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The Journey

These days I find myself writing posts that I do not publish. This blog has become my personal diary, and at times I just need to let off steam, so I ramble on about my life. I may at some point publish them, many of them might go under the heading “Woe Is Me”. Maybe I should do just that, a series of posts, “Woe Is Me #1”, “Woe is me #2”, I think you know where this is going. There are other times when I am sick of myself and this entire situation, and then I have to ask myself, “Do you want to read that?”, and the answer is, “NO! Get over it already.”

Here’s the good news, I think I’m getting over it. Not that I’m not still a little mad at the world, or sad that I’m losing my home, but I think I’ve moved on to the next phase of the grieving process. As we move through this house neutralizing the decor (Damn you HGTV real estate shows!!!), my house is no longer looking like my home, it is looking like my house. The distinction you ask? It is losing its warmth. My deep rusty-red wall of 22 feet in the front foyer is now a mellow cream. Yuk! Not that I don’t like cream, it is after all on the rest of the walls in the foyer, living room, up the stairs, in the loft, and soon to be in the kitchen. (One color throughout because, “That’s what buyers want to see.” I say, “Get an imagination and some vision”.) I am depersonalizing, no family photos, or treasured vintage pieces on the walls, because, let’s say it in unison, “Buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in the space.” Really? If you can’t buy a house because my kid’s framed photo is on the dresser then there is something wrong with you. Not that I believe everyone watches HGTV, or feels that way, but I know realtors do. Enough of that rant…

Things are not going well in the fund-raising for the bookstore/bistro. We also looked at a space and realized that we may not have enough to do it the way we want. I was devastated, shed a few, well more than a few, tears. But then…plan B! What? There was no plan B, but there is now. I’m not exactly ready to give up on plan A, so B will have to wait patiently in the wings, but I’m relieved B is there., what’s even better is the possibility of a plan C. I have taken a very important step in opening the door a crack for plan C. My Irish passport. Yes, it seems that thanks to my lovely parents and ancestors I am an Irish citizen. I filled in all the papers, and took what is possibly the worst passport photo in the history of passport photos (Really, ask Dan, he agrees. It doesn’t even look like me, unless of course they took it after removing all of my wisdom teeth), I’m sure I will get to Ireland and they (hopefully) will say, “This isn’t you. It couldn’t possibly be you.” I will then have to take out my lovely California driver’s license photo and say, “It really is me, the photographer was awful, the lighting was bad, I was storing nuts in my cheeks for the winter.” Either way, Ireland, or Europe could be part of plan C. Not a bad plan I might add. I might also mention that there could be a plan D, I was born in Canada after all…What’s that? E? We are considering a different less costly business. See? My brain is so busy it has very little time to be sad. Dare I say it, there is a glimmer of hope somewhere down deep in my soul. I think I might have even cracked a smile.

Two things tell me that I am beginning to surface from the depths of despair, one is art. I actually created a piece yesterday, a birthday gift for a friend. I’m not posting it, I didn’t even photograph it, it was from the heart, no publicity needed. I also have at least ten ideas dancing around in my head as well. I just don’t have a minute to work on any of them. The second is the desire to cook. I am as talented with a fry pan as I am with a brush. This morning I felt a renewed sense of hope, which leads to creating in the kitchen. An Eggs Benedict of sorts. Day old mini croissants, toasted under the broiler with a little bit of shredded basil Asiago cheese (thank you Theresa for that!), topped with prosciutto, a poached egg, and some lemon rosemary hollandaise. That’s how I bring a smile to Dan’s face.


I wrote the above post a few days ago, but as so often happens these days moods come in waves. I was on the top of the crest when I wrote that, but as the day wore on, my good mood crashed on the shore. I’m OK, just momentary setbacks. We are still frantically trying to pack this place. We are both sore and exhausted, but we are also focused on the other side of this. I told Dan last night that I don’t want to try to figure out the future right now. I am content to pack up my old life, and with it hopefully some of the profound sense of loss I am feeling. I want to sell the house, and then I want to see where we are financially. Without knowing what we will walk away with it is difficult to imagine anything. Closing day is breathing day, I want to come back and say goodbye to this home, it really was a home, and also say goodbye to what is in the past. Then I want to sit with my beloved husband, have a glass of wine, and talk about our future.

I also wanted to make sure that I posted something today because it is a day of great significance in my life. I lost my mother seven years ago today. A life that I think ended far too soon. My mother was only twenty-two years older than I. With God’s good grace there’s still time for me to have a second, or even third act. I owe it to my mom to keep going.


Chicago #2 001









This is my mom, Mary. A nineteen year old Irish girl who got on a plane to Canada to marry her boyfriend. She took a chance on a different and better life. There were times when she and my dad had less than I do now, but they struggled on, and I can too. Thanks Mom for giving me the strength to keep going. Love you.


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