Early Morning Coffee Chat...On The Porch!

Good Morning!  I am on the back porch this morning, with my pretty tea cup and the pot of coffee (oh the bliss of a husband who truly believes one cup is enough and leaves all the rest for me!lol) and I thought the cool breeze and lack of humidity and the peacefulness of cat and dog and bird song just cried for company.  I'm so happy to have you join me.

Isn't it lovely out?  We get these mornings and occasional cool down days here and there in August, a little bittersweet reminder that summer is ending and autumn isn't far behind.  At first, it's such a relief, such a blessed relief, from the heat that we slip up and forget what they mean.  We just appreciate them as cooler spells.  But then we'll see a bit of blooming golden rod and it rushes in upon us that these heated summer days are fast dwindling and peach season is very nearly finished (this Friday, alas!) and all the things we didn't do in summer cause regret to hit rather hard.

We were up early this morning.  Just a natural waking time kind of early, not unnaturally early, and we got up right away.  I always give John a short spell of time on his own.  It's a sort of courtesy I try to extend, just in case he should ever decide to give it to me as well, lol.  John is one of those people who wakes up wide awake and can start chatting at you right away.  I, on the other hand, am the sort that wakes differently.  It's not that I'm still asleep nor irritable, but I just like to go into a morning quietly.  I like to check the weather at the back door (the same way that Granny always did) and have my first coffee and pray and then I'm ready for the day.  John sort of respects that.  We have an agreement that I will speak a pleasant good morning to him.  He, being the tease that he is, is unnaturally cheerful and loud in his greeting.  It grates, truly, but we do have an agreement and I do honor it.  I think nothing is half so much fun as having been awake for hours before him (rare but it does happen) and to let him slip from bed to the living room while I shower and dress and then to appear with a loud and cheerful morning greeting to him.  He always looks a bit cautious...as though he suspects me of something, lol.

The weatherman last night at 11pm (quite late for me but there I was) promised an 'autumn preview' in the seven day forecast.  Imagine my great disgust to discover his 'preview' was mere 90F days!  That's no autumn preview!  Goodness that's just a mild summer's day, not autumnal.  I did note that the mornings were to be 66-70F which is nearer my idea of autumn days but in summer those temperatures are seldom about once the sun is up.  We were promised less humidity which is rare this time of year and I hope that part at least proves to be true.

I worked on my back porch Friday.  I wasn't really up to the hard labor still necessary on the front porch and so I decided that cleaning up the back porch was a good idea.  I'd had an idea as I walked across the porch on Thursday of hanging some Melamine plates I'd bought ages ago...and I'd put them on the front porch thinking I'd use them there.   So I got busy cleaning and rearranging and editing and bringing out fresh things and before I knew it I had a right cute little bit of redecorating started.  Note I said 'started'.  I  need paint for my rocker and my table and chairs.  I have unfinished projects started for that area and not even started projects in mind,too.

Multiple projects ongoing, just the way I like it.  I tend to be slightly loopy when I'm working on things.  I have to remind myself sometimes to just stop and finish a job or an area and then move on.  Other times, I just long to do something, oh anything, different from what I'm currently doing, so off I go and start something new.  I have two projects that are sizable in progress, two more areas I want to tend to and the guest room still unfinished..though in my favor I am still looking for a vanity.

I found a lovely bedstead, dresser and chest of drawers at one estate sale for $195.  It was a steal, let me tell you, solid wood and old, well made stuff and beautiful. I didn't have the funds, but I'd have hesitated anyway though.   It was just beautiful wood and I wanted something I might paint without thinking I'd done damage to it, you see.  But that is off subject.  The point is that I've many fingers in many pies at present and I seem to get just so far and then I'm stopped to wait on funds for some major something or other, sigh.

