Letting Go

Truckee River

I took a quick trip to Truckee again. This has been the theme of the summer, back and forth to Truckee, but this time I didn’t feel compelled to go and check on the place where we spread my late husband’s ashes. Instead, I hiked the Truckee River with my friend Susan and talked about the future. 

It’s interesting that I’m not the only one in transition and facing an unforeseen future. Yes, we all have plans, but not like we once had when we thought; settle down, buy a house, have a baby, and save for the future. Well, the future is now. Having the road ahead open to so many possibilities is in itself stressful, but the flip side is the excitement of not knowing what comes next. 

When I came home last night from Truckee to the Bay Area, and my home surrounded by fog and flowers, I realized completely and with utter clarity that my husband really is gone and he’s never coming back. Never. I sat on my white sofa eating cherries and let this thought burn into my heart. 

I’ve reflected a lot on my life as a wife and mother and all that entailed. I will always be a mother, of course, however, now I am often alone with my books and notes, which I entirely love. I missed my own company during the busy and hectic days of raising a young family. 

I know my life won’t always be this way, but it feels good to let go of the past and spend these days with myself living entirely in the present.

Love Is The Third Thing

During the second year of working as a ski instructor, I was called in to teach a private lesson to two children on Christmas Eve, previously I had these days off to spend with my own children, but if you don’t show up for your classes the resort will pull your ski pass and those of your entire family, as they are issued as a perk of the job. 

Reluctantly, I arrived to find myself with a three year old boy and his four year old yellow haired cousin, Olivia. 

I am very warm with kids, first of all they scare me a little, and because of this I have a great deal of respect for them, secondly, I have no boundaries with them, and I’ve never taught a class when they were not all sitting in my lap. 

This day was no different, and from the time I met them they were holding my hand, and on the gondola the three of us occupied a foot and a half of the seat, if that. 

I had been a ski school favorite my first year, earning the highest return rate of children they had ever seen.  I would make sure all the boys got to ski their first black diamond, and for the girls I braided hair and tied knots in cellophane to secure the ends. If I only had one girl or boy in my class, I would take on an extra child so my student would have a friend, and of course I stopped for hot chocolate and cookies more than was necessary. After the first year, I was promoted to privates, but mostly taught adults.  

These children skied very well for their age and were both teachable and naturally coordinated. We spent the morning on the lower runs working on our stops and turns. After an early lunch they wanted to build a fort, which I discouraged, telling them, we wanted their parents to be proud of them and see how much they had learned.

It was at this point the little boy told me his cousin’s mother had died. He said she had died of a disease in her blood. 

This news shifted my focus entirely. As I spent the next four hours with them, the three of us cuddled on the lift, the three of us cuddled in a row on the bench outside drinking hot chocolate. I let them hug me, and pull my hair, and ski over the tops of my ski’s and so on. At 4:30 on the gondola down, they said that they couldn’t  believe it was over, the day went by so fast, and I felt the same. 

Of course, I had fallen in love with both of them, and my love for them spun around us, making the snowy Christmas Eve magical. 

I’m starting to see love as the third entity in relationships. It is what is made when we love each other. 

The next day, I saw them as I walked through the village with my own happy family. It was Christmas Day, and the little girl was out ice skating with her Dad. I passed by silently,  grateful for my intact family. 

And now here we are. I’m in Tahoe again, sorting through my storage bins. Sorting through my memories. Love is what lives in the space between us all, not something you give or that is taken from you. It is the subtle alchemy that exists when we open our hearts to each other. 

Love and blessings. 

Falling In Love & Starting Over

Everyone I’ve ever loved, I have loved instantly from the moment I met them. Even several of my closest friends came with that moment of clarity where time stood still, and the predominant thought was, “finally, there you are.”

This was true of my husband, who watched me sit at the pool below his balcony, then left a post-it note on my front door inviting me to dinner. Or my first fiancée, who smiled at me in the 7-11 in Woodburn, Oregon, as I walked out and he walked in.

I knew immediately from the moment my husband opened the door that I would marry him. It was the first thought that popped in my head as I crossed the threshold of his apartment. 

