Universal Playground

Where to Play Today?
Where to Play Today?

The theory of parallel universes has, for the past few years, been my saving grace. The notion of having a new Universe spin-off for each and every possibility, for each and every living thing, means, for the dreamer – Unlimited Life Choices.

There is a Universe where I did convince first hubby to buy that hotel in Victor, Colorado before gambling went in and I happily run the restaurant/bar/hotel while he rescues and restores antiques in his little shop out back.

Or the one where I stuck to my plan and am now living on a ranch in Montana, with a dozen children running around, caring for my homeplace and writing a new book every year.

Perhaps, there is one where my oldest child lives, I’ve won the lottery and we are currently visiting Ireland, as long as I’m willing to go to New York City with him…

And one where we went to Ireland and he decided he wanted to stay there longer, instead visiting NYC –

I can’t help it – I’m NOT a city girl…

A parallel where my Dad is still around, playing the guitar and helping me convert my home to a more sustainable enterprise.

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But I also gaze about me and consider what all I might miss if I could instantaneously transport to another Universe – would Oakley, my wonder dog be with us? Would I end up only trading one son for the other? A universe where I work 100 hours a week and still don’t get what is really important? Or the one where I truly did lose everything and wander the streets, homeless, starving, hopeless?

Given the untold numbers of Universes that have spun off to accommodate the roads not taken, I’m thinking probably best to just stay put – – I might just end up somewhere less appealing…

Time

Time is Tricky Stuff
Time is Tricky Stuff

I’ve long been fascinated by Time.   How it drags when engaged in the dreary or waiting for the fantabulous to show up.   How it flies when deadlines loom, projects pile up and loved ones are soon to leave.

I’m also intrigued by the way our brains interpret time.   How our thinking and actions directly affect how time and the universe unfolds.

Case in point – yesterday, I walked almost 6 miles.   Now, this is nothing special for most, but it’s taken me weeks to build up to this.   I started out by walking a mile – and then doing it til I could walk it in 30 minutes – then I added more length each time – staying at that length until I could finish the distance in 30 minutes.  I had worked up to 2 1/2 miles and still able to do other work when I got back home.

Yesterday, with a heavy heart and a dog that had missed out on two day’s worth of walking, I decided I was going to walk until I had to turn around – and took my cell phone in case I ended up needing to call for a ride home.  No schedule, and since it was Sunday, I decided to take the day off – who would care if I wasn’t worth shooting when I got home?  Projects could wait until tomorrow.

(Which ended up not being true, given looming storm clouds, but that’s another story)

My little data loving heart means I’ve driven my walking routes and noted landmarks that mark where each tenth of a mile from my house resides.   I had driven and memorized up to 2 miles out – which means 4 miles round-trip.

I also take note of when I start and when I get back – so I know when to add distance to my 30 minute sojourns.   Both strength and stamina must be reclaimed and I’m desperately trying to kill two birds with one walking stone…

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When I first started the walking regimen, I walked furiously, hoping to get it done and over with before I had another stroke.   I set my stride and kept to it, even when Oakley, the wonder dog, found stretches that demanded extra sniffing – – Nope, we’re not stopping, I’ve got to keep my heart rate up if I’m ever to get well.

I’ve since learned better…

Yesterday, I set out at 10:00 – less than two blocks from home, I encounter my neighbor, sitting at the end of her drive, waiting for her ride to church.   I stop to visit, much to Oakley’s impatient chagrin.

By 10:14, we are once again on our way.   I’ve learned to stop now, to let Oakley smell the roses, or poo, or whatever else catches her fancy.  Mother Nature is making up for the cool, wet spring, and there are lots of pretty plants for me to stop and smell as well.

I walk past my previous turn-around point.   I walk through mind chatter that reminds me it’s getting hot and I’d better start packing water for both of us, if I’m set on walking further –  –

I walk until I wonder if I’ll make it all the way home.

I breathe deep in and deep out – –

“Healing and peace in (inhale) Crap and ugly out (exhale)”

No, that’s not in any meditative works I’ve seen, but it works for me…

With dragging feet and sweat pouring off me, I check my phone – I’ve walked just 4 minutes short of 30 minutes – I’ll count my steps to 240 and then turn around.

I’m lagging now – and Oakley isn’t pulling so hard on the leash, either — just why didn’t I bring water?

I finally reach 240 just shy of 3-miles, one way – I turn around, check my phone and wouldn’t ya know?  One minute shy of the full 30 – really?!?  Surely those last 240 steps took more than 3 minutes!  It felt like an eternity and I’m sure I lost track of what number I was on a couple of times…

Turning around, we slug back towards home.   There is a lot less sniffing and excitement going on now – we both put one foot in front of the other and hang our tongue out to help cool ourselves.  (Yes, I tried it – didn’t do me much good and when I stumbled through a rough part, I bit my tongue…)

We arrive home, after slowly making our way back to cool house and cool lemon water….

It’s 11:20.