It's coming up on my 2nd anniversary at the flea market.  My rent is nominal but the truth is too many months I don't make rent or make only a portion of it.  I've kept it to my one allowance portion as I'd planned but right now it's a loss I can't really afford to keep up.  I've enjoyed the stocking of the booth and truly I've sold as many of my own things I'd tired of as any newer bits I'd found.  There are many other things I want to spend money upon but first and foremost I must always think of the booth and whether or not I shall have to pay rent.

I think...but no, I'm not making a decision just yet.  I want to look at hard facts, go over the sheets and see how much I've put in and how much I've gotten out. I want to pray over this decision as I prayed over the decision to go into the space. I'm pretty sure which side this is going to come down upon.  Sigh.  I've had such hopes but I'm at that place where I can't justify expanding and can't justify continuing and can't stand the thought of quitting.  So much to think upon and decide.

I'd meant to go to an estate sale Saturday, but I'd spent the bulk of my allowance on the groceries bought on Thursday.  I'd told John no money for groceries nor for any extra spending...and failed to tell him about the amount I'd set aside to go into savings.  We had medical bills we set money aside to pay and another we'd taken money from savings to cover.  I wanted to put something back, you see.  And it seemed more prudent to save than to purchase groceries when we have so much food in the house.  Of course, I immediately realized we were out of bread and eggs and milk, lol.  And I wanted peaches obviously.  I mean peach season is very nearly over and to skip peaches here at the end is just not possible.  It will be forty seven weeks before I see a good fresh peach again!

Anyway, I skipped the estate sale.  It was hard.  I wanted to go but here I was wavering on a decision about the booth and I really didn't have funds to buy just for myself and all that good stuff.   I admit endless curiosity about how other people live and what they collect or purchase to use in their homes or what was passed on was my real driving force behind wanting to go, but I seldom stick to my curiosity and end up with things.  I like history and to learn about a person through their possessions isn't very different from going on an archaeological dig, but I have to bring something home. So I skipped it.

We'd made plans to go to my great niece's birthday party.  She is two and a real cutie with big soulful eyes, but not soulful in a solemn face.  Bella has soul in a laughing happy face and she is just darling. I didn't have opportunity when my niece was young to be a part of her life for varied reasons and I'm enjoying the chance to be part of her family with her now. I was pleased to be invited to the party and though I held off replying with an acceptance right away it was everything to do with my health that kept me from replying with an affirmative.  Earlier this week John had asked me about going and I'd made sure to let Ashley know that we would definitely be coming.

It was a nice party.  I looked around the front porch at one point and noted that Ashley's parents were there with their partners/spouses, and their parents.  There were John and I, and her partner's brother and his mother's best friend's family and I realized that here was a true modern family, all gathered together and in one place, to celebrate a beautiful little girl.   Bella was so funny.  She would call out "Mama?"  and when Ashley would reply she'd shout "Doing?"  I told Ashley I could just hear her when Bella is too quiet calling out "Bella!  What are you doing?"  

It was fun, too, to see Ashley's home and how she has it decorated.  She's a DIY sort of girl and her home is charming and comfortable.  I fell head over heels with her dining area.  It's part of the original back porch of the home and the walls are rustic country wood and it made me long even more for that rustic wood wall I want in my dining area.

I was drained when we left though.  I think, honestly, that my blood sugars dropped a little, but I felt more than a little somber as we left.  I came home and took a nap and I even went to bed early last night.  I dozed off and then was wide awake.  I stayed awake for a good little while.   I've had sleep problems for many years.  Did you know that many people who are diagnosed with diabetes often have sleep disturbances all through their lives?  And that diabetes causes...wait...sleep disturbances?  Vicious cycle, sigh.  I recognized though that it wasn't my usual sort of sleeplessness.  Something was nagging away at me, but what?

I still felt very wearied this morning.   I finally sat down with my journal, where I've failed to write for weeks and weeks, and just poured out my heart.

I made a vow, while in the hospital to let go of some relationships that were painful and had been for years.  I think, over the last few weeks I've come to realize that the decision I made was a late one, meaning that I should have done so long before I did.  I didn't make the decision rashly.  I did do a 'summing up' while I was alone in that hospital for hours on end.  I saw plainly that there were things I needed to change in order to be healthier and wiser and I took steps to change them.

