.  You know, the gold and silver of friendship and when you can sit with a friend you adore, well, that is just about the best thing in the world.  The comfort, the love, and the support.  Nothing like it in the world than having a great friend sitting with you and hearing their laughter erupt next to yours.

My son, Ben and great friend Susanna

Sadly, Susanna moved to Eugene, Oregon.  I am bummed about not having her close by, but we talk almost daily.  And she is where she needs to be. Sus and I go way back – all the way to Cali pre 2000. We old school people.  Old School! 

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This slideshow is of Sus’ and I’s last sunset together on the East Coast and some photos of her farewell dinner.  She is now watching the sunset on the West Coast in Oregon.  She belongs in the Pacific Northwest.  She took a chance and made the leap of faith and moved there without a job and not knowing a single soul in that town that called to her: Eugene. She is a goddess gorgeous with the ripe fruit of bravery.  I love her.  She is a true friend.  We are only lucky enough to have a handful of friends in this life that are TRUE friends.  She is in every way a true friend and we have been there for each other through a lot.    I cried when she left and I drove her out to the highway as she followed with her loaded up car (she only took with her what she could fit in her car).  You can follow her blog about her adventure here
Scott McCrerry’s new country single, “I Love You This Big” played in the background as I waved to her as she moved along Highway 264 West, her car visible in my rearview mirror.

The last time I saw Sus in my rearview mirror as she drove West

  Tears were a rollin’ country western style, country music playin’ in the background.  I got a big ole’ cheesy heart!  I do indeed love that girl BIG, as big as the sky in Wyoming.  Enough of the teary teary tears…moving on.

So, that is one of things that has happened recently to ole’ memomuse.  Sorry I haven’t been posting.  I sometimes get all writer bent out of shape and think I have to compose this grand awesome essay.  Sometimes I should just write it down.  Even if it is not crafted and is just off the cuff.  After all I have fans to please!  🙂 So I hope ya’ll are pleased with my bloggy blog post.
Wyoming hugs and Montana kisses ~ memomuse

I'm Forever West (in my heart)