I remember, he was wearing penny loafers and when he told me he was from Texas, I thought it a contradiction in terms, but he had many opposing sides to him which made him from the very beginning, interesting to date, and over time fascinating to know. 

The same is true for my friend Tom, I knew instantly that he would have an impact on my life, and he did. He taught me to sail, and it completely changed the tragectory of my future.

Now, I’m meeting new people, and people I’ve known in the past are reentering my life. I’ve had some interesting offers already, but as they say in the sailing world, I’m staying the course. I’m honoring the commitments made to my children, and my business, and my classes at UC Berkeley.  

We never know exactly what the future holds, but it’s going to be interesting, that much is clear already. 

 Love and blessings to all.

After The Ending, But Before The Beginning 

In SF on the boat Sanctuary

I feel like I’m at the ending of things, but before the beginning, dwelling in a peaceful and calm no mans land.

The door behind me has shut, and the next door has yet to open.  It’s a wonderful place to be, and I can’t say I’m not enjoying it. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my friends lately, and just for the fun of it. And I’ve been sailing and that brings with it a sense of calm, peace, and joy as always.

My foundation is well laid now, my next major task is to get my daughter off to college in September, then I have two years with Siena to teach, write and run my business.

My past is now behind me, I did the best I could. I could not have tried harder than I did. And, now the hard work of that is over, I look forward to the growth of all the seeds that I’ve carefully planted and have worked so hard to cultivate. But that is for the future, for now all things are peaceful and after a year of constant upheaval, I am very grateful for that. 

Love and blessings to all. 

Meant To Be

Slip 212

Everything happens for a reason some people say, others say we make everything happen, and those that remain say, it’s all random and we have no control over anything.

On different days, I can adopt any one of these philosophies, and each appears to be true.

Lately however, I’ve noticed a pattern to the events of life, and even my daughter has noticed. She came home with an entire string of what she called synergies and coincidences. She laid out a very similar set of incidents that occurred for her and have occurred for her sister at the exact same point of time. 

Recently, I spent a fair amount of time with Andrew trying to get our boat off the guest dock and into the harbor. Once the paperwork was complete, I headed home to pack up and leave for Tahoe, but in the end decided to leave the next day. 

What made my intuition tell me to leave the next day? I don’t know, only it was meant to be somehow.

Early the following morning, I got the call from the harbor telling me I had to sign everything in person with a photo ID, although I thought we had already done this. 

Luckily, I was available, and still in the Bay Area, because it made for a much less frantic and stressful move into slip 212, next to the neighboring boat ironically named, “Surprise.”

However, in addition to more boat drama and mishaps, the night before turned out to be full of meaningful coincidences, or as my daughter called them synergies.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last two weeks wondering why everything happened as it did, not just with the boat, but with everything.

Some people cut their losses without looking back, but others look for the lesson in situations, and seek meaning in the events of their lives and the people that come into them. I am obviously, in the later category.

I’m very close to being out of the woods now, as my close friend Jennifer would often say. My kids are happy and healthy, my daughter is off to college, my company is launched, my boat is in the water, and my finances are in order. 

It’s nice to be able to reflect from this place of safety knowing the life I’ve been working toward has arrived. I’m grateful to be here, the last few years have strengthened me in ways I couldn’t have foreseen, my hope is that there will be easier ways to learn life’s lessons in the future. 

Love and blessings to all.

More Dramatic Weather

I’m in Tahoe again, but this time with just my oldest daughter. It’s been a luxury to have this time, just the two of us. We’ve made some happy memories too. 

There was another storm last night that lit our bedrooms with lighting followed by clapping thunder that shook our house. 

Our dog Polly was so terrified, even at 70 lbs., she was shaking, and trying to crawl into my lap.  The thunder and lightning was followed by a half hour hail storm that was so extreme the balls of ice bounced into the house from the open French doors. 

I love dramatic weather, so I enjoyed being awake with my daughter at 3 a.m. watching the hail fall out of the blackened sky from the open doorway. 

I’m the sort of person now, who allows the storms to pass over me. 

As I stood in the doorway last night looking up to the sky, I wondered with amusement, what might happen next. 

Whatever that might be, I have a feeling it will be good.

Love and blessings to all.