This morning as I wrote I dwelled briefly on my first marriage.   I often don't say a lot about my first marriage.  I've always felt that it is one of those things that is a he said/she said and it's unfair to air just one side, but this does relate somewhat so I ask your forgiveness if it seems unfair to the other half.  What I want to share here is that I spent a lot of energy on my first marriage for a number of years.  I was always trying to change to please another, to do the things that pleased my then husband or his family members, all in an effort to improve my marriage overall.   I ended up emotionally and mentally exhausted and gave up on my marriage, not something I'm proud to own, but it's what I did.  About a year or two later, still married, I realized that those two years of doing nothing netted me the very same thing that 11 years of trying with all my heart and soul had netted me.  Nothing.

I'd been pounding on the chest of a dead marriage hoping to start the heart of it pumping once more.

For a number of reasons, I had to face that these relationships I declared done were, and had been, as dead as that first marriage.    I saw very clearly that I'd wasted time pounding on a dead chest.  There was nothing there; nothing I could have done to make those relationships better.  It wasn't about me being better, it was about their power to hurt with indifference, displeasure, unreasonable control issues and all that sort of stuff.  I think my overwhelming soberness was a disappointment in myself for not realizing sooner that I truly did deserve better and was accepting the least effort on their part in exchange for laying myself out at their feet.

If you think I'm angry, I am not.  I'm not grieving.  I'm not hurt or bitter.  I think, of all things, I'm relieved.  Relieved that in the end, determining what my personal boundaries had to be and who would be allowed within them, was so much easier than I'd thought it might be.  Relieved that time in my life is done.  I don't feel the need for being overly analytical about why I allowed those relationships to go on as they were. I wasted far too much energy analyzing the wheres and whys of every slap and insult and injury.   And that is enough of that.

As of Sunday, Katie has been married one year.  What a year it has been for her!  Marriage and pregnancy and a beautiful baby girl and two major health scares for a parent on both sides.   That was a very full year overall wasn't it?  It isn't likely this next year will be uneventful, not with a growing baby in the house, lol.  There will be so many firsts, from first night in her own nursery to first steps.  And as my wiser than wise 13 year old grand daughter said earlier this year in a letter to me, "I wonder what will be my 'first' this year?"  Possibilities for so much in a new year isn't there, whether it's a calendar year or personal one?

I suppose, this is a "new year" of my own.  May 28 was a major turning point in my life.  I don't sit back and whine to myself 'Why me?' or complain over limitations or struggles.  This is the life I have to live at the moment and I figure I need to live it well.  I don't believe in complaining that a second chance is harder because it's different than the first chance, lol.  And what a learning curve it's all been!

I've learned a great deal in the past 10 weeks.  I've learned how strong and how fragile I am.  I've learned to stop wasting time on things and people who shouldn't matter.  I've learned that while I'm not afraid to die, I'm really not done with living yet.  I've learned that I could let fear stop me in my tracks or I could square my shoulders and face it.  I've learned that encouragement is a beautiful gift whether it comes from a stranger or a friend.  I've learned that when someone loves you they show it and when they don't, they won't but they will pile words upon you and meaningless gifts.

I'd like to learn a few more things.  I'd like to learn to laugh more often.  I'd like to learn to squeeze every opportunity I can from life but also to balance it with savored moments like sitting on the back porch with a cool breeze and bird song.  I'd like to learn how to be joyful even in the most difficult times.  I'd like to learn how to express the love I feel for people.

Well dears, I've enjoyed it, this morning coffee chat.  Time for me to get up and get busy, now the coffee pot is empty.  I've so many things I want to do at the moment that choosing where to start is the very hardest part of all.  Isn't that a lovely state of things?  I think so, too.

Talk to you all soon!


Anne said...