The clock must be wrong – I did extra distance, stopped to chat and frequently paused to smell the beauty of spring…

It simply cannot be…

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There have been many instances where I’ve experienced Time displacement – many of them occurred during deep grief and extreme stress – I’ve noticed it more since I had the stroke – I will fall asleep and awake refreshed and ready to go, only to discover, I only fell asleep 24 minutes ago.   I will start writing to emerge and find 12 hours have passed by in the blink of an eye and I haven’t eaten anything…

Sometimes, this time displacement confuses me, but most times, it quietly inspires me…

Secretly, I hope I’m being prepared for time travel…

It Worked!

About two weeks ago, I discovered that my grand landscaping plan regarding raised beds against the house wouldn’t work, because stucco needs ‘breathing space’. 

I had also been struggling somewhat with the time of year, (as mentioned last post) as well as the fact that my body just isn’t quite healed enough to cash all the checks my mind wrote over the long winter of  dreaming immense plans of just what I was going to do as soon as it was nice outside.

As I was constructing a new landscaping plan, dealing with old memories and trying mightily to love an uncooperative body, we started having daily showers which revealed that the trenches left next to the house by the stucco guys were not a long-term solution regarding keeping the stucco in good condition and water from the foundation.

Everything was put on hold while I searched for a solution.

I tried a variety of different ‘quick-fixes’,  as hiring someone to come in and regrade the entire area around my house was not possible on my budget and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it myself, by hand.  Fortunately, our daily showers weren’t gully washers – Mother Nature was kind enough to let me learn what I needed to through observation and no big water-bailing drills.

I finally decided upon a sharp sloping foot of area, covered with 6 mil plastic, covered with gravel, edged with concrete blocks that are tucked in just shy of where the roof overhang drips water on to the ground, followed by gentle slope out.  

Then I waited for it to rain again.

This morning I ventured outside to find wet ground to the outside of the blocks, courtesy of an overnight shower and, to my immense satisfaction, dry gravel/plastic near the house.

It worked!

While the test area is by no means completely done, and needs refinement, I’m confident enough to go forth with the complete plan, now that I have some data – -The final result will have another tier of earth rammed blocks, a gently sloped garden bed with mammoth and red sunflowers inter-planted, to help shade the west side of the house and the leaf lettuce I’m going to try planting out-of-season – yes, that’s just how adventurous I am.

Here’s a pic of the test work in progress:

Like My Life A Work in Progress
Like My Life
A Work in Progress

Now I only have 96 more feet or so of near-house solution building to go and then I can get to work on the perimeter fence and garden beds –

These past few weeks have felt like nothing will ever go smoothly again – I felt tired, worn-out and overwhelmed – I’m so behind on so many different schedules, my arse is in front of me.

How quickly my mind-set changed,  while viewing wet dirt on the left and dry gravel/plastic on the right –

It truly is the Little Things that make Life grand!

Memory

My dad was blessed with eidetic memory – he not only could tell you the story of (fill in the blank with just about anything you choose), but it was never told along the lines of “In the early 12th century, towards the springtime…”

Nope – “On May 23rd, 1201, the battle forces moved out – it had rained heavily that year, making the movement of the troops slow going…” was more like it.

Yes – He always won our Trivia Pursuit games.

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I, too, have a pretty good memory – though mine is not eidetic.   I like to call mine ‘associative memory’.   If I can recall one piece from a moment in time – a sight, smell, sound, touch, thought or feeling – the entire scene will replay through my mind as if it were yesterday.

While some think my memory is above average, I know it is not.   I simply have learned multiple ways of accessing stored information. There are gaps in the memory of my life – especially when  I was too ill to care or take in what was going on around me.

But for the most part, my memory is fairly good – which does have it’s downside…

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This weekend was graduation at our local school.   I did not attend.   The child-unit and I were invited to various graduation parties –  I let him choose which we would go to, as I really didn’t want to go anywhere, but could motivate myself given his wishes.

Both my associative and cellular memories kick in around this time of year – making the period from mid-May to mid-June fraught with emotional and physical complaints.

My son died shortly after graduation and right before his birthday.  Try as I might, time, meditation and healing have not completely eradicated the lingering symptoms I experience each spring.

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I was amazed to discover this weekend that while I can fully remember the Celebration of Life party we held on what would have been his 18th birthday, the sharp memory stabs of his graduation night and funeral are fading.   Glimpses and pieces swirl about, without the accompanying pain and yearning I feel when other memories come to the fore.

Since I pick whichever story is best for me, I conclude that Time is healing me, year by year –

And so here soon, I shall emerge from my trip down memory lane – complete with the knowledge of what has been laid to rest and what is left to heal.

Another year stretches before me before the lilacs, springtime weather and graduation announcements entice me down memory lane again.  365 days in which to love better, surrender with grace to that which I cannot do anything about – 12 months for Mother Nature to continue her reconstructive surgery on me.

If the past few are any indication, next year will be easier than this past one.

June - 23 Years Ago
June – 23 Years Ago
Graduation Night  5 years ago
Graduation Night
5 years ago
June - 5 Years Ago
June – 5 Years Ago