Oh yes, the letting go of dead relationships. Although they weren't really dead to the person who was receiving all your good stuff.

In the last couple of years I let go of two relationships with two different women that had gone on since I was young and I'm now a grandmother. I was both of their sounding boards and their unpaid psychiatrists, but I realized it had been many years since I got anything from the friendship.

I have gotten signs they would both like to get back in touch, but honestly, I feel nothing but relief.

Karla Neese said...

This post reminds me of a quote I just love from The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. “The painful things seemed like knots on a beautiful necklace, necessary for keeping the beads in place.”

It takes so very long, it seems, to finally see ourselves as God sees us, and to allow only His best into our lives, doesn't it? But He is so faithful to patiently take us through the process because He sees the outcome when all we can see is the stuff that we've tried to change or the pain or whatever. It really is relief when we finally have the courage to say no more and allow it to leave our lives so there's room for the better.

Terri - on the topic of your booth - have you thought of selling your vintage wares on Etsy? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

I have had to go through this same thing over the last year. It has been painful, sad, disappointing but at last I come to realize, I had to let that person go from my life. In my case, it was my nephew who I love dearly. I was in the delivery room the day he was born and helped raise him. I had such high hopes for him and he is such a bright, intelligent, caring person but unfortunately he married the wrong person and is unwilling to make any necessary changes. They have two lovely daughters together and I will always love and cherish them but I cannot stand to watch the never-ending drama play out with the wife and the unstable environmnet she provides for the two daughters. It is heartbreaking! I have had to distance myself because the drama is too much for my own health. I continue to pray for their family and will always be there if my newphew needs me but I had to draw the line and cannot be involved in their daily lives.

Lana said...

Mmmm.....I have recently had to cut off a friendship that was just making me ill. I really think this woman has some mental illness issues but she was using me and then arguing about things she had asked me to help her with. I had lost far too much sleep over it. She is ruining her health and I cannot be responsible for it.

Another long time friend I have just had to put at arms length. She is jealous of everything we do and the whining about my apparently wonderful life and her supposed horrible one has just gotten to be too much. Their lives are the result of a long life of poor financial choices and they do not understand how to live frugally at all. I cannot fix that for them.

It is wonderful that your could go to Bella's party! One thing sorely lacking today is inviting others into our homes so it is always a blessing to be invited. I blame Pinterest for this partly. We are under the impression that we can only invite others into our homes if everything is perfect and that is not so.

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I enjoyed your beautifully written post and found it to be very inspirational.

I plan on going to get fresh peaches Thursday. You sound so much like me, when you said it will be 47 weeks before you see fresh peaches again. I haven't asked the ladies at the farm when our peach season will be over. It always ends to soon for me.

Sometimes it does seem like the sweetest seasons pass by too quickly.

Susie Donahue

Crystal H. in Nevada said...

I too have faced health challenges in my life that seemed so big - coming close to dying several times. It really changes your perspective on life. The little things don't seems so important and in need of all the drama. Do I wish my life and health were different - at times yes, but it is what it is. I am still here. God has a purpose for me. He's not finished with me yet. Just like he's not finished with you yet. It sounds like you are learning things that it took me years to realize. Like the fact that this is your new life and you can rejoice in it and treat yourself well. Sure we may have to slow down or do things differently but this is our new life. We can whine and feel sorry for ourselves or figure out what to do and do it. Would I have picked heart challenges or would you of picked diabetes. Probably not but it is our reality and we need to learn the way to be the best we can be with it.

Your posts are so real and refresh me. Thanks for writing. Take care.

Kathy said...

I'm sorry about the heartache of relationships that don't work. I'm glad that you have found peace with the situation.

Happy 2nd birthday to your niece! She sounds like a cutie! Glad you were able to spend time with family.

Happy Anniversary to Katie! She has had a lot happen this year.

It sounds like you have learned a lot these past few weeks...some of those things take people a lifetime to learn. I hope that life will be calmer for you, and that you are able to do all of the things that you want to do.

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